Wedding Photos: From My Brother






It was such a delight seeing these photos from my brother earlier this week. Experiencing the day through his eyes and seeing things from a guest’s perspective was a treat. The wedding was a magical, dizzy blur, to be honest, and there were details in the photos he snapped that I missed entirely. I never even saw our custom cocktail napkins at the bar! My friend Herbie designed them, along with our Save the Dates, invitations, table numbers, place cards, and labels for the special cider one of Jamal’s groomsmen brewed for us –aptly named “Love at First Cider.” We have the best friends.

Another dear, dear friend of ours –a poet himself– read a Pablo Neruda poem during our ceremony, and if I had to pick a moment where I was closest to dissolving into tears, that would have been it. Amazingly, I held it together the whole day.

My twin nieces were darling little flower girls, a role they took very seriously, and with only minimal eye-rolling when I begged them to practice their petal-scattering technique over and over (and over). My 10 year old niece was a junior bridesmaid; in a twist of wonderful symmetry, I was a junior bridesmaid when I was 10 years old in my brother/her parents’ wedding, and here she was 17 years later as a junior bridesmaid for me. Jamal and I both wished we could have seen the girls walk in, instead of being at the back of the line, trying to catch a glimpse down the aisle.

Oh, speaking of: yes, we walked in together. In addition to not wearing white, not having a first dance or parent dances, and not cutting the cake, this was one more silly wedding tradition we decided to do away with. After my dad passed away, I had always sort of pictured my brother walking me down the aisle, but the screaming that suggestion produced from my mother is still making my ears ring. It wasn’t worth the fight, so Jamal and I found another solution, which guaranteed us a sweet, private moment together before marching out there, and allowed us to unintentionally ‘fight the patriarchy’ at the same time. Did you know that Swedish couples traditionally walk in together? Having done it now, I’d recommend it for every bride-to-be. Who better to cling to than your soon-to-be husband?

38 thoughts on “Wedding Photos: From My Brother

  1. WHOA!!! Slow your roll. I suggested that Eric AND I walk you down the aisle. The tradition in the Jewish religion is that both parents walk their child down the aisle, bride and groom. My brother and my mother walked with me.

    1. And given that we were not having a Jewish (or Catholic, or any sort of religious denomination) ceremony, the idea did not appeal to me. I should have felt free to choose whatever I wanted for the wedding, instead of being met with yelling and guilt. You don’t get to have a suggestion. I wouldn’t change a thing about the wedding Jamal and I ended up having, but I’m not going to pretend we arrived at our decision to walk down the aisle together organically; it was because my other choice was basically vetoed. xo

  2. This is really sweet and I feel lucky that we’ve been given a glimpse of the ceremony through the eyes of one of your family members. Girl, you know I’m all about fighting the patriarchy (in my case it’s deliberate and very intentional) but it sounds like the “walking down the aisle” solution worked for y’all and that is all that matters

    1. Thank you, R. I was so thrilled to see these photos (in a beautifully designed PDF book, no less) because while it was fun to see them pop up on Facebook throughout the weekend, my brother’s photos are a little more special, you know? xo

  3. so was this the dress? the one that had the alteration problems? because you look fabulous and it fits beautifully. i love that you opted against traditional white too.
    i also, remember noticing details in the photos that our photographer took I completely missed due to the inherent madness of the wedding day. it’s good to have a trusty “eye” to capture those details. you’re brother’s got skills (must run in the family) ;)

    1. This was the dress! Can you believe for all my panicking all the dress required was a simple stitch down the v-neck line? That’s all! It fit like a dream and I felt so, so pretty in it on the day. With the sash and hair and makeup…no wonder people get carried away with feeling like a “princess” haha.
      My brother is an amazing photographer, always has been. Our dad was, too! xo

  4. Our favorite photos were the ones that our friends took. We really liked our photographers, but this was (so long ago!) before people worried over much about their photography at their wedding, I think. (And that reminds me, I was too preoccupied with Cal to take many, but I do have a few pics… do you you have dropbox? seems easier than email.)

    All I’ll say is what’s one couple’s silly is another’s treasure: we were at a wedding in May where the mother of the groom (a former cabaret singer) sang to the bride and groom for their first dance and it was stunningly beautiful. Still brings tears to my eyes thinking of it.

    1. I don’t have dropbox, but you can send me a link to your dropbox download file, oui? That’s how my brother sent me these. Too large to send over email.

      And okay, I’ll give you that first dance sounds really touching, but in no way can you convince me that feeding each other a piece of cake in front of everyone, with the “will he/won’t he” nonsense surrounding smashing it all over the bride’s face, is a tradition worth incorporating. ;) xo

  5. ahhh I can’t even, you are gorgeous, Jamal is gorgeous, your nieces are too cute for words, these photos are stunning, the whole event looks stunning, you are all a sickly talented family, and way to go you for sticking to your guns and having the wedding you wanted / the plan B that you wanted ;)

    1. Ohhh stop it right now!! You are just wayyy too sweet! Though I will agree with you that Jamal is gorgeous and my nieces are the cutest. And my brother IS an insanely talented photographer. Thank you for your incredible words, Samantha! xo

  6. We walked in together, too, and it was the best decision we could’ve made. For me, it was the highlight of the day, actually. We also skipped the first dance, parent dances, cake cutting, & bouquet toss, too. I like the way you think. :)

    1. Love it, Stephanie! I totally respect people who stick to the traditions, but it’s just not for everyone. And that’s okay! We each get a day :) xo

  7. i loved seeing my wedding through a guests eyes as well! that was the reason we created an instagram hashtag :) your brother captured so many cute moments – especially you running out of the rain, gorgeous! i adore that you both walked down the aisle together. I want to see photos of that next! xo more please!

    1. Haha, people kept asking what our hashtag was during the rehearsal dinner, and that was one detail we just did not even think about! xo

  8. I am so glad you went with your decisions, and not some silly supposed tradition. I am also thrilled that you are you!, and a fantastic, beautiful you at that.
    PS. It was absolutely fabulous

    1. Thank you, Favorite Aunt! :) I hope you had a good time!! You looked great. Thank you for bringing Mommom and to the rehearsal dinner, too! xoxo

  9. Ton mariage me fait rêver Erin, il est parfait! J’ai de très mauvaises souvenir du mienne parce que je me laisse porter par des traditions, je me plie au souhait des deux familles, bref, à la fin, c’est n’étais pas mon mariage. Le tienne est sublime parce que tu as choisis, you are break the rules baby!
    C’est pour ça que les photos et tous les petits détails sont absolument délicieux ! J’adore le poème de Pablo, les cartes, tout les petits détails sont charmants. J’aime beaucoup ta robe, elle fait pour toi!xoxo

    1. Oh, desolée, Eva, que ce n’etait pas ton mariage! C’etait ma souhaite, que le mariage sera vraiment pour nos. Tu peux avoir un “Vow reneweal” peut-etre? Et faire les choses comment tu veux! xo

  10. I think that these shots are so lovely. I love the relaxed and candid nature of them. not to mention your brother is obviously a pretty great photographer. I have heard that rain on your wedding day is good luck and I think in your case it certainly was in more ways than just the one. It just lends this beautiful mood that seems as though it was all planned. The venue, your dress, the umbrellas. So beautiful! xo

    1. Thanks, twinsy! I’ve heard it’s good luck too, but I think that was made up by brides who were trying to find a reason to not be upset over the rain. ;) I love the rain, so I was happy to have it, especially because we still got to have pictures taken outside! And the light! The liiiight. xo

  11. Can’t even tell these aren’t from your photographer, they’re just as beautiful. I love candid photos.

    Erin, I am just so happy for you. You knew that this day would come from one of the first (if not THE first) time you spent time with him and now here you are.

    1. Oh man, that’s right, Sabina!! Ha! How great would it be to dig up that LiveJournal post all these years later?? That’s so funny! You definitely knew all the way back then :) xoxo

  12. I love that you both walked down the aisle together! You’re absolutely right; who better to deal with the pre-aisle jitters than the person you’re about to marry! As you already know, I’m a big fan of doing away with tradition ;)

  13. I love your mix of traditional and unique. and I love, love, love your wedding dress. grey is my favourite colour and I would definitely opt for it too. not that I have any intentions to get married any time soon.

    1. Gray is such a good color, isn’t it? I go back and forth between black and gray being my favorite, but I thought black was a bit too morbid for a wedding ;) xoxo

  14. The dress! Who would have known you had alteration issues because it fits perfectly. I’m not surprised that immense photography skills run in your family. Just so you know, I’m totally taking inspiration from your wedding when I get married. Cheers to you and your new husband!

    Also, Pablo Neruda *sigh*.

    1. That’s such a relief to hear, Hillary, thank you!! I did use a few strips of dress tape, too, which left hilarious red rectangles on my (very) sensitive skin, hah. I was so happy it all worked out! Take as much inspiration as you need. Just remember to do it your way! Well, yours and your future husband’s :) xo

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