Melissa and Steve - A Wedding at Moshulu in Philadelphia

Wednesday, April 29, 2009 - Weddings
April 17th we made the trek to Philly for Melissa and Steve's wedding. Melissa is a Philly girl, but Steve has only been in the country for about 10 years. He grew up in Ireland, and has one of the best Irish accents this photographer has ever heard. :) I could listen to him talk all day!

The start of the day was probably one of the craziest we have ever had. We had about an hour and a half from the time we were to arrive until the start of the ceremony. Since it was a Friday wedding in downtown Philly at around 6 PM - we knew we had to leave some extra time for travel, but we underestimated exactly HOW much extra time. We left Lancaster area 2.5 hours prior to our arrival time, thinking the extra hour would be enough (it typically takes about an hour and a half to get into Philly) - and the traffic on Route 76 wasn't too bad. That is usually what makes or breaks us. No, the problem on this lovely Friday was actually in the downtown. The hotel we were supposed to meet Melissa at for getting ready was right in the circle around City Hall. THAT was the problem. Traffic around there was terrible and we had no idea where to park! After circling around 2 times, we finally were able to get in front of the hotel (now about 15 minutes late thanks to the traffic) and I hopped out to run up to Melissa while Joel dealt with the car and parking.

To say that Melissa was one of the most beautiful brides we have ever photographed is an understatement. She was radiant. She just glowed. She was a little nervous when we first arrived, but it all wore off in no time at all. There were some amazingly tender moments shared between her and her mom and dad in the tiny hotel room - tears flowed willingly and smiles were abundant. For the few minutes I was in that room, I caught some pretty amazing images. Joel came up for a few minutes after getting the valet to take the car, and I soon sent him back down because I knew we were getting ready to leave. It was about 5 PM and we were supposed to be over at Moshulu, where the wedding was held, to meet up with Steve for a first meeting. We hurried out the door and Melissa and her dad were whisked away in their car - I told Melissa we would be right behind them. But boy, was I wrong! Joel had come down almost a full 15 minutes before I did, and asked the valet for the car. 45 minutes later, after we stood there fuming and watching every minute tick by, the car arrived and we were off to the ceremony. We now were arriving at Moshulu at 6:10 PM, 10 minutes after the ceremony was supposed to start. To say that we were panicking was an understatement. I had Melissa's sister's cell number with me, and we were in contact the entire time, so they knew what was happening.

We arrived and Melissa was so calm and pleasant - she told us she was enjoying sitting in the car, that she was able to watch all of the guests arrive and board the boat. She said it helped calm her down - we were so relieved! We also found out that some of the other guests were having traffic problems, so although the ceremony started late, it all worked out. Steve saw her for the first time as she walked down the aisle, and I truly believed it worked out for the best. His reaction as she came down was one of the best I have ever seen on a groom. He was smiling from ear to ear and could hardly contain himself. I have a great shot of him below as she came down the aisle.

The rest of the day went smoothly and wonderfully. Melissa and Steve were just so into each other - and their families were a true joy! Steve had a big group of family/friends over from Ireland and for most of them, this was their first trip to America. It was great watching all of the little red-headed kids running around! And I loved talking to them, they were so full of questions about everything!

After dinner (which was delicious!) dancing was on the upper deck - and everyone let loose! We couldn't have had a better end to a beautiful day. Working under the pressure, we achieved some amazing images. Take a look below - it was unbelievable!

I just loved Melissa's dress - something different than what we normally see.
This was when the tears starting flowing...
I love this classic looking black and white of Melissa leaving the hotel room. It's one of my favorites.
Melissa and her dad heading to the car.
And getting ready to walk down the aisle.
Another one of my faves - all of Steve's nieces and nephews were the flower girls and ring bearers.
Steve's face! It's priceless!
An emotional kiss from dad...
...and welcoming Steve to the family.
Even though I was staring directly into the sun (so was poor Steve!) - I had one of the best angles and killer backlighting. Some of the best ceremony shots ever!
Just look at this shot of Melissa - I got soo many of these - she's just stunning! And the wind was working in my favor, it kept whipping her veil and hair around making for some superb images.
I told you that veil was cooperating ;)
It's official! I love the framing with Steve's brother whistling on the left and the judge on the right.
A toast before heading off for photos.
Ok another funny story - the waitress told us we had the entire boat to go where we wanted for photos. So we went up on the front deck to get away from the guests at cocktail hour. I backed up the steps as Melissa and Steve were coming up in front of me (AND much to my chagrin, I backed into a table and knocked over a bunch of full wine glasses! Klutzy Rita strikes again!) - and we arrive on the deck and turn around and there staring at us are 40 or 50 strangers! Melissa was like, "These aren't our guests!" So we had RUDELY (well mostly me) interrupted another party! Luckily the guests were preoccupied with gushing over Melissa and Steve and congratulating them (as you see here) and ignored my faux pas. At least I recovered from my embarrassment quick enough to catch this shot of one of the other guests shaking Steve's hand. (I promise the rest of the evening was disaster free!)
Steve is a bartender in Philly, so he was enjoying having his photo taken at the bar. :)
Finally relaxing for a few and enjoying each other. Steve couldn't help but marvel over Melissa the entire time. They were so sweet together.
OH yeah, that's what I am talking about - a personal waitress with yum yums!
At the back of the ship basking in the sunset.
The view from the back deck.
Melissa - gorgeous.
Melissa taking a quiet moment as she was bustled.
The front of this impressive venue. It was pretty rad photographing a wedding on a boat.
Steve was passing out hugs to all of his friends and relatives!
Melissa and Steve admiring the groom's cake - which I am pretty sure was a surprise for him and had photos of their dogs on the top of the cake!
OH those cute little kids!
Dinner was AHWESOME.
The cake was cut after dinner and then we headed upstairs...
...for another grand entrance into the PARTY!
Melissa's grandparents were so cute. They were holding hands and singing along.
Joel and I both loved this guest - mostly because of her spunky purple hat. :)
One of my other faves - I just love everything going on, how everyone is having such a good laugh - except for the poor little girl in her mom's lap! She looks so miserable - poor thing!
Guests having a good time!
Last but not least, one last shot of the happy and tired couple. Thanks to you both for making our job - SO EASY! We loved spending your day with you!
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