Culture and family are things that so many of us value. We hold these things very close to our hearts while some even wear the heart of our culture on our sleeves for everyone to see. In the Cambodian culture, family, community and wedding rituals all come together in one of the most beautiful things Lisa and I have ever had the chance to see. This is actually the third Cambodian wedding we have ever seen and the second one we have had the honor to photograph. Mindy’s cousin Kimnan (a beloved past bride) recommended us and we could not have been happier to see their family again. Showing up that morning to see all of the familiar faces made my morning. We were not only welcomed but embraced as one would do to close family. We were allowed to see something so special that only their close knit family and community was able to see. Having the ability to not only see but to capture these moments are what makes waking up everyday the most amazing thing. Knowing that we are not only capturing their story but seeing the first steps of Chris and Mindy’s family being created.
It was time for the ceremonies to begin. Mindy and Chris had chosen to do three of the traditional Cambodian wedding ceremonies. The first is the introductions and offerings. What is so beautiful about their ceremony is the community comes to share in their entire ceremony, to laugh, to smile and to have fun together!
Chris’ parents were really enjoying themselves as this was their first time ever seeing, and being a part of a Cambodian wedding ceremony.
After this ceremony it was time to get changed for their hair cutting ceremony. Thank goodness no real hair was cut, it was only done symbolically today. The hair cutting is to represent the couple starting anew together like a fresh clean cut!
After the haircutting ceremony it was time for one more change of clothes. This time they were preparing for their pairing ceremony. This is where family and friends tie their wrists and provide blessings to them.
If you don’t catch it, below on the right is Mindy helping clean up! She really did have the biggest smile as everyone from her family came together to help.
Then it was time for their Western ceremony. It was also time for another change into traditional Western attire. This ceremony was held and Mindy’s brother’s house, which is less than a couple miles from her house. Chris’ father was the officiant for them, as well. You can see again and again that nothing is more important than family to these two. It makes me so happy to know that my own mother moved closer to us and we are so blessed to have Lisa’s family so close so we can all grow together. Sometimes life is so fast that we forget to remember the little things that really create meaning in our lives.
Miny’s parents own this donut shop in Sacramento. So when I saw the box appear I knew I had to get at least one shot!
The final stop of this beautiful day was their banquet reception.
When I turn 93 I want to be like this!
Mindy and Chris we are still overwhelmed by all the joy from your wedding day. Thank you again for letting us be a part of your community for just one day!