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grant + joy = engaged!

Awwwwwww, I’ve known Joy’s family for a long time.  Her brother is my classmate and I’ve known him since elementary school.  Her older brother and I also go way back — those stories for another day!  :)  I’ve always thought of Joy as “little Joy”, you know, Ray and Brendan’s little sister.  Imagine my shock when she asked me to photograph her wedding!  Little Joy is now taller than me (like wayyyyyyy taller!) and oh so beautiful… she and Grant are just the cutest!  I also have NO idea what Joy is doing these days but she needs to be a stylist because she picked out the best outfits.  As I told her, “nice eye-popping complimenting colors but not matchy matchy”.

Ummmmm, can I say Anthropologie ad?  Love. this. picture.

I made them hike through a wild field of pokey branches to find a shady spot.  Once there, I made them move around to find the perfect light.  Right next to them was some soiled diapers and wipes.  Not kidding!

The rain held off, we had lots of fun and I can’t wait for their big day in 2012!

LaLA land!

A visit to LA wouldn’t be complete without a photo shoot with the Murakami’s.  Mama Traci has been taking care of all the Luke’s hair needs for the past 10+ years.  Way back in the day we said we’d barter services and 10 years later, the deal is still going strong.  Their daughter was my very FIRST client and now she is in the 2nd grade!  I walked her to school last week and cried when I said bye to her at the airport.  We always have fun visiting…just like old times, but with new rugrats in the picture.  It’s pretty amazing how well our kids play together.  There were times of extreme noise around the house, naked kids running away from us parents avoiding bath time and cries (more like loud screaming) when we separated them at night because they wouldn’t go to sleep!  PEOPLE, we aren’t 21 anymore.  Staying up past 10 these days is extremely hard and we need our beauty rest!  Love you guys & can’t wait to see you all again soon!

Marvin + Chong = Married! {Part One}

Okay peeps, I’m alive.  …but I’ve been on slacker (vacation) mode.  The last 2 weeks have been filled with morning to night activities including Disneyland, Disneyland, Disneyland, Legoland, Disneyland, shopping, Las Vegas, Disneyland, pumpkin patches and hanging with old friends—it’s been GREAT but I’m tired.  I need a vacation from my vacation!

Right before I left, I had the pleasure of photographing Marvin and Chong’s wedding.  I was with them from 8 in the morning to 9 at night and I can truly say it was such a great cultural experience for me, one that I am so blessed to have had the opportunity to photograph.  I got to experience/document a traditional Chinese Tea Ceremony before their traditional western wedding—how awesome is that??!!!!!  So blog world—strap in because this is Part One of a very long post.  There is just TOO much goodness that I experienced not share with the world.  Thank you Marvin and Chong for your hospitality at your homes, for being so patient to see a preview of your wedding photos while I was on vacation and for just being so gracious and kind!  It’s couples like you who make me love what I do!:)

The day started at Chong’s house where she was getting ready upstairs in her room.  Christine Gardner ( of Flaunt did her hair and makeup and does flawless work.

Downstairs, there was enough Dim Sum to feed an army.  Ohhhh my…I started to get hungry.  I mean, who wouldn’t?

I just about died and went to heaven when I saw this spread! DELISH!

Okay, this is where it got out of control FUN!  Marvin and his groomsmen knocked on the door to which the girls answered.  ”If you want to see Chong, you have to pay $9,999,999.99.  If you don’t have that, you can answer questions to bring the price down.”

Here we go…

Marvin’s expressions said it all.  I almost peed in my pants.  It was FUNNY!!!!!

“Okay, do 100 jumping jacks and we’ll let you in.”  (Silly Marvin thought this was it and he was going to see Chong)

Little did he know there were more “pick-up games” he needed to complete before he would go upstairs.  This one required picking up Chong’s name with their toes.  I secretly wanted to try.

Yeahhhh…HE DID IT!

Next…”You have 3 minutes to solve this math problem.”  WHAAAAAA?????????!!!!!!!!!!!  Inside I was really scared for him but he and his buds are all engineers so I knew it would probably be a cakewalk for them.  Me on the other hand, we’d be there for days! *sigh*

3 minutes, they were SERIOUS!

And of course they got it with a couple seconds to spare.

Marvin finally got to go upstairs and woo Chong out of her room with a heartfelt speech.

And then the tea ceremony began…

Then off to Marvin’s house!

And I’ll end Part One with this picture because it’s Chong is serving her future Mother-In-Law.  Throughout the morning, you could tell that the families were really close knit.  These tea ceremonies were so special as it kicked off the beginning of a wonderful marriage that was about to take place.  Stay tuned for Part Deux.