Following a chinese tradition, Annie and Ben began their special day by getting ready at their families homes.
I have photographed chinese weddings in the past and am use to seeing red envelopes filled with cash being given out to anybody and sometimes everybody, for this particular chinese wedding they had a whole scene of fun traditions to witness.
When our groom Ben arrived with the groomsmen at Annie’s house they were not immediately allowed to enter without displaying their interest. In order to gain entry, by tradition, they had to stuff multiple red envelopes into the mail slot for each of the bridesmaids, while the bride was hidden in one of the back bedrooms.
Once inside, Ben and his groomsmen had to endure a host of funny and somewhat embarrassing physical games, such as ‘pass the seaweed’ using only ones mouth.
For each mistake during the physical games or incorrect answer during the questions in a lightning round format they were docked a point, and as a result had to eat crackers with an unusual combinations of toppings, such as cake frosting with pickles and sriracha. Yum!
Once the bridesmaids felt they have endured enough the groom gained access to enter into various rooms of the house in search of his bride to be.
Following the bridal party shenanigans was a more recognizable tradition, a tea ceremony with the parents and family.
Then it was off to the groom’s parents house for another round of tea.
Once we arrived at Wedgewood in San Ramon Annie began touching up her hair and makeup and changed into an american style wedding dress.
A first look before the wedding is always fun…
which allows for a few more formal bride and groom portraits.
Here we used a powerful studio strobe to make a creative lighting look of both sides of the bridal party.
Under the willow tree is always a good place for unique portraits at Wedgewood.
and again here is a lit look from our powerful studio strobe. You can see the strobe does all of the work as the sun is still high in the sky during the shoot, giving the impression the end of the day is near.
I have seen this game a few times in the past and it is always funny. The groom is blindfolded and asked to feel the arms of several women and hopes he can pick out his bride.
while still blindfolded he is told to kiss the woman (he selected correctly) and in dramatic fashion they switch his bride out for another woman as he takes off his blindfold.
all of the guests erupted in laughter, it was hilarious.
After the couple thanked everybody for coming they hit the dance floor and even squeezed in an evening portrait. On this particular night the sunset was exceptionally colorful.