Seeing as the next Pi Day won’t come around for the next hundred years, Melissa and Chris felt it was only appropriate to embrace their geeky side and begin their life together on 3.14.15. I’ve known Melissa for a few years now– having previously attended a party at a Phillies game with her and 30 of her closest friends, and I knew her warm-hearted and energetic spirit made her a perfect match for Chris. The couple’s personality really showed through their photos, especially in the group shot of their whole bridal party holding up the digits of pi!
Melissa and Chris got ready at Hotel Palomar, a Kimpton Hotel, and I was able to capture some behind-the-scenes moments before the ceremony in their wonderfully designed space. They had a traditional Filipino Catholic Church service at Our Lady of Perpetual Help—along with their dozens of sponsors! The reception was held at Fairmount Park Horticulture Center in Philadelphia, which would have been a great place for some post-ceremony pictures had it not been pouring down rain! Fortunately, Melissa and Chris trusted JPG’s advice and relocated to Reading Terminal Market with their entire 20-person wedding party where we got some fantastic photos, and of course, Hunger Burger!
While this wedding was a lot of fun, it was also an emotional time for everyone because Melissa’s father passed away a few months before the wedding. On the way to the ceremony, Melissa, her mother and her brother stopped by the mausoleum to share the moment as a family. As a photojournalist, I try my best to be an outside observer, cataloging specific pieces of my clients’ lives with being involved. However, I couldn’t help but get emotional as the family embraced each other as tears poured down cheeks and sighs of grief leapt from their mouths. I too met and respected her father, and I wanted to jump in too. Watching Melissa and her family grieve and overcome their pain on a day that is usually pure joy, made it impossible for me to stay detached, although I did keep my distance. Melissa’s mom and brother walked her down the aisle in her father’s stead, and Melissa’s brother prepared a family slideshow that played while he danced with his sister.
The reception was one of those rare occasions in which there were more people on the dance floor at the end of the night than at the beginning. They hired the lively EBE band, Imagine, that brought tons of energy to the party, which perfectly reflected the fun-loving couple. The musicians joined the party frequently!
Telling Melissa and Chris’ story has been truly memorable, and I am so thankful to have been a part of so many events in her life, and now Chris’. I cannot wait to continue celebrating life’s joys with them for years to come.