We're loving the details of this wedding! Alisa and Mike wanted to spend a little time with each and every one of their guests, see how they incorporate a traditional Thai Water Ceremony into their wedding! This California bride stuns in her JUNKO gown from the Blue by Enzoani collection adding a little more magic to her day.
Mike and I were not high school sweethearts. We weren’t childhood friends that played in the streets together and reconnected as adults. He didn’t save me from a burning building. We didn’t have that kind of love story.
We met in an alley in Downtown LA. Yep! You read that correctly. An alley. Talk about meeting organically!!
It was July 5, 2014, a friend and I decided at the very last minute to make an appearance at our friend’s cousin’s birthday at a bar in Downtown LA. We showed up and had a blast. My friend’s mission in life (at that time) was to find me a partner and I guess you can say she completed her mission that night. She spotted Mike from the crowd and went searching for him. After an unsuccessful search, we were set on leaving and calling it a night. As we waited outside for the rest of our party or as fate would have it…Mike comes walking up the stairs. My friend finds the courage to walk up to him and his friend (with her husband’s permission) and casually strikes up a conversation, introduces us and leaves. She calls me shortly after and ends our conversation with, “I better be invited to your wedding!”.
The rest is history and Mike and I have been hooked ever since.
Our relationship is like any other. Ups and downs, the good, the bad and the ugly – it’s the beauty of getting to know another human being and learning your differences and similarities. In many ways, Mike and I are completely different, and yet, at times, I feel like we are the same person. He’s the quiet, mellow type and I’m the outspoken, emotional kind. I react, he doesn’t. He takes things day by day, I stress about things that haven’t happened. That’s our magic.
Mike and I would talk about marriage throughout our relationship. We actually went ring shopping about a year before his proposal, which definitely kept me waiting in anticipation!
When I least expected it, was his birthday May 4, 2017 was the day he decided to pop the question.
As all my family and friends know, I am a woman of naps. I love my naps and the day of his birthday, I was taking a nap. Although for good reason as I was preparing for a full meeting day for work so I needed to be at my best for the next day. Mike came into our bedroom, and gently woke me up to ask me to hang out with him in the living room. I felt so guilty that I almost slept through his birthday and I walked over to the living room couch. He then asks me a question, “do you know what would make my birthday better?” Still half asleep, I reply, “You want more cake? I’ll get you another slice of cake.” He laughs somewhat nervously and slowly reaches under the coffee table and pulls out a red box. Now completely awake, I grab his arm in disbelief as he opens the box and asks me to be his wife!! “Yes. Yes. Yes! A million times YES!!”
Wedding planning sure wasn’t easy for me. So many things to choose from, so many vendors to talk to. I had a love/hate relationship with Pinterest. But I got real lucky. Mike was by my side the WHOLE way and I couldn’t have asked for a better partner. From designing our save the dates and invitations, to coming with me to our florist to decide on flowers and making all the wood work creations that just made our wedding so personal and beautiful. HE was the cake topper on the cake. He saved me from going insane and calmed me during the overwhelming moments of decision making. (With the help of my bridesmaids of course!)
When I look at all our pictures, what I loved the most about our wedding was that it was the BOTH of US. All decisions were made by US. I wanted him to be happy and excited with OUR day just as much as I was. I wanted it to be just as much about the groom as it was about the bride as sometimes the groom gets a little lost in the chaos. Our venue, the colours, the flowers, the decor, the food, the music, -it was US, it screamed US and I wouldn’t have changed ONE thing. We were completely in love with everything. Seeing everything come together after all that planning and seeing how gorgeous it was. It gets really emotional. And when they say, once it’s over, you want to relive the day all over again, it’s all true. That feeling is so real. We wanted to relive the Magic we created together, over and over again.
Make this day about the two of you and no one else. There are days you are going to feel overwhelmed. Its a lot of pressure! There’s A LOT of beautiful inspiration out there but take it day by day. Try not to stress about the little things. No one is going to notice except for you if the napkins are folded or draped, or what font you choose for your escort cards, or if you have clear or frosted votive. Your guests are there to celebrate the two of you and your love for each other. My best advice-Take a moment with your partner from the wedding, look around the room and see all the MAGIC that surrounds you. It is truly a beautiful feeling.
What was your most Memorable?
How can I choose just one? How about I choose two:
The first one would be our first look. This, I would say is the most exciting because my dress was something I had to keep secret from him for so long. I remember feeling those butterflies in my stomach as I walked down the stairs towards him, and feeling so giddy as he turned around. He looked so handsome and I felt like the luckiest girl in the world. It was like our first date all over again!
The 2nd most memorable moment was our first dance. We both chose our song together- “lights down low” by Max. We had a little choreographed dance and it felt absolutely amazing. You know when you watch those movies where there’s a couple dancing in a crowded room and everything around them is muffled and blurry and they are just focused on each other? That’s exactly how it felt. It was just the two of us dancing on a cloud. It was so romantic and we loved every minute of it.
Sorry one more! Mike and I wanted to make sure to incorporate our culture and families as much as possible for our special day. Mike's dad graciously accepted to officiate our wedding and did such an amazing job. He made it so much more personal for us and we are forever grateful. We also incorporated a Thai Water Blessing ceremony which gave all our guests an opportunity to come and greet us, and give us their blessing and warm wishes. Even though we only had a minute or so with each guest, it meant a lot to us to be able to have this time with each of them personally.
According to Thai tradition, the pouring of water (‘rod nam’) is the most important part of the Thai wedding ceremony, as it signifies the couple officially becoming husband and wife. Traditionally, guests who are older than the couple participate in this ritual but we wanted to make sure we got some personal time with each of our guests and so we made this open to all guests that wanted to participate.
During the ceremony a holy string (‘sai monkhon’) is draped upon the couples’ heads, forming a circle and connecting the two. This signifies their spiritual union. The blessing of the couple is symbolized by three sacred markings placed on each of their foreheads. This ritual is meant to bring good fortune to the newlyweds.
Water is also an important element and represents cleansing and luck. Guests offer a blessing or marital advice while pouring water over the couples’ hands.
Being that this is the most important part of a Thai traditional wedding ceremony, I wanted to make sure that we included this aspect in our primarily Westernized wedding. The most important part about this was incorporating tradition and family. Half of our guests are from Thai descent and this was important to my family. We also thought it was a great way to allow us some time with each of our guests individually, for them to greet us and take pictures as we all know how FAST the day goes and sometimes time is very scarce. It made us so happy that ALL our guests participated. They really enjoyed being a part of it as it was a new tradition for many as well
The Chakraphat traditional Thai dress is usually made from the Yok cloth. This cloth is a kind of silk with raised flower design. There is a Sabai (piece of cloth draped over one shoulder) decorated with beautiful tinsel and jewels over a Thai pleated Sabai. The dress is further enhanced with a necklace, bracelet, breast chain, and occasionally a Thai belt. This dress is named after “Chakraphat” which means emperor.
The Junko Blue by Enzoani - The Journey
I saw this dress online and completely fell in love. I tried on similar dresses but I wasn’t completely convinced. There was something about this dress that I couldn’t (and wouldn’t) let go of. I searched for it, high and low- called every single Enzoani retailer store in Southern California and not one retailer carried it.
I FINALLY found a store that carried it but had to be shipped in from Northern California. When it finally came in for me to try on, there was a nude colour lining in it that slightly changed the look of the dress and it was hard for me to imagine the dress as its original style. Still, there was something, just something, about this dress that I was so drawn to. Some may call me crazy but yes, I purchased it, not really knowing how it would look on me as its true form. I loved it that much.
My MOH recently flipped through pictures of the dresses that I tried on before I decided on the Junko. She even said, "I can’t picture you in any other dress".
Maybe it was the romanticism of the delicate lace that kept drawing me in...or the classic look and feel of a modern, mermaid gown, or the subtle sexiness of the sheer bodice and low illusion back, or merely just the beauty of its simplicity. I just felt like it had 'me' written all over it, but more so, I felt like it reflected me and my future husband's love for each other. It sounds a little cheesy but it’s so true. Simple, romantic and timeless...,”no fluff as he says. It was US. It was MAGIC...and I had to have it.
Photographer: Jami Laree
Videographer: Natalie and Nick Martensen
Wander On Studios
Venue: The Modern - Long Beach
Enzoani Retailer: Pebbles Bridal - Placentia
Wedding Planner + Decorator: Pam Augustus + Viv Delpilar
Love Anne Joy Design and Events
Florist: Sue Le
The Flower Boutique Inc
Hair: Cynthia Banh
Beauty By BonBon
Makeup: Jan Degillo
JD Makeup Artistry
Caterer: Jays Catering
Bartender: Cocktail Concierge
Marbled Cake + Desserts: Noelle Vellios
Noelle Sweets and Treats
Desserts: Kape Republik
Cake Topper: Creative Amme
Light and Cloud Effect: Flawless Entertainment DJs
Photobooth: Lauren Soriano
Calligraphy: Kate Espanol
Signage and Emblem Design and Development: Michael Condit
DJ: DJ Roldan | Proofpositive LA
MC: Stanley Han | Proofpositive LA