Feels right at home. Christina & Dan Married // Vancouver

Christina and Dan’s wedding felt right at home for me even though it was out in Vancouver.   It’s weddings like theirs that I live for.  Familiar faces everywhere and spending the day with close friends in a city I love. Vancouver for me was probably one of the cities aside from Chicago that Gi and I travel too at least one a year since we started dating as we have close friends over there.   But for this week it meant even more as we got to be a part of this wedding, since Christina was a special part of ours – marrying us on our wedding day.

I landed in Vancouver early in the week to scout out the locations and to get a visual feel of things so when Gi came, we could spend more time playing =)

Both Christina and Dan got ready in separate rooms in the Executive Hotel which worked out well as Gi and I jumped back and forth between rooms.  The weather was perfect throughout the whole day and the evening celebrations went off without a hitch.  One thing I have to mention that you will see in the pics (I’ll probably do another entry on their vintage photobooth) was the props and set design on their vintage booth theme.  Elizabeth, if you’re reading this… you my friend have some serious talent and attention for detail.  I bow to your creativity sister!

I want to thank our lodging services of Helen and Enoch for taking us in =)  I don’t see you guys enough – thanks for everything.  Brendan and Ya-Hsun Hopwood for their awesome talent in hair and make up.  Christina and Dan, what can I say but thank you with love.  Here are a few pics to bring back some memories from your awesome day.

Love, Leon

Vancouver!!!....One of the first cities that Leon and I went to together so it is definitely a favourite of ours.  What was great about this trip was that we got to photograph a couple that means so much to us.  You see, the bride was not only a great friend but also the person who married Leon and I.  You see we were lucky enough to have someone we knew commit our union and be a part of one of the most important moments in our life.  We are honoured to be able to return that favour and document one of the most important moments in Christina and Dan’s life.

The wedding was so representative of this couple who are both pastors as the ceremony was held at their home church.   You could feel the love and family throughout the day as everyone who was a part of the union was a friend.   All the elements of the wedding were so personal as no one was a vendor, we were all friends who respected these two so much.

Love you guys both!


Hair and Make Up – Brendan Hopwood / Ya-Hsun Hopwood (http://beauty-a-go-go.com)

Ceremony – University Chapel (http://www.universitychapel.org/)

Photo location – University of British Columbia (http://www.ubc.ca)

Venue-    Polish Community Centre, Vancouver   (http://polishcommunitycentre.com)
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Helen & Enoch Wedding (Vancouver)

Hair  - bridesmaids– Brendan Hopwood

Make up – Ya-Hsun Hopwood

Helen’s hairdresser – Hirut

Date: April 24, 2010

Ceremony – Museum of Vancouver

Venue – False Creek Community Centre, Granville Island

I’m going to divide this entry into two parts since these clients are special to me, starting with: The Photographer and The Friend (I almost feel like I have a split personality… hehe)

Leon Chai The Photographer:

Back in November, Gi and I headed down to Vancouver to shoot their lifestyle session, which took course over a span of two days.  Helen and Enoch were great to work with – up for anything regardless of weather or the time of day.  So needless to say, on their wedding day today the last thing I worried about was two camera shy couples. Leading up to this day, I have never been so glued to the Vancouver weather in my life.  Every day my ipod weather app kept telling me that was going to be 90% chance of rain on the Saturday.  I’m never too worried about rain when it comes to a wedding in Toronto, for a few reasons, 1) I would have a rain sheltered alternative for the client and b) In Toronto for the most part, it rains for an hour max and the rest of the day should be fine.  For those of you who have never been to Vancouver, the difference is, when they forecast rain… it rains… ALL DAY.

So we took off on Friday around noon and landed into rainy Vancouver in the afternoon.  Priority to me right off the bat was to visit all the locations and plan out the locations for the shoots in case it rained. So Kevin and I drove around Vancouver for 5 hours to scout all the possible locations that would work for both rain or shine.  After the scouting, the plan was set  :)

The day of the wedding went perfect.  Waking up bright and early to head over to the suite where Helen and her bridesmaids were started off a fun morning.  Keeping an eye on the weather, it was a mix of drizzle and breaks of sun… So far so good.   After the amazing ceremony for Helen & Enoch, their wedding party followed us to all the locations and thank God, the weather held up for three hours for us to shoot.    The reception and the rest of the night was perfect, but as always, I’ll let the pictures below tell the story.   I like to thank Kevin Fung,  (www.fungkeblog.com ) for assisting me with this shoot, Hirut, Brendan and Ya-Hsun for making everyone look gorgeous and my wife Gi, for being my lighting girl (who says one can’t be a bridesmaid and a human light stand)

Leon Chai The Friend.

Helen - almost 1 year ago to date you came down from Vancouver for our wedding and the moment you got to our place, you went right in to business, helping Gi out and kept us sane from all our last minutes to do– for that, I can’t thank you enough for.   So getting off the plane and getting straight to it was a joy for me and being able to be document your wedding is great times :)  Enoch, I totally hear you on your speech brother and can concur that marrying Helen entails adopting all her friends and family…on that note, welcome to the family and I hope you guys enjoy a few quick edits from your day.  Love you guys both.

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