Carli & Rafy’s Wedding Day

Carli & Rafy’s Wedding Day

When I first met Carli and Rafy, Carli made one thing very clear: their wedding day was to be one of true authenticity. No “recreating” special moments, no “candid but posed” shots, just true, organic, unaltered moments capturing the first day of the rest of their lives. And I’d never been more okay with a bride’s request.

Yes, I love capturing the details. They do, after all, help to tell the story of your day. And they often offer subtle glimpses into a couples’ world. But more than that, the genuine emotions and connections shared by you and your loved ones on your wedding day truly explain without any words or pomp and circumstance who you are and how you feel and share your love for one another. And so for that reason, I thought Carli’s request was superb.

Carli and Rafy’s wedding day was nothing short of perfect. Between the gorgeous weather (when it was supposed to rain!), the intimate and personalized ceremony at Saint Michael’s Church in Glen Allen, the dessert reception (complete with the world’s largest donut ?), the couples’ perfectly choreographed first dance, and the cultural traditions sprinkled throughout, their whole wedding day was one imbued with meaning, loved ones, and cherished moments.

The Ceremony

Carli and Rafy’s church and shared Roman Catholic faith is incredibly important to them. The two of them are quite involved at Saint Michaels. Rafy plays the drums in the band and many of the band and choir members performed for the ceremony in their honor. Displaying the ever-present community spirit of their church, after their ceremony, everyone was invited to a dessert reception (YES before dinner because as Carli says, “why wait?!”) Once the guests began making their way to the reception, Carli, Rafy, and I snagged a few minutes for portraits of the two of them on the grounds of Saint Michael’s before they hopped in their sweet ride heading for their reception!

The Reception

Carli and Rafy’s wedding day reception took place at Lulu’s in downtown Richmond. Located in Shockhoe Bottom, Lulu’s offers a fabulous, eclectic cuisine in the heart of the city! An intimate space for private events, it was the perfect location for Carli and Rafy! And, adding to the uniqueness of their event, the happy couple hired a caricaturist who drew portraits of each of the guests for their guest book!

Did I mention that Carli and Rafy attend dance classes together? Their first dance was a spectacularly choreographed number that was just teeming with *them*. After their first dance, all of the guests were up and on the dance floor to dance the traditional yalekhtas dance, led by Rafy’s brother, Rony. Which was immediately followed by #allofthedancing!

Carli and Rafy, I LOVED photographing your traditional and intimate wedding day and capturing your authentic and pure love for one another. I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to get to know you over the past year and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you. Thank you for allowing me to be a small part of your wedding day ❤.

Ceremony Location: Saint Michael’s Church
Reception: Lulu’s
Favors: Caricatures by Drawn Together Ink
Bridal Shop: BHLDN
Dress Designer: Badgley Mishka
Suit Shop: Nordstrom
Suit Designer: Bonobos
Jewelry: Necklace – Amy G. Bridal, Engagement Ring – family heirloom from Carly’s Grandmother
Yalekhtas (dancing scarves): Made with love by Rafy’s Aunt
Check out Carli & Rafy’s Engagement Session here!
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    Jess Capozzola is a Richmond-based photographer specializing in wedding, newborn, and portrait photography. When she isn’t capturing the in-between moments she can be found snuggling with her husband, little man, and two kitties and avoiding dairy. Just kidding, she always avoids dairy; stupid lactose :-p


    Meet the Artist

    My name is Jess. I’m a believer in true love, passionate living, and grand adventures. I'm a Richmond-based photographer who specializes in all things weddings and babies. Want to know more? Head on over to my About page or connect with me below!


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    Jess Capozzola is a Richmond, Virginia based photographer specializing in wedding, newborn, and portrait photography.