Carla and I first met Sue and Jonathan for a client meeting, they came off as such a fun couple that it felt more like a double date than business – and that was a feeling that kept on the day of their wedding, as they danced the robot together, sang karaoke, and as tried to catch chestnuts and dates in a long narrow sheet during a Paebaek, or Korean tea ceremony.
The wedding took place at the Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica, on December 12th 2015. The weather was perfect – sunny and warm during the day, becoming cold enough for guests to comfortably gather under the heat lamps outside during the cocktail hour, retiring for dinner and festivities in the warmth of the beach house after. On a personal note, this wedding was a little more special for Carla and me for two reasons: Firstly, this happened to be Carla’s Birthday. Secondly, it was the first wedding Carla and I photographed together since we got married the month before.
The happy couple started the festivities with a First Look on the beach – and the photos of a nervous Jonathan waiting for his Bride are some of my favorites of the evening. Anyone who talks to me about organizing a wedding knows that Carla and I are huge fans of the First Look. It lets the Bride and Groom enjoy a moment to themselves, and really take in the events of the day – plus it always shows up great in the photos, and this was no exception! The sandy beach background and blue sky created a simple and beautiful palate against the white of the Brides dress, which made some great potential for black and whites. After the first look, we took family photos, to free up the cocktail hour for the newly weds could prepare for the tea ceremony.
The beach-side ceremony was accompanied by a cello and violin covering several Beetles songs, and was time along with the setting sun. The cocktail hour that followed spread in and outside the venue, and guests were treated to a truly spectacular sunset/moonrise.
The night still had some surprises and stunning visuals to come. Jonathan shared in Sue’s culture by participating a tea ceremony to honor the elders in both their families. Those family members then tossed chestnuts and dates, which Bride and Groom had to catch with a long narrow sheet – which represents how many children they will have (Chestnuts represent boys, and dates represent girls). After, the Brides grandmother performed a dance for the guests. Other touches of personality the couple brought to their wedding day were the heart shaped macaroons and mini cupcakes that accompanied the wedding cake, dancing the robot on the dance floor, and of course – group karaoke.
So, congrats to the newly weds! Thank you, Sue and Jonathan, for having Carla and me photograph your wedding! It was a beautiful blast! Check out more samples from the wedding in the gallery below!