C + W

When Davina and I traveled to Bhutan two years ago, we did not take any of it for granted. We both assumed this was a once in a lifetime trip, and we took it all in while we were there. Bhutan is a country that sits at the base of the Himalayas, between India & Nepal, and has only been open to tourists since the 1960's. Even today, visitors have to pay a hefty amount for a daily visa, making it one of the few, somewhat untouched places left to visit off the beaten path. We absolutely adored the place and felt so lucky to have had the opportunity to travel there. Fast forward to new year's day of this year, we received an email from C+W who had seen the photos we took at Irene + Jimmy's wedding. They had a pretty awesome plan: to tie the knot while they were touring Bhutan on an educational photography trek. The date was coming up in a couple of months, so planning was tight. Just a few days later, my good friend (and associate photographer) Adam and I were making arrangements for the 40hr+ trip (as many of you may know, Davina and I are expecting our first little boy any day now - and the high altitude was too dangerous for her during her pregnancy).

The couple got ready together in the morning, and headed to one of the oldest temples in the world for a traditional Bhutanese blessing, followed by a horse procession & more blessings from monks at the beautiful Amankora Paro resort. The rest of the day was spent doing portraits with the newlyweds, first at Paro Dzhong in the centre of town and later at an abandoned fortress which sits on the side of a cliff overlooking the Paro valley.

Adam & I spent the rest of our time in Bhutan touring the many temples, hiking up to Tiger's Nest, and playing with kids on the streets, all while taking lots of photographs. I loved this country on our first visit there, but really felt a bond this time around. Now I am feeling a strong urge to return, with our little boy this time, hopefully sometime soon.

C+W have asked us to keep their identities somewhat private by not using their full names and to make sure the groom is not recognizable in the photos. Even though the couple received many images where he was fully visible in the photo, we knew we wanted to come out of the wedding with photos we would be proud to share on our blog, and their request proved to be an excellent learning experience and challenge. C+W are now planning their second wedding later this summer, with their kids and families, in Greece. We look forward to getting to know all of their loved ones and documenting their union once more!

A big thank you to Adam for lending us his talent at this wedding. Some of his images appear in this post.

Irene + Jimmy

Getting to Paro, Bhutan is no easy feat. The country has but one airline, which only flies out of a select few destinations in Asia. Only 8 pilots in the world are trained and certified to take off or land there, and the weather conditions have to be just right - a tricky thing to predict at an elevation of 7300 feet. As we swerved through the mountains and prepared to (hopefully) land safely, I turned to Daniel and said, "You just know that a place that's this hard to get to is going to be good!" As it turns out, this proclamation would prove to be quite the understatement. Irene and Jimmy chose to have their wedding in Bhutan after falling in love with the place on a previous trip. They wanted their guests to experience the stunning landscapes and unique culture for themselves, so they planned a 3-day affair to show off the best of what the region has to offer. From the traditional performances upon our arrival, to the farewell hike up to an ancient fortress (for which all guests donned cultural dress), Irene and Jimmy ensured that their guests got the full Bhutanese experience.

The greatest highlight for us, not just of this trip but possibly of our entire careers as wedding photographers, was the monk's blessing.The city's 1300 year old local temple receives very few visitors, and those visitors must abide by a strict no photos rule. Much to our delight, they graciously waived this rule for us and allowed us to photograph the blessing of Irene and Jimmy's marriage. What our cameras could not capture was the sound of the monks' instruments and chants - a sound which gave both Daniel and I goosebumps and tears in our eyes.

Irene and Jimmy, thank you for choosing us to document this special event and special place for you. It was truly the experience of a lifetime.

You can browse through our favourites above, and you can also view their slideshow HERE.