Philadelphia Wedding Photographer | FDR Park | Christina + Eli
Not ones to be tied down by (any) tradition or superstition, Christina and Eli had the wedding so many only dare to dream about – 100% their way. It was a refreshing and beautiful take on such an important and personal day with sweet, sentimental flourishes and nods to different cultures and religions as these two joined together. I feel lucky to know them as friends and to have been invited in as one of the lucky ones, along with Gary or Gary Nevitt Photography (his take on the wedding on his blog), to play such a special role in their day.
We, all of us, started at the Hotel Monaco that morning. If you’re marrying the love of your life, why not spend all of your wedding day with that person, right?! The two shared a room to get ready, Eli in the bathroom shaving while Christina had her hair and makeup done in the living room. It was a wonderfully light morning with lots of sweet pecks, music, and laughter.
Christina is a talented wedding planner so dealing with the hustle and bustle of the day was no problem. After all, she trusted these professionals she had worked with tons of times in the past.
Eli’s alterego is Batman. I’d call it a running “joke” if he weren’t totally serious about the, um, obsession. Of course the Dark Knight made several appearances throughout the day.
Eli’s nickname for Christina is Turtle. Instead of the traditional ring exchange, Christina surprised Eli with an addition to his expansive collection of cufflinks. They were little envelopes with tiny wooden notes inside. One said Turtle loves Batman and the other was this:
Despite having a pair of rocking sparkly and strappy heels, Christina opted for comfort: polka dotted socks and sneakers.
Some of the most tender moments of the day were the finishing touches of getting ready when Eli helped Christina into her dress and put on her necklace for her and her helping him with his boutonniere.
With that, we wandered outside to grab a few pictures of just the two of them in Philadelphia’s Old City before hopping on the subway to South Philly.
Why take normal transportation when you can make an experience out of it and ride SEPTA with a group of Phillies fans?
The ceremony was at the brick boathouse at FDR Park on the water. A group of close family and friends gathered in a circle with the couple and their officiant at the head. The intimate event pulled from Jewish and Korean traditions as well as a few others including a ring warming, incense burning, two broken glasses, and reading their own lovely vows to one another.
At the end, Eli and Christina’s sisters surprised the pair with a custom wedding day rap set to the Fresh Price of Bel-Air’s theme song. Hilarious!
We snapped a few pictures around the boathouse and headed towards cocktail hour and dinner at Citron & Rose, a Kosher Jewish restaurant on the Main Line.
I love that their ketubah was signed in multiple languages.
The large square dining table was filled with candles and bursts of color from Papertini’s vibrant clematis, roses, astilbe, phlox, fern, and lord knows what else. The arrangements were placed in boxes that read “Family” in English, Hebrew, and Korean.
Christina and Eli had placed handwritten cards for each other their guests at every place setting.
An evening of toasts, good food, good wine, laughter, and family ensued.
It was perfect!