Welcome to The Wedding Travelers!

We are rob & lauren: two professional photographers who love weddings and travel. This is where all of those things come together for us. Within these pages we hope you discover and sense our deep love for the cultures that we encounter and experience. Our biggest hope is that you come away from this site with a great understanding, respect and love for them and their ways. Enjoy!

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Delhi! After A Huge Delay! Saturday
Delhi, India

Holy smokes guys, we're so sorry about this huge delay! When we headed off to Delhi we thought that we would have no problem finding internet, but as it turns out nothing in India turns out as expected :) We were staying in Gurgaon, which is a suburb, and thus not at all geared towards travelers with laptops. So we went for a loooooong time without any connection to the outside world. i guess people started to even get worried about us! So once again, huge apologies for the wait. But once you see what we've been up to, I think you're all going to forgive us right away!!!! Anyway, we're going to start off here with a few pictures left over from Jaisalmer, and from a day around Delhi. Then on Monday, March 17th tune in for some INSANE photos that you aren't even going to believe. Trust me, we're so excited to share these with you guys!!!

 

Let's get to the photos now!

 

Camo-puppies from Jaisalmer! These little guys were just totally zonked out, snoozing in the middle of the hot day. They didn’t even budge when I took their photo, they were too busy sleeping!

puppies, jaisalmer, india

Our friend Philippe found a fantastic spot to watch the sunset at the train station in Jaisalmer. You can see a couple of trains there, and on the horizon is the fort!

sunset, jaisalmer, india

And a close up of the silhouette of the fort.

sunset, jaisalmer fort, india

We took a nighttime stroll up into the fort to take some shots. This is a really neat one Rob took, complete with a couple of ghosts!

jaisalmer fort, india

And one of some textiles still hanging out for sale

textiles, jaisalmer fort, india

It was so crazy, there were tons of these little piglets running around our hotel

pigs, jaisalmer, india

A neat scene near our hotel

street scene, jaisalmer, india

And a shot of the fort. They call Jaisalmer the Golden City because everything is made out of this fantastic gold sandstone. The fort itself is as well, and was built way back in 1156. Unfortunately, because of tourism and increased population there are actually huge problems with the water destroying the fort. It's very sad, because I don't think this place is going to last too much longer. I'm really glad we got to see it at least once.

jaisalmer fort, india

A very strange sign…..
street sign, jaisalmer, india

And a neat old door, complete with a Ganesh above it.
ganesh door, jaisalmer, india

“What’s that you’re using there? Is that a 50mm?”

cow, jaisalmer, india

As we were leaving Jaisalmer we stumbled across the famous Palace on Wheels! It was stopped at the station for a while, and it looked amazing! Too bad it’s incredibly expensive, otherwise I’m sure we would have hopped on right away

palace on wheel, india

And then we got to Delhi! Yay! We checked out Qutb Minar, a huge tower built back in 1193.

qutb minar, delhi, india

Some of the incredible carvings on the tower.

carvings on qutb minar, delhi, india

Who are these attractive people? Not just some randoms we saw, no no. These are our flients (friends/clients), Megha and Chakshu! And you’re going to be seeing much much more of them very soon…..

qutb minar, delhi, india

Wild parrots! Amazing! I can’t get over the wildlife here in India. You see monkeys all the time, and now some incredible parrots.

wild parrots, delhi, india

Some great columns

qutb minar, delhi, india

Then we went to see the Lotus Temple. It is a Bahai temple, and is open to people of all faiths. The design is very similar to the Opera House in Sydney, except this is a closed lotus, and that one is open!

lotus temple, delhi, india

It is such a beautiful structure

lotus temple, delhi, india

This day was really a tour of some of the great sights of Delhi! This is the India Gate, which is different from the Gateway of India in Bombay…
india gate, delhi, india

Cool!

india gate, delhi, india

Some jewelry on sale around the Gate

jewelry, delhi, india

And then it was lunchtime. One fantastic thing about hanging out with locals in India is that they know the great places to eat, and what to order. We made our way to a South Indian restaurant, and Chakshu and Megha took care of ordering. There was this crazy pizza type thing.

food, delhi, india

And a dosa! Dosa, dosa, dosa, dosa! I love that word! And I love the dish. I think I polished off half of one all by myself. It was so fantastic. It was like a huge crispy pancake with curry potatoes and onions inside. Then you would dip it in this sambar sauce and yum. I hope I can find some in Edmonton…
dosa, delhi, india

And these are idlis. They were like rice patties that you would let soak in the sauce. Fantastic.

idli, delhi, india

So there’s a bit of Delhi. Now I’ll let you all wonder what we have up our sleeves and then check back in on Monday to see it! I know you’re going to love it ☺


 

Category: Adventures

Tags: architecture, bahai, carving, cow, delhi, dogs, food, fort, ganesh, india, india gate, jaisalmer, lotus temple, photography, qutb minar, street life, sunset, travel

I've Been Through The Desert On A Camel With No Na Tuesday
Jaisalmer, India

Well, that’s half true. The camel had a name. It was Tooty. And Rob’s was Honky. They were our faithful steed as we tramped across the desert yesterday.

People come here to Jaisalmer primarily for the camel safaris. Out in the desert of Rajasthan, it’s a small town, overlooked by a fort, and crafted almost entirely out of golden sandstone. And while the town itself is very fascinating, the camels are what get the attention.

And rightfully so.

Our trip was definitely an experience of a lifetime, and something we certainly won’t forget for a long time. We’re even vividly re-experiencing right now, as we sit on some very very very sore bottoms.

But let’s get to the pictures right away. We opted, thanks to some very wise advice from a fellow traveler, to keep our camel trip short. We started off at 8AM in a jeep, and drove out into the desert. The scenery here looks a little something like this.

rajasthan, india

We stopped by a small village that was strangely enough set in front of a background of huge wind power generators.

village, rajasthan, india

 

At a very old temple we found a troupe of some incredibly cute puppies

puppies, jaisalmar, india

And saw a great scene of two young boys carrying water down the road

boys with water, jaisalmer, india

But we were just waiting for the camels. We mounted up (a rather scary experience, since these camels are absolutely enormous, and then aren’t exactly graceful, so you just lunge up into the air), and set out across the desert. At first it was mainly scrub land, lots of sand and small shrubs. Here’s Rob, sporting his bright orange turban (which I tied myself, thank you very much) and mounted up on Honky.

camel ride, jaisalmer, india

The first leg of the journey was fairly straightforward. We marched along, single file, steering our camels along narrow paths in between the shrubs. It was still before noon, so the sun wasn’t at full strength yet. But the going wasn’t comfortable and after about a couple of hours we were more than ready to stop for a rest. We found a big tree with shade, and let the camels rest while we lounged on blankets, and our guides made us chai and some lunch (hey, I never said we were roughing it). The camels enjoyed their break, getting to have some food and get their big packs off.

camel, jaisalmer, india

We took the time to get some camel portraits

camel, jaisalmer, india

camel, jaisalmer, india

Rob was trying to act the camel whisperer, but Honky moved quickly and he got a little jumpy, haha!
camel, jaisalmer, india

And during the second leg of the trip things got interesting. We had made our way to the Royal Sand Dunes, in the Thar Desert. Now, generally the camel tours take people to the Sam Sand Dunes, which are starting to get over crowded. We opted to pay more, and take the jeep way out to start, so that we could get some relatively empty dunes. And it was really worth it. The whole trip we only saw a few other groups, and only in passing. We were able to stop, get some shorts, and see the landscape with literally no one else around for miles. It was amazing.

thar desert, jaisalmer, india

thar desert, jaisalmer, india

thar desert, jaisalmer, india

thar desert, jaisalmer, india

Here’s me, looking all dramatic.

thar desert, jaisalmer, india

thar desert, jaisalmer, india

A really awesome shadow shot that Rob got.

camel, jaisalmer, india

Self portrait while on camels!
self portrait, jaisalmer, india

Just relaxing after we made our final stop at the dunes.

camel, jaisalmer, india

Our guides brewing us some chai.chai, jaisalmer, india

desert, jaisalmer, india

Now, as fate would have it, the one other person on our tour with us was a young photographer from Paris named Philippe. How amazing is that? You have to spend all day with someone, with nothing to do but ride camels and talk, and they just happen to be in the exact same boat as us: young, traveling photographer, trying to make a living and enjoying seeing the world. It was fantastic to just spend all day chatting. Honestly, put two photographers in a room together and they could talk for the rest of days. What was also really great about having Philippe along with us is that finally we would be able to get a shot of us that wasn’t taken by holding a wide angle lens up in front of ourselves! And honestly there is no better place for a portrait of us than here.

rob and lauren, jaisalmer, india

One big surprise in the desert, that I guess I should have expected but didn’t, were these enormous beetles. Ugh. At first I thought maybe we would be missing out, not spending the night out there, but I don’t think either Rob or I would have gotten a moment of sleep knowing there were tons of these things crawling around!
desert beetle, jaisalmer, india

So, as the sun started to set I wanted to fulfill a dream of mine. I wanted to get the quintessential shot of camels on the dunes silhouetted against the sunset. Our guides were generous enough to let us borrow their camels, so I grabbed us a couple of models and off we set up the dunes to find the right spot.

camel model, jaisalmer, india

And find it we did.

sunset with camels, jaisalmer, india

camels with sunset, jaisalmer, india

camels with sunset, jaisalmer, india

camel with sunset, jaisalmer, india

We were all just going crazy, sprinting along the dunes, knowing that we had only a few minutes before the sun would be completely gone. Again, we were so happy to be sharing that time with another photographer, rather than a regular Joe who would have thought us completely bonkers for posing camels up on the dunes for a half an hour.

photographers in desert, jaisalmer, india

But whether or not we’re bonkers, we’re very very happy with our shots, and can’t wait to get some printed to put in our house.

camels with sunset, jaisalmer, india

And one last group portrait: Me, Rob, Philippe (yes, his shirt says iPood, why? Who knows ☺ ), and our lovely models.

group portrait, jaisalmer, india 


Afterwards we had a nice little dinner, and some blessedly cold drinks, and we were picked up by a jeep to take us home. Philippe braved it out and spent the night in the desert. He is traveling all across Asia for a project of his, to document how different cultures wake up and spend their first moments in the morning. And so a sunset wasn’t good enough for him, as he needed to see the sunrise as well. But he said the experience wasn’t too bad, he wasn’t completely eaten by bugs, and he showed us the shots he took this morning, and they are great. But I can’t say I’m jealous: we were very happy to get back to our room and sleep in a soft bed last night!

So I hope you enjoyed those shots! And I’m sure Philippe will be posting some of his, so make sure to check out his site as well, at www.regardasie.com. It’s in French, but pictures are pictures, and I’m sure you’ll find some great ones to peek at!

Category: Adventures

Tags: camel, chai, dogs, india, jaisalmer, photography, safari, sunset, travel, village, wildlife

Puppies of Vietnam Sunday
Hoi An, Vietnam

One thing that we have thoroughly enjoyed about Vietnam is the abundance of puppies. And no, these aren't the type that get eaten. They are the pets of the people who live here. But the great thing is that these puppies are given completely free reign to run about as they see fit. It makes for a wonderful walk down the street visiting all the familiar puppies. It's really quite funny, since these puppies don't have any fancy Purina Chow, they don't get the same nutrients as Western puppies, and are all quite short! We haven't seen a "large" dog the whole time we've been here. What we have seen are what look to be normal sized dogs, with really tiny legs. They are beyond cute. So during our photo outing the other day I took it upon myself to take pictures of all the puppies I came across, and thought I'd share a few with you!

puppies, vietnam

Hope you enjoy! We're off to Bangkok, Thailand tomorrow, and are looking forward to some warmer weather!

 

Cheers,

Lauren 

Category: Adventures

Tags: dogs, hoi an, street life, travel, vietnam, wildlife

A Taste of Hoi An Saturday
Hoi An, Vietnam

So it’s time we gave you a little taste of Hoi An: City of Dreams….Well, City of Dreams to those who dream about fashion. This town is THE place to go if you want some clothes tailored in Vietnam. You are more than welcome to saunter into a store with a copy of Vogue in your hands, and they will do all they can to make your fabric fantasies come to life. I’ll tell you right now, it’s been incredibly hard not to pick up 15 different coats, as every day I see another one that I love. I’ll be walking away with 3, the same as Rob. Add to that a few pairs of pants each, probably 10 tops for me, 8 for Rob, a suit for him, shoes tailored to our specific size…the list goes on, as do the Visa bills. But you can see that this place is heaven if you’re coming for clothes. And that’s why we came here: just for clothes. That’s all we knew about this little town. But I’ll tell you right now that we were incredibly surprised at what a picturesque and beautiful place this is. Yesterday we had a few hours to kill between appointments at different tailors, so we packed all of our camera gear into a couple bags, and took off to “shoot the hell out of this town” as Rob put it.

And it was such a fantastic (and extremely tiring) afternoon. This is what we came up with.

A shot, not of Hoi An, but cool all the same. This was the light switch in our compartment on the train we took here from Nha Trang. To this day we aren’t entirely sure what the button on the far right is for, and I’m not really wanting to find out….Ignorance is bliss in this situation, especially since we will be taking more trains!

scorpion button, vietnam

And now for some from Hoi An. A very typical scene here is the young kids riding down the streets on their bikes. And they usually ride two to a bike, as you’ll see here!

bicycle riding, vietnam

One of the main streets here is Tran Phu. Look at how fantastic the post is that holds the sign. I wish things back home had even half that much character.

street sign, vietnam

As we made our way to the river I saw this guy rowing his little boat along. I did practically yank the camera with our big zoom lens on it from Rob’s hands to get the shot, but in the end I don’t think he minded too much ☺

man on boat, vietnam

One of the most enchanting parts of Hoi An is the Old Town section of the city. We’ve spent most of our time here since our hotel is right beside it. It’s an area that is now a Unesco World Heritage Site, and is regulated in order to maintain and preserve the buildings. If you can block out the other tourists with cameras in hand, and the stalls selling Coca-Cola and cigarettes, and just get lost in the buildings around you, you can almost feel like you’ve been transported back in time. This Japanese covered bridge is one of the main attractions, and is certainly a very interesting site. If you saw the picture of the lantern from the last post, that was taken inside the bridge.

japanese covered bridge, vietnam

A stunning view across the river

hoi an, vietnam

Some gongs for sale

gongs, vietnam

Really, am I crazy for wishing that Edmonton looked more like this place??? I certainly don’t think so, it’s just fantastic.

old building, vietnam

An alleyway

alleyway, vietnam

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it before, but here in Vietnam they stick little bundles of incense all over the place (in pop cans on the street, in tree branches, in cracks in the pavement) and it burns frequently throughout the day. It’s such a comforting and warm smell, and I just love walking past the little bunches.

incense, vietnam

A simple stroll down the street is sure to turn up some wonderful sights, including this little lily pad

lilypad, vietnam

And this gorgeous flower beside it

flower, vietnam

What a quiet street looks like in Old Town

street scene, old town hoi an, vietnam

Vespas all over the place. I desperately wish it was practical to have one back home…but I don’t see it doing so well competing with the huge trucks along the freeway at 80 km/h

vespa, vietnam

Some boys just out for a ride

bicycle riding, vietnam

They young guy was doing some incredibly intricate carving at a shop.

wood carving, vietnam

Then we walked along the river to take a peek at the fishing boats

fishing boats, vietnam

I just love all the colours of them

fishing boats, vietnam

bicycle, vietnam

And now it’s time for you to meet Chompsky! One thing that I was doing as we walked was “collecting” photos of dogs (I’ll be posting that up soon!). We were walking past a square when I saw this ridiculously cute dog just standing there, so I stopped us and went over to get a shot. Little did I know that this would turn into a 20 minute stop-over as we played with him! Here he is playing around between my feet.

puppy, vietnam

And a shot of Rob as he was trying to help Chompsky catch his tail

puppy, vietnam

Lowepro Camera Bags: Puppy tested, puppy approved.

puppy with camera bag, vietnam

Don’t you just want to snuggle him all day??

puppy, vietnam

As we were watching him a group of three young girls came up and started playing with him. I took some shots of them goofing around with Chompsky, and eventually they wanted to check the photos out.

young girls, vietnam

Now, why is his name Chompsky? Because he’s a very young puppy, still teething, and really likes to chew on your hands, and maybe even your feet! He loved chasing after the girls feet as they danced around keeping away from him.

girls with dog, vietnam

girls with dog, vietnam

Even this old man was enjoying the scene as everyone played with the puppy. Don’t you just adore his expression? So happy and peaceful.

old man, vietnam 

The girls playing, and Chompsky chomping

girls playing with dog, vietnam 

All in all it was such a great little experience playing around with the puppy, and we even went back today and hung out with him for a bit. But, like the careful travelers we are, once we left we made sure to wash off our hands, so don’t worry that we’re going to get sick.

Then as we continued our walk we came across this lovely little scene

bicycle, vietnam 

And then walked past the tailor where we got the majority of our clothes made. We had to take a shot and post it up here so that anyone planning on making their way here after hearing us rave about the clothes would know where to go! There are two Thuong shops, and this one (#16) was our favorite. They were super nice, and always waved to us as we walked by, which was really cute. And the clothes they made for us turned out great, so check them out for sure.

tailor, vietnam 

And a couple more from the rest of our walk. Here’s a fruit stand. These are all along the road and it’s so great to see them walking around pushing them down the street!

fruit stand, vietnam 

Now with all those scooters we’ve been showing you, you must wonder where they get the gas from. This here is one of the more fancy gas stations. It’s really a cylinder of gas with a plastic tube to pour it out into the scooter. We’ve even seen plastic water bottles filled with gas that they just set out close to the road in case someone needs to ride up and fill up. Yes, there are the big Shell stations, but they are few and far between, so this is a fantastically smart way of solving that problem!

gas station, vietnam 

So I know that was a ton of pictures, but I’ll tell you right now that we could have put up so many more. This town is just brimming with character and charm, and we couldn’t help but be swept away by it all. I hope you enjoyed it. It’s sadly the last stop in our traveling in Vietnam, but I think it was the perfect way to end it all. We will be checking out some local temple ruins tomorrow, and doing a bit of a photo excursion (hopefully the weather will cooperate with us for that!) and then we’re heading to Thailand for a week and half. Vietnam was fantastic to us, and will certainly remain in our memories for a long time. I really intend to write up some reviews of all the towns we visited here, so that those who saw what we did, and think this might be a cool place to travel to will know what the deal is!

But for now we’re heading out for dinner so I’ll leave it here.

Lauren ☺

P.S. Did anyone catch the two semi-finals of the Australian Open???? We were completely in shock! Two huge upsets back-to-back, incredible! We’re rooting for Tsonga now, and I hope he gives a similar performance in the final!

Category: Adventures

Tags: dogs, flowers, food, hoi an, incense, japanese covered bridge, landscape, photography, street life, tailor, travel, vietnam