Kali + Sam | The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America

Earlier this year, I sprained my ankle. My first worry wasn’t about my well-being, but about how I was going to perform with an ankle brace and possible crutches. One month later, I was hit with a virus and 103 fever for a week.

I emailed Kali and Sam and told them I had to hire a replacement to take over for me. I’d never been this sick before, and of course it happened right in the middle of my busy season. They were unbelievably understanding and lovely, which is true to who they are as people.  Luckily, my fever disappeared briefly the day before their wedding, which gave me enough energy to carry through as their wedding photographer.

I had Michele Suits by my side, who was my rock.  She…

  • Arrived early with an essential oils blend for my tired feet.
  • Whispered “you got this” while I coughed (non. stop.) and inhaled Ricola’s.
  • Offered me delicious donuts and beverages as a distraction.
  • Even tolerated the inevitable coughing that followed.
  • Was my voice when I couldn’t direct people during portraits.

Despite not feeling like myself, it was the best day.

The historic setting at Colonial Dames in Philadelphia framed the ceremony beautifully. Kali and Sam’s vows were some of the most intimate and funny I’ve ever heard.

The reception decor blended blood oranges, colored pencils, and incredible arrangements by Falls Flowers. Kali and Sam are professional illustrators, so they drew blind contour portraits for all of their guests as place cards/favors.

Everything was amazing, but their reception was my favorite part of the day. When Kali’s parents got married ~30 years ago, they started a tradition of joining their guests in a dance to Rock Lobster. Participants removed their pants and danced around in hand-painted, novelty boxers that matched the lyrics. Grandma was given a beach towel and pulled onto a surf board while guests fell to the floor and kicked their feet to the B52’s. It was five glorious minutes of perfection.

I am so grateful to have been present for Kali and Sam’s celebration. And not just because I got to see half of the guests in their underwear. My virus ended up turning into severe pneumonia, which I just finally shook two months later. This year has been a lesson in not taking things for granted. Thanks again to Kali and Sam (and Michele) for being so patient and kind-hearted.

Here are my favorite images from the day.

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1 Comment
  1. Kristin Ciesemier

    Shannon – This is wonderful! All the best shots and most memorable moments! Thank you so much!

    Reply

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