Graduate Providence Wedding
Andrew & Hina
Wedding photographers can be creatures of habit and, because of this, anytime a couple comes along in a way that falls outside of your usual rhythms and routines, you take notice.
Andrew and Hina were one of those couples for me.
I first met Andrew and Hina while exhibiting at the Original Wedding Expo at Twin River back in April and when I asked them what their wedding date was, they said "June 9th."
I won't lie, I had to do a double-take when I realized they meant it was this year. Six weeks later, in fact. But even though the quick nature of their wedding planning caught me off guard, I knew from the moment I first spoke with them that I needed to shoot their wedding as it sounded like it was going to be a beautiful event full of family, love and laughter. And it was. It truly was.
My coverage of Andrew and Hina's wedding day actually started long before they would say "I do" as the bride and groom asked me to come along and photograph Hina getting her traditional Henna tattoos that she would wear on her wedding day two days before the wedding.
When my schedule allows, I absolutely love shooting pre-wedding events with brides and grooms as it gives me a great chance to get to meet all of the couple's family members and makes everyone much more at ease with me taking their photograph when the actual wedding day comes up.
This was no exception as I had a lot of fun capturing the evolution of Hina's beautiful tattoo from concept to near-completion and it set the stage for a great and fun wedding day later that weekend.
True to form, when Sunday did come, I knew right from the moment I walked into her hotel room at Graduate Providence, formerly the Providence Biltmore, that this was going to be a bright, colorful and beautiful afternoon.
Andrew and Hina decided on a traditional Muslim wedding ceremony and, as such, Hina's entire look was jaw-dropping on her wedding day. I knew we were in for something special when her hairdresser fashioned a ton of flowers into the back of her hair but when she actually got into the dress, put her jewelry on and completed her total look for the day? She was one of the most beautiful brides I have ever seen.
Needless to say, I knew Andrew was going to have quite the reaction when he saw his bride-to-be.
Following bridal prep, we made our way up to the hotel's 18th floor for Andrew and Hina's ceremony. While I have shot a lot of events at the Providence Biltmore, this was the first time I'd been on site since they completed their remodel and re-branding to Graduate Providence and, I have to say, it really was beautiful.
The 18th floor in particular was a lovely place for a wedding ceremony and Andrew and Hina made it their own with some beautiful chairs and decorations.
And though I haven't shot a lot of Muslim wedding ceremonies, I found Andrew and Hina's to be really beautiful, if for nothing more than the way they both lit up and looked so happy whenever they glanced at one another.
One of the biggest things I learned rather quickly about Andrew and Hina was how close they are to their respective family members. As such, I knew the most important part of the entire wedding day would be their formal photos with those closest to them and we took quite a bit of time shooting them both at the site where they got married and downstairs in the stunning lobby area which remains one of the most beautiful sites in Providence if you ask me.
I really loved shooting Andrew and Hina's bride and groom portraits and could have worked with these two for hours. Hina was a stunning bride and her attire was top notch and the love in Andrew's eyes whenever he looked at her melted my heart.
Following their bride and groom portraits, Andrew, Hina and I made our way into their wedding reception ballroom.
I love what these two did for their decorations and the freshly-remodeled room at Graduate Providence was the perfect backdrop for this afternoon.
Even though Andrew and Hina's wedding reception took place on a Sunday afternoon, you'd never know it based on the crowd they had, everyone's enthusiasm and, the open dance floor later that afternoon.
But first, the bride and groom took time to thank all of their guests for coming before settling in for a lovely lunch reception.
Andrew and Hina were on the fence about a lot of the more American traditional aspects of a wedding reception until a few days before their big event but, thankfully, they ultimately decided to settle in on a traditional cake cutting, first dance and mother-son dance.
They would even add a bouquet toss in before really opening the dance floor up and I'm glad they did because it resulted in one of the funnier reception photos I've taken this year.
With the formal aspects of their reception over, Andrew and Hina cut loose and enjoyed the party portion of their wedding. They weren't alone as this dance floor was hopping all afternoon.
For a Sunday wedding, in particular, the sheer number of people on the dance floor from the start of the reception until the end was impressive. The only thing more impressive, in fact, was how well everyone moved and how much fun the party really looked.
As my time with Andrew and Hina came to an end, I couldn't help but laugh at how surprising wedding photography can be sometimes. A few weeks before they said "I do," I had no idea who Andrew and Hina were but on this warm summer afternoon, I got to witness one of the most special days of their lives and for that I'm grateful.
More importantly, though, I got to capture some really fun photos that I have no doubt they'll cherish for a lifetime, photos I think tell their story beautifully.
So, thank you Andrew and Hina for allowing me to document this day for you and best of luck on your marriage. If it's anywhere as beautiful as your wedding day was, I know you're in for something truly special.