When Diana and Jerome told us that their Lake Merritt wedding would be inspired by Up, we’ll admit we were a tad concerned. We were a blubbering mess within 10 minutes of watching the Pixar animated film—how could we possibly photograph anything through a torrent of tears and snot? We made sure to stock up on Kleenex just in case.
Happily, just like the film, there was plenty of laughter to offset the misty-eyed moments. Their day began at the Oakland Marriott City Center, which offered stunning panoramic views of San Francisco, the Port of Oakland, and the Oakland Tribune building on that gorgeous summer day. Diana’s beaming smile and frequent bursts of glee reflected the buoyant mood as her bridal elves helped her into a lovely, white, strapless gown and veil. Our groom had his own set of elves that made sure he rocked his black suit, pinstripe shirt, bowtie, and paper boutonnière (handmade by his mom, no less!).
After the cutest first look ever, they hopped aboard a yellow school bus to their wedding. Lake Merritt’s stately bandstand was adorned with green and white balloons for the occasion. Jerome’s bandmates from his band the Lost Highways serenaded the guests, who were some of the most stylish we’ve seen (hello, Nintendo controller bowtie!).
Though our couple chose to have an unplugged ceremony, they allowed their guests to snap away for a few minutes before getting wed. The touching event involved cheers, a handfasting, and heartfelt words that triggered many happy tears. Afterward, we enjoyed a good sunlit frolic with our newlyweds and their fun-loving wedding party.
The rest of the day was a blur of joy, warm wishes, revealing toasts, a spirited money dance, an amazing dessert bar and cake (made by their friend Mindy), and ice cream sandwiches (served out of a bicycle cart!). Their family and friends did a fantastic job lending their talents. Jerome’s mom, for one, made the fabric flowers for the bridesmaids’ colorful bouquets and centerpieces, as well as hopia (a traditional Filipino-Chinese pastry) for the dessert bar. We loved the whimsical touches that showcased Diana and Jerome’s interests, such as their very own Adventure Book, table numbers featuring fantastical, fictional locations (e.g., Paradise Falls, Tataouine, Rivendell, Hogwarts), and Lord of the Rings/Harry Potter/superhero photobooth props. It was a treat to hear the Up theme song during the reception.
“We wanted to incorporate our Filipino and American experience into the wedding,” says Diana. “We were overwhelmed by the community love and how everyone pitched in. We feel so humbled and grateful for everyone who attended.”
We were honored to witness the beginning of this new chapter in their lives and have a feeling they’ll have a wonderful, wild ride together. Here’s a peek at their special day.
Bride’s dress: Sparkle Bridal Couture
Bride’s shoes: Seychelles
Veil: Alex Bridal (Etsy)
Groom’s suit: Men’s Wearhouse
Groom’s bowtie: Handsome and Lace (Etsy)
Cufflinks: Zelda Ocarina Store (Etsy)
Groom’s shoes: Kenneth Cole
Rings: Shane Co.
Bridesmaids’ dresses: Modcloth
Groomsmen’s suits & bowties: Men’s Wearhouse
Bridal bouquet (with Illuminada’s flowers): Wednesday Thursby (Etsy)
Caterer/reception venue: Terrace Room at Lake Merritt Hotel
Terrace Room coordinators: Elizabeth Wells & Mathew Pickering
DJ: DJ Zita
Ceremony musicians: The Lost Highways
Hair & make-up: Liza Maria Santa Ana
Schoolbus: First Student Charter Bus Rental
Videography: Seafoam Films
Ice cream sandwiches: Curbside Creamery