Anjy + Gladys’ wedding was a true highlight of my summer! I love when I have the chance to document a wedding that highlights different cultures and other countries’ traditions. Gladys’ family is from Ghana in West Africa, and when she began searching for her photographer she typed in “Chicago Ghanaian Wedding Photographer” and my website popped up! To clarify…I am a Seattle-based wedding photographer and I’m caucasian with a European background (Irish, Scottish, English.) So when I heard what she typed in… I was surprised and curious about this unexpected situation. But this is a great example of how SEO (search engine optimization) works with google!
As some of you may know for the year of 2012-2013, Agustin and I lived in Accra, Ghana and during my time there I blogged about some of my experiences (here and here). Google found the word “Ghana” in my Blog title and (as a separate event) I did a wedding in Chicago last year – so “Chicago” was also in a blog title – as a result google linked those two posts and brought up my website! So even though I was out-of-state, Gladys knew she was looking for a certain style and really wanted someone who was familiar with her Ghanian culture. Finally, its interesting to note that I went to school at Wheaton College, just outside Chicago – so I was familiar with the city as well. Needless to say; we were a match made in heaven.. well.. I guess made through Google SEO! ;)
Now, Anjy + Gladys have so many stories that are out of the ordinary and I love it! For example, in August 2009 the two met by coincidence on Craigslist! They started dating right away and as they say the rest is history! But man, they have one great proposal story!
Anjy knew that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with Gladys. So he had it all planned out…on Valentine’s Day weekend (But Anjy clarifies while telling the story, that he planned it on the 16th because the Feb 14th would be too corny) he was going to slip on the ring while she was still sleeping so she would wake up with the ring on her hand. So the day had arrived, and while Anjy was trying to get the ring on her finger without waking her…RING RING!! There was an emergency at the lab! All incubators in the tissue culture room had no CO2 and Gladys needed to hurry there to help transfer the cells. This had never happened before. She rushed around, throwing clothes on, and Anjy snagged her, sat her down, and promptly put the ring on the wrong hand. She was confused. He fixed the finger issue, and said in Twi (a local language in Ghana), “me ware wo [i will marry you].” Followed by english “will you marry me?” Gladys was still waking up and a bit overwhelmed, so Anjy said, ” OK. now go to the lab and rescue your cells.” So she did! Gladys shared her perspective with me, “I was blindsided by this…I am also a robot in the morning (so my mission was to rush to the lab). I knew my answer, but I prayed to God on the way to work and back. My colleagues thought I was crazy…for leaving him hanging.. So I rushed home and said YES!!”
The wedding day was truly incredible, beautiful in more ways than one. Their wedding blended two cultures throughout all the elements of the wedding; from the decor, to the ceremony, to the party! I LOVED how Gladys highlighted traditional elements of Ghanaian culture, but in a very modern chic way. It was truly amazing! The whole day made me nostalgic of my time in Ghana . Gladys + Anjy – thank you for welcoming me into such a joyful and international celebration!
Gladys – you are GORGEOUS!!
It was a beautiful summer day in Chicago, and Promontory Point was the perfect venue for this celebration!
The Adinkra Symbol (an important part of the Ghanaian culture) on their program is the symbol for Faithfulness and is translated to “Love does not lose its way home.”
In Ghana, the guests all wear the same color when they attend weddings. Normally they wear whatever the wedding color is and it’s quite a sight when you look down a road and see 100 people leave a venue all dressed in blue or red etc. So when I saw Gladys’ “Aunties” all wearing green – it brought a big smile to my face!
I loved how they integrated the Adinkra Symbols into their favors and seating arrangement! Adinkra symbols are visual symbols that represent concepts and Adinkra are a big part of the Ghanaian culture. They are used extensively in fabrics, pottery, logos and advertising.
A big thank you to the FABULOUS vendor team:
Venue: Promontory Point
Catering: George Jewell Catering
Florist: Bunches a Flower Shop
Photography: Kelly Lemon Photography – Special shout out to my awesome Second Shooter – Martine Debrosse Jeanty
Cake Artist: Emily Wheeler Custom Cakes – www.emilywheelercustomcakes.com
Papergoods: Julie Hanan (on Etsy)
DJ Odikro: Bryce Nto
Make up Artist: Crystal Eyez
Hair: Tamikca Reed
Bridal Gown Store: A Joyful Occasion Bridal
Gown Designer: Kenneth Winston
Bridesmaid Dresses: Brideside Chicago