“I remember hearing my dad coach me right before walking and reminding me to breathe and that nothing could go wrong from here. Once I saw Jake at the altar after I walked out, I couldn’t wait to get up to the aisle. The walk was about two minutes long and it felt so surreal to see 120 of our closest friends and family supporting us. Once I got up to the altar, my nerves started to unwind throughout the ceremony but I had never felt safer in front of a large group of people.
Jake and I decided that we would try to infuse as much of our Cuban and Chinese cultures into our ceremony and reception as possible. One of the traditions we wanted to incorporate was the Chinese Tea Ceremony. Typically, this Tea Ceremony is done the morning of the wedding at the bride’s house. Tea is a symbolic drink in Chinese culture and the purpose of this ceremony is to pay respects to both the bride and groom’s parents. The bride and groom will typically wear traditional Chinese attire and kneel on the ground in front of their parents. The bride and groom will offer a cup of tea to each parent. As the couple offers the tea, they thank both their parents for raising them and taking care of them. This is a very symbolic gesture as this is one of the last moments before a bride leaves her family. Since our ceremony was outdoors and since we didn’t want to see each other before the ceremony, we decided to share this tradition with our guests. Instead of kneeling, we bowed to our parents and had our best man help us pour the tea.
Our vision was Modern Coastal “Cubanese” Chic. The “Cubanese” came from the infusion of our Cuban and Chinese cultures. We wanted to incorporate meaningful elements of our respective cultures, our love for natural, modern design (think West Elm), our wine background and our love for the coast. That being said, we wanted to make sure that all of our décor matched the natural beauty of our reception without clutter and fuss. Our food was inspired by both Chinese/Asian and Cuban cuisine. We served seafood and roasted pork that were inspired by Cuban flavors. We even served mini Cuban Sandwiches and Yucca fries at the end of the evening as our late night snack. Typically, one would find lots of red at Chinese weddings however, we chose aubergine, champagne and ivory as our main color palette for the wedding. We felt they incorporated enough color to complement the natural lighting from the coastline while still feeling rich and elegant. We didn’t want wild pops of color that would interfere with the natural beauty of the venue. The walls of our reception were decorated with art that was pained by my mother.
My mom teaches Chinese Brush Painting and as a wedding present, she painted a large Double Happiness sign and several Pink/Purple Peonies for us and framed them. Her paintings matched our color theme and the one paining above the fireplace above our heads has two little birds sitting in the peonies (symbolizing Jake and I). Jake planned a two and a half week Italian honeymoon for us. Jake loves planning surprises so he kept the destinations within Italy a secret over the next five months and sent me clues each month as to where we might be visiting.
We ended up travelling to Rome, Florence, Tuscany (Pievescola and Siena), Orbitello, Positano, Fiuggi and then back to Rome. As we left each city, Jake would reveal the next destination. It was great to keep the surprises coming!”
Venue::Half Moon Bay Golf Links
Photographer::Alison Yin Photography
Bride’s Fashion::Mira Bridal Couture
Bridal Party Fashion::J Crew
Men’ Fashion::Mira Bridal Couture
Entertainment::Sounds in Motion