Documentary Wedding Photography in Boston

Late this summer I traveled to Boston for Emily and Omar’s wedding. I love an adventure and am so grateful to Emily and Omar for inviting me to share in theirs! So here are the Boston documentary wedding photos from their big day:

A couple in silhouette walk hand in hand on the levy around Chestnut Hill Reservoir under a blue sky.

Emily and Omar walk hand-in-hand on the path around the Cleveland Circle Reservoir. I love the challenge of photographing in new places. It really helps to have a plan so I’d scouted this location out the evening before the wedding.

A Little Backstory

This is probably a good time to tell you how this all came about. I’m grateful to my friend Kate for recommending me to Emily and Omar. They were looking for a documentary style wedding photographer. Kate, who is a wonderful photographer based in Boston, was already booked so she suggested they contact me.

Emily emailed me with some details about her wedding and I knew right away that this was a story I wanted to tell. Over a phone call a few days later they told me how they met. Emily is an Episcopal priest and Omar is a scientist. They met via a dating app and hit it off immediately. I’ll let the New York Times Vows section tell you the details, but we really hit it off on that phone call. I remember talking with both of them for a long time and after hanging up feeling so happy that I’d made a couple of new friends!

Getting Ready

A groom wearing a white shirt and red vest helps a groomsman as he ties his red tie.

Omar helps Emily’s brother Nolan with his tie.

A groom wearing a white shirt and red vest ties his bow tie while reflected in mirror.

Omar ties his bow tie in the mirror at the hotel bar. We did our best with this one. Good thing Omar thought ahead and brought a backup.

A woman with brown curly hair applies eye makeup with a brush in a mirror.

Emily got ready at her apartment with her friends.

A bride wearing a dark crimson dress smiles with her bridesmaids as she shows them the back of the dress.

Emily wore this beautiful maroon dress instead of a traditional gown. Her friend Laura and her mom Ann definitely liked the look.

A group of 6 men wearing dark suits and red ties stand in a line and clown for the camera.

Omar and his friends kept things light before heading to the church.

A groom with a shaved head smiles as he looks to the right. He is wearing a dark suit and a crimson tie.

Such a good looking guy!

A bride wearing a maroon dress stands on a grassy lot beneath a tree with a group of friends.

We did some photos on the lawn outside of Emily’s apartment building. Look at those gold boots!

A bride stands in the shade of a tree showing off the scoop on the back of her maroon wedding dress.

I love that Emily chose to wear a dress that suited her personality and taste. White gowns aren’t for everybody, so heck yeah wear what you want!

Ceremony at the Church of the Redeemer

Detail of a boutonniere on the lapel of a groom's dark suit. The flowers are white, green and orange.

Omar has a great smile! Here’s the backup bow tie. This was when I got him set up for the first look. Then I went to find Emily.

A bride closes her eyes and stands in the sunlight coming through arched leaded windows at the Church of the Redeemer in Chestnut Hill MA

I found her in the narthex (I love that word!) of the church. She was looking out of the leaded glass windows while listening to the choir rehearse for the ceremony. They were singing “Sing Joyfully” by William Byrd. I shot a few photos and then, not wanting to disturb the quiet more than necessary, I stood there with her for a few minutes taking in the peace and beauty of the moment.

A series of three wedding photos showing a bride in a maroon dress and a groom wearing a dark suit during their first look outside of the Church of the Redeemer in Chestnut Hill, MA.

The reactions during their first look tells you everything you need to know about how they feel about each other.

Two photos of a bride and groom embracing on green lawn while wearing a maroon dress and a dark suit.

A man in a kilt plays bagpipes on a green lawn outside of the Church of the Redeemer in Chestnut Hill MA

Emily’s brother-in-law plays his bagpipes outside of the Church of the Redeemer before the ceremony.

A bride's father embraces her before her wedding.

Emily and her dad Ron.

A bride and groom smile as they put on flower and oakleaf crowns before their wedding.

These crowns were a nice touch. If I’m remembering correctly they were Omar’s idea.

A bride and groom hold hands as they walk on a path while wearing flower crowns.

Detail of a bride's hand and a groom's hand. Each hold a rosary.

Their faith is very important to the couple. They carried rosaries from each of their families.

A little girl in a white dress peeks through the crack of a door at the Church of the Redeemer in Chestnut Hill, MA.

Emily is the Priest for Children and Families at the church. So they had a whole bunch of flower children.

A bride hands flowers out to a group of children gathered before her wedding procession.

A boy with face paint balances a flower in his hand.

A bride and groom hold hands as they process down the aisle at the beginning of their wedding.

A bride and groom hold hands as they are blessed by the Episcopal Bishop at the Church of the Redeemer in Chestnut Hill MA

Church rules were that I was to stay at the back and only photograph during a few key moments during the ceremony. We all knew this going in, so it was totally cool. But I’m glad to have been able to photograph this joyful moment.

Led by a woman wearing vestments holding a cross, a couple recesses down the aisle at the end of their wedding ceremony.

So happy together!

A couple wearing flower crowns kisses in the back of the church during a moment alone just after their wedding ceremony.

The couple had a brief moment alone at the back of the church.

A bride and groom stand with their parents at the back of the church after their wedding. The groom's mother wipes a tear from her eye.

Then they were joined by their parents. I love this photo because of all of the things going on in it. Emily’s dad with his hand on Omar’s shoulder. Omar’s mom Binti looking at Emily while wiping a tear. All of this makes your eye travel around the frame – it’s a delight 😊

Portraits on the Way to the Reception

A bride and groom smile beneath the shining sun as they ride in the back of a convertible.

Emily and Omar rode to the reception in style in the back of a blue 1941 Lincoln Continental. Isn’t that blue leather interior great?

A bride wearing a maroon dress and her groom laugh as they embrace next to a blue antique Lincoln Continental convertible.

The other location I scouted was the Waterworks Museum in Cleveland Circle. Which prompted Emily and I to geek out a little on Richardsonian Romanesque architecture. Hopefully she’ll come to Pittsburgh some day and tour H.H. Richardson’s masterpiece: the Allegheny County Courthouse. Which is also a great venue for a wedding ceremony.

A bride and groom embrace and laugh outside of the Waterworks Museum in Cleveland Circle MA

These two were having so much fun during portraits that we got some great moments!

A bride and groom embrace and laugh outside of the Waterworks Museum in Cleveland Circle MA


Detail photos of cans of beer on ice, cakes with cut paper flags bearing the bride and groom's names, and a porchetta sandwich.

Some Mexican beer (Garcia side) and Italian brews (De Paolis side), along with some paper cutout flags, and the most delicious porchetta sandwiches from Pennypackers😋

A bride and groom feed each other a piece of cake during their reception in Brookline MA.

A bride and groom slow dance in front of dark blue curtains during their wedding reception.

So there you have it. Emily and Omar’s Boston Documentary Wedding Photos. A special thanks to Emily and Omar for making me feel so welcome. And to all of their friends and family for singing “Happy Birthday” to me during the rehearsal dinner. It was a lovely moment ☺️

Filed under: Boston Documentary Wedding Photos