Hello! My name is Sarah Botta and I am a Wedding and Portrait Photographer. The feel of a 4x6 image in my hands reliving captured memories is what lead to me falling in love with photography when I was only 6! It wasn’t until after I got married in 2013, I turned my love for photography into a business. My style is romantic, elegant, classic portraits full of beautiful light. When I’m not photographing anything you can find me enjoying a cup of coffee either from a local coffee shoppe or on the couch with my husband and daughter, exploring the great outdoors, swimming or skiing. I’m known for smiling a lot, being adventurous, enjoying and adapting to any situation. I adore working with adventurous, head-over-heels in love couples and can’t wait to tell your story.
On my blog I share my recent work, wedding planning tips, as well as stories from my latest travels and adventures.
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I first met Katie and Duc the day of their engagement session and I immediately fell in love with them! They are the kindest couple and have the sweetest personalities. During their engagement session I enjoyed getting to know them, hearing their engagement story, and their vision for their engagement ceremony. Fast forward a few months, Katie is teaching me what a Vietnamese engagement ceremony is, what the important things are, and the overall flow of the day. I wanted to know everything I could since the entire Vietnamese Engagement Ceremony would be in Vietnamese and I wouldn’t be able to understand anything as it was happening.
The day of their engagement ceremony, it was so cool seeing all of their décor, the gorgeous paper flowers Duc spend hours making, and all the colorful outfits!
During their ceremony, though I couldn’t understand a word, I could feel the heart behind what they were saying. I could feel the love coming from Katie’s Dad and what he was saying about his daughter. I thought it was so amazing to still understand that even though I had no idea!
The rest of the time I was there was filled with family photos and portraits of Katie and Duc. When I parked, I saw this huge, pinkish purple azalea and knew that be the perfect location for portraits! I took their portraits about 12pm which every photographer knows is the worst time for portraits since the son is directly above your head which makes for not so flattering lights. But knowing what I know and having the most amazing bride and groom the images turned out gorgeous!!
Even though most guests couldn’t speak English (and I definitely do not know Vietnamese) every single person was so incredibly nice! I felt so welcome and thoroughly enjoyed photographing this joyous occasion for Katie and Duc.
When I delivered Katie and Duc’s gallery, Katie responded, “I LOVE THE PHOTOS SO MUCH!! You captured all I wanted and more! <3.” Music to my ears!! Photographing this Vietnamese engagement ceremony was such a learning experience and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it! Thank you Katie and Duc for giving me this opportunity. I am so grateful you trusted me with this special event in your life! You guys are the best!
Read what a traditional Vietnamese engagement tea ceremony is with images from Katie and Duc’s engagement ceremony below.
An engagement ceremony is a formal ceremony for the groom’s family to officially come over to meet the bride’s family and ask the bride’s family for her hand in marriage. The day begins by the groom and his family making their way over to the bride’s house. Men from the groom’s side each carry a tray which is a gift of food. There are an even number of trays that include a roasted pig, and a tea set.
The groom’s parents knock on the door, and a representative from the bride’s family greets them, and tells the groom’s family to wait while the bride gets ready. The bridesmaids line up outside of the house and accept the gifts from the groom’s family.
After receiving the gifts, the bridesmaids bring the gifts inside and set them on the counter, so the groom’s family can preset them to the bride’s family.
The next part is the family introductions. A representative from the groom’s family introduces the members of their respective families. The representative opens then opens the gifts. The bride’s representative then introduces members of their respective families and accepts the gifts.
Once the introductions and giving/receiving of gifts are completed, the bride is brought in. Her groom meets her and gives her engagement ring in front of their family and close friends. The bride is then given jewelry like earrings, a bracelet, and necklaces which they put on her at that moment.
They conclude the ceremonial portion by offering tea to elders in the family and praying at the altar.
Afterwards, guests are invited to stay for a meal and portraits. I was munching on those delicious egg rolls all day!
Did I mention Duc has a twin sister!!
To view Katie and Duc’s engagement session at Jones Point Park, CLICK HERE.
Sarah Botta is a Northern Virginia based newborn and wedding photographer whose work can be described as organic, natural, and timeless. Sarah specializes in capturing people’s stories and building connections with each client to help tell their story. Her residential newborn studio is located in Woodbridge, VA where she photographs newborns ages 4-12 days new.
Sarah has photographed over 30 weddings across Virginia and Maryland from rustic barn ceremonies to elaborate golf course receptions. Her natural timeless style shines brightest with outdoor locations. Sarah is available for travel and is passport ready.
May 9, 2018