every once in a while a wedding comes along that just it out of the water. something so different, so exciting, so incredibly fun, that it reminds me why i do what i do. this time around, i have to thank sole and mariano for introducing the concept of wedding/music festival to me. from the first time i talked to sole on the phone we hit it off immediately. i remember we talked about music and life for well over 20 minutes before we realized we had literally said nothing about the wedding. fast forward a couple months, after their gorgeous engagement, and all the crazy wedding preparations and we find ourselves in a country home for a weekend of amazing music, ridiculous amounts of food, and a 3 day long pool party! did i mention they had an amazing band performing well into the night? all kinds of covers of classics, in a ridiculous amount of styles. by the end of the night sole and i even jumped on stage and joined the band to sing “wonder wall” by oasis. so what else could i possibly say? if you were there, these photos will take you back. if you weren’t there… i’m truly sorry you missed it!
after the storm. that’s when sole, mariano, and i met for their madrid engagement session. it was a bit nerve-wrecking to plan this session in the middle of an absolutely terrible stormy day, but we were prepared with rain coats and rubber boots, and ready to create some ridiculously dramatic rain shots. and then it stopped. of course. sun is good, we love the sun, so we ended up just having a fantastic time finding cute little corners that would mesh well with their fun and quirky personalities. i have to say i absolutely love this couple. it’s not always easy to find clients that you agree with on ideas, priorities, and the like but i’ve definitely won the lottery with these two. i am in love with this session. ahhhh! i can’t even wait until their wedding day but now that rain or shine it will turn out amazing. See you soon!
i know who you are…” she smirks and replies “well i know who you are!” these were the first words i ever remember sharing with becky. 15 years ago, we were apparently aware of each other’s existence. life fast forwarded through years of continuing to run into each other at youth group and other events. we both went to nursing school. i ended up leaving virginia and settling down in spain and she continues to live in her hometown. at some point down the road we also became friends and have seen each other go through the ups and downs of our twenties. today? we met up in virginia, again, and i got to see her as the mother she has becomes. her and enrique are a power team, parenting the cutest mexican kids in the world with their adorable occasional words in spanish. they also stare at me, seemingly skeptical that I speak the same language as their father. it fills my heart to just see this family interact and see how much they genuinely love each other. i hope that through time i can continue to see them grow and know them better.
we were surrounded. in a small fishing town with about 12 houses, just the five of us. we were surrounded by the gorgeous trees, the atlantic ocean, the fishing boats and came and went, and lots and lots of lobster cages. cynthia, brandon, and i met up in northpoint (maine) to get some family photos of them and their gorgeous kiddos, roz and ryder. we went to the family wharf and made new memories on top of old ones. rozelynn gave all kinds of sass and dramatic poses. ryder kept things super cute with that small child innocence. i love that we finished off the session with a mommy reading of “where the wild things are” on the stairs. too cute not to share, i simply surrender!
the groom’s family goes to the house of the father of the bride. tradition dictates that she must arrive in a special type of tent that is carried by a camel and guided by a man whose name must be mohammad or ali.
friends and family put on a show with intricate acrobatics atop camels and horses. The higher the male attendance the more prestigious the marriage.
afterwards the bride is carried into the house, while still hidden under a sheet, and a sac of oil and henna is thrown and burst upon the door post to the house, for good luck. she will then wait for the groom who is finally allowed back in his house. when he arrives singing and cheering accompany him into the room where his new bride awaits. everybody sings and dances while the newlyweds have their first moment alone together. the celebration will continue all night but the bride and groom will remain together.
the day after the wedding the bride is dressed in her finest clothes and goes to her new home. she then spends the day sitting on a throne while friends, family, and neighbours make way to the house throughout the day to congratulate her.
note: a while back i had the amazing opportunity to do an arab wedding in tunisia. it was quite the adventure and i got a chance to explore other cultures, set my feet in africa for the first time, and explore a bit of the sahara desert. because of the complex nature of a 3-day wedding, and because i want to make sure that i do good job documenting every little bit of it, it has taken me a while to prepare this blog post with all the necessary information. i hope you enjoy it as much as i did! 🙂
it took four days, and then they were husband and wife. the celebration starts the night before the wedding by way of a traditional reunión between friends and family at the groom’s house. interestingly enough, the groom is no longer there. in fact, he won’t return until his wife is there. the men get together outside the house and kill the animals that will be eaten during the wedding reception. the women, inside the house and always kept separate from the men, receive the animals, and prepare the meat.
day 1: the father of the bride goes to he groom´s house, where the father of the groom awaits accompanied by friends and family. the men meet in the living room where they they look through the wedding contract. the women wait outside. once the contract has been signed the music and celebration begin. when night falls, everybody goes to the bride’s house, where she will remain hidden by a sheet, and the music and celebrating continue as both men and women remain separated each on their side of the reception grounds.
day 2: the wedding takes place at the bride’s parents house. everyone gathers as they sign the wedding contract, exchange rings, and toast to the newlyweds. afterwards the groom and his friends go celebrate together for the day. at night time they continue celebrating, in the middle of the street, and everyone who wants to join in is welcome to do so. men and women sit on rugs on opposite sides with a big space in between. musicians play on the side between the two groups. and men make money offerings for the newlyweds into a dancer’s hat. needless to say, it all makes for a pretty memorable night!
murcia, spain. unexplored territory. i flew down for a weekend to photograph inma + fernando’s wedding, and to be fair i wasn’t sure what to expect. i got it all wrong from the beginning since i thought i would never need a proper jacket in the south of spain. wrong. i also thought i could just pop into a large electronics store, or into the local h&m for whatever my last minute needs might be. wrong again. but after some minor setbacks and being able to resolve them quickly, there i was, with a borrowed jacket, discovering not only the charming little cobblestone street but most importantly the love shown to me by their people. i could go on and on about this small town that made me feel like a city girl 1,000 miles from home. i will spare you the details. all i can say is the experience was unlike any other, in the best way.
the wedding day started out like many others, light rain, big smiles, and big expectations. as soon as the ceremony started though, it was a beautiful display of southern spanish culture. from the traditional choir, to paying a visit to the virgin after the ceremony, i felt somewhat like a foreigner in my own country, but loved seeing different traditions standing strong in modern days. afterwards we took to a small road for portraits, then the formal dinner, and then after many surprises, it was time to let it all go on the dance floor. my favorite thing was definitely counting on inma and fernando’s fabulous fun-loving attitudes. ready to celebrate, to display their love, to go nuts. enjoying every single second… and i guess it was contagious because so did i!
looking back on this very special wedding i am filled with gratitude for being given the opportunity and the amazing amount of honor and responsibility, by two complete strangers, to travel hundreds of miles to be the one who gets to tell their love story. and what a story! as for me, all i can honestly say are those infamous three little words: i’ll be back.
love knows no bounds. i first “met” inma while talking on the phone long distance. they called me up in bilbao all the way from murcia, where they live, wondering how keen i would be on a destination wedding. well if you’re on my blog you already know i am no stranger to flying to a wedding, so we got down to planning the details. she told me right off the bat that she was friend’s with victoria and had seen her session and immediately fell in love. she was a bit concerned that the 800 miles separating us would be too much to get together for an engagement session. well, we put our thinking hats on and came up with a plan to take advantage of my family christmas vacation in the mediterranean and sneak out for an engagement session in the gorgeous city of valencia. so there we were… far from home… writing a new chapter to their love story. i can’t wait until their wedding, but until then… enjoy the prequel!
they met in moscow, they fell in love while traveling together through 13 countries, and they finally tied the knot in lisbon, portugal. this is just a very brief description of irina & charlie’s relationship, but it also happens to be the beginning of the biggest adventure that life could offer: their new life together.
i can truly say that i am honoured to have been able to call charlie my friend for a certain number of years now. with somewhat of an odd beginning to our friendship (my sister met him online and i kept calling to make sure he wasn’t a psycho killer) that i now like to think back on as part of the fun. charlie also happens to be one of my friend’s with the biggest sense of adventure. in fact, we have had the pleasure of exploring germany, holland, and belgium together… sometimes riding motorcycles, minivans, or a snowboard/ski combo. all of this is to say that when given the opportunity to have one more adventure together, and travel to lisbon to photograph his beautiful wedding, all i could say was yes.
now, let me tell you about this wedding… there were some language barriers, there was a heck of a lot of sun, and it included indulging in some delicious pastries… and that was all before it even started!! the ceremony itself was held at the beautiful pousada castelo de palmela, pretty much the most gorgeous castle atop a mountain that overlooks the entire city of lisbon and even has a view of the ocean… and all of it draped in perfect rays of sun. it was perfection. i have to give a huge shoutout to the few and the proud… that would be the few guests that were proud to cross halfway across the world, face insanely long overlays, and even the ones that went straight from the wedding to the airport. these guys were there because they are proud to call irina and charlie friends. i can’t ignore that kind of commitment and love.
and what else can i say? russians, spaniards, portuguese, americans, and the dutch. tears were shed cigars were smoked, and memories made. i think that pretty much sums it up. and if it doesn’t, that’s what these photos are for… see for yourself!
i wanted to be in one of the photos too! 😉
congratulations irina & charlie!!!