(Click on the above image to see the slideshow)
Shelly and Jeff were married in spring of 2008 in a very small, private ceremony at a friend's home. They had a son in the fall of last year, and decided to have a ceremony in their church and to throw a big party for all of their friends and family. It was lovely to see how, although they have been married for a whole year already, they approached this wedding just like any couple would - with excitement, nerves, last minute planning, and so much joy.
I love it when couples get ready together.
I also thought it was very cool to have the ceremony at the First Congregational Church in downtown Berkeley, and the reception at the Lawrence Hall of Science way up the hill. Thus addressing both the spiritual and the physical, an urban scene and a stunning vista of the bay - how cool and Berkeley is that?! :)
Shelly and Jeff, although Christians getting married in a Christian church, asked a rabbi friend/ guest to perform a traditionally Jewish pre-ceremony ceremony called the Bedecken. The rabbi explained that this is traditionally a time for the groom to veil his bride (thus basically making sure she is who he thinks she is), but that it also can be a lovely time to connect with your partner, look them in the eye, think of who you are marrying, and tell them silently, "I choose you and everything you are." It was something beautiful that they did in front of just their families, and was very touching.
On to the marriage ceremony!
The couple had their flower girls personally handing lilies to women on the aisle of the pews... awww.
Here the couple are being "charged" with words and thoughts by their entire community. People were free to speak out loud any wishes or advice they had for the couple, or to silently send those things. I love the idea of a sea of loving family and friends focusing on you and wishing good things for you! I imagine if everyone in the world could get such a thing, we'd all be very relaxed and happy.
After the ceremony, a little get together in the church hall for the congregation and guests alike:
And, on to the Lawrence Hall of Science!
The delicious catering was done by my friends at Grace Street (who are awesome), and there were cupcakes were brought by various friends and family members.
Unfortunately our plan to do more shots of the couple and guests outside was scrapped because it was freezing cold. Shelly and Jeff braved a few moments, thankfully, because there was such a beautiful ribbon of sunlight over the bay (and below the fog).
They also let me play with posing them in some cool exhibits:
These two looked gorgeous and had great big smiles on their faces all day. They seemed to most enjoy the ceremony, the dancing, the toasts, and being around their loved ones... exactly as it should be.
The day was very kid and baby friendly. I hadn't been to the Lawrence Hall of Science since I was very young, so it was really fun to see their current exhibits on Nanotechnology and "Animal Grossology". Devon checked the latter out too soon after eating and really did get grossed out! I think it was the tapeworm exhibit that did it.
There were hundreds more images I wanted to share, so I guess you'll have to take a look at the slideshow to see some more. It was a wonderful, fun day! I wish Shelly, Jeff, and Sebastian many more wonderful years together (and hope that they throw a party like this every year!).