Vina and Elliot’s Clayton on the Park wedding was a mix of Elliot’s Jewish culture and Vina’s Chinese culture, which made for one of the most amazing events I have ever had the privilege of being a part of. I can still remember when Cindy, Elliot’s mom, called back in early 2015 while we were on vacation with our kids. She was so excited for her two “kids” (she doesn’t discriminate on who her kids are. In fact, by the end of this event I felt like I was one of her kids too!) and this wedding that was going to take place later in the year. By the end of our fairly brief phone call she just HAD to meet me and I felt the exact same.
Vina and Elliot are both Orthodontists who were, at the time, living in Minnesota. You will see some of that Ortho flare incorporated into their photobooth during the wedding reception. In light of them making selective trips to AZ, we scheduled a time to meet with them when they were going to be in Phoenix. During our get together both Vina and Elliot as well as Cindy and Elliot’s sister who also attended, could not stop ooooohing and awwwwwwing over the R2 photos that they were surrounded by. I remember it like it was yesterday. They were both so adorable and equally concerned that they were not even close to as cool or as cute as all of the other R2 couples they were seeing. I gently and as least conceited as possible, reminded them that none of our couples are models. Our couples just trust us as their photographers and, in doing so, we help them look and feel AMAZING. With that, they chose R2 as their official wedding photographers. Maybe they really wanted to secretly put me to the test to see if I could make them look like models. But, you will see by these photos that these two so absolutely gorgeous and likely had nothing to worry about in the first place. Made my job easy to pass that “test” with flying colors.
Vina is Chinese and, while she wasn’t going to wear traditional Chinese wedding attire during the wedding, was planning to incorporate other traditional Chinese elements into her day with the overwhelming help and support of her soon to be mother in law, Cindy. Many of Elliot’s Jewish traditions would be a part of the day. In fact, Vina converted to Judaism so that they could have a fully Jewish wedding. During the signing of the Ketubah Vina had to sign her chosen Hebrew name, which I asked her about later. During her conversion she got to choose a name for herself. She chose a name that, in Hebrew, would have the same or similar meaning as her mom’s Chinese name, which is Forest. The crossing of cultures and thought that went into each piece of this just continues to blow me away. You would be amazed by how welcoming Elliot’s family has been over the years to Vina’s family. It was as if they had been melded into one family. It was extremely important to Cindy that Vina’s parent’s and family be honored by this wedding. So, set it up so that there would be Chinese lion dancers and Chinese drummers during the reception as a surprise for Vina’s parents. It was amazing!!
During Vina’s dad’s toast he said that all of Vina’s family back in China were getting together on their wedding day and celebrating in honor of Vina and Elliot, which I thought was so unique and thoughtful. Their wedding day wrapped up with one of the sickest parties I have ever been to. They had a live band that was absolutely amazing! The party ended at midnight but there was so much energy in the air that even I could have kept going! What an amazing group of people these two are surrounded by. I truly feel so lucky to have been a part of their day and their lives.
The day after their Clayton on the Park wedding we set up one of our signature Vogue sessions with makeup by the amazing Lenea Sadler Makeup and hair by our very own R2 bride, Yani. These girls never let me down. Vina looked stunning. We capitalized on their Chinese outfits for the shoot so that they would have something to send Vina’s family back home in honor of her wedding day.
I hope this snippet from their Clayton on the Park wedding day allows you to feel just how amazing it was! De Atley Events did a wonderful job coordinating all of the pieces with the girls at Clayton so that the day went off without a hitch. Enjoy….