Phoebe and Brandon got married in Taiwan on February 26, and I was so honored to be able to participate in their big day! Dawson flew in from China and together with Sungil we repped Berkeley ICA. I was super excited to get to hang out with all of them (I miss Berkeley ICA so much!) and take lots of pictures of everyone looking gorgeous for the wedding.
A big part of me couldn't believe that Brandon was getting married. Still hard to get it through my head now. But I have lots of pictures as proof! And yes, you finally get to see them. Well, a handful, at least.
This was my first time photographing a wedding so I was a little nervous — despite the fact I was just photographing as a guest. But I really wanted to take lots of beautiful photographs for Brandon and Phoebe as well as for those of you who couldn't attend. I know I still have a lot of room for improvement — my inadequacies as a photographer as evidenced by these photos bug me a lot, actually — but I hope you can look past the flaws to experience the moment I tried to capture. Brandon and Phoebe's love for each other really shines through, and that's what's important. Be sure to send your blessings and congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Jue! :)
On the day of the wedding, I arrived at Phoebe's house in the early afternoon. I saw Phoebe in her wedding dress, and wow. She was stunning. Elegant. So beautiful.
Of course, I ruined the moment of reverent admiration by squealing "omg Phoebe you look soooooo beautiful!" and rushing to her side. The second thing I noticed, besides how gorgeous she looked, was how calm she was. I made sure to snap several photos, and soon Brandon and the guys showed up. After praying together, we set off for 淡水, where the ceremony was held.
Most people went in cars, but John (Phoebe's brother), Brandon's high school friends Anthony and Robin, Dawson, and I took the MRT. Wandering Taipei with a bunch of guys in suits is a lot of fun. Don't you love hanging out with well-dressed people? :)
We were the first to arrive at 真理大學 (Alethia University), which was founded by Dr. Mackay, the Presbyterian missionary to Taiwan. The campus is very picturesque. John told us that the school is his father's alma mater, as well as that of Jay Chou — he filmed the movie Secret there.
The coolest part is that Phoebe's parents were married at the exact same place! I saw their wedding photos and was amazed both by the similarities and changes to the school. And of course, her parents looked lovey in the photos.
While waiting for the bridal party to arrive, I chatted with the other Americans and took photos with Dawson. The ceremony was a bit delayed due to traffic problems. Poor John — everyone kept asking him where the bridal party was when he had no idea either. Fortunately, they arrived safely, and the ceremony began.
The high school orchestra played while Brandon and his brother Toliver walked down the aisle together. It was so cute how they walked side-by-side, joking and laughing the whole way. Later Phoebe told me that her father also walked down the aisle with his brother, and showed me the photo.
Once Brandon and Toliver took their places at the front, Julia made her entrance. She's Phoebe's second cousin and bridesmaid. Phoebe said that when they were picking out dresses a few weeks before the wedding, the salesperson asked how long she'd known her bridesmaid. "I met her today," Phoebe replied, in complete seriousness.
And then we all stood for the bride's procession. Brandon had this huge grin on his face as he watched his bride coming down the aisle. Phoebe glided so gracefully on her dad's arm — she later said that she never walked so smoothly in her wedding dress before or after that walk — and had the most radiant smile.
After Phoebe's father gave her to Brandon (for safekeeping), different pastors prayed and gave messages. This one old pastor prayed for a really long time, which gave me time to take photos.
The high school boy's choir, which sat right behind our pew during the rest of the ceremony, performed 1 Corinthians 13, which was also performed at her parents' wedding. So many echoes of her parents' love and commitment to each other could be found throughout the ceremony, and I know that meant a lot to Phoebe.
Brandon and Phoebe wrote their own vows — they were funny and cute and romantic and heartwarming and inspiring. I felt bad that most of the audience didn't seem to get the jokes, so our pew — the American pew — laughed extra loud to make up for it.
After exchanging rings, it was time for the unveiling. Brandon looked so excited as he lifted the veil — like a kid opening a present on Christmas morning, I thought. I love the way they gazed so intensely at each other once the veil was no longer between them.
And then it was time for the kiss! You have no idea how hard it was to get a good shot — I seriously have more than ten photos of them kissing, except with the photographer's flash blocking Brandon's face. But I finally got a couple unobstructed shots! Aww so cute. :)
After that, it was the time for parent appreciation. I think the photos convey the moment better than any words.
May I present... Mr. and Mrs. Jue!
They're really married! So surreal.
After the ceremony, Phoebe and Brandon took photos on the lawn — the same ones that Phoebe's parents took on their wedding day. There was lots of kissing. ;)
No kissing in this one, but it's too cute not to include!
After the photo session, we made our way to the restaurant where the banquet was held. The engagement slideshow and Anthony's playlist played in the background. During the reception, several people toasted the newlyweds: Toliver, John, Robin, Phoebe's dad, Brandon's dad, and Phoebe's uncle. Phoebe and Brandon shared a few words as well. Afterwards, they made their way around the room to clink glasses with everyone. They told us we were the coolest table. B)
I was lucky enough to catch this shot of Phoebe recapturing the heart balloons for the little boy. That boy's mother was the flower girl at Phoebe's parents' wedding! I only know this because Phoebe's mom told me when I was looking through her wedding album. So amazing.
After the banquet, the Americans went to a tea shop to hang out and share (embarrassing) stories about Brandon and Phoebe. We had a ton of fun. :D
As you can see, it was an amazing day, and I feel so blessed to have been able to experience it with them.
Yay, you made it through a quarter of my photos! Leave me a comment if you enjoyed the post — it would mean so much to me to know that you viewed and liked it.
For more photos (about half of the processed ones), check out my Picasa album. Or... you can wait until next week, when I'll be uploading all of the photos (around 120) on Facebook so I can tag people and stuff. So you have that to look forward to. :)
Congratulations Phoebe and Brandon! <3