After 9 months of planning, cancelling, postponing to a year that we thought was going to be better, at a destination where we thought everything would be a lot easier, I am so relieved that it is over. As Oly and I boarded our plane to fly over the Tuesday before our Friday wedding in Playa Del Carmen, I felt a strange sense of calmness, thinking “whatever happens – will happen” even though flowers and decorations weren’t even decided (I tried to print things out days before our flight and long story short – it didn’t and wasn’t going to work). So by the time we arrived Sandos Playacar, there was a mix of anxiety, excitement, exhaustion, and acceptance/defeat mixed with frustration and relief. Many of my friends/family backed out (some last minute), none of our parents, friends from abroad, nor most of our bachelorette/bachelor party friends were going to be there considering COVID issues. Out of all challenges I try to wiggle through, problems there are the solve, the pandemic complications are never in my hands. I was just relieved that a few friends ran around to find horchata and somehow pass it to me days leading up to my wedding. I can’t tell if that was a craving, but every sip was a sweet sip of relief and comfort.
While some issues resumed with other problems and texts rolling in, guests frazzled trying to settle in, and signage/decorations still being figured out the night before our wedding, it was a roller coaster of emotions. I did my routine yoga the morning of, but was nauseous just sitting getting my makeup done hours before, watching O’s friends jog outside through a storm, covering their heads from the rain as we all listened to thunder and saw lightning flashes…. (out of all days, right?) According to the coordinator, there was no “change in plans” for outdoor/indoor wedding arrangements while I had always hoped to get married on the sand. Hearing that calm O was trying to repeatedly contact our services was making me feel frazzled. All I wanted was to get married on the sand with the ocean in the back.
There are so many stories of how much money, sanity, and work goes into a wedding; it’s incredibly high pressured and a handful of things could go wrong with you trying to solve everything. Even though I did a makeup trial the day before and timed it, everyone was a bit confused up to the point of the ceremony; We were like half an hour delayed with my makeup taking longer this time and bridesmaids missing after Oly and I took some first look photos) but once I reminded my officiant AKA older brotherTony behind some bushes to add a spot for us to exchange rings, we walked down the aisle together and everything smoothly drifted.
I was hands down embarrassed as shit from Tony being our officiant with a story I hoped to always forget, but once Oly made it through his emotional vow, I rockrolled Oly for my vow, and everything continued on full breeze.
Special thanks to my wonderful photographer and friend, Mike who kept my head level and everything moving, calmly used his Spanish to better gauge my makeup and run through the whole schedule with me while fill in with other life updates and stories. A big reason for why I really felt at ease. Because hey, even if you’re trying to smile and you’re secretly tense, it will certainly show in all these photographs without any re-do’s – and confident, genuine smiles shine through photographs.
I was pleasantly surprised, delighted, and proud of being able to just point to the reception (it was a pleasant 5 min walk down the sand)
I was so relieved that our guests passed around our fujifilm instax everywhere, because we got a TON of candid and sweet photos that we were able to enjoy.
A quick getaway for us two to embrace the sand and sky.
It was a bit strange when people congratulated us 1 year later for coming together / getting married.. since we’ve been married for 1+ year. But hey, these are some weird ass times that only people in this era could really relate to.
A few months before our wedding, Oly and I signed up for ballroom dance classes as I thought it was going to be a great way for us to enjoy each other’s company, try to hone our dance skills in something we had 0 confidence in, build some fun teamwork that is wedding related + we could show our family/friends, and get some light physical exercise.
It was pretty easy hiding to not drink for the months proceeding my wedding and keeping the news at the down low as I was “trying to look my best” and after having our schedule even more thrown off from all Oly guys trying to say something about him, I eventually shared the news with everyone as a first glimpse about expecting and figured from everyone’s eyes I repeatedly had to pause and re-phrase how we were expecting a son next March.
All in all, it was and still is a bit weird to hear people say congrats (since it’s been 1+ year since we were legally married) but hey, civil wedding vs ceremonial wedding, weird pandemic times, we’re all in it together; it was relieving to just be able to hang out with our family and friends (again) and overseas – especially, that we were able to do it on sand as I had always somehow envisioned – with a photographer that I always wanted 😉 Many thanks again to my friend Villa Visuals for capturing our moments together, Sandos Playacar (Patricia!) for somehow making it all work, and our family and friends who flew all the way over, and/or supported us through all of it and continue to throughout our lives.
O and I originally wanted to get married 6/20/20, which then was pushed earlier to 6/6/20 for the sake of hosting our wedding at our preferred venue. Who knew that with a year of planning and being so schedule oriented (heavily organizing everything on Google sheets + checklists) we still had to scrap everything? With COVID heavily affecting our lives day to day and concerned overseas family/friends inquiring about our wedding… we decided to postpone our wedding.
I was in complete denial that we’d have to postpone because 1) we’ve scheduled with our vendors and organized so efficiently over Google sheets, so postponing wasn’t “possible,” 2) we spent 9 months planning + coordinating and I was exhausted 3) I was going to pick up my customized wedding dress that I bought with $$$ and 4) I believed that we’d have enough time with beaches reopening in May and our wedding being just barely “safe” in early June. (Hoorah! right?)
Yet after reading that fashion runway shows and concerts originally scheduled for the fall were postponed/cancelled, I realized that a June wedding was too optimistic and incredulous. I couldn’t expect our friends and family to come celebrate with masks by June. I also wouldn’t want to remember my wedding day being filled with hand sanitizer/masks. After screaming into a pillow, we emailed everyone that we were postponing our wedding (and continued to scream into my pillow). While some friends sighed in relief that they could make the ones a few weeks/month after me, I was definitely bitter about being the cut off.
Tip: There are only a few wrong responses you can say to a couple who has a postponed wedding because of a pandemic… and that is one wrong way.
But ultimately, this whole pandemic is a life or death matter; to even think about possibly “going on” with our 80+ person wedding, possibly infecting someone (anyone) and them possibly have symptoms is terrifyingly selfish. Really, love is patient, love is kind – (insert all other biblical definitions of love here) … No matter how many masks /hand sanitizer/ social distancing practices we use….
Pandemics don’t pardon parties – and parties can always wait.
With a friend suggesting that we just do something happy and personal on our designated wedding day, we tentatively decided to at least (possibly) get legally married with paperwork on 6.2.20 as the latest option for that month period of when we contacted the OC bureau via phone. Because LA’s bureau was closed, I didn’t want us to keep having to call the OC bureau, and COVID + black lives matter protests changing every days’ curfew, we decided to just try to go for it and have the required check in with the bureau the day before our scheduled legal marriage date.. Many of our friends and family were confused thinking that meant that we’d completely scrap a wedding ceremony/reception where they wouldn’t have the opportunity to ever join (def…no!)
After researching more extensively, I realized that this wasn’t the “end” of it but a very strange and hopefully fantastic beginning – life is all about improvisations, right? I also have friends who saved thousands of dollars to purchase a house first – then respectively threw their well deserving party with everyone the following year(s) later than when we’re all poor-er. As a woman approaching her 30’s… hey, I get it.
Fast forward to 6.2.20 – 2 days after I flew back from NYC, 1 day after I dyed my hair from blonde to brown and received my first haircut in 1 year… we made it. My fabulous photographer Mike/Villa Visuals saw my announcement of getting legally married at Honda Center, contacted me telling me that he could actually swing by to snap some (stellar) photos of us since he’s nearby, Oly assembled his gopro for us, we tested it late that morning, I did my makeup as best as I can with eyeshadow for the first time, and I slipped on my Bali dress. My mom picked out flowers and assembled it herself and drove me over to meet with the rest of our family in Anaheim’s parking lot. A sheriff scorned a few couples incl. us for mingling with supportive family/friends, so we had to leave our parents/dogs/O’s bro in the car. By our designated time slot, O and I walked up to a kiosk with his mom as our witness.
Was it weird? Obviously yes. I never thought I’d literally get married by some random officiant in a kiosk and mask kissing in a parking lot of a hockey stadium which I knew 0 facts about; I’d like to say that that’s just a part 1 and a circumstance to step into another phase of our lives. In a way it felt magical … (as magical as it could be to “have” our family/friends around via a gopro and being paranoid about the black lives matter protests/curfew) Quite cheesy, but at the end of the day, love… is love.
One perk of something I’ve been looking forward in being a Mrs. Yang is easier reservations. No more repeating my name 5 times, no more “it’s line without the e” it’s “lin” not “rin.” … but more importantly, it’s really nice being officially stuck with Oliver. Oliver is as peaceful as his name means + he’s been a great friend for the past decade + a compatible roommate for the past 3 years. We can be heroes.
Fast forward to a 1+ month later after getting married… is life that different? No, not really. I pretty much feel like it’s still June with the exception of my birthday coming up. I’ve become numb to the facts that I’ve missed my bachelorette party in Mexico City, wedding in Malibu Beach, and am currently missing my honeymoon in Europe + our other friend’s wedding in Germany (that was cancelled). I’ve passed the point dreading of how “2020 is shitty” because I’m just (trying to be) thankful for my blessings like being alive/healthy with Oly, and hoping the best for my friends and family out there + those in the research and healthcare industries. Surely, America sucks terrible right now. But we can make it suck less.
We take it day by day and are extremely thankful for our photographer Mike for capturing these and making us look 100x better with our furry little friends and family. From the bottom of our dear hearts – thank you friends and family around the world for the constant support and love. We genuinely hope everyone just keeps wearing masks + stay safe. We WILL celebrate with everyone when things settle down. XOXO.
These past few weeks have been a mesh of huge celebrations, including the Gamble House’s 50th anniversary of the transfer of the Gamble House from the Gamble Family to the City of Pasadena + USC’s School of Architecture, Kevin and Lisa’s wedding, and other college/high school/OC reunions. I was cordially invited, along with all other graduating scholars in residence to attend this in-house tour of the newly renovated kitchen, brunch reunion, and festivities (+ this clip of me + T in a band) (Photo credit to T for taking the blurry group photo and cutting off our legs in the mob of photographers haha)
After this event, T and I split and I quickly rushed down for a much needed haircut from Yuki-san and met with J to Trabuco Canyon to help photograph for Kevin and Lisa’s wedding at Coto. Some photos I was able to snag: