I have been looking forward to this wedding for about 4 months now ever since I booked it. Knowing it was going to be my first international wedding, it was both nerve wrecking and exciting at the same time! The bride and I actually went to elementary school together, and we got reconnected through Facebook. When Vita first asked me if I was willing to shoot her wedding, I actually thought she was joking. But through weeks of emails, it became apparent I was going to make the trip to Taiwan for her beautiful wedding. It is such an honor when a couple trusts me with the most important day of their lives; but to trust me enough to book me all the way across the world? This wedding sure takes the cake (pun intended).

Vita and Ying Yang met through a mutual friend, and have been inseparable ever since. He’s a phone software programmer and she studied for their master’s degree in Australia and is currently a website designer. They share love for McDonald’s food! Hey, who doesn’t, huh? A traditional Taiwanese wedding is full of customs and special meanings. Vita sent me a detailed itinerary but it was still a bit overwhelming to try to capture all the details. Since this was a long wedding, I’ll have to break it down to 2, maybe even 3 posts. Here’s part 1 of the wedding, which documented the start of the day until they left for the banquet hall. And I’ll do my best to explain each photo and the importance of the ceremonies. Enjoy the pictures!

Beautiful Vita getting ready for the big day! For a typical wedding, the bride has THREE outfit changes, including full hair/make up change. We thought the brides in America work hard, huh?

Typical in every home in Taiwan, there is a shrine for the ancestors of each family. The newlyweds paid their respect to the ancestors by saying a prayer and lighting incense.

Here’s the view from Vita’s parents’ house. Twelve stories up! Even though it was an overcast day, the view is still incredible.

The little ring bearer taking in the view as well.

The groom makes his first entrance; bearing gifts for the bride’s family.

All of the groom’s immediate family getting situated for one of the many tea ceremonies.

After the guests finish drinking their tea, they put red envelopes (with money inside) in the cups and gave it to the couple as wedding gifts.

The ring ceremony is done in front of the shrine for the ancestors. There is no vow exchange, just exchanging of rings.

Caught a tender moment between the bride & groom. Collective aaawwwwwww.

After the tea ceremony, the groom went back down stairs and drove around the block to come back for the ‘welcoming of the bride’ ceremony. What would be equivalent to the ring bearer in the US presented the groom with two oranges for good luck.

My favorite part of the morning! The groom and all of his groomsmen had to answer questions about the bride before they can see her. If the groom doesn’t answer it right, he will be punished so he can prove that he’s worthy of the bride. Some of the questions were “what elementary school did the bride go to?” “what is the bride’s favorite color?” As you can see from the next picture…..he was STUMPED.

The punishment was 20 push ups!! Drop and give me 20! Meanwhile the bride is waiting patiently for the groom in her room while she changed into her main wedding gown.

After the groom finally made his way in, he was presented with rice balls dessert. White rice ball represented they will have a baby boy, and pink represented they will have a baby girl.

The bride and groom paid their respect to the bride’s parents before they leave for the banquet hall. It was a very touching moment since this marks the last day Vita will be living at her parents’ house!

Vita’s mother was really sad to see her daughter go…there was not a dry eye in the room!

Notice the fan vita just threw out the car? It represented that she’s now moving on to the next phase of her life! And off we go to the banquet hall….told you guys it was going to be a long post! 🙂

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