DC wedding photographer | Amber Wilkie Photography » Photography for awesome people.

Shira & Graeme | VisArts wedding | Rockville, MD

I met Shira and Graeme on their wedding day – Shira with a black salon robe draped over her and Graeme with a big anticipatory smile on his face before I brought in his bride. These hip cats live in London, of all the swanky, desirable places to reside, but brought it on home so they could get married in Shira’s temple, where her father is the rabbi. And let me warn you now, they rocked the reception at VisArts so hard, I am showing just way too many photos from their klezmer dancing. Shira and Graeme:

rockville town center wedding photography

We started the day at Shira’s family home in Rockville and at the Bethesda North Marriott. Apparently in England there is none of this “getting ready” coverage, so they thought the whole thing was rather amusing.

getting ready before jewish weddingmom helping her daughter dress before the weddingwalking down her family stairs before the wedding

Then we scooted to VisArts at Rockville so the heroes of our story could have a “first look” and do some portraits at the Rockville Town Center.

first look at visarts at rockville

They were, needless to say, delighted to see each other.

first look images from visarts at rockville wedding

Shira and Graeme, it turns out, are much sillier than I thought they would be. We’d had a couple phone conversations, one Skype call and plenty of emails, but none of that prepared me for how ridiculously cuddly and giggly and silly these two are. Picking up on the vibe, we paused to take some photos with this giant bagel. It’s a wedding bagel!

wedding portrait in front of a giant bagel

And they wanted some “street” portraits, so I obliged.

"street" wedding portraitswedding portraits at rockville town center

I actually got them to do this for a split-second…

wedding portraits with a rockville town center mural

…because most of the time it was straight this. Shira has the best laugh and she employed it *all day*. Not sure I’ve seen a bride laugh more on her wedding day – good times!

wedding photography in rockville, marylandbride with her flower girls at jewish weddingbride with her parents before signing the ketubahbride and groom laughing through the parents

Shira’s father is the rabbi at B’nai Israel, and he performed their marriage ceremony.

brideprayer books at bjewish wedding ceremony in rockvillejewish wedding photographs from bmoment from the wedding at rockville synagoguebridjewish wedding ceremony in marylandwedding photojournalism at jewish wedding in rockvillebride and groom holding hands during jewish wedding ceremonymoment during the wedding at bbaby during the weddingwedding photojournalism at jewish wedding in rockville, marylandmother looking at her daughter during jewish wedding ceremonyjewish wedding ceremony at rockville, maryland templefirst kiss at jewish wedding ceremony in rockvillerecessional from jewish wedding ceremony in rockville, maryland

It had stopped raining by then, so we paused for a second in the garden to take some nature-y photos.

portraits of the bride and groom in the temple gardenwedding portraits outside the templebride and groom portraits outside b

Back to VisArts, for their not-quite-but-very-close-to-farm-to-table wedding, complete with potted herbs.

room decor at visarts wedding in rockville wedding decorations at visarts wedding in rockville mother of the groom giving the blessing over the challah

People sometimes ask me what my ideal shooting conditions are – outdoors, bright lights, big weddings, small ones, etc. I now have my ideal shooting condition – half an hour of klezmer dancing, with a rowdy crowd and a ridiculously happy couple.

everyone at the wedding dancing with the bride and groom

Okay so I’ve photographed a lot of weddings. I’ve seen the hora. This was the hora + 25 minutes of additional joyous, rambunctious, comedic dancing. It was so awesome.

klezmer dancing at visarts in rockvillebride and groom during jewish dancinggroom dancing during klezmer time at visarts in rockvilledance scenes from visarts jewish weddinggroom going nuts during the horabride and groom during the hora at visartsbride downing champagne during klezmer dancingwomen dancing around bride during klezmer dancingeverybody goofing around during klezmer dancing at visartsflower girl dancing the hora at visarts in rockvillefather of the bride dancing during klezmer at visartsklezmer dancing at visarts at rockville weddingflower girl above the crowd at visarts at rockville wedding

It was rad.

speeches at visarts at rockville wedding

Apparently in other parts of the world, it’s traditional for the groom to give a speech at the wedding. I don’t think Graeme realized this wasn’t common in America until our drive from the temple to VisArts. “So do all the grooms start with ‘my wife and I’ during their speeches?” he asked. “What speech?” I said.

groom gives a speech at visarts at rockvillebride and groom on the side of the party at visarts at rockville weddingdancing during wedding reception at visartsgroom and his mother dancing at visarts at rockville weddingbride and groom dancing at visarts at rockvillebride and groom artsy-fartsy shothands at visarts at rockville weddingbride and her father dancing at visarts at rockvillebride and her father hugging at visarts

A second set of Seven Blessings.

pouring wine for the seven blessings

And they declared the day a smashing success.

bride and groom during seven blessings at visarts at rockville wedding

Congratulations Shira and Graeme!

Shira & Grame’s vendor team:
Coordinator: Katie Wannen, The Plannery (an awesome, awesome lady)
Ceremony venue: B’nai Israel
Reception venue: VisArts at Rockville
Getting ready venues: Shira – home; Graeme – Bethesda North Marriott
Caterer: Glorious Kosher
Florist: Willow Oak Flower & Herb Farm
Ceremony musician: Marc Irwin, piano
Reception musicians: Twilight
Hair & Makeup: Elle Alise
Shira’s lovely dress: J. Crew
Graeme’s dashing suit: Daks

facebook comments:

KathyJuly 2, 2013 - 1:48 pm

Their first look is too sweet! That reception looks like it was a blast! Beautiful wedding!

Steven BernsteinJuly 3, 2013 - 7:05 pm

This was such a joyous wedding. Thank you Shira Schnitzer and Graeme Cohen for making us a part of it!

Robbi ShaneJuly 5, 2013 - 5:54 pm

Every picture makes me giggle…what a happy, joyous celebration….a beautiful evening and a beautiful couple!!!this is just the beginning of your fun filled life’s journey!!!

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