A couple of awesome recent weddings

As much as we want to keep up with our blog, it is practically impossible. If we are not shooting – we are editing. If we are not editing, we are shooting small weddings, engagements and portraits sessions. And unfortunately, there is not much time left for blogging. Here is a collection of recent weddings we were invited to photograph.

 






 

Jesse and Aman

Jesse and Aman celebrated their Indian style wedding with great vision and grand style. The perfect setting in Santa Cruz at the Chaminade Resort and Spa transported this idyllic spot into a delightful wedding venue as well as a spot for parties and relaxation.

This truly wonderful couple wanted a small-ish, intimate wedding and they succeeded. That’s not an easy task when you consider the variety of ceremonies and parties that are part of an Indian wedding. Their friends and family flew in from all over the world to share in this beautiful celebration with them.

Although Jesse is not of Indian heritage, she appeared natural and remained elegant throughout the complicated customs. Her family got to participate in the Indian customs and Aman’s family saw the American parts of the wedding.

Both families provided, without hesitation, support for Jesse and Aman. Their families and friends joined in rooting for them too.

The hours-long Mendhi application of henna designs to Jesse’s hands and the party for the women was the start of the three-day Indian wedding festivities. During the Mendhi party, the men are off elsewhere having their own party.

We have a little background about Jesse and Aman to share with you. They met while working at the same start-up. Aman had already joined the company before Jesse began work there. They were teamed together on the same project; Jesse’s first with the new company. The lucky part of writing code is that you run it to see how it works. They ended up spending long hours, after office hours, waiting for the results. Two people together in the office, no one else around. You get the idea.

Jesse and Aman believe their similar personalities helped grow their relationship. They shared with us that they are both a bit quiet and introverted and both very logical and analytical. They also love to travel and explore new activities and places. They’ve found their relationship to be “quite easy.”

Aman’s proposal to Jesse was personal and very public. While in Los Angeles looking up at the Hollywood sign and Griffith Observatory, Jesse could see Aman’s sky-written proposal:  Will you marry me? Aman <3 Jesse. Not only was it written in the sky, it contained ASCII art too. 😉

At some point in the relationship you can ask yourself, ‘How do I know if he’s the one?’ Jesse knew after leaving her cats in Aman’s care. Aman had never had pets before. She came home to find new brushes and toys for the cats and saw that he enjoyed grooming the cats.

Wedding planning and coordination, Ambiance by Tejel. Décor by Saba Décor. Catering for the Friday mehndi party by Milan. DJ, Gunjan. Officiant was Pandit Anand Balram Sharma. Chaminade Resort & Spa, Santa Cruz, venue. IQ photo and IQ videography.

 

Maria & Jeffery | San Francisco City Hall

Anastasia and Kanoa | Thailand

I’ve been shooting weddings for quite some time and you know which weddings are the highlight of my career? The ones where couples create an experience for those lucky people attending their celebration. And I’m not talking about just the expensive food or luxury venue kind of experience. What I am talking about is something that will make their circle of close friends even closer. And one way to do it is to invite everyone to go with you far, far away.

Do you know how many times I’ve heard from the couples who are having traditional weddings but who told me about their initial plans to get married in Tuscany or in France, etc.? Many, many times. And you know what usually kills these plans? The planning process itself. At some point, they realize that it is simply not possible. In addition to the financial aspect, getting the right people to the opposite part of the globe is a tremendous task. And those who can, potentially have 200 plus local guests. These couples are the first to scrap the idea since most of their guests won’t be able to make the trip. Jobs, kids, plans … you name it.

But even if you manage to get all these folks on board, securing venues, getting the right vendors, booking flights, hotels, and activities it becomes a full-time job. So how many can really pull this off? Very few really.

My job as a photographer to create art and the location should not be a top priority. I’ve had couples who spent hundreds of thousands on their wedding and I had a couple who got married in my backyard and their only expense was me. But, guilty as charged, I do get excited when something new and exciting and, yes, challenging comes my way. And it happened the moment I first spoke with Nastya.

When she told me about her Thailand wedding I got excited but was pretty pessimistic (read above) since I knew that the odds of her pulling this off were against her. But the more time we spent on it, I started to think that this was actually going to happen. Now, looking back and more importantly knowing Nastya better, I am not sure why I thought the Thailand wedding wouldn’t happen. Nastya is an energetic person with a huge heart that has room for love for all the people beyond her inner circle.

Kanoa. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to chat with him about the wedding too much. But I know for sure that without his blessing this destination wedding would not have happened. Kanoa is a busy man with a full-time job and another full-time job as a bar owner. And yet he was ready to go along with Nastya’s plan. He even agreed to hire me instead of hiring a local Thai photographer for a tiny fraction of the cost. Most guys wouldn’t do that because it doesn’t make sense. Kanoa did it.

They had a ceremony in a beautiful “little” resort they rented on AirBNB and were able to fit their entire family there. The rest of us stayed nearby.

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