The officiant at a wedding ceremony often reflects the values and personality of the couple. The JPG Photography team has had the pleasure of capturing every type from priest to rabbi to Uncle Bob. But did you know that in Pennsylvania couples can marry themselves? This seldom followed approach roots itself in the Quaker tradition, which has been a part of Philadelphia’s history since the colonial days. Emiko and Robert chose this path for their own big day at their Arch Street Meeting House Quaker Wedding, and invited team JPG along to capture it all.
The Arch Street Meeting House, located in historic Old City, is the oldest Friends Meeting House still in use in Philadelphia and the largest in the world. It set the scene for Emiko and Robert’s personal ceremony during which guests sat in quiet reflection until they felt called to offer well wishes or tell stories about the couple. The minimalist room contained wooden pews and colonial windows, and was filled light as the bride and groom listened to their loved ones speak. When Emiko and Robert felt like enough time had passed, they stood, exchanged vows, and married themselves.
The neighborhood surrounding the Meeting House, including Elfreth’s Alley, matched the historic vibe of the ceremony perfectly. We captured a sweet first look and portraits along the cobblestone streets and picturesque row homes which show off Philly’s classic character. As a photographer, I continuously enjoy shooting in this area of our city as you can always find great accents and charm.
The wedding guests were amazing throughout the day: supportive, adventurous, and fun. One of my favorite moments was after the ceremony when everyone in attendance decided to travel the 5 blocks to the reception together on foot. They were a full blown wedding parade marching through Center City, and they gathered whistles and cheers from amused bystanders. The close-knit ties of the group was easy to appreciate, and morale was soaring as the reception at the Down Town Club began.
The moments kept rolling in during the party. We captured some fun choreographed dances, including one that seemed to come straight from Mary Poppins, with a chimney sweep and all! Also, while I don’t always mention the cake, Emiko and Robert’s was really quirky and cool. Each layer appeared to be leaning out from the one beneath, and all of them had different patterns and colors of orange, blue, and yellow. It was just one more detail that spoke to the personalities of this bride and groom.
Thank you, Emiko and Robert! The JPG Photography team had a blast documenting your day. Best wishes!