It's always so interesting to me how couples find me. I very briefly met Polina's sister Ava at a photography conference in early 2012, so when I got an email from Polina saying that Ava had referred me, I thought that was the coolest thing! Polina and Lidat hired me to photograph their wedding which began in the morning with two separate tea ceremonies followed by a ceremony at the LA Arboretum. Their wedding was a great mix of cultures - Polina being Bulgarian and Lidat being Vietnamese. One of my favorite stories from the day was how Polina's grandfather made a bottle of Grappa, a strong type of liquor, when Polina was born. The bottle was saved and to be opened and served on her wedding day. The first taste was when Polina's dad brought it upstairs while Polina was getting ready and it was then served by Polina and Lidat throughout the reception. Another fun tradition were the games that were played by the bridesmaids and groomsman. I'm sure I'm not explaining it correctly, but first the groom and groomsman had to bring their offerings and gifts in order to be allowed inside the home. Lidat dug through his pockets and offered up some cash and the keys to his car ;) Then, Lidat had to volunteer one of his groomsman to be "beautified" by the other gents. All of us were laughing so hard that our sides hurt! Lastly, Lidat had to volunteer two other guys to act out a love story, which they did beautifully and with conviction (to more laughs of course!)
When my travels take me to new places and new venues, this case to the gorgeous Arboretum in Los Angeles (well, technically Arcadia), I always feel so grateful to my couples. Thank you for flying this Seattle photographer down to beautiful Southern California for such a fun wedding day!