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Anchorage Russian Orthodox Wedding: Ally + Sully

I am still smiling at the love shared between Ally and Sully in their recent Palmer Engagement Session and Anchorage Russian Orthodox Wedding! Be sure to scroll through a few of our favorite photos down to the Wedding Day Highlights slideshow where you can see more of their Wedding Day story. 🙂 Due to unforeseen circumstances, Ally and I decided to reschedule their Engagement Session to the week before their actual Wedding Celebration. I loved documenting their excitement with the wedding just days away!

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This was our first time photographing a Russian Orthodox ceremony, but we could tell  just how meaningful it was to have so many guests and family members, including Sully’s father, travel all the way to Anchorage  from really far away just to attend Ally and Sully’s Wedding. As a believer myself, the sanctuary really took my breath away and seemed to beautifully emphasize Christ as Holy and the King of Kings. The choir sang the most beautiful harmonious verses (without instrumental accompaniment) and it felt like I had stepped back in time. Ally and Sully exchanged rings in the Northex foyer area of the church to symbolize the legal wedding – their legal marriage before men. After this, they were led to the center of the church, where their spiritual ceremony before God and men would take place. They held two burning candles for the remaineder of the ceremony symbolizing their spiritual willingness to receive God’s blessings. They stood at the head of a table that was adorned with two beautiful crowns, a Gospel, a cup of wine, and a Cross.

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Ally and Sully were crowned as a prayer was said mentioning the Forty Martyrs of Sebaste to symbolize that Ally and Sully would also have spiritual crowns awaiting them in heaven if they remained faithful to Christ as those saints did. Father Oleska said that this is also a symbol acknowledging the fact that their marriage will not always be easy, and when they disagree to seek what God wants rather than making their own demands. Ally and Sully shared the cup of wine, a ritual based on the wedding of Cana of Galilee, where Jesus turned water into wine, and it was enacted in the ceremony to symbolize that as husband and wife they would now be able to double each other’s joys and divide each other’s  sorrows. Towards the end of the ceremony, Father Oleska led them in a circle (signifying eternal love) around the table holding the Gospel (symbolizing that Christ will be at the center of this marriage) three times (to acknowledge the Holy Trinity) as the choir sang hymns. This ritual originates from the dance around the Ark of the Covenant, and is symbolic of the couples’ own Wedding Covenant and acts as their first steps as husband and wife lead by priest symbolizing the church at the head. It was after this Ally and Sully very gladly shared their first kiss as husband and wife!

 

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Following the ceremony Ally and Sully and their wedding guests celebrated the the evening at their Reception held at the Hilltop Chalet with delicious food, toasting and dancing! Their Wedding Coordinator Heather with Delightfully Designed had everything just perfect down to each little detail while Renaldo with DJ Pretty V had a mix of romantic and party tunes playing throughout the night for a fabulous celebration. Toward the end of the evening, we stole the Bride and Groom  for their Portraits that went all the way up the hill, which was a relief to see the Manager Richard ready to help us down after photos in his side-by-side. It was so sweet to watch Ally and Sully’s family and friends share in their joy during such a special time in their lives and we were so delighted to be a part of their day!

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Congratulations Ally and Sully! We wish you the best! To view more from Ally and Sully’s Wedding Day, enjoy this slideshow of their wedding day highlights.