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The Dancer and the Fireman

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Ok, so he’s not a fireman anymore, but it does make a catchy title, doesn’t it?  I’m totally guilty of one thing when it comes to my wedding couples.  I facebook stalk, google search,  anything I can do to learn a little more about the couples I’m about to photograph.  Sometimes I’m hired out by other studios and don’t get to meet the couples in advance.  It’s trickier than you would think to bring out a couples love when you don’t know them.  Not knowing which one makes the other laugh, or who is the calming influence in times of stress, knowing if they’re hand holders or uncomfortable with a little PDA.

When I began searching Jermel and DJ on-line, I couldn’t believe my luck.  Jermel is a principal ballet dancer for The Pennsylvania Ballet Company, and one of the most stunning male ballet dancers I’ve ever seen in my life.  I have a close friend who worked for PA Ballet who last winter demanded that I go see a production Jermel was in claiming that his body was a “work of art”.  I was stunned.  He’s truly magnificent.  His partner DJ, a photographer in his own right, a charming, affable man with a big smile and a warm heart who immediately makes everyone around him feel totally at ease.

They had a small ceremony at one of my new favorite wedding venues, The Philadelphia Wedding Chapel.  It’s totally a hidden gem in Philly.  In the East Falls area of Philly, it is charming, elegant and sophisticated, a New York style loft space with exposed brick, hard wood floors and flooded with natural light.  The chapel is actually right next door to where PA ballet once resided.  My primary goal this day, was to ask Jermel for one amazing leap.  I got three.  God, I love this town!

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Wedding History Made at the National Constitution Center

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About a week after same sex marriage was made legal in Pennsylvania, my phone rang.  Steven and his partner David (and by the way, can we officially stop using the term “partner” now?) had just gotten married in New York in early March, and wanted to have a reception celebration in Philly.  After laughing at the irony that they had to leave the state to be married only a few weeks before it was made legal in their home state, Steven told me the venue for the event was The National Constitution Center.  I was speechless.  Not only was this the first of BWR’s same sex wedding celebrations, but to be celebrating at a venue dedicated to the history of our country, 2 weeks after Pennsylvania made such a union possible, was an absolute dream come true.

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It was an elegant event, filled with family and friends and a joy that was palpable.  I left feeling remarkably proud of our state, and our country and the strides that we’ve made on our journey of marriage equality.  A few days after the event Steven emailed me that he had just discovered that he and David were the first same sex wedding celebration at the National Constitution Center since the historic reversal on the ban of same sex marriages in Pennsylvania was declared unconstitutional.  I couldn’t be any more humbled and proud to have been a part of it.  Thank you, gentlemen for allowing us to capture your historic celebration!