It may have taken extra innings, but both Viv and Daniel scored with love at a fateful softball game. Daniel, who was living in Boston at the time, came back home to Sacramento to attend a softball game and barbecue where he met Viv. “I thought he was really crazy on that first meeting,” she says. “After I took a road trip with one of our mutual friends, Jennie, from Sacramento to Connecticut, we got to know each other better.” Daniel cooked the ladies dinner one night and then they went out on the town. It was also the night Michael Phelps won his eighth gold medal. “We were determined to visit one Boston bar for each gold medal,” says Daniel. “Needless to say, we didn’t make it very far. But the rest was history!”
Fall was in full swing when the couple made plans to go apple picking at a local apple orchard near their home in the Philly suburbs, where they both had moved. They didn’t plan to go back to California for the holidays that year, so to make those months feel as festive possible, Viv wanted to practice making apple pies for Thanksgiving with a crust recipe from Daniel’s aunt. “As we filled our cardboard box with apples, Daniel kept urging me down the tree-lined rows without other people,” she remembers. “As I turned away to grab more apples to throw in their box, Daniel handed me a special apple to add to their stash—with a ring in it!”
With plans to marry back in California, they planned 95 percent of the wedding from the East Coast but note that their vendors were quick to respond to phone calls and emails. “It made a potentially hairy planning process so much easier,” Viv says. The bride-to-be especially loved picking out the flowers and designing the arrangements. It wasn’t easy shipping all of their DIY packages back to the West Coast—safe and sound and without breaking the budget—but in the end, everything got where it needed to be on time.
In a nod to her heritage, Viv incorporated a few Filipino traditions into their wedding, including the cord, veil and coins as part of the ceremony. “We even used the vintage cord, veil and coins from my parents’ wedding ceremony just over 37 years ago,” she says.
And, in an effort to keep things light and fun, Daniel wanted to make a huge statement with their reception entrance. “His brother made an obnoxious fur coat, by hand, as part of a Halloween costume, so he wore that and a ridiculous plastic crown,” says Viv. “At first, I wasn’t sure about it—but it was hilarious!” They danced their way in to “Eye of the Tiger” from Rocky—a choice they say was most appropriate for one of the best nights of their lives. Adds the bride, “Having all of our friends and family together celebrating with us was, hands down, the best part!”
First Dance Song
"All of Me" by John Legend
Father/Daughter Dance Song
"Isn't She Lovely" by Stevie Wonder
Mother/Son Dance Song
"Beautiful Boy" by the Beatles
Cake Cutting Song
"Benny and the Jets" by Elton John
Bouquet Toss Song
"Sexy Back" by Justin Timberlake
Garter Toss Song
"Pimp Juice" by Nelly
Last Dance Song
"We Are Young" by Fun
Details about the cake
Our cake was two flavors: half coconut cake with pineapple filling, half strawberry Champagne with cream cheese frosting. SO GOOD!
Details about the flowers
We wanted a lot of fresh and green at our wedding, so Vicky put together eucalyptus garlands for the ceremony aisle runners, and used tons of greenery to fill the gazebo florals and my bouquet. We also wanted pops of yellow among the green and white, so yellow roses and craspedia were used among the succulents, roses, and lisianthus.
Details about the favors
DIY chocolate dipped S'mores with Heath crunch bars by mothers of the Bride & Groom.
Anything else you’d like to share about your wedding?
We loved, loved, loved all our vendors! We planned 95% of the wedding from the East Coast and everyone was so quick to respond to phone calls and emails. It made a potentially hairy planning process so much easier! Stacey, our coordinator was a life saver—we had a couple of big mishaps—Daniel’s mom fell and hurt herself pretty badly and Viv’s mom got mustard all over her dress before photos, but she took care of everything without even batting an eye. Don’t know what we would have done without her!
We wanted to make sure that we included a little something from the important cities that we’ve lived in. Our cake topper was an ornament of the iconic LOVE statue in Philly’s Love Park from one of Viv’s favorite local stores in Philly: Open House.
We both like to keep things fun, so Daniel wanted to make a huge statement with our reception entrance. His brother had made this obnoxious fur coat (by hand!) as part of a Halloween costume, so he wore that and this ridiculous plastic crown. At first, Viv wasn’t sure about it—but it was hilarious! We danced in to “Eye of the Tiger” from Rocky and it was the most appropriate way to kick off one of the most fun nights of our lives so far.
Any tips you’d give brides and grooms planning their wedding today?
The best piece of advice Viv got from a friend who had just finished planning her own wedding was to stick with the decisions you make, once you make them, and walk away—whether it be something as big as your venue to as small as your napkin color or favors. There are SO many endless choices out there (I’m lookin’ at you, Pinterest!) that you may be tempted to change your mind a hundred times. Give yourself a break, your wedding will be wonderful no matter what you choose!
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