“I promise to see you and to hear you. I promise to love and care for you. And I will try in every way to be worthy of your love. I love you. Let us start our new chapter with our simple love and our simple life.” – Wei’s vows to Joyce
As Wei sat in the chair in his tux, getting his hair touched up by the stylist in preparation for their first look, Joyce sauntered in casually in her wedding gown, talking with her bridesmaids.
“Is that really Joyce?!” Wei asked, hearing her voice. Yep, it was his bride-to-be. And this was their accidental first look, a moment many brides and grooms think about for months before the wedding, minutely orchestrating the location and timing of seeing one another in their wedding clothes for the first time.
“Joyce isn’t doing the traditional stuff,” Joyce’s friend Christine had told me the night before, at Joyce and Wei’s beautiful, idyllic outdoor rehearsal dinner at Farmstead in St. Helena, where guests indulged in Napa Valley wines, dined on delicious California cuisine, and roasted marshmallows in the fire cauldrons.
We met Joyce and Wei two years ago at Christine and Chiaming’s Bhutan wedding, where the couple upheld many old Taiwanese wedding traditions. But for Joyce and Wei, their Napa Valley wedding weekend at the gorgeous Meadowood resort was all about good food, amazing wine, and being with their friends and family, most of whom had flown over with them from Taiwan for this California destination wedding. They didn’t worry about the typical wedding day traditions and expectations. I loved watching them sip champagne together a couple of hours before the ceremony, with Wei in his tux and Joyce in a sweatshirt. She laughed and said, “Should I be wearing something nicer?” Nope, I told her. You should do what you want. You should just be you.
This is how they are. They have an ease to their relationship that made their entire wedding weekend beautiful and serene, and full of the kind of joy that comes from seeing two people, who are clearly meant to be, begin a life together.
You can see videographer Vlad Chaloupka’s film from the wedding here.