FC: Justin & Amanda Chao November 2, 2013
4: The day began with hair and makeup with Ying Ying and her assistant in the suite at Pacific Palms Resort. Christine Chen, our wedding coordinator, arrived with breakfast!
5: Soon, Lukas and Suzy van Dyke, our photographers, and Dacy and Amy Nottingham, our videographers, arrived. Moses Tey also came to shoot photos for his secret project. The shoes pictured here are from David's Bridal. This beautiful diamond necklace is a gift from Mom.
6: Though the guys didn't have to wake up as early, I suspected Justin may have had as little sleep as I did (3 hours!). My throat was hurting so I texted him at 5:30am to ask if he would | bring me Pi Pa Gao...and he did! Funny thing is, we had given Pastor Milton the same tea because prior to the wedding, he had completely lost his voice!
7: My wedding gown was from Alfred Angelo, purchased three weeks before Justin proposed. I added the sleeves and Mom added more beading to the back. I cried the first time I tried it on.
8: [Rev 19:7b] "...the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready."
10: The ladies were taking a while to finish up their preparations, so the guys waited outside. Thankfully, Lukas had already warned us that makeup artists usually take two hours more | than they say they need, so we were prepared for this delay. Instead of doing wedding party photos before the wedding, we simply saved them for afterwards!
12: Je helped me put on the dress while the other girls helped with keeping me upright! Jess used fabric tape to secure my sleeves. Ready!
17: Finally, the first look! It was a beautiful moment. Of course I cried. We couldn't kiss yet, so we used my bouquet to cover our faces and pretended to kiss for the cameras. =)
18: One of the funniest moments was getting stuffed into Biblia's car to get to the ceremony! Haha! On the way, Biblia prayed for me and helped calm my nerves. You go girl!
21: Sarah van Baarsel and her crew were setting up the ballroom while our receptionists and ushers prepared for the onslaught of 460 people. | Leanna Lee & Marvin Ortiz | Bethany & Rachel Halpin | Matthew Kaufman & Marcus Galbreath
24: The little ones were getting ready, too! | Our ring bearers were Jeremy Chao & Joshua Kwong. Our flower girls were Mia Aquino & Grace Peterson.
25: Love is in the air!
26: Pastor Milton made the announcement to turn off all electronic devices and to please refrain from taking photos or videos during the ceremony. We first got this idea from Daniel and Alvina's wedding. | After confirming with Lukas that modern technology often distracts wedding audiences and instigates unwitting moments of photo-bombing, we made the call. Some people were surprised by the request. Others told us later that this was a smart move...as evidenced by horror stories of their loved ones' weddings. =/ And some continued the trend after us... In any case, our friends and family complied, and the ceremony began!
27: Waiting in the foyer with dad | Lighting the candles | "I See the Light" from Tangled
28: The groom awaits | Gong Gong | Jonathan Langley & Auntie Mei | ...still waiting...
29: Arthur & Franny Yen | Eddie Chao & Marie Hung Daryl Lee
30: "Just the Way You Are" by The Piano Guys
31: The week before, Pearl had texted me the funniest picture ever. Poor Mia hated her dress! Thankfully, they had time to buy a cotton lining to stop the itch and Mia was smiling down the aisle!
32: Finally, the time came! The doors opened. As soon as I stepped out onto the aisle and saw my beloved waiting for me, I started bawling. I couldn't see myself | so I assumed my eye liner was creating black streams down my face. Nevertheless, I tried my best to smile. Later I saw the pictures and realized Ying Ying had used water-proof | "A Thousand Years" by The Piano Guys | makeup. Yay!
34: Mom and Dad are so funny! When Pastor Milton asked, "Who gives this woman to be married to this man?" they responded, "Her mother and I! Aaaaaaaamen!"
35: Jonathan Jones honored us with the reading of Ephesians 5:15-23 and Genesis 2:18-24. What a booming voice that man has!
37: Kevin, Alice, and Anna knocked it out of the park with their rendition of "Before the Throne!" | My favorite part was the Shane & Shane interlude: "Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Praise the One Risen Son of God!" | Before the throne of God above I have a strong, a perfect plea A great high Priest whose Name is Love Who ever lives and pleads for me My name is graven on His hands My name is written on His heart I know that while in heaven He stands No tongue can bid me thence depart No tongue can bid me thence depart When Satan tempts me to despair And tells me of the guilt within Upward I look and see Him there Who made an end to all my sin Because the sinless Savior died My sinful soul is counted free For God the just is satisfied To look on Him and pardon me To look on Him and pardon me Behold Him there the risen Lamb My perfect spotless righteousness The great unchangeable I am The King of glory and of grace One with Himself I cannot die My soul is purchased by His blood My life is hid with Christ on high With Christ my Savior and my God! With Christ my Savior and my God!
39: "Here is Love" Here is love, vast as the ocean, Lovingkindness as the flood, When the Prince of Life, our Ransom, Shed for us His precious blood. Who His love will not remember? Who can cease to sing His praise? He can never be forgotten, Throughout Heav’n’s eternal days. On the mount of crucifixion, Fountains opened deep and wide; Through the floodgates of God’s mercy Flowed a vast and gracious tide. Grace and love, like mighty rivers, Poured incessant from above, And Heav’n’s peace and perfect justice Kissed a guilty world in love. Let me all Thy love accepting, Love Thee, ever all my days; Let me seek Thy kingdom only And my life be to Thy praise; Thou alone shalt be my glory, Nothing in the world I see. Thou hast cleansed and sanctified me, Thou Thyself hast set me free.
40: Amanda, my little piranha, you are one of the bravest people I know...'cause you're about to marry me! I still can't believe that | you would want to be my wife! I can't promise riches or fame, but I promise to strive to be the first one to say sorry, the first one to ask for forgiveness, the first to forgive, and the last to get | angry...even if you burn more curry. I pray that from this point forward, I will diligently learn how to love you as Christ loves His church | because He is the One that has provided and continues to provide the greatest example of how to love. And I want to love like that. Amanda, I love you. | L O V E
41: Justin, You are God's perfect gift to me. When I am sick, you make me fresh ginger tea. When I feel burdened, you call out to the Father | with me wrapped in your arms. When I wrong you, you freely forgive. When I laugh, you do too. You are tender-hearted and quick to confess weakness. You are brave, killing the spider in the car that made | me scream! You feed my soul, reminding me that God loves me so much He sacrificed His most beloved Son for me. And you strive to | show me that same sacrificial love every day. You are my Prince Charming, my Courageous One, and the love of my life. I love you, I thank God for you, and I can't wait to live alongside you as your wife. | L E T T E R
42: "The Church's One Foundation" The church's one foundation is Jesus Christ her Lord; she is his new creation by water and the Word. From heaven he came and sought her to be his holy bride; with his own blood he bought her, and for her life he died. Elect from every nation, yet one o'er all the earth; her charter of salvation, one Lord, one faith, one birth; one holy name she blesses, partakes one holy food, and to one hope she presses, with every grace endued. Mid toil and tribulation, and tumult of her war, she waits the consummation of peace forevermore; 'til, with the vision glorious, her longing eyes are blessed, and the great church victorious shall be the church at rest.
43: Because the church had asked us to have oil candles only, we asked our friend Britney Strassenburg to make our unity candle for us. She used a VOSS water bottle, some materials from WalMart, and nice ribbon to put it together within the last few weeks before our wedding. It turned out beautifully.
44: Mom said the flowers were so pretty, she thought they were made out of silk!
45: This one was definitely a crowd-pleaser...and yes, we practiced. =)
46: "Everyone was expecting Marie to cry, so she didn't. Instead, I cried!" -Daryl Lee | "We cried. We never cry at weddings. But we cried." -Darrell and Rolan Ament | "Now, I see hope for the next generation." -Robert Freeman
47: We're married!!!
56: We had a few items on display for our guests to look at before the reception, but things were so rushed that they were easily passed by! Still, it was fun to put them together and to have them as keepsakes. We had one poster made by Katerina Griffith depicting our love timeline as intertwining musical staffs, another with the story of our first "I Love You," and a third showing pictures of fun moments together during our dating and engagement periods.
61: At first I wanted to put together the centerpieces ourselves, but it became apparent that it was too much to handle. Thankfully, I found Sergio and his company Indigo Centerpieces on Craigslist! I explained my hope for the decor: something stable that would not have to be removed from the Lazy Susans, with flowers and floating candles in water, at a decent budget, and able to be set up and torn down within the given time frame. He not only fulfilled all my requests, but came up with the design within 24 hours!
62: My bridesmaids are so pretty! | And the groomsmen look sharp, too!
63: "Can't Help Falling in Love"
66: "They scooped the fried rice!!!! Hahahaha!!!!" -Mom's friends "Hudson's favorite part: the cupcakes!" -Kim Sapko "You don't know how touched I was that you invited our kids. They were so excited!" -Kim Sapko "Epic, beautiful wedding and stunning reception." -Wesley Clarillos "Your wedding was one of the top two I've been to in my entire life." -Desiree Unsworth "First wedding I've been to where the bride and groom led a worship song." -Facebook post | "Amanda, the shrimp rocked." -Sierra Goff "Did you try the shrimp?!?!?" -Kumi, as reported by Sierra Goff "I loved every part of your wedding. The whole thing was done so well." -Steven Zehms *Gasp!* -Ying Ying the makeup artist, when assessing the damage done to my makeup after the ceremony "Hi Franny, I really enjoyed the pictures of your daughter's wedding. Your daughter looks very much like you, full of determination and confidence. Richard is beaming! Great Blessings, Marjorie Chin"
71: Melanie Majeskey, whom Justin met from CPK, made us almond champagne cupcakes with white pearls and glitter. Justin had the suggestion of putting raspberries on top, and I found the perfect white-with-burgundy-polka-dot cupcake liners at bakeitpretty.com! The cupcakes were such a hit and looked so delicious in the pictures that we decided to use them as the cover picture for our thank you cards! | Yum...Chinese yellow sponge cake with layers of strawberries inside. I asked Diamond Bakery to replace the normal swirls with hearts made from a bass clef and treble clef. I also asked for raspberries instead of flowers on top, so that the cake would match the cupcakes.
72: Since I haven't seen many getaways, I was a bit at a loss as to how to do ours. Flower petals would simply drop to the ground unless tossed correctly and rice would get everywhere and kill the birds. So I asked Lukas VanDyke for some advice, and he suggested bubbles! They're fun to do, with no cleanup required, and they look great in pictures. What a blast! Our wedding party also decorated our getaway car...they even used medical gloves!