LaDonna and Esteban got married at Chateau Elan in September of 2017. Their wedding was a beautiful combination of both American and Spanish traditions. LaDonna got ready in her suite with both her bridesmaid and sister to help. After everyone was dressed, we hopped in one of the shuttles to travel across to the vineyards for portraits. We were able to finish all of the bridal portraits prior to the ceremony and then got ready for the wedding. They decided to hold the wedding outdoors in the large vineyard just behind the winery. Everyone walked down to the sweet smell of ripe muscadines. The sun peeked out behind the large tree marking the center of the vineyard. After a couple of readings and exchanging the vows (in Spanish), the couple celebrated the marriage with their first kiss. We did a few quick family photos in the vineyards after the wedding before working with just the two of them. I loved the golden light coming in over the horizon and the laughter and kisses they shared... It made for great photography.
After I worked with them in a couple of spots in the vineyards, we all circled back around to the front of the winery to start the reception. They held their reception in the wine cellar surrounded by oak barrels. One Spanish tradition that they tried to incorporate was the way that food was consumed. LaDonna told me that it wasn't uncommon for Spanish meals to last for multiple hours with breaks between courses for conversation and fun. After everyone was fed, they got ready to cut into the cake(s). In Spain, they have a tradition know as a ribbon cake where a ring is placed on a ribbon and then placed in between the layers of the cake. Single guests would grab the ribbons and all pull at the same time to see who's ribbon contained the hidden ring. Whoever ends up the key is expected to get married next (much like how the garter and bouquet are viewed for American weddings). After the cake was cut, music started and friends and family came out to dance and share in the festivities for the day. Everyone had fun until it was time for the couple to leave for the night. Unlike traditional American weddings with a formal exit, the bride and groom will eventually just leave the reception after they've had enough food and fun with friends and family. I walked out with them and took a few quick photos of the two of them in front of the Winery before they left for their suite for the night... 6 Hours Coverage at Chateau Elan