Garnette + Hamza: a vintage wedding in Philadelphia
I absolutely love it when I get a chance to photograph weddings that are out of the ordinary. Sometimes the venue is completely unique, sometimes there’s some cultural tradition I’ve never experienced before, sometimes there’s some quirky theme that runs through the course of the day…
Garnette and Hamza’s wedding was one such wedding: vintage-inspired, hot red, era-induced display of love between a fabulous couple.
I met with them and their sweet bulldog, Moses, just a few weeks prior at a little coffee shop in the city. You really couldn’t meet a sweeter, friendlier, laid-back couple. Here’s the back story: Hamza is Moroccan and backpacked through the states before landing in Philly where he met Garnette while bartending at Time. He speaks 6 languages and loves surfing. Garnette’s family is from Pittsburgh and she happened to be at Time restaurant for a friend’s going away party when she and Hamza locked eyes and spent the evening chatting away.
They planned an intimate Philadelphia City Hall wedding because next year they’ll be off to Morocco for a grand 3 day Moroccan wedding fete. They took this opportunity to have a little fun and do things their way.
They got a private courtroom where Garnette was led by her mother to the grinning Hamza and exchanged personalized heartfelt vows. Garnette wore her grandmother’s rings – something that was incredibly important to her. Her grandmother was her best friend when she was a little girl.
After a few shots alone in the courtroom, they went outside to be greeted by their 40 person guestlist to run through the bubble and confetti gauntlet 3 times (per guest request)!
Then I got them all to myself to roam around the city for an extended engagement/wedding day session. We had so much fun! I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that I practically squealed with excitement when Garnette started describing to me the wedding clothes: a birdcage blusher, tea-length off-white Nicole Miller wedding dress, bright red lipstick, and red patent leather peep-toe Valentino heels. (Hair by Jason at Jason Matthew Salon and make-up by Chris Moore from MAC.) Talk about heavenly! Hamza was equally dapper in his grey vest and blue pin-stripe pants.
We spent a few minutes back inside City Hall to take advantage of those glorious open stairwells and windows. They were more than happy to dance together while my lens and I followed from above.
We skipped over to Love Park to take in the springtime colors and classic sights.
We then wandered over to Broad Street in front of the Bellevue where we got a prime view of City Hall in the background. You’d better believe they got some hoots and hollers for looking as good as they did. Garnette told me that she was even stopped earlier that morning by a guy who just had to tell her how fine and unique she looked that day.
With all that kissing it was imperative that we reapply the hot red lipstick often.
It just wouldn’t have been right for us to walk around Philly without stopping in to that fateful place where they first met, Time.
(Yes, this is where they stood that night.)
It was a beautiful April day. Not too hot, not too cold. A little windy so Garnette had to be extra careful with that short dress, but otherwise perfect.
I must give a shout out to the florists at Robertson’s Flowers. Garnette’s bouquet was gorgeous: beautifully fragrant gardenias, sparkling stephanotis, and lovely white phaelanopsis orchids wrapped in bear grass and understated raffia ribbon. Hamza’s bout mimicked the bouquet with three simple stephanotis blossoms and wrapped with a loop of bear grass. They were gorgeous.
We ended outside of the Ritz Carlton to take advantage of those beautiful columns. Her wedding party was inside enjoying their cocktail hour before heading off to the Bellevue‘s famed XIX Restaurant for the reception.
Garnette and Hamza, thank you both so much for giving me a part in your splendidly unique wedding day. I am in love with how you did everything! If you need anything at all (like a photographer in Morocco…), don’t hesitate to ask!
“When you give each other everything, it becomes an even trade. Each wins all. “
~Lois McMaster Bujold