Once in a while we’re blessed enough to be able to document a wedding incredibly different and unique to a particular couple, as was the case with Julie and Andrew, whose wedding we share in celebration with you today. We had first met Andrew five years ago when he served as Best Man at Heather and Brad’s wedding which we had also shot (and whose adorable little daughter Opal has been the subject of many a fun portrait session since). Coincidentally, Heather and Brad also celebrated their five-year anniversary the night of Julie and Andrew’s wedding, so it was wonderful for us to be able to spend time with both couples. Heather also served as Julie’s hair stylist, and we enjoyed seeing Heather’s creations. She’s done several of our past wedding clients and we always love what she does! As Julie got dressed, she placed a peacock feather, symbolizing her late father and their relationship, just inside her gown so that he could be with her throughout the day.

You may have already read the story in the Washington Post about this couple and their engagement, but suffice to say the National Cathedral played a large part in their courtship and thusly with their wedding celebration. Julie sings with their renowned choir and Andrew has become a docent, so it was a doubly emotional time for them when it came time for their ceremony there. During the majority of the day, the skies opened and rain fell in buckets, but the clouds cleared and sun reappeared at just the right time (right after their ceremony!) for some amazing light–the kind of light photographers dream of. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. The couple really wanted to spend time creating some fun and unique portraits around the Cathedral before the ceremony and while the weather inhibited our movements, we were still able to do quite a lot with them, especially at the moment when they first saw each other. True to their uniqueness, Andrew had already seen Julie’s choice of wedding gown, but his gift from her was a new tailored suit for the occasion, which Julie didn’t want to see until the day of the wedding. Their first sight was incredibly emotional, as one would imagine. Julie and her bridesmaids also carried, in lieu of a traditional bouquet, a Spanish fan in a nod to her heritage. First some a couple of beautiful details from around the Cathedral. We could do an album just of those alone!

The beautiful Rose window, a centerpiece of the Cathedral’s architecture.

First sight!

Instead of a bouquet of flowers, Julie carried a Spanish fan!

Which Andrew couldn’t resist playing with. Try and do that with a bouquet! 😉

This was the scene outside moments before the ceremony was to begin.

The National Cathedral remains open to visitors during services, and their wedding was no exception, so tourists watched in delight as Andrew, Brad, Julie, and her bridesmaids marched down the center aisle toward the choir area where the ceremony was to be held. Their guests sat in the choir seats, usually reserved for those singing but because of the wedding’s size they held everything in an area promoting intimacy. Another thing they did that was unique was to return from the high altar to the very middle of the choir pews to exchange rings and vows in a nod to including those they loved the most – all their cherished guests. Because of their involvement with the Cathedral, we were lucky enough to get access to otherwise off-limits places in the altar area where we could shoot and capture their ceremony in all its glory, such as the musician’s gallery high above the altar.

Julie was positively spinning with joy!

This was about the time the sun began to come back out again, and drew the two of them toward the beautiful Rose window like a magnet.

We’re going to continue this incredible wedding shortly with part two, so check back here this afternoon!

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