We knew we wanted a venue that was a blank canvas, so we could add our personalities to it—something that felt industrial and modern but classically elegant. The Willow Ballroom & Event Center was the perfect fit! Our vision was an art gallery to help visually tell our “Bay Area love story.” After hashing out some details, it became the overall theme that our special day was built around.

Special Cultural Features

During part of the reception, I wore a red lace Vietnamese dress called ao dai, which is a tight-fitting long silk dress with long sleeves that is worn over long pants—I’m half Vietnamese and half Chinese and wanted to celebrate my heritage.

How did the planning go? Favorite time? Worst moment?

The planning was a fun process. It was a great creative outlet for the both of us to connect and collaborate. Some of our favorite times were seeing some of our ambitious ideas come to life. Like coming up with our escort wall, which ended up being our art gallery with book shelves. We mixed in a few art portraits of ourselves in different styles, along with leather-bound books that had each guests name and table number on them with a title on top that read “You’re All Apart of Our Story” which tied in with our theme perfectly. It’s hard to think of what the worst moments are now that it’s all said and done. Whatever they might have been, they’ve been wiped away by the memories of such an amazing day!

Favorite Detail

The escort art gallery/book wall and the saxophone player. It really set the vibe!

What was the best part of your day?

Justine: Reading my vows to my husband in front of our loved ones.

Joseph: The beginning of the ceremony: watching all of the important people in our lives walk down the aisle and anticipating my future wife coming down the aisle! It really felt like a dream. The day came and went so quickly, but for that time, it felt like time had stopped.

Advice from the couple:

Try to work together and collaborate where you can so it makes the process enjoyable as we understand it can be stressful. Working together to plan your wedding can be a great opportunity to prepare for marriage!