Noor and Troy’s Giando on the Water wedding photos are proof that traditional weddings don’t have to be boring. Starting with an elaborate eastern orthodox ceremony and ending with sweeping views of the New York City skyline, this wedding had it all from start to finish. I’ve got all the behind-the-scenes details of their big day in today’s blog post.
Meet Noor and Troy
As always, let’s start off by meeting the lovely couple. The couple met many years ago while working together at a veteran’s hospital in the Bronx. They often visit the New York Botanical Gardens, and it was during such a visit that Troy asked Noor to marry him. The proposal was a complete surprise: Troy first asked Noor to take a selfie and then casually placed the ring behind her in the photo. She said ‘yes,’ and here we are. Speaking of which, if you missed last week‘s blog post, then make sure to check out photos from their New York Botanical Garden engagement shoot here.
Getting Ready for the Wedding
The day started in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn at Noor‘s family home. Noor‘s home is lovely, and she and her mother had meticulously prepared the room for the photos of the dress and shoes. The stained glass windows in the study were perfect background for these images.
Eastern Orthodox Ceremony
Next stop was St. Mary’s Orthodox Church for the couple’s eastern orthodox wedding ceremony. The eastern orthodox faithful really know how to put on a good show. I have photographed many Greek orthodox baptisms and weddings and I can personally vouch for the beautiful rituals and great smelling incense present in every ceremony.
In case you’re unfamiliar, here is a basic rundown of an eastern orthodox wedding ceremony. The couple exchange rings at the beginning of the ceremony and several prayers are said. The big event during the main ceremony is the crown exchange where the couple is ceremoniously united in marriage. The couple then drinks from a common cup, a passage from the Gospel is read by the priest, and the couple then joins hands and walks around the table three times. (For an exact breakdown of an eastern orthodox wedding ceremony, please click here.)
You will note that the couple stands with their back to the audience for the entire ceremony. This is difficult for the audience, and normally even more challenging for the photographer. However, I had spoken with Father Michael ahead of time and was positioned so that I could photograph the entire couple yet not get in the way of the ceremony. The bride was also kind enough to send me a video of their wedding rehearsal the night prior so I knew the exact schedule of events.
As with all eastern orthodox churches, St. Mary’s is has a stunning interior. I made sure to quickly run up to the choir loft for a wide view of the ceremony, as well as a wide view of the altar from the ground. All family photos were taken at the church.
Giando on the Water – A History
For those unfamiliar with Giando on the Water, the venue opened in 1986 and is located along the East River in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It is one of the last standing traditional wedding venues in the city. With a beautifully decorated interior and attentive staff, Giando on the Water shows that it is here to stay. The ballrooms are gorgeous, and the chandeliers are really something to behold.
Giando on the Water Wedding Photos – The Portraits
An eastern orthodox wedding ceremony, while beautiful, is exhausting. To streamline their photography schedule, the couple decided to have all their bride and groom portraits taken at Giando on the Water rather than visiting any nearby parks. This made things so much easier, since the couple could simply walk over and enjoy their cocktail hour after their portrait session. The patio area is brimming with colorful, potted flowers. The landscaping plus the stunning waterfront view meant that we never needed to go anywhere else to get great portraits.
The Cocktail Hour
Cocktail hour was perfectly timed for sunset and held on the same patio as used for the bride and groom portraits. Although rain was in the forecast, we escaped the inclement weather and even had a rainbow make an appearance.
For my money, nothing beats a Middle Eastern wedding reception. Noor is of Syrian and Lebanese ancestry, and her people know how to throw down on the dance floor. The dancing was fantastic, and we even had spontaneous drummers make an appearance. You know it’s a good party when napkins are being twirled in the air and family and friends are dancing on chairs.
Enjoy the images and I’ll have more photo adventures for you next week (though this week will be tough to beat).
- Ceremony venue – St. Mary’s Antiochian Orthodox Church, Bay Ridge, Brooklyn
- Reception venue – Giando on the Water
- Bride’s dress – Lotus Bridal
- Bride’s shoes – Badgley Mischka, Gillian ankle strap evening shoe
- Bride’s makeup – Rebelle with a Gloss
- Groom’s suit – Alan David Custom Suits
- Groom’s shoes – Jonathan Fluevog
- Florist – Henry’s Florist
- DJ & photobooth – 5 Star Entertainment
- Cake – Giando on the Water
- Special transportation – Romantique Limousines
Getting married soon? Looking to create your own Giando on the Water wedding photos? Drop me a line, and let’s chat about your photography needs.
If you would like to see more images from my wedding photojournalism portfolio, then please visit my website – KellyWilliamsPhotographer.com