Aimee + Som [South Natomas Community Center Laos Wedding]



One of the rewarding perks of wedding photography is the exposure to cultures and customs outside the day-to-day reach of my Western comfort zone. I've documented Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Vietnamese, Korean and Indian wedding celebrations, and, had I not been the photographer for these events, I'm not sure I would have had the opportunity to experience the uniqueness each has to offer. And so when I was approached by Aimee & Som to photograph their Laos wedding, I jumped at the chance, as I knew it would be an introduction to a wonderfully new set of details, colors, rituals, and bonding — and let's not forget tasty cuisine!  Yes, it was my first Laos (aka Lao) wedding, but new experiences make for a hungry eye, and I couldn't help but snap everything up and share in abundance with you!

I arrived early that crisp morning at the South Natomas Community Center to capture family staging the ceremony decor and putting the final loving touches on arrangements.  Aimee wore the traditional Lao silk sinh (Lao skirt), with Som dressed in the loose-fitting salong (pants).  As is customary, the groom's family must first bargain and negotiate with the bride's before the groom is allowed passage into the ceremony room. Levity ensues, a karmic cover charge is paid, and Som enters to join Aimee for the baci ceremony.   Designed to enrich the newlywed couple, the baci ceremony involves the tying of strings around the wrists of the bride and groom, inviting a unity of spirit and soul.  Though this may be a Lao custom, the crisscrossing of threads really made for a striking image and served as a reminder that the crux of all weddings really is the spinning of a renewed web between family, friends, and couple.  

Mother Nature blessed Aimee & Som with a full bloom of cherry blossoms, and we finished our day by taking advantage of all the glorious color. Thank you again Aimee & Som for having me not only as your photographer, but welcoming me as a participant. I'm so glad I made the trip up your way. Best wishes to you always!

Ceremony + Reception: South Natomas Community Center | Those Yummy Cakes: Ettore's European Bakery & Restaurant

Eunji + Ernie [Carondelet House Wedding]



Eunji had been a bridesmaid at two weddings I photographed years prior, and so when I received her email that she was now planning her own nuptials - and would like for me to document her day -  I was definitely elated.  It meant a lot to learn she kept my name on hand, that she had seen me work and was comfortable both with how I approach photographing a wedding, as well as with the resulting images delivered to her newlywed friends.

The Carondelet House in Downtown Los Angeles made for a wonderful venue.  With its rich, warm tones, exposed beams and brick, and rustic woodwork, the location is an historic gem.  Our afternoon began in the cozy bridal loft, followed by an intimate ceremony with family and friends staged in the main hall.  The highlight of the celebration just may have been Ernie's surprise piano serenade, though while we're on the subject of music, Angel City Dixieland band throttled the reception into high gear with their lively renditions. That dance floor was not empty!

Eunji and Ernie, thank you again for reaching out to me -- for your good humor, energy, and trust.   Be well!

Ceremony + Reception Venue:  Carondelet House | Coordination: Orange Blossom Special Events | Florist: Clementine Floral Works | Live Music: Angel City Dixieland | Caricature Artist: George Toons Caricature