It is always an honor to photograph a wedding day and even more so when it is my very own friends and family. For me, it’s also more personal (and probably more emotional) since I know more about the couple’s story and have seen them grow closer to one another. Meet Justina, one of my best friends from high school and her husband, Jamie. I was asked to spend the morning with the girls while they got ready and also photograph some traditional Chinese wedding ceremonies. Continue on for some beautiful and funny moments.
There were two dresses for the wedding day – the white dress for the ceremony later that day. Since it was such a perfect dress for Justina, I had to take the time to photograph it.
For the traditional Chinese ceremonies, the bride wears red and, in this case, chose to go with a modern and beautiful dress.
The groom and his friends showed up to take part in the traditional Fetching of the Bride. This is the first time I had heard of this tradition and witnessed it and it was so much fun! I couldn’t help but laugh as the guys did their best to win their way into the house. There were questions to answer, dancing to do, songs to sing, blind tasting and identification of food and lots of negotiating.
Of course Jamie and his fellas were talented, charming and ultimately won their way into the house. Then we all took off for the traditional Wedding Car Ride. (Everyone in this car was a major trooper too, because it required running out in the pouring rain!)
Then it was time for the Tea Ceremony. While working on the images, I was really struck by how much honor and importance is represented in this ceremony, but by how well it was balanced with such love, sweet moments and laughter. It really acknowledges the role elder family members have played, while also being a celebration of a new family forming through the bride and groom. And, since we had a smaller group for the morning events, I asked if we could do a quick shot with everyone – turns out they have a fun crew!I am so excited for this couple and the happiness they have found in one another. All my best wishes as you continue your journey together!
This is the third year I’ve gotten this fun family in front of my camera for holiday photos – does that mean this is a new tradition? All joking aside, I enjoy sessions with these four, since we all know each other and they make my job easy by being so great in front of the camera.
This is such a unique location for a photo session and I’ve always, always wanted to shoot at a Christmas Tree farm. (Random, I know, but it’s so pretty!) Since the baby was due in December, this mama actually suggested visiting the Christmas Tree farm. I had the honor of joining them while they cut down their tree and kicking off the holiday season with such a fun shoot!
After I get to do a maternity shoot with a family, I always start getting excited to meet their little one for newborn photos. It’s so cool to capture both sides of such a big life event. This little lady was so sweet and was more than happy to cuddle up for some photos with mom, dad and big brother.
As I was getting these wedding photos ready, I found myself wishing that I could go back and enjoy their day again. Emily and Joe are two of the sweetest people, full of laughter and so easy to be around. I had the pleasure of meeting these two when they first started dating (through my husband), so it was such an honor to capture and celebrate their wedding day alongside them. Congratulations again!
Venue: Wente Vineyards (Livermore, California)