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Bright & Colorful Tea Ceremony at Private Estate / Lisa + Will

Will and Lisa met by chance when they became housemates in college with 6 other people while attending UC Berkeley.  On a road trip to to SoCal with their friends, Lisa drew the short end of a stick and had to stay awake to keep Will company for the 5 hour car ride home.  That car ride was very special because it was the moment that their relationship began.  They talked 5 hours non stop about their childhood and dreams and it felt like they had known each other their  whole lives.  From there, Lisa opened Will’s eyes to seafood and Asian food and Will taught Lisa about music and current events. They both decided to move to Philadelphia to pursue graduate school and that’s where they really grew into young adults together. Finally, they settled in Las Vegas to start their careers, Lisa as a dentist, and will as a lawyer.   Seven and a half years later they are taking a new journey together as husband and wife.

It was a scorching day in Las Vegas as I drove up to a private estate where I would photograph Lisa & Will’s wedding.  Petite Vietnamese women were busy in the kitchen prepping food for that day’s celebration.  Bright colors of the rainbow lined the kitchen counter in what was an amazing display of Traditional vietnamese foods.  It took me back to my wonderful childhood where food was the center of every gathering and celebration.  In Vietnamese culture food plays a major role in social gatherings.  You feed people  you love and you feed them well… spending countless hours preparing in the kitchen. So of course the first thing I was asked to photograph was the beautiful array of Vietnamese food. I happily obliged.

There were so many typical and nontypical things about Lisa & Will’s wedding day and many traditional and nontraditional elements.  The whole day was of a blending of cultures, traditions, and styles.  Asian & American traditions, eastern and western cultures, bright & bold colors against light muted tones, tropical and desert elements all wrapped up into one amazing wedding.  Of course the underlying theme to it all was LOVE.  What I love about Lisa & Will’s wedding  was that they made it their own incorporating what they felt was important to them.

After getting ready, Lisa & Will took part in a Traditional Vietnamese Wedding Ceremony otherwise known as a Tea Ceremony.  The groom’s family would come bearing gifts of food and drink to the bride’s house.  Upon entering a couple representing the groom would offer a drink before being let into the house.  After the delivering of gifts, introductions and warm welcomes were made from both sides. The bride was then brought out by her mother to be presented to the groom and his family.  Prayers to ancestors asking for blessings were done by Lisa’s parents and then Lisa and Will.  Lisa and Will then offered tea to their parent’s.  Lisa was showered with gifts of jewelry from her parents.  The happy couple then greeted all their guests and were given many gifts of envelopes to start their marriage. The ceremony ended with a big feast of all the food prepared earlier.

The second part of their wedding incorporated western american elements.  Lisa and Will changed into their american wedding clothes and headed out to their first look. We blindfolded Will so he would be able to see Lisa in her dress until it was time.  We went out to The Arts District to capture some fun photos.  We headed back and shot a few more in the empty field by the estate.  We came back to their reception where Lisa & Will exchanged heartfelt words with one another.  Lisa’s dad serenaded the couple which was one of the most memorable moments of the evening. The evening continued with dinner and dancing under the open sky lined with twinkling lights.  Despite some hot afternoon Vegas heat, the wedding was a success and the family partied in a truly Vegas way.

Photographer: Elizabeth Le Photography

Venue: Private Estate

Caterer: Cut & Taste

DJ: Harry O productions- Ernie Santos

Hair/Makeup: Amelia & Co

Florals: Whole Foods

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