Rachel and Josh’s wedding day had finally arrived! They had a big day planned, too, filled with family, friends, tradition and love. And that celebration began with Rachel as she made preparations in her hotel suite alongside her bridesmaids. The final touch for those preparations was a dab of perfume, and when Rachel revealed herself to those gathered, she was met with smiles (and maybe a few happy tears).
We wasted no time starting the day, taking an elevator down to the lobby and making a beeline to the spot designated for Rachel and Josh’s first look.
Here’s groom Josh (well, his reflection, anyway) as he was getting ready. Just like Rachel, Josh was incredibly excited for the first look. The second he was ready, Josh was out the door and on his way to the Art Institute garden.
Josh and Rachel were ecstatic when they saw each other. There were many hugs, tears and smiles… and those smiles were on their faces throughout our photo shoot in the garden. Josh and Rachel were joined by their wedding party for a few of the shots, as you’ll see in the following collection:
When we were finished in the Art Institute garden, the entire crew jumped on the party bus and headed out for more pre-ceremony portraits around town. This group was so much fun to work with, too. There was a lot of collective creative energy and everyone was ready to have a good time!
A smooch on the cheek wrapped up our time on the bridge. We had one last stop to make before heading to the venue…
La Scarola! This was the restaurant where Josh and Rachel had their first date. I’m sure they’ll be spending many anniversaries to come in this special spot!
We were having a blast but it was time to get to Salvage One for the wedding festivities.
The celebration began with a Bedeken ceremony, in which friends and family sang and cheered as Rachel was veiled.
Rachel’s mom and dad were very moved by this moment!
And as he made his way to Rachel, Josh received a big hug from his dad.
Big smiles as the couple made their way to the ceremony.
And it was a beautiful ceremony, too, filled with tradition, meaning and love. After Rachel was escorted down the aisle by her parents, she circled her groom then took her place by his side. Enjoy these pictures from Rachel and Josh’s ceremony:
With rings, vows and a kiss exchanged, Rachel and Josh were married! Congratulations!
The newlyweds spent some time alone together immediately after the ceremony, so I headed down to the reception area to see how things were shaping up.
The reception began with dancing, and as dictated by tradition, that dancing began with the men and women being separated by a curtain.
Both sides were boisterous during this start to the party and soon enough, the curtain was removed…
….and the Hora began! You can tell by the looks on their faces that Rachel and Josh were excited for this part of the celebration!
Watch out for that disco ball!
The guests settled in for dinner, and as meals were being finished, Rachel’s mother took to the microphone to give a blessing. She was followed by Rachel’s father and Josh’s father gave his toast before the couple thanked guests for spending the day with them.
With speeches completed, Josh and Rachel shared their first dance as a married couple.
Finally, the bride and groom danced with their father and mother, respectively.
Then it was time for everyone to pack the dance floor as the party kicked into high gear. See just how much fun it was in these images from Rachel and Josh’s dance party:
What a party! Thanks for inviting me, Rachel and Josh! And congratulations on your marriage!