November 10, 2022
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Katie & Sebastian | Colorful Fall Syro Malabar Catholic Wedding in Monroe, Georgia

I had the great joy of photographing my first full wedding Mass under the liturgy of the Syro Malabar Catholic rite this past weekend! Syro Malabar is an Eastern Rite in the Church that originated from St. Thomas, and is one of the oldest rites Katie and Sebastian celebrated their wedding at St. Alphonsa Syro Malabar Forane Catholic Church in Loganville, GA and The Engine Room in Monroe, GA.

Katie & Sebastian are two sweet humans who have a deep, patient love for each other, and one of their deepest desires for their wedding day was to enjoy the Sacrament and to have the holiness of the day captured – this is a common thread amidst many of the couples I work with! Sebastian is a music teacher and he wanted to pray with Katie in the church sanctuary, surrounded by the choir and musicians, while they sang and prayed over the couple. It was an incredible, beautiful thing to witness! The wedding liturgy was said within an Eastern form of a high Mass, known as Holy Qurbana. Hymns were sung in Malayalam (an Indian language) and English, and the ceremony was a little over 2 hours long.

One of the traditions Katie and Sebastian incorporated into their Mass was the tying of the thali, which is the a symbol of the covenant of marriage among Christians in India. It is a leaf-shaped pendant with a cross made of seven small beads in the center. It symbolizes the bond of marriage between the two, and Christ’s love for His Church. The thali is placed on seven strings taken from the manthrakodi and tied by the groom around the bride’s neck during the ceremony. The knot reflects the permanence of marriage, and the bride wears the thali for the rest of her life. They also blessed and wore the manthrakodi, which is a saree given as a gift to the bride from the groom and his family. During the Mass, it is put over the bride’s head as a mantle and reflects the promise of the groom to honor, protect, and provide for his new bride for the rest of their lives.

The reception at the Engine Room was such a blast! Katie and Sebastian had two hours for cocktails and snacks for guests beforehand, with Dixieland Jazz Band playing. We split taking photos at the church and at the reception venue, since Katie wanted more of a fall feel to some of the portraits, and there’s not a lot of nature at the Engine Room. Some reception highlights were the adorable donut wall in place of cake for their guests, the cloud they danced on for their first dance (yep, cloud, check out the photos), and the performances by the guests during dinner. It ranged from dances to a sitar performance to an opera song by Katie’s uncle! It was lots of fun. I got to work with Zeno Padinjattekara with Zenopadin, who absolutely crushed the videography! He and Tiffany were so fun and easy to work with (and they’re Catholic!), and I definitely recommend them to any of you brides looking for a videographer.

Congratulations to the newlyweds!!


Bride’s Dress: A Formal Occasion || Bride’s hair: Rita with Vogue Hair Salon || Groom’s Suit: Hockerty’s || Venue: The Engine Room || Catering: Parties Galore || Florals & Decor: JL Designs Floral and Wedding Studio || Cake: Publix || Videographer: Zenopadin || DJ: Divinity AV Productions with Jogy K Jose || Bartender: Alcohol Heroes || Cocktail Hour Band: Hotlanta Dixieland Jazz || Photographer: Nicole Sandercock Photography

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