The stories that unfold during a wedding day are always incredible, but let me introduce you to a story that transcends just the wedding day. What went into this amazing Phuket wedding taking place? A woman from the UK meets a woman from France in Hong Kong. They fall in love, get engaged in Bali, elope in New Zealand, and then have an epic wedding celebration in Thailand. Their Australian wedding planners find a fantastic wedding photographer duo in Canada, who refer them to an American photographer…and here we are, with the most international affair I’ve ever been a part of! From Europe to Asia to the Americas, Janine + Justine have explored the planet, and are two of the most fun people I’ve had the honor of meeting through photography!
Immediately after we we had our first Skype meeting, I was beyond hopeful that Janine + Justine would choose me to be their wedding photographer. Their wonderful personalities, adventurous spirits, and the immediate connection we had as we chatted about their love for dogs (we even shared our puppies via Skype…I’m sure they had no clue what was going on as they were lifted up and introduced, ha!) and travel experiences made it impossible for me not to want to get to capture their day for them. And, I was beyond honored when they emailed and asked me to be their photographer — and they invited my husband and son to come experience Thailand as well! These two are truly the kindest souls I have met, and from the start, I knew this was going to be something special.
Arriving in Thailand after 31 hours of travel, we met them for a welcome drink. This is where I realized for the first time how amazing their wedding was going to be — Justine was dancing on a table with her father, and Janine watched with us bemused, telling me this wasn’t unusual at all. You see, Justine is the life of the party, and her family and friends are there for it every step of the way! We laughed as we watched, and my husband, who doesn’t come to many events, leaned over and said, “This is your kind of scene!” (He’s not wrong. I love a good table dancing bride, ha!)
As Justine lit up the dance floor, getting to know Janine more and her lovely family was wonderful. Janine is the type of woman you can spend an inordinate amount of time chatting with, and never realize the time has passed, the conversation is so wonderful. Her family is truly lovely, and my son wound up getting on with her nephews, whom are now his pen pals. When I say that both Janine and Justine, and their families, basically adopted my family as one of their own, I’m not exaggerating in the slightest. From the word go, they opened their hearts to us, and it was just a genuinely wonderful time. And, when this is what happens in the first few days before the wedding ever occurs, you know it’s going to be an amazing wedding!
And, true to my suspicions, this was one of the most amazing weddings I’ve ever been a part of! From hilarious shenanigans before the wedding, to a heartfelt ceremony, to a raucous reception, and finishing with an after party led by the most fabulous drag queen, C-Lo (the sister of J-Lo), every piece of this wedding day was amazing.
Renting out a gorgeous villa, Janine + Justine chose not to see each other before the wedding. They got ready on opposing sides, with their friends and family moving between the area, sending messages back and forth to avoid them seeing one another. It was so much fun to see their playful nature and dedication to avoiding one another, even after being technically married in New Zealand. It’s that type of fun that I love, and these two are so perfect for one another because they want to keep the excitement and adventure alive in every aspect of their union.
Teaming up with the incredible wedding planners of Take Us To Thailand, every aspect of their wedding was meticulously cared for. With the ocean as their backdrop, and the stunning architecture of Trisara Resort as their entrance, Janine + Justine walked down separate sets of staircases, meeting one another at a beautiful floral archway nestled within a deck shaded by palm trees. Tears of joy were prevalent as the two celebrated with their loved ones, having readings by their friends and family, and saying, “I do” for the second time to really seal their married status! One of my favorite moments was their recessional back down the aisle, though, as everyone began tossing rose petals in the air as they passed. As they reached the end, they turned back and cheered with all of their friends and family, culminating a beautiful ceremony with a celebratory kiss.
However, the party was just starting for these two and their friends. When I say I’ve never seen a party like these two threw, I mean it! In the words of Justine, everyone was on fire the entire night, dancing their faces off until the DJ had to turn the music off…but then they simply went out to the deck, Justine jumped on a table, and their friends continued singing as she danced! This crew knows how to keep the excitement alive, and they certainly did just that throughout the night — and into the next day!
Which, don’t get me started on the after party. The moment I arrived, I was greeted by C-Lo, J-Lo’s fabulous sister, and from that moment forward, the party was started and never stopped! From champagne showers, to thankful speeches, and a food spread that would make any foodie feel like they’d died and gone to heaven, Janine + Justine left no stone unturned for their friends and family. Everyone celebrated like one big family well into the night, and again it was one of the best days of celebration I’ve ever experienced for a couple.
Janine + Justine, while there are a ridiculous amount of words in this post, words truly cannot express how thankful I am to have been able to capture your wedding day for you. There aren’t enough superlatives for it, but Justine, “on fire” feels about right. From start to finish, you all were on fire, and it was a joy to document it all. And, beyond that, I cannot thank you enough for the friendship and love you’ve extended to my family and me. There aren’t many times I can walk away from a wedding and know a lifelong friendship has just begun, but I have no doubt that it happened that week in Thailand with all of you. Thank you for opening up your lives, families, and friends, to me and my family, and I hope the photos do your epic event justice. I can’t wait to see what adventures you get up to in the future, and I can’t wait to come hang with you in Hong Kong! Cheers to an exciting life ahead as Mrs. and Mrs.!
Huge thank you to Lanny & Erika Mann of Two Mann Studios for connecting us through their incredible PRIDE contest. It was an honor to be a part of your fantastic event, and I look forward to participating again in the future!