Pauline Nguyen reached out to us by phone in early October asking about our availability in November and I confirmed that we were tentatively free so we scheduled a meeting with the couple at their home in the quiet Cambrian Park neighborhood where they lived. When we arrived we met the family, including their lovely children, Nathan, Bella, Madison and Marina. Pauline and fiancé Sonny explained their plans for a family oriented, intimate backyard wedding with approximately 70 guests. They had recently performed a major remodel on their home, and given the large open floor plan, their house was ideally set up for entertaining. Pauline explained their photographic needs for their Big Day and we all agreed with the style of photography they were looking for on their Big Day.
When we returned on their Wedding Day, Pauline and Sonny's pride of home ownership was very apparent. Not one thing was out of place, inside or outside their beautiful home. The inside of the house had been set up perfectly to accommodate the "cocktail hour" and Sonny had obviously spent hours arranging their already immaculate back yard to accommodate seating seventy or more of their guests for the ceremony, dinner, and portraits. I had planned to shoot family portraits in the front yard, but why do that when the back yard was just lovely, and we had a better angle to the sun? Everything was turning out perfect!
We (my wife, Angela, who is also my Second Shooter) make a point of not just being on time, but generally arrive early because we like to spend time setting up our gear and evaluating the lighting conditions. During our set up time it we were able to observe Pauline and Sonny's comfortable, relaxed personalities as they mingled and spoke with a few of their early guests and family.
It was especially heartwarming watching Pauline's mother, Mary Ly help make the final adjustments to Pauline's wedding gown, and put on some new jewelry. Of course, Pauline, the ever present mom helped her son, Nathan, and fiancé Sonny, with their boutonnieres. Everyone was ready just in time to greet the family Matriarch, Pauline's grandmother Ba Ngoi, who flew in from Viet Nam to witness her granddaughter's wedding!
Sonny was accompanied by a group of old school friends, Benny, Duc, Jack and of course, Omar, who all kept the atmosphere light and fun for the rest of the guests. Omar performed a heartfelt ceremony where he recounted how Pauline and Sonny met, and how they grew together, and their decision to "make it official" and blend their two families into one via an elegant sand ceremony.
Pauline and Sonny made an excellent choice in hiring Karen Bevels Custom Catering and Events (Facebook: @Karen Bevels Custom Catering and Events) to fully staff their event, which to the delight of their guests, included a professional bartender and hosted bar. Karen's team served up a tasty assortment of hors d'oeuvres during the cocktail hour, and a delish plated, sit down dinner of the guest's choice of fish or steak, both of which looked tempting! Karen Bevels described her menu choices as "healthy gourmet."
Karen Bevels and her team of chefs cooked all the food on site, using the highest quality organic ingredients. She informed me that their "busy season" is October thru December, and that typically a client should inquire at least 30 days in advance of their event, but sometimes they shorter notice is possible. Karen Bevels Custom Catering works out of Hayward, CA, but they serve the entire Bay Area.
The rest of Pauline and Sonny's evening went on like a dream, as Sonny toasted his new in laws and friends, and family. They danced, ate cake, and enjoyed the company of close friends and family on what was a truey elegant wedding night.