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Chicago Wedding Photographer Kelly Lemon : Ghanaian Inspired Wedding Gladys + Anjy

Oct 8

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!

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It was a beautiful summer day in Chicago, and Promontory Point was the perfect venue for this celebration! chicago_wedding photographer kelly lemon_BLOG-36chicago_wedding photographer kelly lemon_BLOG-29chicago_wedding photographer kelly lemon_BLOG-30chicago_wedding photographer kelly lemon_BLOG-32chicago_wedding photographer kelly lemon_BLOG-31
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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.”

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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!chicago_wedding photographer kelly lemon_BLOG-55chicago_wedding photographer kelly lemon_BLOG-56_webchicago_wedding photographer kelly lemon_BLOG-59chicago_wedding photographer kelly lemon_BLOG-69chicago_wedding photographer kelly lemon_BLOG-70chicago_wedding photographer kelly lemon_BLOG-74_webchicago_wedding photographer kelly lemon_BLOG-71_webchicago_wedding photographer kelly lemon_BLOG-68_web

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.

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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

 

comments +

  1. Jessica Olms says:

    What a beautiful couple! It looks like it was a beautiful day!

  2. Celestina says:

    Stunning, you are a master of storytelling.

  3. You did an amazing job capturing this wedding Kelly!! It’s so cool how they found you! They are a gorgeous couple and I can just feel the love in their pictures — their wedding day seems like it was SO special! :)

  4. Sarah says:

    Oh my goodness her dress was beautiful!!

  5. Amie says:

    Lovely photos! The colors are tremendous and the emotion is amazing. The consistency from beginning to end speaks to your professionalism and your brand. Great Job! I’m sure the Bride and Groom are over the moon for the photos!!

  6. Anna Mayer says:

    What a beautiful couple and wedding. You really brought out the joy and wonderful colors and feelings of that day. Wonderful.

  7. Wow! These images are so fabulous; the couple looks so fun! You did a great job of capturing their special day (plus their love, and their personalities!)!

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