09 May Peter & Nicola’s Sedona Wedding
Peter & Nicola met for the first time at the Javelina Cantina, a Mexican food restaurant in Sedona, Arizona with incredible views of the iconic red rocks. Peter had spent part of his childhood in Flagstaff, Arizona and Nicola had spent part of her childhood here in Sedona, less than 50 miles away. They would each move away and travel the world, fall in love with other cultures and learn new languages before returning to Northern Arizona to find each other. A few years later, on April 9th, 2016 they would stand in the tiny chapel at the Valley Verde School – an international boarding & day school tucked into a hillside founded by Nicola’s grandparents, where her parents live to this day – and become husband and wife.
The bride wore a stunning, custom-made dress with loophole buttons and intricate lace. The mother-of-the-bride came in to join the girls with family heirlooms for the bride to wear as her “something borrowed” and “something blue” and everyone teared up as she shared the legacy of their family. The flower girls stood on tip toe with wide eyes to watch their aunt step into her beautiful dress. A little while later, the bridesmaids drove Nicola up to the chapel in a bright red Mustang. The groom stood with his back to the entrance, bouncing on his feet in anxious anticipation of his first glimpse of his bride as he looked out over the breathtaking Sedona landscape. When he finally saw her step down the aisle, he beamed with joy while tears streamed down his face.
Peter & Nicola exchanged vows borrowed from Buddhism, Islam, Judaism and Christianity; they received seven blessings from friends and family members; and they shouted Mazel tov! in celebration as Peter stomped down on the glass to signify their union. The floor of the chapel was be covered in fresh lavender, inviting guests to breathe deeply and drink in the beauty of the ceremony. The window behind the bride and groom boasted such a beautiful view that you would second-guess whether it was a painting or real life. The joy and pride of everyone in the room was almost tangible, laughter and tears mixed together up and down the pews of the chapel.
The reception was full of equally touching and hilarious speeches by bridesmaids, groomsmen, fathers and Peter & Nicola themselves. The centerpieces were beautiful and detailed. There was endless dancing, a sweet slideshow with photos of the bride and groom growing up separately and then visiting many wonders of the world together, and delicious latin dinner, representative of Nicola’s family heritage. The bride and groom’s elegant first dance felt like something out of a movie and the whole crowd gathered around them to participate in the traditional Hora, lifting them up in their chairs and dancing in a circle with hands clasped. An incredible number of guests had travelled from over 5,000 miles away to celebrate this night and one special guest performed an opera from Don Giovani in tribute to the beautiful couple. It was one of the most unique, personal, celebratory and beautiful weddings in one of the most gorgeous settings in the world, and it was an honor to capture it.
Peter & Nicola, thank you. Thank you for sharing your love, your families, your story and your sweetest day with us. We wish you all the happiness and blessings in the world and a long life of culture, travel, kindness and gratitude together. Mazel tov!