This love story began with an app. They met through Coffee Meets Bagel and connected distantly through UC Berkeley friends from church. They started dating and, 5 years later, finally got married!
Joyce knew of Kissy when she led worship at Joyce’s church at the time. We resonated with her coming from a family of all girls! Her dad had passed away a while back and she commemorated him in her bouquet with a photo of him. This bride was kind and extremely thoughtful of those around her. She was so intentional and detail oriented and made working with her a breeze!
We couldn’t help laughing each time we interacted with Chris because he was sweet and kept saying he wasn’t photogenic. He was so thoughtful of Joyce and really loved his community and wanted to spend time with each and every one of them. As the only child, he invested so much in friendships from his school days to his career. He truly is one of the friendliest grooms we’ve had.
We knew in photographing their engagement session that they would be low-key and easy-going during their wedding.
This bride and groom were so INTENTIONAL. The bride even gave us sweet gifts she made herself.
Joyce had been a wedding planner previously so she had everything organized down to the minute! She is super crafty and came up with the most amazing decor and ideas to make her wedding ideas come to life! She MADE wood flowers!!!!!! We were thinking they would look heavy or thick somewhat but she got them to look lifelike! So many props in her time put into every detail she lovingly poured into.
Her gorgeous dress from David’s Bridal flowed so beautifully on her and highlighted her gracefulness. It was so dreamy and we couldn’t keep talking about how beautiful it looked on her! The groom looked dapper in his blue tux from Perry Ellis and tied into the color scheme of pink and blue.
The bride and groom had ten close friends and family members in their bridal party and got ready at Homewood Suites in Oakland which had a beautiful bayfront view of the bay. It was windy but we had good window light in the lobby and were able to get some great shots inside the hotel. The bridal party was a hoot to work with the entire day.
The First Look was on the green of the Redwood Canyon Wedgewood in Castro Valley where they exchanged the sweetest gifts. He gave her a jewelry box with a hand-written note inside from their first date that he wrote “will you marry me and grow old together?” as one of their future dates. He even drew stick figures on it! She gave him sunglasses and her dad’s ring and he put both on and gave us some silly poses with it.
The Ceremony was held in an intimate enclosed area with towering trees with a gorgeous wooden pergola. The time of the ceremony was pushed back but we still had beautiful light in the garden peeking through the leaves.
They wanted to incorporate their asian cultures with a traditional tea ceremony where the bride and groom serve tea to their respective families, included parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles, and other esteemed elders. The bride and groom poured tea from separate kettles into one that had an opening tea bloom which blossomed when hot water was poured over it. They poured their blended teas together into little cups where they passed them out together thereby unifying both families.
Their pastor gave an amazing word sharing of the importance of marriage and even threw in a LOTR quote! (IYKYK.) Their vows were so thoughtful and sweet which brought tears - both of emotion and laughter - to every person in attendance. They had live worship from their friends as well as a bubble machine for their exit.
We were able to snag the bride and groom for some Couple portraits on the green as the sun was setting and we could’ve stayed out there far longer because we were having so much fun with them! They were so easy to work with and were game for anything.
Can we talk about the Grand Entrance of all grand entrances for a minute?! We didn’t know how basketball crazed Chris was until their reception. The bridal party entered to an oldie rock song and they all closed in for a group huddle when the bride and groom entered. It was hilarious
The reception continued with table touches (they wanted a photo with every person in attendance at the their wedding - challenge accepted!), meaningful toasts and fun games.
All in all, this couple made us feel like we were a part of their bridal party and a guest all in one. It was such a pleasure to capture the love they have for one another and for their friends and family.
Even when we met up with them post-wedding to give them their wedding gift, it was just like catching up with old friends. They truly are lovely people.