How did I book a wedding in Egypt?
That's a question I've gotten a lot here lately. It's not my first international wedding. I shot in Germany in 2015. My client (and now friend) Swea found me via Facebook. She loved my work. We became penpals. When she got engaged she asked me, would it be possible for you to shoot my wedding?
The awesome thing about self-employment is you get to decide what you take on, and the trade or arrangements to make it happen!
So we worked it out and there I was shooting in Germany!
Fast forward a few years later, my husband and I had been planning to go to Egypt to see the country and the pyramids. It had been a life-long dream for me. Just so happens that our tour-guide that was recommended to us was friends with the family we were staying with, well, he was getting married the same week we would be there.
I asked - did he have a wedding photographer?
And the rest is history... :)
Egypt is a fascinating country. The history is so much to take in. When you are standing in front of the pyramids, it's a magical, profoundly unequivicable experience that sits deep in your soul even long after you've left. It's life-changing.
Ann and Ramez trusted me with one of THE most important days of their life! They didn't know me, but the knew I would be there. And they liked my work. I am so thankful they gave me the opportunity to show them that I could capture their day in a lovely way. They were WONDERFUL to work with. The first few days there we met up to shoot an engagement session outside of the pyramids. Ramez knows the best locations as he is a tour guide...and the spot he found in the desert was amazing. What a day I will never forget, shooting that engagement session. It was a dream come true. You can find that session here!
Their wedding day was beautiful. So so very lovely. Ann is beautiful, kind, so full of grace. Ramez is animated, well-spoken and confident. They make an amazing pair. I loved the details of their day. The church was packed. And there are some differences in their culture that I had to get accustomed to with weddings pretty quickly. :) Like for example, the photographers there and videographers there are RIGHT UP on the bride and groom and the ceremony itself. Even during the processional. Thankful I had my wide lens on so I could get great photos of the processional. Here in the states, we try to be ninjas, stay out of the way or even from being in anyone's view. I wear all black for this very reason. But there it is NOT that way. Photographers and videographers are front and center, and even on stage right up on the Bride and Groom. Lol. NOT my comfort zone... but I did get the shots I wanted and I was in way closer than my norm. I am very pleased with what I got! Some other differences are the ceremony itself, lots of singing and people are very interactive. Overall, Christian weddings in Egypt are very simiilar to the Christian weddings we have here. Lots more singing. Both Ann and Ramez sang! And they have beautiful voices. I especially loved that Ramez serenaded Ann and sang to her at their reception. But what an amazing experience to see and document a wedding there. I studied about Coptic Egypt in college for my fine art courses. I was fascinated with Egypt as a girl, and of course in college I dove more into the Coptic history of the country. And while Egypt is a predominantly Arabic speaking country, English is a 2nd language there and both of my clients spoke it fluently. (Thankfullllll for that haha because I don't know a lick of Arabic!) OH ALSO... they don't do a first kiss, they do a hug after the ceremony. And Ramez DID give Ann a kiss on the cheek which was SO SWEET. Didn't want y'all Americans thinking I missed any kind of first kiss on a wedding day! Haha. <3 Just another different part of their day from weddings here.
What a dream. What a beautifully in-love couple.
And y'all KNOW I LOVED THE FOOD. hahaha. So so good you guys. I could totally live with that kind of food 24/7. Favorite wedding meal of ALL TIME. You guys, tabouleh was involved. Lol. First time at a wedding I have ever had my favorite mediterranean salad of all time.
THANK YOU ANN AND RAMEZ.... for everything. For your trust. Your willingness to follow my direction... for your welcoming me into your country and making me feel like an old friend. I now have two new friends in Egypt, thankful for that. You are both so very loved, that was evident. I wish you the best, the VERY BEST in your journey together, always.
Church: The Evangelical Church in Heliopolis, Egypt
Reception: The Four Seasons First Residence, Cairo
PS, this first photo was the view from our hotel room balcony. <3
Special thanks to my husband Paul for making this epic journey with me and assisting me at this wedding.
Thanks for stopping by my blog. Hope something here made you smile.