It’s already October 1st and that means that I just photographed Chris and Rene Yun’s beautiful end-of-September wedding here in the South Bay Area!
You couldn’t have hoped for a better weekend, too! The SF Bay Area got a couple days of rain in the week leading up to their wedding which meant clear and clean blue skies for their afternoon ceremony! And what a fun time we all had, too!
I met Chris and Rene several years ago through the automotive community here in the Bay Area. And like most people these days we’ve stayed in touch primarily through social media. Rene had kept up with my photography work on Facebook, and later instagram, as I got busier traveling around the US shooting all manner of weddings.
So, when Chris proposed to her she reached out to me about shooting for the two of them. Chris later told me they were both thrilled that I was going to shoot for them and all he needed to know from Rene was “Just tell me where to send the check!” Haha! It sounds silly, I know. But honestly it’s very flattering to hear that the only concern from your bride and groom is your mailing address because they know you’ve moved recently. Chris and Rene both had full faith in me that I would be able to capture all they photos they were hoping for.
And we had a blast.
Both of them were perfect examples of “Don’t take your wedding too seriously” as the weekend flew by. They were laughing, joking around, and doing everything the way they wanted it to be done. Chris high-fived friends as he walked down the aisle, they took jumping-high-five photos during the portraits we shot, they pre-planned their first dance ahead of time, and made sure to say hello to every person that attended whether it was to thank them, take photos with those who traveled far to be there, or simply catch up on life for a few minutes. I don’t think Chris stopped smiling that whole evening.
So, onto the photos!
I’ve made a large selection of just over 360 images to tell the story of Chris and Rene’s wedding weekend. As always I will caption various moments here and there so those who couldn’t be there will know what’s going on.
Arriving on Thursday afternoon at the mansion for the rehearsal and walk-through
We had some amazing clouds from the recent rain storms, but sadly they were on the wrong horizon from where we would be
Rene was her own coordinator that afternoon lining everyone up
Rene didn’t seem to want to practice the first kiss… so Chris went for it on his own!
Practice, round 2
Big hug for his future son-in-law
And one for his daughter
Later that evening we all had dinner
Mr. Sit welcoming everyone and thanking them for being there. And joking a bit with Chris about him joining the family
Then Chris and Rene got up to thank everyone as well
Saturday morning, on the way to venue
Rene, giving the girls their bridesmaid gifts
Rene’s makeup artist arrived just moments later and it was time to start getting ready
The ladies were sitting and discussing makeup, skin care, and which products they do or don’t like. haha!
Mom came in to watch her daughter get ready, too!
Next up was hair. Rene was trying to text Chris asking about lunch since the boys were picking up food for everyone on their way over
The girls took a break from upstairs to go down to the patio and help set up the favors for everyone. They had all assembled them earlier that week
Little Araceli had the right idea though… chillin’ with her own box of french fries while everyone else worked
Chris and the guys were hanging out eating, too. They still had plenty of time to kill before they needed to get ready
I knew I wouldn’t get a chance to get a photo of her when she wasn’t distracted with food… I had a feeling this was my only oppotunity
Once back upstairs, and after eating, the girls were back to prep-work and finishing their hair before getting dressed.
We were actually doing amazing on time
Mom getting some instructions on how to put on Rene’s veil later that afternoon
Why yes we did have a box of In-n-Out french fries… DON’T JUDGE US! hahaha!
Nextdoor Chris was sitting and writing out his vows. He knew what he was planning to say, just had to put it on paper so he wouldn’t forget.
Most of the guys were pretty much dressed and ready. Chris wasn’t far behind them
Some help from Larry with the vest
And older-brother Oliver helping with his tie
Nextdoor all the girls were already dressed and Rene was finishing up putting on her dress as well
Her girls helping with the zipper
Mom tied the small bow at the top
And then helped tie on Rene’s belt.
Putting on shoes in such a fluffy dress was definitely tricky
Next up was placing her veil. That was Mom’s job :)
Rene was laughing saying “It’s not easy to keep sitting like this! I’m not asian enough!” Hahaha! Though I’m sure her wedged heels make it harder to balance, too
How amazing is the veil?
Had to get a quick shot of Rene before I headed back to the guys room to see where they were at with things
Nextdoor Chris was just about to hand out his groomsmen gifts to everyone
Their first gift was a pair of Chris’ favorite sunglasses, all of them matching except for his brother Oliver (the best man) whose shades were matte finish instead of gloss. Long-time friend Hector was included as well as kind of an honorary groomsmen. Chris said he’s just as important, even if he’s not officially up front with everyone for the ceremony
To personalize their second gift even further, Chris bought each of the guys the style pocket knife he has carried for a while and had them each engraved for each guy
Larry, modeling his gifts
And a big hug from his big brother
Asian mafia right there… well, and Josh. Haha!
The seriousness that the sunglasses adds to this photo. You KNOW something is about to go down.
Rene… said that little Araceli (the flower girl) didn’t want to come take a picture with her
Quick shot with the bride before I had to run downstairs to get ready for the ceremony!
It was BRIGHT and sunny out. But gorgeous weather to have
Everyone getting lined up
Chris had told me he was going to do something down the aisle… I wasn’t sure what
Then he started high fiving people, starting with Q! haha!
And then a bow!
And a big hug from Edward, his friend and officiant
Deep breath and things got started. It looked like this was when it started to really hit Chris that his wedding was happening
A kiss for the groom! And Larry followed up with a handshake and hug
Josh decided to go for the selfie…
The funny part is that he actually pulled it off pretty quickly!
Look! I’m in a photo, too, now!!
When Oliver got to the front Chris gave him a huge hug. You could see Oliver was really proud.
Araceli got too embarrassed to walk down the aisle herself! She looked super cute in her little flower girl dress though!
Chris had to look away almost immediately as Rene and her father came walking down the stairs…
He was trying to keep it together as the audience stood to welcome the bride
Rene looked amazing though
And Chris about lost it
Which was when Rene started to get hit with emotion too as she got closer to Chris
A huge hug for his future father in law…. Chris completely skipped the handshake
Mr Sit gave his daughter a big hug, too
And as Mr. Sit put Rene’s hand in Chris’, Chris just stood there and said “Holy shit!….” Which, surprisingly, lightened the mood a lot
And tears turned to laughter
Mrs. Sit was laughing and snapping photos
And Mrs. Yun was wiping away tears as she watched!
Mrs. Yun was wearing a traditional hanbok at the wedding, which was awesome by the way! I haven’t seen them since I was in Korea five years ago
Now it was Edward’s turn… welcoming everyone to the ceremony and getting things started
Edward had written out a very lovely and thoughtful ceremony for Chris and Rene, both with some funny stories and sweet ones mixed in
Exchanging of vows
Next was Chris, to give his vows to Rene
Oliver was in charge of the rings, and threw the box off into the vineyards behind him. But the first throw hit post behind him, which is why he’s laughing
Exchanging of rings
Husband and Wife!
As they walked back down the aisle Mrs. Yun stood up and hugged her new daughter-in-law. So sweet!
So Chris did the only logical thing and went and hugged his new father and mother in law, too!
Both of them were giggling as they walked out of the ceremony and toward the front yard
Don’t mess with these two… Rene will take you out
Clearly the best photo from the entire wedding
Don’t worry Chris, Josh has your back!
This one of Chris and Winston was too good not to post up and share right away…
Larry’s shot with Chris was a close second, though
Big family group shot!
It was REALLY bright out, but we managed to get everyone in the family photos at least.
Sorry you guys had to all stare toward the sun for a while!
Still had to get a couple images under the arch. It was very bright out with no clouds that day which is why we took many of the photos in the front yard with their backs to the sun.
Plus I’m pretty sure that my wedding couples like giving me challenges. Their whole wedding I was adjusting my camera for pretty much every photo since Rene and Chris were in direct sun. But it was still gorgeous and worked out great!
Upstairs on the patio things were looking great and the tables were waiting for guests to come inside
Rene and Chris drew out a storyboard of how they met. It was on display up front
For the entrances everyone had to dance in… how they danced was up to each couple though
Chris and Rene, however, made it rain
Chris thanking everyone for being there and being part of such a special day in their lives
Oliver was up first
And gave an awesome, and hilarious, speech to his little brother
And then he read from a birthday card that Chris gave Oliver when Oliver was the age that Chris is now!! How amazing is that?! He had saved it all these years and pulled it out for his Best Man speech!
I’m fairly certain Chris is probably reading it to make sure that he actually did write what Oliver said he wrote! hahaha!
Oliver then went on to say “And if you look at our skydiving trip as a metaphor for our lives, the plane being our mother, I jumped out first and Chris jumped out last!”
HAHAHA!! Oh my god, I was dying! Chris was telling Oliver to cut it!
Afterward Oliver gave Chris another big hug to lots of applause and laughter from the guests
Maid of Honor Adrianne was up next
Then Matron of Honor Khanh said a few words, too
Then Rene’s friend Vicki came up to speak
And told the story of how her and Rene first met Chris, and talked about how it was a completely random chance happening.. and that if Rene hadn’t decided to scribble her number on a piece of paper, and Vicki hadn’t volunteered to walk about into the coffee shop and find Chris to give him the number then we wouldn’t all be celebrating with them at a wedding that day.
Take chances, everyone.
Last up was Chris’ friend Winston to say a few words to everyone, too.
After eating we ran outside to take a few last photos before the sun set completely
The goal, of course, was to create something like this before we were completely out of light
Hector was my lighting assistant for that artsy photo above. Hector and Chris go back 7+ years, actually. He was able to get leave from his military work and fly in to California just long enough for the wedding. How cool is that?
And of course I had to get my photo with the bride and groom! Always the most important photo
Back inside it was time to walk tables and greet guests
It was actually really tricky to move around the tables sometimes
They had to try and each bite the marshmallow with their eyes closed… it didn’t look easy
Getting ready for the first dance.. I knew something was planned.. I just wasn’t sure what it was
It started out sweet and slow. I’m glad I got a couple slow-dance photos at least
Thennn the music cut out
And then things got serious
It was great! Rene and Chris had learned and whole choreographed routine!
Lookin’ all badass and everything, too
Next was the Daddy-Daughter dance
Mr. Sit actually sang most of the song to Rene as they danced
Family and friends all watching
Always so sweet
Next Chris danced with his mother
Rene, watching Chris and Mrs. Yun
I always think the Mother-Son dance is quite sweet as well
And after the formal dances were done, it was time for everyone else to join in!
Celebration shots with the bride and groom
Time to make everything official before it’s too late and everyone drinks too much. Haha!
Signing the paperwork
Blow it up!
Edwards signature was last… meaning they’re now married!
I don’t think Larry stopped dancing more than a handful of times that night
Getting ready for the cake
They’re trying to cut a piece but also have to deal with the ribbon that’s wrapped around the layers of cake (that purple band).
Chris almost had to scoop the slice out to get it on the plate!
They were nice and used forks instead doing anything like smashing it in each other’s face
Back for seconds! “It’s REALLY good!” said Chris, right before this shot
Getting ready for the bouquet toss
The ceilings there were really low and the flowers hit the ceiling, then hit Rene in the head!
When it came time for the garter Rene got a little dance from Chris, first
Then he did a few pushups to warm up! LOL!!
Using only his teeth..
Chris successfully removes the garter from Rene’s leg!
Turns out that Chris wasn’t much better at throwing… He and Rene are made for each other, clearly.
Both Rene and Araceli had changed into lighter dresses since the ceremony earlier that afternoon.
Workin’ on their Gangnam Style
Then it turned out that the Despicable Me minion’s version of YMCA confused the guys so much they couldn’t spell Y-M-C-A… haha!
Chris and Rene had the inside of their wedding bands engraved
“Thank you for loving me.”
Chris’ vows from that afternoon
On their second or third attempt at creating a heart with sparklers they managed to pull this off!
I jokingly told Chris to “do the starbucks logo”… He actually did a pretty good job considering it was with both hands and two sparklers at the same time!
Their story of how they met
Larry and Q, dancing the night away
This was actually while we were all in the photobooth together!
As the night was coming to a close Rene and Chris made their way back onto the dance floor for the last couple songs
End of the night! An awesomely successful wedding day
And as the music was turned down and all the lights turned back on Chris picked up and kissed Rene
The very last image of the night. Chris and Rene out in front of the mansion before those that were left headed out.
It was an awesome day and a great weekend with both their families and friends. I’d love to post a ton more photos for everyone but this was already a lot! I’ve made a lot of headway on the overall edits and should have those finished for Chris and Rene soon!
This was a great way to spend my first week of my two-week trip here in the Bay Area for weddings.
Chris and Rene, thank you for having me be part of your ceremony and part of your lives! I hope you’ve enjoyed these photos so far and can’t wait to share the rest of them with you as soon as they’re ready!
For the rest of you who made it this far… thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed everything! I have one more wedding here in the Bay Area, then I’m back in SoCal after being gone for over six weeks!