Capturing Jie and Samuel's stunning wedding at Sheraton Universal Hotel, incorporating a traditional Chinese tea ceremony to honor the bride's routes. After documenting the couple getting ready in separate suites, we captured a romantic first look and garden portrait session before their intimate wedding ceremony. The day ended with a glamorous ballroom reception filled with warm moments and a fun donut proposal.
I had the privilege of connecting with Jie and Samuel during their e-session around Malibu and Downtown Los Angeles a couple of months ago and was excited to reconnect with their wedding at Sheraton Universal Hotel.
While they were planning a western wedding ceremony, they also wanted to incorporate a traditional tea ceremony to honor their Chinese roots. With everything happening in the one place, my second photographer and I met up at the Sheraton Universal Hotel to document the couple as they made their final preparations.
Getting ready photos at Sheraton Universal Hotel:
While my second photographer was with Samuel and his groomsmen as they were getting ready, I was with Jie, her two bridesmaids including her sister, and her mom in their elegant hotel suite. I captured up-close candids as Jie had the final touches applied to her makeup, as well as some shots as she stepped into her gorgeous chi pao in the lead up to the Chinese tea ceremony.
We were planning a more official first look between the couple in their western wedding attire, but I thought it might also be fun to do one while Jie’s was in her chi pao and Samuel in his oriental-inspired red jacket. After documenting Jie walking up behind her groom and his reaction to seeing her, the couple paid respect to both sets of parents by offering tea.
Both Jie and Samuel then returned to their respective suites to get ready once again, this time in their western wedding attire. I photographed Jie and her mom admiring the stunning white gown in a naturally-lit window, as well as grabbing a portrait of Jie in her robe while contemplating her engagement ring.
Jie’s bridesmaids then assisted as she stepped into her wedding dress and secured a pearl necklace before the bride opened a note card and bracelet gifted by her groom. I then photographed Jie as she offered “thank you” gifts to her bridesmaids and we had a bit of time for portraits of the bride on her own incorporating her stunning pink bouquet.
Jie’s dad then arrived for the father-daughter first look and was undeniably proud as he saw his daughter looking so elegant on her wedding day. In addition to capturing the reactions of Jie’s sister and mom as they watched on, I also grabbed a family portrait of them all together in this special moment.
Pre-ceremony portraits at Sheraton Universal Hotel:
It was then time for the official first look between Jie and Samuel and as we made our way down to the bottom floor of the Sheraton Universal Hotel, we stopped to grab a few more portraits of the bride in front of a striking, industrial-inspired door. We were lucky that there weren’t any conferences or conventions taking place at the hotel and managed to find a quiet hallway with old world charm to stage the couple’s first look.
I photographed Jie walking up behind her groom and his reaction as he turned around, as well as a tender kiss on the hand as the couple soaked up this moment together. Jie and Samuel had really prioritized photography and ensured the day was running to schedule, which meant we had plenty of time for portraits beneath the hallway’s ornate chandeliers and in the adjacent gardens.
I photographed the couple looking lovingly into one another’s eyes on a blue sofa and walking hand-in-hand through the hallway, as well as capturing shots of them embracing in the garden’s leafy surrounds. We also used the time available to grab a few more portraits of Jie looking absolutely radiant in her wedding dress and documenting a special moment with her cute flower girl.
Ceremony photos at Sheraton Universal Hotel:
It was then time for the ceremony to get underway, which was taking place on the top floor of the Sheraton Universal Hotel overlooking the Los Angeles cityscape. Samuel walked down the aisle on the arm of his parents, followed by Jie being escorted by her dad. I captured the groom’s reaction in black and white as he watched his bride walk towards him, then grabbed a candid as Jie’s father gave her away at the altar.
Jie and Samuel’s wedding ceremony at the Sheraton Universal Hotel was short and sweet, with the couple exchanging vows beneath a gorgeous floral bridal arch in front of their closest family and friends. I captured the reactions of both the bride and groom as they exchanged vows, as well as those of their parents, then photographed them as they made their joyous recessional walk down the aisle as “husband and wife”.
Reception photos at Sheraton Universal Hotel:
While Jie and Samuel’s wedding guests enjoyed cocktail hour on the ground floor of the Sheraton Universal Hotel, the staff performed a “flip” to transform the ceremony space into a romantic reception venue. The newlyweds made their grand entrance and kicked off the reception proceedings with a first dance before performing their respective parental dances.
This was followed by speeches and toasts from the father-of-the-bride and Samuel’s groomsmen, as well as words from Jie’s two maids-of-honor. I documented the reactions (and laughter) from the couple at their flower-filled sweetheart table, as well as the reactions of their parents as they watched on, then photographed Jie and Samuel as they circulated around the tables to personally greet their guests.
After the cake cutting ceremony of Jie and Samuel’s multi-tiered (and flower-adorned) wedding cake, everyone hit the dance floor to celebrate. I photographed the couple having fun in the photo booth and Samuel pretending to propose to Jie all over again at their donut station, as well as grabbing a shot as they took over the role of DJ-ing. We ended the night with a romantic embrace behind their sweetheart table, which was framed by their ceremonial bridal arch.
Wedding photos at Sheraton Universal Hotel:
I can’t thank Jie and Samuel enough for selecting me to photograph their wedding at the Sheraton Universal Hotel and the priority they put on photography. I know they’re off to the Bahamas for their honeymoon and wish them all the happiness in the world as they embark on this new chapter together.