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.
Filipino. Polynesian. American. Seattleite. When cultures come together for a once in a lifetime wedding celebration, it is bound to be magic.
And Theresa and Christian’s wedding wasn’t just magic, it was an epic event not to be missed.
Although Christian and Theresa are already officially married, they wanted to have their dream wedding for their friends and family to enjoy. The ceremony took place at St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Seattle, Wa, with the reception at Theresa’s family’s parish of St. George in Seattle.
The entire day celebrated and honored both Theresa’s Polynesian roots, as her family is from American Samoa, and Christian’s Mother’s Filipino heritage. Between the Polynesian outfits, dancing, and Hawaiian bbq and shaved ice, this event outdid any luau I’ve ever been too.
I should back up to where it all began. Theresa and Christian met when they were both in the army. Theresa was actually on her way out of the army with Christian just entering. As soon as they met, they connected instantly on a deep level. So Theresa decided to stay with Christian, and marry him! Now, the two live in South Korea, where Christian is stationed. They originally tied the knot in the Philippines beach side, but as it was so far away, friends and family could not participate. So that brings us to the most epic party of the year.
As soon as I met Theresa and learned she’d be rocking Birkenstocks with her wedding dress, I knew it was going to be good. Because I am probably Birkenstocks’ biggest customer. How many Birkenstocks are too many Birkenstocks you might ask? And the answer is, there are never too many.
After a traditional Catholic ceremony, the couple entered the reception to a number of surprises. First, Theresa’s Maid of Honor did a beautiful hula dance to congratulate them on their wedding day. After that, Theresa’s own Mother killed it with her own Hula dance accompanied by two family members. Theresa’s Mom had all the moves let me tell you! I was absolutely loving it. Truly, to be in the midst of this was so awe inspiring!
Since Theresa and Christian have so many talented family and friends, two family members performed multiple hula dances specific to the Cook Islands and others. It was a tour through all of the Polynesian Islands.
And then, came fire. Yes, you heard me right, fire. Actually, I was standing way too close and almost got incinerated, but it was worth it. A few third degree burns will not stop me from getting the picture people! But these guys were lit! (pun intended of course). You have got to scroll through all these pictures because all of a sudden one of the dancers licked the fire, held the flame in his mouth, and LIT THE OTHER TORCH. Yes you read that correctly. IT WAS CRAZY. And yes the all caps are absolutely necessary. I mean, I can’t even figure out how this is possible. Yesterday, I destroyed my entire tongue on a chai tea from Starbucks. So licking fire is probably out of the question for me.
But the party does not stop there. Out came Theresa and Christian dressed in traditional Polynesian wedding attire. It was glorious. And here comes the best part. People threw piles of money at them. PILES. Like a rap video. I almost got trampled trying to take the pictures. #worthit. It was full of energy, fun, dancing, tradition, and I seriously could not get enough.
In fact, this entire experience is really making me regret my own wedding choices… lol
I was seriously so honored to be a part of this day and to be able to witness all of this. It was an incredible experience I will not soon forget. Watching these time honored traditions carried out for the thousandth or even millionth time gave me such pause. As an Italian (on my dad’s side)-WASPy Mut (courtesy of my Mother)-American, we don’t have a lot of traditions. The only traditions we have really are ones we created as a small family unit. So witnessing this kind of legacy had a real impact on me. I love that Christian and Theresa got to be part of this, and it existed before we were born and will continue long after we’re gone.
So enjoy this incredible photographic experience! And yes, you should be jealous. #sorrynotsorry