As a visual storyteller, this wedding was one of the most enjoyable narratives I’ve had the opportunity to create. When I agreed to travel across the country to photograph the wedding of my friend Tinyan, I expected to focus on the job at hand without having a lot of time to socialize or get to know Tinyan, her fiance and their friends and family. I was surprised and honored to be brought warmly into the fold of the wedding activities as soon as I arrived, and to be able to bond with the bride, the groom and their wedding party the entire time I was there.
Tinyan and Robert’s wedding on August 24, 2019 took place at the stunning Gardens at Elm Bank in Wellesley, Massachusetts. The day started with a traditional Chinese tea ceremony at the bride’s home to honor their relatives. Later, Tinyan infused playfulness into the first look by having the best person, Victor, distract Robert while she snuck up behind him, eliciting an enormous smile from Robert. The ceremony itself took place outside in the gardens, where the bride and bridesmaids floral patterned dresses were accented by the many colors in the gardens.
Tinyan, who is Chinese, and Robert, who is Salvadoran, were remarkably calm throughout the entire wedding day. They were present and available- a feat that is hard to accomplish in the midst of their own wedding! I was able to communicate with them as much as I wanted and needed, both about business and about their experiences during their wedding day.
Tinyan and Robert even provided me with two “wing people” (My and Sokheang) to help me carry equipment and support me while I worked. My and Sokheang exuded the same warmth that I experienced with Tinyan and Robert, and I got to have valuable conversations with them while working. My taught me about the “Joy of Missing Out” or being present and content with where you are in life rather than mindlessly scrolling social media and feeling like you’re missing out on big adventures.
I also got to work with videographer Andy Swetz, whose personality matched the other wedding participants’ in communication and cooperation. Together, we captured the ceremony and the creative ways that Tinyan and Robert included their cultures in the reception. This included Cantonese and Bachata music, as well as a mariachi band!
Photographing a wedding is a job that leaves me feeling happy yet physically and mentally tired at the end of the day. During these events, I normally expect to stay in the background and focus on getting the pictures that best capture the spirit and story of the event. Tinyan and Robert made their wedding a different experience; one where I was able to enjoy the wedding and make valuable connections while I captured all of their treasured moments!
Videography: Andy Swetz Films
DJ: DJ El Sid
Venue: The Gardens at Elm Bank
Caterer: Peppers Artful Events
HAMU: Makeup by Minah
Flowers: Bride’s K1 teacher
Wedding dress: Essense of Australia
Wedding invitations: Yikun Liang