Pasadena Wedding at Pandora On Green by Acqua Photo
July 31, 2012
United States
There's just really nothing sweeter than a wedding chock-full of personality - and this Pasadena soiree captured by Acqua Photo?  Well, it's all about the oh-so-adorable bride and groom.  From the uber-amazing DIY projects to the fabulous stylings of My Bride Story to a carnival theme that will, there's not a moment that isn't seriously brimming with L.O.V.E.  Plus, any wedding that boasts a lemonade stand, ring toss and desserts from Sweet & Saucy Shop automatically goes into the SMP Hall of Fame.  That's a guarantee.  See so much more right here.
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From the Bride... Brian and I wanted to have a fun and playful wedding. Our guests flew in from all over the country, even Korea and Indonesia, so our top priorities were to make sure they were entertained and fed well! We thought of having a carnival theme because well, carnivals are fun! But really, Brian and I spent our first "date" together riding a ferris wheel during our HS grad night, and we both absolutely love local street fairs/carnivals. Grilled corn, cotton candy, lemonade, games and prizes — mmm!

Our wedding was a true labor of love. My sister (also my MOH) designed all the stationery, from the invitations to the programs and even street signs. I wanted to make sure the carnival theme wouldn't make my wedding look like a birthday party, and I think she did an amazing job. My bridesmaids spent hours cutting and pasting papers, and my cousin also took videos for us. My favorite project was the photo booth backdrop. The idea came from 100 Layer Cake, and it turned out to be such a statement piece. During the ceremony, we both recited our own vows. Brian is particularly good at writing poems that rhyme (he had also written a poem when he proposed), so I shouldn't have been surprised that he wrote one for his marriage vow. One part I'll always remember is when he said, "I love you even when we fight, especially when I'm freaking right!" The whole audience roared with laughter. Of course he redeemed himself by following with a vow to respect, cherish, know, and love me for the rest of his life. I was determined NOT to spend money on a limo, so I thought of a parade, which would go with our carnival theme, and I LOVED how it turned out! We walked from the church to the reception site, Pandora on Green in Old Pasadena. The town has crosswalks that would stop cars from all four streets for you to cross diagonally, which we did — with the entire bridal party holding giant balloons in our hands followed by a massive crowd (we had over 170 guests). People started honking and cheering from their cars and kids were waving to us. We felt SO much energy and love!

When we arrived at Pandora, the room couldn't have looked more perfect. It was beautiful yet whimsical and playful with bright yellow and white blossoms, hanging string lights, popcorn and our game stations! Guests played balloon darts, ring toss, wrote special notes for our time capsule and had a blast posing in the Acqua StudioBooth! In addition to more traditional appetizers, everyone enjoyed fresh popcorn and lemonade! It was truly wonderful to see our vision come to life — thanks again to our family and friends and of course to the wonderful Esther and her staff at My Bride Story for bringing everything together.

At the end of the day, what I remember most is when Brian and I saw each other for the first time. I wanted to have a "first look" in my wedding dress, but my mom wanted to start the day with a Chinese Tea Ceremony, for which I would wear a QiPao. Brian cheered me up and convinced me that it wouldn't be our "official first look" since I'd be wearing a Chinese QiPao and that wouldn't count as wedding attire (which is not true) and that it would just be like seeing me in any other outfit, no big deal. My bridesmaids had me face the opposite side of the room, and I could hear them teaching Brian how to say "my wife is beautiful" in Chinese and Indonesian as part of the traditional "door games." I laughed the whole time. When Brian finally tapped me on my shoulder, I turned around and it felt like there was no one else in the room. Even though he swore he wouldn't cry, he had tears in his eyes and said "Istri saya cantik" which is the Indonesian phrase he just learned. We both cried, laughed and embraced. With so much love and support, what I learned was to let go during the day and enjoy the moments. Something will go wrong, and even IF someone notices, you still end up with a husband, which is truly, truly wonderful even after eight years, four months and three days of dating.

Photography: Acqua Photo / Ceremony: First Baptist Church in Pasadena, California / Reception: Pandora On Green in Pasadena, California / Event Design: My Bride Story / Floral Design: Flower Allie / Wedding Cake + Desserts: Sweet & Saucy Shop / Wedding Invitations: DIY by the Sister of the Bride / Lighting: Event Plus / Wedding Dress: La Soie Bridal "Cherie" / Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka via Zappos / Bridesmaids' Dresses: J.Crew