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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A New Portfolio Friday
Edmonton, AB

First off, I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has been stopping by to check out this site. We haven't had much time over the past year to work on it, but there are plans to update it, add lots more information, and hopefully embark on another trip soon. So make sure to keep checking back every once in a while!

Also, if you've enjoyed this site we would be deeply grateful if you'd take a bit of time to go vote for it! Just follow the link below, set up a quick account, and vote. We want people to get to know this site, and get some more attention for the great information we're hoping to add! So go here to vote for us:

http://vote.photoblogawards.com/photoblog.php?name=the-wedding-travelers

And finally, I've been going through all the images from our India/South East Asia trip. I never had a chance to really sit down and look at them all, so I did, and wow, the memories that came flooding back! Here are a few that jumped out at me today:

A fish seller in Vietnam.

india, travel, photography, vietnam

Making samosas in Calcutta.

 Traffic in Calcutta. I love the look on his face, and I wonder what he was thinking about.

 Our boatman in Varanasi.

 The Ganges river.

 Making cow pats in Varanasi.

The boats in the Ganges river.

Street scene, India.

Lovely girls in Jodhpur.

 

A welder in Jaisalmer. 

A common sight on the roads of India.

 

Category: Adventures

Tags: calcutta, food, ganges, india, market, street life, travel photography, varanasi, vietnam

Random Photo Sampler Platter Saturday
Edmonton, AB, Canada

I was looking through the archives for some shots for our new blog (coming soon!) and saw some photos I wanted to post here. I was thinking of going back through the whole trip and posting shots from each place. Who would be interested in that? Leave a comment if you want that!

 

For now here are those awesome photos:

 

 A traveler on the streets of Jaisalmer.

travel photography 

 

And another local from the streets. 

travel photography 

 From the Qutab Minar in Delhi.

travel photography 

 The Lotus Temple in Delhi.

lotus temple, delhi 

 Hanging jootis in Calcutta

Hanging jootis in Calcutta 

 

 Buddha sculpture from the temple at Krabhi, Thailand.buddha, thailand

 

An awesome rhino from Kaziranga. 

rhino, kaziranga 

Our boatman from Varanasi. 

varanasi 

 

Hope you enjoyed that little hodge-podge, but I'll keep things a bit more organized as I keep posting!

 

Also, I have gotten a couple emails regarding the Hindu Wedding article, and how it's not finished. Oops! I'll definitely try to get that finished up soon for you all!

 

Cheers,

Lauren :) 

Category: Adventures

Tags: architecture, bahai, buddha, calcutta, carving, delhi, fort, india, indian one horned rhino, jaisalmer, kaziranga, krabi, landscape, lotus temple, photography, qutb minar, safari, temple, thailand, travel, varanasi

An Indian Safari Friday
Kaziranga, Assam, India

Hey everyone!

Our apologies for the delayed post here. We have been up in Assam and the internet connection at our hotel literally took 5 minutes just to open up a blank Google screen. So you can imagine that we didn’t have much patience for it. Add to that the fact that we were attending a wedding, and our free time was pretty scant!

But we arrived in Varanasi today, and already we know that this is going to be an amazing place to photograph. So get ready for some great stuff coming up soon!

I’m not posting the wedding pictures just yet, since we are taking an evening boat ride soon, and I know it’s going to take a long time to write all about this wedding. (although it turns out we were tricked, and there actually weren't any elephants at the wedding, boo!)

So for now we’ll share with you a few pictures of the safari we took near Jorhat. But even before that one last shot from Calcutta, that really demonstrates that “movie set” quality we talked about. Can you believe the lighting here?

street scene, calcutta, india

Incredible. Now after the wedding was done we had a free day in Jorhat, so we woke up bright and early (4:30 AM) and hopped into a car that took us to Kaziranga National Park. As always in India, things didn’t go completely smoothly. The car that came to pick us up was half an hour late, and when we finally got out to Kaziranga (1.5 hour drive away) the driver didn’t know where the guest house was. After he asked a ton of people and they just pointed down the road, we got there to find out that the tour had already left. So he drives us out to where the elephants start from, and heads down this crazy dirt road. A ways down the park ranger guys stop us, and it seems as though we’ve been driving down the path that the jeep safaris take. Yikes. I guess we were in a bit of trouble. But in India things just seem to work their way out, and even though we had already missed the elephant ride, the rangers were able to get us out on another elephant, and we even got to ride all by ourselves, rather than in a group. So imagine yourself at dawn riding out on a solitary elephant into this large grass area, totally surrounded by deer and morning mist. It was completely and utterly worth waking up that early for. Let’s get into some pictures shall we?

Our elephants riding up out of the mist (we rode the one on the far left)

elephant safari, india

The rising sun was absolutely red. It was impossible to really catch with the camera though. But this shows you the landscape. You certainly couldn’t be faulted for thinking you somehow stumbled into Africa.


kaziranga, india

As we slowly marched along on our elephant the number of deer we saw was incredible. And they weren’t really scared of us either. This little guy was really quite curious.

kaziranga, india

As were these two
kaziranga, india

That setting again. Africa, right?

kaziranga, india

Check out the antlers on this one. They are new, and still covered with the fuzzy velvet
kaziranga, india

If you look closely you will see the elephants that we were supposed to be riding on.
elephant ride, kaziranga, india

And the big star of Kaziranga, the Indian one horned rhino.

rhino, kaziranga, india

The population of around 1800 rhinos makes up over two thirds of the worlds population, so we definitely had a good chance of spotting a bunch

rhino, india

And we certainly did. The guide would even make the elephant grunt so as to rouse the rhinos from their naps, to make them more photogenic for the crazy Western tourists and their cameras ☺
rhino, india

There were a bunch of baby rhinos as well, just starting to grow their horns

rhino, india

Sitting on the elephant, just seeing these massive creatures was incredible. The armour on them was beyond anything we could imagine. They certainly looked like some fearsome creatures, and yet were so calm at the same time.

rhino, india

Another deer

kaziranga, india

The guide steered the elephant deep into the grass, and we were able to spot a few more rhinos hiding in there

rhino, india

A good view of that horn
rhino, india

Another baby

rhino, india

And on the way back we came across a big herd of deer

kaziranga, india

The male watching over everything

kaziranga, india

And at the end of the ride we got off our elephant, and enjoyed just checking out the big animal, and taking some shots. The beautiful eye

elephant, india

A shot from above. The seat was actually quite comfortable, although after an hour I was pretty ready to get off
elephant, india

Cute

elephant, india

And one last shot of the big gal!

elephant, india

So that was our great time at Kaziranga. We went to the zoo in Singapore, and saw elephants and rhinos, but to be out there in the grass, with nothing separating you from the rhinos was certainly an incredible experience. And to add to our excitement, we hope to visit another national park to see some tigers! We can’t wait!

So stay tuned, and we’ll get those wedding pictures up soon! We can’t wait to share them with you, it was such a fascinating and enjoyable time!

 

And to everyone who has emailed us, we definitely apologize for the delay, since we've been away from the internet for so long (I just logged on to over 50 new emails, which means a lot of work for me tonight!) We'll be responding to them as soon as possible, now that we have an internet connection. Thanks so much for all the patience, and we'll be talking to you soon!

 

 

Category: Adventures

Tags: assam, calcutta, india, indian deer, indian one horned rhino, kaziranga, photography, safari, wildlife

Lots Of Stairs And Lots Of Stares Saturday
Krabi, Thailand - Calcutta, India

First off a long overdue post about our friend Jon. We mentioned him briefly before but he really needs more attention given to him and his greatness. I intended to make this a seperate post, but since fast internet here is tough to come by, and requires us "soft hacking" our way into using the connection, we regretably don't have time to post every day and give him his due in that manner.

 

So we're starting this post with Jon, and then there will be lots of fun pictures.

 

But first: the man, the myth, the ninja master legend, Jon.

 

We met this guy and his amazing fiancee Sarah when they dropped by to talk to us about their upcoming wedding. We had shot a couples session with Jon's older brother Dave, and they liked our work so thought they would stop by and chat with us. In our discussion it came up that Jon was a web developer, and specifically worked with blogs. We had had the Wedding Travelers on our mind for a while at this point, and knew we needed to figure out a way to make a wicked cool blog. It was a match made in heaven.

 

The work started, we gave Jon a template that we wanted to use, and somehow from that simple Photoshop file he put together the complex and easy to use blog you see before you. It still is in it's beginning stages, and he has a ton more tricks up his sleeve, if you can believe it. I'm sure you all haven't even used half of the cool feautres he has created, and we'll be sure to let you know all the great ways to use the site as they are finished.

 

In our business we have worked with many many companies, from people who make our websites, to the people who print our business cards, to the people who ship all of our gear to us. I'll tell you right now that dealing with all those people is easily the most frustrating, time-consuming, and difficult part of our job. But this has never ever been the case with Jon, and for that we value him so very very much. Not to mention his incredible talent. I'll tell you right now that when it comes to small businesses working with small businesses, honesty, promptness, and general friendliness is the most valuable thing, and worth much more than saving a few dollars along the way.

 

So if you have any web related ideas, need someone to consult with, need a website or blog designed, or anything along those lines, Jon is without a doubt the guy you need to talk to. His company is called Streamline, his website is www.streamline-web.com, and he is the man. No questions about it.

 

If you miss this post later on as you are looking for his link, it's at the bottom of our website, and also on our Photography Resources page, for your convenience :)

 

Now enough beautiful thoughts about Jon and his mastery of Javascript. Let's get into the post. And to preface this, we will probably be posting bi-weekly now that we've arrived in India and found Internet cafes and WIFI to be less readily available than in Vietnam (go figure). But we'll do our best to update as often as possible, and start you off with a slew of great pictures from our first day here.

 

But before that, let's finish up with Thailand.

 

Oh, and by the way, this is Rob writing. I usually prepare pictures for the blog and Lauren writes up the post, but today I bring you both! We’ll start off where we left off, in Krabi, Thailand. Here’s a little video of a temple we climbed close to Krabi:



The thing about this temple was that there were 1237 huge steps (sometimes a single step was greater than 2 feet!) to get to the top. I guess it wasn’t actually a temple on top (the temple was at the bottom) but there was a giant sitting Buddha and what looked like a giant bell and various other smaller ornaments. It was a tough climb but definitely worth it. I’ll let the pictures do the talking!

First picture is unrelated to the above, but right outside our guesthouse was a banana tree. I’ve never seen a banana tree before and it was somehow different from what I expected (it looks like some kind of carnivorous plant!)

banana tree, thailand 

 

On with the temple!
tiger cave temple, thailand


tiger cave temple, thailand


tiger cave temple, thailand

tiger cave temple, thailand

tiger cave temple, thailand

tiger cave temple, thailand

tiger cave temple, thailand

tiger cave temple, thailand

tiger cave temple, thailand

tiger cave temple, thailand

My grandma had asked to see more pictures of what people’s homes looked like (which I thought was a great suggestion!). This is one of the nicer looking places that we came across on our scooter ride to the temple. In the rural areas along the road a lot of people just live in metal corrugated shacks, as well as rickety looking wooden houses. In cities and towns most of the buildings are reinforced cement or cement layered brick.

home, thailand

Cool rock formations (I can’t remember if they are mountainous or karst limestone formations). Anyways they are all around Krabi.

krabi, thailand

A view from the road of the temple we climbed. You can just barely see the enormous Buddha and Bell on the top of the second peak from the left.


tiger cave temple, thailand

That’s it from Thailand, we’ve moved onto India now. Our time so far in Calcutta is actually the reason why I wanted to write today. There is so much about this place that cannot be told in pictures. One reason is that this city stimulates the senses in much more than just a visual way. Even now in the dark recesses of our windowless hotel room I can hear horns honking somewhere. On the street it is a never-ending cacophony of diesel engines, horns and sirens of every frequency, jack hammering, construction of every kind really, and people. People yelling, people laughing, people crying, people whistling, people spitting, belching, and even peeing. Maybe you can’t really hear people peeing but it sure seems like that when you pass open urinals on the side of the street, which brings us to the smells. Walking around is like this: Your baseline is diesel fumes, if you’re outside and on street level then you smell them all the time. If you pass a dark looking alley it usually smells like urine, if you pass an open urinal it definitely smells like urine. You’ll pass a chai stall and the sweet smell permeates the air and you can smell nothing else. We’ll pass sweets stands and spice vendors and their respective smells will sweep over you. You’ll pass garbage dumps and the same will happen. And when you’re not passing near by something that smells (which is rare) you will return to the baseline of diesel fumes. We actually clean our noses out at night and it blackens the Kleenex. I’m really not exaggerating. As far as tastes go we’ve been pretty cautious about what we eat (no fruit or anything unpackaged) but I can tell you right now we’ve had the best Indian food of our lives. Actually it’s pretty much all we’ve had for breakfast, lunch and dinner since we arrived here. It’s all so familiar but at the same time on a different level than the stuff we get at home. And the chai here is fantastic. A typical meal at a restaurant with chai, a couple sodas, a couple pieces of Naan and two or three small dishes usually costs around $5. It’s by far the best value we’ve seen.

Another reason this place cannot be told well in pictures is because of the poverty here. I shouldn’t say that it cannot be photographed, it’s just a really difficult thing to photograph. I’m having a difficult time right now even talking about it. I can’t speak for all of India because we’ve only been to one small part of one city, but when I think about how many people live in India (1.03 billion, 16% of the worlds population) it makes sense to me that the quality of life here can’t be the same as anywhere else. And its not the amount of beggars or homeless people that account for the poverty I’m talking about—though there are many. It’s the standard of living that is so shocking. I wish I could describe this all in more detail but I really feel at a loss for words. We’re going to try really hard to show more in our pictures. I don’t mean we’ll focus on the poverty here, but it really is an intricate part of where we are.

Anyways here are a few pictures from our little walk yesterday:

 

Like the title of this post suggests, we do attact considerable attention (particularly with our big cameras) and the people here certainly do not mind staring at us!young girl, calcutta, india

Old style Ambassador taxies
taxi, calcutta, india

Crazy motor rickshaw
motor rickshaw, calcutta, india

Street side barber
street side barber, calcutta, india

A cup of chai from a street vendor and the little clay pot they serve it in. We drank our chai by the vendor expecting we needed to return the cup, but it turns out they just throw them out afterwards. Weird.

street chai, calcutta, india


chai cups, calcutta, india

 

Where chai comes from...street chai, calcutta, india

Good to the last drop
street chai, calcutta, india

shoes, calcutta, india
 

bangles, calcutta, india

The Indian flag
indian flag, calcutta, india


street life, calcutta, india

A busy street scene
street scene, calcutta, india

Curious schoolchildren
school children, calcutta, india

 

school children, calcutta, india

Power lines and birds 

power lines, calcutta, india

 


street life, calcutta, india


street, calcutta, india


street, calcutta, india


dusk, calcutta, india

I’ve done some different processing here on a few photos from today’s post, and I'd really love if you guys would let me know what you think! Leave a comment!

 

Cheers,
Rob
 

Category: Adventures

Tags: buddha, calcutta, chai, food, india, krabi, landscape, photography, street life, sunset, thailand, tiger cave temple, Traffic, travel

India At Last Friday
Kolkata (Calcutta), India

Hello everyone!

We haven't posted for a while, and that's because we have been on the move, as usual. We left Krabi, Thailand and took another 12 hour bus ride (that was blessedly uneventful) back to Bangkok. The fates were smiling upon us, and at 5AM when we rolled into the Khao San Road, a kind taxi driver pointed us to a hotel with a room. A clean, nice, and comfortable room right on the Khao San. It was certainly a very different experience from our arrival in Thailand!

 A busy day was had after we woke up. We mailed things home, which was a very simple process (it is not always that way!). Then we treated ourselves to a bit of pampering. We each had a half hour foot massage, Rob got his head shaved, I had a half hour Thai massage, got my hair shampoo'd and cut, and my eyebrows waxed. Total cost for all of that: 790 Baht. A whopping $25.50 Canadian dollars.

 Seriously.

 If I could get an hour long massage for $6 back home I would certainly have one every day....everyone sigh with me now as we imagine that.....

Ok, moving on.

We fly from Bangkok into Kolkata (Calcutta), early the next morning. A lengthy wait for our bags to come out, a harrowing 2 hour taxi ride in which we both were certain we were going to die numerous times (note: we both were hit, and hit someone else, both times not hard at all, but I guess that is quite common here!), and finally we come to the "backpacker district" of Calcutta. I use quotations around "backpacker district" because really we see hardly any other travelers at all! The hotels were still mysteriously all booked up, and we finally found a seedy place complete with a cockroach in the bathroom (as I write this I hope that it is still trapped under the water glass that we utilized this morning).

It certainly has been an incredible shock arriving in India, and even a month of traveling South East Asia couldn't prepare us for it. The poverty is all around you, and it is very hard to comprehend. Even the street we're staying on looks like a movie set, and I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that it is not pretend, but shockingly real.

 But, the purpose of The Wedding Travelers is soon to be fulfilled, as we have already found a wedding to attend. It is in the North East, in a town called Jorhat, and we just finished booking some tickets to make our way there in a couple of days. We have no clue what to expect, but elephants are rumored, so we've excited.

And now we take our leave to go find something to eat. Although Calcutta has scared us and startled us, the food we have had is fantastic enough to make up for it all, and a good cup of chai in our bellies calms us right down.

 WIFI has been non-existant, thus the lack of photos, but we're going to do our best to figure something out. Until then, just use your imaginations :)

 

Rob & Lauren

Category: Adventures

Tags: Airplane, bangkok, calcutta, food, india, street life, travel