When I was growing up, me and my yiayia’s favorite movie was My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Not only was it super relatable with our Greek culture, but it was also tastefully done, a little sappy, and hilarious. I mean, who doesn’t have an aunt with the lump of their conjoined twin on their neck? No? Just Me?
Anyways, despite being Greek with a Greek mother, my parents (my father not being Greek) decided against sending me to Greek School. I never learned the language or went to church or anything like that. I felt like a part of me was missing, that was, until Sone messaged me about her wedding.
It was such an honor being able to photograph and attend her wedding ceremony that was Greek + traditional (meaning at the church). I started the day by stopping by her apartment and photographing a few detail shots; once I saw her dress, I knew I had to hang it up and take a picture – the long sleeves and all the lace – absolutely gorgeous. I also got to meet her dog whom was the absolute cutest little mush. After grabbing the detail shots, I got in my car and drove to Niko’s prep.
Now, the thing with Greek culture is that the family has certain roles to fulfill in him preparing for his wedding day. Each important member partakes by helping him get dressed, one article of clothing at a time. For instance his father tied his tie and his grandfather helped with putting on the vest and doing the buttons. The house was festive and in great spirits with traditional music playing, people singing, and a whole spread of all types of food to snack on. Once dressed, the real fun began! If you have never witnessed a money dance, or Kalamatianós in Greek, is a cultural tradition at many wedding receptions where guests offer the newlyweds money to dance with them, or they shower the couple with money. The custom is to help establish the couple in their new life together, or to show how much they are loved and appreciated.
After we took some family photos, we were off to Saint Nicholas, Constantine, & Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Roseland, NJ. Family members began to fill the pews, and everyone was very excited! As was I, I could not wait to see how beautiful Sone looked in that gorgeous dress and get to photograph it. Niko waited, the music began to play, and it all began – she looked absolutely incredible as her mother escorted her down the aisle.
Greek ceremonies are absolutely beautiful; there is a ton of love and signing and tradition that goes into it. I could not help but feel connected to my spirituality during the ceremony.
After such a wonderful experience, Sone + Niko were declared husband and wife!
This particular church was also decorated rather elaborately – it gave the perfect backdrop for family photos inside (which I often do not recommend because of lighting, but there were a ton of windows and natural light which mixing with my flash was perfection.
like, look how gorgeous her dress details are! and the intricate paintings and design of the church – so dreamy!
I always recommend couples to walk a little more than halfway down the aisle and kiss again so we get dreamy shots like this one, with all your friends and family behind you!
Guests greeted and celebrated the new marriage with throwing of rice as they exited the church; throwing rice is a blessing for newly-wed couples to symbolize prosperity and fruitfulness (in ancient times, this means having children).
Outside, Niko had a surprise getaway car waiting to drive to the next location. We decided to do their portraits in Hoboken, which is a super hip area in northern New Jersey and about thirty minutes from their venue. (FYI: be careful with parking in Hoboken on the weekends, it gets super crowded near the waterfront and the park – there are parking garages but I found some street parking three blocks away). Sone really wanted the New York City skyline in her photos and let me tell you, it was the perfect day for it.
Their bridal party came as well to get prettier photos of the group all together and they came to SERVE LOOKS. I mean c’mon, look at them!
Walking photos are my go-to signature, and they always come out soooo cute and candid.
We decided to get a bulk of the bridal portraits out of the way while we were here and they came out so gorgeous. The tones, the lighting, their good looks – they came out exactly how they should of. Also, if you are considering a veil, do it. You do not have to wear it for your ceremony or reception in any means, but a few veil shots for your bridal portraits come out so pretty – like a tad extra pizazz. The park was super crowded and there was a bunch of construction, but we found an amazing spot that had everything we needed. Also, shout out to the guy on the bicycle who kept riding past, yelling weird stuff to us – hope you are doing okay.
The reception was an absolute blast – everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, was on the dance floor. There was another money dance, where everyone participated in. The energy was high from the moment I arrived at the Yacht Club to the moment I left. It was a wicked good day, and I had an absolute blast capturing it.
We also snuck out at sunset for some more pictures: Here’s the Yacht Club.
Sone + Niko,
Thank you so much for letting me capture your gorgeous day – I am so glad that I got to experience your culture, enjoy the festivities, and dance with y’all! You can truly feel the love between you two as well as all the love and support coming from your families. I hope you have the most amazing marriage and look back at these moments fondly.
PS – look at the dessert table: