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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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

The Ajanta Caves Wednesday
Ajanta (and Jalgaon), India

Hey friends!

So first off I want to give a big thank you for all the wonderful comments on the last post. There’s always an element of uncertainty when you post some rather negative thoughts about a place like India, which is shrouded in such mystery for so many people, but I’m glad to see that while you all now understand the down sides of this country, you too are seeing all the beauty that we are. And I’ll give a quick note to let you know that the whole country is not as dirty and hectic as Calcutta and Varanasi. I’ll be posting about Mumbai soon, which we both loved, and we just got into Jodhpur today and this city is simply magical. But let’s hop all the way back to Ajanta shall we?

So after we hung out in Varanasi for a while, we caught a train to Jalgaon. It’s a little transit town that serves almost solely as a jumping off point for a trip to the Ajanta caves. Our first night there we were off to the train station (a 2 min walk from our hotel) to reserve our ticket onwards. There are many ticket booths in the station, and we found the one designated for foreigners. We were quite surprised at who we shared the booth with…and I’m not talking about the Senior Citizens…

train station, jalgaon


I’m not sure if any of you have heard of the Ajanta caves, but they are kind of a big deal. After a long and jarring bus ride on a local bus we made it to the caves. We were greeted with this sign that we both found hilarious

ajanta caves, india

But then it was time to get serious, because these caves are serious business. A World Heritage site, they consist of 30 Buddhist caves carved into the face of a horse-shoe shaped gorge. Here’s a shot to give you an idea of what I’m talking about.

ajanta caves, india

A walk along the path will take you past each of the caves and so getting around was merely a matter of walking, stopping to take off your shoes, checking out the cave, and then moving along. And it was a blissful refuge from the very hot sun to duck into a cool and dark cave every few minutes. But these were much more than simply places for shade. Don’t get me wrong. The carvings inside were absolutely astounding, I can’t believe that this place isn’t better known! We’ve been to Greece and have seen a lot of the ancient sites there, but nothing even came close to this. So many of the caves had a incredible Buddha carving at the back.
ajanta caves, india

This particular cave was really great. The giant Buddha was guarded by these other figures (his followers, I believe) and with the lighting and the atmosphere we completely felt like we were in an Indiana Jones film.

ajanta caves, india

The carvings on the wall were amazing, and each cave had such different details than the others

ajanta caves, india

ajanta caves, india

Isn’t this incredible? The entire wall was completely filled with these carvings right out of the wall.

ajanta caves, india

As we were taking a break we took a couple of “glamour shots” of each other. Rob really likes this one of me looking like a really cool photographer (you are probably wondering where I got those really cool pants! They are from Bangkok, and are really nifty)
ajanta caves, india

Rob giving us his model pose
ajanta caves, india

And another of me

ajanta caves, india

But I bet you just want to see the caves right? Well even the ceilings were spectacularly decorated

ajanta caves, india

And entrances were amazing as well

ajanta caves, india

Really, how many adjectives and superlatives can I find to describe these things?

ajanta caves, india

A really wonderful reclining Buddha

ajanta caves, india

ajanta caves, india

(insert adjective of your choice here)

ajanta caves, india

We also took a little video to give you a good idea of the magnitude of these caves. I apologize once more for my tired and sweaty demeanor. Rob seems to always bring the camera out when I’m absolutely exhausted from the heat!



And what’s crazier than a troupe of monkeys who just hung out in the trees right beside the walkway?

monkeys, ajanta caves, india

So there you have the Ajanta caves. We bused back to Jalgaon (though in retrospect we should have continued on to Aurangabad to see the Ellora caves, allegedly just as spectacular….for all those travelers out there, there’s a tip! We already have quite the list of places to visit next time we come to India, since a short two months is really not even near long enough). Then onto another train, and the next stop was Mumbai! And that will be coming up next :)

 

P.S. I just updated the Maps section of the site, under the Info heading, in case you guys are curious to see what our route has been. I can't believe how much ground we've covered in two months! 

 

 

Category: Adventures

Tags: ajanta, buddha, buddhism, bus trip, carving, india, photography, statue, temple, travel

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