ok, i have to come clean about this. it has taken me forever to actually get around to blog this wedding… i’ve been going through my head about how to find the perfect words to describe this wedding. you see, it really wasn’t just any wedding. no, this was my brother’s wedding. for those of you who may not know his, i am the fifth of seven siblings. this was the first time i had to go to one of our weddings and i’m sure you’ll understand that along with the excitement of the day i am finding it hard to let the words come out in an eloquent way. so let me start by saying that it was an incredible experience altogether.
ana and nick got married on september 13th. as tends to the case, a small herd of family and friends traveled from near, far, and everywhere between to be able to attend. it was held at the small, and i mean small chapel at the british cemetery of bilbao. they wanted to have somewhat of a tim-burton-ish theme to the wedding, so this setting was a perfect fit. the ceremony was held by rev. alberto sanchez. at home, we like to call him dad. the pianist was someone that at home we also like to call “mom”, and the witnesses are also known as “grammy” and “yaya”. So you see, this was quite the family affair. In fact, at the end of the ceremony i had to switch my cameras for my ukelele and sing a song for the newlyweds with my favourite little sidekick, my sister anna. i won’t lie, i had a hard time not crying.
after having a very intimate lunch at a fantastic local restaurant, we proceeded to celebrate in style. they had rented out a house in practically the middle of the woods, and what a house! the celebration was just taking off by two local bands playing, “blues’n’breakers” and “enkore rock”. interestingly and unfortunately enough though, the neighbours complained of the noise, so by 1 am the police showed up and shut down our concerts. but there would be no stopping this celebration. in fact, a handful of people, including yours truly, spent the whole next day enjoying the sun by he poolside. so seriously, can you see why this was the best wedding ever?
i could spend a whole day talking about all the little anecdotes and details that made this wedding one of the best personal and professional experiences that i’ve had, but instead i’ll send you off with this: ana and nick, it was an honor and a tremendous joy to have shared this day with you. i wish you the very best that life has to bring, including but not limited to a small child who you may name adina or adino. congratulations!!
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.
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!!!
the first. that’s the first thing that came to mind when i met jon, my first nephew. i honestly have been thinking about what to say for the longest time, and i’m having a hard time putting into words. it’s so strange to see my brother, the one who i would equally look up to and fight with as a kid, suddenly being someone’s father. i guess maybe i’m just getting old, but it’s a bit mind-blowing. as is just looking at and holding this little man, with his teeny-tiny hands and his incredibly large-for-his-size feet. i also have to send a huge shoutout to my sister-in-law for braving through a not-so-smooth pregnancy. i remember cancelling several plans because she wasn’t feeling so great. nonetheless, i think that it’s clear as day that it was all worth it. incredibly worth it.
world’s apart. that was once the reality between mye and miguel. her, a native of the phillipines having made pit-stops along the way, and him… just a man from bilbao. they were ecstatic to celebrate their wedding among friends and family from all over the world. the guest of honor being marcus, who had recently been uprooted from the phillipines and reunited with his mother. it was a gorgeous sunset wedding filled with tears, laughter, and the exchange of beautiful vows. and then came the party!
let me tell you… these guys can celebrate! maybe they can’t break dance, but that won’t stop the men from trying. and as for the lovely couple, you know all those people who say that long distance won’t work? multicultural relationships are doomed to fail? how about opposites attracting each other but never actually working out? yeah, well to those people i have to say mye and miguel put them all to shame.
we hit the road. when i first started talking to tani about doing a maternity session we quickly got excited about the idea of finding someplace out of town, calm, and absolutely beautiful. we found the perfect spot in noja. a nearly-deserted beach, an adjacent park, and the golden hour promising us a gorgeous sunset was definitely worth the drive. these two… they’ve definitely got a good thing going on. it was so easy to get them to be affectionate and have fun with the session because they are just overflowing with love for each other. they honestly made my job so easy and fun that i can’t wait until we get together again for some newborn photos. it’s going to be amazing!
we sneaked out. the day that i shot mylene and miguel’s engagement photos we had actually met up for a barbecue full of friends and family. we had spent the last couple of weeks trying to arrange a proper date for the engagement session but inevitably something would come up and it would fall through. so there we were, stuffing our faces with freshly grilled burgers when i mentioned that i had brought my camera “just in case.” mylene’s eyes lit up. after a little convincing, miguel agreed to an impromptu photo shoot, and we we sneaked out of the barbecue and into the woods to write down the chapter to their new story together. we will meet again in september, with vows, and flowers, and toasts with champagne… but this time everyone will know. 😉
the view was breathtaking as i drove up to the venue where sergio and esther’s wedding would take place. the etxegana hotel and spa, borders the gorbea national park and on this particular day it was a little extra bright and beautiful. it was also incredibly hot, but nobody could be bothered by the sun when they had a full day of displays of love and plenty to celebrate. i want to give a special thank you to the wedding planner, janis vallejo, for making sure we stayed hydrated throughout the day! the guests were absolutely loving the cocktails and the view and went all out for their photos, turning up with some of the most hilarious and spontaneous guest photos i have to date. and of course, the bride and groom looked amazing, in love, and relaxed during the last few minutes of sun that we had before the day was over and the night celebrations began. all in all i have to say that looking back it was an absolutely gorgeous, fun, and unpredictable day and i am glad i was there to see it!