Kearv + Michael [Anaheim Cambodian Wedding]



Aside from being an incredibly beautiful wedding, Kearv and Michael’s event also holds the distinction of being the most colorful wedding I’ve photographed — and the longest. At twelve hours, I was happy to be with them from start to finish, documenting their complete journey, beginning with a traditional Cambodian wedding ceremony in the morning, followed by a Western style ceremony and reception in the afternoon and into the evening.

After working with Kearv and Michael on their engagement session, I knew we would have a great time collaborating on their wedding, given their relaxed, open-minded personalities. We were going to be spending a lot of time together on their wedding day, so it was important we all felt that connection and trust with one another. Their Cambodian ceremony was held in a very intimate setting in the living room of a residence, so consideration had to be given to capturing quality moments without obscuring the view for guests or invading the space of the rituals.

The ceremony consisted of several parts — with plenty of celebrating and feasting in between — requiring Kearv and Michael to change wardrobe four times. Prior to the ceremony in the house, the groom approaches the bride’s home in a processional (Hai Goan Gomloh) to offer a dowry to show his respect to the family and demonstrate his worth. Once indoors, blessings are given to the couple, and, in return, the couple returns respects to their parents and extended family (Sien Doan Taa and Bongvul Pbopul). To cleanse the bride and groom of their past, guests pretend to snip and cut the couples’ hair — key word is pretend! The ceremony culminates with the couple holding a ceremonial sword while guests tie red ribbon around their wrists (Sompeas Ptem), symbolically wishing the bride and groom success and happiness in life. The white seeds of a palm are tossed at the couple to conclude the ceremony.

Enjoy the images, enjoy the color. Photographs from part two of their wedding up next!