This Coptic Los Verdes Golf Course wedding was an absolute dream come true! Veronica and Alfred married in a traditional Coptic Orthodox ceremony surrounded by friends and family. It was a beautiful and joyous day. Also, I’d officially like to nominate this bride for the most infectious smile! She couldn’t stop smiling all day, and her joy was absolutely contagious.
Getting Ready at Terranea Resort
The day started off at the gorgeous Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes. I love this location for getting ready because there are so many beautiful spots tucked away in the resort to capture photos overlooking the ocean. Veronica and her wedding party got ready in a private cabana as they waited for her groom and his groomsmen to join them.
First, let’s take a moment to appreciate this bride’s dress: have you ever seen anything so elegant? The entire dress was embroidered with beads and pearls. The dress also featured a floor length cape that fastened at the waist. The entire ensemble was completed with a cathedral-length veil. It was absolutely breathtaking. It weighed about 100 lbs, but we all agreed it was well worth it!
Veronica’s mother and maid of honor helped her get into this stunning gown, and then it was time for a quick first look with her wedding party before headed out to first look. Her bridesmaids had seen the dress, but nothing could prepare them for what it looked like on! The bride was an absolute vision.
First Look and Vow Readings
Finally, Alfred and his groomsmen arrived at Terranea, and we got him in place for the first look! He was nervous and excited as he waited for Veronica to tap him on the shoulder to see for the first time that day, and last time as an engaged couple! The first look location was stunning. We selected a grassy site in the middle of the courtyard. The location had an unobstructed view of the ocean and rolling hills of Rancho Palos Verdes, ad the slightly overcast sky created a dreamy look for the romantic moment.
Alfred and Veronica had written their private vows down in preparation for this moment, and chose to read them aloud to each other prior to the traditional ceremony. The vows were emotional and heartfelt. Have you ever met a couple that balances each other so well that you know they’re destined to be together forever? Yep. That’s Veronica and Alfred. She is bubbly and exuberant, and he is grounded and steady. It was beautiful witnessing them both express their love in their unique ways. As they experienced a emotional private moment together, a flock of pelicans flew overhead! How magical is that??
After the vow readings, immediate family joined them under the gazebo for a sweet moment before the ceremony. Alfred’s mom tried to hide her tearfulness. as she reflected on the fact that her son was about to be married! I know that traditionally weddings are heavily focused on the bride’s side, but I am an absolute sucker for a sweet moment with the mother of the groom. After all, it’s (kind of) her day to celebrate, too!
Ceremony at St. Mercurius and St. Abraam Coptic Orthodox Church
After that, it was time. for the ceremony to begin. We arrived at St. Mercurius and St. Abraam Coptic Orthodox church for the traditional Egyptian ceremony. Orthodox churches are so special. The interior was ornate and spectacular! There’s something so regal about Coptic Orthodox churches that add a formal and ritualistic element to the ceremonies.
Coptic Orthodox weddings have many special traditions to guide the bride and groom into their commitment. Beginning with the processional, the priests carry the Coptic cross, symbolizing the eternal love of God. After bride and groom are joined on the altar, the ceremony begins with matrimonial prayers and hymns. Priests adorn the bride and groom in ornate capes. Then it is time to exchange rings. The rings are tied together with a red silk ribbon or handkerchief, symbolizes the bond that is being made between the couple to the blood of the Lord and cannot be broken.
Afterwards, the priest ties priest anoints the couple with Holy Oil, for sanctification and blessings. Lastly, he gives the Blessing of the Crowns to signify the spiritual significance of their new status as husband and wife. The groom is then draped in the chasuble and the priest gives the final blessing and absolution. During the raising of incense, the church filled with smokey air and the light streaming in through the stained glass windows created a beautiful effect!
Finally, Alfred and Veronica were pronounced husband and wife, and led the recessional to clapping and cheers! Congratulations to the newly married couple!
Reception at Los Verdes Golf Course–The Party!
After the ceremony concluded, Alfred and Veronica hopped in their party bus and headed to the reception to celebrate their Coptic Los Verdes Golf Course wedding!
The Vista Ballroom was decorated with delicate floral arrangements and draping with twinkle lights. The bride and groom entered with their guests and the party began! Guests of every age surrounded the couple on the dance floor, and everyone enthusiastically celebrated the bride and groom’s official status as husband and wife!
Parent Dances and First Dance in the Vista Ballroom
After the dance floor opened, guests were seated for the formal dances. The groom’s dance with his mother was sweet, emotional, and sentimental. The bride’s dance with her father was lively and joyful! It was so fun getting to capture each parent’s unique relationship with their child.
Then it was time for the couple’s first dance! Alfred and Veronica twirled, spun, and dipped their way across the dance floor. There was even a scoop and a lift to finish it off! It was all very impressive. I wonder how much practice it took to perfect!
The couple was seated and it was time for speeches. The maid of honor and best man gave a toast to the couple, and had the bride and groom and their guests howling with laughter and dabbing tears out of their eyes. It was so sweet to see how much love they had for Veronica and Alfred!
To conclude, the couple thanked their guests for joining them for the special day. They cut the cake to make it official, and ended the night with more dancing! Everyone joined them back out on the dance floor and a raucous night was had by all.
Are you planning your next Coptic Los Verdes Golf Course Wedding? Or a Coptic Orthodox wedding elsewhere? Let’s connect! Send me a message at DariaTaylorPhotography@gmail.com and let’s make sure that every detail and tradition is captured. I can’t wait to celebrate with you!