So my maternity shoot with Melanie and Jalani is today, but I wanted to first introduce them to you with photos from their Flushing Meadows Park wedding in April of this year. This couple are Queens natives, and proud of it! Their ceremony was held in the shade of the World’s Fair Unisphere in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, and the reception followed at the Rainhas Churrascaria. As a resident of Queens myself (team Kew Gardens!), I was proud to photograph these two.
Their love story goes all the way back to high school: “We met my freshman year of high school because Jalani lived next door to my best friend Thea. Her younger brother set us up when we both asked him about each other. We dated (made googly eyes at each other and walked around the neighborhood holding hands) for about three months before calling it quits. After over ten years of casual run-ins, in 2010 we decided to hang out and be friends, neither of us looking for a relationship. But then “just friends” wasn’t enough so we tried dating. We’ve been partners in crime ever since.”
Their ceremony was a bit unique, in that it was under wraps right up until the day of the wedding. As Melanie puts it, “Our semi-elopement has been a fun secret to keep between us and our loved ones and has been mostly absent of all the typical stress that comes with wedding planning. Keeping it between “us” and as low-key and hassle-free as possible is a testament of how we want to spend the rest of our lives together.” One other unique characteristic is that the couple did a ‘ring warming’ ritual, whereby the rings are passed from guest to guest so that each friend and family member can impart a personal wish or blessing upon the couple through the rings. Oh, and who can not notice the bride’s choice of an elegant jumpsuit by Trina Turk over a traditional gown?
Ceremony venue: Flushing Meadows Corona Park
Reception venue: Rainhas Churrascaria
Bride’s jumpsuit: Trina Turk
Bride’s Shoes: Sam Edelman
Bride’s Hair: Studio MoHair
Bride’s Make Up: Natasha Brown
Groom’s Blazer: Ralph Lauren
Groom’s Pants: Kenneth Cole
Custom rings: Tinken Jewelry (via Etsy)
Florist: Seasons A Floral Design Studio
Car Service: VIP Limo Services
To view other recent weddings, please visit my website portfolio.