Joline and Jim have been together since high school. Their very dear friend Jaime offered to have their wedding on her property, which was perfect for what they had envisioned. Heidi and I started the day when the lovely Sabrina from Sabrina's Makeup Artistry was doing her final touches on miss Joline.
Up til now, I've not shown photos yet of the invitations to Racheal and Rochan's Hindu wedding ceremony. They were wonderfully done. Shown below is just one of them by Indian Wedding Cards.
As we head into the 2nd day of festivities, we moved from Sacramento to the Bently Reserve in San Francisco for the wedding reception. The list of vendors who helped turn this evening into a success again were amazing.
We made sure to stay the same hotel as Racheal and Rochan, at the Le Méridien in San Francisco for ease of being close to where Racheal was getting ready.
Racheal was so excited to show me her reception Jimmy Choo shoes...and I was kiddy when I saw them. I'm still not sure how she lasted throughout the night on those high heels though with the amount of dancing she did.
Rukhsana again gave Racheal a completely new look for the reception. I love Racheal's dimples.
On our way over to the Bently from the hotel, we paused for a few bride and groom photographs. Rochan was a bit stressed to ensure the evening would go off without a hitch, as he was heavily involved in the lighting and entertainment components of the night. He had no reason to be worried - it was all perfect!
Both Racheal and Rochan had cocktail attire designed and made by Shyamal and Bhumika.
The hotel lobby was pretty cool and gave us a few unique backdrops.
The Bently at night is beautiful.
The cocktail hour was about to start as we arrived to take a few detail shots of the cocktail area.
Rochan came up with the theme for the cocktail hour - Mad Men. The lounge furniture and the ambient lighting was super cool.
You can't have a cocktail hour without a few featured cocktail drinks. And Rachel and Rochan had wine labeled with their labels - a real treat for the guests.
Before guests were allowed into the Bently main ballroom, we snuck back in and yelled at everyone to get out of the room. (yes, I mean literally I yelled) It was worth it to get a few wide shots without people in the shots. We had them turn on the evening lighting so that we could capture what it looked like.
The bride and groom table was just amazing. Truly fit for a prince and his princess.
De Young Flowers create some masterpieces for the center of the tables.
Sweet Tooth Confections created some outstanding desserts.
It was great to see some egg-free and gluten-free options for their guests. The eggless desserts at the reception were provided by Global Gourmet Catering.
At the last second of the cocktail hour we did a few photographs of Racheal and Rochan together and with their family.
The grand entrance came just after watching a love story video. Kelly as you can tell (by her height) had the responsibility of capturing Racheal. I had Rochan's side....and good thing I ran fast to capture this photo of his entrance. The guests stood up sooner than I anticipated and I was buried behind tall people. It stinks being short sometimes, but at least it allows me to wiggle through crowds pretty easily.
The evening began with a Bharatnatyam performance.
Throughout the evening, there were many speeches given in celebration to honor the newlyweds.
Another of my favorite photos of Racheal and Rochan from the entire weekend.They look very relaxed now.
Dinner was served by Global Gourmet Catering.
The guests were surprised with a little game of Family Feud....to see which team of friends knew the groom or the bride better.
And Racheal and Rochan were treated to dancers Bollywood style.
Look closely and you will see their initials engraved on their cake cutting knife.
I love this next series of photos. As I tell people, this is a great reason to have more than one photographer at your wedding....to get the same moment but from multiple angles.
Their first dance - shots captured by our newest member Natalie.
Other first dances with their parents.
Later in the evening, Rochan and Racheal once again surprised their guests by showing off a choreographed dance. I've never seen Rochan look so at ease as on the dance floor!
All the guests were ready for the dancing to begin. It was a party for sure!
I'll end with this last photo to close out the entire wedding weekend for Racheal and Rochan. Thank you both for letting us be a part of your wedding day. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. And I can wait to see you both again soon for another date night.
Picking up where the Baarat left off, which kicked off Racheal and Rochan's Fijian Indian Hindu Wedding Ceremony festivities, this post continues with the Var Swagat: the welcoming of the groom and his family.
Rochan looks like a prince sitting in the maharaja chair, don't you think?
The traditional festivities started before entering the ballroom.
Upon entry into the ballroom, married women welcomed Rochan with blessings and gifts.
The girls stole Rochan's shoes...to be paid a mighty sum for their return later!
Three of the girls danced for Rochan. It's very had not to want to get in the middle and dance with them. Maybe Riri can teach me how?!
Similar to the morning ceremony, food was provided before the festivities began as an appetizer to the evening. The sweets were made by Racheal's mom and aunts.
The evening food was provided by Indian Oven. Dinner was served after the ceremony.
Rochan made his way up to the Mandap.
I love the smiles on both Rochan and Racheal's dad in this next series.
The girls lit their lamps (diyas) and lined up for their entrance.
Kanya Pravesh: is the arrival of the bride. The grand entrance of Racheal, escorted by her dad, under the chandarvo, held by 4 brothers.
This is one of my favorite photos of Racheal with her dad.
The bride and groom exchange garlands (jaimala), signifying love and mutual acceptance of each other.
The ceremony begins. Racheal's mom and dad were both on the mandap at the beginning of the ceremony as rituals began and prayers were given.
Following a Fijian Indian tradition, Racheal is holding a ball of flour dough with a piece of gold hidden inside of it as her brother pours water over their clasped hands.
Family blessed Racheal and Rochan with gifts.
Mangal Phere (Circling of the Sacred Fire). The bride leads the first of four circles and the groom leads the last three circles.
They exchange sacred vows at the beginning of each of the circles.
The first four circles signify the four goals of life: Dharma (moral duty), Artha (wealth), Kama (love), and Moksha (salvation). The final three circles symbolize their union of Mind, Body and Soul.
Saptapadi (Seven Sacred Steps) This happens on the last circle, where the bride and groom take 7 steps together signifying their vows to one another.
Both Racheal and Rochan were very serious throughout the ceremony but they still managed to laugh and smile.
Sindoor and Mangalsutra (Red Vermillion and Sacred Thread). Racheal and Rochan are still tied together (her scarf to his stole) as he places the Mangalsutra around her neck, symbolizing his everlasting commitment to her. Sindoor signifies that a woman is married. On the wedding day (the first time it is applied), it must be done so by the groom to symbolize that she is his bride. Yaska is placing a yellow thread around Racheal's neck, promising to take care of her as his little sister in their family and that any time a problem arises, he will always be there to help her.
They exchanged rings nearing the end of the wedding traditions.
Racheal and Rochan were blessed by their family as the ceremony concluded.
I included this last photo as the girls showered the couple with flowers in blessing of their marriage.
The San Francisco reception at the Bently Reserve is still to come....tomorrow.
Moving from the South Indian Tamil Hindu Wedding Ceremony, Racheal and Rochan were prepping for the evening Fijian Indian Hindu Wedding Ceremony. The evening ceremony blog posts will be broken into 2 posts as I just couldn't fit them all into just 1. This post will only cover the getting ready through the Baraat and Var Swagat.
We had Natalie join our Memory Journalists team to add just another point of view. Did I mention yet that The Memory Journalists crew was excited to be in traditional wear ourselves? Racheal went shopping with me and showed me the ins and outs of what to buy and where. Our outfits were all very colorful.
The vendors involved in the evening ceremony were mostly the same with a few new ones added into the mix.
Racheal's evening jewelry and her gown were from Sari Palace in Berkeley.
Rukhsana once again worked her magic and as you can see Racheal is just stunning.
I'm not even sure what to say for these next few photos....I just think Racheal looks amazing!
Shaadi by Shivam created a 2nd Mandap. The candles on the back side were all lit and it sure gave the room a completely different look and feel from the morning ceremony.
Racheal and Rochan's card box was one of a kind....at least not one that I've seen yet in all the weddings we've photographed. It had a photo on each side of the box from our San Francisco engagement photos date night (well it might have been a weekend).
We convinced Racheal and Rochan to see each other for a brief 10 minutes before the ceremony in order to take a few formal photos before the festivities started.
Since it was raining outside, we came up with unique areas within the DoubleTree Hotel to use. Since they had the presidential suite, it gave us a few quiet nooks and crannies without being seen by their guests.
I just love the photo on the right in this next series!
While Rochan dashed away to begin the Baraat, Teresa and Natalie stayed behind to take a few photos of all the girls. The girls dresses were from Roopam Sarees.
The Baraat is the arrival of the groom and signifies the start of the evening's celebration.
Rochan dared just a few shots in the open air before we had to get him under cover of the rain. Vintage Carriage dressed up the horse to match the evening's affair.
The procession starts with Rochan's family and friends dancing and laughing, setting a great atmosphere for the evening.
Var Swagat: the welcoming of the groom and his family by the bride's family. Here we see both their dads in an embrace, Dr. T.S. Sankar and Ravi Chandra.
Rochan is escorted to the Mandap by his parents and the ceremony will begin.....in Post #3.