It has been over a month ago when I shot this wedding. Lisa asked me over a year ago if I would be her wedding photographer, at the time I was skeptical. I’ve attended and photographed weddings before, but not as a wedding photographer so this made me very nervous. I knew a year ago that I didn’t have the right gear to shoot her wedding and thought this would be an opportunity for me to grow as a photographer, so I saved up. I upgraded my camera in November 2012 to a Canon EOS 5D Mark III, and the camera is amazing. I was happy with Lisa and Souwan’s wedding photos, and knew how important it was to them for me to capture their special day. It was also important for me to capture the moment.
The wedding was on Saturday, June 8th, the Laotian wedding ceremony started at 9:30am. There was a lot of preparation prior to the wedding ceremony.
It was a busy morning and relatives helped preparing foods for the wedding.
The groom was accompanied by family and friends Haih Khun Maak (parade) to the bride’s home.
Na washed the groom’s feet as a traditional ceremony.
When Haih Khun Maak approached the front door. There was a gate by the front door made with a Lao traditional style belt with vintage Lao graphic designs held at each end to block the front door. This was to prevent the groom from entering. In order for the groom to pass this gate, he has to answer several rhetorical questions, as if they’ve never met before, questions such as ‘Who are you? Who are your parents? Why have you come here? Are you here in good terms and will you be nice to us?’ and there might be more just to spice up the events. The groom then politely answers all questions to show respect, and if the bride’s friends and family are happy with his answers, he then has to pay money to enter the gate, similar to tipping the gatekeepers. (Source from my Lao Traditional Wedding post)
The two Phakhuanes were used for a wedding ceremonies called Sou Khuane. The two Phakhuanes are normally made from fresh banana leaves, but the banana leaves might not be available in all seasons, so in this case they used green decorated color paper to substitute. It was cut and folded into cone shape, and decorated with fresh flowers, and silk flowers, or plastic flowers. The bride and groom sat in front of the two Phakhuanes, then the Laotian wedding ceremony of Sou Khuane begins.
The symbolic of sting tying is for good luck and a blessing to the couple, two spirits joining as one is a big transition for both bride and groom. My dad tied a white blessing sting on the bride’s wrist called Phook Ken.
Lisa is a beautiful bride.
The newlywed couple sharing their first meal.
The couple asked respectable elders for forgiveness and blessing.
The chicken wishbone foretell the future.
Respected elders led the bride and groom to their room as part of the Lao tradition wedding ceremony.
I had the opportunity to shoot the reception area prior to the guests arrived.
The dressing room shot.
Photo shoot prior to the wedding.
The wedding went by quickly and at this point I wish I had brought my second camera mounted with a telephoto lens.
The lighting inside the church wasn’t that great, but I was able to shoot without flash.
The newlywed couple.
It was a beautiful day outside. I stood across the street to get this shot, and there were several electrical wires running across this photo. I didn’t like the look of it, and had to photoshop to remove them out. I think the photo looks so much better without the electrical wires.
Silly group shot
I waited outside the reception area to get this panning shot of their car.
The must have shot for Lisa.
The must have shot for Souwan.
The wedding reception was at an old train depot and lighting wasn’t so bad in the early evening hours.
Danny attended the wedding.
The bride and groom changed back into their Lao traditional outfits.
It’s a Lao tradition for the newlywed to offer drinks to guests.
This is my family.
The bride-groom dance.
The father-daughter dance.
The mother-son dance.
The maid of honor speech.
The wedding ended around 11:30 pm, and it was a long day. I had a great time and happy for Lisa and Souwan that everything went well.
Photos were taken with 5DMkIII, and Canon 24-105mm f/4L lens.