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Greek Orthodox Wedding in San Francisco :: Anastasia & James

Anastasia explained to me a Greek wedding tradition shown above. She wrote the names of her single friends and relatives on the bottom of her shoe. I researched this a bit more online here. I learned that the names that wore off by the end of the evening will get married soon. The names that have not worn off have to wait some more.

The koumbara, which is like a Maid or Matron of Honor, exchanged the wedding rings three times after the priest blessed them. “The exchange signifies that in married life, the weakness of one partner will be compensated by the strength of the other, the imperfections of one, by the perfection of the other. By themselves, the newly betrothed are incomplete, but together they are made perfect.” [Quoted from this website.]

The Stefana (Stephana or Stephania) are Greek wedding crowns that have been used in Greek wedding ceremonies since ancient Greece. They are linked together with a white ribbon, representing the holy union between Anastasia and James.

These crowns were the last ones made by a dear friend who recently passed away. He was also an active member of the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in San Francisco for many years, making this a very special occasion for the church and the family members of their dear friend.

On the right, James drank from the common cup, as did Anastasia.

Anastasia and James held lambathes as the priest led them around the ceremonial table, in a circle, three times. These were their first steps as a married couple. Prayers were recited to seal their union.

This was my first Greek Orthodox wedding! It was so lovely. Congratulations to Anastasia and James!

Wedding Ceremony: Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in San Francisco
Make-up: LeAnne Sims
Hair: Paul Laxton
Flowers: Edmond’s Plaza Florist
Second Photographer: Amanda Lopez

Posted on February 9, 2012

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A Rustic Indian-Filipino Fusion Wedding at Nestldown

Sharlene and Nihar planned a destination wedding in a beautiful, rustic setting. The Santa Cruz mountains brought a serene feeling that Sharlene loved when she camped with her students nearby years ago.

Sharlene asked Rachna Bhatt of Henna and Beyond to create a fusion henna design with the Ashoka Wheel and the Filipino Sun. Nihar’s name is also written throughout the intricate details.

The Nestldown house was a great place to get ready while the baraat (a celebratory bridegroom procession) took place at the barn. The guests danced to the beat of drums before heading down to the Chapel.

Sharlene’s parents wore traditional Filipino formal wear. Her dad wore a barong tagalog (bah-rohng  ta-ga-lohg) and her mom wore a terno (ter-no), a traditional Filipino dress with butterfly sleeves.

Sharlene loves dance and she is practiced in many different styles. During the wedding ceremony, she performed a surprise hula performance: Keali’i Reichel’s Maunaleo (choreographed by Keali’i as a seated hula, hula noho). It was a tribute to Nihar and Sharlene’s mothers and grandmothers, living and in spirit.

Traditionally, an Indian bride and groom exchanged var mala or jai mala, separate garlands that signify acceptance of each other as husband and wife. They also symbolize the unification of their hearts, minds and souls. Sharlene and Nihar’s wedding ceremony was a fusion of both Indian and Filipino-Catholic traditions. The garlands were connected as a wedding cord and formed a figure 8. It symbolized everlasting fidelity.

Sharlene and Nihar adapted the Sapta Padi and took The Seven Steps and Vows to pledge their commitment to each other.

Along with the exchange of wedding rings, Sharlene and Nihar offered each other a bite of Cinnabon in lieu of traditional Indian sweets. It was part of Anna Prashaan, a ritual where the bride and groom wished each other a sweet life filled with truth, sincerity and love. Neel, the Officiant, said their fate was sealed before they even met because Nihar loved Cinnabon and Sharlene used to work at Cinnabon.

The bride and groom arrived at cocktail hour on a mini train! They danced their first dance surrounded by loved ones and redwood trees.

Nihar came up with a soccer theme for the table names and seating plan. Nihar and his friends are avid soccer fans.

Nihar’s dad gave a great speech. A couple of guests found a fun way to wear their place cards/wedding favors from Dwell.

Sharlene is an elementary school teacher in New York City. Her students created flower holder covers for the reception. This one was a portrait of Nihar. On the right, Sharlene and her friends were so playful and not camera shy. These girls can vogue!

After dinner, the party continued in the barn. DJ Marky Enriquez played the jams. It was boisterous and full of fun!

And off they went into the night! Congratulations!

Sharlene’s Wedding Dress: Pronovias
Sharlene’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Hair: Jacqueline Bush
Make-up: Arlynn Santos Casanada
Mehndi / Henna: Rachna Bhatt of Henna and Beyond
Nihar’s suit and tie: Rag and Bone
Nihar’s shirt: Seize sur Vingt
Nihar’s shoes: Rachel Comey
Maid of Honor’s Dress: David’s Bridal
Flowers: Lakshmi’s Floral Design
Officiant: Neel Singhal
Wedding Ceremony and Reception: Nestldown
Wedding Reception Caterer: Continental Caterers
Shuttle Service: Corinthian Parking
Wedding Ceremony Musicians: FilAm Veterans Rondalla
Cocktail Hour and Reception Musicians: Gaucho
DJ and Emcee: Marky Enriquez
Second Photographer: Sabrina Wong

Posted on July 28, 2011

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San Francisco City Hall Wedding Photography :: Ordie & Maria

After several years of nurturing a beautiful and fun-loving relationship across the big blue Pacific Ocean, Ordie and Maria are now husband and wife! They are such sweet people to be around. I had a great time photographing them.

Realce Photography

Realce Photography

Realce Photography

Realce Photography

Realce Photography

Want someone with an artful eye for details and skillful at capturing that moment? Then work with Angie. It was definitely a pleasure having her as our photographer.  She made it so relaxing and fun.  Her personality sets you at ease while you slip into a wonderful picture-moment.  We are extremely delighted with the results and we would certainly work with her again for our other memorable occasions! Ordie & Maria

Posted on May 25, 2009

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