This was our first time to photograph what I hope will be many Washington DC gay weddings to come, and such an honor to have been selected by Ken & Kevin to document such a special day.
It was twenty-four years ago that Ken & Kevin met in graduate school at a picnic … and after twenty-four years of love and laughter, it was this November that they came together with family and friends in the beautifully rustic atmosphere of Thorpewood in Thurmont (Frederick County), Maryland, to say their wedding vows. In fact, the love Ken & Kevin share sang loud and clear through the many special moments and small touches and soft glances. This was a non-traditional wedding in more ways than one, starting from the moment Ken & Kevin descended the staircase together from the loft of the lodge at Thorpewood.
Instead of simply making their way to the front of the ceremony area, they weaved their way through the audience, greeting guests and shaking hands, hugging and waving. Ken’s high school drama teacher officiated the wedding ceremony, and had suggested to the couple that rather than standing with their backs to the crowd throughout much of the ceremony, that they face their audience instead. And she, as the wedding officiant, stood to the side, as opposed to in between them. I loved this non-traditional approach to the ceremony, as from my perspective as a wedding photographer, it allowed me to capture more “intimate” wedding photos of just the couple, while allowing guests to observe and respond to the couple’s emotions and expressions of joy.
Then, in a variation on the Russian Orthodox crowning ritual (Kevin’s heritage), they tied ribbon around a wreath (the “stefana” or crown), which was later held over their heads during the “Crowning.” In the Eastern Orthodox tradition, the crowning ritual significes the compromise required during marriage, in addition to the respect the two grooms gain by becoming the kings of their own “kingdom.” Ken & Kevin each wrote their own wedding vows, and as they pulled them out of their jacket pockets, they nudged each other and made jokes, and the audience (and I, the wedding photographer) laughed.
I can’t say it enough – Ken & Kevin’s wedding was special in so many more ways than one. Congratulations, Ken & Kevin! Scroll down to the bottom of this post for the list of other wedding professionals that took part in this event and are gay weddings-friendly! And many thanks to Ken for writing this awesome wedding photographer review on WeddingWire!
Searching for a friendly photographer for your own gay wedding?
Wedding Professionals for Gay Weddings
Gay Weddings Photographer: Irene Abdou Photography, Serving Washington DC, Maryland, Virginia, and Destinations Worldwide
Florist: Ory Custom Florals, Frederick, MD
DJ: Bruce Pike Productions
Catering & Wedding Cake: Canape’s Catering, Frederick, MD