Most couples reserve their date in our calendars 12+ months prior to their wedding day.
Ceremony: All Saints Catholic Church
Reception: Casa Real at Ruby Hill Winery
Caterer: Turmeric Restaurant (Indian – Sunnyvale); Casa Real
Wedding planner or coordinator: In-house day of coordinator – Sandy Zucker
Officiating the ceremony: Father Ramon
hair/ make up: Aimee Lam
Floral arrangements: Nicole Ha
Dresses & Tuxedos: wedding party – David’s Bridal and Men’s Wearhouse; groom -Brooks Bros; bride – local wedding shop
Transportation services or limos: Cali Party Bus
photography, videography, or photo booths: Apollo Fotografie
DJ: Salim / Envy Soundz
Dessert from Turmeric; Sweet Tooth Confections; Flan Flan Tatas; Studio Cake
Mona and I actually met in the Fall 2000 our freshman year at UC Davis. We had a couple common friends who lived on my dorm floor and who ended up being her eventual roommates. We did not really talk much but would see each other once in a while and were dating other people throughout college.
We did not keep in touch for the 8 years after college and only happened to run into each other because one of those friends was visiting back home and we both made long drives to go see her at a group dinner. We caught up, decided to hang out and eventually started a long distance relationship since she moved a few months later to Cleveland and I was in San Francisco (this is in 2012).
I was able to spend about 10 days working remotely in Cleveland starting in Oct 2012 that made the distance much easier to deal with and eventually moved full-time in Jan 2014.
For our engagement I actually talked to her about coming back to California to attend my friends’ wedding. They happened to be an Indian guy and Filipina girl as well. That same weekend also happened to be our 2-year anniversary. So I used our anniversary (July 7) as an excuse to go to wine country and check out some wineries. I said that I wanted to do a tour at Viansa Winery in Sonoma and that ensured that we had to be there at a certain time. I arranged it so that the barrel room would be adorned with flowers and candles and a center table with chocolate, champagne, etc. One of the winery attendants started giving a fake tour at the winery and took us to the room. Although our then camera person almost messed up by knocking over a votive, it gave me an opportunity to get on my knees so that before Mona realized what was happening, I was able to propose to her.
There are natural elements that work well for us. For example, while we are different ethnicities and religions, we share similar values from our upbringings. We also share our parents’ immigrant experience. That is something that bonds our parents as well. So our life experiences and attitudes towards life are very close to each other.
Our wedding colors were sparkly gold with tiffany blue and bright/spring-type blend of flower colors. Drapery and linen primarily included ivory, with our backdrop drapery being rose gold. We also wanted to introduce a subtle elephant theme with the entrance area and also with our wine stoppers (favors). The general theme concept was to have somewhat of a “wow” factor, with some elegance, sparkle and glamour mixed in. We tried to be slightly different with our seating layout, with a mix of rectangular and circular tables.
The bride’s dress was strapless, romantic lace and sheer aline, in an ivory color. The groom’s suit was dark navy with shades of blue pattern pocket square. He wore a black tie, a white shirt, and reddish/brown shoes.
The bridesmaids wore tiffany blue dresses and the groomsmen wore light gray suits with black ties and shoes.
Our floral design incorporated a beautiful hand tied bouquet of garden roses, ranunculus, sweet peas, and tulips in shades of light peach to true peach and coral. We wanted our bouquets to have lots of texture — Soft and flowy, finished with ivory ribbons. The bouquet handles will be embellished with lace to complement details from bride’s gown.
The flowers were a bit lighter but also bright, spring colors to go with the other themes of sparkly/gold, tiffany blue hints, ivory, etc.
Our ceremony was at All Saints Catholic Church in Hayward, CA. The location was chosen mostly because we wanted a beautiful Catholic church as close to the reception site as possible. Mona also happened to attend services at this church at one point.
Filipino traditions were incorporated in the ceremony, including the coins, cord, veil and candles. We also had 4 couples who were our wedding sponsors. Our moms lit the candles on the altar, and we took those candles and jointly lit a third candle to symbolize our union. The filipino traditions can be found here: http://mybarong2.com/ceremony-art-1075.html
Our reception site was chosen because we wanted to be in wine country, the venue itself was beautiful within the winery and provided for a lot of flexibility in how we could decorate it. We wanted an opulent, showy, type of look to our wedding, so we emphasized the flower arrangements and statement areas such as our sweetheart table which was large, antique and had huge floral arrangements. The rose gold, sparkly drapes behind us, which were behind parted ivory drapes added to this elegant theme. The focus we wanted on the tables were the floral arrangements, including the centerpieces.
The menu consisted of an option between wine-braised short ribs, escovitch or an Indian option we side-catered from Turmeric. The other two were in-house items. We wanted an emphasis on food at our wedding, so we had a lot of appetizers, including Casa appetizers and Indian appetizers. We had a lot of desserts apart from the wedding cake, including flan, gulab jamun, mini-dessert options and late night mini-grilled cheeses. Our furnished photo booth was provided by Apollo Fotografie, which was also a major part of the scene we wanted. The foyer was meant to be a statement piece with an elephant/Ganesha theme and the Amber Room was meant to be a lounge-type atmosphere.
his – “Stinker” bourbon, ginger, honey, champagne
hers – “Baby Doll” peach schnapps, mango juice, champagne
The engagement ring is similar to the Tiffany style class ring but it’s not from tiffany’s. It’s a 1.5 carat diamond ring on a 4-prong platinum solitaire setting. The diamond is round cut.
The bride’s wedding ring is a unique shape. It is a curvy diamond studded part interwoven with a platinum ring, so it gives the illusion that it combines with the engagement ring. The groom’s ring is a tungsten ring, simple, circular but sharp edges.
On a personal level, Mona and I complement each other. Sometimes we both can get very passionate about a subject so we can both be stubborn and opinionated. But we are good at eventually talking to each other and recognizing what those are. Having dated for almost 3 years and now being married makes you understand the other person, what makes them tick, what they care about. It also changes you a bit, in that you start becoming more like each other. The idea of two separate individuals starts turning into the idea of one unit. The biggest advice is to recognize that this will happen and to let it happen rather than try to avoid it. It will make you closer to the other person and make life more enjoyable. Of course there are those characteristics that make us who we are and accepting them is also important.