I’ve known Hesham and his family for several years now and visit their merchant stand, Kamal’s Middle Eastern Specialties in the Reading Terminal Market whenever I’m there. I’ve gotten to know the family over the years, in fact I did Hesham’s brother, Adham’s wedding a few years ago! So when Hesham called me one day out of the blue and asked me to do his wedding in TWO weeks, I was all for it!

Yes…two weeks. As you know, all wedding venues were shut down for months during the lockdown. So as soon as guidelines were loosened, Hesham booked his venue so he and his fiancĂ©, Yara could celebrate their day! They met while Hesham was on vacation in Syria. They met, fell in love and planned their wedding!

Their wedding day was my first wedding at a venue since the lockdown, and while things were supposed to be different, there were still the same awesome moments. Hesham seeing Yara for the first time, the beautiful Albanian culture and traditions, and a touching moment as Yara FaceTimed with her family so they can see her in her wedding dress. Because of the lockdown and restrictions, they were not able to come to the United States for her wedding. A part of me thought to walk away and let her have her moment, but it was a beautiful moment that I wanted to capture for her. I’m glad I didn’t walk away.

After the first look, we went to Knight Park in Collingswood for Yara and Hesham’s portraits. Let me tell you, Yara can work it! I had so much fun taking their portraits, capturing their love and getting to know Yara a little better. They are truly perfect together!

Hesham and Yara celebrated with their friends and family at Luciens in Berlin, NJ. The party was loud, sweaty and jumping! The perfect way to kick off their life together!

Here are some of my favorites from their wedding day!