Wedding Photographs at the Brazilian Room
Connie & Thomas’s Charming Wedding in the Redwoods
“Go with the flow and enjoy your day!”
Most couples reserve their date in our calendars 12+ months prior to their wedding day.
From the couple: We both knew that we wanted our wedding to be outdoors and sustainable to reflect our love for nature. Our dates and trips often involve being outside and hiking, whether it be in the forest, canyons or desert–it only made sense for us to tie the knot where we’ve always felt comfortable. The Brazilian Room in Tilden Regional Park was the perfect spot for us, and was well worth the wait!
Our wedding was made possible by our friends and family. Most decorations at our wedding were homemade with help from them. We wanted our wedding to be fun, personalized, sustainable and budget-friendly so we tried to emphasize less waste.
From the Bride:
I am probably one of the most indecisive brides when it comes to my attire because my typical outfit is a pair of yoga pants and a jacket–ready to go hiking at any time. I am so thankful for my family and friends who helped me put together my look. My wedding dress was my sister’s best friend’s dress. My earrings were made by my mom’s best friend’s daughter. My necklace was made by my MOH’s cousin. My hairpiece was one worn by one of my bridesmaids on her wedding, and the additional flowers were added by my bridesmaids. My sisters, mom and I went to buy flowers that were in season from the local Flower Mart. All the bouquets, centerpieces, boutonnieres were arranged by my bridesmaids, closest friends and family members. The beautiful vines on our sweetheart table were made by my mom. The bridesmaids’ dresses were inspired by the spring season and the palette of colors were then selected by my MOH based on what dresses some bridesmaids already had or could borrow, or based on dresses some bridesmaids would like to wear. There were multiple elements of DIY–I wasn’t sure if the jewelry pieces would complement each other, or if the colors of the bridesmaids dresses would be harmonious, but everything came together and turned out so beautifully on the wedding day! It felt so special.
From the groom:
Our wooden “TCadventures” sign was designed and created by my cousin. Our centerpiece photos and the table seating poster were designed and created by our friend. Our card box was made by Connie’s sister. The candles were reused and borrowed from our friend’s wedding. The special dessert treats were brought by Connie’s mom from Taiwan, and the drinks and cakes choices were suggested by our friends. Our friends and family helped with setup and decoration of the venue. A close friend officiated our wedding and our friends helped coordinate the day. We catered our food from The Arlington and they did an amazing job making the food, which was mostly vegetarian and the guests loved it!
From the bride & groom:
Our wedding vows reflected who are as individuals and as a team. We made promises of being there for each other through the good and the bad. One theme was evident in our vows–we are both different pieces of a puzzle (seemingly misfit at times) but it is the contrast that binds us to evolve and grow with each other.
Connie surprised Thomas with handmade wedding bands that were made from the same strand of silver. Connie engraved both wedding bands with initials and a little tree as a reminder of growth together and love of outdoor adventures.
We wanted our wedding to not just be about us, but about our friends and family that have made us possible. That’s why the the festivities started with the group dance. Most of us had no much dance experience beforehand but I think we all rocked it! Connie’s brother was the choreographer! Additionally, Thomas picked out over 100 songs as suggestions for the DJ to play. Most of the the songs played at the wedding were Connie and Thomas’s favorites.
We felt so much love and happiness hearing the speeches from our family members and closest friends. These people have been a part of our lives for so long, and have seen us in not only our happiest state, but also in our most vulnerable of times. They provided us emotional and telling stories of how we individually came to be, and why our personalities were the formula to our inevitable relationship.
The song we chose for our first dance is fitting of our relationship. We were young when we first met, immediately found commonality in our aspirations, and have evolved those dreams to include each other. We also choreographed our own couple’s dance. It was perfect.
We had such a fun time with our friends and family, dancing and singing to good ol’ classics from the 2000s including *NSYNC and Backstreet Boys. We loved everything about our wedding and it ended in the best possible way, with our closest friends and family— where a big circle formed and we all swayed and sang our hearts to God Must’ve Spent A Little More Time on You by *NSYNC
How we met: As recollected by Thomas:
In November of 2009, Thomas and Connie both attended a day-and-a-half series of KPMG-hosted events that culminated in full-time job interviews. Unbeknownst to Connie, Thomas was immediately captivated by Connie‘s smile from across the room. He wanted to get to know her, and had secretly hoped that they would be placed in the same orientation group.
While that was not to be, it set up the fateful (and awkward) first encounter between Thomas and Connie in the elevator of the W San Francisco. Thomas was just about resigned to the fact that he had let the day slip by (what job interview?) when Connie walked into the elevator.
“Hi, I’m Thomas.”
“Hi, I’m Connie.”
**Silence as the elevator went up**
“Nice meeting you!”
While seemingly uneventful, Thomas remembered this first encounter vividly–that floral fragrance, vibrant energy and sweet smile. He hoped he would see her again.
As luck would have it, they were both hired at KPMG and put in the same start class. Thomas found this out after the KPMG HR lady accidentally forgot to BCC the new hires on an email communication. Thomas was excited! Coincidentally, weeks before their first day at their new jobs, Thomas and Connieenrolled in the same CPA class in San Francisco. Connie didn’t really notice him so Thomas was reluctant to try to strike up a conversation in class, knowing that they would meet again soon for the first day of work.
The big first day came and Thomas tried to “play it cool” when he reintroduced himself to Connie. She thought he was a little awkward but was nice to him. They soon bonded over 2 weeks straight of training. The more Thomas got to learn about Connie–her passion for sustainability, compassion towards others, humble attitude and street smarts–the more he fell in love with her.
The proposal as recollected by Connie:
Thomas had this proposal planned (or at least the thought of it) for several years. In 2015, he had asked Connie‘s dad if he could marry Connie. Perhaps the long distance (relationship) between New York and San Francisco had made the heart grow fonder and thought it would be a good time to get married. However, it was difficult getting time with Connie‘s parents and Thomas hadn’t met Connie‘s dad too often… so her dad told him to wait.
A year and half later, Connie‘s parents suddenly were asking when they were getting married… hah! In Nov. 2017, Thomas finally got the courage (again) to ask Connie. They were on a road trip through Utah doing they we love the most – exploring, hiking, camping and backpacking through Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon, and Escalante National Monument. They woke up early one morning to catch sunrise at Bryce Canyon. While trying to drive there before the first light hit, Thomas got pulled over by a cop for speeding, just *right* before entering the park! Connie was so sad and upset. As always, Thomas shrugged it off and said, “don’t worry, it’s fine! no big deal” as he consoled Connie about the speeding ticket. They finally arrived at a popular sunrise viewing spot but decided to venture away from the crowd. It was just the two of them when Thomas began setting up his camera to capture a sunrise time lapse over the hoodoos (so beautiful!). As Thomas was taking a while to capture the time lapse, Connie suddenly remembered she had homework due for a class and began working on it on her phone. It happened to be at this time that Thomas decided to propose, thinking he had her undivided attention. Connie was so focused on her homework that she barely acknowledged him when he called out her name a couple times. She was shocked when she finally turned around, to see him on his knees as he proposed. She said yes!
From the bride & groom:
There were so many special moments of our wedding day–the ceremony and vows, the speeches, dancing and seeing all of our friends and family in one place. We loved every single moment! Go with the flow and enjoy your day!