Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Wedding | Egyptian Coptic Wedding | Orange County Wedding
Though you may never have heard of an Egyptian Coptic wedding, here’s how Emily & Karim’s huge Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach wedding went.
A Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Wedding on the California Coast
Emily and Karim are an awesome couple, and I was so excited to photograph their wedding—nearly 6 years after photographing Emily’s cousin’s wedding, which was just a year after the brother’s wedding! Suffice to say, I’ve gotten to know their wonderful family, and was delighted to be in LA for this beautiful wedding.
Though Emily’s family is from the East Coast, she moved to SoCal, where she and Karim met. They decided to tie the knot at the Hyatt Huntington Beach, a hotel in Orange County (SoCal). I’m the photographer and owner of Kathryn Cooper Weddings, and am a destination wedding photographer based in both New York and California. I’ve been photographer more and more Southern California weddings lately, and this Orange County wedding was full of sunshine, palm trees, and dancing!
I’d be hard-pressed to find someone more devoted and delighted to his wife as Karim. What a joy! From his testimonial:
“Kathryn, we can’t thank you and your team enough for the photos you folks took…… not only that, but also thank you so much for being the most amazing and fun team to work with on the day of. When we came back from our honeymoon, so many of our wedding attendees were raving about the photography team. They were so impressed on the day of by your team’s organization, presence, and energy.
Kathryn, I’m so happy to finally have met you as Emily was raving about you before our wedding. It was too fun working with you.”
About the Hyatt Huntington Beach Resort & Spa
The Hyatt Huntington Beach Resort and Spa is located directly opposite the ocean, with the beach and highway separated by a lovely walkway/bridge (pictured below). This Orange County Hyatt has over 100,000 square feet of event space, and can accommodate thousands of people in a multitude of spaces.
Though people walk back and forth to the beach and resort, the actual wedding spaces remain private and removed from regular hotel guests.
The Hyatt HB is a rather large hotel, with over 500 rooms and additional suites—many of them facing the ocean. Multiple pools, fountains, restaurants, ballrooms, and opportunities for beach bonfires and special events are available.
Every bit of space is carefully manicured. Think palm trees, colorful flowers, lawns, and more. It is indeed a place that knows how to host weddings and events, big or small. Whether 50 guests or hundreds, the many areas around the resort can accommodate quite a few celebrations. The weekend my team (me and my second photographer, plus my assistant for 300 guests and 13 hours of coverage) was there, I believe there were at least 2 other weddings going on—so chances are you will not have the place to yourself.
Luckily, while the valet parking area can be quite crowded, the many different areas and separate ballroom space feel quite private and exclusive.
While you can have your Hyatt Huntington Beach wedding outdoors on the main turf grass area, or indoors in a ballroom, Karim and Emily opted to have their formal religious ceremony at an Orthodox church. After their beautiful first look, of course!
Egyptian Coptic Christian Wedding Details
Emily and Karim are Egyptian Coptic Christians, so having an Egyptian Coptic Christian wedding typically happens in a Coptic Orthodox Church. The one they chose, about 15-20 minutes from the Hyatt Resort, was Archangel Michael Coptic Orthodox Church, which was the perfect size for their large Orange County wedding.
If you’ve never attended a Coptic wedding before, it’s definitely something different! I’ve photographed several of them—many within Emily’s extended family—so I knew exactly what to expect. There’s talking, cheering, whistling, royal crowns, incense, chanting, robes, and more. The family element is huge, and luckily from photographing Christina Coptic weddings in the Northeast (mostly in New Jersey, where the extended family lives), I knew how to be prepared.
Ceremonies often start late (just being honest!), and last at least an hour. As a female photographer, I also needed to have a male photographer in order to gain access to various parts of the inner sanctuary to grab specific shots. Never fun, but that’s the reality.
The ceremony went smoothly, and featured Emily’s amazing cathedral-length veil, of course! We then all headed back to the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach for cocktail hour and the reception.
A Wedding Reception at the Hyatt Huntington Beach, CA
The main ballroom was transformed with purple-pink lighting and thousands of white orchids.
There was a smoke machine, indoor fireworks/sparklers, hundreds of candles, and so much more!
The wrapped dance floor was lit, guests enjoyed Middle Eastern nibbles and passed appetizers, and the couple and I got to walk around the Hyatt property for photos at the fountains, bridge, and other locations just before sunset. And while oftentimes the bride will change into a reception dress, this time it was the groom changing into an all-white jacket for the reception!
After introductions, dinner, toasts, and dancing the dance floor got WILD! It was quite the party, with lights, traditional Egyptian music and dances, and tons of fun.
Luckily, I stole Emily and Karim for some creative night photos around the resort, as well as some paper airplane shots I had planned out given their aviation theme!
I got their friends involved, and love the shots with them all involved.
We got to spend a lot of time together during this 12+ hour wedding photography day, and I truly enjoyed spending time with Karim and Emily. For large Orange County weddings, the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa is a great fit. It has the space and staff to help you party late into the wee hours of the night, as their family and friends did. What a day it was! These two flew off to Greece for their honeymoon right after the wedding night, but regrettably didn’t take me with them. Hey, I can’t win ‘em all!
Congratulations, dear Emily and Karim~
Emily & Karim’s Southern California Wedding Vendors:
Venue: Hyatt Huntington Beach Resort & Spa, Orange County, California
Church: Archangel Michael Coptic Orthodox Church
Photographer: Kathryn Cooper Weddings
Videographer: Just Love Films
Hair and Makeup: Flawless Faces Beauty Lounge
DJ: DJ Joe Khoury
Rentals (Dance floor, backdrop, lighting, chairs, and tables): TMMPRO INC
Planner: Simply Sweet Weddings
Florist: Flower Allie
Cake: Sweet Traders