My first wedding during the time of COVID-19 was a beautiful backyard wedding full of traditional wedding customs. Hadeel and Thamer originally planned on getting married in Jordan. However, with travel restrictions, and what not, they decided on a local celebration which took place in Hadeel’s parents’ backyard. Why Jordan? Well, it has to do with how it all started for Hadeel and Thamer. Hadeel’s mom and Thamer’s mom lived in the same town in Jordan when they were little. Thamer’s mom bumped into Hadeel and her mom while shopping and the next thing they knew was that Thamer’s mom was calling Thamer that he had to meet Hadeel. Both Thamer and Hadeel agreed to meet just to make their mom’s happy, but little did they know that this was the moment their lives would be connected forever.
On the beautiful Saturday evening, I met Hadeel and Thamer at the Riverside County Courthouse to start our day doing formal portraits of the two at this beautiful location. We had about an hour and the Riverside courthouse area was empty which was amazing, to say the least. After, Hadeel and myself drove to her uncle’s house, while Thamer drove to pick up all his friends and relatives to official pick up Hadeel as his wife. While Hadeel waited for Thamer to arrive, her bridal party and all the women of her household were waiting with music and dancing. I was able to capture the arrival of Hadeel’s parents and the first time her father saw her in her bridal gown.
Thamer arrived, and Hadeel was walked to Thamer by her father as a symbol of his approval of their marriage. Once the couple arrived at Hadeel’s parents’ house, they were welcomed by a traditional Jordanian band and the couple was walked to their sweetheart table by the family and the band. I think this was my favorite part of the wedding! The positive vibes all around them was just amazing! They continued to do the gold ceremony where Hadeel was given gold by both her father and Thamer. The newlyweds also did the cutting of the cake, the traditional first dance, and the father-daughter dance. The night ended with a lot, and I mean a lot, of dancing!