Atlanta Quaker Wedding Photography // Becca & Brittney

atlanta quaker wedding photography of two brides nuzzling noses in the treesBecca & Brittney are two of the most joyful and charming people I’ve ever met. When we initially met up to chat about their Quaker wedding photography, they had my attention from the start. Because their chosen careers are children’s librarian and schoolteacher, one of the bonds they’ve shared throughout their relationship is children’s books, so I was so excited to hear that they planned to incorporate that love into their day.

Because their religion is such a huge part of their lives, Becca & Brittney chose to have a traditional Quaker wedding in regards to the ceremony, which means no photography allowed! The focus of a Quaker wedding ceremony is the silent reflection about your relationship with the higher power, about your relationship with the couple pledging their love, and about your relationship with everyone else in the room. It’s a huge time of community, and it was one of the most beautiful ceremonies I’ve ever had the pleasure of witnessing. {I cried a lot, y’all.}

These women completely understand the need to take time on their wedding day, though, so though we didn’t photograph their ceremony, we spent time both before and after the ceremony to get plenty of couple portraits. Then we headed back to the Atlanta Friends Meeting for their children’s-book-themed community brunch reception!

There were all kinds of games for their guests to play, children’s books out on every table for impromptu story times, and a huge homemade brunch {some even cooked by the hardworking brides themselves!}. For their official first dance, Becca & Brittney reenacted the elaborate handshake from The Parent Trap movie and didn’t even complain when there were calls of “encore!”

The whole day felt quintessentially “them”: full of laughter and smiles so big your face hurts and emotion and tears and breakfast foods. And I can say that without a doubt, they had one of the most precious and joy-inducing “First Looks” I’ve ever seen. The sheer delight on their faces when Becca’s mom drew back the classroom divider so they could see each other, how Brittney immediately explored the pockets on Becca’s dress, and how they just couldn’t contain their love for each other. It was perfection.

See their engagement session here, and check out their Quaker wedding photography below along with advice and stories from the brides themselves.

atlanta quaker wedding photography of a funny sign at the atlanta friends meeting atlanta quaker wedding photography of a wedding banner

Most memorable moment from your wedding day?

Rebecca: Having so many people I love in one place, which I guess wasn’t a moment so much as the whole day, but since moving to Atlanta I’ve been far away from friends and family, and they’ve become more scattered, so even going home doesn’t give me the opportunity to see many people. Having friends and family all together was so wonderful and comforting, and I wish I could make it happen more often.

Brittney: SO, a Quaker ceremony entails a meeting for worship with attention the marriage. After some silence for the couple, they sign their marriage certificate, and then guests are invited to share messages if they feel led. I don’t remember all of the messages specifically, but every single one revealed how much joy and faith our friends and family had in us. It was incredible. I also don’t feel comfortable sharing the message itself, but Rebecca’s mom stood up first and shared something that still makes me cry every time I think about it. I’m choking up right now.

Another huge moment was–well, you can come up with your own theories as to why, but I ended up not inviting any of my own biological family to the wedding. I had family there, most certainly, but they were dear friends I had chosen to be that for me, and not anyone related to me by blood. After the wedding, one of my brand new sisters-in-law came up to me and said “I couldn’t stand up in there and say it in front of everyone else, but I wanted you to know–you have a family that loves and supports you, even if you think you don’t.” It meant so much to me, I can’t even tell you. I will treasure that (and all of my new family) until my last day on earth. And even beyond that, if I happen to move to Mars or something.

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Funniest moment from your wedding day?

Rebecca: Since Brittney and I both work with children, we had picture books as the centerpieces on the tables. One of my friends from college is a children’s librarian, and he found one of his story time favorites and read it for the table. It was so delightful to be back with my college friends all laughing together.

Brittney: The way the ceremony was situated, Rebecca and I were sitting on a bench facing a circle of our guests during the entire ceremony. A Quaker ceremony is fairly quiet (although I think ours was less silent than most) and there are periods of time where everyone just waits in silence. I started crying very early on in the ceremony and I was worried I would ruin all of my makeup so I tried to stop by focusing on someone. And I just happened to focus in on the then six-year-old son of a dear friend, who just suddenly laid back on the bench on his dad’s lap and reached up and stroked his dad’s beard, which made his dad jump. It wasn’t the funniest moment the way shared laughter over something is funny, but it was a sweet, goofy moment and besides his parents I was the only one who witnessed it, and it helped me stop crying immediately. Of course, I started right back up the next time someone spoke.

Also, the part during the pictures when Raven asked me to whisper the dirtiest thing I could think of into Rebecca’s ear and I ended up repeating “Harry Styles’s penis” over and over again.

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What were you most anxious/nervous about regarding your wedding day and how did it turn out?

Rebecca: EVERYTHING? I have an anxiety disorder already and was an anxious wreck the weeks leading up to the wedding. No joke: I got a Xanax prescription just to help me through the week. I was anxious about the food — that I wouldn’t make enough or that I would ruin it somehow or that people just wouldn’t like it. I was anxious about our ceremony since none of our friends or family had ever attended a Quaker ceremony. What if no one gave messages? What if non-Quakers found the silence awkward and boring? Was I asking too much of people by having friends and family volunteer to help cook and clean up?

In the end though, everything with smoothly and beautifully. The food turned out delicious, so many people delivered so many messages, and people made new friends volunteering on clean-up tasks together. It went so much better than I ever could have imagined, and we have so many wonderful people to thank for keeping the show running.

Brittney: I grew up with a grand, very specific idea of what my wedding would look like, that I just would have never realistically been able to afford. I was totally fine with this, after some soul-searching, but I was worried that in the time of Pinterest my friends would be completely underwhelmed by the wedding. Like, they’d get there and think “that’s all?” and wouldn’t be able to enjoy the wedding. Excuse my language but, past self, that was COMPLETE BULLSHIT. Of course my friends and family didn’t care because of course, I chose them all for a reason! And all they expected was a warm place full of joy, and that’s exactly what the wedding was.

atlanta quaker wedding photography of a bride in red lipstick and a pearl necklace atlanta quaker wedding photography of a bride in a tea-length dress and cat-eye glasses atlanta quaker wedding photography of two brides in front of large windows atlanta quaker wedding photography of two brides reading together at the atlanta friends meeting atlanta quaker wedding photography of two brides laughing together

What advice would you give to other couples planning their wedding?

Rebecca: Keep it simple. Focus on the community of people you’re bringing together for your wedding and the love and support they’re offering you and your spouse as you begin your marriage.

Brittney: We got the legal stuff done way ahead in advance (July) because we were so excited about the SCOTUS decision. I was afraid it would take away from the magic of the wedding day, but in the end, it made the wedding day way more chill because, at the end of the day, we were already married! Nothing could ruin that for us.

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If you could do it all over, would you change anything?

Rebecca: I would have gotten that Xanax sooner and started seeing a therapist months ahead of time.

Brittney: Had a honeymoon right after instead of waiting six months.

atlanta quaker wedding photography of two brides with their wedding party atlanta quaker wedding photography of a bride laughing with her guests atlanta quaker wedding photography of a daytime brunch wedding reception atlanta quaker wedding photography of two brides having their first dance

Any tips for future couples on how to prepare for the wedding photos?

Rebecca: Find a photographer you trust and just relax!

Brittney: Find a photographer not just whose work you love, but who you can be your own genuine goofy self around. Laugh as much as you can and follow every silly impulse you get.

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Vendors

  • Florist – A friend donated paper flowers from her wedding and we made more of our own.
  • Caterer – Rebecca!/DIY
  • Cakes/Desserts – We didn’t have a cake, and some members of our Meeting brought desserts.Venues: Atlanta Friends Meeting
  • Venues – Atlanta Friends Meeting
  • DJ – Britt made a community Spotify playlist and we asked friends to add songs they thought should be there. She cleaned through and organized it a few days ahead of time.
  • Hair Stylist/Makeup Artist – Kellyn Willey, http://www.theparisianbubble.com/
  • Dress/Clothing – Rebecca, Eshakti; Britt, ModCloth
  • Rings – Worthmore Jewelers

Thank you so much for having me at your joyful wedding, Becca & Brittney! {I’ll see you in October for Bird & Tree‘s wedding!}

Want to grab some brunch and chat about your wedding day plans? Send me a message to get this party started!

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Raven is an Atlanta Wedding Photographer who is based in North GA, but also visits Dahlonega and Athens. She travels worldwide, as well, capturing love and unique weddings.

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