Joy + Chai [Westin Pasadena Wedding]



The wedding day schedule. Spacious and forgiving on paper, it quickly takes on a life of its own once out of the gate. Hours briskly impersonate minutes, and the day becomes what it was meant to be, often full of welcomed surprises and unexpected signatures. Given the organic pulse of the event, reserving an exclusive slice of time for bride & groom pictures is a must for the capture of those coveted images. A half-hour window is the in-a-pinch minimum, with forty-five to sixty minutes being the recommended ideal.

Chai and Joy scheduled not one, but two sixty minute bride & groom portrait sessions, and what a treat it was to savor the moment, explore the locations, and keep the upper hand on the clock. One session -- First Look In Red Dress -- at the Westin Pasadena and nearby Pasadena City Hall.  Second session -- First Look In White Dress -- at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden.  Two first looks, one lucky Chai! And with their considered schedule unfolding so closely to plan, you can imagine the bounty of images we closed out the day with. Waterfalls. Murals. Streams. Flower Gardens. Balconies. Barns. Oh yeah, a wedding, too. Two amazing venues -- and newlyweds!

My favorite moment of the day: Chai and Joy sharing their First Look at the Arboretum. There they stood, an exclamation point in the sea of purple of a Jacaranda tree. And then, behind them, a peacock strolled into frame, blessing them with the sort of charmed scene in which all the elements seem aligned and in sync with a larger plan. At the time, I really wanted that big bird to unfurl its colorful plume, but that bird knew better than I. He was a mere accent to the moment. The moment belonged to them.

Lots of memorable captures to share from this day, so it's probably best to split this event into two posts.   Be sure to catch part two HERE.  Joy and Chai, congratulations. Be as you are, always.

Getting Ready:  Westin Pasadena | Ceremony: Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden | Reception: Capital Seafood Restaurant, Monterey Park| Make- up: Susie Chhuor Hair & Makeup Studio | Officiant: Rev. Leslie Bockian