You learn a lot about people when you hear the ones closest to them describe what they’re like – when they tell you about their quirks and the things they were obsessed with as children and the traits they’ve grown to admire most in them. This is one of the main reasons why I enjoy the toasts at wedding receptions so much – the speeches often give listeners an inside scoop, and usually after spending most of the day alongside the bride and groom while photographing them, I find myself nodding in agreement, and laughing as if I’m in on the jokes. Because that’s the thing about wedding days like this and couples like Jennie and Zach – by the end of a day spent with them, they make you feel like you really are in on it.
Zach had multiple people that spoke on his behalf – one of his best friends, as well as his two brothers, while Jennie’s sister (and best friend) Jency toasted to her. I love when siblings do so because there’s often so much history between them, and you could feel that when Jennie and Zach both laughed extra hard and cringed accordingly at the stories their siblings shared. There was a shared understanding between all of them throughout the day as well – in the way Jency knew how and when to alleviate any potential stressors for her sister in the midst of the morning’s getting ready process, and again in the way Zach and his guys would find each other on the dance floor when a particular song came on.
There was one more important element on Jennie and Zach’s wedding day (or should I say, two) — their family dogs, Bella and Marley. This was the first time in my many years of photographing weddings that I had seen dogs walk down the aisle inside a church, and I loved every second of it. Beyond that though, I loved the way Jennie and Zach lit up when they were with their pups, and how Jennie had told me she wanted “as many photos as possible” of the dogs, and how they incorporated them into getting ready moments and family photos in the church and the exit after the ceremony. This might have also been one of my favorite parts because I felt like seeing Jennie and Zach with their dogs was like seeing them with each other, as well as at their best – any potential anxieties had faded away, and they were just a couple of loyal, kind, happy people, hanging out, looking fortunate to be in the company of those around them.
Church: St. Martha’s Catholic
Reception Venue: Noah’s Event Venue
Dress: Omaima Couture
Videographer: Acosta Cinema
Hair: Nika Vaughan Bridal Artists
Makeup: Melanie Larson
Catering: Cuisine America
DJ: Sounds Abound, Tony