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How Do You Plan a Wedding When Your Family Is In The Wedding Business?

When all your vendors are friends and your friends are vendors


Jerome, an associate account director at an adtech agency & Peggy, psychiatric social worker in an inpatient psychiatry ward

SUM-UP OF THE WEDDING VIBE: A sweet modern rendition of all the classic beauty of the Jazz Age, with the intimacy of friends and family.

SOUNDTRACK FOR READING: “For Sentimental Reasons” by Nat King Cole

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My husband is not normally an emotional person, but seeing him tear up during the best man’s speech—a speech by a mutual friend of both of ours who has actually known me longer than he’s known my husband—was the most precious moment of our wedding.


Because my sister is in the wedding industry I knew from the start I didn’t want to go crazy and I wanted “a practical wedding” to say the least. Therefore, almost all of our vendors are through personal connections. The DJ is an old co-worker of mine, who by day is an amazing case manager to youth with mental illness, by night a DJ extraordinaire who is just as passionate about music as he is about mentoring the next generation. The photo booth is actually a side business that one of my bridesmaid and her boyfriend started about a year before we got engaged, so I knew I would want them to provide photo booth fun at our wedding. The baker of our wedding cake and cupcakes is the wonderfully sweet (pun intended!) owner of Hannah’s Coffee and Sweets in San Jose, who I used to frequent every morning before work when I lived in San Jose and her cafe became a quick favorite in my morning routine. And our flowers were done by our groomsman’s friend whom he met at a Vietnamese festival, who does floral arrangements on the side. Even for an amateur, she did an superb job on our flowers and I was delightfully impressed.

As for our centerpieces, we collected so many wine bottles from the moment we got engaged—which was easy because we love wine, our friends love wine, everybody loves wine—and we made a party out of the free labor of our groomsmen and bridesmaids. We invited everybody over for a BBQ and drinks and spent a two days removing wine bottle labels (both by soaking in hot vinegary soapy water and baking it off in the oven) and spraying and glittering (with masks and gloves provided by our groomsman who is also a dentist). Talk about practicality!

Lastly, because my husband and I have known each other since high school (but did not talk in high school!) our wedding felt like a bigger turn out than our high school reunion.


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