As Joi and Michael danced together for the first time yesterday in a photography studio in Brooklyn, their audience consisted of a unicorn, Bernie Sanders, the characters of the board game Clue, Dr. Pepper, a few cats, a viking, Waluigi, the Kool Aid Man, and a number of other costumed revelers, who, just a few hours earlier, had been finely dressed guests quietly sitting at their church ceremony. From the beginning of their wedding planning, when they approached us last November at our mutual friends’ Steve and Nicole’s ceremony, Joi and Michael knew they wanted to honor both their families and their own unique relationship by mixing tradition with their own new ideas. Thus, the two were married in a Catholic ceremony with Fillipino traditions interspersed throughout the Mass, traveled to their reception from Manhattan to Brooklyn via the subway, sang “That’s Amore!” with Michael’s enthusiastic relatives, and danced the night away with all their guests in costumes to celebrate Halloween. It was likely the most unique day we’ve photographed.
Joi and Michael have been dear friends of ours since we met them in our first year at RIT- we were lucky to have them as guests at our own wedding six years ago, and have loved watching each other grow in each others’ photography careers over the years. I initially met Joi and Michael in different friend circles and as we took photo classes together, modeled for shoots for each other, and grabbed tacos and drinks I began to hear tidbits about the other in each of their conversations as time went on. Being the instigator I am, I obviously prodded each of them for more details and pushed for them to spend more time together. Since they began dating while in college, they’ve been the perfect mix of sweet and sarcastic. Joi brings out the sweetness in Michael’s goofy self, and Michael’s antics keep Joi giggling away.
Being a wedding with two of our close friends, it was also an impromptu college reunion, juggling shooting duties with catching up with old friends. Totally understanding this, Joi and Michael kept prodding us during the reception to put our cameras down and hang out with our buddies, and we definitely spent a bunch of time on the dance floor and laughing with friends. It was a perfect ending to our Summer/Fall wedding season.