This wedding session was 3 years in the making. Nicole + Andrew were married in a court house 3 years ago today (29 August). They had plans to eventually have a proper wedding with friends + family the following year - then COVID hit, so they pivoted + hosted their nearest and dearest in their living room / on zoom! I was supposed to shoot it, but Andrew made the very thoughtful decision that I should stay home - with two kiddos and COVID being new, at the time the risk was too great. So we zoomed in, and Miss Charlie Jane got to be a flower girl - she was too cute! She wore a purple dress + carried a petite bouquet of flowers! Cut to another year later, we FINALLY set a date to meet at Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis, Maryland to create their long awaited wedding gallery.

Being that Andrew is Ukrainian, their session was the most incredible tribute to his heritage and to their love. Andrew looked ever so handsome in his Ukrainian tunic + Nicole was dressed in the most beautiful gown I've ever seen - crafted in the mother land, it was embroidered in a manner that I simply cannot describe - you'll see what I mean! The crowning glory ... Andrew made a flower crown for his bride out of the most perfect flowers - sunflowers, thistles, hypericum berries, purple statice, baby's breath ... it really was incredible ( and if you know Nicole, you know it suited her well ).

We met about an hour and a half before sunset, and plotted out our course. They brought with them their rushynk that his grandmother had made ( it's a traditional Ukrainian ritual towel - we used it throughout the session + for a tiny handfasting ceremony towards the end ), the exact replica of their korovai ( traditional wedding bread ) made by the same baker who had crafted the intricate masterpiece a couple years before (@korovaibykatria). Nicole was wearing a string of amber beads that Andrew's grandfather mined and collected himself. They were later refined, polished + strung into a necklace. It was the perfect touch to her ensemble. They created their own invitations out of flowers from their yard preserved in clear resin, and then had gilded with the wedding day details. Their bottomless well of creativity was all over their day + this session! I did a little digging my self and brought along a small dish of salt + a bottle of red wine, as these two, along with the korovai, are also traditional at a Ukrainian wedding. Together with mother nature, we created a gallery that I will forever be proud of + more importantly, they will cherish for ever.

Andrew + Nicole ... It was an HONOR to be asked to capture this season of your lives + I love you both immensely.

Za vashe zdorov'ya, druzi!


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