If there is one thing I have learned as I've grown up is that love truly is universal. This summer, I had one of the biggest opportunities and blessings offered to me. I got to photograph my Tias' union ceremony in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Leila and Carol are some of the most influential people in my life, always believing in me, always pushing me to the next level, and always keeping our culture alive while teaching it to all their nieces and nephews. Their union ceremony is arguably the most cultural event I've ever been a part of and I'm so thankful for the traditions and culture they've instilled in me.
From a traditional ceremony to a spiritual ceremony and then a dance ceremony, these two exemplified their Mexican and New Mexican heritage. The calaveras danced ever so carefully on the tables while watching the whole ceremony as if they were Leila + Carol's ancestors, while streamers of vibrant fabric blew freely in the dry New Mexican breeze. The vibrant color of the entire day was placed on a magnificent backdrop of the Sandia Mountains with a rich sky of pinks, purples, and blues at El Zocalo Plaza in Bernalillo, New Mexico. Surrounded by family and friends, these two were welcomed with a standing ovation as they made their way down the aisle to commit themselves to one another forever (this made it very hard to photograph as tears were filling up my eyes). As their unique ceremony progressed, they were wed both traditionally and spiritually. Their good friends held a spiritual ceremony to wish upon them a productive marriage as family graced them with flower petals, followed by a dancing ceremony that represented their marriage and a living memorial of both Leila + Carol's late fathers. The night continued with much dancing, a La Marcha with Mojigangas, and the traditional dollar dance to help the couple start their married life and business together, as live tunes from local musicians filled the midnight blue sky.
Leila + Carol, I wish both of you the best and thank you for keeping true to your culture and teaching us children the ways of our heritage, in addition to creating open minds hungry for opportunity. You are truly an inspiration in my life and the rest of the family! Your love is huge and unforgettable! Thank you, thank you for allowing me to capture your wedding day and tell your love story. ¡Viva las Novias!