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Miriam & Ling-nan
Private residence in Mount Washington -- Baltimore wedding photography

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Miriam and Ling-nan planned an absolutely lovely little wedding at her childhood home. They were married on the Fourth of July — but not because either of them is especially fond of fireworks or was particularly drawn to the all-American holiday. She is a chemist and a professor at Penn State. He is a physicist and researcher at Harvard. They wanted to get married and celebrate with about 50 of their closest relatives and friends, including the bride’s sister who lives in Israel. When they all looked at their calendars, July 4th was one of just two available dates for the whole summer. Additionally, the holiday would make travel a bit less rushed for Miriam and Ling-nan as well as their guests before heading back to work. They could not have kept the day more simple — “just a little garden party,” as Miriam put it the first time we met. “A 20-minute ceremony that we make ourselves and then a meal together with our friends. We are just interested in capturing the moments of the day without planning those moments.” The wedding offered a beautiful blend of both of their families as well as Chinese and Jewish customs to reflect Ling-nan and Miriam’s heritage. The invitations and the ketubah were printed in English, Chinese and Hebrew. Both of their mothers walked Miriam down the aisle. All four parents, two of Miriam’s nieces and two of the couple’s closest friends played pivotal roles in the ceremony, offering readings and remarks, poems and blessings. And when it was over — after they had shared a kiss and together broken a glass in a modern twist on a traditional Jewish custom — the newlyweds did indeed share a lovely meal with their friends and family. There were no toasts. There was no dancing. Just a relaxed dinner party in the backyard of the house in which Miriam grew up in Mount Washington. It was lovely. Here are some of my favorites from their day:

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Amy Epstein-McManus of Crimson & Clover created beautiful wildflower arrangements the complemented all the hard work that Miriam’s parents put in to the flowers and plants in their own gardens.03-FreedmanZou_0008-0003_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_PrivateResidence-BaltimoreWeddingPhotography 04-FreedmanZou_0057-0013_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_PrivateResidence-BaltimoreWeddingPhotography 05-FreedmanZou_0119-0023_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_PrivateResidence-BaltimoreWeddingPhotography

Gathered around her parents’ living room, the couple read and signed the ketubah, the Jewish marriage contract. Realizing that they were short one non-relative to serve as a witness, they asked me to sign as well — a first for me! I was happy to do so. 06-FreedmanZou_0131-0026_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_PrivateResidence-BaltimoreWeddingPhotography 07-FreedmanZou_0072-0017_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_PrivateResidence-BaltimoreWeddingPhotography 08-FreedmanZou_0159-0032_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_PrivateResidence-BaltimoreWeddingPhotography

My assistant, Daniel, shot this next image of Miriam and Ling-nan finishing up their chuppah. 09-FreedmanZou_0251-0048_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_PrivateResidence-BaltimoreWeddingPhotography 10-FreedmanZou_0257-0050_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_PrivateResidence-BaltimoreWeddingPhotography

Ling-nan says farewell before heading off to the hotel to get ready. Miriam stayed at her parents’ home to prepare with her nieces, her baby nephew, her sister and her friend and maid of honor, Windsong. 11-FreedmanZou_0288-0058_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_PrivateResidence-BaltimoreWeddingPhotography 12-FreedmanZou_0296-0061_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_PrivateResidence-BaltimoreWeddingPhotography 13-FreedmanZou_0318-0068_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_PrivateResidence-BaltimoreWeddingPhotography 14-FreedmanZou_0325-0070_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_PrivateResidence-BaltimoreWeddingPhotography 15-FreedmanZou_0390-0084_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_PrivateResidence-BaltimoreWeddingPhotography 16-FreedmanZou_0376-0081_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_PrivateResidence-BaltimoreWeddingPhotography

The bride, looking lovely. 17-FreedmanZou_0599-0129_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_PrivateResidence-BaltimoreWeddingPhotography 18-FreedmanZou_0539-0115_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_PrivateResidence-BaltimoreWeddingPhotography

Since Miriam and Ling-nan had exchanged legal vows a day earlier at the Baltimore City Circuit Court, they did not need an officiant for the backyard wedding and were able to personalize it exactly as they wished.19-FreedmanZou_0635-0139_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_PrivateResidence-BaltimoreWeddingPhotography 20-FreedmanZou_0647-0142_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_PrivateResidence-BaltimoreWeddingPhotography 21-FreedmanZou_0665-0146_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_PrivateResidence-BaltimoreWeddingPhotography

This next image of Miriam waiting for the processional with her and Ling-nan’s mother was shot by Daniel. 22-FreedmanZou_0692-0152_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_PrivateResidence-BaltimoreWeddingPhotography 23-FreedmanZou_0715-0156_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_PrivateResidence-BaltimoreWeddingPhotography 24-FreedmanZou_0740-0162_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_PrivateResidence-BaltimoreWeddingPhotography 25-FreedmanZou_0781-0174_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_PrivateResidence-BaltimoreWeddingPhotography 26-FreedmanZou_0823-0186_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_PrivateResidence-BaltimoreWeddingPhotography 27-FreedmanZou_0868-0197_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_PrivateResidence-BaltimoreWeddingPhotography 28-FreedmanZou_0887-0204_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_PrivateResidence-BaltimoreWeddingPhotography 29-FreedmanZou_0891-0207_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_PrivateResidence-BaltimoreWeddingPhotography 30-FreedmanZou_0933-0221_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_PrivateResidence-BaltimoreWeddingPhotography 31-FreedmanZou_0942-0223_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_PrivateResidence-BaltimoreWeddingPhotography 32-FreedmanZou_0948-0224_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_PrivateResidence-BaltimoreWeddingPhotography 33-FreedmanZou_1092-0263_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_PrivateResidence-BaltimoreWeddingPhotography 34-FreedmanZou_0989-0238_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_PrivateResidence-BaltimoreWeddingPhotography 35-FreedmanZou_1003-0240_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_PrivateResidence-BaltimoreWeddingPhotography 36-FreedmanZou_1033-0247_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_PrivateResidence-BaltimoreWeddingPhotography 37-FreedmanZou_1129-0274_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_PrivateResidence-BaltimoreWeddingPhotography 38-FreedmanZou_1150-0279_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_PrivateResidence-BaltimoreWeddingPhotography 39-FreedmanZou_1180-0283_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_PrivateResidence-BaltimoreWeddingPhotography 40-FreedmanZou_1268-0300_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_PrivateResidence-BaltimoreWeddingPhotography

After some quick portraits with family and friends, Miriam and Ling-nan took a little walk with me for a few photos of just the two of them. Despite the heat and humidity, we were graced with some great light for photos.41-FreedmanZou_1565-0355_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_PrivateResidence-BaltimoreWeddingPhotography 42-FreedmanZou_1608-0365_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_PrivateResidence-BaltimoreWeddingPhotography 43-FreedmanZou_1616-0369_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_PrivateResidence-BaltimoreWeddingPhotography 44-FreedmanZou_1648-0376_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_PrivateResidence-BaltimoreWeddingPhotography 45-FreedmanZou_1715-0391_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_PrivateResidence-BaltimoreWeddingPhotography 46-FreedmanZou_1739-0397_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_PrivateResidence-BaltimoreWeddingPhotography

A few party details: 47-FreedmanZou_1800-0417_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_PrivateResidence-BaltimoreWeddingPhotography 48-FreedmanZou_1785-0412_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_PrivateResidence-BaltimoreWeddingPhotography

In keeping with a backyard wedding, bug spray and sunscreen accompanies treats for the guests — fancy chocolate-covered almonds.49-FreedmanZou_1814-0422_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_PrivateResidence-BaltimoreWeddingPhotography 50-FreedmanZou_1828-0424_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_PrivateResidence-BaltimoreWeddingPhotography 51-FreedmanZou_1929-0443_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_PrivateResidence-BaltimoreWeddingPhotography 52-FreedmanZou_2020-0475_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_PrivateResidence-BaltimoreWeddingPhotography 53-FreedmanZou_2112-0508_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_PrivateResidence-BaltimoreWeddingPhotography 54-FreedmanZou_2086-0497_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_PrivateResidence-BaltimoreWeddingPhotography 55-FreedmanZou_2179-0526_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_PrivateResidence-BaltimoreWeddingPhotography 56-FreedmanZou_2277-0555_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_PrivateResidence-BaltimoreWeddingPhotography 57-FreedmanZou_2580-0631_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_PrivateResidence-BaltimoreWeddingPhotography

The next image on the left was also shot by Daniel. 58-FreedmanZou_2220-0537_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_PrivateResidence-BaltimoreWeddingPhotography

Sherbert, fresh summer berries and melons and fancy little desserts were the perfect end to the meal on a hot day. 59-FreedmanZou_2299-0558_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_PrivateResidence-BaltimoreWeddingPhotography 60-FreedmanZou_2205-0533_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_PrivateResidence-BaltimoreWeddingPhotography

After the sun sunk a little lower in the sky, Miriam and Ling-nan slipped away from the party for just a few more photos, making good use of the gorgeous light, the front yard garden that she loves and the pine tree that her parents planted to mark her graduation from the fifth grade. It now towers over the house.61-FreedmanZou_2348-0570_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_PrivateResidence-BaltimoreWeddingPhotography 62-FreedmanZou_2393-0581_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_PrivateResidence-BaltimoreWeddingPhotography 63-FreedmanZou_2402-0585_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_PrivateResidence-BaltimoreWeddingPhotography 64-FreedmanZou_2405-0588_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_PrivateResidence-BaltimoreWeddingPhotography 65-FreedmanZou_2420-0592_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_PrivateResidence-BaltimoreWeddingPhotography 66-FreedmanZou_2482-0609_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_PrivateResidence-BaltimoreWeddingPhotography 67-FreedmanZou_2587-0634_JenniferMcMenaminPhotography_PrivateResidence-BaltimoreWeddingPhotography

Congratulations, Miriam and Ling-nan. It was an absolute pleasure working with you both, your families and guests!

Credits:

Photography: Jennifer McMenamin Photography, LLC

Ceremony & reception: The bride’s parents’ home

Catering: The Classic Catering People

Rentals: Loane Brothers

Bridal attire: J.Crew

Florist: Crimson & Clover Floral Design

Invitations: The Nittany Quill

 

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