The Adventures of Brad + Sochenda | Part One

Beep! Beep! Beep!

On April 7, 2012, my alarm went blaring at 5:00am. I'm not a morning person, but in order to get to the wedding by 7:00am I had to rise and shine. Let's just say I enjoyed a strong espresso that morning. Little did I know, I was about to stumble into one of the most memorable days of my career as a wedding photographer. And hell, it's just the beginning of my adventures with these two. I am blessed.

The marriage ceremonies were full of Cambodian tradition and amidst the spectacle, the most beautiful aspect was the joining of two very different families. Sochenda's family is from Cambodia and Brad's hails from Minnesota. For those of you keeping track, that's about 8400 miles between the two. No big deal. Fortunately, I'm blessed to have captured other cultural weddings and these guys definitely had one of the most beautiful celebrations. Speaking as a photographer, I was in an environment full of sensory overload :) After some well needed naps, we ended the night at Atlas Grill for cocktail hour and dinner. Get ready for Part 2, it's going to be even more vibrant.

In order to portray the ceremonial events in a clear way, I've separated the images for your viewing pleasure. Grab a cup of tea, curl up on the couch and enjoy the Cambodian celebrations!


"The traditional wedding is a long and colorful affair. Formerly it lasted three days, but in the 1980's it more commonly lasted a day and a half. Buddhist priests offer a short sermon and recite prayers of blessing. Parts of the ceremony involve ritual hair cutting, tying cotton threads soaked in holy water around the bride's and groom's wrists, and passing a candle around a circle of happily married and respected couples to bless the union. After the wedding, a banquet is held. Newlyweds traditionally move in with the wife's parents and may live with them up to a year, until they can build a new house nearby."

Hai Goan Gomloh – The Groom’s Processional

Presentation of the Dowry and exchange of rings.

Sien Doan Taa – Call to Ancestors

Calls forth family and friends who’ve passed to join and bless the ceremony and union in spirit.

Gaht Sah – Cleansing Ceremony

This “hair cutting” ceremony is meant to represent throwing away excesses and misfortune from the past.

Bang Chhat Madai – Honor the Parents

Bongvil Pbopil – Passing of Blessings

Married elders gather in a circle and “pass” the essence of a happy marriage to the couple in the form of a candle flame.

Sompaas Ptem – Knot Tying Ceremony

Close family and friends offer well-wishes and blessings to the couple as they tie a red ribbon on the couple’s wrist.

If you loved these images as much as I did capturing them, please share the post below with friends! You can share via Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.

Get ready for Part 2, it's going to be even more tropical...