the Wedding – John & Cindy: A Year Ago Right Now

12:19 AM

Memories are a beautiful thing. And the more distant the event, the more significant the re-enjoyment. A year ago I married my best friend Cindy and we are just now looking at the photos together, reliving each moment and savoring the joy, the anxiety, and the sheer excitement of each happening as it occurred that day. As a wedding photographer of roughly 10 years, I’ve been to my fair share of nuptials. I’ve witnessed countless I do’s, tasted hundreds of cakes, and hummed along to my favorite first-dance tunes more times than countable. So when approaching my own wedding…did we have a plan? Not initially. But it all worked out nice n good. =)

TL:DR Edition. Some highlights from the day:

  • I took a shower.
  • Cindy wore a Kenneth | Winston sweetheart trumpet and looked mad hot in the gowns’ top to bottom lace-over-tulle action. The corseted back made it fit perfectly too, cuz you can’t have a loose dress. You just cant.
  • We did not do a first look so I ended up crying a lot when I saw Cindy walking down the aisle.
  • The bridesmaids and groomsmen had separate slumber parties the night before so we all got up around the same time to get ready and that was dope.
  • At some point of the morning I thought about my cat, who was at home.
  • We exchanged gifts prior to the ceremony. I gave her the gift of my sweet sweet thoughts in the form of a letter, sealed in a high quality resealable FedEx envelope. She gifted me Swiss-made excellence. Cindy won.
  • The guys all wore identical black suits, no vest, and a minimal pocket square + floral appliqué boutonnière. Keep it clean. Keep it simple.
  • The bridesmaids did pretty good too.
  • During the ceremony we asked all the pastors to pray over us on the stage. This was cool because prayer is important and each of these pastors played a pretty big role in our growth.
  • After the first kiss, we took a selfie. They were all the rage in 2014.
  • My college roomate for all 4 years arrived to the ceremony with LIVE Boston lobsters sealed in a styrofoam box. We ate them the next day.
  • We took some random Creatives with the wedding party in a dirt field nearby. It was refreshing to be silly together with our best friends and I found myself at the bottom of a dog-pile. Cindy was on top.
  • I really dont like shoes and Cindy LOVES Disney and Modern Family so we switched into his & her’s Mickey and Minnie Mouse slippers for the entirety of the reception.
  • A choreographed first dance is impossible to execute in gigantic, plush, oversized slippers. We didn’t do too well on that. lol
  • Lawrence our groomsman put together a remarkable slideshow borrowing from the Facebook year-in-review theme. We cried.
  • I borrowed a Go-Pro and mounted it to my head before diving for the garter. Cindy made me remove it immediately.
  • To encourage the guys to want to catch the garter, I affixed six $100 bills and tossed it in to the crowd. Upon closer inspection the bills were fake. =)
  • Cindy looked beautiful in a really Asian looking qi-pao featuring a very high slit – nice.
  • Alex our MC and very talented rapper and wordsmith performed to close out the night.
  • The entire day was captured by Melly Lee and Christopher Park. They are good friends of mine, and I can’t stress enough how much I trust their skill, style, vision, and execution.
  • All of our favorite people were together in one place at the same time. It was a beautiful merging of worlds.


Thinking back…would I have done anything different? Nope. It was perfect. Cheers to being married =)


(Above) A beautiful day

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(Above) A Kenneth Winston gown


(Above) Bended Knee Floral

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(Above) Bridesmaids gifts

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(Above) Groomsmen gifts

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(Above) Awesome slideshow by Lawrence Hui:


(Above) Inspired by Modern Family and Cindy’s love for all things Disney.

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While every wedding I’ve shot and will shoot is important, I’d be lying if I denied that our wedding was and still is the most important wedding of my life. All of my working years, everything I’ve done, seen, and experienced so far…would prepare me for this day. With roughly 9 months to plan a party for 400 guests, we had to hit the ground sprinting. Not wanting to take any chances, I reached out to my most trusted vendors and friends to assemble my A-Team. These guys (and gals), were good, and worked together to execute the entire production.  

Top Level Coordination: Meta Manguy

Photography: Melly Lee (digital), Christopher Park (digital), Joseph Ho (large format film)

Cinematography: Gelderman Team

Makeup & Hair Stylist: Elaine Chou

Lighting: Terry of In Light Lighting

Entertainment: Dj Bleev

Photobooth: Kevin Tang of Party LA Photobooth

Flora & Decor: Johnny of Bended Knee

Master of Ceremonies: Alex Shiau, Tim Lui (Ceremony)

Urshers: Stanley Dai, Josh Chen, Jim Yee, Chris Chang Chien, Rich Yang, Kevin Cheng

Musician Team: Oliver Lee, David Chang, Ceri Hui

Officiant* & Pastoral Presence: Jimmy Lee*, John Lo, Chien Te Yao, Rob Lledo, Steven Siu, Terrence Shay, Peter Lee.

Ceremony Escort: Kastuma Rokutanzono, Joanna Yip, Sunny Poon, Jeffrey Lin

Gift Management: Marc Sandoval, Henry Lang, Diana Tao, Acacia Wang, Stephanie Lee

Large Format Prints & Display: Colleen Pih & Steve Chang

Reception Team 1: Emily Chen, Esther Cha, I-Shen Lai, Alice Zhou, Katie, Hsu, Jason Wang

Reception Team 2: Ed Koo, Christine Gallo, Jen Fu, Chiyori Bernice Toriyama Angevine, Pricilla Wan, Stephanie Chzen

Tea Ceremony Attendant: Li Juan Tong, Li Ting Tong

Speech Translations: Patrick Poon

To Our Guests: ALL of you. Thank you for sticking by us through these years and cheering us on in the hardest times. We distinctly remember the significance of your friendship, the awesome moments we’ve had whether long ago or super recent. And we put this party together to simply thank and honor you.

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