Chelsea + Shayan // Frederik Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids, Michigan

I remember the day I got the email from Chelsea and I read words that said something about how much love existed in their families and that they loved the way I photographed TOUCH, and how they wanted the color and movement captured. It was in that email, and then confirmed on their wedding day (which was a beautiful fusion of Indian and American culture and traditions) that I realized that I had taken way to long to finally say yes to a wedding that wasn’t just true blue American. I was always intimidated because of industry stories I’d heard, and it wasn’t until I told a friend about this wedding and how them noticing touch in my photos made me want to do it, and she just goes “YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN DOING THESE WEDDINGS FROM THE START!” and that was it for me. I said yes, and it was wild and it was bold and it was romantic and the Indian wedding traditions were what dreams are made of and I hope this is the first of many for me… I’m begging you universe, please make this happen for me!

Chelsea + Shayan, and to both of your families and all of your friends…. especially to one of the women who always found me throughout the day and connected me to each tradition by telling me the meaning of everything, it was one of the most incredible love stories I’ve ever had the honor of telling! Thank you all for bringing me into your beautiful circle and letting me do my thing! My favorite photo of the entire day is a very blurry and poorly lit photo of Shayan’s parents dancing on the dance floor and the way they fell into each other when I asked for a photo of them…. Okay, LIES! I actually have way too many favorites parts…. like, the ceremonial fire that was much bigger than anyone expected, or the beautiful saris, or the three wheeled bike they equipped with music for the Baraat. Luckily, I had second shot a wedding with a friend where I got to know this tradition (where the groom travels in a procession to the ceremony with family and friends) and so I knew exactly what was coming and what I was after, and it was the most incredible thing!

But lastly, I want to talk about the dancing that took place at the reception that was choreographed by their friends. I am so glad that it occurred to me to start recording it on my phone because the clip that I caught at the very end was hands down some of the best seconds of my whole life! At the end (and you’ll see in the video I attached) that I was screaming, mouth gaping, FREAKING OUT. I swear I watched the video a few hundred times and it took my heart a week to return to it’s normal beat…

I love the way weddings change me and the way I see the world moving forward from them, and I’m grateful to these couples for giving me this gift every weekend.

C+S, you are magnificent.