In today's age of over-the-top engagement proposals, I find it so sweet when a young couple holds the traditional Vietnamese engagement ceremony. Earlier this month one such young couple reached out me to photograph their special day. Justin and Dao was hosting a simple ceremony up in Owings Mills, Maryland. Even though the morning started off a little bit foggy, I could tell it will be a nice sunny day for the event. I love the cute archway outside the door for the guests and the sign that Dao's friend wrote for them - it was a perfect blend of the traditional and a little of the rustic trendy style of the chalkboard.
What I enjoyed most about the day was the real ease and laid-back this couple was all morning. There was a peace in both homes as I photographed the bride-to-be and with Justin as he prepared to go to her house. And you can really sense this ease and sweetness in the both of them in these series of portraits of the two.
In every engagement ceremony the bride-to-be has to ask a number of young ladies to represent the bride's side to receive all the gift's of the groom-to-be. What I always find so delightful are the beautiful traditional ao dai's (long dresses) they are just so colorful and youthful. I love this sassy shot of these beautiful young women and the big group hug for the couple.
Another favorite, is of the mother-and-daughter portrait which have so much sentiment. Dao's mom flew in from Vietnam for the engagement and you can just see the joy and pride in her eyes.
Speaking of joy, I love a group picture of Justin's extended family raising the roof. They were so happy for the couple I know that surely laughter is a big part of this family. What I enjoy about these traditional engagement ceremonies is the intimacy of the event, the introductions of two families, and chance to honor the relatives families of the couple. Best wishes to Justin & Dao!