Nazia and Siraj’s Wedding Reception

It’s no surprise that December is the busiest month of the year and it goes without saying that Christmas has something to do with it; not just for travelers, but for holiday events with families and loved ones.

As far as holiday festivities go, this one was a new experience for me. On top of the typical holiday shopping, family events, and parties – I’ve attended a Bangladesh wedding for the first time.

The invitation was extended out to me since it was one of Amy’s childhood friends, Nazia, was having a wedding reception at the Marriott hotel in Chantilly, VA. Apparently they had their wedding prior to the reception, so I’m not sure if I can count this as Number 20 since this wasn’t a wedding per say.

However, the wedding reception: and I had to describe this evening in one word:

Epic.

I’m no stranger to weddings as you know (number 20), but if I had to rank the top 10 best wedding receptions of all time, this would be one of them.

Armed with my revered Leica Q, I thought it was an important day to do some documentary photography of this life changing event..

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Amy practicing her wedding toast speech with the help of her friends

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Lobby

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Amy’s friend Katie eventually joined the team and it was a good thing that I reserved a room with two beds.

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My “Selfie”

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The hotel bar was pretty well stocked

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Katie’s Mojito and my Sam Adams

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Katie figuring out how to use Amy’s camera

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Amy practicing her speech

The number of people in attendance were easily in the hundreds and people visiting from all over the world.

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Amy loves her E-PL8

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Adrienne’s Dad answering texts

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Appetizers

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Adrienne took a break from her bridesmaid duty to chit chat

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Old friends

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Amy’s asari was quite stunning

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The groomsmen put on quite a dance show.

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Amy’s moment in the spotlight finally came as she gave her speech

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Everybody had their smartphones out to record the performance by the wedding party.

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“…if I had to rank the top 10 best wedding receptions of all time, this would be one of them.”

As the lights were dimmed for the dance floor, the Leica Q had finally met its match: auto-focus in low light.

Any digital photographer will tell you that nailing focus in low light is very difficult without a flash, but the Leica was able to nail focus most of the time. For those other times where the camera had trouble, I switched to manual focus, aperture wide open and dialed in the shutter speeds between 1/15 – 1/30.

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Adrienne and her man striking a smile

Unfortunately, there will be some grain from the spike in ISO but camera performed beautifully.

Right when things were going crazy, it got even crazier when a dancer on stilts showed up in what looked like a walking neon version of the Predator. I have to admit, he really stirred up the crowd with his moves.

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Nazia

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“Right when things were going crazy, it got even crazier”

The Leica Q was not unstoppable, however, as the camera chewed through 3 batteries since 3:00pm with over 300 shots.

It goes without saying: bring extra batteries.

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“It goes without saying: bring extra batteries.”

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As Amy was on the dance floor doing her own thing, I went out to the lobby to check on the others.

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Katie and Adrienne taking a break

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Love the ambient, pink glow.

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“sup”

As the party drew to a close (around midnight), the reception party moved outside to watch the bride and groom leave the hotel.

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Siraj’s friends giving them a hand.

The Following Morning….

The next morning, Amy, Katie and I walked upstairs and treated ourselves to breakfast that was included with the room package…

…and the dining hall was MASSIVE (and empty).

Their breakfast buffet was possibly the best I’ve ever had (most of the reason was due to presentation and the service we were given) and the attention to detail that the staff showed to us. Albeit, we were the only people eating at the time, but impressive nonetheless.

Side note: if you have not had breakfast at the Marriott in Chantilly, do yourself a favor and grab some food because the food is fantastic.

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As we both left the hotel, tired and weary about the next holiday obligation we had to attend, this wedding made me reflect on the beauty behind the commitment of love between two people that love each other very much. I wish Nazia and Siraj the best and congratulations to the both of you.

#happalieverafter

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More photos: Flickr

Gear used:

 

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