2011 was a year full of wonderful Houston wedding photography that I was so very honored to document! When I realized that I just couldn’t fit everything I loved about 2011 into one post, I decided to break it up into several pieces. So now that Elaine & I have welcomed in 2012 with another New Year’s Eve wedding in Weimar, Texas with the fabulous Jill & Rick, I wanted to share some of my favorites from last year!
Here we go with January, February and March 2011! This quarter was filled with couples having destination weddings – in Houston! They almost all came to us – quite unusual! I still traveled a lot though, with Imaging USA in San Antonio, WPPI in Las Vegas – which included one of my destination weddings of 2011, and SXSW Interactive in Austin.
We started off 2011 with a Houston New Year’s Eve wedding ceremony & reception at the Houstonian Hotel. Cheryl & Dev live in Chicago, but returned to Houston for their colorful Indian + American wedding since Dev’s family lives here. Bonus? A nice escape from the Chicago winter! Their wedding was such a HUGE celebration, and with DJ Yogi-G spinning the music? It was quite possibly one of the best parties I’ve been to all year! His confetti canon that went off at midnight was so fabulous!
Next up was Lan & Herman’s Houston wedding. They live in Dallas now, but returned here for their wedding because Lan’s family is here. I have add that I adore weddings full of cultural traditions! They started their day off that morning with a tea ceremony at Lan’s parents’ house, where Elaine & I were immediately made to feel like part of the family as well.
After the tea ceremony, Lan and her sisters shared with us the story of how her parents met in VietNam, and how Lan’s father escaped Saigon after the fall of the city. It was so fascinating to me to hear history – things normally left to reading in books or on the news – first-hand.
We headed in to downtown for their wedding ceremony at the Houston Co-Cathedral of Sacred Heart where Lan changed into her wedding dress. Her father was so proud to be escorting her down the aisle!
My love of traditions and the meaning behind them probably came from growing up in the Catholic church. I adore a wedding mass and everything involved – so it was great that we had many Catholic weddings this year!
After the ceremony was over and we took some portraits around the Co-Cathedral, we headed to the Omni Hotel in Houston for more portraits followed by their reception which lasted well into the night!
Kelly & Sean planned their elopement around my arrival in Las Vegas for WPPI. Talk about making me feel special! I got to have a hand in helping to plan this one! Kelly is one of my closest friends in addition to being one of my associate photographers, and she & Sean decided to do something a little unconventional. After some brainstorming, we set up a Flash Flashmob wedding on the Las Vegas strip in front of the Bellagio Hotel! With 15 photographers or so as their witnesses (we were all there for WPPI), we met an officiant there in front of the world-famous Bellagio fountains where he performed a 2 minute and 12 second long ceremony! That has to be a record for the shortest wedding ceremony I’ve ever photographed! It was so much fun – and we gathered quite the crowd as people walking by stopped to watch it too!
Seconds into the ceremony, and already a crowd was gathering, cell phones out, snapping away right along with all the wedding pros! (That is Luis Godinez there on the right, Dustin Izatt in the middle, and Corey Ann just to the left of him.)
Kelly was super excited to put on Sean’s ring – her look of joy just cracked me up!
After the kiss, the crowd applauded! It was so awesome. Love makes people so happy. We took some time to take some photos with the next fountain show at the Bellagio and then headed back to our waiting Canton Limo Service, where Kelly & Sean made some new friends along the way!
It was wonderful spending the day with Lauren & Isaiah’s families — I photographed Lauren’s cousin’s Kelly’s marriage to Ted in October 2009 at Holy Rosary, and Lauren’s sister Tiffany’s marriage to Romeo on New Year’s Eve 2009, so it makes the day so fun when you already know all the parents, aunts & uncles there! (I was told that I’ve been officially made part of the family now – I’ll take that! They are the best!) Another Catholic Mass wedding, this time at Christ the Good Shepherd Catholic Church, with the reception afterwards at The Woodlands Resort.
This moment, completely unplanned, not set up or anything else, might be one of my favorites of the year. If I had to pick 10 photos only (which would be torture for me because I love so many), this would definitely make it. I can just feel the love & emotion every time I look at it.
Kate had contacted me months before their wedding, but when their wedding date changed due to a family member’s illness, I was so sad to learn that it fell on the same day as Lauren & Isaiah’s wedding. Since I was not available, they booked my associate photographer Kelly, and she did a wonderful job of documenting the day! (I still got to have all the fun of our engagement session beforehand!) Here are just a few of the ones that Kelly took of their wedding commitment ceremony & reception at Bethel United Church of Christ that I love!
The last wedding of the first quarter of 2011 was Michelle & Robert’s wonderful affair at the Sweetwater Country Club in Sugarland, and it was one where they pulled out all the stops! Planned by Pam of For Your Memories, the day was smooth as could be, and so much fun! Elaine & I could just sense the love surrounding the two of them all day, from their parents, their families and their friends. Quite the celebration! To top it all off, the decorations and flowers by Darryl & Co. were so gorgeous!
With having photographed over 100 weddings in Houston alone, I am still surprised that it took me this long to photograph one where the officiant was Minister Brian Engle, the same person that married my husband Mike & I back in 2004 in Galveston! It was a great surprise to see him there, and he did a fantastic job!
Michelle & Robert also had a multicultural ceremony – a second one immediately followed the first, full of beautiful chanting. They used the same chairs that Michelle’s parents used when they were married years ago.
After the ceremonies, they ate, drank, laughed & danced the night away!
It was so fun putting this post together and remembering the first quarter of 2011, I can’t WAIT to share more of my photographs from throughout the year! Check back soon for more!
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