St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Avondale, Arizona is an absolutely beautiful Catholic Church to have a wedding in. Man oh Man! This wedding was just absolutely gorgeous. The church boasted of beautiful artwork and a well lit sanctuary. I was absolutely mind blown when I walked inside. I definitely thought, “I get to photograph here?” I felt so excited the minute I walked in. It was breathtaking.
It was actually my first time photographing a Catholic wedding. Funny enough, I have two in the month of December. While very ceremonial, it was absolutely stunning and beautiful and I loved everything about it. The music from the organ was impeccable to hear. The bride even walked down to the song I walked down as a young bride, which was Pachelbel’s Canon in D.
It just happened to be my own wedding Anniversary weekend and I couldn’t help but be reminded of my own wedding and smile.
If you have never been married in a Catholic church, I’ve learned from my experience of having two this month, that as photographers there can be a lot of restrictions. For example, with this wedding, I wasn’t allowed to be within a certain distance of the alter and bride and groom. I only had a couple places I was allowed to go. It did make it hard for capturing the bride and groom’s faces at times, because they were facing and looking always at the priest. So it was a lot of side profile and that’s all I was able to capture. Also, flash photography was not allowed in the church as well. With the right lens, I was still able to get some very moving photos of the bride and groom both shedding tears during the ceremony.
The whole day it poured in the Phoenix area. It was a very gloomy and rainy day. Something rare here.
When the Bride showed up the church, I told her, “Rain is lucky on your wedding day. When you have a wet knot, it’s very hard to untie.” Rain did not get us down on this day. I was so thankful that most of the wedding and the reception was indoors.
However, the rainy day photos outside did turn out quite beautiful of the couple and their wedding party.
By the way, Angie is an artist. So their programs were most likely designed by her. And the flowers were made of paper origami. There were also crayons and markers at the reception. She creates beautiful paintings and drawings. So it’s these little things that I always look at and realize the significance at weddings.
When I first met Angie and Holden in the desert for their engagement portraits, I loved getting to know them. They both graduated college to be engineers. Holden currently holds a job doing that now and Angie is actually tutoring kids and her artwork. They have actually known each other and dated for quite a long time and they now live in Seattle, Washington. Although much of Holden’s family resides here in Arizona.
I’m sure they were expecting the Arizona sun on their wedding day, but the Seattle weather must have followed them here. We didn’t let it spoil our fun though, we still played in the rain with my camera.
When I met Holden and Angie during their engagement photo session with me, I did get the sense that they were very traditional. Although, while traditional, they still let their inner fun come out and they showed everyone. Their first dance at their reception at the Wigwam Resort in Litchfield Park was a planned dance from the classic movie of Dirty Dancing, with “I’ve Had the Time of My Life.”