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Welcome to our blog!  Sierra Blanco Photography is committed to creating progressive wedding and portrait photography with an artistic flair.  Our blog is an extension of our business, designed to bring you the latest in our professional and personal lives.  Enjoy and please feel free to participate by leaving your comments!

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Results tagged “Cultural Weddings” from Destination Wedding Photography - Destination Wedding Photographers, Arizona

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Aniebiet and Damien were married in a stunning two-day long traditional Nigerian wedding last May. The second day of their event consisted of the traditional White Wedding and was held at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort and Spa in Phoenix, Arizona. The couple looked amazing and the wedding wowed the crowd, especially when Aniebiet was ushered in to the ceremony on a beautiful horse and carriage. She looked like she stepped right out of a fairy tale! Aniebiet and Damien, thank you so much for having us as your wedding photographers! It was very special and we loved being a part of it!

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5-21-16 Phoenix Wedding Photographers ADWed00.jpg

Aniebiet and Damien had an amazing two-day Nigerian wedding event last May. The first day was held at the gorgeous Chateau Luxe in Phoenix and was dedicated to the traditional Nigerian wedding. It was full of surprises, including fireworks and the bride being symbolically brought from a far distance with her arrival by helicopter ... simply stunning. It was an honor to be chosen as Aniebiet and Damien's wedding photographers and we loved being a part of such a festive and beautiful event!

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Kavita and Sudeep celebrated the first part of their two-part coast-to-coast Indian wedding in South Beach, Miami, Florida.  This was a destination wedding for everyone involved and the weekend was designed for for fun-in-the-sun!

Friday evening they held a Mehndi Party and Saturday morning the held a Haldi Ceremony, all at a beautiful South Beach estate called the Orchid House.  The ceremony and reception were held Saturday afternoon and evening.  We started with a few photos at the Orchid House and then moved over to the ceremony venue at a high-rise on the beach known as the Shore Club.  Everything took place at the Penthouse of the Shore Club and it was almost overwhelming to take in.  The evening's events took place out on the patios of the penthouse and the views were out of this world spectacular.  In every direction was either beach and ocean views or stunning city views of Miami's incredible skyline.  To top it off the entire penthouse balcony was lit up in vivid shades of every color of the rainbow!  Oh, and did we mention the cake ... WOW, what an awesome cake!!

Kavita and Sudeep decided against a traditional Indian ceremony, opting instead to make it their own and incorporate many customs from various cultures throughout the world, including those of Indian culture.  It was truly a stunning event and one I'm sure their guests won't soon forget.

They concluded their Miami wedding event with a Sunday brunch at the Surfcomber.  Afetr brunch everyone walked over to the beach for a day of final day of relaxation and fun on one of the world's most famous beaches.  South Beach was a perfect destination for this wonderful couple.  Two weeks later they held a grand reception in Huntington Beach, California which you can see HERE!

We have to mention Jackie Bressler and Taylor Thomas of Jackie Bressler Events, for doing an outstanding job coordinating this entire event and pulling all the details together for Kavita and Sudeep!  They did a beautiful job!!

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VENDORS:

Ceremony / Reception Venue: THE SHORE CLUB PENTHOUSE
Mehndi / Haldi Ceremony Venue: VILLA SOBE / ORCHID HOUSE
Brunch Venue: SURFCOMBER
Event Planner: Jackie and Taylor - JACKIE BRESSLER EVENTS
Wedding Photographers: SIERRA BLANCO PHOTOGRAPHY
Wedding Videographers: CONCEPT LOUNGE CREATIONS
Wedding Cake: ANA PAZ CAKES
DJ / Lighting: THE PARTY PROS
Hair: KJ DEISGNZ
Makeup: MAKEUP MOB
Catering: WOODLAND CATERING AND PALACE CATERING
Henna Artist: HEATHER TENCH
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4-4-14 Miami Destination Wedding Photographers KSWed100.jpg

Kavita and Sudeep decided to have a coast-to-coast event to celebrate their marriage.  It started at the beginning of April in posh South Beach, Miami.  The couple wanted a location with a tropical feel that would provide their guests with a weekend full of fun and relaxation that wasn't too far off the beaten path.  South Beach was the perfect solution!

The three-day event in Miami began at a private estate nestled deep in the heart of South Beach's main strip, called the Orchid House.  Though it is in the thick of the action, you would never know it once inside the property grounds.  It was surprising how quite and tranquil the setting was ... and beautiful.  Friday evening was reserved for the Mehndi Party which featured henna artists, dinner, and several wonderful dance programs.  Kavita is a very accomplished dancer and gave an outstanding performance to wrap up the night's festivities.  The following Saturday morning, the couple took part in a festive Haldi Ceremony where a mixture containing turmeric is playfully applied to the skin by various family members for beautification purposes.  Gifts are also exchanged between family members.  The wedding ceremony and brunch the following Sunday is covered in our next posting.

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4-19-14 California Destination Wedding Photographers KSWed200.jpg

Part two of Kavita and Sudeep's coast-to-coast Indian wedding was held in California and it was spectacular!!  The first part, the wedding, was held in South Beach, Miami.  The second half included a two-night celebration.  On the first night they held a welcome dinner and mehndi party at Kavita's parent's home.  The second night was the reception and it took place at the gorgeous Hyatt Huntington Beach.  Kavita and Sudeep looked amazing, the ballroom decor was stunning, the weather was perfect and the entertainment for the evening was second-to-none!  Kavita loves to dance and is extremely accomplished, so it would stand to reason the theme for the evening was dance.  There were tango and salsa performances and the highlight of the evening were the electric performances by world-renowned dance group, Karmagraphy.  Kavita was invited to be a guest dancer with the group and she was simply flawless!!  Smita Mohindra of Ethnic Essence did a stellar job coordinating the reception!

Kavita and Sudeep, thank you for taking us along on your coast-to-coast wedding journey.  You both made us feel so welcomed as did your families and friends!  We had such a great time getting to know you all and wish you all the happiness in your future together!!

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VENDORS:

Reception Venue: HYATT HUNTINGTON BEACH RESORT
Event Planner: Smita Mohindra, ETHNIC ESSENCE
Wedding Photographer: SIERRA BLANCO PHOTOGRAPHY
Wedding Videographer: ROBLES VIDEO
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We just love this couple!  Mona and Allen held their Indian Fusion Wedding on March 29th, 2014 and the day couldn't have been more beautiful.  They started the day with the first of two ceremonies with a lovely Catholic ceremony at St. Maria Goretti Catholic Church.  After a lunch held for their guests, the couple headed over to the Doubletree Resort Paradise Valley for their second ceremony, a colorful Hindu ceremony.  After the cocktail hour the final phase of the day concluded with a fun-filled reception.  A long day for sure, but one full of joy, fun, love and most important, the blending of two families and cultures.  We just love wedding like this!

We have to thank Jo Ann Grant of Apropos Creations for doing such an amazing job planning all the details and pulling them together to provide Mona and Allen with a day they will never forget!!

Mona and Allen, thank you both so much for having us as your wedding photographers!  We loved every minute of it and hope you enjoy the sneak peak :-)!

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VENDORS:

Wedding Venue Hindu Ceremony / Reception - DOUBLETREE RESORT PARADISE VALLEY
Wedding Venue Catholic Ceremony - ST. MARIA GORETTI CATHOLIC CHURCH
Wedding Photographer - SIERRA BLANCO PHOTOGRAPHY
Wedding Coordinator - JO ANN GRANT, APROPOS CREATIONS
DJ / Dhol / Lighting - DJ ADHI, IN THE MIX ENTERTAINMENT
Floral / Mandap - ELEGANT EVENT
Wedding Cake - DOUBLETREE, HONEY MOON SWEETS BAKERY
Hair / Make Up - R SALON
Lunch Caterer - LE FOX CATERING
Dinner Caterer - DELHI PALACE
Pandit - SHASHIKANT KIRANE
Henna Artist - HENNA BY PURVI
Catholic Church Musician - SKYE HART


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Corey Schwartz:

Tina, these photos are stunning. You told their story so brilliantly. Lovely work.

(06.02.14 @ 10:34 PM)
10-20-13 Indian Wedding Photographers RPWed00.jpg
Radhika and Phat had a lovely, low-key event - by Indian wedding standards anyways:-).  Though the ceremony honored the bride's South Indian heritage, Phat is Vietnamese and thus the wedding as a whole was a joining together of two cultures, which is always beautiful to watch!
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3-23-13 Scottsdale Wedding Photographers ISWed00.jpg

Irma and Sadi are two of the most genuine people you will ever meet and they are just perfect for one another!  They were married in March at Copperwynd Resort in Fountain Hills, Arizona.  They love the natural beauty of the desert and did it ever show off for them!  The surrounding hills were bright green with the arrival of spring and the wildflowers were glorious.

This wedding was beautiful and Irma showed off three stunning dresses throughout the day, with shoes to match :-)!  The couple also took part in a Chinese Tea Ceremony.  Finally, the reception held up to the excitement of the rest of the day with a lively party and a first dance unlike anything we have ever seen before ... simply amazing!

Irma and Sadi, thank you so much for having us as your wedding photographers!  We were so honored to be a part of it!

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3-16-13 Indian Wedding Photographers SRWed100.jpg

Sabrina and Raj were married March 16, 2013 at beautiful Villa Siena in Gilbert, Arizona!  This was an Indian fusion wedding lasting three days.  On the final day two ceremonies took place, the first, Indian to honor Raj's heritage and the second, Christian to honor Sabrina's heritage.  We just love watching two families with vastly different backgrounds coming together to blend as one ... very moving.  Thank you both so much for having us as your wedding photographers.  It was an honor to be a part of this wonderful blending of culture and tradition!

3-16-13 Indian Wedding Photographers SRWed101.jpg
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3-16-13 Indian Wedding Photographers SRWed168.jpg
3-16-13 Indian Wedding Photographers SRWed169.jpg

VENDORS:

Ceremony and Reception Venue: VILLA SIENA
Sangeet and Mehndi Venue: WINDEMERE HOTEL
Lighting and DJ: HYPER PRODUCTIONS DJ'S

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3-16-13 Indian Wedding Photographers SRWed200.jpg

Sabrina and Raj were married March 16, 2013 at beautiful Villa Siena in Gilbert, Arizona!  This was an Indian fusion wedding lasting three days.  On the final day two ceremonies took place, the first, Indian to honor Raj's heritage and the second, Christian to honor Sabrina's heritage.  We just love watching two families with vastly different backgrounds coming together to blend as one ... very moving.  Thank you both so much for having us as your wedding photographers.  It was an honor to be a part of this wonderful blending of culture and tradition!

3-16-13 Indian Wedding Photographers SRWed201.jpg
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VENDORS:

Ceremony and Reception Venue: VILLA SIENA
Lighting and DJ: HYPER PRODUCTIONS DJ'S
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9-22-12 Indian Wedding Photographers VGWed00.jpg

Vim and Gem held their stunning two-day Indian wedding on their picturesque property in Sedona, Arizona, in late September 2012.  This posting is day two of the event, the reception.  We just couldn't let this one go by and not show it off on our blog.  Gorgeous!!

9-22-12 Indian Wedding Photographers VGWed01.jpg
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9-22-12 Indian Wedding Photographers VGWed14.jpg
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9-22-12 Indian Wedding Photographers VGWed28.jpg
9-22-12 Indian Wedding Photographers VGWed29.jpg
9-22-12 Indian Wedding Photographers VGWed30.jpg
9-22-12 Indian Wedding Photographers VGWed31.jpg

VENDORS:

Ceremony and Reception Venue: PRIVATE RESIDENCE
Wedding Cake: SEDONA SWEET ARTS
Catering: HEARTLINE CAFE
Wedding Photography: SIERRA BLANCO PHOTOGRAPHY
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Ricky Miller:

Incredible indian wedding photography e, beautiful photos posted, simply the best, great work you have done.

(02.13.13 @ 06:31 AM)
9-21-12 Indian Wedding Photographers VGWed00.jpg

Vim and Gem held their stunning two-day Indian wedding on their picturesque property in Sedona, Arizona, in late September 2012.  This posting is day one of the event, the ceremony.  We just couldn't let this one go by and not show it off on our blog.  Gorgeous!!

9-21-12 Indian Wedding Photographers VGWed01.jpg
9-21-12 Indian Wedding Photographers VGWed02.jpg
9-21-12 Indian Wedding Photographers VGWed03.jpg
9-21-12 Indian Wedding Photographers VGWed04.jpg
9-21-12 Indian Wedding Photographers VGWed05.jpg
9-21-12 Indian Wedding Photographers VGWed06.jpg
9-21-12 Indian Wedding Photographers VGWed07.jpg
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9-21-12 Indian Wedding Photographers VGWed13.jpg

9-21-12 Indian Wedding Photographers VGWed14.jpg
9-21-12 Indian Wedding Photographers VGWed15.jpg
9-21-12 Indian Wedding Photographers VGWed16.jpg
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9-21-12 Indian Wedding Photographers VGWed19.jpg
9-21-12 Indian Wedding Photographers VGWed20.jpg
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9-21-12 Indian Wedding Photographers VGWed26.jpg
9-21-12 Indian Wedding Photographers VGWed27.jpg
9-21-12 Indian Wedding Photographers VGWed28.jpg
9-21-12 Indian Wedding Photographers VGWed29.jpg
9-21-12 Indian Wedding Photographers VGWed30.jpg

VENDORS:

Wedding and Reception Venue: PRIVATE RESIDENCE
Wedding Cake: SEDONA SWEET ARTS
Catering: HEARTLINE CAFE
Wedding Photography: SIERRA BLANCO PHOTOGRAPHY
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11-4-12 Indian Wedding Photographers KBWed100.jpg

We knew as soon as we met with this wonderful couple that we wanted to photograph their wedding!  Kripa and Brian are just so easy-going and fun to talk to and we were thrilled when they let us know of their decision.  The two were married in a stunning Indian wedding at Bella Giardino in Phoenix in early November.  This was a long event (over 12 hours coverage) so we broke it up into two postings ... one just doesn't do it justice :-).  Every detail was beautiful and their reception rocked!  Thank you both for entrusting us to capture your incredible event.  We loved every minute of it!

We want to thank Jo Ann Grant of Apropos Creations for doing such an amazing job coordinating this event and being so flexible and wonderful to work with!  We also want to thank Sloan Ehnat for being our third shooter for the day!

11-4-12 Indian Wedding Photographers KBWed101.jpg
11-4-12 Indian Wedding Photographers KBWed102.jpg
11-4-12 Indian Wedding Photographers KBWed103.jpg
11-4-12 Indian Wedding Photographers KBWed104.jpg
11-4-12 Indian Wedding Photographers KBWed105.jpg
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11-4-12 Indian Wedding Photographers KBWed116.jpg
11-4-12 Indian Wedding Photographers KBWed117.jpg
11-4-12 Indian Wedding Photographers KBWed118.jpg
11-4-12 Indian Wedding Photographers KBWed119.jpg
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11-4-12 Indian Wedding Photographers KBWed142.jpg
11-4-12 Indian Wedding Photographers KBWed143.jpg
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11-4-12 Indian Wedding Photographers KBWed146.jpg
11-4-12 Indian Wedding Photographers KBWed147.jpg
11-4-12 Indian Wedding Photographers KBWed148.jpg
11-4-12 Indian Wedding Photographers KBWed149.jpg
11-4-12 Indian Wedding Photographers KBWed150.jpg
11-4-12 Indian Wedding Photographers KBWed151.jpg
11-4-12 Indian Wedding Photographers KBWed152.jpg
11-4-12 Indian Wedding Photographers KBWed153.jpg
11-4-12 Indian Wedding Photographers KBWed154.jpg
11-4-12 Indian Wedding Photographers KBWed155.jpg
11-4-12 Indian Wedding Photographers KBWed156.jpg
11-4-12 Indian Wedding Photographers KBWed157.jpg
11-4-12 Indian Wedding Photographers KBWed158.jpg
11-4-12 Indian Wedding Photographers KBWed159.jpg
11-4-12 Indian Wedding Photographers KBWed160.jpg
11-4-12 Indian Wedding Photographers KBWed161.jpg
11-4-12 Indian Wedding Photographers KBWed162.jpg
11-4-12 Indian Wedding Photographers KBWed163.jpg

WEDDING VENDORS:

Ceremony and Reception Venue: BELLA GIARDINO
Wedding Planner and Designer: Jo Ann M. Grant, APROPOS CREATIONS
Wedding Flowers: ELEGANT EVENTS
Wedding Cake: INSPIRED OCCASIONS
Lunch Caterer: UDUPI
Dinner Caterer: INDIA PALACE
DJ Entertainment: DESERT HOUSE PRODUCTIONS
Wedding Photographer: SIERRA BLANCO PHOTOGRAPHY
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Lianne Ohlendorf:

Beautiful photos. I like the way they were captured, really perfect.

(12.27.12 @ 01:00 AM)
11-4-12 Indian Wedding Photographers KBWed200.jpg

We knew as soon as we met with this wonderful couple that we wanted to photograph their wedding!  Kripa and Brian are just so easy-going and fun to talk to and we were thrilled when they let us know of their decision.  The two were married in a stunning Indian wedding at Bella Giardino in Phoenix in early November.  This was a long event (over 12 hours coverage) so we broke it up into two postings ... one just doesn't do it justice :-).  Every detail was beautiful and their reception rocked!  Thank you both for entrusting us to capture your incredible event.  We loved every minute of it!

We want to thank Jo Ann Grant of Apropos Creations for doing such an amazing job coordinating this event and being so flexible and wonderful to work with!  We also want to thank Sloan Ehnat for being our third shooter for the day!

11-4-12 Indian Wedding Photographers KBWed201.jpg
11-4-12 Indian Wedding Photographers KBWed202.jpg
11-4-12 Indian Wedding Photographers KBWed203.jpg
11-4-12 Indian Wedding Photographers KBWed204.jpg
11-4-12 Indian Wedding Photographers KBWed205.jpg
11-4-12 Indian Wedding Photographers KBWed206.jpg
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WEDDING VENDORS:

Ceremony and Reception Venue: BELLA GIARDINO
Wedding Planner and Designer: Jo Ann M. Grant, APROPOS CREATIONS
Wedding Flowers: ELEGANT EVENTS
Wedding Cake: INSPIRED OCCASIONS
Lunch Caterer: UDUPI
Dinner Caterer: INDIA PALACE
DJ Entertainment: DESERT HOUSE PRODUCTIONS
Wedding Photographer: SIERRA BLANCO PHOTOGRAPHY
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The fifth and final day of Ami and Jeremy's incredible Indian wedding was held at the Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort in Phoenix.  With nearly 500 guests in attendance it was truly a grand event!  We also would like to point out how stunning all of Ami and Jeremy's outfits were for this wedding.  Ami took much time putting them all together and choosing just the right accessories to compliment each one and it really showed!

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Thank you Ami and Jeremy for including us in your spectacular wedding event!  It was a true privilege.  Congratulations to you both!!
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Day four of Ami and Jeremy's Indian wedding was held on 11-11-11.  This was the official day of their Hindu wedding ceremony and in order to keep true to tradition it was held at the Shreenathji Temple in Phoenix.  Silly as it may be, we were so excited that Jeremy rode in on a horse (and a very beautiful one at that) during the baraat.  Of all the South Asian weddings we have done so far this is the first time the groom has entered on horseback :-).

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Day three of Ami and Jeremy's Indian wedding was the Garba.  It was held at the beautiful Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort in Phoenix and was a night of lively celebration and vibrant dance!

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The second day of Ami and Jeremy's five day long Indian wedding event was the Mehndi Party.  Ami loves animals, especially turtles ... a girl after my own heart :-) ... therefore her choice of venue seemed charmingly appropriate - the Phoenix Zoo!  As this took place in November, Phoenix Zoo Lights, a months-long display of holiday lights adorning every square inch of the zoo, was ready and about to open to the public and we got first dibs at seeing it!

We all had a great time wandering the zoo before the guests arrived talking shop about every animal and animal fact we knew, and we even got a few critters in the shots :-)!  Ami was later trying to tell her friends about our shared love of animals and about the mini zoo Kevin and I keep at home :-).  She said she thought we could be good friends in every day life if given the chance ... I agree!

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Ami and Jeremy's Indian wedding event took place the week of 11-11-11 and it was a stunner!!  Ami wanted to have a traditional Punjabi Wedding and pulled it off in grand style.  The entire event took place over the course of five days and was by far the longest and largest South Asian wedding we have covered!

The first day was set aside for portraits, an engagement session of sorts.  We conducted the shoot at the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix and the setting along with the beautiful sunset skies we were graced with that evening provided the perfect backdrop ... oh, and the giant bug sculptures didn't hurt either :-)!

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The final part of Bebe and Dagogo's three day Nigerian wedding event was the White Wedding held on December 17th, 2011.  It took place in Port Harcourt and it was magnificent!  Bebe wore a stunning dress designed by Enzoani, shoes by Jimmy Choo and jewelry by Swarovski.  Some of Nigeria's most acclaimed singers and recording artists were on hand to serenade the couple and Kings and Chiefs were among some of the approximately 1500 guests.  Again, we can not express enough how amazing it was to travel to Africa for this beautiful event!  Thank you both so much for having us as your wedding photographers!

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Day two of Bebe and Dagogo's amazing event was reserved for the Traditional Wedding!  It was held in their home city of Port Harcourt, Nigeria, Africa.  It was extremely interesting to see the entire day unfold.  Bebe had multiple outfit changes that were required and every item that traded hands at the main table, every piece of fabric, the lanterns, jewelry, headpieces, everything had a purpose and a meaning.  It was a beautiful day and Bebe's jewelry and all the outfits were stunning!

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We don't even know how to describe this experience.  It was an incredibly unique opportunity that we feel so blessed to have been given!

Biobele and Dagogo, otherwise known as Bebe and Dags, held their spectacular three day long wedding in Nigeria, Africa, and we were fortunate enough to be found and hired by them to travel halfway across the world to photograph it!!  Dags lives in Austin, Texas, and works with a former client of ours, Tunde (of Tunde and Neha who were married in Cancun last June.)  After seeing Tunde's wedding photographs, he contacted us and the rest is history.  Before we knew it we were on a very, very long plane ride to Africa.

I (Tina) have been to East Africa several times and was so excited to return to this beautiful continent to experience another side of it.  I do have to admit though, the more we read up on the current events happening in Nigeria, we did get a bit concerned.  We were headed to the oil-rich southern region of Nigeria known as the Rivers State.  The area is known for it's kidnappings of foreigners, mostly of those working for the oil companies, however anyone visiting the area is thought to be working for the oil companies so this put us at some risk.

Once there though, the fear faded and we found ourselves in the company of many very gracious people.  Our base was Port Harcourt, but the first wedding day took place in Buguma City on December 9th, 2011.  It celebrated the Kalabari Culture and is known as the Iya Traditional Marriage, the highest level wedding in the culture.

Due to the kidnapping danger we did not do any sightseeing during our stay, therefore most of our experiences of the area, it's people and their culture was gleaned from the wedding days.  The first day, being in a smaller city where we literally paraded through the streets, gave us our best opportunities to capture images not only of the events surrounding the wedding, but the local people and street scenes as well.  For that reason, this post is extra large as we have blended the wedding with the local street scenes as this was actually the way the day unfolded.

Coverage throughout this entire three day event was very photojournalistic with little in the way of posed photos (though there were some.)  The pace was high energy and hectic, days were long and there was a lot to cover.  In addition there were several other local photographers involved as well as several videographers, so it often felt like we were jockeying for position amongst the paparazzi :-).  By far, it was one of the most challenging weddings we have ever covered and we loved every minute of it!  We love cultural weddings - the colors, energy and heightened emotions are what we thrive off of - and to be able to photography a wedding like this in its country of origin is beyond words!  Bebe and Dagogo, thank you for trusting enough in our vision to have us travel such a monumental distance to be your wedding photographers.  We loved having a chance to experience your country and culture from an insiders perspective.  It was an experience we will hold dear to us the rest of our lives ... thank you both for that!!  Enjoy!

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Some fun photos of us taken throughout the day :-)!
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6-11-11 Destination Wedding Photographers NTWed00.jpg

We love all weddings, but among some of our favorites are destination weddings and Indian weddings.  Destination weddings for obvious reasons - we love to travel and for us, change of scenery helps keep us fresh creatively - and Indian weddings because they are so alive with color, culture and custom.  So, when I received an email back in early February from Neha explaining her upcoming multi-day Indian / Nigerian destination wedding in Riviera Maya (Cancun), Mexico, I went crazy!  I was actually visiting my family in North Carolina at the time and remember running around the house to find my mom to tell her about it!  I wanted this wedding bad!!  The icing on the cake for me was the fact that Akintunde (Tunde), Neha's finace, is from Nigeria and she said the first day would incorporate Nigerian dress and customs.  Soon after that first email we were hired and I was elated!!

My Associate Photographer, Angie accompanied me to Cancun as my second photographer (Kevin was unable to go and I was so sad he couldn't) and as soon as we stepped off the plane we knew we were in for an exciting weekend!  Neha lives in Miami, Florida, Tunde in Austin, Texas - they will be moving to Atlanta soon - and their friends and family hail from all over the US, Nigeria, and India, and they all came to meet in this stunning setting called Mexico.  This wedding did not disappoint!  Every aspect of it, from the couple and their approximately 70 guests, to the spectacular and exotic local, to the colorful and animated ceremonies, was a sight to behold!

The first day was held at the Azul Sensatori Resort and was the Nigerian Introduction and Engagement Ceremony, followed by a reception and Mehndi Party.  The other thing I really love in this world is Africa and everything African.  Though I have never been to West Africa, I have been to East Africa several times and through those journeys I was fortunate to indulge in meeting the local people and experiencing and learning of their cultures and customs.  It may sound cliche, but Africa really does get into your blood ... it did for me and I simply fell in love.  It has been a while since I was able to return and being able to participate in and witness some of the Nigerian customs of a wedding were beautiful!  For much the same reasons I love Indian weddings, I loved the Nigerian ceremony.  The colors were stunning and the sense of family and custom were strong.

The Indian wedding ceremony and trash the dress session are in the following posts.  I would like to thank Neha and Tunde for choosing me as their wedding photographer, for giving me the opportunity to experience their incredibly beautiful wedding and for their gracious nature!  It was an experience I will always hold dear :-)!

To Angie, I want to say thank you for doing such an amazing job!  So many of her photos made these postings that I didn't distinguish who took what, but her work at this wedding was stellar!  I know she would like me to ay thank you to Neha and Tunde as well ... she LOVED your wedding - and the two of you :-)!

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bolanle:

I'm so proud of ma culture.. N d comn togeda of d two cultures is really nice.. Great pictures. Weddn of ma dream

(07.08.11 @ 12:49 PM)
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The second day of Neha and Tunde's destination wedding in Riviera Maya (Cancun), Mexico, hosted the Hindu Indian Ceremony.  This day was the longest and I felt it best to break the day into two postings, one for the getting ready and ceremony and the other for the formals and reception.  The ceremony was held on the rooftop deck of the Azul Sensatori Resort ... at noon.  Did I mention it was HOT!  It was very, very hot ... and humid (the killer), but with wet towels in hand, and on head as was the case with some (including me), umbrellas held for shade, and plenty, plenty, plenty of water, everyone thoroughly enjoyed the colorful and beautiful ceremony that united Neha and Tunde in marriage!  It was beautiful!

I want to include another thank you to our Associate Photographer and friend, Angie Gomez, for traveling with me to this amazing event and doing such an amazing job as my second photographer ... you slammed it out of the park Angie ... great work!!!

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The second day of Neha and Tunde's wedding in Riviera Maya (Cancun), Mexico was very long, so we felt it best to break the posting in two parts - one for the getting ready and ceremony and the other for formals and the reception ... mostly reception.  As with the day before, this was a great reception - one giant party full of excitement and energy!  A photographer's dream!!  It rained a little, but no one minded in the extreme heat and humidity that lingered well into the night.

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I don't even know where to start with Nelda and Preston.  These are two wonderful people and we were so glad they contacted us!  Originally, Nelda had emailed us inquiring about our services for her "dream wedding."  She moved forward with hiring us and we set up there engagement shoot.  Just before that shoot would happen, the couple fell on some hard times, making their dream wedding seem a lot less attainable.  They said regretfully, they would no longer be able to afford our services and would have to back out.

 

This made us sad as we felt we had gotten to know her through our extensive email correspondence and we just felt we needed to do somehting to make this happen.  Nelda and Preston have been together for a number of years now and have two beautiful children together ... this wedding has been long in coming for them.  On top of that, Nelda had made it clear in the beginning that wedding photography was very important to her and now she was going to have to sacrifice that.  We contacted her back and offered to do the wedding at no cost.  This was her response:

 

OMG!  When I read this I just got teary-eyed and my jaw dropped to the floor!  I wanted Sierra Blanco to photograph my wedding from the start when I first saw your photos from the Monument Valley wedding.  I would love to accept your offer, but I would feel bad not repaying you this precious and wonderful gift your giving me on my wedding day.  Well, I should start saying "us", huh?  Ha, Ha ...  Thank you soooo much!  Your helping one of my wedding dreams come true!  Thankful and Happy Bride-to-be, Nelda!

 

That was all we needed to hear and the joy that was felt thoughout the wedding day was payment enough.  The wedding was a beautiful, traditional Navajo event and it was held at Nelda's parent's home in Cameron, Arizona.  The couple thoughtfully presented us with a gift basket and a beautiful Navajo Wedding Basket which we now proudly display in our living room.  Thank you both so much for the opportunity to give back!  It was an honor!  Your families were so welcoming to us and you are both a joy to know :-)!!  We are glad you finally got your dream wedding!

 

Enjoy! XOXOXO

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10 Comments Add a Comment Send To Friend
Renelda King-Sloan:

THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH TINA & KEVIN!
I am dearly thankful for the both you.
We've went through a cruel stage in our life before the wedding with bad luck & things just no working out for us, but was surely & shortly blessed to have my dream wedding, family, friends & you guys there to capture every moment & to exprience it with us. From the bottom of my heart - THANK YOU SOOOOOO MUCH! I love you guys!

Sincerely & STILL VERY Thankful,

Reneldad King-Sloan & Family

(10.01.10 @ 02:19 AM)
kim:

love em~!!

(10.01.10 @ 02:50 AM)
Jara Lynn King:

The pictures came out nice and they are so beautiful. I'm thanking you with Nelda. :)

(10.01.10 @ 04:49 AM)
Trudy Knox:

These pictures are just wonderful! you have captured the love these two have for each other...

(10.01.10 @ 05:48 AM)
LaChrisa M:

awwww these pics r sooo beautiful the best i had ever seen!!! i love it =D congrats to nelda n preston n dante n haven I love u guys and many wishes n blessings from haylie n me

(10.01.10 @ 06:10 AM)
Angela:

WOW! I love them Tina and Kevin!! Simply STUNNING as usual! Can't wait to see a peak of ours! As always, amazing work, and you two are such an inspiration!!!

(10.03.10 @ 11:49 PM)
Nelda King:

Wish I could go back to that day. :) I loved every moment. Thanks again for capturing it all for us.

(01.14.11 @ 04:22 PM)
Miranda King:

Sierra Blanco,

Ahe'he for doing this for Renelda and Preston. I am soo blessed to have seen their pictures in such way that it is beautiful and a treasure to know that it was captured in such an essence that I hope one day that I will have my day photographed in such a way. I am Nelda's cousin sister and could not make the wedding but was browsing Navajo Weddings and this popped up, and I was like, No Way. HaHa. Blessing in disguise. I appreciate and thank you for the gift you bestowed upon them by doing this for them and relieving them of some of that stress and helping to make their day beautiful. There are no words to describe the feeling of such generosity and kindness of the human spirit in times like that. In the future when I have my wedding I hope that you guys might be able to come out to New Mexico and take pictures of my wedding. Quiet a long ways off. haha. ~Miranda~

(09.28.11 @ 06:19 AM)
samantha coburn (begay):

Very Beautiful Couple, Family, and Amazing wedding. Loved the Photography, captured precious moments, and Congrats to the couple. planning our wedding. :)

(10.21.11 @ 02:24 AM)
Kendra Curley:

1st & foremost... Congrats to the both of u... WOW! These are very beautiful picutres. Thank you for sharing.

(01.06.13 @ 10:55 PM)

The last half of the day revolved around the Christian ceremony and wedding reception.  All in all, the day lasted 15 1/2 hours.  It was certainly tiring, but well worth every minute!  This was an amazing Indian wedding that we will not soon forget.  Prachie and Aaron are both amazing and accomplished people and it was a joy getting to know them over the course of those three days.  Equally wonderful were Prachie's parents and sister, who graciously invited us into there home and treated us like guests the entire time!  Thank you all so much and we hope you love the photographs!

 

I also want to give a special thanks to my wonderful second shooter, Melissa Dunstan, for her wonderful work, friendship and for sticking out for 12 hours of the wedding day :-) ... thank you so much Melissa!!

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A great shot by Melissa!
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As usual at this wedding, the kids were adorable!
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Another great shot by Melissa!
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Aaron is a very talented musician, as are his friends that you have seen in the photos above.  He wrote a song for Prachie and played it on the piano ... it was breathtaking!
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Melissa and I getting a little silly after 15 hours :-).
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Aubrey Reel:

LOVE this posting! What an amazing wedding! The photos are incredible! :)

(05.25.10 @ 05:45 PM)
Melissa Dunstan Photography:

Tina, What a great day! I loved working with you and getting to know your clients better. What a great couple! Also, I found out that I LOVE Indian dance music! It was a great day and it really didn't seem like 12 hours! You're the BEST!!!

(06.09.10 @ 11:58 PM)

Prachie and Aaron's wedding took place on the third day of festivities at the spectacular JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort in Phoenix.  This venue is amazing ... and huge!  It contains several venues spread across the expansive resort grounds.  The first part of the day was dedicated to the Hindu Ceremony.  Prachie's dress was stunning and all the details and colors were mesmerizing!  Prachie's mother is from Nepal and so aside from the Indian customs there were also some Nepali customs infused into the wedding as well.  I just loved all the pagentry, beauty and meaning that is implied in every aspect of the hindu ceremony!

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This was one of the Nepali customs, which was performed at the beginning of the ceremony.
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My ultra-talented second shooter, and friend :-), Melissa Dunstan, got this great shot of Prachie with her father behind her.
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This is one of my favorite shots of the whole event!  You can just see the love that Prachie's father has for her and how happy, yet sad, he was to let his daughter go.
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Another favorite ... Prachie was just beautiful!!
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On Friday, day two of Prachie and Aaron's Indian wedding, we again spent the day at Prachie's parent's home, this time for the Haldi, or Turmeric, ceremony.  Turmeric is a yellow spice which is made into a paste that is then applied to the bride by her family and friends during the ceremony the day before the wedding to give her radiant skin.  The Haldi was very festive, with music playing and everyone having a great time!  Following the Haldi ceremony, Prachie changed into a beautifully beaded dress and prayers began, after which guests arrived for food and the Mehndi Party, where all of Prachie's female family and friends had their henna done.

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One of my favorites!
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Look closely ... Aaron's name is hidden in the henna.
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There were so many cute kids at this wedding :-)!
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In April we had the privilege of documenting Prachie and Aaron's Indian wedding!  The wedding was a three day event filled with lots of love, laughter, color and tradition that ultimately culminated in a wedding day consisting of two full weddings, one Hindu and one Christian.  It was an amazing experience and because there were so many aspects to it, we have broken it up into four postings.  This first posting is from Thursday, the first day of celebration.  We spent the day with Prachie's at her parent's home for her Mehndi (henna tattoo.)

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2 Comments Add a Comment Send To Friend
Angela:

Wow Melissa is an amazing shooter! And of course so are you!! What a wonderful, beautiful wedding. You can feel the love radiating out of the pictures, as usual!

(05.23.10 @ 04:12 AM)
Melissa Dunstan Photography:

I love these Tina, makes me wish I had been there the whole time! Breathtaking!!!

(06.10.10 @ 12:03 AM)

Katie and Ben were married the day after Thanksgiving 2009 in a beautiful ceremony at the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North.  This venue was simply spectacular!!  The only problem was, there were just too many great spots to use for photos :-)!  Luckily Katie and Ben scheduled quite a bit of time to do their couple formals before the ceremony began.  Ben is Navajo and they did a wonderful job of mixing some of his culture's traditions into the wedding.  This was a wonderful wedding to photograph and to be a part of and we extend our best wishes to the new couple, who are expecting their first baby very soon!!  And with that, we wrap up our 2009 wedding season :-)!

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Nelda King-Sloan:

:)

(08.01.13 @ 05:29 PM)

We first met Kelly a couple of years ago when we photographed her for a fashion shoot.  I fell in love with her at that meeting.  For one, she is one of the sweetest people you will ever meet (turns out Alec is too) and two, she is one of the most beautiful ... I adore photographing her!!

 

Fast forward a couple of years, and I was so happy when Kelly called to say she was getting married and wanted us to photograph it ... that was, until she said the date - we were already booked.  We worked out a compromise though ... my best friend and wedding photographer extraordinaire from Chicago, Daniela Hood www.danielahood.com , would photograph Kelly and Alec's wedding for us and we would shoot the trash-the-dress session afterwards.  Perfect, except for the fact that we couldn't actually be a part of their wedding day.  We did get to stop by after our wedding ended though to spend a little time with them.

 

The wedding took place on November 14, 2009 at the Buttes Resort in Tempe and Daniela and Jason Hicks (the second shooter for this wedding) did a fantastic job!  Kelly is Navajo and she did a wonderful job incorporating a bit of her heratige into the wedding!

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Nelda King-Sloan:

Beautiful!!

(08.01.13 @ 05:34 PM)

Winyan and Tim were married on November 9th, 2009.  This was a monday wedding, which I must say are becoming much more popular as an alternative to the busy weekends.  We are beginning to book quite a few of these Monday weddings ... we have a couple scheduled already for 2010.

 

Winyan grew up in England.  She has the most lovely accent and she is just as lovely to know ... not to mention drop dead gorgeous!!  Tim lives in Minnesota and was equally wonderful to work with.  This was a destination wedding for the couple, thus my first time meeting them was when they were dropped off on the dusty road leading up to their ceremony site at Merry-Go-Round Rock.  Their family and friends traveled from far and wide to get to this isolated little rock overlooking Sedona, most coming from as far away as England and Hong Kong!

 

The reception was held in town at the Sedona Golf Resort.  Winyan changed into her traditional Chinese wedding dress and the two families participated in a Chinese Tea Party.  The entire reception site was decorated in row upon row of beautiful origami cranes, 888 to be exact (8 being a lucky number in Chinese tradition), and all of them were made by Winyan ... now that is impressive!!  By the way, Winyan and Tim have the most adorable son, Oliver ... you would never look at Winyan and think she had a baby less than a year ago :-) ... and he had to be the happiest baby I have ever seen!  This was a beautiful wedding full of wonderful people and we were so pleased to be a part of it ... thank you both!!!

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Winyan and Tim's baby, Oliver, had everyone laughing during the cermony as he clapped and made funny little noises :-).
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This is one of my favorite shots of the entire day ... what a beautiful scene!
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Heading down Schnebly Hill from Merry-Go-Round Rock, two cars ended up with flats ... one of the very real hazards of traveling this rocky back-country road!
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Everyone had a lot of laughs during the Chinese Tea Party ...
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... except for this one :-).
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Oliver is such a happy baby :-)!
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What a beautiful couple!!
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Payvand and Jeremy were married on April 25th at the Hilton in Chandler.  They had a traditional Persian Ceremony and it was simply breathtaking!!!  We absolutely adore photographing cultural ceremonies!  It is a wonderful way to learn about and experience the customs and traditions of other cultures throughout the world.

 

The sofreh table is the most ornate component in the persian wedding and this one was made by Payvand's mother, who did a beautiful job.  Some components of the sofreh table include the Mirror (of fate) "Aayeneh-ye Bakht" and two Candelabras (representing the bride and groom and brightness in their future) placed on either side of the mirror.  The mirror and candelabras are symbolic of light and fire, two very important elements in the Zoroastrian culture.  When the bride enters the room her veil is covering her face and when she sits down and the veil is removed the first thing the groom should see in the mirror is the reflection of his bride-to-be.  The sofreh is also decorated with a multitude of grains, nuts and spices each with it's own symbolic meaning.

 

Other notable components of the ceremony include a shawl of fine fabric held over the couple's heads by happily married female relatives and two sugar cones "Kalleh Ghand" made out of hardened sugar which are grinded together over the bride and groom's head (over the shawl held above their heads) throughout the ceremony to shower them in sugar, symbolizing sweetness and happiness.  A cup of honey to sweeten life is set on the sofreh and immediately after the couple is married they each dip a pinky finger in the honey and feed it to one another.

 

Payvand and Jeremy, let us start by saying you make an absolutely stunning couple.  It was truly our pleasure to not only be your wedding photographers but to take part in such a magnificent event.  Thank you for the opportunity!!  Hope you enjoy the photos ... there are sooo many more where these came from :-)!!!

 

Payvand's dress was Exquisite!!

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These two totally look like they belong on the pages of a fashion magazine!!!
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The sofreh table.
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I love, love, love this image!!!  Look at the womens' expressions in the mirror ... they speaks volumes!
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Payvand's sister grinding the sugar cones over the couple's heads. 
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