‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the land the spirit of Love gave birth to a miracle ever so grand.
It is at this very special time of the year that our hearts yearn to grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred year to year.
It is, perhaps, the best part of the human spirit that hungers for truth, for beauty, and goodness that seeks meaning in the chaos and madness of this world… that steadfastly pursues the beauty and wonder of Life and Love.
As we gather once again with family and friends, at the end of one season, and the beginning of another we celebrate that which binds us together, and that which we seek if we but follow the Child; mind, body, and soul, and unashamedly live in this moment.It is then when we shall truly be blessed in receiving the one eternal gift of this season of miracles: Love.
So, be as the Child; to commit ourselves, and sustain one another, to living in the moment…and to seek love, to walk always on the path of Love…to simply be Love.
Now…let Dancer dance, and Prancer prance,
bringing everyone dear good reason to cheer…for soon it will be Christmas with snow upon the ground as little boys and girls, all fettered with joy gather ‘round the fireplace and the twinkling holiday tree with great excitement and delight.
For at Christmas time you will come to know that all roads lead you “home sweet home”.
Wishing you, your family, and loved ones
A Joyous Holiday Season filled with
Love, Laughter, and Cheer…to last throughout this beautiful New Year!
Love, Jasmine xoxo
Once upon a day, now upon a time…there comes a moment when that one very special person walks into your life and changes everything. Sarah and Isiah found that path to each other’s heart in the season and true spirit of Thanksgiving.
It is in these times we find ourselves reflecting on the simple and meaningful things in life, giving thanks to loved ones both here and gone that have touched our lives and taught us how to endure,
to mature, to inspire,
to learn, to forgive, to believe, to trust,
to laugh, to live, to hope, and most importantly to love. My thanks is in giving…and their presence a beautiful and warming gift.
Blessings of peace, happiness, and love from me to you this day of giving thanks.
Photography: Jasmine Wang Photography
Wedding Planner: Robin Lewis / Make it Happen!
Dress: Enzoani “Dakota”
Shoes for Bride: Badgley Mischka Shoes for Groom: Salvatore Ferragamo
Flowers: Darwin Harrison / Florali
Cake: Susan Morgan / Elegant Cheesecakes
Catering: Westin St. Francis
Bridesmaid Dresses: Amsale & Donna Morgan
Rings: Jonathan & Megan East / Forever Diamond
Hair/makeup: Miabel Artistry
Groom’s Attire: Indochino (custom tuxedo)
Groomsmen’s Attire: Joseph Abboud
Stationery: Paper Source
Band: Ashanti Floyd / The Mad Violinist
Over the years, Sutro bath has been a favorite destination for me and our couples for engagement sessions. I feel it’s time to make a post about ideas and inspirations at Sutro Bath, so here it is – these are some of my favorite engagement session images I have done at Sutro.
Nan & John:
Lori & Venzel:
Angela & Yuji
There is a certain happiness in being silly…perhaps a little more. Laughter fills the air, skies colored in vibrant blue as shades of ruby wine paints the sunset, and stars come out to play at night.
Lauren and Jay are truly a special and happy couple…and their day to shine couldn’t have been framed any better than in the romantic and enchanting surroundings of Vine Hill House.
It was a “unplugged” wedding. There was this natural sense of intimacy and connectedness as their guests kindly refrained from invading their special moment with the sounds of cameras clicking away. Only their words to be heard, the loving look into each other’s eyes…hearts harmoniously united in the warm and sweet days of summer…unplugged and free to fly.
Venue: Vine Hill House
Planner: Dan O’Connell
Photography: Jasmine Wang
Dress – Amy Kuschel
Bridesmaid dresses – Bella Bridesmaids
Florist: ETC Designs
Catering: Park Avenue Catering
Invitations: Union Street Papery
Band – Pop Rocks
Photobus – The Booth Bus
Did I mention that I LOVE the bathroom signs?
I had the pleasure to photograph Sam and William’s wedding at the beautiful and romantic Mill Rose Inn in Half Moon Bay, and it’s being featured on SF Chronicle Sunday edition on Sunday Edition December 28th 0f 2014. Here’s their love story written by Alix Wall. See the original post on SF Chronicle here.
Look into her eyes so innocent and wide, sometimes wanting to dance, always needing to shine. Fields of happiness she creates with the soft caress of her warm beauty, coloring life with memories of endless joy and love.
Laurie and Wael found each other while visiting in Asia. It was there that they discovered a beautiful and meaningful connection…and like the delicate pink cherry blossoms in full bloom they too opened their hearts…and their dreams came true.
I love the idea of having a theme that ties emotions with memories. The romantic Japanese Tea Garden presented such a perfect stage to recreate and capture the essence and beauty of the memory of their union.
Wedding Venue: B.R. Cohn Winery Sonoma
Wedding Planning & Design: Anais Event Planning & Design
DJ: Wicked Entertainment
Videography: Studio MSV
Makeup: Styles by Ann
Cake: Let’s do Cake
Groom suit: Armani
Indian wedding dress: Anita Dongre
Photography: Karen Gorgon
HINDU WEDDING CEREMONY
Ganesha Pooja & Sankalpam
Any Hindu ceremony always begins with a prayer to Lord Ganesha, who is the remover of all obstacles and is the embodiment of peace, friendship and happiness. His blessings provide for an atmosphere of tranquility and harmony in which to perform the ceremonies. Sankalpam sets the stage for the ensuing pooja, specifically announcing the intention of the rituals, time, place, performers etc
At this point Sujata has already performed Gowri Pooja independently in her quarters with her family members before coming to the ceremony. Gowri represents purity and austerity.
Swagatam and Madhuparkam – Welcoming Anirudh
Anirudh arrives in a Baraat (lively wedding procession) to the rhythm of the dhol, accompanied by his family and friends. They are all received with fanfare at the entrance by Sujata’s family with naadaswaram music, flowers, aarati and sweets – symbols of happiness and good tidings to come. This ceremony is known as the milni or meeting in which equivalent relatives from the groom and bride’s families greet each other. It symbolizes the unification of the two families.
Kanya Agamana – Arrival of the Bride
Sujata is dressed in a white sari with a red border. White symbolizes purity and red represents strength. She is escorted to the mandap by family and friends carrying lamps. The lamps are made of rice flour, sugar and milk – symbols of prosperity, light and sweetness that Sujata will bring to her new home. When she reaches the mandap, she sits facing Anirudh. A veil or antarpat symbolizing traditional barriers is held in front of Anirudh to prevent him from seeing Sujata, symbolizing their separate lives up until the moment of marriage.
In the Brahma Vivaah, the highest form of Hindu marriage, Sujata’s parents “give away” the Bride as one of the noblest acts they will perform in their lifetime. In essence, Sujata’s parents are handing over Goddess Laxmi (their daughter) to Lord Vishnu (Anirudh). This is where Sujata’s family hands over their daughter’s responsibility to Anirudh. This is their greatest gift to him and is done by placing her right hand on his right hand. Anirudh accepts Sujata’s hand with honor.
Thereafter, Sujata’s parents wash Anirudh’s feet, as a gesture of respect because on the day of the wedding the Bridegroom is considered as “Lord Vishnu” himself who has come to marry their daughter who is considered as Goddess Lakshmi. Anirudh is made to chant a shloka* three times and thus give Sujata’s father assurance three times that the he will remain forever her companion in joy and sorrow. Sujata and Anirudh commit to remain faithful to each other, while pursuing Dharma (righteousness, duty), Artha (wealth, prosperity) and Kama (desire). Sujata’s mother pours holy water on Sujata’s father’s palms, which flows into Anirudh’s and then into Sujata’s palms, symbolizing the continuity of life, repaying the debt to their forefathers and the passing of the family heritage to the next generation.
Until this time, Sujata and Anirudh are sitting opposite to each other. After kanyadaanam, they sit side by side.
Sumuhurtham (Jeelakarra(cumin seeds)-bellam(jaggery) dharana)
Per Andhra tradition, at the actual muhurtam time, the couple is asked to place a paste made from cumin seeds and jaggery on each others’ heads. This custom is referred to as Jeelakarra-Bellam. This ceremony is observed to communicate that the relationship of the married couple is unbreakable and inseparable. This forms the first contact between the couple and unites them. The antarpat is then lowered to symbolize their unity.This is the most auspicious part of the wedding ceremony. The guests bless the couple by showering rice upon them.
Anirudh then ties the two sacred yellow threads, each with a golden disc, around Sujata’s neck with three knots. The knots represent the physical, mental and spiritual strength of their union. (2 knots by Anirudh, one by Anirudh’s sister Grishma for 2 separate sets of threads).
Anirudh applies kumkum on Sujata’s forehead, now as a Soubhagyavati. Sujata applies a sandalwood tilak on Anirudh’s forehead, now as a Grahastha meaning a “householder” leading a family-centred life. With the wedding ring exchange, they commit to support each other, in good times and bad times, in happiness and sorrow, with unending love.
EXCHANGE GARLANDS AND WEDDING RINGS AFTER MAANGALYA DHARANAM
In the Talambraalu ceremony is a fun event. Sujata and Anirudh shower pearls and rice (Talambralu / Akshatalu) on each other to symbolize prosperity. This denotes the couple’s desire for happiness, enjoyment and contentment. Initially they take turns to shower, as it progresses it gets more entertaining when they begin to compete with each other.
The marriage is solemnized before Lord Agni, the sacred fire. Lord Agni is a symbol of light, power and purity and acts as the principal witness to the wedding ceremony. Sujata and Anirudh hold hands and walk around the fire four times starting their transition into married life, supported by Sujata’s brother Nikhil, as her lifelong supporter. The circles symbolize dharma (righteous conduct), artha (attainment of prosperity), karma (life’s enjoyment) and moksha (attainment of eternal union with God), the four great goals of family life. They repeat the sacred pledge of marriage and request Agni to be the messenger for their prayers to various Gods, for Santati (children), Sampatti (wealth & prosperity) and Deergh-arogya (long & healthy lives).
After the Agni Pradakshina, Sujata moves to the left side of Anirudh; indicating her transition to Anirudh’s family.
Saptapadi – Taking the Marriage Vows with Seven Steps
The couple takes seven steps together to reiterate their aspirations of their married life. During this Sujata’s saree pallav is tied to one end of Anirudh’s Kanduva. Anirudh and Sujata walk seven steps together symbolizing the beginning of their journey through life as partners, while taking their oaths of caring, protecting, understanding, loving and guiding each other. The 7 steps reflect their guiding principles in life. As they take each step, the couple exchange the following vows
Together we will:
Share in the responsibility of the home
Fill our lives with physical, mental and spiritual strength and courage
Prosper by righteous means
Acquire knowledge, happiness, and harmony by mutual love and trust
Be blessed with strong and virtuous children
Attain self restraint and longevity
Be best friends and eternal partners
The newly wed couple then takes an oath:
Having taken these steps together,
I vow that I will not swerve from the path of my love and friendship with you
Let our thoughts, decisions and actions be in unison
We will remain loving and devoted to each through good and bad times
Sthaalipaakam is a ritual wherein Anirudh helps Sujata tread on a stone adorns the her toes with silver toe rings.. The manthras say “Let thy mind be rock-firm, unperturbed, by the trials and tribulations of life”. It is believed that the man bends to the woman in order to claim her as his. Also in order to ward-off the evil eye, Sujata is adorned with a string of black beads during the ceremony. These beads along with the silver toe rings symbolize that she is a married woman.
Some fun time….
Right after, a pot full of water is placed in front of the couple and a ring is put in. Anirudh puts his right hand in and Sujata puts her left hand in and they fish for the ring. They do this three times and the winner is supposed to be the dominant one in the marriage.
Dhruva, Arundhati star & Asirvad & Aarathi
Sujata and Anirudh gaze up at the pole star (Druvaloka) and meditate on stability in the marriage union. Each night as the stars rotate in the sky, the pole star always remains fixed. In the same way as life is constantly changing, the union of Sujata and Anirudh should remain fixed like the Pole star. Anirudh shows Sujata the stars Arundhati in the Saptharishi constellation (the Big Dipper). Arundhati, the wife of Maharishi Vashista, Is exemplified as an ideal wife, to be emulated by the Bride.
The ceremony ends with the new couple seeking blessings from the priest and their family and friends.
Congratulations Sujata & Ani!
Makeup: Makeup by Quis
Cake/Caterer: Mandarin Oriental Hotel
Coordinator: Emily Cross at the Mandarin Oriental
Flowers: PK Art and Floral Design
Jewelry: Van Cleef & Arpels
Photography by Jasmine Wang
还有什么地方比旧金山更为美丽，富有诗意呢？！我这样讲的确是有偏见的；但在三藩市住了多年，每一次出门旅行，不管是去哪里，总有想家的感觉，总是觉得这里最漂亮舒服；即使是去年刚刚从欧洲回来，看到金门大桥还是开心的不得了。 难怪刘楠与安平选了在这里喜结连理。刘楠与安平来自中国北京，在湾区学习，工作，相遇相知，浪漫婉转，最终选定在文华东方举行婚礼。五月的天气是好极了，婚礼这天天气晴朗，天空碧蓝的。我们在旧金山市区大步招摇，所有来往的行人和车辆都向我们贺喜。在California大街的尽头，有辆停泊的 Cable Car，还有什么比这更有旧金山的味道呢？
新娘刘楠是个极细心的人，一手策划了整个婚礼，我很是喜欢她的风格；不但拍摄很轻松写意，拍出来的照片也很惊艳。我很喜爱蝴蝶兰，整个婚礼到处都是蝴蝶兰… 典礼在文华东方40楼Sky Deck举行，Transamerica 仿佛伸手可及, 他们就在这样美的 市区风景之前宣誓结为结发夫妻。我很爱这里的夜景，晚宴后拉他们出来拍夜景，这组照片成为我最喜爱的作品之一。
I just finished setting up my new walk-sit workstation and wanted to share with you what I have done! As many of you might expect, photographers spend a lot of time siting at their desk editing digital photos. I have traditionally sat for as many as 6-7 hours per day – sometimes even longer when I have a deadline. Even though I try to go out and take a short walk to break up the day, we humans were just not designed to be sitting all the time. Most of us who work on computers for a living surely feel my pain. One day I saw a cool article written by Chris Kresser about his walking computer desk. I had to try it – my workstation is pictured below. See his original article here.
This is how it looks when I’m standing and working.
The monitor arm swivels up and down and the desk raises and lowers. Below is an arm from Innovative and I bought it here. I can move my monitor to wherever I want it to super easily! The buttons along the lower lip of the desk control the height. Beneath the desk is a treadmill from TreadDesk as pictured below. I am about 200 words into this blog post and 1000 meters. 🙂
Our bodies are designed to walk slowly most of the time – not sitting or standing for long hours. At about a mile per hour speed, I can type pretty easily. When our bodies are moving, more blood flows to the brain and you get better mental clarity. No wonder so many authors wrote their best-selling books entirely on the treadmill! My new morning workout ritual has been a powerwalk at the maximum speed while I work on basic correspondence with friends, family and business contacts.
Because I also need to be able to occasionally work at very focused visual tasks, I also can move the swivel arm to my sitting desk. You can see that configuration here. So when I want to do some skin retouching (which I do all the time!), the desk comes down to my sitting desk level and I swing over my monitor. I use a vertical mouse from Evoluent, which has saved my hand! I strongly recommend it to anyone who has to hold a mouse for hours every day.
Well, I am just about done with my post and am up to about a mile. I feel great and hope that you can enjoy my work even more knowing how it was created. Let me know how you set up your workstation by commenting below. Cheers!
People coming and going at the blink of an eye, too busy to just take notice of the magic and beauty of surprise. Two kindred spirits – Sujata and Ani, traveling on the same road each day in a world of unexpected moments, until suddenly their eyes open to find each other on a 45-minute train ride. (to view their love story on the Caltrain, click here and here and here)
They gave each other a promise…a simple promise of tomorrow, and with that promise their hearts and souls united knowing that their love will always remain with each other on the road that was simply meant to be.
Love begins with one hello, with one smile, with one look into someone’s eyes. A dance begins…love has taken flight on a journey where fear has no place to exist, where two souls find peace and joy within the comfort and warmth of each other. Suzanne and Aaron walked into each others world…not sure what they were supposed to do , sometimes lost in this world of worlds until the day they realized the true purpose of life… Love. Love is a path to the heart that knows its own way. No matter the distance between their worlds there exists a time and a place where they found peace and happiness as one.
It’s always about the smaller things in life…bigger, better things naturally follow. The smaller things in life are always the most beautiful and rewarding. This is the making of the beautiful and mindful couple I had the pleasure to work with…and they will walk courageously and joyously into the uncertainties of this world knowing that their love shines into daybreak from the night’s glow…their Light together burning bright for all of eternity.
Wedding planner: Dandelion Events
Band: Hip Service
Videographer: Justin Fone & Associates
Photo Booth: Photomatica
Hair & Makeup: The Makeup Dolls
Cake: Susie Cakes
Lilly & Bryan’s wedding album at the Westin St. Francis San Francisco:
Jennifer & Josh’s lovely wedding at Carmel Mission Ranch:
Nicole & Eric’s wedding at Oceano Hotel Half Moon Bay:
Two of our lovely weddings – Lilly & Bryan at Westin St. Francis, and Lindsay & Henry at the Stanford Memorial Church were just published on Ceremony Magazine. It offers tons of great ideas! read the online magazine here.
It is Chinese, It is French, it’s a wedding by the ocean, it’s so unique… This is truly a very simple, elegant yet so sweet wedding, I had such a pleasure with Irene from Le Petite Pomme Design – so romantic…
Jacqueline & Michael first met at the beautiful and romantic Palace of Fine Arts…guiding their hearts to an enchanting wedding at the Terra Gallery in San Francisco.
‘Tis the season for celebration and hope. A new chapter begins to be written of the story and journey of Jacqueline and Michael. They met without knowing that their paths may cross, but the loving and faithful hand of fate mixed the seasonings just right into making this perfect match. A pinch of care, a dash of kindness, and a healthy dollop of love placed over the right heat…et voila, a life so sweet…
Page after page
of an interesting read
love unfolds with the greatest of ease. It
starts with a spark,
then with a tingle…a knowing embrace and finally a kiss that turned the frog into her one and only prince…sealed with happiness here and happy ever after.
Their journey began…xoxo
Vendor credits: Dress: Kleinfeld’s – Alita Graham Rings: Haniken Jewelers Hair & Makeup: Miabel Artistry Bridesmaid Dresses: Dessy Videographer: Max Video Productions Caterer: La Bocca Fina Flowers: Plan Decor Venue: Terra Gallery Hotel: Parc 55 Desserts & Cake: Gerhard Michler – Creative International Pastries DJ: Big Fun DJ