On-screen couple goals. Like countless This Is Us viewers, Maryland-based wedding photographer Karen Rainier was so inspired by Jack and Rebecca Pearson’s relationship, that she decided to recreate their City Hall ceremony—and the result was nothing short of perfection.
Rainier tells The Knot that the idea was conceived immediately after watching the Pearson’s on-screen nuptials, but she initially faced one mega obstacle: She needed to source a real-life couple who actually resembled Milo Ventimiglia and Mandy Moore.
“The romance between the Pearsons is palpable in the show, and I hoped to capture that in the shoot,” Rainier says. “In order for this shoot to be impactful and truly reference the show in the way I wanted, I needed a real-life, look-alike couple.”
The photographer admits it was a trying process. “I started to think maybe I should move on to a different theme, because the chances of finding a couple that resembled them would be impossible,” she remarks. Thankfully, Rainier didn’t give up on her vision. Perseverance and chance led her to Peter and Emily—a local couple with a striking resemblance to Jack and Rebecca. “I could not believe my luck when they said they were 100% game for it,” she says of the pivotal moment.
From there, the photographer collaborated with several vendors to pull-off the photo shoot. Every detail was expertly recreated, from the vintage-inspired boho lace wedding gown from Kite & Butterfly, to the beautiful invitation by Leah Letters and Curious Fox Press.
Rainier even incorporated the tiny cupcake Rebecca made for Jack’s birthday. She also tracked down a Pittsburgh Steelers “Terrible” towel, and a dainty moon necklace from Etsy—just like the one Rebecca wore on her wedding day.
The photographer enlisted the help of Ashlyn from Transformations Artistry to transform Emily into Rebecca. “Emily is already stunning, but Ashlyn gave her a glowy, flawless finish and some gorgeous, big ‘70s hair,” she explains.
Ultimately, the photographer theorizes why people are particularly drawn to Jack and Rebecca’s love story. Most likely, it’s because so much of the heartwarming and sometimes-heart wrenching moments are relatable to viewers.
“There are highs and lows; there are struggles and triumphs, but they are a team through it all,” the photographer concludes. “They are friends; they work together; they support each other, and they love each other and their family. They aren’t perfect, but they do their best, and that is all any of us can strive for.”