December 29, 2009

Sarah + Jason: a Quaker wedding in Doylestown, PA

Wedding

Let’s dust off the blog, shall we? Seems it has a bit of holiday glitter mixed with wedding season dust bunnies.

I must tell you about Sarah and Jason’s wedding from the fall. It was an incredible wedding! Sarah was one of the happiest, sunshinest brides I’ve ever met. And it wasn’t just because it was her wedding day. It was obvious that she was down to earth and a genuinely positive person. She focused on all of the perfect pieces of the day and disregarded everything else.

We started at her family’s house in Doylestown. While preparing for a picture, her sister snagged her ring on Sarah’s veil and made a hole in it. Tears welled up in her sister’s eyes as she started apologizing profusely. It didn’t bother Sarah one bit. She laughed it off and gave her a great, big hug.

We then drove to the Buckingham Friends Meeting House. The skies were threatening but it was obvious why Sarah and Jason had chosen this time of year – the colors. Everything was vibrant. The fall colors were in full force.



Sarah and Jason decided to see each other before the ceremony. Sarah wanted to keep her eyes on Jason as he walked towards her and saw her in her gown for the very first time. It was a beautiful moment. Sarah and Jason were simply enamored with each other and it showed all day.



We had plenty of time for the formals before the ceremony. The weather had forecasted rain, but we stayed dry. The grey skies made for a nice soft backdrop to Sarah’s colors. They were hers. It truly felt like the oranges, yellows, reds, and greens were there just for her.


We shot against the impressive meeting house and all around the grounds.






Sarah chose black, floor-length satin gowns for her girls to really highlight the amazingly bright bouquets. Her bouquet was gorgeous. Lilies, orchids, roses, and dahlias were only upstaged by Sarah herself.



As if it were timed, the rain started pouring as soon as the pictures were finished and the guests began arriving.

This was my very first time at a Quaker wedding. If you don’t know, a Quaker wedding doesn’t have a program of service. It is loosely run by the people gathered before them. They make their declarations to each other and are, in a sense, married by god rather than an officiant. They sit in silence until someone is moved to speak to the couple, wishing them a happy future and reminding them of wonderful memories. There was hardly a break. It was one of the most moving ceremonies I have ever experienced. Every word was special because it came from friends and family. Because of the silence, Sarah and Jason decided to only have photography for the beginning and the end of the service.




One of the very neat things about the Quaker wedding is that it is very community based. Every person in the room (including me!) signed their marriage certificate as witness to the promises made that day. (Please correct me if I’ve gotten this wrong in any way.)


It was still coming down in buckets as we left the meeting house to head over to Aldie Mansion. The early darkness and the rain kept us from taking pictures outside. I was able to snap a few of the couple as they practiced their dance in the bridal suite during the cocktail hour.


If you’ve never been to Aldie, go! The place is gorgeous. It’s old, classic, unique… Hors d’oeuvre were presented in the library by the fireplace. I loved their idea for the placecards: they were lined all around the walls on the bookcases with tealights and pictures of Sarah and Jason scattered in between. It was such a clever way to engage guests. I loved the old leather-bound books.


The dining room was arranged with black linens and bursts of color from the purple napkins and bright wildflower-like arrangements.


Sarah and Jason wowed their guests with a fun choreographed dance to Stay by Ne-Yo. This was not your typical sway-in-a-circle slow dance.


Lovely heartfelt speeches…


Don’t say anything but I do believe the bouquet toss was fixed…


The rain stopped for us and we were able to end the night with some last shots in front of the beautiful stone mansion and fountain. I love how she’s pulling on his tie to bring him closer. So in love! So sexy!

Never gonna be without cha’
See myself with only you
I finally found my inspiration
~ Stay Ne-Yo

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