So for most of the weddings that I blog about, I usually skip the photos of the rehearsal dinner (if I was there) and jump right into the wedding day. For Michael and Judy’s wedding, however, I just have to start at the rehearsal dinner, because there were two guests that were a total surprise for the groom, both of whom have technically been dead for hundreds of years…
Allow me to explain. Judy and Mike got married in the heart of historic Philadelphia, and the rehearsal dinner was held at the City Tavern, which first opened for business in 1773. The bride secretly hired two historical interpreters portraying Thomas Jefferson and John Adams to come to the rehearsal dinner. Mike was so surprised, and it was a really fun way to kick off the wedding weekend. So I just HAD to include a few of those photos in the sneak peek.
I think that Judy and Mike’s respect for all things historic and academic is really good place to start describing what makes them so unique, because it infused every part of their wedding. As I learned during our engagement session at the Penn Museum they are both incredibly smart.
Judy in particular loves all things related to antiquity with a particular interest in archeology and Roman architecture. I chose the first photo below in honor of Judy’s love of Roman columns. Seriously, our wedding party photo session took place on the steps of the First Bank of the United States… for the columns. Which, to be fair, ARE pretty great. Also not to be missed? The bride and her two friends each pretending to me an Ionic, Doric or Corinthian column on the dance floor. Judy is just effervescent. During the maid of honor’s toast, Clara told this story about being stuck in a rainstorm with Judy, when she ran out and began pirouetting in the rain. It’s such a great illustration of what I mean.
The bride is a joy to photograph because she is so expressive. I chose a variety of the photos below because Judy’s facial expressions are so awesome. At one point during the posed portraits, I was like, “Oh, my… I can SEE all the faces you’re dying to make. Take a break, let ’em out.” The resulting photo (#42) is one of my favorites, not only because Judy’s expression is hysterical but because you can see how Michael responds to it with humor and joy. From pretending to dive into her entree at the rehearsal dinner to donning a Founding Father wig at the reception to the grin she gave Michael when she walked down the aisle, Judy is gleeful, expressive and lovely, both inside and out.
And Michael just adores her. An accomplished academic in his own right, Michael sees Judy’s love for antiquity and matches it with an enthusiasm all his own. He makes Judy happy without even trying, but still… He really tries. The bride’s wedding gift from the groom is a necklace. The charm is tiny replica of the world’s oldest known love poem, which dates back 4,000 years and is written in cuneiform. Her engagement ring is inspired by jewelry of the Etruscan civilization. He proposed by having Judy decode the 1934 Wendell Barry poem “The Country of Marriage,” a quote from which adorned the cake, AND he made a modern jukebox for the reception, where he not only break-danced but sang a Canadian folk song a capella with his groomsmen about the quest to find a sea route to the Orient across North America. See what I mean? They’re both SO smart.
I would be remiss if I didn’t say one last thing about the couple’s families. Both sides were so welcoming and so kind, not only to me as a vendor but also to everyone who came. They had a hospitality suite at the hotel that bustled all weekend long. The kindness started with Michael’s grandfather, passed through every generation all the way down to the maid of honor’s baby. So I thank you all- wedding party, newlyweds, your parents, Michael’s aunt and especially grandfather, who, by the way, insisted on sharing a dessert with me at the rehearsal dinner. He is, I think, the reason Michael is the fine man he’s become, and it was honor to meet you all at this event.
Okay, enough chatter… who’s ready to look at lots of photos?!? Congrats, Judy and Michael!