Nashua & Nader
Belle Mer, Newport, Rhode Island
July 7th, 2017*
One of the things I love about second shooting weddings is it exposes me to clients and cultures I may not have ever seen otherwise.
And, thanks to my work with George Street Photography, I was fortunate enough to spend an overcast summer afternoon in July shooting the wedding of Nashua and Nader, my first Egyptian couple.
Nashua and Nader were married at one of the nicest venues I've ever seen in my professional life as their ceremony and reception at Belle Mer were breathtaking but, by far, the biggest thing I'll remember about this wedding is the total shift in culture I got to witness as this bride and groom held a traditional Egyptian wedding full of their country's traditions and customs.
And it. was. awesome.
My coverage of Nashua and Nader's day began about a half hour before their ceremony and that extra time gave me just enough of a buffer to watch the groom interact with his groomsmen and pace excitedly around the venue, eagerly awaiting his bride.
And I can't blame him.
Nashua was a stunning bride with a beautiful white dress and one of the nicest veils I've seen in years.
And their ceremony was unlike any I'd ever seen before as Nader and Nashua's father finalized the marriage at a table setting while Nashua's friends and family members shouted their support.
It was a ceremony unlike any I've seen before but I could tell this exact type of wedding ceremony has been done for centuries and seeing the customs and traditions of another culture is something I felt privileged to witness.
I was initially caught off guard by how quick Nashua and Nader's wedding ceremony was but the moment it was over, it was pretty special to watch how excited the bride was as she was bombarded with friends and family members who all wanted a hug or a photo.
And speaking of photos, though it didn't seem like it in the morning, the weather was absolutely PERFECT for Nashua and Nader's formal photos following the ceremony as the overcast day made shooting at Belle Mer a spectacular experience.
Once we managed to get Nashua and Nader alone for bride and groom portraits, they became like every couple I'm lucky enough to photograph as they embraced the moment and interacted like pros as we made the most of our limited time for photographs and got some really special shots with the Clay Pell Bridge, a staple of Newport, in the background.
Following bride and groom formals, I headed over to cocktail hour to photograph some of Nashua and Nader's guests but what I was looking most forward to was coming shortly as I received word that the bride and groom had not one but two special entrances planned.
And if you know me, that's right up my alley. I LOVE grand entrances and these were truly special.
Nashua and Nader began their wedding reception with a special walk around the concourse of Belle Mar, greeting their guests as they walked by all to the beat of a live band playing drums. It was a true party atmosphere and a great way to start the night off.
But what stole the show, without a doubt, was moments later as the bride and groom re-entered their reception and led the party with a 20-minute long dance with friends and family that featured one of the most packed dance floors I have ever seen.
Following their opening dance, Nashua and Nader took a small dip back into the traditional American wedding reception theme and had a special first dance just for the two of them set to "Something Just Like This" by the Chainsmokers and Coldplay. Initially, I thought it was an odd choice of a song for a first dance but it worked AMAZINGlY as the bride and groom broke into a choreographed routine that was flat out awesome to watch.
As Nashua and Nader finished their first dance, the night settled in nicely and the pair spent as much time as possible posing for photos with friends and family members and walking table to table before dinner was served.
My coverage ended with their cake cutting but they spent the rest of the night in Newport dancing and letting loose and I could tell as I prepared to head out that it was a night they would never forget.
All in all, Nashua and Nader's wedding was a night of special moments for me. Not only was it my first Egyptian wedding but it was one of my first weddings to feature an elaborate entrance set to drums and music.
But what I'll remember the most from this amazing evening isn't so much the party atmosphere, though that was great. No, I'll remember watching how happy the bride and groom were throughout the entire evening's festivities.
Nashua and Nader couldn't have picked a better location for their wedding. They couldn't have planned it better and, just by watching them interact, it's clear they couldn't have picked better partners.
It was a great evening all around and a wedding I'm sure I'll think about for years to come.
It may have been my first Egyptian wedding but, if this is what I can expect from this culture, sign me up for as many more as possible.
* These photos were taken as part of my work for George Street Photography and are presented here strictly for portfolio/display purposes.