Like many of the couples who planned their wedding this year, Phil and Anna were thrown a huge curve ball for their special day. From mid march to the present, so many couples who planned on getting married in North Carolina have had to drastically alter their plans for weddings. Couples like Anna and Phil who planned every last detail of their wedding for the past 3 years! They did as most couples do. They envisioned their dream wedding. They put in the foot work, picked out the location, selected vendors, and invited all of their loved ones. It was going to be a grand celebration at The Omni Grove Park Inn, in Asheville! Then suddenly and without warning, life was put on hold for many all across the US. A virus named Covid-19 made us all slam the proverbial brakes. People’s lives, livelihoods, and freedoms became a few of the many uncertainties in society. Soon after, activities were labeled essential and non-essential and suddenly, everything was put on hold. People predicted it would last a couple weeks, then the weeks quickly shifted to months, and for those couples who were planning on getting married, many rescheduled, some downsized, but for some, their dreams were crushed.
Phil and Anna are as sweet, genuine, and kind as they come. When we heard the news that their wedding plans would have to be altered it broke our hearts for them. As wedding photographers, other than full service planners, we spend the most amount of time of all wedding vendors connecting with our clients. From consultations, to engagements, to timeline reviews, and going over all the details, and logistics, we get attached to people and their stories. Their vision becomes our vision. Their emotions become our emotions. We’re there when they need to vent about stress, but we’re also there to celebrate the small miles stones and victories. When you become so connected with a couple and their story, it’s hard not to take on some of that pain with them. You’re trying to figure out how to best help them, serve them, and support them through all of this, but how do you just fix a situation that was ruined in a matter of days, but took years to plan? No doubt Phil and Anna’s resilience was put to the test over the past few weeks. After much soul searching and trying to figure out the best course of action for their relationship, their friends and families, as well as their futures, they decided they would get married at home in Philadelphia, PA on their original wedding date.
It was quite the change of venues but when they told us about the plan, we didn’t hesitate for a second when they asked it we would even consider possibly coming up their to document their ceremony. Their new wedding ceremony location was also their home of warship, Society Hill Synagogue, in the Society Hill historic district of Philadelphia. Their Rabbi had received special permission to perform the ceremony and before you knew it, everything was coming together for these two beautiful souls. It was going to be Phil, Anna, one witness, their Rabbi, and us. When the gravity of that sank in of just how blessed we were to be there and be a part of their union, it filled us with joy and gratitude. Though their family and friends couldn’t be there physically, they were all there in spirit, and they did get to witness their wedding as they zoomed the Ketuba signing and ceremony itself. Of course what wedding day would be complete without couples portraits!? The rest of our time with Anna and Phil in Philadelphia consisted a lot of captured memories and plenty of laughs to go around. By far our favorite part of their wedding day was when they shared their first dance in the middle of a scenic walking path in between two historic buildings. Phil cued his the music on his phone and even though it was the Pavilion they had planned on for their special dance, in that moment, nothing else mattered. Though we had been with them the entire time, it’s like we weren’t even there as they glided across the historic brick paved path. At a time when much of the world was lost, for a brief couple of minutes, these two were beautifully lost in a moment with each other.
We hope you all enjoy this following along as much as we did and just so you know, this is part one of a two part blog. Be sure to keep an eye out for Anna and Phil’s day after session in the Blue Ridge Mountains!