Monday, October 29, 2007

Sotheary and James' Wedding. San Jose

Ceremony at the home of Sotheary's parents and reception at Phu Lam Restaurant both in San Jose.

I usually try to have images blogged a few days after the event but I have been swamped so sorry these are later than usual!

Sotheary and James' traditional Cambodian wedding ceremony was a multi day affair filled with music and song, chanting, dancing, offerings, prayers, clothing changes, and rituals too numerous to list here. It was an incredible experience which ended with a HUGE Saturday night reception. I mean 500 people huge! If you are inclined, I found a website that describes the typical ceremonial events here.

We started on Friday as James and several musicians led a parade of family members to the bride's home with gifts and offerings. Before going inside, there was some choreographed banter between family representatives. Once inside, gifts were presented for everyone to see and included liquor, soft drinks, all sorts of food and fruit, and a large roasted pig. Among the memorable events were all the clothing changes, chanting monks, and a ceremonial hair cutting and cleansing. Everything started up again bright and early on Saturday morning as married couples encircled the bride and groom and passed lit candles around the circle as a blessing. Next family and close friends were invited to tie red string on the wrists of the bride and groom. As strings were tied rose petals and palm flowers were *sprinkled* on the couple. I learned later that this was actually a somewhat abbreviated and compressed version of the marriage rite.

Saturday afternoon, after some lunch and latte's, we regrouped at the Hotel Montgomery in San Jose. Sotheary, James, and the rest of their wedding party changed into western (as opposed to traditional Cambodian) clothing and we had a fun photo session in and around Plaza de Cesar Chavez Park. The night ended at Phu Lam with a large banquet, a Cambodian live band, and Cambodian dancing which involved everyone gathering on the dance floor and circling in unison with a certain hand gesture which I still cannot seem to master.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Torie and Todd's Wedding. Woodside

Ceremony and reception at Thomas Fogarty Winery in Woodside.

When it rains on the East Coast get ready for a week of drizzle, dreariness, and clouds - that is how I remember it, anyways. Well, I bet friends and family were wondering if they would need umbrellas and Wellingtons because it was really raining on Friday! Behold, Saturday's weather was incredible, sunny with scattered clouds, incredibly pleasant, and no fog - which seems ever present along Skyline Road. As you many recall, Windy Hill is special to them so it was fitting that their wedding was hosted just down the road at Fogarty.

Fall is always a wonderful time for a wine-country wedding because grape leaves begin changing color shortly after crush begins and the warm days give way to cool, clear nights. The vineyards around Fogarty were painted in picturesque hues of green, yellow, and red. Amy Burke constructed a floral arch with plenty of autumn accents to match. Torie and Todd's ceremony was held on the lawn situated atop a hill with spectacular views of the Bay. It was so clear, in fact, you could see the buildings in San Francisco's financial district. Their reception was held indoors in the Hill House and Terrace. Tables were named after many of the couple's favorite Bay Area open space preserves and were decorated with colorful centerpieces - many featuring fresh fruit! An afterparty at the Crowne Plaza Cabana hotel was hosted by Torie's aunts and uncles where many Red Socks fans were entralled with the ALCS game.

Thanks to Raymond, a previous coworker of mine, for referring this great couple.

Coordination: Becky Thatcher (in-house)
Floral Arrangements: Amy Burke Designs
Catering: Continental Caterers
Cake: Marcus Coy at Draeger's

Monday, October 01, 2007

Jeannie and Hyung Prewedding Shoot.

My first engagement session for a 2008 wedding - is it that time already?

Only partially recovered from Kala and Dan's wedding the night before I made sure to stretch my shooting finger before meeting up with Jeannie and Hyung. This couple is a very fun-loving and carefree pair so I had to be ready. Red Bull, latte, banana's, milk - all set. Can you believe these two have known each other for about as long as they can remember? They went to the same schools and have been together forever. Fittingly, we started at their elementary school which is right around the corner from their parents' homes.

We played on the swings until we were sure no one was watching or following us, then ran around to the front of the school for some private time. If their teachers could see them now ;) Afterwards we went to Half Moon Bay and made our way down to the beach just below the Ritz Carlton. The light was great and there were even some high clouds to make the sky more interesting. Lots of people were walking the coastal trail but the beach was relatively deserted so we had more running room.