April 7th was special. It was Devika and Rilwan's elopement but that wasn't the only monumental part of the day. April 7th was the day their families were meeting for the first time. As we stood on the steps of the Beverly Hills Courthouse I got to witness their moms welcome one another into their lives, arms out stretched, tears in their eyes. I got to see Devkia's sister, snuggle and play with Rilwan's niece. I was able to see the heartfelt connection their fathers made via facetime. I often get to witness two families coming together at a wedding but this was different. This was bigger. There was so much wrapped up into one moment, it was the greeting, the getting to know and the embracing of two families and cultures all at once.
Their Beverly Hills Courthouse ceremony, conducted by a passionate and kind Justice of the Peace, was heartfelt and genuine. She shared beautiful and honest words of wisdom, that have stuck with me. She shared that for a successful marriage the couple must grow together but more importantly they must grow as individuals. She encouraged them to explore their separate interests and to strive to grow personally in order to strengthen their marriage. Such a strong and useful message in a marriage ceremony!
After Rilwan and Devika said "I Do" we got to stop at the iconic, pink, Paul Smith wall for a few fun portraits and then made our way to Gracias Madre for some snacks and delicious cocktails. It was such a treat to be able sit and enjoy 45 minutes with Rilwan and Devika. Typical wedding days are go, go, go. I loved getting to capture a bride and groom relaxing and enjoying one another's company. The staff was so excited to have a newly married couple that they sent drinks to the table and offered Mexican Wedding cookies!
Rilwan and Devika's wedding was a true lesson in rolling with the punches, looking at the positive, and being present in the moment. Due to flight cancellations as a result of an airport bomb threat Devika's father and sister were unable to make it to the wedding, a heart breaking reality of the day. Despite this set their presence was very much felt throughout the day! Thank goodness for technology! Facetime allowed them to see the ceremony, enabled Devika's father to give his speech at their reception dinner and made it possible for them to meet all of Rilwan's family. It was especially sweet to see both fathers meeting. Rilwan's father's hand on his heart as the both talked about the pride and love the felt.
Another set back of the day was when all 14 guest accidentally went to the wrong restaurant. Instead of being upset or stressed, Rilwan and Devika spent the time snuggled up, chatting and laughing in the outdoor lounge at Craft Los Angeles. The stayed in the moment and were focused on one another. When everyone eventually made it they excitedly welcomed them, no stress or frustration. Wedding days are unpredictable, things will go wrong, but those hiccups don't have to ruin the day or even cause stress. The day is going to unfold just as it is meant to. As long as your focus is on what matters most and you remember to breath and laugh your day will be wonderful.
Rilwan and Devika did just that! The entire day they were laughing, snuggling and just so happy! It was such a joy to witness their marriage. The union of their families and their love for one another.