Elopements and city hall weddings are my new favorite thing. The intimacy, the subtle excitement, the fact that I’m sometimes the only witness. All of the extraneous details have been stripped away to leave raw emotion and honestly, just a really lovely, no stress day. It doesn’t hurt that Philadelphia has the prettiest City Hall in the country. It’s a stunning building.
Imagine a City Hall judge that every Thursday, for one hour, marries ten or so couples. The preciousness of these wedding ceremonies is probably lost on that judge after doing it a few hundred times. Thus, it’s a testament of just how engaging Stephanie and Matt are as a couple that the judge herself was in tears at the end of the ceremony. She had been holding Stephanie’s bouquet while they recited their vows and exchanged rings. Stephanie was in tears, Matt was in tears. And when the judge handed Stephanie’s bouquet back, she noticed the picture Stephanie had pinned onto the flowers – her grandmother. The judge was moved and by then everyone was in tears.
Photographing Stephanie and Matt’s City Hall wedding on a Thursday afternoon is about the best thing I could be doing with a camera and still call it work. They laughed so hard. They danced when the street violinist broke into a rendition of the wedding march. We walked and photographed and told stories. We shared a glass of wine in their suite afterwards, toasting their wedding day and waiting for their parents to show up for a celebratory dinner. It was a perfect day.