There’s no debating that COVID-19 has turned the world upside-down. In this whirlwind of upheaval and chaos, it’s vital for our mental health to remember to appreciate the small things that bring us joy. It’s also good to be flexible. … Continue reading
After having such a fantastic time with them in Taiwan earlier this year, we couldn’t wait to hang out with them some more on their wedding day. We joined them at the Fremont Marriott Silicon Valley, where the gals giddily helped Jen into her gorgeous strapless mermaid-style gown and the guys painstakingly folded their coral pocket squares between shots of fancy tequila. Roly couldn’t have looked more handsome in his royal blue tuxedo and black bowtie.
From there, they harked back to high school and piled into a yellow school bus, but not before Roly was blindfolded to ensure that he couldn’t sneak any peeks of his lovely bride. The blindfold stayed on even when they reached Nella Terra Cellars, and it wasn’t until after he safely made it down the steep stone staircase through the vineyard that he was able to take in the rolling hills, lush vineyards, waving palm trees, and the duck-filled pond. Our couple picked the venue because “it felt like a local hidden gem,” says Jen. And, beneath a cloudless blue sky, it truly felt like an oasis in the middle of nowhere.
Soon it was Jen’s turn to descend the staircase with her parents by her side. The ensuing ceremony, officiated by Roly’s eldest brother, began with a Chinese tea ceremony to show respect for their parents and grandparents and concluded with a post-kiss champagne toast. Somewhere in the middle, among the laughter and tears, Roly concluded his vows with “I love you” in English, Spanish, and Mandarin Chinese.
Representing Roly’s Mexican heritage, a mariachi band announced cocktail hour, which featured guacamole and salsa that Roly’s parents had made. Guests stuffed notes and predictions in a bottle-shaped piñata for our newlyweds to read on their first anniversary, and we giggled thinking about how they might bust the thing open a year later.
The wedding party kicked off the festivities with some fancy footwork, and Jen and Roly rolled in with a fresh bottle of champagne and their first dance. While they were showing off their Dance Vita moves, one of the flower girls enjoyed their performance so much that she jumped onto the dancefloor while Jen was mid-twirl, much to everyone’s surprise and delight. The parent dances turned out to be special as well. Jen had a second first dance that day (this time with her father, whom she’d never ever seen dance), and Roly chose a Latin song with which to sway cheek to cheek with his mother.
The rest of the celebration was a whirlwind of hilariously revealing toasts, unbridled dancing, a spontaneous giant group hug on the dancefloor, and a pretty epic bouquet and garter toss (the folks who caught them were an actual couple!). We loved that our newlyweds showcased their Mexican and Taiwanese/Chinese cultures for a wonderfully unique occasion. Jen’s modern, lacy version of the traditional qipao, which complemented the gold jewelry that her mother and grandmother had gifted her, was exquisite. We also appreciated the loving touch their friends and family added to the day, crafting the popsicle programs and ceremony pom poms, whipping together the caramel favors, and designing the name cards.
Although the Chinese symbol commonly seen at weddings stands for “double happiness,” the joy we witnessed that day was certainly not limited to our newlyweds. Here’s a look at their unforgettable day.
Bride’s wedding dress: Stella York
Bride’s qipao: custom-made by Dragon Seed Bridal (San Francisco)
Bride’s shoes: Calvin Klein
Bride’s veil: Rin’s Bridal (San Carlos)
Groom’s tuxedo & tie: Calvin Klein
Groom’s shoes: Aldo
Rings: Shane Company
Bridesmaids’ dresses: David’s Bridal
Groomsmen’s suits: Men’s Wearhouse
Hair & make-up: Wowpretty (Jira)
Flowers: Vo Floral Design
Caterer: Palmdale Estates Catering
Coordinator: SmittenKiss (Stephania Halikas)
Cake: Rachel’s Cakes (Burlingame)
Videographer: Matter Video
Plantable Invitations: Forever Fiances
Piñata: Nikki’s Party Supply & Rentals (San Leandro)
School bus rental: First Student Charter Bus Rental
Seating chart, bride & groom’s loveseat: Your Vintage Affair (Oakley)
Mariachi: Mariachi Nueva Generacion
DJ: Tony from Close Cut Productions
Save the Dates: Wedding Paper Divas
We were incredibly fortunate to have been invited by Aly and Joel to photograph their intimate elopement (just them, us, and the officiant) in Napa, CA. The location was kept a secret from the four of us, so when we pulled off a dusty Wine Country road into a small, private vineyard, we couldn’t believe our luck. The space was absolutely magical, with a shady lawn, thousands of juicy grapes, a wooden owl sentinel, and a hidden wine cellar. (We thought for sure that bouncy bunnies, inquisitive deer, and chatty squirrels would join us for the festivities; sadly, they didn’t make an appearance.) The bride did a wonderful job describing the day at Offbeat Bride so we’ll just let our photos do the talking for us. Enjoy!