What a small world Reno is! My client Mindy is a Reed High School alumni which I am too. We never met but when we had our client meeting we found out we know some of the same folks!
Mindy was referred to me by Yeliz of The Hytch. About a month ago, she was looking for a photographer to document her mom's milestone birthday that she had been planning with her dad and sister. I already liked her from the very first time we spoke. I could tell she was a very friendly outgoing person and upon meeting her she was more awesome than I thought!
We sat down at Starbucks in South Reno and I asked her to tell me about her family. She was very excited to share that her family from places like San Diego and Washington DC were flying into Reno to celebrate her mom's milestone birthday. Her grandfather, age 93, will be traveling to be at this upcoming family affair so I knew that this event meant a lot to all of them. In our conversation, she shared her mom and dad's romantic whirlwind of a story. A fairytale like something out of a movie.
Her mom and dad (Therese and Noli) grew up in the Philippines. That's where it starts but it has taken them years and miles apart to know that they were meant to be with each other. Noli moved to the States while Therese stayed behind. She was still pursuing her education in the Philippines so they would write letters to each other to keep in touch. Imagine how hard that would have been? Back in those days, delivery of letters would take forever and a day to arrive at their destination! Nowadays, we're able to call friends and family near and far instantly. I can only imagine the agony of having to wait for one letter month after month and year after year...
A few years after Noli moved, Therese was also able to migrate to the US in New Jersey where she moved in with her uncle. Noli at this point was not going to let distance stop him from pursuing the love of his life. He was living in a different state at the time, so he packed up his things and off he went to follow Therese in New Jersey. Finally, after so many years they are together. United.
It wasn't long until they decided to tie the knot. They first got married in court then later renewed their vows, not once, but twice. And 37 years later, here they are still standing next to each other, hand in hand.
As a child of divorce, I admire people who have been in their marriages for better and for worse. I am very touched by their story... that they were able to conquer the distance and the years that they were apart. They came out strong as a couple and they were able to build a life and family that they could be proud of.
Tonight's event was very intimate. Personal. The friends and family that traveled near and far arrive in suits and in cocktail dresses. Noli and Therese's daughters are Trisha and Mindy. They are both stunning, they inherited their gorgeous looks from their mom and dad who are full of life. Their husbands, Chris and RJ, respectively, are by their side looking spiffy in their suits ready to celebrate the birthday of their mother-in-law.
You wouldn't know it, but the power couples (or "the kids" as they referred to themselves when talking to their parents) arrived a few hours early to set-up a cute photo booth for the guests and birthday celebrant. They have really put in the effort and hard work in making this event one to remember.
But let's not forget the birthday celebrant: Therese. I will not spill her age, but let me tell you - her vibrance and beauty speaks volume! As her guests arrive, she greets them warmly with finesse. She lights up the room in her pink racerback cocktail dress that delicately scalloped at the seams. She is the life of the party and the reason why they have all come together.
As the night unfolds, I notice one theme: LOVE. These people are together in one room because they love one another and most especially because they love Therese. Who loves her more than Noli? The answer is... Noli. Because what comes after is amazing! Noli has decided that three weddings and 37 years of marriage is not enough to have spent with Therese, so other than this well-planned birthday party he has something else up his sleeve. He has an even more special surprise for his wife and best friend. As cocktail hour wraps up, he gets up in front of the crowd and thanks everyone for coming together. Then he looks at his wife and thanks her for the years she's taken care of him and for giving him two beautiful and smart daughters. He mentions that they've been together for 37 years and reminisces about their marriage through the years. Then he walks up to where his wife is sitting, asks for her hand and gets down on one knee! In his left hand is a beautiful diamond ring nestled in a black velvet ring box and asks his wife of 37 years, "Will you marry me... again?"
The crowd goes wild and Therese responds with laughter and says "let me think about it" but eventually says yes. Of course! Because who else loves Noli more than Therese, am I right?
Eustaquio Family, I am honored to have played an integral role in celebrating such a special family event. There was so much life and love flowing through the room last night that I came out inspired. Being in the midst of families like yours reaffirms my love for photography because I have always said that it is much more than just pictures. These are memories captured in raw and real moments. Not only did you contribute to my growth as a photographer, but also as a mom. Tito Noli and Tita Therese, I am in awe at how you have raised your daughters. They are very kindhearted and not only do they mirror your gorgeous looks but they also display your love of people. They truly are a representation of yourselves and I can tell that they are your most precious blessings in life. I saw nothing but respect and joyfulness with each and every interaction you had with your guests and most especially with your daughters. I have drawn inspiration from your family and I'm so glad to have met all of you. Thank you for choosing me as your photographer.
Happy birthday Tita Therese, here's a sneak peek from your birthday!