09 December 2011

The Day We Said " I Do"

September 29, 2011. The day I looked into the big, beautiful brown eyes of my love and promised to be his wife. I wore red shoes.

We eloped at city hall in Manhattan for a variety of reasons, mostly related to visa time lines and finances. It was a wonderful day.

Emma was our witness and my hair and makeup fixer. At our second wedding celebration (in 2013), she'll be my maid of honor, too. I love her.

I wore a yellow silk rose in my hair in honor of Bulgaria and a short white lace dress found in a small boutique near my house. The dress had no tags except for a tiny label on the inseam stating, "Made in Paris." It seemed serendipitous.

When we were called in to the chapel, a lot of giggling ensued. Nervous energy maybe? It was all kind of surreal. But then the officiant started talking and I clutched Tiho's hands too tightly and forgot about everything else. What I remember most is the way he looked at me. I could see the raw emotion in his face and it just completely reaffirmed that this was exactly what was supposed to happen. Husband, wife, here we are.

We walked out of that building beaming. I couldn't stop smiling. I've been told that no matter what, you feel beautiful on your wedding day. I have to agree. It radiates from within.

Newly minted sister and brother. It's amazing to me how a marriage instantly expands the notion of family. I love it.

We took a handful of portraits in the wedding garden and then in front of the municipal building and courthouse.

See? I can't stop smiling. And doesn't Tiho look dapper in his cherry red tie? The color of passion, baby!

We had our hearts set on a series of Brooklyn Bridge photos. One of our earliest dates was a stroll across that bridge, so it was majorly sentimental (plus it's just awesome).

As we set out, the storm clouds rolled in. We were about a third of the way over the bridge when the loudest clap of thunder boomed overhead and the sky opened. When I say "opened," I mean crazy heavy rain and wind.

There was nothing we could do. No umbrellas, no shelter. So, we majorly made out and embraced the photo opportunity. We wanted a Brooklyn Bridge photo shoot and boy, did we ever get one.

After a few minutes, I kicked off my heels and we raced back over the bridge in search of cover. It was still pouring and absolutely freezing. We were drenched and I'm fairly certain my dress was see-through.

We made out some more and shared a hot dog from a vendor before deciding to call it a day. Originally, we planned to remain in the city and treat ourselves to a romantic dinner, but in the end, we headed home, ordered Thai takeout, popped the cork on a bottle of champagne and snuggled on the couch. And you know what? It felt exactly as it should.

I love you so much, Tiho. If these first few months of marriage are any indication of what the next seventy years will be, I feel like the luckiest girl in the world.

(All photography by the amazing and talented Alice Gao who captured our personalities so well it's almost scary).


  1. Beautiful bride, beautiful day, beautiful photography! xo

  2. So perfect! I love the carefree feeling in every photo. So natural! And the bridge photos are so sweet!

  3. Beautiful and perfect. Thanks for sharing your story.

  4. Oh my God, my eyes are tearing!! So beautiful!I wish I could have such a sweet and perfect wedding day soon! (If anyone could please pass my boyfriend the hint...:-)))

  5. I am so happy you shared these in their entirety! so so beautiful Kayla. You guys are adorable and that dip on the bridge in the rain! I hope you have the framed! so much love to you both! xo

  6. What a beautiful, wonderful day - rain and all!

  7. crying like a baby right now! you are such a doll kayla. tiho is a very lucky man! all the thought and preparation into your special day truly showed, but seemed effortless and natural through the camera lens.
    the day i married my husband it also rained... they say that is good luck! we celebrated our 24th this past may, and i can honestly say, marrying the love of my life was the best thing i ever did! congratulations and may you live a full and passion filled life together. xxxx

  8. There are big, fat tears in my eyes-you two are so beautiful, and your story absolutely melts me.

  9. are u kidding me? could u be any more gorgeous?? best wedding photos i've seen in a while. i speak the truth.

  10. LOVE that you embraced the rain - those shots on the bridge are enviable and timeless! Congrats!

  11. i love everything about these photos and your writing to accompany them. this day was perfect...especially the thunder on the bridge. every groom's dream? #seethroughweddingdress

  12. You guys look absolutely radiant. Seriously fabulous.

    Also we're living some kind of strange parallel lives but in alternate universes. My husband and I just got married at the registry office in Melbourne in November and are planning our "real" wedding for what date? the 29th of September!

  13. In French, they say "mariage pluvieux, mariage heureux", which rhymes... & means "rainy wedding, happy marriage".

    It started thundering & pouring with rain at the end of our French wedding ceremony back in August 2009, so we had to hide out in the church, kiss all the guests & listen to the above saying six million times until the downpour stopped!

    Your photos are beautiful, Kayla.

    Even more gorgeous? The love between you two.

  14. Beautiful Photos! It just goes to show you that you can't control everything. My husband I got married that weekend of the major snow storm... in October. We got some beautiful photos and had a wonderful time (even with the reception moved to Sunday afternoon) but we sure didn't plan for it!

  15. I love these x a million.

    Seriously Kayla, you can just see the pure joy on your face throughout all the pictures. so beautiful and true.

    so glad we got to peek at your day!

    how are you going to decide which ones to print? :)

  16. Beautiful photos and beautiful recap of your special day! Congratulations and blessings to you for many more years of laughing-in-the-rain type memories.

  17. I love your wedding day :) and I can't wait to see how your second celebration turns out! It will be equally beautiful, I'm sure.

  18. i finally can see them! Tears, happiness, contentment, joy, love, love, love, love. They are exquisite sweetie! I love you.

  19. Kayla! oh my gosh, these photos are gorgeous. the rain shots... stunning!

  20. This is one of my favorite Exquisite Banana posts. I've had it bookmarked & keep meaning to leave some form of meaningful comment... all I can say is, stunning!

  21. ,,,the clouds and sky wanted in on your celebration. the storm, the rain and all its glory was happy tears for your beautiful union. new to your blog and i simply love it!,,,


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