Hi and welcome to my online home! I am a photographer located in Phoenix, Arizona. I'm married to my wonderful hubby, Jon, and we have 7 fur babies: Kitty Amazing, Baby Kitty, Petunia, and China, our cats, Hank and Seymour, our dogs, and Junichiro, our hedgehog. Admittedly, Junichiro is more of a spiky baby than a fur baby. I love travel, nutella, donuts, cupcakes, (okay just bring me all the carbs alright?), reading, green tea, soccer, dancing, and soft pillow cases. I love having you, I hope you stay awhile.
Shahida (who goes by Sabby) and Shane are so much fun to be around. The first time I met them for our engagement session, they were finishing up their pints at a bar in Heritage Square in downtown Phoenix. So of course, for their brunch wedding, there was beer, guava and mango mimosas, and a bloody mary bar. And to go with that? a delicious brunch and donuts. Okay I’m getting distracted here… But honestly this is just a reflection of their character. They love to have a good time with each other and their friends and family.
This wedding also encompassed the diversity that makes America so special. Their ceremony incorporated parts of each religion that was a part of their upbringing. Sabby’s parents are from India, and Sabby’s Mother is Hindu and Sabby’s Father is Muslim, while Shane’s family is Christian. So during their ceremony, Sabby’s Brother (who was also the officiant) honored parts of each of these religions. There was a reading from John in the Bible, a bartering of goats and sheep for Sabby’s hand (Shane only offered 3, and I’m unsure if this is a fair number or not, but everyone REALLY enjoyed this part ;)…), and to end, Sabby and Shane lit a small fire and circled it 5 times total. The first two times, Sabby led Shane while making promises, the third and fourth time, Shane led Sabby, and the last time, the couple walked together. At the end, Shane’s scarf was tied to Sabby’s Sari symbolizing how they are now one unbreakable unit, tied together.
But the most important part of the ceremony was when Jai, Sabby’s son, gave Sabby away to Shane and gave his blessing for the marriage. And it seriously makes my heart want to explode seeing Jai with Shane who he calls Abba. Jai also had a very special gift for Shane, which were cuff links with Jai’s engraved handwriting that said “best friends, Jai & Abba.” And when I took them to photograph because I could not get over how precious they were, I accidentally gave Sabby a heart attack when she went to find them and they were missing. Sorry Sabby! 🙂
The rest of the morning everyone danced to Michael Jackson and Bollywood music while the kids played cornhole and other yard games. Three children also decided to have a makeshift wedding ceremony of their own, with the three year old girls alternating between being the officiant and the bride of the little boy. I was very impressed by the amount of the ceremony the three year old officiant could recite from memory honestly…
And later when I was talking to Shane, he told me that he thought he’d never get married. But then he met Sabby. And isn’t that just how love goes? We aren’t expecting it or planning for it, and we may even think it’s not for us. But when you meet the other part of your heart, it doesn’t matter what you had planned for your life because it’s no longer important. All your plans morph into something new and even better than you could have imagined. And when you meet that person who gives you a beer during your first look, and who loves re-enacting cheesy Bollywood film poses during your portrait session, you spend the rest of your life with that person!
Venue: Venue at the Grove, Phoenix, Arizona
Caterer: Ensemble Catering