It was so crazy & rushed the day of the wedding that our photog agreed to do a post-wedding photo shoot with us three weeks after the wedding. I hired Mina Tran of A-List Makeup for my hair & makeup (she did the airbrush foundation on me which last for the 5-hr photo shoot with no shine or touchups!)
Locations: Elizabeth Gamble Garden; some meadow off the 280 highway; and Sofitel Hotel.
Photos by: Scott Taylor of Taylor Wedding Photography -- he's an amazing, talented, and easy-going photographer! check out his website (we're featured :)
July 10, 2010 was a warm, sunny, beautiful day... a perfect day to get married! Once I woke up, showered and Emily of A-List Makeup and her team arrived, it was time. I imagined my room would be an oasis of tranquility and peace, allowing me to reflect on what's to come.... Yeah. right.
The room was Grand Central Station. Busy, chaotic and everyone kept popping by to see how I was doing, to chat, etc. Oh well :) We ended up behind schedule in finishing up the hair & makeup which left us with only 20 minutes to do the bride & groom portraits as well as the First Look. Can you say "stress"?!?
Photos courtesy of Scott Taylor of Taylor Wedding Photography.
Meanwhile, my groom was busy getting ready as well... his childhood friend Mark was helping him get ready
Luckily it only took me 15 minutes to get into my dress (with help of course). As I walked through the hotel (past the pool & lobby), I had one group of people start clapping (I didn't know them) and another woman tell me as I was passing "You are so beautiful!" Brian was running late so we had a few minutes to do some bridal portraits. These really are the only shots we had -- I think I only had a total of 4 different poses
The First Look
Waiting for Brian for our "first look" was actually the most nervous I got the entire day! I had butterflies in my stomach and I got jittery. I'm not the most patient person but it felt like I was going to jump out of my own skin. I love love LOVE the First Look moments! It felt so intimate and special (even with 2 photogs & videographer) that we got to see each other for the first time not in front of a crowd (if that makes sense).
Formal Bride & Groom Portraits
We had less than 20 minutes to take any formal portraits since we were running late on everything!
My engagement ring & our wedding bands
Nearly everyone was at the lobby waiting for us to do photos by 2:30pm. Again, it was a rush to get photos done.
Brian's childhood friend Mark worked at a tuxedo shop (long, long time ago!) and he helped everyone with the boutonnierers which were so difficult to put on!! (and they were bigger than what I expected). I really thought it was going to only be 1 flower & 1 peacock feather. All the photos I sent the florist only had 1 flower and I told her to keep it small. (arrgh).
My non-matching bridesmaids! I love how this "look" turned out (whew! I was worried)
On our way to the church! We had Brian's parents & my mom in our stretch limo. It was their first time being in a stretch limo... so cute that they were oohing and aaahing about the mini bar inside! :) And this is when my mom "tattletaled" on me to Brian's mom that I had come back to the hotel very late the previous night (1:30am) telling her, "Mom, I am NOT drunk!" (I was majorly buzzed though, lol) and stumbling around. That coversation was caught on video too. So funny!
Very brief stop at the Elizabeth Gamble Garden for some photos
Our entire wedding party plus parents arrived at the church 20 minutes before it was to start. My plan was to take photos of the wedding party posing the by altar, maybe some creatively-posed shots before our guests arrived. Unfortunately we had some (very) early birds who were already there and more were arriving. We were only able to get a few shots before I had to run and hide in a little room at the back of the church. It was hot & stuffy. Our ring bearer & flower girl were getting bored. Of course I used that time to get more photos...
Arrival of Guests
And so it begins...
The Veil & Cord Sponsors (Filipino Wedding Tradition)
The Wedding Party
Readings & Prayers
It was a bit surreal that we exchanged vows & rings, yet we still had the rest of the wedding Mass to go through!
Filipino Wedding Ceremony Tradition: Filipino weddings reflect the strong traditions of family, extended family and symbolism. In our wedding, we have chosen to incorporate two rituals: the draping of the veil and the laying of the cord.
The Veil symbolizes the presence of the Lord in the couple’s married life. It is placed over the shoulders of the groom and over the head of the bride to symbolize living under God’s protection and being “clothed as one” in unity.
The Cord is a symbol of the couple’s bond. A knotted cord, tied in a figure-eight, is the symbol of infinity. It is placed over the heads of the couple, to lay on their shoulders. It represents the ties that bind the couple together, who will now walk through life as equals.
~From : The Cord and Veil Ceremony, Filipino Wedding Traditions.
Exchanging a "Sign of Peace" -- in our case, we decided to do hugs rather than the usual handshake.
Recessional: We walked down the aisle as Mr. & Mrs. Adam to our violin & cello duo playing "O Mio Caro Babbino" by Puccini. It was so beautiful!
I love this photo of my Mom walking out of the church with Brian's parents. For me, this was the defining moment -- seeing our parents together in unity. When I saw this photo, I started crying.
Even though we posed for a few photos at the church after the ceremony, we managed to join our guests for cocktail hour (briefly). It was such a wonderful feeling when Brian and I walked into the garden area of the Reception Room (which is what our ballroom was called; I wish they got more creative with the name!) and our guests started hooting and hollerin' and clapping!
Introduction of the Wedding Party
Our DoC Sophina played emcee for the entire reception. She's awesome & did such a good job!
"...and I now present to you, Mr. and Mrs. Adam!!"
It was so awesome that as we walked in everyone was cheering so loudly (our friends are a very rambunctious bunch!) and camera flashes were going off all over. We felt like celebrities!
After we finished our dinner (we did rush through it), we visited each and every table! Our DoC Sophina managed to move us smoothly from table to table. It was such a great idea to do this. We were able to spend a few moments with our guests (even ones we probably wouldn't have been able to talk to otherwise). Here are just a few photos...
just some of my friends...
Brian's fraternity brothers (and my official "welcome" to the Sigma Wives Club) - the "dropping trou" is apparently tradition...
And, of course, Brian's other friends had to do something too...
...and the party begins!
We were in French Polynesia: Tahiti, Huahine & Bora-Bora for nearly 2 weeks! We went on our honeymoon a little over 3 months after the wedding, which was nice -- we got to settle into married life, unpack my boxes (I moved in with DH just 2 months before the wedding; can you say "stress"? plan a wedding, pack to move, etc....)
I was really glad that we didn't go crazy on the wedding itself (and it's so easy to go nuts & overspend). We also signed up for a honeymoon registry on Traveler's Joy, which was fantastic since we got to do a ton of excursions.
I also kept a blog since a lot of my friends & family seem to want to know about our trip and rather than me repeating the same story over & over again.... :)
Tahiti was ok; it was a bit disappointing since it wasn't quite what I imagined. It was crowded, lots of tall buildings (all hotels) and small shops (in the downtown area, Papeete). Huahine was the next island we went to, and stayed there for 4 days. It was wonderful -- idyllic, less touristy and felt like the "real" french polynesia. We ate at "roulottes", which is basically a food truck & where all the locals go to (that can afford it) and saw blue-eyed eels! Our last island was Bora-Bora: the most luxurious hotel we stayed at (and DH's favourite). We had the Mt. Otemanu Diamond Overwater Villa at the Intercontinental Bora-Bora & Thalasso Spa. It was INCREDIBLE!! Photos don't do it justice!! And we did so much on Bora-Bora, including a "swim/snorkel with sharks & stingray" excursion and a private dinner in our overwater villa (complete with our very own butler!)
Here are highlights from our honeymoon
We did our engagement photos on Halloween & lucked out on one of the best days in the city! Sunny, balmy weather and best of all... fog-free!
It was a 5-hour shoot (yes, you read that right...five hours!!), starting the Blue Bottle Cafe @ Mint St in SoMA, then to the pier along the Embarcadero, the Ferry Building, some street in North Beach (to capture the TransAmerica pyramid building), then onto some neighbourhood in the Marina -- one by Coit Tower, another one I can't remember (where we got yelled at by some snarky doorman when we tried to pose on their small lovely green patch of grass). We wrapped up our photoshoot at Baker Beach for a sunset over the Golden Gate Bridge and finally a much-deserved drink at the View Lounge at the Marriott Hotel (where one of our photogs captured the most creative unedited shot I've ever come across)
Finding the right kind of photographer who has more fashion-magazine/lifestyle and photojournalistic approach to photography was really important to me. And I think we lucked out!
Photos are all courtesy of Scott Taylor and Neil Schwartz. I am super excited to have found such amazing, creative, fashion-forward photographers and I can't wait to work with them at our wedding! There were so many fantastic photos to choose from, it was so hard narrowing it down to the best 200, hahaha.
Here is Scott's website: http://www.staylorimages.com/couples_gallery/index.html
If you use any of our pics, please remember to give them credit!
--> This is when Scott our photog "geeked out" and took a picture of our reflection in the window! No one can (or wants to?) believe that he didn't photoshop this!
Our S the D magnets took close to two weeks to arrive from Costco online (and we didn't even need a membership!) It was semi-DIY (which I think is my style of DIY, lol) since we got to pick which font, font colours and photos to use. The only downside is that you need to use photos that were taken vertically to fit their layout. Thank goodness we had more than enough photos to choose from, from our e-pic session.
I was so anxious for them to arrive and kept checking the order & tracking status every day (ok ok, on some days, I checked at least twice...) It was worth the wait though since we've gotten so many compliments on them! We mailed this out right after Christmas (but before New Years), so this was our "holiday/new year's" card. It measures 3.5" x 4" so it's not overly huge but not so small to get lost on a fridge either. My FMiL said this also made a great souvenir for people who can't come to the wedding (and see what I look like, I guess! lol). She was so excited about them and asked for a few extras, so she can show them to her friends at her church!
We're in this month's (May 2010) edition of UtterlyEngaged.com!!
And a photo of my FI Brian rockclimbing is in this month's issue of Climbing
While my FI was on his bachelor party weekend, I had my own bachelorette party too! It was perfect and everything I asked for! Since my girlfriends are on various budgets (some have been recently laid off) or circumstances (I have two that are pregnant), I wanted there to be various things they can join in and not just be a "go out at night & party" thing.
Some girls joined me at the day spa at the Huntington Hotel in SF (super nice luxury hotel in Nob Hill). We had a private Spa Suite! After our treatments, we headed back to our Spa Suite for lunch and had wine & drinks. (that's me getting a vitamin cocktail scrub & body wrap... heavenly!!)
Then we moved to my hotel room at the Huntington for the "room mingling" portion of the day... and wear our bachelorette party decal tshirts!
The "devil bride" makes an appearance (with one of my BMs and the MoH)
And finally, headed out for the night!
My girls surprised me with some "goodies" too!
Although I spent a lot more than what I wanted to spend on invitations (my budget was $250 for 110 invitations; paid $350 for 110 invitations), it was one of the best decisions I/we made! I ordered them from a company in Manila, Philippines called Cardprints. I did everything with them via email; I even called them a few times when I was feeling impatient. I was lucky that I still have cousins I could trust and had him check out the store and the quality of the invitations. I also ordered a few samples.
I was able to customize the paper colour & type for both the envelope pouch & invitation & reception info card as well as the text. We used embossed ink (thermography) since I love the texture of raised ink.
Everyone who received them absolutely loved them! These photos are from their website. They didn't tell us they were going to use our invitation on their site... hope we don't get wedding crashers!