Sally and Paul will forever hold my affection and prayers in an extra special way. I had the blessing of introducing these two beautiful spirits to one another (along with the help of Paul's friend Vasileios). It makes me deeply happy knowing that it was my photography that first drew their hearts together. Of course the real credit is God's who orchestrated their miraculous story.
Last July I visited dear friends (the Mamalakis family who introduced me to my husband) in Boston before covering a destination wedding in Vermont. During dinner with friends Nektarios and Vesileios (Greek names!), I first learned of Paul Kassab: half Lebanese, half Greek, doctor, single and known for his warm personality and deserving character. A plan was developed for me to subtly meet and photograph Paul at Nektarios' going away (back to Greece) party. This way I'd have information and photos for my girlfriend Sally (an extraordinary woman, editor, and writer), whom we believed could be the perfect match for Paul. Sally was vacationing and visiting family in her homeland of Lebanon when the July War began. (You can read some of her war experiences in her article that appeared in the Seattle Times.) As Sally was waiting to be evacuated from Lebanon, I was meeting her future husband!
Seven months later, I photographed their wedding. Sally and Paul are genuine soul mates. Their love and gratitude overflowed on their wedding day with tears of joy and so much expression.
The Lebanese are wonderfully passionate! Sally and Paul (with the help of the truly talented coordinator Melissa Bryan) planned a wedding rich with meaning and traditions from their faith and culture. The ceremony was celebrated in three languages and chanted in Arabic. You can learn more about the Orthodox wedding service on Sally and Paul's Web site. As a gift to their family and guests, Sally and Paul surprised everyone by entering the reception to the traditional ceremonial hail, a "zaffeh," performed by a Lebanese dance troupe complete with drums, tambourines and lots of color!
Lastly, I have to share a sentiment of Sally's father delivered during his toast. He explained how it had been his dream to walk his daughter down the aisle on her wedding day. And having experienced it, he announced that he felt sorry for fathers who have only sons. I loved that! Sally requested the beautiful Lebanese song (translated by her father) that accompanies their SLIDESHOW. She heard it during the war and wondered if she would ever find the kind of love in the song. Yes, Mrs. Kassab!
Congratulations Sally and Paul!