East Meets East – an Autumn Wedding in Little Tokyo

Doubletree Little Tokyo Wedding_CL_Vivian Lin Photo_70When Cory and Lily planned on getting married, they didn’t want it to be a big deal.  They were going to get married at a courthouse.  When they settled into the idea of getting married at the Doubletree Hotel in Little Tokyo, they were only going to invite family.  Weeks before the wedding, they humbly asked if expanding the guest list to incorporate friends would make a big difference in the photography and timeline.  I enthusiastically responded “It’s a GREAT idea!  You should celebrate with everyone you love.”  And celebrate they did.  In the short time this wedding went from courthouse to full blown, Cory and Lily worked their butts off to incorporate thoughtful details and gestures that honored both their heritages.  The day started off with a tea ceremony to show respect for Lily’s Chinese background.  I was blown away by how Tina Li, of In The Clouds Events, set up the tea ceremony so beautifully on the rooftop of the Doubletree.  It was a special treat for Lily, who could see the ceremony site from her hotel room as she was getting ready.  The wedding ceremony and reception incorporated happy splashes of a fall color palette, with origami cranes made by the groom, a reflection of Cory’s Japanese heritage.  Out-of-town guests also got to share in some highlights of LA food culture, with cupcake Sundays from Sprinkles and an array of pastries from Porto’s.

Big hugs and congratulations to Cory and Lily!

Thanks to all the hardworking and talented vendors:

Venue: Doubletree Hotel, Little Tokyo

Coordinator: Tina Li, In the Clouds Events

Hair and Makeup: Grace, Kelly Zhang

Officiant: Clifford Broadway, Great Officiants

DJ/MC, Photobooth, Lighting: Benny Castro, Arthur Ko, Roger Lopez, Art Managa of GC Masterpiece

Florist: Jennifer Yang, In Flower

Pastries and Cake: Porto’s

Rentals: MTB Event Rentals

Cupcake and Ice Cream: Sprinkles

Intimate Santa Barbara Courthouse Wedding


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Santa Barbara Wedding_Vivian Lin Photo_06

2017 was one epic year for me — I got pregnant with my first child, my husband and I went on our honeymoon/babymoon in Santorini, Paris, and London, and I came back to shooting and working more than ever before, so it was a good time for me to take a break from this blog.

Here we are in 2018, and I’m so proud to share this stunning wedding I shot in the very last weeks of my third trimester.  If there were ever a fairytale location to get married in Southern California, I believe one of the top choices would be the Santa Barbara Courthouse.  Eric and Emily did this SO RIGHT.  Eric was decked out in a tux, Emily in a minimal and stunning gown that fit her to perfection and moved so beautifully.  Every one of their guests was coordinated in blues and blacks, which made for really classy looking photos set against the timeless architecture of the courthouse.


Intimate Malibu Oceanview Wedding


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Malibu Wedding_Y&S_Vivian Lin Photo_277Yuki and Steve eloped back in 2016, but wanted to renew their vows and share the joy with their closest friends and family.  They renewed their vows overlooking the Pacific Ocean.  Yuki’s father flew all the way from Japan, and carried a photo of Yuki’s mother with him as he gave a moving toast.  Yuki and Steve even broke a barrel of sake to celebrate their marriage, and served shots to each and every guest.  We were starting to lose light when I asked Steve if there were any other group photos he wanted, when he spontaneously asked if we could get a photo with everyone.  Everyone?!  Ok, everyone!