The last few months have been a whirlwind of busyness for us at Dreamlite, but we’re proud to interrupt our blog hiatus to share with you what we did this past weekend. We ventured all the way to Virginia to document Georgia + Philip’s wedding celebration, and we are incredibly excited to share with you some of our favorite frames from their big day.
From the custom dress hanger gifts to the many boxes of Chic-Fil-A, we saw this couples’ love of life (and people) evident all throughout the day. Yet, the sweetest things were those less obvious. In the short time we spent with the couple + their bridal party, we realized how authentically real their relationships were. Their sense of community + support were both subtle and loud, both Biblical and human. One of our favorite moments of the day happened right before their ceremony. Taking a more traditional approach, Georgie and Phil insisted on not seeing each other until the actual ceremony. However, they still wanted to pray together. We found a good spot for them to escape from the crowds, gave them some space, and let them pray it out. Beautiful.
For now, we’ve posted a handful of our favorite images from Sunday’s wedding. Be sure to check out our facebook page for more photos from their day. If you haven’t done so, “like” our page!! Congratulations once again to our newlyweds, Georgia and Philip.
Specials thanks to the wedding coordinator, Sokha, for carefully creating their wedding itinerary. She allotted extra “cushion” time throughout the days’ schedule, all of which we were grateful to have had. The day seriously wouldn’t have been as smooth if it weren’t for your coordinating expertise.
At the end of October, Jon had the incredible opportunity to fly to Mexico City and collaborate with his good friend / fellow photographer cohort Victor Zuñiga for an all-night wedding celebration at the Anahuacalli Museum in southern Mexico City. Originally conceived by the legendary Diego Rivera, the actual museum wasn’t completed until after Rivera’s passing.
The daytime was full of the standard preparations, but the evening… the evening was something extraordinary. To call it “one big celebration” would be an infinite understatement. After doing some portraits with the bride and groom, the formal group photos, included a few b&g creative lighting portraits, and moved on to the actual ceremonies. The first ceremony was traditional; bridal party involvement, vows, music, confetti, celebratory kisses + the signing of the marriage license. Afterwards, they conducted a ‘spiritual ceremony’ of some sort, with a spiritual figure taking the lead of this one. Didn’t completely understand this part, but I was fascinated by the environmental uplighting & completely enamored that we were photographing a Mexican wedding under the moonlight. Amazing…(oh, and the couple eventually sealed a hand-written contract with blood drops from pricking their fingers with a pin)
Then the party got started. With multiple live performances (including a few numbers by YouTube sensations TropicalForever), endless cocktails, delicious hors d’oeuvres, tequila-pumping water guns, and phenomenal dancing all night long. At some point, we lost track of time… which, coinciding with the Mexican Daylight Savings Time, we were thoroughly confused. We officially wrapped up around 3:30am (or was it 4:30am?), drove back to Victor’s apartment, and completely crashed in our respective beds before the sun had risen.
Not only was this my first wedding in Mexico, but it was also my first wedding immersed in 99% spanish. It was quite a challenge (often times, I felt lost by the fast-pace advanced conversational dialogues) but I survived. And I loved every moment of it.
Thank you to my friend Victor for an amazing, out-of-this-world opportunity to join you in documenting this wedding in your country. Congratulations also to our newlyweds, Ximena and Maicol, on your new life together!
Want to see more images? Check out + follow our facebook page. There’s a whole lot more images posted here.
He’s way tall. She’s really sweet. They met at Wheaton College, their relationship flourished over four long years, she said “yes” in March, and they finally tied the knot this past weekend in Denver.
Andrew and Valerie were joined by a multitude of loved ones as they exchanged their vows at the beautiful Hudson Gardens in Littleton, CO. Besides getting the chance to see a few old friends at the wedding, my favorite part of the day was spending the pre-wedding hours with the couple (separately, of course). Being there as their close friends encourage + pray + laugh + share tears with them are certainly special moments that really gave me a glimpse of the immense support they had for their new journey together.
Check out some of the teaser photos below from this weekend’s wedding in Colorado, and be sure to visit our Facebook page for more images.
First of all, the sheer creativity + multicultural richness + countryside charm that embodied this wedding might make you pass out.. but please don’t! Like a fine glass of whisky, we ask you to enjoy our photos slowly. 🙂
With that being said, we recognize it will be impossible to properly summarize Joel and Joanna’s celebration by words alone… and yet, we’ll do our best to highlight some of amazing moments (and people) that made their wedding day so special.
Our bride and groom’s big day took place in Arisaig, a picture perfect village nestled on the western coast of the Scottish Highlands. The morning hours were spent preparing at Arisaig House, followed by an afternoon ceremony at St. Mary’s Church, a gothic-style church dating back to the mid-19th century. Our late afternoon schedule consisted of a traditional Cantonese Tea Ceremony, followed by an awesome portrait sessions on the houses’ property. Let it be known to all our readers that Arisaig House is anything but a regular “guest house”- it’s more like a country estate/luxury B&B. To add to it’s charming allure, the house is family-owned, staffed with a full-time chef, and maintains their own onsite greenhouse. Phenomenal doesn’t even begin to describe it.
The evening dinner was incredible- delicate cheeses, (really) fresh seafood platters, garden-harvested salads, and tasty venison steaks.…And then there was the speeches. Joel’s best man gave a hilarious speech, sported a jimmy wig, and to top it all off, handed out miniature flipbook to all the dinner tables chronicling the groom’s one particular water sport mishap. If that weren’t enough to keep people laughing, Joel’s gave his own toast in Cantonese (presumably having written out the pronunciation in IPA-fashion), followed by a mini-speech in his native British-English tongue.
If we could give out awards for the coolest parties thrown at a wedding, Joanna and Joel would definitely be the front runners. The first few hours of their evening celebration was led by the Glenfinnan Ceilidh Band. They played a fantastic set of traditional folk music, all the while teaching the guests various kinds of ceilidh. When the band had finished, Joel and Joanna introduced their guests to Nigerian (Naija) hip-hop, as well as the concept of a “Nigerian Money Dance”.
As the bride & groom dances, guests may “spray” (flick currency bills ‘at’) the couple, or for the equally adventurous, may “stick” the bills onto the dancing couples’ sweaty body. Better yet, our couple even prepared their guests with wads of Nigerian Naira. Combined with catchy songs like P. Square’s “Chop My Money“, this could probably explain all the crazy dancing photos you see below. Last but not least, my favorite image of the evening? The very last photo… it’s Joel’s grandma 80-something years young showing off her moves on the dance floor to Nigerian R&B.
More details & fun facts:
The Cantonese Tea Ceremony: a proper way of honoring all the “elderly” figures in the couples’ lives (in this modern age, it’s basically anyone relative who has more years than you). After serving them tea, the couple receives gifts + plenty of words of wisdom.
Scottish Kilts– ‘Tartan’ is another name for the criss-cross patterned fabric associated with kilts. Kilts are traditional Scottish formal wear, highly regarded as the attire proper Scotsmen wear to formal events (i.e. weddings, ceremonies, funerals). In America, we often tease this practice as merely “men wearing dresses”, but in reality, it’s really fascinating. To don a kilt is to pay homage to the Gaelic culture. After having spent 11 days in Scotland, 3 days of which included wedding-related activities, I’ve certainly attained a newfound respect for this traditional practice. One really cool fact about tartans? Historically, each tartan pattern was associated with a particular warrior clan (family clan), and clans would wear a specific tartan pattern as a form of identity/family pride, much like a family crest or a flag. Therefore, people belonging to the Macdonald Clan would wear a different tartan than, say, folks belonging to the MacLeod clan.
Nigerian Money Dance– Fun fact #1 Jon spent 2 semesters of his college life studying Yoruba, one of the major languages in Nigeria. Fun Fact #2: Joel and Joanna met in Nigeria, where they both work for really cool organizations. So what better way to represent their Nigerian pride than to include a traditional money dance into their evening celebration? Other cultures around the world also include a similar form of money dancing into their wedding reception. While this is all in good fun with Nairas, more traditional couples will use this time to receive actual money for their honeymoon/future marriage, which doubles as a sort of gift receiving event.
Scottish Highlands Catholic Traditions(?)- The first look between the bride and groom happens at the end of the aisle. As the bride walks down the aisle, the groom stands facing front. He holds his hand up + out (palms up), and stays there until the bride’s hand is placed in his– this placement is done by the honorary person who escorts the bride down the aisle). It is then that the bride + groom see each other for the first time.
For more traditional Scottish Catholic wedding ceremonies, when it comes time to place the wedding bands on eachothers’ hands, you don’t simply slip the ring on your spouse’s fourth finger. The person who is placing the ring must first touch the ring to the receiver’s fingers- first on the thumb (symbolically representing the Father of the Trinity), then the index finger (for the Son of the Trinity), then the middle finger (for the Holy Spirit), and then proceed to place the ring on the proper finger. Both wedding bands are placed in this manner.
List of Wedding Vendors:
Arisaig House: luxury bed & breakfast, contact page
Glenfinnan Ceilidh Band: traditional scottish and folk music and masters of Ceilidh, facebook page
Forget Me Nots: wedding flowers, contact page
Two for Joy Paper Studio: wedding stationary (seating chart, place cards, menu, program) etsy page
Hair & Makeup Team: Catherine of Sparkle Scotland main page
Photography: dreamlite photography! facebook page
Greetings from the Western Highlands of Scotland! Joanna and Joel celebrated their marriage this past weekend in Arisaig, Scotland, in the most beautiful of settings. Never has Dreamlite experienced a wedding as culturally-diverse, laughter-filled and intimately crafted as this one. Destination wedding? Check. Gorgeous European wedding venue? Check. Incorporation of Chinese/Nigerian/Scottish/American/British wedding traditions? Check, check, check, check and check.
For now, a handful of our favorite images are shown below. Visit our facebook page to see more photos & leave us some comments. Once you’ve done that, come back in a few weeks to see more photos. Enjoy!!!!
While our lack of recent blogposts may hint at a quieter winter, we’ve actually been quite busy working on a whole lot of exciting things. While Howie and his wife are expecting a new addition to their family any day now, Jon has been spending the last few weeks in Honduras, doing documentary + portrait work with Signs of Love. In fact, this very blogpost has been written + uploaded from Honduras. Enjoy!
Never before have we seen a wedding with so many beautifully-crafted + handmade ideas infused into one wedding day. Keith and Lindsey certainly take the cake when it comes to celebrating their wedding nuptials in a very personal + creative style. Among some of our favorite things were (in no particular order):
+ Bride’s hair accessory, bridal shrug, and all the mens’ ties were handknit by Lindsey’s grandma
+ Bouquets & boutonnieres were handcrafted from the forest
+ Home brewed/bottled beers served at wedding reception by Keith’s housemate
+ Wedding & Engagement band belonged to Lindsey’s great-grandmotjer
+ Table centerpieces + ring shot included birch wood handcollected by L & K
+ Wedding ‘guestbook’ via finger prints
+ Homemade pies by Lindsey’s mother
+ Handmade, lifesized communal Crossword Puzzle for guests
+ Cedar leaves thrown by the guests at the grand exit
For a January wedding in the state of Michigan, we were certainly blessed with a mild wintry day. Their wedding ceremony took place at the Campus Chapel in Ann Arbor, MI, followed by a cozy reception at the Cobblestone Farms. We topped off the night with warm speeches, homemade pies, and a vegetarian/vegan dinner menu so delicious (thanks to Angel Food Catering) I lost all desire for meat that weekend. Four words: Butternut squash bread bowls. If that wasn’t enough to make you wish you were at their wedding, check out the square dancing/River Jordan dancing photos below.
Congratulations once again to Lindsey + Keith, and thank you for letting me be there to tell your story.
Everything lovely, refreshing, romantic and exciting wrapped itself up into this weekend’s wedding in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Below are some of my favorite images from this weekend’s wedding celebration with Keith and Lindsey. Enjoy!
(stay tuned for more images to come)
This past weekend, we had the incredible opportunity of photographing Grace and Marvin’s wedding celebrations in the coastal town of Half Moon Bay, CA. Their two day wedding celebrations included a casual, Saturday evening patio bbq followed by a Sunday brunch, both located at a cozy little bed & breakfast spot called The San Benito House. Since we were situated right by the Pacific coastline, we found some really exceptional places to do portraits. Topped off with amazing california weather (sunny and 70’s) all throughout the weekend, we couldn’t have asked for more.
Congratulations once again to Grace and Marvin, and be sure to check our blog again in the coming weeks for more photos.
In July, I (Howie) was able to go back to my alma mater and see Chicago again! However, despite the excitement of going back, I was even more excited to shoot the wedding of a good friend. We go back way back to the times in our Sunday School classes, fellowship at Youth Group, and hangouts. He is also the second in our “youth group” class to get married! With a beautiful bride and a handsome groom, I was a lot of fun capturing many awesome pictures of the wedding day. The ceremony was in a beautiful indoor south beach feel room at the Chateau. And with an elegant reception following where guests danced the day away! Below is just a glimpse of Steve and Tesh’s Guatemalan German Polish Chinese Wedding. Congratulations again Steve and Tesh and thanks again for having me be part of your big day! HC
You may recall the surprise proposal that I (Jon) photographed back in January. We’re happy to write that, as of this past weekend, our friends Steve and Tesh have officially tied the knot!!
This time around, Dreamlite swapped roles. Howie had the opportunity of photographing their beautiful wedding day, while I had the supreme honor of being Steve’s Best Man. Having seen my share of wedding days unfold through the viewfinder of my cameras, it was really refreshing to see a wedding celebration unfold through a new perspective. Instead of photographing others running errands, making calls, grabbing breakfast, joining in on prayer circles, it was finally my turn to be a part of it all. It really felt like I was giving away a brother that day. In a nutshell, being there for their wedding day was exciting, anxious, stressful, teary-eyed, and simply beautiful.
Check out the teasers photos by Howie… and to Steve and Tesh, love you guys a ton. (P.S. Tesh, I said it once and I’ll say it again, welcome to the family.)
This story begins in 2005 when I (Howie) moved to Chicago to go to Moody Bible Institute. I wanted to test fate and not specifically request specifics regarding a roommate. So not knowing what to expect, I moved into school the first day of orientation and met my roommate, Chadwick Bacon. We got to know each other very well, from me introducing him to weird smelling chinese snacks to Chad introducing me to his love of Chicago pizzas and we both shared our love for movies. Like most college roommates we shared about the girls we were interested in and girls we liked. But one night as we laid in our bunk beds talking before we went to bed (as we did most nights), he mentioned to me this girl that he was interested in named Brooke. I thought it was nice, but didn’t think that much about it. However, as the weeks went along and as I saw them interact with each other, I had a feeling that this wasn’t going to be like a Gary Grobowski and Brooke Meyers story but more like a Harry Burns meets Sally Albright story.
So my once roommate went on to find a roommate for life. I couldn’t be more happy and excited to play a part in their wedding. Here are just the teasers from the wedding. Can’t wait to post more from this wedding! HC
Here’s what you all have been waiting for… Colin and Ann’s wedding in photos, part two!
As mentioned in previous posts (see here ), Colin and Ann’s ceremony took place at Summit Adventure. The timing for the ceremony was just perfect– the late afternoon sun was descending right behind the bride & groom, making for an amazing backlight and some exciting images.
My favorite image from this set probably has to be the moment they finished walking out of the ceremony area, towards the back, and embrace for the first time as husband and wife. Although it lasted a split second, it’s one of those joyous + simplistic moments that really stick in a photographers mind. Afterwards, we escaped to Willow Creek, a natural creek/local swimming hole that sources it’s water from the Sierra Nevadas. We even had time to do some fun, old-timey, vintage-esque photos on a fallen log– one of my personal faves from the day. MUCH credit is due to the bride and groom for having excellent taste in wedding attire.
The celebration continued at the community center of Coarsegold, a historic and quiet little town right outside of Bass Lake. Music was provided by The Trespassers, a tremendously talented band very well known in these parts of California. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing them play live a few times, and their multifaceted talent encompasses the genres of rock/folk/blue grass/gypsy jazz/poetic and more, and they are 100% worth listening to.
Let’s start off with some fun facts I (Jon) thought about while putting together this blogpost:
1) About the Ceremony Location: Summit Adventure is a solid & unique outdoor wilderness ministry located in Bass Lake, CA. Participants and staff venture out into the backcountry for multi-day, life-transforming trips that include backpacking, rock climbing, rappelling, wilderness education and Jesus. International course destinations have included Ecuador, Mexico and Jerusalem.
2) I’ve only been in the women’s bathroom at Summit’s Base Camp three times in my life:
a. end-of-season cleaning in the summer of ’06
b. dying my hair RED in the summer of ’07
c. Ann & Colin’s wedding, March of ’10
3) All five groomsmen had THE EXACT SAME shoe size (and both sides of the bridal party wore TOMS shoes)
4) Don’t forget to check out the very last picture… The image screams “music album cover”, and for the record, it wasn’t my idea to pick up random tools & ice picks to pose, these guys were just that creative.
After one flight cancellation and 10 hours of traveling, Jon finally landed at the Fresno Airport in California. Upon getting picked up by some friends– you guessed it– we stopped by In-N-Out for one of their famously delicious Double-Double cheeseburgers (if you really knew Jon, you would’ve guessed correct).
Next, we headed straight to Hite Cove Trail in Mariposa County. Colin and Ann scheduled their engagement at just the right time of the year. The California poppies were blooming everywhere, and the hillsides were littered with more color than we’ve ever personally seen on the East Coast. Although the poppies weren’t fully opened (the sun wasn’t out that day), the overcast sky was just enough to grab some great color.
Included at the very end of this post are a few fun images from the wedding rehearsal. Overall, I really thought this photoset reflected the fun personalities that Colin & Ann are known for, and hope you all enjoy these.
(If you haven’t seen the teaser images, check ’em out here first.)
Greetings from the West Coast!
This past week, I (Jon) had the amazing opportunity to fly out to California and photograph my friends’ wedding. The four days I spent in California were jam packed with pre-wedding celebrations, catching up with old friends, and lots of photography.
The engagement photos were taken at Hite Cove trail near the west entrance of Yosemite National Park. Their wedding ceremony took place at Summit Adventure in Bass Lake, CA. The very last photo was taken at Willow Creek, an awesome natural swimming hole/mountain creek near Bass Lake.
These teaser photos should give you a brief glimpse of the awesomeness that were these last few days. Enjoy them for the time being! And of course, many congratulations to Colin + Ann!!
A few weeks back, Howie had the incredible opportunity to shoot a wedding in Colorado. Except for a fever, the trip was a blast. Aaron, a good friend of his from college, always used to joke about not getting a girl. Now here they are, tying the knot for everyone to see. Congratulations Aaron & Lydia!