Navin and Faika’s wedding trilogy ended with a big bang on the 3rd day…their actual wedding day. As usual, Faika looked stunning in her wedding dress. As with most Bangladeshi weddings I have photographed, their decorations are always very elaborate. The venue where their wedding was held could cater for a few events at once. The entire palace setting on the stage was constructed on the wedding day itself. The highlight of the day was when Navin and Faika looked at each other through the mirror as husband and wife for the first time.
1.5 years before their wedding, Navin and Faika spoke to me over Skype, all the way from New York city. They were planning their Bangladeshi wedding way ahead of time, and soon, we were hired to photograph their event in 2017. By this time, I have been to Bangladesh a number of times, and it felt like familiar ground once I stepped off the plane in Dhaka once again. For Jamie and Jennifer who were with me, it was their first time traveling there, so the experience was new and exciting. The moment we arrived at our hotel, we were welcomed with a gift from the couple, which included wet wipes, chanachur snacks, medication for tummy aches, mosquito repellant and more! They were so thoughtful and we felt blessed to be part of this wedding.
As part of the usual wedding celebrations in Bangladesh, there are the exchange of gifts. It’s pretty similar to our Muslim weddings here with our ‘hantaran‘ exchange between the families. But one major difference is that we do not have this giant fish which is usually decorated to represent the bride and groom. It was a huge fish, and weighed about 20kg each!
Santorini… the gorgeous island that has captured the hearts of many all over the world. There is something about the sea, cliffs and amazing sunset that makes us feel as if this is the place for romance. I was really thrilled to be invited to John and Hazel’s wedding in Santorini last month (by default since my husband Alex was invited!), but in the weeks leading up to the wedding, suddenly, I wasn’t just a guest anymore… I was their photographer! And then suddenly, Alex was also appointed as the ‘pastor’ and ‘celebrant’ (though the official Greek celebrant was present too).
That was the start of our Santorini adventure.
John and Hazel wanted an intimate wedding, with just 11 guests (including us!). When we arrived the day before the wedding, it was really windy and cold. Apparently, winter had not left this beautiful island, and most of the locals were also complaining about the weather. It rained on the wedding day (with no contingency plan), so we prayed really hard that the rain would stop…which it did! I applaud Hazel for braving the elements in her strapless gown… it was absolutely freezing that day! (I had 4 layers of clothing on, one of which included a leather jacket).
Naturally, the breathtaking view of the Caldera and the Aegean sea from the Santa Irini Chapel trumped the cold weather we had to endure.
I truly enjoyed this wedding for so many reasons, but most of all, it was a meaningful ceremony filled with love. You could see it in their eyes. The family and guests who were there truly loved John and Hazel. There were many things that happened that day (rain, flat tyre on the way to the chapel, Hazel almost falling flat on her face as she walked down the aisle) but they took it in stride. Everyone had fun, and it was a beautiful day.
I got to know Andrew through his sister, Amy Yeoh, who is a friend from my church, DUMC. Well, thanks to Facebook, we could get connected through the years, even if it was a random viewing on a status message! After I delivered my little Krysta, Jessey connected with me on Facebook when I posted that I had some sleep issues with Krysta. She was a very helpful source of information and gave me some valuable tips to assist sleeping babies… well, sleep!
It was great that I managed to photograph their cute little family in Melbourne during my holiday there recently. They chose to have their family portraits taken at the University of Melbourne since it was where they had studied in the past. It was a gorgeous day, and we had some lovely moments together, though Maddie was adamant on demonstrating how good she was at running away from the camera!
Two years ago, I photographed Georgina’s family portraits in Malacca, the town where both of us grew up in. It was a lovely time with her immediate family (and nieces & nephews) – it was cuteness overload! Fast forward to 2 years later, and now, Georgina and Stewart have their own little bundle of cuteness to raise. At the time of the shoot, Patrick was just 6 months old, and learning to suck on lamb chops as I was told, most Australian kids do! (apparently the Asian side of Patrick rejected the porridge that was offered to him, much to Georgina’s disappointment).
Anyhow, I didn’t get to witness any lamb sucking activities (though that would have been epic!) but the 4 of us headed to a little park near their home in Melbourne for some family portraits. It was a beautiful day, though the week before, Melbourne was pouring! Patrick stole my heart and I ended up photographing so many images of this little one…
Enjoy the photos!