Category Archives: destination weddings

Newport wedding venues: The Oceancliff

The Oceancliff in Newport Rhode Island, was where Claire and Andrew decided to have their destination wedding. It is a beautiful seaside hotel and resort in the famous town of Newport, on Aquidneck Island in Rhode Island. The town is famous for the many opulent mansions such as The Breakers and Miramar that were built during the Gilded Age by some of America’s wealthiest families such as the Vanderbilts and Astors. The Oceancliff is one of the mansions which was converted from a private residence to a luxury wedding venue and it has some of the most enchanting views of Narragansett Bay and the sailboats it hosts.

When I was working as an architectural photographer some years ago, I hired the bride Claire, as my intern and we became great friends. She had just moved to this country and hit the ground running as an interior designer. I witnessed Claire and Andrew’s relationship from the beginnings, and saw their happiness grow. Over the years, I have met some of Claire’s closest friends and family from Taiwan and Canada. When Claire and Andrew got engaged, they wanted to find a wedding venue at a memorable destination which families from afar would truly appreciate. As a wedding vendor, I was asked many questions by the bride in relation to wedding advice and planning, and at some point I was hired to be her wedding photographer. I was excited and to be honest, a bit nervous!

On Claire’s wedding day, I arrived at the mansion finding my way up winding stairs to her bridal suite. The room had great big windows, and having a room to get ready with great natural light is essential on the wedding day. This not only is something a wedding photographer loves, but a makeup artist has an easy time working with the right colors for the bride.

For the wedding the bride and groom chose Tiffany blue and orange for their colors. Claire is an interior designer and fine art painter and has a great sense of style. She printed some DIY wedding invitations and menus, and applied stamping and cutting by hand. The guys wore black Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars and the ladies wore matching blue bridesmaid dresses and carried orange and blue bouquets.

When it came to making sure my good friends had the best Boston area DJ for their wedding, I recommended that they enlist Beat Train Productions. As a Boston wedding photographer, I hear a lot of great music, and a lot of not-so-great music, so I didn’t want Claire and Andrew to be stuck with any old DJ. As you can imagine, similar to wedding photographers, Djs can span a whole spectrum from great to cheesy. Just like Beat Train did for Karen & Robbie’s barn wedding (which will be published in an upcoming issue of The Knot Magazine) and Mary & Steve’s coastal maritime wedding, they kept the guests dancing non-stop. Without any hesitation, if you ask me who the best Boston wedding DJ is, I am going to say Beat Train. All of my clients above will agree hands down. I also just learned that Beat Train is expanding to New York City with select dates available. My guess is that a lot of Boston area brides and grooms might have their weddings back “home” in NYC/Brooklyn and want to meet their DJ before the wedding.

wedding gown at the oceancliff resort in rhode islandnewport wedding resort venue bridal suitebridal suite at the oceancliff hotel in newport rhode islandasian bride putting on earrings in a mirror on her wedding daywedding ring from brilliant earth flowers arranged in a wedding bouquet for a newport weddingorange and blue flowers for wedding bouquetstiffany blue bridesmaid dress and flowerselegant wedding mirror at a mansionrhode island wedding venue oceancliff resort and hotelgroom before wedding ocean seaside ceremony for a destination weddingDuring the outdoor summer ceremony overlooking the ocean, Claire and Andrew exchanged vows amidst perfect weather.destination wedding ceremony outdoors on the oceanThey incorporated unity sand into their wedding ceremony with sand from various significant locations. sand unity wedding ceremonyBeing that their destination wedding was in Newport, there were plenty of sailboats that afternoon.newport mansion oceancliff sailboat wedding photographyClaire’s father who speaks Mandarin Chinese, made a toast which was his first speech in English. He did a great job with no mixups and happily welcomed Andrew into their family. father of the bride making a toastClaire’s sister Claris came all the way from Taipei to share such a happy occasion with her sister.sister of the bride in tiffany blue bridesmaid dress for summerfather of the bride toastAndrew’s father also gave a toast to the newlyweds.father of the groom toastBoth Andrew and Claire were ecstatic on their wedding day and their smiles were contagious to everyone in the room at their reception.documentary photojournalism wedding photography in newport rhode islandAs an asian bride, Claire integrated Chinese tradition by changing into a qipao. The bridesmaids changed into red qipao, while the bride blended eastern and western tradition, choosing a white qipao.wedding qipao bridesmaid in the background during first dancecandid photojournalism emotions and laughter captured naturallyDIY custom wedding menu with icons and picturesThe cake was perfect for a destination wedding, using a beach theme integrating shells and adirondack chairs.adirondack beach cakeemotional wedding photojournalism boston massachusetts and rhode island

Newport RI Vendor list:

Wedding Ceremony and Reception Venue: Oceancliff Resort / Oceancliff H0tel
Newport Rhode Island Wedding Florist: Stone Blossom
Newport Wedding Photographer: Heather Parker Photography
Wedding Hairstylist: Wedding Tresses
Wedding Makeup Artist: Tada Yourself
Boutique Wedding DJ: Beat Train Productions
Wedding Cake Bakery: Cappucinos
Officiant: George Whitehouse

If you would like to see more Asian weddings including Chinese weddings, Taiwanese weddings, Korean weddings and other similar weddings please check out:

Milly and Ross W Hotel wedding

Jo and Rich’s Ivy Room wedding

John and Panle Le Meridien wedding

Bob and Theresa’s travel and passport themed wedding

Vickie and Ted’s White Elephant wedding on Nantucket Island

A Nantucket Wedding: Love at Brant Point Light on the Ocean

A Nantucket wedding can be so hard to step away from when editing! It very much feels like I get to relive Vickie and Ted’s big day on the island. All of the wedding details were carefully put together and should be inked in my mind, but all the little moments are what stand out to me for this one. Yes, they had blue, aqua, and ivory – quintessential Nantucket wedding colors. What I remember most from this wedding day was after documenting  Vickie getting ready, she offered a gift to her flower girl. This little girl’s eyes lit up in excitement, and her smile was so radiant. Without anyone asking her to do so, she complimented the bride on how pretty she looked. Vickie and Ted’s flower girl seemed to really enjoy the entire day. We went to the historic Brant Point Light, one of the favorite photo locations on the island. The bride and groom stood on the famous ramp leading up to the lighthouse, while their flower girl played barefoot along the ocean shore. She was a miniature version of a bride, and I wondered if someday she would remember this wedding, and yearn to have a Nantucket wedding of her own.

Nantucket wedding at Brant Point Light newlyweds

Jamaica destination wedding & other multicultural shoots

More and more I am noticing that as a wedding photographer, the weddings I document tell the stories of two cultures coming together. Interfaith, multicultural weddings are for me, just as common these days. Before each wedding, I talk with each bride and groom to learn what cultural traditions they will be incorporating into their ceremony and reception.

Before I share some wedding photography, I just wanted to thank you all for your patience while I edit and blog your wonderful weddings. I truly feel so lucky to be a part of such an important day of your lives. I have learned so much about such a variety of traditions and love telling the story of such meaningful events. Thank you for all the referrals and recommendations, it means so much that you enjoyed having me as your wedding photographer. Below, are some of the weddings that stand out as culturally rich with details in my eyes.

At this destination wedding in Jamaica, this interracial couple came from two different backgrounds and tied in some Jewish ceremonial traditions including standing under a chuppah and having a Jamaican officiant perform the marriage. I love these real wedding frames taken at sunset.

destination wedding photographers jamaica negril montego bayjamaica destination wedding photographer weddings in negril and montego bayNicole and Victor got married integrating Mexican traditions into their ceremony such as tying the lasso, as well as welcoming guests into the reception with a mariachi band. Family played an important part in their celebration as relatives joined the mariachi band in singing songs to the newlyweds. Nicole and Victor look just beautiful on their big day.

Mexican american wedding traditions captured by wedding photographer in Chicagolasso lazo wedding la celebración del matrimonio fotógrafo fotógrafa mexico chicagomariachi band wedding vendor
mejor fotógrafo de bodas en Chicago a las tradiciones méxico-americana

At another recent wedding in Cambridge right across the river from Boston, I photographed a Taiwanese bride and Canadian American groom with a ceremony done in both english and mandarin at a baptist church. The bride wore a traditional white vintage wedding gown and later changed into a red silk qipao before making an entrance to the reception.

新娘婚礼摄影师在波士顿摄影旗袍 wedding photographer boston photography of bride in qipao

This destination wedding on Nantucket Island at the White Elephant Nantucket wedding venue brought together different cultures including Chinese and American. The father of the groom surprised the newlyweds by bringing in Gund Kwok Asian Women Lion & Dragon Dance Troupe, the first all women lion & dragon dance troupe in the United States.

Nantucket wedding photographer white elephantchinese dragon dancers boston Gund Kwok Asian Women Lion & Dragon Dance Troupe 中国龙舞冈德国波士顿亚洲妇女狮龙舞艺术团best wedding on nantucket by vendor heather parker photographywhite elephant wedding pictures and photographynantucket wedding vendors photographers white elephantNantucket wedding florist flowers on chestnut

I photographed a recent Harvard Square multicultural Indian wedding where both Hindi and Christian traditions came together at Harvard Memorial Church.The church actually has services for Zoroastrian, Catholic, Baptist, Chabad/Jewish, Buddhist, Hindi, Christian Science and several other religious faiths. The church had some pretty amazing natural light and loads of candles.

indian wedding photography in boston indian wedding photographer shares bridal wedding bouquet flowers

White Elephant Nantucket Wedding Photographer | ACK

Here are a few photos from Saturday’s wedding on Nantucket Island at the White Elephant Hotel. Vickie & Ted are from the mainland but chose to get married on the island that Ted’s parents Pui and Carol Chan call home during the summer months when they operate Harbor Wok at the Jared Coffin House. At some point during the day, I convinced the bride and groom that they could use an ice cream break so we popped in the pharmacy and they shared a cone of blueberry ice cream. Mind-blowing floral arrangements by Nantucket florist Flowers on Chestnut and wedding planning services by Maureen and the ladies at Nantucket Island Events. Lots more to come!

Nantucket wedding photographer at White Elephant Brant PointNantucket wedding photographer and nantucket wedding photographynantucket wedding locations

Engagement session in town on the island, before dinner at Seth Raynor’s Corazon del Mar.nantucket engagement photographers

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Palm Springs Destination Wedding Photographer lists wedding venues

With the trend of destination weddings on the rise, brides are constantly in search of that perfect wedding weekend location. Whether you are a local, or are considering having your destination wedding in Palm Springs, you and your guests can enjoy the city for its mid-century modern architecture, nearby Indian Canyons great for hiking, stunning natural beauty of the San Jacinto Mountains, sparkling pools, and of course luxury hotels and resorts. It is one of the most memorable destination wedding locations for a magical, once in a lifetime wedding. Palm Springs is known for its fresh desert air, clear skies and glowing sun.

My favorite hotel in Palm Springs is the Viceroy Palm Springs, which is designed with a modern interpretationof the classic Hollywood Regency style popular during the desert’s original glamour era. The Viceroy Hotel has a simple, luxurious combination of clean white and bold yellow accents throughout the hotel suites, studios, private villas, and Citron restaurant. The staff does everything they can to make the guests experience absolutely perfect.

In addition to the modern Viceroy, Palm Springs swank hotel circuit has quite a few notable wedding venue locations:

Parker Palm Springs / Parker Le Meridien which is located on the celebrated Palm Canyon Drive, is a gorgeous example of desert modernism and provides 13 acres of sheer beauty. It’s dark and seductive ambience make for a unique wedding setting. Colony Palms Hotel which is a stunning four-star boutique hotel, also hosts weddings. Ace Hotel & Swim Club is perfect if you want your guests to bask in hipster glory and have a really fun time during a wedding here. Sandacre Estate Palm Springs and Palm Springs Riviera Resort & Spa are others that come to mind.

 

This post wouldn’t be complete without some photos. Palm Springs bride & groom JoJo & Jon really knew how to have a blast during the photography.

bride in wedding photo with yellow as the main colorgroom with vintage airplanes as a prop for wedding photosartistic wedding photographer Palm Springslove and war planescreative wedding photos with a fashion shoot approachairplane bride & groomI had such a blast with you both!

Here are a handful of personal photos i took a few years back while in Palm Springs. i got to go hiking with my 88 year old grandmother in the Indian Canyons. I highly recommend allocating time for the hike, its easy and there were some great views!

destination Palm Springs wedding photographer Heather Parker

Palm Springs California Destination Wedding Photographer

Palm Springs is the perfect spot for a destination wedding. Over the last few years I’ve have seen a sharp increase in the number of destination weddings hosted in this vacation mecca. Located in the Coachella Valley, during Hollywood’s Golden Age, Palm Springs became a favorite playground of the rich and famous. Why do I love this destination? It’s breathtaking natural scenery, lavish resorts and top-notch shopping and entertainment are just a few reasons.  Playing concierge to your out-of-town wedding guests is easy with everything that the city and region has to offer.  Whether you are looking at the glamorous Viceroy Palm Springs, the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa, Le Meridien Parker Palm Springs, or a private mid-century modern residence, the sky is the limit.

destination wedding photographer in palm springs CA with the bride and groom

Here is a sneak peek! I love when brides and grooms are up for some fun and creative ideas! Every moment I looked at the Palm Springs windmills, I thought of hundreds of flowers rotating around in the breeze. more photos to come soon darlings!

Destination wedding photographer recommendations

destination wedding photography search

last night i was on a call discussing a wedding day time line with a bride and groom. during our conversation, i was looking out the window and saw all the snow and it made me wish that summer would hurry up and get here. not long after the call, my heat went out. i wanted to be warm! it made me start thinking about the upcoming destination weddings. below is an early morning photo i took simply because i enjoyed how the rustic boat provided visual contrast to the idyllic turquoise caribbean sea.

destination wedding resorts

below is a photo of a destination wedding ceremony that i took while i was in the water. i didn’t actually mean to get in the water, it just sort of happened but once i got wet, i decided it was okay to be knee deep to get the shot.having a destination wedding at an ocean location

this wedding was also on the ocean however to get the same angle, there was more sand to walk on and i didn’t have to go swimming for the photo. the couple used a chuppah but even for non jewish beach wedding ceremonies, brides often will use a wedding canopy or arch, made out of things borrowed from nature. in addition to bamboo trunks, i have seen four potted plants in the place of a chuppah. for fabric to create the canopy, some of the more interesting ones i have seen have incorporated simple solid colors or color combinations including aqua, celery, citrus themed with yellow, green and orange, navy and celery, and navy and pink.jewish destination wedding photography

if you are thinking about having a wedding, one thing to note is that not all beaches are private beaches. some of my favorite beaches to have wedding ceremonies on are jetties beach in nantucket and seven mile beach in jamaica. when dealing with public beaches, you can sometimes have an unannounced guest at your wedding 🙂

on of my brides put these DIY decorations together which work perfectly for destination weddings. Sand, beach glass, shells, and river rocks along with candles work great for this type of decor.destionaton wedding photography

many wedding resorts are now creating signature cocktails for their brides and grooms.photographer for destination weddings in jamaica

Planning a Nantucket wedding: resources and vendors

So many people have heard of the tourist destination of Martha’s Vineyard, but I’m going to tell you all about one of my favorite places: Nantucket Island for weddings. a short ferry trip and an even shorter cessna ride from the continent lies a sand bar called Nantucket. Long ago, the little island was the world’s leading whaling port but when that industry came to a halt, many left the island. Local historic district commission ensures architectural preservation and development is done with the strictest care to preserve the history and character of the island. What makes they “grey lady” extra special is that most of the homes and buildings on island date back from before the civil war. Total time warp! Cobblestone streets and dirt roads dotted with white cedar shingle cottages… A picturesque harbor, shell-paved walks, lighthouses and expansive nature preserves and golf courses…. Oh I almost forgot: dolphins in the sunset at Madaket Beach…  All this makes “ACK” one of the most desirable places to live, vacation, and have a destination wedding.

nantucket wedding photographers

As with many island towns, nantucket’s population soars in the summertime and has become a very popular location for destination weddings.

Nantucket isn’t as hectic as Martha’s Vineyard is in the summer, and is far less saturated with tourists. There’s no traffic lights on island and year round, its quite peaceful. If you get seasick from ferries and you can’t stomach the idea of hopping on a 10 passenger prop plane (and telling them your weight), you might be out of luck. If you do happen to make it on island, you can rent a car or bicycle easily. If you rent a scooter (not really a moped) do be careful because inexperienced riders on winding dirt roads not only annoy the locals but can be an unsafe combo.

As far as resources for Nantucket weddings, there are quite a lot, whether you choose to use island resources or bring your own from the mainland. As far as theme and decorating goes, there are blogs and wedding planners to help. Some popular elements Nantucket lightship baskets, sailor knots, star fish and seashells, hydrangeas, and a nautical / navy color theme are all very popular design ideas to add to a Nantucket event. When planning your island wedding, give yourself extra time and book far in advance since warm months on the island give way to wedding venues and accommodations, inns, and hotels booking up fast for your out of town guests. Since weather is unpredictable on Nantucket, always have a backup plan in store in case of inclement weather. One thing to note though is that so many mornings on Nantucket start out very grey just due to the fog rolling over the island and the clouds often pass for a sunny day.

On island there are a few popular areas for weddings including looking right in town and east over in Siasconset (also known simply as ‘Sconset). below you will find my not so big list of resources for Nantucket weddings

Ceremony Venues and Nantucket beach information

First Congregational Church 62 Center Street (508) 228-0950
St Paul’s Episcopal Church 20 Fair Street (508) 228-0916‎ (stone church famed for its Tiffany & Co. stained glass windows, somewhat strict rules for marriage)
South Church / Unitarian Universalist Church11 Orange Street (508) 228-7597
Shirat Ha Yam Jewish services at the Unitarian Church
United Methodist Church 3 Liberty Street (508) 228-1882
St Mary’s Our Lady of the Isle3 Federal Street (508) 228-0100‎ (i believe you have to be a member)
First Baptist Church 1 Summer Street (508) 228-4930
Union Chapel 18 New Street (508) 257-6616‎ (over in ‘Sconset) The Sconset Chapel
Beach Wedding Ceremonies – while beaches are public property you still need to contact the Board Of Selectmen, I love Jetties Beach
Brant Point light is a very popular location for wedding ceremonies as well
Altar Rock is the second highest point on the island and also a favorite location
Catherine Stover is the Town Clerk and a Justice of the Peace
Wedding venues and rehearsal dinner locations
Nantucket Whaling Museum check out the rooftop observation deck!
Brotherhood of Thieves about 50 seated or 100 for passed h’orderves
Catering
A Taste of Nantucket Kimberly Reed (offers planning services as well)
Wedding Cakes and Bakeries
Flowers
Flowers on Chestnut (508-228-6007) Michael Molinar
Soiree Floral Dawn Kelly
Wedding Photographer
Wedding Planners, Consultant and misc. resources
Unique Nantucket Nicole Whelden
Dress Pressing/Ironing on ACK Roni Roberts Pressed for Time
Music: Bands, DJ’s, soloists:
Jeffrey Ross & The Atlantics (508-228-2825)
Ceremony Musicians
Ceremony Music : Harp by Harpist Mary Keller
Wedding Transportation:
Vintage cars: Highland Drivers
Cranberry Transportation
Gifts, Favors, and Decor
Blue Beetle Nantucket on Main for monogrammed bags and other personalized goodies
Beach Glass on straight wharf, lots of glass and jewelry
Nantucket Gift Basket Company
Aunt Leah’s Fudge opens back up in april i think
Salons on Nantucket for Bridal Hair and Makeup
R.J. Miller Salons 508-228-4672
Andrea Marie Salon for bridal styling 508-228-0042
Tresses & The Day Spa 508-228-0024 (hair, makeup, spray tanning)
The Calming Room (makeup and spray tanning) 508-325-8920
Darya Salon & Spa 508-228-0550

Boston barn wedding photographer

Boston barn wedding reception venues are highly sought after. After lea and mark hired me to photograph their New England barn wedding, I met with them for some engagement photos in downtown Chicago around springtime on the lakefront. They brought their black lab to include in some of the shots and we had a blast. Since meeting them and working with them, lea has passed my name on to several brides. I am always so appreciative when clients pass my name along to others.

It was really so fun working with them during the engagement shoot, and I couldn’t wait for the wedding. After previously photographing a wedding at the Barn at Gibbet Hill, I found that I really enjoyed non-traditional wedding venues. I had a few phone conversations with Lea before her wedding and could tell already that many well thought out details were being put into action for this wedding.  When we arrived, Lea showed us that Barack Obama declined her wedding invitation. Bummer as it would have been cool to get some shots of Lea dancing with the president!

During our communication over phone and email before the wedding, Lea informed me that she would be wearing the groom’s grandmother’s necklace.

we talked about the couple’s wedding day time line and realized that with a church ceremony running from 4 o’clock until almost 5 o’clock, there would not be much time for any outdoor photos after the ceremony with the sun setting so early in the winter. lea and mark had a “first look” before heading a few blocks down the road to the sea for some creative photos.

Its worth being a trooper and making time for outdoor photos even in the winter. This gave the bride and groom some time together during their wedding day before splitting time with all their friends and family.

While the bride and groom live in the Chicago area, they brought the groom’s pastor in from nebraska to their New England wedding. While not all churches are flexible to allow use of their space with another officiant, the couple found a great church willing to allow an out of town pastor to perform the ceremony. Congregational churches in this area have the sanctuary on the second floor.

When I think of New England, quaint white steepled churches are some of the first things that come to mind.

After the ceremony, everyone headed over to the historic Red Lion Inn for the wedding reception. In a picturesque seaside town, a combination of country french and New England colonial styles provided perfect ambience in a wedding reception venue.

Ehe barn at the Red Lion Inn had an upstairs lofted wrap-around balcony that was used for cocktail hour.

A consistent, navy blue nautical theme was used for wedding. paper goods such as table numbers, menus, and escort cards were designed by the Etsy seller BuddyandBean.

After cocktail hour, the newlyweds descended upon the grand staircase of the barn and immediately began their scheduled first dance.

the cake was from the famed konditor meister bakery

Toasts and parent dances followed.

Reception Venue: The Red Lion Inn Barn Cohasset, MA
Church: Second Congregational Church, Cohassett, MA
Ceremony Musicians: Brian Pierce, Organ and Piano
Jeff Marani and Jennifer Fearnley, Vocalists
Pat Stout, Trumpet
Cocktail Hour Musicians: Derek Van Slyck Jazz Combo
DJ: Aaron Topfer
Photographer: Heather Parker Photography
Flowers: The Candy Jar Pembroke, MA
Hair and Makeup: Charlotte Phinney
Bridesmaid Gowns: Watters & Watters
Bridal Gown and Alterations: Eva’s Bridal Orland Park, Illinois
Custom Garter: Sew Unique Garters
Wedding Cake: Konditor Meister Bakery
Limousine: Brewster Coach Quincy, MA
Invitations: Paper Elegance
Bridal Earrings, Bracelet, and Brooch: The White Aisle

New Orleans Wedding Photographer and second line parades

Perhaps the most notable tradition of all in regards to a New Orleans wedding is the second line parade. just about all weddings in new orleans have some form of a second line. Everyone including the bride, groom and wedding guests dance in a line through the French Quarter, led by a second line brass band. The W New Orleans Hotel and the W New Orleans – French Quarter are two of my favorite NOLA wedding venues. The courtyard and fountain at the French Quarter location is such a perfect location.

new orleans wedding photographer w hotel

New Orleans Wedding Photographer and second line parades, the bride generally carries a parasol, or “second line umbrella” as guests twirl handkerchiefs. The French Quarter is a festive location filled with great energy throughout the year. The parades usually lead the guests from the church to the reception location. New Orleans’ famous St. Louis cathedral in Jackson Square is the oldest Catholic cathedral in continual use in the US. Its a great piece of architecture inside and out, day or night. When strolling through the French Quarter, you will undoubtedly notice the unique architecture showing the city’s multicultural heritage. You’ll see everything from creole cottages, to the more iconographic balconies. Whenever I find myself in New Orleans, i always stop at the 24-hour Cafe du Monde, the french market cafe for some beignets. If you head outside the French Quarter (and i strongly recommend doing so) down St. Charles and on to Prytania, you will see magnificent historic mansions, many of which are popular locations for weddings.At the time of this blog post, there are still many areas of the city that have yet to be restored after Hurricane Katrina. When I am in town, I can’t help but notice how friendly everyone is, and the cheerful mood that encompasses the city, even after everything the city has gone through. On my left hand, I have tattoo of the fleur de lis, the symbol of New Olreans and it reminds me how great the city truly is.