You are mine, and I am thine, and no power on earth shall make it otherwise - Jacob Grimm
A WEDDING FULL OF STORIES
What can I say about the wedding of Andrew and Rachel? I could fill pages...just like they filled their day with pages and more words than could be read in a single week. And that's in a completely literal sense, for when Rich and I walked into their home we were met with walls hidden behind bookshelves that were packed with more books than I could hope to own. I was in awe. The reception venue was decorated in paper cranes made of pages from books and the table centerpieces were stacked books with the names of authors as table numbers. There were enough books for each guest to take one home as a favor. We brought home Lord of the Flies. Their wedding was truly a book lover's dream.
Beyond the numerous books, this wedding was magical for other reasons. The venue setting was the most whimsical one we've ever worked at, with trees framing the dance floor to look like an enchanted forest, the Alice in Wonderland inspired bridal suite in the loft, and the hidden garden gazebo, it was all absolutely wonderful. Rachel and Andrew themselves looked just like a fairytale princess and her prince.
Rachel and Andrew got ready at their home, Rachel on the top floor and Andrew on the bottom floor. I quickly made myself busy by going between styling details to documenting Rachel having her makeup and hair styled. It was so lovely watching her mom help her get ready. Meanwhile, Rich was downstairs with Andrew and the other guys who made up the wedding party. After spending an hour just chatting after their engagement session, Rich and Andrew seemed like their were longtime friends.
The guys were finished first, so they headed on over to Assumption Greek Orthodox Church for the first ceremony of the day. Once Rachel had her red Converses on, I got some shots of her walking down the morning glory covered stairs and then we were off to the church.
Andrew and Rachel had their legal wedding ceremony at Assumption Greek Orthodox Church, where they regularly attend and where Rachel's dad is a deacon. When chatting earlier in the day, Rachel and her mom explained that, when they had first attended the church, it felt like coming home. I had never attended a Greek Orthodox wedding, so I was excited to witness theirs. This ceremony was socially distanced and only had a family in attendance.
I went up to the top of the aisle and said hello to Andrew while we waited for Rachel to make her grand entrance. Andrew was buzzing. When Rachel walked through the doors and he saw her for the first time, Andrew was blown away by her beauty and had to look away to compose himself. From then, they stood side-by-side at the altar as Fr. Shaw began. Throughout the ceremony, Fr. Shaw gave blessings over the couple followed by Rachel's mother. They did this with the exchange of rings, the crowns (which was personally my favorite part of the ceremony), communion, and circling of the table. I can't honestly tell you I knew what each moment represented, but I found the ceremony to be very beautiful and interesting to witness. Once they were pronounced husband and wife, they shared a kiss and then we proceeded to do some family photos.
AT RICH FARMS
We all made the way over to Rich Farms for the rest of the day. The gorgeous gazebo was where the second ceremony would be held, which was to be officiated by Rachel's brother. It wasn't for a few hours, so we spent the downtime time taking detail shots, eating Chik-fil-a, and getting ready. We opted not to do too many portraits during this time because the sun was too high in the sky and it was very hot outside, however I did get some really great bridal portraits of Rachel while Andrew took Rich along with him and one of the groomsmen to Michael's to pick up a box of flower petals.
As we neared the ceremony time, everyone lounged in the loft and peeked out the window as guests started arriving. Rachel's mom helped touch up her makeup and adorned her head with a delicate circlet crown. Andrew watched his new wife with such a soft look in his eyes. When everyone else left the room to allow Andrew and Rachel a moment before the ceremony, they took the opportunity to pray together and it was one of the sweetest moments of the day.
The second ceremony was incredibly beautiful. I loved that Andrew and Rachel had her grandmother as their flower girl. It was so sweet to watch Rachel's mom wheel grandma down the aisle to toss flower petals. If Andrew's reaction to seeing Rachel during the first ceremony was total awe, his reaction this time was complete adoration. It was very special to have Rachel's brother officiate and he took a more traditional approach, however one delightful addition was after asking who was giving away the bride, he asked who was giving away the groom, to which Andrew's adopted parents answered.
After the conclusion of the ceremony, we went off to do group photos and then bride and groom portraits and there was no shortage of beautiful scenery to do so. We were even able to sneak away for some beautiful sunset portraits.
This wedding is one that will always hold a special place in my memory and I am so glad that Andrew and Rachel pick Cyn Davis Photography to tell their story. I'm glad that our journey together was like that of a fairytale. Congratulations to Andrew and Rachel, may they live happily ever after!
See their engagement session: Andrew + Rachel | Cooper's Rock Engagement Session
1st Ceremony Venue: Assumption Greek Orthodox Church
2nd Ceremony/Reception Venue: Rich Farms, Inc
Bridal Dress: David's Bridal
Tuxes: Daniel's of Morgantown
Ceremony Quartet: Virginia Cox, Eclectic Violinist, Morgantown
Florist: Southern Blooms Co.
Bakery: The Cupcakerie - Morgantown, WV
Caterer: Olive Garden
Cyn Davis Photography is Rich and Cynthia, husband a wife wedding photography team based in Steubenville, OH and telling vibrant stories in Pittsburgh, PA and throughout the Upper Ohio Valley. We are currently booking 2021 and 2022 weddings. Learn more about us and check out our love story.