I’ve been intending to get Adi and Julian’s Huntsville state park wedding up on my blog for quite some time. I just have such a soft spot for it. I believe it may have been the smallest wedding I’ve ever photographed (if I’m remembering correctly over the past *almost* ten years of shooting weddings). They gathered with 30 of their nearest and dearest and started their lives together as family and it was intimate and sweet and relaxed and I honestly have not been able to stop thinking about how special that day was since I photographed it.

Some favorite memories I have from their wedding:

  • how Adi and Julian’s dog totally photobombed a bridesmaid photo at the hotel (please watch for this, it’s hilarious)
  • Adi + Julian’s first look in the forest — so serene, so gorgeous, so effortless and quiet
  • Their smiles. Man, their smiles all day long were so, so genuine.
  • Right after their first married kiss at the ceremony their dog was determined to be the first to congratulate the newlyweds and (totally unprompted) ran up to join in on the kissing and it was so stinkin’ cute
  • At one point in the reception I looked around the room and realized Adi and Julian weren’t there. I looked out the window and just saw them sitting together outside, looking out at the lake. I still get all kinds of feely remembering that moment. I just love the freedom they had in their day to do something like that instead of it being GOGOGODINNERTOASTSGREETINGSDANCERECEPTIONOVERBYE. Guys, that’s my favorite kind of wedding day — when a bride and groom are so in the moment, so relaxed that they can go soak in a sunset by themselves with no worries that they’re going to miss anything or need to be anywhere. Favorite, favorite, favorite.

There are honestly too many favorite memories I have to recount them all and then even if I did we’d never make it to the photo portion of this post so I’ll let the photos tell the rest of the story.

I cannot express how much I enjoy this wedding sign.

You guys, I love me some grandparents with wedding cake.

Y’all, this is every single guest at their wedding — and all in a single photo! I love it!

Adi and Julian, I will forever have a soft spot for your wedding day. Thank you so much for inviting me in to document it for y’all.

And on that note — future brides and grooms, hit me up with all the small, intimate state park weddings, please. I love em I love em I love em.

Thank you for coming back to check out the second post from Cybil + Ambika’s amazing wedding week. I really am trying my best not to inundate you with too many photos — I just have too many favorites from this wedding that it’s hard to hold back. If you missed yesterday’s post go ahead and start there (just trust me on this) and then head on back here to see glimpses of their Christian wedding ceremony and reception.

part v: Christian ceremony

Something I so value about multi-day weddings is how much more in depth I’m able to witness the relationships that matter to my brides and grooms. By the time we got to Saturday it was my third day documenting their families and friendships and of course their Great Dane, Moco. I love that. I love that I love that I love that. I love that I can tell you all of their parents and siblings names because that’s how much time I spent with all of them. Sign me up for all the multi-day weddings, please and thank you. Right now as I prep this post I’m getting all the feels looking at the photos of Ambika’s mom, Bala, helping her get ready — particularly the portrait of them looking out the window together. Literally every time I scroll to that photo my eyes tear up. Juniper and I are soooooooo taking that photo on her wedding day now hahaha. Okay and then there is a photo of Cybil’s mom and dad helping him get ready and Daizy looks up at the camera with that proud momma smile and it just slayyyyyyys me (great capture on that one to my trusty little bro and second shooter, Jacob).  Okay, I’ll stop giving play-by-play commentary now (but I might have to pick back up mid-post, I might not be able to contain myself). AND THEN THERE’S CYBIL’S FACE DURING THE FIRST LOOK OK OK OK OK I’M DONE I’M DONE.

ASIDE: I’m going to tell you the following two facts and then you’ll read them and go yeahyeahyeahcoolcoolcool then when you get to the pictures you’re not going to believe me but it’s TRUE. A friend of Ambika’s made her gorgeous veil and another friend STRAIGHT UP MADE the stained glass ceremony backdrop. STAINED GLASS. I’m going to link to all the vendors again at the bottom of this post too but I just had to tell y’all at the beginning because I’m still trying to wrap my mind around how talented their friends are.

Okay, on to the photos now, I say!

Below Cybil and Ambika are raving to their maid of honor, Melissa, about how beautiful the stained glass she made was for their ceremony is. GUYS, SHE MAAAAADE IT!!!!

Cybil and Ambika wanted to exchange personalized vows in a more private, intimate setting so they shared those after the ceremony, just the two of them.

part VI: reception

It was outfit change then so many heartfelt (and oftentimes hilarious) toasts followed by dancing galore. I am so especially tickled remembering Cybil’s sister, Sharon’s, toast and where she called out Cybil being their mom’s favorite child based off of what was cooked for each of them when they visited home. Daizy’s reaction below was all of us.

Ambika + Cybil, I’m genuinely so sad to be writing the ending to this post because I honestly just like having reasons to reminisce on what a wonderful wedding y’all gave me the gift of being invited into to document. Thank you for this honor and trust. I definitely do not take it for granted. What a privilege to document these moments for y’all. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Also — BECAUSE MY LITTLE BROTHERS BOTH TELL ME THAT NO ONE LOOKS AT BLOGS ANYMORE BECAUSE IT’S TOO HARD TO LEAVE INSTAGRAM APPARENTLY (“I want to roll my eyes right now, but the doctor says that if I keep doing it, my ocular muscles might spasm and eject my eyeballs.” – Liz Lemon) — thank you to anyone who went to the great effort of actually looking at this full post. I keep blogging in this Instagram world because I truly believe this is how my work is best viewed. I care about the story. All of it. Not just the single images that will be received best on Instagram. And maybe that makes me old. My brothers tell me it does. They ALSO told me I might as well look up websites in the yellow pages when I try to find things on Google instead of Instagram . . . well, one of them told me that and the other one didn’t know what the yellow pages even were. So.

Vendors:

Wedding coordinator: Electric Karma

Venue: CityPlace Marriott Springwoods Village

Ceremony backdrop: Melissa Graham

Catering: Bombay Brasserie

Cake: Who Made the Cake

DJ: Desi Junction

Reception Decor: Dream Decors

Video: A&A

Bridal Hair and Make-up: Blush and Glow

Henna: Paisley and Swirls

Bridal Veil: L. Viola-Vu

Wedding party hair and make-up: Makeup by Shazia

Welcome into a small portion of Cybil + Ambika’s wedding week in Houston, Texas earlier this year. They got married in late February, right before so much about all our lives changed, so it’s especially interesting to look back on this wedding week full of so many people gathered together from all over the world to share in such a joyous celebration as Cybil and Ambika joined together as family. I’ve chosen to break the wedding up into two separate blog posts since I’ll be attempting to share three days worth of wedding festivities with y’all. So buckle your seatbelts. (That felt like a real “mom” thing to type. But it’s who I am so who am I kidding?) Here we go.

part I: Haldi

Ambika’s family (and friends-like-family) from around the world filled her parents’ living room to kick off the wedding week with a lot of tumeric and a lot of love.

part II: mehendi

That same evening it was time for henna and jaggo! See if you can find Cybil’s name hidden in Ambika’s henna (hint: it’s on the inside of her palm) done by Paisleys and Swirls.

part III: Hindu ceremony

Two first looks (a tear-filled one between Cybil and Ambika and then a second surprise one between Cybil and his pockets hahaha), BARAAT (which is basically like an epic, super-fun people parade of music and dancing to kick off the ceremony — so many GIFS I’m obsessed with from this part of the day) and their first wedding ceremony.

p.s. I always love looking at/documenting the bride and grooms’ family member’s faces on wedding days — there’s so much story/emotion there that I’m delighted by as I look back through these.

part IV: Utsav

Friends and family members perform choreographed dances (like, really good ones) and then it’s dance party central the rest of the night.

Come back next week to view some photos from the final day of Ambika + Cybil’s wedding weekend!

Wedding coordinator: Electric Karma

Venue: CityPlace Marriott Springwoods Village

Catering: Dawaat

DJ: Desi Junction

Decor: Dream Decors

Video: A&A

Bridal Hair and Make-up: Blush and Glow

Wedding party hair and make-up: Makeup by Shazia

Trent waited quite some time for this day, to marry Emily Hennessy. The first time he asked her out was in high school, to be exact. The timing must not have been right because her answer was no. Years and years down the road, after high school, after college, the timing finally seemed to be right . . . until Emily put him in the friend zone. And he waited there for her, the “friend” who invited her to take swing dancing lessons with him, until she realized she loved that steady friend of hers. Really, really loved him.

Waiting, in the moment, is not fun. It’s just not. It may seem sweet when I talk about it on a wedding day blogpost, but the reality of waiting is not an enjoyable task. But some things are just worth that perseverance, right Trent? I love the look on his face in this first image as Emily looks up at him. He’s living his dream, walking hand in hand with Emily, on the day they got married.

It was a sweet, effortless day. Emily’s sister did her hair and make-up. The flower girls made up of Emily and Trent’s niece and cousins ran around the bridal suite in awe of all things bridal. Emily and Trent’s first look was flooded by the most beautiful, golden sunshine. Their outdoor ceremony was only minimally interrupted by rumbling thunder but the rain itself held off until all the guests had made their way inside after the pronouncement of husband and wife.

I particularly enjoy the sequence of the next two images — Emily looking up at the sky as the thunder rolled ominously during their outdoor ceremony followed by her looking over at her sisters all “Here we are. Let’s see what happens.”

It was here, knowing the rain would inevitably start falling soon and our original plan for sunset portraits after the family portraits would not be a possibility, that I rerouted Emily + Trent from our original gathering spot after the ceremony to that bridge just a short ways away. I wanted to pull them away even if for a single minute to allow them to soak in what just happened and give them some portraits together after they were married. What followed were some of my favorite bride-groom portraits of all time mostly because what was happening in front of me was so real. I didn’t have to say a word beyond guiding them to the bridge. They just held each other, the storm overhead growing increasingly dark. It couldn’t have been more than two minutes we were on that bridge. But every second of it was beautiful.

Because I was exposing for skin above it made the sky appear much brighter than it actually was but here are some reference photos for what it really looked like in those minutes directly following the ceremony. Then came the rain.

I’m so happy for y’all, Emily + Trent. So dang happy.

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