I was so honored when the delightful Sonia Sharma (of Sonia Sharma Events) asked me to shoot her wedding. There’s something very special about watching someone you know say their vows in front of the person they love, and I’ll admit that I cried a bit while listening to Sonia deliver her vows. Sonia married the wonderful Philipp, who hails from Germany and who first encountered Sonia at a wine bar when she cut in line in front of him for the unisex bathroom. This “meet cute” ended up being steeped in fate, ultimately blossoming into something they both wanted to keep for the rest of their lives.
Despite best laid plans for an outdoor ceremony, Sonia’s wedding unexpectedly took place on the rainiest day of the year. A full seven inches of rain fell on the day of the wedding, meaning that the majority of the morning was spent erecting a plastic tent (which itself spent part of the morning collapsing under the incredible weight of the water falling from the skies). The tent team worked incredibly hard to get everything set up so the guests would be dry, and the ever-creative Sonia glammed up the plastic tenting with chandeliers. Plans for a next-door pre-ceremony cocktail party had to be rethought, as it was also to have taken place outdoors. Sonia and Philipp’s guests were instead welcomed into small area adjacent to the ceremony location, where they contented themselves with a very cozy shoulder-to-shoulder cocktail hour. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with getting cozy with cocktails, and everyone had a wonderful time despite the wet skies.
The always-divine Shawna Yamamoto created a look for the decor that perfectly reflected Sonia’s vision of vintage details with pops of color. Long wooden tables were topped with books, wooden letters, metal numbers, flowers enclosed by glass, floral arrangements, candles, bookends and other beautiful details. The cake table included vintage luggage and antique-style photo tags, along with desserts enclosed in glass (not to mention fabric birds atop the cake). Scenes from B&W old movies were projected on the Smog Shoppe’s movie screen throughout the reception, adding a stylish vibe to the entire affair. Eddie Zaratsian from Tic Tock Couture Florals provided a second bouquet for the lovely Miss Sonia . . . because who doesn’t love having two bouquets? The fantastically wonderful Jeannie Jeffries from Couture Beauty expertly handled Sonia’s hair and makeup, and graciously and generously came back to work her magic once again for our day-after session. Daniel Boswell at Imagique did a same-day edit that brought the house down. And the most rocktastic DJ I know — Ajay Manaktala from Special Occasions — spun just the right blend of tunes to keeps guests from Germany, India and America dancing until the wee small hours.
And did I mention the shoes? The shoes . . . the shoes! Shawna Yamamoto created shoes that I pronounce “Best Shoes of the Year,” and they will be the subject of the last post in this series on Sonia’s wedding. I don’t usually give awards for “best of” anything, but when you see these shoes, you will understand why they deserve that honor.
My first post from this wedding will be one of two image collections focused solely on decor. Be sure to check back on Wednesday for Part 2 of this five-part post from Sonia’s wedding . . . because you just know you’re dying to see what Sonia wore. 🙂
Venue: The Smog Shoppe
Floral Artistry: Shawna Yamamoto at Shawna Yamamoto Event Design
Hair & Makeup: Jeannie Jeffries at Couture Beauty
Cinematography: Daniel Boswell at Imagique
DJ Artistry: Ajay Manaktala at Special Occasions
Cake Artistry: Designs by Ruben