Katherine and Haitham are an American-Jordanian couple living in İzmir, Turkey. They have the ability to live anywhere with internet access, as they run their businesses online. That’s why they rented a house in Çeşme, İzmir and currently reside there.
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Çeşme Ilıca beaches are known for being some of the most beautiful and clean in the Aegean. Katherine and Haitham love living like local people there. They shop at local shops and are members of a gym. Their daily routines include morning walks on the beach and enjoying the sea. They are former basketball players and still actively involved in sports, so they are a super fit couple.
When we first met with Katherine and Haitham, they had a basic idea for their virtual wedding at Cesme Maya Luxury Hotel located at the end of Ilıca beach. They needed a florist and a wedding arch and would take care of the rest themselves with the help of friends. We ordered the arch they liked from a shopping site and recommended a florist.
Wedding Live Streaming
A virtual wedding or online wedding is a service that became popular during the Covid-19 pandemic. Moreover it is now used for many destination weddings as well. One such company is Wedfuly based in the USA. You work with the Wedfuly team online to plan your wedding and then hold a virtual rehearsal. On the wedding day, Wedfuly manages the camera footage from their center and all the wedding elements: Such as music, slideshows and the wedding officer meet in a chat room. This allows a wedding officer in the USA to manage a wedding in another part of the world.
Katherine and Haitham only had to set up and activate the cameras which were 4 mobile phones and 2 laptops and Wedfuly took care of the rest. After the wedding, they received a virtual guestbook, videos of guests and a recording of the entire event. Guests were able to attend the wedding from wherever they were with their mobile phones.
We met with the couple before the wedding day and made small preparations. The final details were discused with the wedding planner and the room was decorated for the evening. Afterwards we took beach photos in the hotel garden and had a lot of fun.
A Big Suprise
As the ceremony approached Betty Azari and her team arrived for hair and makeup. There were both funny and emotional moments. Meanwhile Haitham and his friends set up the wedding platform and cameras in front of the hotel. But just as the ceremony was about to start, there was a major malfunction in the electrical transformer and the internet went down. Haitham quickly conected all the devices to his portable modem and activated the powerbanks.
The wedding ceremony, watched by the guests and the wedding officer on a laptop screen, was very emotional. The sun was setting and the view was beautiful. Fortunately, the batteries lasted until the end of the ceremony and the night. After a sunset photo shoot we returned to the couple’s room where the live broadcast was still going on. Family elders and friends made speeches and there were emotional moments. They even cut a real cake not a virtual one.
This was one of the most special weddings I’ve ever attended. It was an exciting and motivating situation for documentary photography. It was both hilarious and sad, as there was the feeling of not being with family and loved ones, but the power of love was greater than all.
On this wonderful day, there were 5 of us including myself, the couple and their two friends. I am grateful to Katherine and Haitham for giving me the privilege and opportunity to be part of their special day. I wish them endless happiness and a lifetime of love and laughter together.
Maya Luxury Cesme Wedding Photos by Ufuk Sarisen