Well 2011 has arrived. We do wish you all the most wonderful year throughout with many memories being made and photographed!
We continue apace here. The holidays haven’t been yet!
There’s still a small backlog of work that exists from 2010, let alone what has begun already. We’ll catch up I think…
Still got a couple of things that we’ll post from last year – and still more photos from Vietnam, so that’s where we’ll begin.
This goes back to Kevin and Tracy’s actual wedding day (previous post here). The night before we’d had the family party in the countryside at Tracy’s Mother’s house.
Big street party. Lots and lots of excellent food. So many things to look at.
We drove back tot he hotel afterwards – I tended to the cameras and downloads and was quite excited by all that I’d witnessed so far. Tried to get to sleep knowing we had the 4am hotel departure but I completely failed on that account.
So without sleep I eventually got ready and waited downstairs for our driver (in the lobby of the hotel the staff also slept soundly at their different stations – it was all quite amusing to be sitting there watching that – as the big screen television blazed away with some weird Vietnamese or Chinese soap opera).
Eventually headed over to Kevin’s family house and watched as the different gifts were readied and handed to the different groomsmen before we headed back out to the Vietnamese countryside laden with people and gifts in convoy.
On the road we had the sun come up with its beautiful warm tones and witnessed the ever increasing number of bikes begin their day-to-day jostle on the streets.
At the bridal house we had the traditional gift giving and tea ceremony. Lots of talk, lots of advice, lots of handshaking and kissing, and lots and lots of gifts being exchanged before we got back in the cars with an even greater number of people and went back to Kevin’s.
There were family prayers and thoughts of the elders and lots of video being taken.
Kevin and Tracy got into their formal wear and then we went to the church for the ceremony.
Like a few other English speakers we didn’t understand a word during the 90 minute service but it certainly was wonderful to witness the language of love at work.
It was an open-sided Catholic church (no walls) and gave me lots of different shooting options so I took the opportunity (very much at family insistence too I might add – cause I normally don’t get in the way during the ceremony) to explore all possibilities.
The ceremony finished. There were a couple of family photos and then we all bundled into cars again and headed to the smaller lunch time reception (about 100 people) that was full of different sensory experiences like light, sound, dry ice, violinist, bridal girls, presentations, toasts, scupltures and more than enough of that brilliant Vietnamese food.
Now it had already been a long day by the time that finished but it wasn’t over by any stretch. Back to the hotel for a quick recharge – batteries, downloads again (and the ever present and much needed shower) and then round for the big reception at one of the big 5 star hotels in Ho Chi Minh.
Just to give some idea to the business of the day, Kevin and Tracy could really only give me 5 minutes in front of the hotel for photos of them with their car just before they got ready for the reception and all their guests. That’s really the only time we were together for anything resembling some portrait shooting (which we did get to on the subsequent days).
The reception was great. A big, full banquet room of the Vietnamese people celebrating Kevin and Tracy’s marriage.
More speeches, more cakes to cut (none of the cakes in the pictures were fake either – they were all very real and very edible), dancing, much more great food.
It was a very, very long day – the longest I’ve had while I’ve been working but it has left me with incredible memories. Certainly hope we end up with more days like this because it’s amazing to be invited into these very special days. It’s a reminder that people are infinitely wonderful and that love is a cause for celebration whether it’s a party for a new marriage or a family coming together after a period apart. Life is joyous when shared with the ones we love.
Thank you for everything Kevin and Tracy. You’ve taught me a lot.
Planning a wedding overseas or in Australia. Yes – we travel for photos!