“To love or have loved, that is enough. Ask nothing further. There is no other pearl to be found in the dark folds of life.”
Les Misérables by Victor Hugo

There are several superstitions regarding rain on a wedding day, but the general consensus is that it brings good luck to the couple joining in marriage. I did a little research and the most popular origin behind his old wives’ tale is that the knot (as in “tying the knot”) becomes wet and is therefore harder to break. This is what I choose to believe happened for Zenia and Adam when they got married on July 4th! Although it rained all morning and impeded our ability to make portraits outside during the getting ready process, it stopped just in time for the ceremony and never started back up again. The entire time, Zenia kept her calm and didn’t outwardly appear to be stressed by anything happening around her.

Zenia’s father was my high school social studies teacher and we have kept in touch throughout the years, so it felt natural for me to be able to photograph this family on a very special day of love. Throughout my time spent in Zenia’s parents’ home while the girls got ready I could feel that there was love coming from each person in their own way, ready to help Zenia celebrate her marriage to Adam. Their family continues to honor their Ukranian heritage and there were several special moments throughout the day that reminded me of this, during the ceremony and the reception both. My favorite parts were the welcoming ceremony and the Kolomeyka dance during the reception. The wedding reception begins by welcoming the bride and groom into the community. The parents greet the newlyweds with gifts of bread, wine, and salt. Bread represents nature’s bounty, wine is for prosperity, and salt is the necessity of life. They all toast each other and then the couple is introduced to their guests. During the Kolomeyka dance the guests form a circle as dancers enter the center to perform energetic Ukrainian dance steps, signifying the joy of life. There is also the Korovai which is a traditional wedding bread that symbolizes community, eternity, and the joining together of the two families. It is adorned with doves, a symbol of love; flowers, a symbol of beauty; wheat, a symbol of fertility; and periwinkle, a symbol of purity and love.

One of my favorite parts of being a wedding photographer is being given the opportunity to learn about cultures and customs different than my own. Ultimately I learn each time that interwoven throughout all faiths and ceremonies is the idea that the bond of marriage is something sacred between the couple being joined together, but it is also sacred to the couple’s families and community. It is the community surrounding the wedded couple who have the job of helping them remain true to their bond and there is no more important task in the world than helping to secure love, because the world definitely needs all the love it can get!

Congratulations to Zenia and Adam! May your community support you for your entire lives in the bond that you have created!

Ceremony | St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church
Reception | The Century House
Hair + Makeup | Alexandria’s Beauty Salon | Nicole, Alexandria, + Rachel
DJ | The Piano Man’s DJ Productions Brian
Flowers | Rizzo’s House of Flowers
Cake | Zachary’s Pastry Shoppe
Dress | Danielle’s Bridal of Saratoga
Menswear | Mr. Formal Wear
Photography Assistant | Jay Zhang

More 2015 weddings by Kristen Renee!
More weddings at The Century House! More weddings in Latham!