How did COVID-19 affect your wedding?

We were engaged in January 2019 and were planning for a September 2020 wedding (we met in September, so we wanted that as our wedding day). Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, our 2020 wedding was cancelled and our museum venue didn’t reopen until 2021. Since the pandemic, many of our vendors had to increase their pricing and therefore we had to wait and save to make up for the 20% increase in costs to many things we wanted.

How did you meet?

We met at our close friend’s wedding who also happens to be our wedding planner!

When did you get engaged, and how?

We got engaged on January 21, 2019. Dan popped the question at Miradoura de Santa Luzia in Lisbon, Portugal, a scenic spot known for its intricate blue Portuguese tile design and views of the ocean.


We wanted our guests to feel like they were a part of our journey and not just at another wedding. Our venue was interactive with many exhibits open so that our guests could take photos in the actual planes and aircrafts; and our food and drinks were representative of the places we’ve traveled. We also wanted our guests to feel like they were on one of our adventures—a “destination” wedding that happened locally so that all our family and friends could attend.

How did the planning go? 

Like all weddings or large events, the planning process was stressful. My favorite parts were wedding dress shopping, and choosing linens and table settings for our venue. Some of our worst moments occurred when we were deciding on what (or who) to cut our for our wedding and one of the biggest things we had to cut was a videographer.

Biggest Challenge

Keeping within budget and being smart about where to spend extra money to create the best experience for ourselves and our guests.

How would you describe the ceremony? 

It was “completely us”– adventurous, hilarious, and loving. Our ceremony background was at the nose of a Boeing 747 which represents our love for traveling the world together.

Memorable Moment

I loved our Anniversary Dance where our winning couple was my great-aunt and great-uncle who have been married for 62 years.

Special Cultural Feature

My nephew, father, and brothers-in-law all wore Filipino barong tagalogs. Dan wanted to dance with his mom to her favorite Chinese song by Teresa Teng that had all his aunts crying.

Funny Moment

Even though it’s my dad’s fourth time giving a Father of the Bride speech (yes, there are four girls in our family) he got completely nervous and ended up just rambling on for a long eight minutes. Another funny moment was when my bridal party of children was introduced and they came walking into Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” which is my nine-year-old nephew’s current favorite song.

Renee’s Best Part

Spending time with Dan when we snuck away and took couples photos. When you have a large wedding, there are always a bunch of people around so it was nice just to get away with my new husband and our photographer to take sweet and intimate photos.

Dan’s Best Part

Just being up there in front of the Boeing saying our vows during the ceremony. I was smiling so much my cheeks hurt. I also enjoyed taking photos inside of the plane after the ceremony had concluded.

Favorite Detail

Our decor was themed to us and our travels. We had a directional post sign of our favorite places at our welcome table. Our guest book were postcards of us at different locations around the world where guests could “mail us” a postcard in a mailbox. Each table was named after a place we’ve traveled to and my sister made custom travel brochures of each table that included key moments of our time there. Our food was also representative of places we’ve been to– for example, we had Greek dolmas and Indian samosas as some appetizer choices and New Zealand lamb as one of our entrees.

What do you think guests will remember most about your wedding?

Our wedding venue was definitely unique and our guests loved looking at the exhibits on display. Our guests will definitely remember the small details that went into the wedding like our food being a buffet of international cuisines. Even the cups that drinks were served in were the exact cups used when they give you complimentary drinks on a flight.

Advice from the couple:

Start early, be firm and clear on your budget, but also be realistic on the typical costs on good vendors.

What would you have done differently if you had the chance?

I wish we had the money for a videographer. I would’ve also loved more time with just me and Dan and walking around our venue.