Friday, March 30, 2012

Can You Feel the Love Tonight: All the Pretty Little Details

We never got to see the reception all dressed up before people started getting there.  Neither did the photographer.  Fortunately, we had my friend Laura take some pictures for us so that we could get the full effect after.

Our Tables, Named after All of the Streets We Have Lived on Together
Photo by Laura

 Photo by Laura

 Photo by Laura

Photo by Laura

Escort Cards via Clothesline.  Not the most original idea but still cool.
Photo by Laura

 Photo by Laura

Yes, we cut our cake with a sword.  We Are Awesome.
Photo by Laura

This is Number Three of the Three Things That Still Bother Me about the wedding.  Fortunately, I didn't find out about it until the next day.  See how both cards have the name in the bottom right corner?  On this side, they look identical.  The place card was supposed to have the name in the middle and no street sign since duh, the place cards don't need to have the sign on them since the sign is on the table!  Anyway, I went to great pains to make sure there was a different escort card and place card for everybody, and I was really angry to discover someone had fucked it up anyway.  I should have taken the wrong ones out of the box, but it never occurred to me that this would get messed up!  After all, there were two of every card for each person, but only some people had two cards that looked like this.  Anyway, I know I shouldn't let it get to me, but I put so much work into it and got so stressed over getting it right before that it does really bother me that it still got messed up.
Photo by Stephen Cheng

Photo by Stephen Cheng

 Our Awesome Signs from Sabrina and Kim
Photo by Stephen Cheng

 Our Other Awesome Sign with the Now Monster's Sign Peaking out
Photo by Stephen Cheng

 We were able to incorporate Sabrina and Kim's awesome gift box as an extra card receptacle.  And a good thing we did!  The Nom Monster filled up quick.
Photo by Stephen Cheng

 Nom Monster's Open Jaws
Photo by Stephen Cheng

And the Nom Monster in all his nommy glory!  I don't have a picture with his sign in it, unfortunately, but it says, "Give me your cards!  Nom nom nom!"
Photo by Stephen Cheng

Those are the reception details, but while we're on the subject, there are some other details that don't really have a place, so I'll throw them up here too.  All of the following photos are by Stephen Cheng.

 My Shoes

 My Bouquet

 Our Rings

What was your favorite reception or wedding detail?  Did any details get missed or messed up that bothered you later?

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Can You Feel the Love Tonight: The Good Couple Pictures

Even though we were super late to the reception, I had to get some pictures there before we could go up.

If there had been more room in it, and the city of Tiburon didn't suck so hard, we would have gotten married at the park in front of Guayma's.  It has a beautiful view of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Bay, and Angel Island.  I love it.

I also knew that about the time we got to the reception, we would also get the best lighting of the day.  I was not disappointed.

So we took a few quick photos before heading up to the reception, and even with the time crunch, I'm really glad we did because these photos are my favorite bunch of the day.  They are simply stunning.

Photos by Stephen Cheng Photography.

And then, finally, it was time to go to the reception.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Can You Feel the Love Tonight: Group Pictures and the Sucky Part

After our rousing applause from the group of random people watching the wedding from afar, it was time to take some group pictures.

I'll spare you the large number of pictures of Daniel's and my families and stick with the highlights.

Photos still by Stephen Cheng.

First, we got a group shot of all of Daniel's buddies from high school.

Funny story behind this one.  When Minh (second from the right) got married a few years ago, the guys all decided it would be funny to get a picture like this...and then drop him.  Since then, it has become a tradition.  Fortunately, the dropping part has gotten less funny with each wedding, so they decided to forgo it for ours...thankfully.  But now half of them have this picture, and once the other half ties the knot (coming soon!), we're going to get a frame to put all of them in.

Next was Daniel's family.  Because there are, like, 4,000 of them (seriously, his dad's side alone is 17 people that he's close to), and several of them are babies who were not very happy with the ceremony.  To give you an idea of the size, below is the picture of just them...and they're not even all in it!  Some of the babies were wailing, so we had to leave them and their parents out of it.

Yeah, trying to fit that picture into the album I made for Daniel's dad was not easy.

This Is Just Cute.  Daniel and His Dad.

Finally, there was my family.  Significantly smaller, immediate family only.

I got individual shots with each member of my family too.  The one of my brother and me is one of my very favorite photos of the day.

I cannot express how rare a treat this is.  Cody never smiles in pictures anymore.  Having a picture with so much brotherly love showing is simply priceless.

Then we took some more shots with the wedding party since we had run so short on time before.  We were all much more relaxed, and they turned out much better.

First, we had to give Julia her photographic due.

And get a picture with our officiant, also one of my favorites of the day.

And then on to the rest of the wedding party.

We finally got to take some bridal photos too.  If there is one thing I wish we had gotten more photos of, it's me :).  There were only a couple that I like, and I really wanted a bit more variety in these shots, but the photographer thwarted my plan of doing these before the ceremony, so we didn't have much time.  We did at least get a couple of good shots.

And Daniel and I got a few more fun shots together.  I'm pretty sure the photographer thought I was crazy for wanting to do some of these, but they turned out well, and I'm really glad I got them.

Then it was time to go to the reception.

Unfortunately, it was also time for the worst of the Three Things That Still Bother Me.  Before the wedding, Daniel had emptied his pockets, entrusting their contents to a friend.  In this pile were both of our car keys.  The friend left for the reception without giving them back, so we had no way to follow.

Thus, the wedding party was stuck in the parking lot of our ceremony spot with no way to get to our reception.

I was not happy.

As the boys frantically called people at the reception to get them to bring us our keys or at least come pick us up, the girls and I found something useful to do with our time:  bustling my dress.

Not awkward at all.

There were I think 12 buttons or something ridiculous like that, so that took some time.  I was lucky to have Becca there; no one else had bustled a dress before.

But that was soon done, and we still hadn't gotten ahold of anyone.  Since they were all at the reception, no one was answering their phones.

So we waited.

We were about to call a cab when someone finally picked up and saved us.

But it took forever.  The road between the two locations is windy and small, so it's not an easy drive.  We lost somewhere between half-an-hour and an hour of reception time.

I was really upset about that and still am.  The wedding went by so quickly anyway, but losing so much time and having nothing to do but wait was just not OK.

But we got there in the end and had to put aside the sadness in favor of food.

Did anything happen at your wedding that still bothers you, despite your efforts to move past it?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Can You Feel the Love Tonight: The Vows

Of course, our vows were my favorite part of the ceremony.  Since we wrote the rest of the ceremony, we couldn't very well not write our own vows.  We made a strong effort to keep them secret until the wedding, but we did talk a little bit about structure, so they wouldn't be completely different.  Though we kept the discussions pretty limited, our vows ended up being similar which was nice.

As per usz, photos by Stephen Cheng Photography.

Daniel made me go first.

            When I look at you, I see the man I want to spend my life with.  And it’s not because of your intelligence or career, looks or outward appeal, though those thing are nice too.  It’s because of your kindness and caring, what you give of yourself, your loving and loveableness.
            You are so selfless that I often feel humbled by your giving nature, so much so that I have to be a better person to even things out.  You are a real-life hero, and I will be proud to call you my husband.
            But the biggest reason I want to marry you is because we fit so well together.  I love doing things with you, and I always miss you when you’re not around because everything is so much more fun when you’re there.  You are, above all, my best friend, and that is why I want to spend my life with you.

 (I don't know wtf was going on here.  Apparently, I wanted to convey something intensely [or was constipated?  Seriously, no idea].)

            At the same time, I know things are not always perfect, and we’ll never agree on everything.  That is why I make the following promises to you, so that even when things could be better, they won’t be too bad because we’ll have each other.
As your partner in life, I promise…

·      To be considerate of your wishes
·      To try not to stress the little things or nag incessantly
·      To tell you when something’s bothering me
·      I promise to play games with you and not make fun of the ones I don’t want to play
·      To not hate The Lord of the Rings
·      And to try not to make you crazy on purpose…most of the time
·      I promise to comfort you when you feel sad or alone
·      To take care of you when you don’t feel good
·      To talk with you, laugh with you, and listen to you
·      I promise to remember things for you as long as you remember our anniversary
·      To do the laundry as long as you do the dishes
·      And to drink water, eat enough, and try to sleep
·      I promise not to try to control things I shouldn’t
·      To try to be positive and not complain too much
·      And to always do my share
·      I promise to agree on a reasonable household temperature
·      To at some point obtain a dog
·      And to at some point obtain a child
·      I promise to give you hugs and kisses more than once a day
·      To spend time with you
·      And to make time for you even when I’m busy
·      I promise to try to take out the garbage 50% of the time
·      To try not to steal the covers
·      And to always do something good for our anniversary
·      I promise to say, “I love you,” everyday and mean it
·      To help you when you need help
·      And to work at this everyday
·      But above all, I promise to love you

(Note:  we stole this next part from somewhere.  I forget where.  We found it online.  It's one of the very few things in the ceremony that we did not write--quotes excepted of course.)

As a ring has no end, neither shall my love for you.  Let this ring be a symbol of my vows to you and a reminder of my devotion.  I will always be honored to be your wife.

(Then is was Daniel's turn.)

Nicole Elyse, my beautiful sunflower girl...
When I met you, I never expected this to happen.  I just thought a date with you would be fun.  I hoped you would like me and I hoped I would like you.  I never imagined I would fall in love with you.  I certainly didn’t think it would happen so quickly.  I’m so proud to stand here today and tell everyone I care for how much you’ve given me.

I love you.
I love the way you smile when you say my name. 
I love that I can make you laugh, and make you smile.
I love that when we argue, you never let us go to bed angry.
When I hear a funny joke, I always think, “Nicole would like that.”
When I’ve stopped believing in myself, you help me see through your eyes.
If I had a pinch of faerie dust, you would be the thought to make me fly.

To me, you will always be the most beautiful woman in the world. 
The only thing greater than your beauty is the heart you have inside.
It is your heart that makes you try so hard to do the right thing.
Your heart is what made me fall in love with you.

Nicole, you are the stars in my sky and all the smiles of my life.
Because of you, I will get to raise our children.
Because of you, I have seen things and been places I never would have.
Because of you, I will always know what day of the week it is.
Because of you, I laugh at least once every day.
Because of you, I will be a better version of myself.

For all of this and more, I make these promises to you:

I will always love you as I do on this day.
I will always be your best friend, as you are mine.
When you cry, I will be there to dry your tears.
When you laugh, I will laugh with you.
Whenever you are sad, I won’t give up until I’ve made you smile.
Whenever you need to be tickled, I’ll make sure it doesn’t last too long.
If you are tired, I will help you go to sleep.
If you have a Disneyland annual pass, I will buy one too.
I will share all of my secrets with you.
I will keep sacred all the secrets you share with me.
If you are grumpy, I won’t take it personally.
If you are sick, I will make you husband soup.
While we are young, I will always romp and play with you.
When we are old, I will make sure we are one of those cute old couples still in love.
I promise I will never stop having fun with you.
And I promise I will never stop saying I love you,
For the rest of my life, I am your Daniel.

As a ring has no end, neither shall my love for you.  Let this ring be a symbol of my vows to you and a reminder of my devotion.  I will always be honored to be your husband.

 (We followed with a quote together, alternating lines until the last.)

You and I Have so much love,
That it Burns like a fire,
In which we bake a lump of clay
Molded into a figure of you And a figure of me.
Then we take both of them, And break them into pieces,
And mix the pieces with water,
And mold again a figure of you, And a figure of me.
I am in your clay.

(Finally, it was time for the official vows.  This we kept traditional.  It was very important to me that we do so.  I never really planned out my wedding when I was little; the one thing I planned on was saying these words.)

Do you, Nicole/Daniel, take Daniel/Nicole to be your lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold, to honor and to cherish, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, as long as you both shall live?

I do. 

By the power vested in me by the state of California, I now pronounce you husband and wife.  You may kiss the bride.

We planned that kiss for months.  Screw regular kisses.  We get those all the time.  We wanted this one to be legen (wait for it) dary.  Since the invention of the kiss there have been five kisses that were rated the most passionate, the most pure. This one was to leave them all behind.

OK, it wasn't really that good, but it was a lot cooler than not dipping in a massively undippable dress.

 Then there was only one thing left to do.  The one part of our ceremony that catered to Jewish tradition.  Together, we stomped on a glass.

It's supposed to just be the guy that does it, but I couldn't resist joining the glass-breaking fun.  I still don't know what the point of this tradition is.  According to Daniel, there isn't one.  But hey, breaking things is always fun.

Then, all we had left to do was walk back up the aisle.

But the fun wasn't over yet!  Since our first date when we notoriously did not watch it, The Lion King has been a part of our relationship.  Both of us count it as a favorite movie, our first kiss was less than five minutes in, and it sparked the everlasting "you pulled me, no you jumped in my lap" debate.  We had no choice but to incorporate it into the wedding.

And we did it with style.

Not only did we walk back up the aisle to "Can You Feel the Love Tonight," but Daniel arranged a little lipsynching for the groomsmen first.

They acted out the Timon and Pumba bit in the beginning.  It was awesome.

As we walked back up the stairs, we thought the ceremony was over, but there was one last surprise that awaited us.  You see, there were still a ton of people up there who had apparently been watching our affair from atop the stairs.  As we reached them, a storm of applause greeted us.  We were astounded and touched by the whistles, cheering, and sheer sound of it all.  It was a great way to end our ceremony.

But now, the reception awaited.

How did you choose your vows?  What was important for you to include?  Did you get any pleasant surprises during your ceremony?

Classy Wedding by the Sea