It’s unusual for me to blog engagement sessions, but when I saw Francis & Mayone’s (potentially NSFW!) I really could not resist. After sharing that, I hoped that their wedding might be as awesome (and that they’d send it to me too) and oh boy did they deliver! Glamorous and elegant, personal but spectacular, sexy but sophisticated, these guys sure know how the pull off a wedding in style!
The couple have a long distance relationship, with Francis living New York and Mayone working as a make up artist in the Philippines. “We have a long distance relationship”, wrote Francis, the groom. “I’m based in New York and she’s from the Philippines. We met 5 years ago in the now defunct Friendster. I go home to the Philippines just once a year and so we make the most of it whenever I’m there. Unfortunately, we’re still living separately even though we are now married. Hopefully by the end of next year I can move back to the Philippines permanently. It’s easier to communicate now with FaceTime and Skype and stuff but I really miss her. Oh and by the way, she’s 8 weeks pregnant now. We conceived a month before I left the Philippines!”
Are any of you considering getting tattoos to commemorate your marriage? Well Rob & Kit not only did it, but they had their wedding photographer, John Nicolay, come along to take photographs of the event. Oh it’s like all my favourite things rolled into one – I LOVE this idea.
The couple’s relationship and wedding plans were anything but standard – they actually had two weddings! – as Rob explained, “We met in September 2007 as office mates but we never really spoke to each other. Our first conversation lasted for 30 seconds and we only spoke a total of 5 words combined. I simply complimented the comic book that she was reading. Then in December I finally confessed my feelings for her but she told me she didn’t want to be in a relationship. Gutted. But I was persistent. I wrote a poem for her daily for the next 4 months. In March 2008 she finally cracked and agreed to be my girlfriend but quickly after she had to leave the country to work in Qatar. We maintained a long distance relationship 5000 miles apart by writing each other daily emails. We’d make the subjects ‘Day x of 365’ – counting down the days until we’d next see each other. With Kit’s help, in February 2009 I landed a job in Qatar too. I proposed to her the moment I saw her in the airport. We married in June 2009 in The Philippine embassy, a civil wedding. Then in February 2010 we decided to get our matching tattoos. We had them on our shoulders and we wrote each other’s name. We also decided to get married again, and this time to have church wedding, the following year.
Filipino born Ariane & Jonathan now live in New Zealand, which is where they chose to have their May wedding. The 3pm ceremony was held at in the vineyard of the Ascension Wine Estate in Matakana. “We wanted to showcase how New Zealand is part paradise and part home with our wedding, Ariane told me. “Marrying in a vineyard in the dead of autumn, what could be more gorgeous than that? Ascension Wine Estate was the perfect backdrop for us. The theme was a mish-mash of our passion for travel, photography, literature and the French countryside. We didn’t really set something in stone, but in the end, the travel-bohemian theme dominated, with hints of shabby chic and vintage.”
For the ceremony space decor, the couple added personal touches such a flowers in beer bottles, twine and pinwheels. “In the vines where the ceremony was held, we tied beer bottles with twine and hung it around. We also made pinwheels out of colorful scrapbook papers in lieu of flowers to grace the aisle. We carried that over to the reception venue by having wine bottles adorned with lace and twine as centerpieces. We also had disposable cameras in French-country muffin trays on the tables. The colors of the pinwheels in the ceremony were carried over to the reception through a candy buffet where we served colored popcorn, gummy bears and red licorice.”
If you want to see photography that pushes boundaries then look no further than MangoRED. This Filipino duo have been pushing my buttons ever since I first discovered them waaaaay back at the beginning of 2009. Their work continues to inspire me to this day. Why? Because they’re continually pushing themselves to create. Their work has evolved – almost into a completely different beast – but the essence of unadulterated and unapologetic creativity has remained a constant.
Francis & Mayone’s engagement shoot is a collaboration of photography, collage and sketch. The mixed media approach adds a whole new dimension and evokes a different feeling than photography alone. I love how dark these shots are too. Yes, it’s shot on a beach but that doesn’t mean it should all be sunshine, deckchairs and candy floss.
FYI Some of the images after the ‘jump’ are potentially NSFW.
I’m often blown away by the creativity and genius of my readers’ weddings… but there are really only very few that stop me in my tracks. The fact that my blog attracts so many international readers blows my mind at the best of times, but when they’re there, in my inbox, saying to me “You featuring my wedding would make my day! And my week! and my month! Haha!” Yeah… you really have to stop and think, “whoa, this is kinda a big deal.”
So that’s exactly what happened when newlywed Marie and I emailed last week. Her wedding images were zipped to me all the way from The Philippines and I literally couldn’t wait to share them with you all.
“I spent a year and a half researching and planning our wedding”, Marie wrote. “I saw so many beautiful weddings, but none of them were completely representative of us a couple. I knew what we wanted, and especially what Nico wanted. He wanted something simple and clean and so that’s where our ideas started from.”
“When I found this amazing photo on a wedding blog (I can’t remember which one) I knew I had finally found our theme”, she continued. “Paper and ‘white on white’ was what we wanted. In fact we called our theme ‘paper surreal’ because I love paper. We had a quirky wedding. It was my dream to have a wedding as close to nature as possible so we had a lot of the day outside. Having natural light photographs was really important to us.”
I have another amazing engagement shoot from Rex of WeDoItForLove for you this morning. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – no-one does engagement shoots like those Filipino wedding photographers!
Jmie & KC love contact sports, particularly boxing, so theming their shoot around this was a really fun way for them to celebrate their engagement. “People usually choose themes where they will look really beautiful”, Rex told me. “So it was really awesome that they chose something that was a bit gritty and less beautiful. It also didn’t need so much styling as they already owned all the kit. The shoot was devised around the ‘actions’ which made it really fun to do.”