Who: Nikki and Victor
What: A coastal cherry blossom themed wedding honoring Asian and American customs for 130 in Bar Harbor.
Where: Ceremony and celebration at Atlantic Oakes-By-the-Sea in beautiful Bar Harbor.
When: Saturday, August 9, 2008
How: Makeup and hair by the bride's longtime stylist, Cori Lynn Noddin; wedding gown from David's Bridal in South Portland and DJing by Music Central DJ Services.
Why: Sometimes what you've been searching left and right for is directly in front of you. Nikki and Victor are pure proof of that. The two went to the same high school in Ellsworth, but Nikki always thought Victor, who was two years ahead of her, was kind of a jock. "Well, I kind of was," Victor chimes in when they tell the story.
And so off they went to separate colleges, but when Nikki began working at Victor's family's Chinese restaurant, she started to see a different side of her new boss: Victor. With sports and high school out of the way, Victor had grown into a kind and compassionate gentleman, committed to his family and their business. She began noticing how respectful he was of those around him, how genuine he was, and heck, when did he become so handsome. And so, with the blessing of Victor's younger sister, who was a longtime friend, Nikki and Victor fell in love, and on Saturday, they were wed in a ceremony and celebration that not only married them, but their passions- her creative spirit and his respect for his Chinese heritage. The irony of the Beijing Olympics beginning the day before - on the lucky 8-8-08- was not lost on them and they choose the graceful and cheery cherry blossom as the centerpiece for their decor, as it combined her love for what is beautiful and elegant, and his affection for simple, clean Asian style.
What was best is that the forecasted thunderstorms completely held off, and the day was as beautiful as they had always imagined it to be. And after talking with Nikki about her wedding vision for months, I was so pleased to see how perfectly her plans were pulled off. Even the male waitstaff at the venue were gushing at the decor!
Nikki and Victor, I am so happy for you both! As I edit your images, I find myself bursting into laughter at the day's funny moments, admiring your beautiful details and catching my breath at your sweet glances at each other. A lifetime of happiness and much congratulations!
The makeup artist had a funny way to ensure that Nikki's eyes stayed open during the mascara application.
Some pre-wedding champagne. Luckily, no one was injured during the uncorking.
Nikkis hair after it came out of the curlers would have made Shirley Temple jealous. It was buoyant, just like Nikki's radiant smile.
Loved the shoes, and ohh, that dress!
Nikki's bridesmaids took some snapshots of the back of her dress and I popped in to get a few shots as well. Love that light.
A last minute touch-up.
Victor couldn't take his eyes of his bride.
The ceremony was held on a steep three tiered lawn at the ocean's edge. Photographically challenging but oh so beautiful. Here is the blessing of the hands.
After the ceremony, Nikki was thrilled to move her engagement ring back over from the right to the left hand.
Heading out on the dock together where we did pictures of just the two of them. I had been hearing some pretty persuasive and pessimistic weather forecasts for the day all week, so I was thrilled that the light was so beautiful and that the rain completely held off. It ended up being one of the nicest days of the summer!
The happiest of grooms.
A final kiss on the dock before heading into the reception. Stun-ing!
The reception was just so well done. Nikki, who teaches art, had every cherry blossom themed detail perfected, with nods to Victor's Chinese culture coming from colored lanterns that hung throughout the room, table numbers in both numbers and Chinese characters and little take-out boxes for filling at the candy bar.
The yummy cake.
The first dance was especially beautiful. It's always one of my favorite wedding traditions to photograph, because even though there are so many people around them, it's just the bride and groom on the floor, and in that moment, it's like they are the only ones in the world.
While it's usually the father-daughter dance that most tugs at the heartstrings, Victor's dance with his mother was incredibly moving, as they danced to a favorite song of his father, who had passed away two years before.
Nikki had tipped me off that the wedding party dance was going to be something not to be missed. Unknown to their guests, Victor and Nikki (who is insanely creative) had choreographed an entire routine for the wedding party to Michael Jackson's "Beat It." It started off as a slow song, and then to the delight of the guests, "Beat It" came onto the speakers, the sunglasses came out, Victor donned a Jackson-esque glove and total hilarity ensued. I honestly don't think I've laughed that hard in a while, or been more impressed. That's one devoted wedding party...
I rarely see a good cake smashing but if you are going to commit to it, you have to go all the way, as they did here.
Of course the fun was just getting started! I love when brides put the stress of the wedding day behind them, and really let loose on the dance floor.
And the "Beat It" sunglasses came back out.
In addition to being so sweet and brimming with pride over his big sister, Nikki's little brother was quite the dancer, as was his best friend, who was his date for the night. He'll be starting at my alma mater UMaine this month and all I can say is: look out ladies!
Nikki and Victor were referred to me by not just one, but two former couples! One of them was Angie and Matt, and the other was Jenn and Ben, as Ben was Victor's best man when he and Jenn were married last summer and vice versa. I was so excited to catch up with Jenn and Ben, who are now parents to a beautiful baby girl, at the wedding, and I look forward to seeing them this weekend at Jenn's sister Katie's wedding. Jenn and Ben had an afternoon cocktail party wedding, and so didn't have a first dance, so I am glad I got this tender capture of the two of them at Nikki and Victor's.
The last dance- it was so sweet how these two sang to each other the whole song.