A few months before their larger wedding celebration, Rosy and Haj decided to formally exchange vows in the neighborhood where Haj had grown up, surrounded by some of his favorite childhood oak trees. We arrived early to the groom’s family’s property and trekked all around the tall grasses, looking for the perfect spot to host this intimate civil ceremony. I love the daring and joyful spirit that’s obviously present when it comes to planning these beautiful, marriage-focused ceremonies. Walking around with Andria of Andria Leigh Events, we chose our ceremony spot based on light and environment, something I really value whenever my couples loop me in on this level of planning.

After a few incredibly sweet “I do’s” and sunny portraits around the field, we took a short drive over to Haj’s parents’ home, where we set up for the next part of our day: the traditional Chinese tea ceremony. At this tea ceremony, both the bride and groom thanked each of their parents for having raised them and brought them together. In turn, each of the parents shared advice and well wishes for the newly married couple. These tea ceremonies are some of my absolute favorite moments at Asian weddings. I love the personal one-on-one time they provide, as well as the simple reminder of how much gratitude and familial ties mean to us.

Also – can you believe these photos were all shot around high noon?! I was worried for a moment about strong green casts and harsh shadows – the recent string of rain showers around here jumpstarted some serious flora growth – but thanks to an understanding vendor team and my handy lens bellows, I was able to utilize the available shade around to create some beautifully angled light for these portraits.

I had such a beautiful morning celebrating with Rosy and Haj and their families, and I can’t wait to reunite with them later this summer for part two of their wedding! Hope you all enjoy the photos!

Photography: Cassie Valente Photography | Planning + Coordination: Andria Leigh Events | Floral Design: Milsom & Bloom | Hair + Makeup: Makeup by Quis | Film Lab: Photovision

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"And when you appear all the rivers sound in my body, bells shake the sky, and a hymn fills the world."