Meet Candy and Ken!

I met this fun couple while I was shooting a destination wedding in Waikiki, at the beautiful Ko Olina Chapel Place of Joy in Kapolei, Hawaii for Weiwei & James.  Candy was a bridesmaid and Ken was a groomsman. I shot their engagement session on the shores of Sheraton Waikiki when we were there, and hit it off right away!  Since they currently live in the bay area, when they originally asksed me to shoot their wedding I was thinking maybe San Francisco, or Berkley area. When they told me it was going to be in SHANGHAI, CHINA, I was beyond thrilled!

So fast forward to earlier this year, I was on a plane to Beijing for my connection flight to Shanghai. I still had to pinch myself to make sure that I was really going to shoot an international wedding in Shanghai.  Candy & Ken treated me like old friends as soon as I got there, and really made me feel at home. Even though I was half way across the world. There were so many cool traditions and customs, many of them similar to the destination wedding I shot in Taiwan back in 2010. If you want to check out that wedding, here’s part 1 and part 2.  I will do my best to explain the customs from the photos!

I want to personally thank Ken & Candy for their trust and friendship. Thank you for trusting me to capture such a big moment in your lives and I am grateful for the opportunity to have been part of your day!

On to the photos!!

This is  the actual apartment where Candy grew up in when she was a little girl! Even though she lives in the Bay Area now, many of her old photos and decorations were still in her room.

Now THOSE are some shoes.

The Chinese character means “double happiness.” It’s a very traditional character to be displayed during weddings. In fact, you can probably see it in most of the photos! I thought it made a cool backdrop for the ring shot.

Candy actually had FOUR outfit changes through out the day. And it’s customary for a bride to change that many times in Chinese weddings.

The groom arriving to pick up his future wife!

Before the groom can see the bride, he has to pass a series of tests to prove he’s worthy of his wife!!  The most common thing to do is to give out red envelopes to the bridesmaids, uncles, aunts, mailman…. okay, maybe not the mailman, but you get the idea. And I’ve never seen anybody this happy to give away money! 🙂


Ken had to formally ask his wife to marry him, AGAIN.

It is good luck to have firecrackers on your wedding day. And it was deafening the amount of noise it made. My ears were ringing for a good 30 minutes after these went off!!

As part of the tradition, groom has to carry the bride outside without her feet touching the ground.

Bride’s mother changing her shoes. It symbolizes now she’s ‘walking out of the house’ and onto a new life.

For the portraits, we relied on a few of the local photographer/videographer to show us where to go. We started at the historic Waibaidu Bridge that was built in 1908., and then moved onto a place called Rockbund in Shanghai. It’s a historic area that has since been converted to mixed-use development. I LOVED the old architecture there!



The traditional tea ceremony as a sign of paying respect to the parents.

The gorgeous hotel where the reception took place; Central Hotel Shanghai. About 100 of their closest friends and relatives were in attendance!

 The bride and groom went around each time to say hi to everybody. And it’s customary to light up a cigarette and share a drink with each guest!  I hope you guys enjoyed this wedding as much as I enjoyed being part of it. Can’t wait to see where my next adventure will take me!

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