Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay Wedding, Part Two
Gaurav and Anu

What a wonderful wedding this was for Jeff and me! Gaurav and Anu really outdid themselves, and we loved every minute of their off the hook Indian wedding at The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay. The dancing, the colors, the drums, the music - oh my! We couldn't help but dance (and shoot) our way through the day too, and getting a front row seat to the ceremonies and traditions was the best part of it all!

Today, we're featuring Part Two of Anu and Gaurav's wedding, and we're focusing on the intricate Hindu ceremony. But don't skip out until you've reached the end of this post because I attached a little sneaky-peek of Part Three that's coming tomorrow.  Anu and Gaurav changed into some off the hook outfits for their black tie reception, and let's just say that a handsome guy in a tux plus a gorgeous woman in a hot pink Oscar de la Renta dress on the cliffs of northern California will blow your noodles!

Alright, on with today's post - at the end of the Baraat (the groom's epic parade to the wedding with drums, music, and dancing), Gaurav and his friends and family were greeted by Anu's family and friends, and special guests were presented with beautiful garlands. This is such a sweet and emotional tradition!

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Then came the gorgeous bride with her parade.

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These are some of my favorite images of Anu and Gaurav from the day. They both look so genuinely beautiful and happy - I can feel the joy radiating from them during this moment!

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Gaurav presented his bride with a flower garland as well, and this whole ordeal totally cracked me up!

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Then it was time for the Hindu ceremonies - with a stunning backdrop of the California coast.

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At the end of the official wedding ceremony, Gaurav and Anu played a game where Anu had to untie the knots on Gaurav's bracelet (the knots were tied by the female family members of his side - ha!), and then they both fought to find her wedding band in a bowl full of coconut milk. So fun and cute!

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After the games and festivities, Anu was sent off in an emotional Vidaai ceremony where she officially says goodbye to her family. This part touched my heart so deeply - it could have been my favorite part of the entire day. It was SO sweet!

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After the newly married couple was sent off, everyone changed into their gowns and tuxes for the evening black tie reception. Gaurav was looking particularly dapper...

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But then, Anu totally stole the show in her hot pink Oscar de la Renta! Does it get any better than this folks??

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Anu's classic hair and makeup combined with her gorgeous jewelry and gown fit the evening so perfectly. I'm so happy for these two and how gorgeous they both look!

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That was just a hint of what's to come in Part Three tomorrow with Gaurav and Anu's Indian wedding (I'm such a tease, I know). We have MUCH more of Anu and Gaurav out on the cliffs of The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay posting to the blog in the morning, plus all of the elegant events from the reception inside. We'll see you then!

Hugs,
Erin


Wedding Photography : The Youngrens | Ceremony Location : The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay | Reception Location : The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay | Cake : Studio Cake | Dress : Oscar de la Renta | Shoes : Manolo Blahnik | Make-Up : The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay | Hair : The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay | Gown Boutique : Marchesa | Wedding Invitations : Wedding Paper Divas | Stationery : Wedding Paper Divas


    

Aprill Manriquez - Amazing photos! Love them!

Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay Wedding, Part One
Gaurav and Anu

If you ask the lively and energetic Anu about her love story with Gaurav, without hesitation she will joke, "Of course Gaurav was instantly floored by me..." I can't think of a better way to paint the perfect picture of Anu's bright and hilarious personality (I'm kind of in love with this girl).

But as soon as Anu begins relaying their relationship, it's obvious that she feels like the lucky one in the match. Gaurav was the smart and sensitive gentleman that she had always desired. He brought flowers to their first date, he carried her purse without hesitation, and they talked about all of the complicated topics you're not supposed to discuss right away - past relationships, religion, politics, and values. She can't put a finger on when exactly she fell in love with this ambitious and kind boy, but she woke up one day and knew that she wanted to spend the rest of her life with him.

Gaurav feels just as lucky to have such a vibrant, stylish, and intelligent woman by his side. He's constantly discovering something new and amazing about her, and he loves that he's always in for a surprise with this lovely lady. Her compassionate nature coupled with her upbeat, say-it-like-is personality brings nothing but fun to his life and joy to his heart.

They are opposites, in fact, in everything but their adaptable natures, which make them a perfect pair. Their differences reveal a deep honor for one another, and their is no stronger love than one built on a mutual, unbreakable respect for the other's beautiful heart.

Though Gaurav and Anu call Boston home, they chose to fly across the country with their closest friends and family to celebrate their traditional Hindu nuptials followed by a black tie reception at The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay. This intimate destination wedding perfectly balanced the best of both worlds - traditional ceremony followed by modern and stylish celebration. In fact, this wedding was so stinkin' gorgeous on all fronts that we have a three-parter on the bloggy blog! Woohoo!

Today, we're focusing on the pre-ceremony festivities with the morning prep, the First Look, and the traditional (and might I say - EPIC) Barat. Hold on to your hats and saris my dear readers, because you're in for a seriously delightful treat for the rest of this week! Let's begin with the ladies getting prepped in their traditional and colorful Indian saris at The Ritz salon. I knew it would be a great day when I saw Anu's hot pink Manolo's just waiting for my camera (if you think those are hot, wait until you see the stunning hot pink Oscar de la Renta gown Anu wears later in the evening...)

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I'm in love with Anu's ceremonial look with her dramatic eyes and gorgeous hair.

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Meanwhile, Gaurav prepped with his groomsmen just before the First Look.

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The First Look was so special and sweet! I'm so glad these two got to spend some quality time together to take it all in!

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One of my favorites - these two are just the CUTEST.

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The ladies and gents looked lovely and elegant in their traditional looks.

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The Barat was so perfectly epic! Gaurav rode a beautiful horse to the ceremony with all of his friends and family dancing and celebrating around him with music blasting and drums beating. I'll never forget the sheer amount of energy, and how happy Gaurav looked watching everyone have so much FUN.

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I know that today was a total teaser, but we've got two more installments coming your way this week from Gaurav and Anu's Indian wedding at The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay. Tomorrow, we'll be revealing the stunning Hindu ceremony overlooking the dramatic cliffs of Northern California, but the best is coming in the third installment when Gaurav and Anu changed outfits for the black tie reception. Ho boy - those images are definitely worth the wait!! I'm so excited to share!

Hugs,
Erin


Wedding Photography : The Youngrens | Ceremony Location : The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay | Reception Location : The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay | Cake : Studio Cake | Dress : Oscar de la Renta | Shoes : Manolo Blahnik | Make-Up : The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay | Hair : The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay | Gown Boutique : Marchesa | Wedding Invitations : Wedding Paper Divas | Stationery : Wedding Paper Divas


    

The Youngrens - Three of our favorite brides all commenting on one post? Awww. Love you ladies!

Carly Dziubla -

Jennifer Ruark Spencer - Just gorgeous! Can’t wait to see the rest!

Anu Jain - I have always said this— you and Jeff are magicians! You know how to make a girl feel like the most beautiful bride ! Love you two! xoxo Gaurav and Anu

Anu Jain - I love you guys!! Best wedding photographers ever ! :)

The Most Special Ones

Jeff and I travel quite a bit, and we truly love photographing weddings in new wonderful places, but we don't travel nearly as much as we used to.

Why? Because of our friends and community in San Diego. When we're not present, neither are our relationships with the people that matter the most to us. The people that live down the street or work across the canyon or come to grab lunch by our studio or work at the desks behind me. The ones that give everything they have to the youth they work with or the families they serve. The artsy ones. The creative ones. The ambitious ones. The people that we would do anything for and go anywhere with and raise our children alongside. No trip or flight or job could ever replace what we have with our friends at home.

But every so often we travel in order to build those friendships, and I'm thinking about this now because I'm writing this from an airplane, flying home from a trip to the east coast to visit two of my best friends from college whom I haven't seen in a couple of years (much too long). As a general rule, I must be given a good reason to spend a day on an airplane, and these two wonderful ladies are the best reason I could imagine. While I was with them, we didn't do much except talk. There were no big plans or grand celebrations. Nothing pulled me out there except that I needed to take one more flight before the turn of the year. I didn't take a camera, I wasn't commissioned to photograph anything. I just came to crash for a few days, and hear about how life is going for all of us as we turn 30. It was so absolutely perfect. What could be better than being welcomed into the intimate corners of life with old friends?

I'm also reminded of this because Jeff took a similar trip to spend time with a friend in Portland this past fall. They didn't do much except talk for a few days in a cabin in a beautiful place. They ate some good food, drank some good beer, and talked about life.

When I look back on the last year while sitting on this airplane on the final day of 2014 after turning 30 a few weeks ago, these trips make me deeply happy. My butt is sore from the seat, my laptop barely fits in the space between my gut and the seat in front of me, and my lower back is cramping up, but that's ok because these people are pretty special. The most special thing in the world really.

I've been meaning to share these beautiful film images that Jeff made during his time with his buddy in Portland, and I think today would definitely be appropriate because beautiful relationships build beautiful memories. Thank you to all of our wonderful friends for everything you are and everything you are becoming. Love you dearly.

Happy New Year friends.

001002003004005

Hugs,

Erin

    

Rancho Valencia Wedding, The Film
Gerry and Emilee

Merry day-after-Christmas dear bloggy-blog! I hope that yesterday (and today and always) was filled with immeasurable peace and joy. What do you say that we keep the Merry & Bright cheer going all the way until the New Year ok? Well, in that case I've got some more medium format film to share and these sweet images will certainly keep you cheerful as you snuggle up with your favorite blanket, a cup full of holiday tea, and some fuzzy purple socks with non-skid bottoms.

Can you tell what I'm up to right now?

Today's film goodness is straight from the bottomless vault of gorgeous that is Gerry and Emilee's wedding at Rancho Valencia. The delightful blush florals from Annette Gomez, the picture perfect backdrop of Rancho Valencia, and the flawless execution of Ever After Events make this day a dreamy dream of everlasting dreams. With a side of dream-sauce...

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Holy beans this is a gorgeous series!

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Such sweet ceremony decor! Plus, the wedding party was full of cuties!

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Don't fret dear bloggy-blog film lovers - there's still more to come from our film vault of 2014. We're sending you out of year in the loveliest way possible, so stay tuned for more film next week!

Hugs,

Erin


Wedding Photography : The Youngrens | Ceremony Location : Rancho Valencia | Reception Location : Rancho Valencia | Event Coordinator : Ever After Events | Floral Design : Flowers Annette Gomez | Cake : Elizabethan Desserts | Make-Up : Sara Stewart | Hair : Wendy McGill | DJ : Beck’s Entertainment | Ceremony Music : Joan Kurland | Gown Boutique : The Bustle Del Mar | Stationery : Watermark |