This past weekend I feel like my heart burst into a million pieces bearing witness to Nikki and Karthik’s wedding weekend. Let me start from the beginning. Nikki and I met and Karthik was at sea, he is in the Navy, and our short meeting turned into a conversation between friends and we got hungry! This is a theme with Nikki and I, we love to eat so we ended up heading to dinner. When I asked what Karthik was like, she showed me a photo of him and their dogs being silly. She said that photo captured his personality best. . . so of course my next question was “are your dogs coming to the wedding!!!” She answered the exact thing she said to Karthik when he asked her to marry him, “YES!!!!” It was official, Nikki and I were cut from the same cloth. Finally, I got to meet Karthik after he got back from deployment. She hadn’t been able to talk to him in months so this was a time filled with all the emotions. Such a gentleman, fun, smart, silly, steadfast, everything Nikki told me about him was right there.
You can imagine my excitement for their two day wedding in Newport that started with a Sangeet. If you are familiar with Nick Jonas and Priyanka’s wedding then you know this is a pre-wedding celebration where friends and family dance, sing, toast and celebrate the couple. I was in photographer’s heaven (or as my assistant calls it a photographer’s comma, where all I see is pictures) photographing the movement, joy, details, colors, and textures of the whole day.
The next morning we were sooo excited. Not even a 90% chance of rain could dampen our spirits. I arrived at the hotel with my umbrellas and hopes of getting outside in Newport to create some iconic bride and groom portraits, capture the getting ready moments, and of course THE PUPPIES!!! Couples if you want portraits with your dogs you can’t be faint of heart! Yes these photos are amazing and look effortless, but what is more amazing is Nikki. Two dogs that needed to go to boarding, rain, and a million people asking her questions might overwhelm some brides, but NOTHING was getting between us and those portraits with her dogs. I was right on board with her!!! It was one of my many favorite parts of the weekend.
Nikki and Karthik chose the most beautiful venue, Belle Mer on Goat Island in Rhode Island. When you walked into the reception, you felt like you stepped into a cloud. The details radiated the same sense of peace you get when you are around Nikki and Karthik. Now comes the part that I am not sure if I should tell you, but I am going to because it was one of my favorite parts of the wedding day (for me.) In the bridal suite, coming off of a whole wedding day prior, we needed to come back to our purpose. So together we sat and simply breathed. We focused together on flowing through the next moments of the day. The moments that we all had been preparing for months. It was about to unfold and together Nikki and I sat and let go of all of the pressure that had been building with every question, every expectation, every last bit of excitement, it was time to let all those expectations go. So we did what we do best and just breathed deeply and let the day wash over and through us. Those five minutes I could’ve been taking photos but instead I was doing exactly what I needed, relying on my amazing second shooter to take the candids (shout out to Nick Cinea) and reconnecting with our purpose.
As I waited for her to come down those stairs, I was waiting as both a photographer and friend. She was so beautiful, poised, confident, and commanded the entire room, I turned to photograph Karthik and saw that moment that gives you the goosebumps. This was one of those experiences where time stands still.
Karthik and Nikki danced the night away to a live band and cut their cake with a sword. Family speeches made me realize just a little bit more how amazing these two are. In two weeks they will be off to their next adventure, Navy’s orders, Nikki driving across the country with her dogs. Karthik’s mom said it best when she called them “superman and superwoman” although I know they don’t look at themselves like that, their strength is something that they can’t deny.
On second thought, Nikki said it best in her vows “people tell me all the time that they couldn’t live our Navy lifestyle, that the separation would be too hard or they can’t live without their partner. But that’s okay, because they don’t have to and because they don’t have you. Because if they did they’d see you’re worth waiting for.”
Congratulations Nikki and Karthik. Your love story has touched me in a way that I didn’t know possible. I wish you a lifetime of adventure, love, dogs and tacos my friends! Thank you for entrusting me to capture your love story. This is a small sample of some of the moments from their wedding weekend. Enjoy!
Photographer: Stella Blue Photography
Second Photographer: Nick Cinea
Assistant: Tiana Valliere
Venue: Belle Mer | Goat Island, Rhode Island
Hotel/Getting Ready: The Viking | Newport, Rhode Island
Bridal Shop: Michele A Bridal BoutiqueMichele A Bridal Boutique
Dress Designer: Mikella Bridal
Band: Protege from Wilson Productions | Boston, Mass
Beauty: Jennie Kay
Florist: Robin Hollow Farm
Caterer: Belle Mer
Painter: Event Painting by Katherine