Last week, I sat around a firepit in my backyard in the company of a few close friends. We joked about living in multiple places and having lots of “stuff”. While Jason and Alex seem to be packrats when they were younger, I consider myself the opposite, really. I don’t like “stuff”. Throwing stuff away, donating, and recycling makes me wicked happy. We talked about being sentimental and keeping objects for the sake of memories. I’d rather forego the objects and just keep the memories. Fancy cars, expensive jewelry and useless accessories don’t excite me. I hope to live my life stuffed with priceless friendships, incredible food, lots of laughter and maybe a few happy tears.
As I was driving home from Selena and Ken’s wedding, I felt an overwhelming sense of joy for the two of them. Their day reminded me of our conversation around the fire. They were surrounded by friends, family, laughter, happy tears, and delicious food (shameless plug for some of the best favors I’ve ever seen). The two are such wonderful people individually and even more incredible as a couple. Words cannot describe how happy I am when my friends meet equally awesome people. I’ll never forget some of the beautiful words that Selena’s brother told his younger sister, in between recapping all of the horrible things that big brothers do to tease their younger sisters. I’ll also never forget Derek’s awesome best man gift during his speech, a “get out of jail free” card. Apparently, Ken is quite the monopoly expert! Ken, anytime you want to play Monopoly Deal, you’re on. I have the deck in English, Turkish and even a knockoff version from China that I bought off of eBay with lots of “extra” cards like “double sly deal”, “go to jail”, and “pay my rent”.
This wedding was a special one for me. I’ve known Selena since early high school and have followed her (mostly through the wonderful world of facebook) as she went to a university in the same town as mine and as she embarked on her entrepreneurial adventures. One of her companies even provided some of the first gifts that I gifted to my couples! When I saw that this handsome fella proposed to her, I crossed my fingers tightly that she’d contact me to photograph her wedding, because I knew it’d be filled with beauty and elegance. I love that during Ken’s proposal, he learned how to play the piano and played John Legends’ “All of me”. During their ceremony, that’s the song that Selena walked down the aisle to. It was a beautiful touch. I was SO honored to be there for these two, alongside some of my awesome friends, Adrienne and Liz of Gracie Lou Events!
A message from my lovely assistant, Ana-Maria:
Selena’s four-legged friend, Trooper, greeted me before I could even enter the room in which she was getting prepared. Her dog, however, did not leave her for long. He curled up in her comfort of her lap while her hair and makeup were being done, and continued to follow her throughout the day in his doggy tux. While Derek, the Best Man, tied each of the men’s bowties, the men laughed and joked about he challenge the bridesmaids were soon going to present them with.
As soon as they got out of the elevator, the bridesmaids put the groomsmen to work. They had to do 20 pushups each, find exactly $199.99, and say ‘I love you’ in multiple languages. After Ken completed the task of writing a Haiku for Selena, he finally got to see his bride. Multiple outfit changes, tea ceremonies, and a walk down the aisle later, Ken and Selena finally said ‘I do’ amidst clouds of iridescent bubbles. “Ken, I like the tux, but I’m going to have to say Selena stole the show today” one of Ken’s friends told him as walked from table to table toasting his guests after dinner. Ken’s friend was right. Selena looked phenomenal.
This is my favorite portrait that I’ve ever created at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Boston!