It’s no secret that we live in an area popular for destination weddings. So many of our clients come from the cold white north (which to us, is anything north of Georgia). They plan stunning weddings around the sugar white beaches of the Gulf Coast, and are inspired by an aqua and neutral color palette stemming from these crystal clear waters. This is incredible in that our destination clients have the opportunity to plan every detail on their own terms; they aren’t constrained by family traditions and locations, and have the freedom to choose every venue based purely on aesthetic considerations. And for obvious reasons, this is wonderful. The flipside, of course, is that our destination clients aren’t constrained by family traditions and locations. We rarely have the chance to photograph clients in their natural environments. We don’t often get to see photos of them as children, or capture the moment the bride slips into her wedding gown in the same bedroom where she longingly watched her mother choose jewelry for a fancy evening out, or hear stories of the wedding traditions of generations.
Nikki and John gave us all of this.
Nikki’s family has incredibly strong ties and history with the Gulf Coast’s Greek community. They chose to have their wedding ceremony at Malbis Memorial Greek Orthodox Church, which purely as an architectural specimen, is absolutely magnificent. It’s also the church where Nikki was christened. Even more meaningful is where Nikki wanted to get ready. Although there are hotels and beautiful family homes all over the area, she chose the house attached to the church. It’s where she remembers visiting the old Greek ladies with her grandmother when she was little. Her mother told me stories of when she was a little girl, visiting the same home and being warned to behave and be respectful (when all she wanted to do was sneak away and go pet the cats, hiding in the bedrooms). The home is a moment captured in time, adorned with Greek icons, crocheted tablecloths, heavy carved furniture, and photographs on every surface. The drawing room displayed a collection of about 50 framed photos. Among them was a photo of Nikki in her christening gown, her parents, and her sister as an infant (the discovery of these photos was a delightful surprise to the bride and her family!). The strong sense of place gave a purpose to the photos in a way that is unusual for us to witness, and it was an incredible treat.
(I don’t mean to ignore John, who was funny and handsome and a genuine pleasure to be around! I also don’t mean to ignore the reception, which took place under the most gorgeous tent overlooking Bayou Texar in Pensacola. This wedding is eye candy for days).