Category: Weddings-Destination

Serena & Marco – Italy Wedding

Pinch me. I still can’t believe I got to photograph a wedding in Italy. It’s one place I can never stay away from for long so when Serena left a sweet comment on one of my blog posts saying how she was from Italy, getting married in September and loved my work, I contacted her straight away to ask her if she had hired a photographer yet. She happened to be getting married on one of my last dates available for the season and pretty soon I had my flights booked! I knew we were going to get along great the first time I talked to Serena and Marco on Skype and we couldn’t stop laughing. That prediction turned out to be true. Serena and Marco are literally two of the most sincerely kind and generous people I have ever met. The first night I arrived in Italy, Serena said to me, “While you are in Italy, this is your home and we are your family.” She meant it. They, along with their friends and family, embraced me as one of their own for my week in the cute little town of Spoltore in Abruzzo Italy. Serena’s parents had me over for lunch my first day (pesto made by Mimina- buonissimo!) and it didn’t stop there. Friends of Serena and Marco took me on day trips around the area and to awesome restaurants. I’ll be doing a blog post on all that sometime in the coming months, so stay tuned!

The whole wedding was so unique, heartfelt and beautiful. Serena and Marco had their wedding ceremony at an amazing old abbey built in 1007 called San Liberatore a Maiella, in Abruzzo, Italy. The first time we walked in, I was speechless. We had gotten a key, the length of my forearm, from the priest, who was partaking in a festival in a nearby town, and when we walked in, it was completely empty and silent. Amazing. It is the most beautiful setting I have ever photographed a ceremony at, hands down.

We did the wedding portraits in the incredible, magical forest behind the abbey. I have no words for that place. I wanted to stay there all day. It feels like you have stepped into a Renaissance painting when you come into the clearing where we took the photos. If fairies and elves had appeared, I wouldn’t have batted an eye. A crystal clear stream ran through the place that Marco said you can drink from. I really must return there someday and spend a whole day there.

Once our short window for portraits was finished, Serena and Marco hopped in a cute orange VW beetle they had rented, and I, with the videographer, followed behind to the Maria Donata villa where the reception was held. As they pulled up, they were blasted with confetti cannons which set the tone for the fun night ahead. ; ) A big white tent was set up on the grass, with tables underneath and blankets on the outskirts, to encourage a picnic-like atmosphere. Even the wedding favours were cute little picnic baskets with jam and confetti (an edible candy-covered almond, native to the area) inside. There was an amazing buffet lunch with several courses.

It didn’t take long before the dancing started. So fun!! Italians definitely know how to have a good time. When my time for the day had finished, I got to put my camera away and join in the fun. When it got dark, they launched about 30 floating lanterns into the sky. Definitely one of the highlights for me – I had always wanted to witness a floating lantern launch. They floated so high into the sky. One was let go a little early and started to float down towards the roof, but one of the guests saved the day with some mighty strong blowing and it soared up over the roof and into the night. ; )

I can’t thank Serena and Marco and their wonderful family and friends enough for getting to be a part of such an amazing day with such a fantastic group of people. I will never forget it and I know I will remain friends with these two for many many years to come. Serena and Marco have such a special love for each other and it was so touching to photograph them during their ceremony. The whole thing was in Italian and I still cried just because I could see how heartfelt, spiritual and full of love it was for them. Their hearts just shone on their faces. Bellissima. Grazie mille per tutti Serena e Marco!!

 

“Aiuto” means “help” in Italian. hehe. Cute.

If you look at the bottom left photo you’ll notice that 2 of the caterers (the girl and guy wearing aprons) joined in with the dancing. haha- I love it! I put my camera down and danced as well. fun times. The guy in the maroon apron kicked butt at limbo later.

A floating lantern launch. Oh…my…goodness. It was amazing and beautiful and I loved every second. One of my favourite moments of the whole trip.

Me, feeling the love in a hug sandwich. : )

 

I have to include a few photos from two days before the wedding when Marco, and friends, surprised Serena at their home at 11:30pm to serenade her. It’s an old Italian tradition that not many people do anymore, but being the romantic that he is, Marco secretly planned the surprise. It was my second night in Italy and despite being jet-lagged, there was no way I was going to miss it! A mandolin player and two guitar players (one of them, Serena’s father, Giovanni) arrived at midnight to join in and take over the music. Neighbours came out of their homes to enjoy the festivities and it was a little celebration in the street. It was beautiful and I was really touched witnessing it all.

 

 

Mayan Riviera Wedding ~ Natasha & Dave

I really can’t say enough what a fantastic time I had on Natasha and Dave’s destination wedding! My good friend Danielle, who second shoots for me sometimes, came with me for the week. One of the unique things about a destination wedding is, even though most of the week I’m off doing my own thing, I end up spending a lot more time with the bride and groom than I would usually get to with a local wedding couple since we’re at the same resort for a week. Natasha and Dave were so incredibly nice and inclusive to me & Danielle – they are one of the sweetest, funnest couples I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. Their wedding party and guests were absolutely awesome as well! I couldn’t have asked for a better group.

Their wedding was at Dreams Tulum Resort in Mayan Riviera, Mexico. Dreams Tulum Resort was so amazing! The food was incredible, there was FREE room service, the staff was super friendly and helpful and the resort was just so gorgeous! I loved the fun little blue church they had on the property as an alternative to getting married on the beach. Natasha and Dave had their reception on a Catamaya Catamaran which was sooo beautiful! Once I got the hang of balancing while looking through a camera, it was an exhilarating ride with the wind whipping past you as the boat calmly swayed up and down over the waves. Poor Danielle was feeling seasick the whole trip. I was more like a dog sticking it’s head out the back window- I loved every minute of it! The Catamaran crew got some of the guys, including Dave, to help raise the sails and pretty soon music was blasting and people were dancing and having a great time. After the Catamaran excursion, everyone headed back to Dreams Tulum Resort for cake cutting, speeches and some dancing on the beach.

Natasha and Dave, thank you again for including me on this adventure with you guys. You two are perfect for each other and I know you have a life full of love and laughter ahead of you!

Love the birdcage!

How cool is this little blue church? It was on the property of the Dreams Tulum Resort we stayed at.

Shot below by Danielle.

Danielle took this great shot below!

Had to post this picture because of the Block Rocker that Natasha is toting behind her. It’s a portable speaker with an iPod dock that they brought with them from Kelowna. Dave sacrificed a lot of clothing to bring it on the plane! It was well worth it though because it was basically a party on wheels. Every night Natasha and Dave and most of their guests would bring the Block Rocker somewhere on the resort and it would be an instant party. Danielle and I went out with them one night and it was so fun! We started on a huge balcony and then all danced down the walkways to Michael Jackson while Natasha pulled it in front, leading the way towards the beach bar. Pretty fantastic! The Block Rocker was definitely the trip’s mascot!

Natasha and Dave had their reception on a Catamaran!

The Catamaran Barmen. You’re welcome.

The Catamaran team stopped the boat halfway through the trip and led people on a snorkel tour nearby where they saw some sea life including huge sea turtles.

Love the head-cam/ snorkel getup on groomsman Adam on the right! haha.

I was pretty impressed Natasha could do this in a mermaid wedding dress!

They didn’t plan it, but Natasha and Dave’s first dance was totally to “I’m on a boat.” : D

View My Website

Visit My Facebook Page!

Email: jzaisphotography@gmail.com Phone: 250.718.9247

Trash the Dress ~ Mayan Riviera, Mexico

The day after their wedding at Barcelo Maya Palace in Mayan Riviera, Mexico, Angela and Angus came out with me again for their Rock the Frock Session (AKA Trash the dress… but as you can see, all it got was a little wet).  We had a really fun time (besides a small sting ray coming a little too close to Angela’s head when she was lying in the water! Eeep! She acted like a champ though!). We got such great light for this shoot- I was pumped!

Click here to see their wedding photos as well!


View My Website

Visit My Facebook Page!

Email: jzaisphotography@gmail.com Phone: 250.718.9247