Since shooting my first wedding in Hawaii over seven years ago, I thought I had photographed at nearly every beach, church, and hotel on Oahu. When Angie and Joseph contacted me a year ago about their wedding plans at St. Marks Coptic Orthodox Church in Honolulu it was one venue and religion I had little knowledge of… and wow, what a fun, refreshing treat this wedding was to photograph. The Coptic Church is an Egyptian Catholic Orthodox based faith and their weddings are highly spiritual, symbolically rich… and pure gold for a wedding photographer. Having grown up Catholic, I assumed that the ceremony and mass would be somewhat similar to Roman Catholic weddings but Angie and Joseph informed me of the many differences to keep an eye out for: the “Zaghareet,” where women produce a high pitched sound, as they waggle their tongues from side to side to cheer, the deacons chanting in the procession, the priest placing the ring, crown, oils, and ceremonial capes on the couple. Oh, and the money shot!… the couple at the alter kneeling and turning around to the audience as they are presented as husband and wife. I realize this blog entry has more ceremony pics than my usual posts but I absolutely fell in love with the cultural nuances and symbolism and had to share all my favorite moments.
Angie and Joseph’s wedding day started at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel on Waikiki beach and was followed by their ceremony at St. Marks Coptic Church. We snuck the couple and the bridal party over to Waialae Beach park for a quick photo shoot before returning to the Royal Hawaiian Hotel for their reception on the Great Lawn. We send a warm mahalo and a loud zaghareet to Angie and Joseph for allowing us to photograph this unforgettable wedding.
Special thanks to these professionals: Venue: Royal Hawaiian Hotel Church: St. Marks Coptic Church Hair & Makeup: Cheryl Hazelgrove Flowers and Coordination: Easley Design Limo: Jays Limo Entertainment: Hawaii Hula Company Photography: Joseph Esser Photography