When Mary and Manan reached out about their fusion wedding, they were originally planning a large wedding full of their closest family and friends. 2020 had different plans! They decided to move forward with their wedding plans on a smaller scale last year because “we just can’t wait to get married!”. We couldn’t agree more. I talked about it in more detail in this 2020 wedding recap post, but what we saw this year more than ever is that love literally never fails. For couples getting married in New Jersey (or beyond!), learn more by clicking the button below!
Mary and Manan were a MSM & Murphy Studio couple. You can read more about hiring us by clicking the button below, but the short version is that we are two independent businesses that work exceptionally well together to bring your photo and video on your wedding day! Because so many of our wedding couples want both photo and video (which we definitely recommend!), we have come together to create joint packages so you get everything you need.
Bringing Two Families Together
Celebrating with family and honoring some traditions was important to both Mary and Manan. They actually included family right from the start – at the proposal. Fun fact: they weren’t even living in the same city when they got engaged! Manan was living in Raleigh, NC, and Mary was living in Hershey, PA. They were supposed to meet in New York City for a Sunday wedding and Manan told her he wasn’t able to fly in on Saturday anymore (stuck at the office!), and he would meet her Sunday. Planning to come into the city anyway, Mary’s sister asked if she could babysit in New Jersey a couple days before the wedding. When Mary arrived, Manan was ready there waiting with balloons that read “Will You Marry Me?”.
It makes my heart so warm that they are both so family oriented and love each other so much! Mary mentioned that one of the things that made her proposal so special was that Manan had her whole family there waiting in the foyer after the proposal! It was exactly what she would have wanted if she had helped plan. A little warning would have been nice so she could be dressed for the occasion (she had just come from a pool party!). It was all worth it though!
Both Bride & Groom Getting Ready Photos
If time allows (or you have two photographers), I highly recommend getting ready photos for both members of the wedding party! After all, you both look great on your wedding day. Mary got ready with her sister and her mom and Manan got ready with his best man.
Although first looks are becoming more common, Mary and Manan decided to keep things traditional and not see each other until they walked down the aisle. Despite that, they wanted to do something to feel connected before the wedding day. They exchanged cards and read them before the ceremony. If you watched the video above, did your heart melt when Mary wrote (and Manan read aloud) that “I can’t wait to spend 7 lifetimes with you”? I’m still melting over that!
Cultural Infusion into a Traditional Catholic Wedding
The ceremony took place at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in New Jersey. Mary is Filipino and Manan is Indian so it was important to infuse some cultural traditions into their traditional Catholic wedding. They wanted to honor their families by keeping some traditions alive. One of the traditions, which was quite beautiful, was that two people (called sponsors), place a veil over the two of them (symbolizing unity and protection). Then, the sponsors place a cord on top of the veil as the couple receives their blessing. Last, but certainly not least, the two of them lit a unity candle symbolizing two lives becoming one. It was so beautiful to watch!
A Beautiful Day For Wedding Portraits After the Ceremony
After the ceremony, we took photos outside at Rio Vista. It was a little farther from the ceremony site, but so worth it. We were able to get a mix of stunning photos, both in front of the waterfall and in the gardens. When I asked Manan what one of his favorite things about Mary is, he mentioned that she is always smiling. And he’s right! She made my job easy with such a big smile on her face the entire time.
Cheers to Starting Your Life Together!
After photos, Mary and Manan head to their micro wedding reception to celebrate the rest of the night with their closest family and friends. The entire day was absolutely stunning. This fusion wedding was a true reminder of how a marriage is two families becoming one. I wish Mary and Manan a HUGE congratulations and I can’t wait to see what married life brings them!
Mile Square Moments is a New Jersey wedding photographer for the deep in love and hopeless romantics. We love to capture all of your wedding day moments and authentic love stories for couples in Hoboken, New Jersey and beyond! Get in touch to inquire about our photography services or follow along with fun love stories on Instagram. For more real weddings, make sure to head to our blog! We love to celebrate love around here.