Lana + Cuong [Almansor Court Wedding]



The bell rang, but the front door remained firmly shut. Outside stood Cuong, eagerly awaiting passage indoors into the arms of his awaiting bride-to-be. On the other side of the locked impasse, gathered Lana's three discerning bridesmaids, tasked to challenge Cuong with a series of customary Chinese "door games". Prove your commitment by excelling at these challenges, and you will be deemed worthy to receive your beloved.

"Hey, we're already running late. Let us in!" Cuong pleaded. The lock didn't budge. Instead, Cuong serenaded. He answered trivia. He picked up pennies with chopsticks. Succeeding at these tasks, the threshold was opened and Cuong joined Lana for what would continue to be a spirited fusion of East and West traditions.

Photographers love color, and at Chinese weddings, red is the beacon of good fortune and happiness. Lana shined in her red Kwa dress, worn during the exchange of teas with both her parents and Cuong's. Crimson envelopes were gifted to guests as a monetary offering of luck. And the food... delicious nuggets to sample at nearly each of the six stops we made that day!

After changing into her white wedding gown, Lana enjoyed a "first look" with Cuong at the San Gabriel Hilton before departing for their ceremony at Almansor Court in Alhambra. Sunny skies illuminated Lana and Cuong as they exchanged vows at the lakeside gazebo, and made for some really wonderful light for the portraits we shot afterwards at the nearby San Gabriel Mission.

I want to thank Lana and Cuong again for their generosity, good humor, and endless enthusiasm. From those initial door games, right up until the conclusion of their reception twelve hours later at Capital Seafood Restaurant in Monterey Park, they were smiling. I also wanted to acknowledge and make mention of Walter Pawluk, a wonderful videographer and most excellent collaborator.

Ceremony: Almansor Court | Reception: Capital Seafood Restaurant, Monterey Park | Portraits: San Gabriel Mission | Makeup & Hair: Kelly Zhang Makeup and Hair Studio | Videography: Walter Pawluk