I love weddings that started with the getting ready at their houses. You can learn so much about people from what their house looks like.
I met Grace + Nate at our initial consultation at a gastropub in downtown Orange and hit it off talking about anything and everything (I never thought I was such a talker). I learned about supposedly how good Costco Tequila is and about Cassoulet from Nate, and talked about the beauty of stories with Grace. One thing that I think was kind of interesting is that they always say that they have nothing in common with each other, however even in the phone conversation leading into the meeting, I already felt that they are a great match. They have this quirkiness about them that I believe drew them together. They are cute together. I love funny people, and these people are definitely funny with their zings toward each other.
Here are some excerpts of what they wrote about each other in their wedding website:
What Nate said about Grace:
“Grace is a good and patient teacher of pronunciation. Even though English is not her native language (as it is for Nate), Grace has transformed Nate’s pronunciation of English words into something socially acceptable. Some words that Grace has taught Nate to pronounce:
Worcester sauce, banal, Kroger’s Supermarket, H.E.B. Supermarket, nihilistic, often, Chick-fil-A, bilirubin, Boston Celtics, disparate, Montrose, ease, atrophied (just like how Morpheus from Matrix pronounced it), Maraschino cherries.”
What Grace said about Nate:
“Nathan K. Watanabe spent his childhood in the City of Orange, a sun-drenched and cloud-capped cradle of homespun conservatism and flourishing family values. Growing up, Nate loved bumblebees, his little sister, dinosaurs, and bio-mechanical engineering.
As Nate encountered new experiences and landscapes in college, particularly during a study abroad program in Kyoto, epiphanies cascaded for him. Accordingly, Nate enrolled in law school, where he savored the mental gymnastics of lawyering and the salmon he cooked between classes.”
“Nate is like a pluot, a resolutely colorful hybrid. He has the explosive athleticism of a gym rat but the waggish gluttony of a guinea pig. He works as a transactional lawyer by day but plays like a goof ball at night. Nate is both ardent friend and fearsome (Monopoly) foe. Aside from pluots, our pal Nate loves to eat pickles, “crunchies,” whole pigs, the honeyed cuisine of Japan, and blueberries.”
“To Nate, the love and laughter of family, friends, and God are necessary components for the The Good Life.”
So I traveled to Las Vegas to shoot their wedding and I got invited to their pre-wedding party by Nate at a local bar in downtown Las Vegas and got to know some of his closest friends and had a few to drink (I didn’t see Grace at all that day since she was doing some secretive activities with her bridesmaids. Just kidding). The wedding day comes and I started with Grace’s getting ready at her parents’ house that she grew up in. I was in awe of all the awards that she has received throughout the years. There are numerous photos with past presidents, placards after placards of achievement awards on the walls. Simply, impressive. Her parents have definitely raised a good and accomplished kid.
The wedding: fun. It was a low-key friends and family centric with the nice backdrop of the cool architecture of the World Market Center. It was cold and windy, but both Grace and Nate was open to shooting anywhere and anytime. Love that about them. They had one of the most amazing Ethiopian food served in the reception (judging from Nate’s culinary knowledge, I am not surprised).
Special thanks to Juliet from Green Orchid Events for being so awesome, and making the event so smooth and fluid, and to Ari Simphoukham for second shooting for me.
Grace being made up in one room and her mom in the other.
In the mean time, Nate finishing up getting ready at his hotel room
Back in Grace’s house, the aunties are making the special traditional chinese soup.
A beautiful moment right after the Tea Ceremony of Grace’s mom tearing up while her dad is raising her veil (taken by Ari)
Cute moment during the bus ride to the venue
The cool details of the ceremony.
Grace and her dad walking down the aisle
I love this hug by Grace’s dad right after the speech
First dance, 26 floors up from the ground, overlooking Las Vegas
In the other room some people are doing some karaoke!
The double decker bus to transport the guests as they leave from the premises