Pearl and Simon
Up to the Bay Area for Pearl and Simon's big day! A bunch of us made overnight stops to see family, then got up early to make our way to the Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay for the wedding.
The typical last-mile morass of traffic revealed wind and the threat of fog, but as the ceremony approached, conditions were beautiful (if a tad windy) and the day was gorgeous. Set high above the cliffs overlooking Half Moon Bay, friends and family took their seats and enjoyed a throughly lovely wedding. Even the pastor was a perfect match for them, with enough goofy humor about "we like bling" (the rings) and a ton of other well-timed comments that sent everyone laughing.
We schmoozed afterwards while the bridal party and family took photos, taking in the view and devouring appetizers as soon as they appeared. A diverse crowd made it-- our fellow UCLA engineering dorks including Cheston & Angie, Billy & Amy, Liang & Dee, Steve & his girlfriend; Pearl and Simon's coworkers and former coworkers, Charles, Dani, Chris, Ken, Ray & family, plus I'm sure a score more I missed. Pearl's high school friends (including Amy & Nik), a smattering more from UCLA, etc. etc... plus Jeff & Joycelyn, Matt, and Alicia.
After witnessing a few crazy family photos (just how big is the Lai family?), we packed up and eventually ended up at Koi Palace for the reception.
There, additional reinforcements arrived (Sophia, Carley & Sonho, Ophelia, Sue, etc.) and the party doubled in size. Crazy.
Pearl and Simon had the traditional nine course wedding banquet fully of yummy and delicious things, lion dancers, dancing, bouquet and garter toss, three clothing changes, an army of photographers and videographers, photobooth, and three awesome slideshows/photos/animations celebrating the bride and groom. Shark fin soup, lobster noodles, roast suckling pig, whole fish, etc. Four (?) kinds of cake for the wedding cake including chocolate and vanilla/raspberry, James's excellent job with the slideshow and Alex's awesome animation, plus Pearl managed to perfectly aim the bouquet into Carley's arms!
Some, ummm, drinking occured as well, of course. We were a little confused in the back when we saw massive groups of people going up to the front (before the food), turns out the Lai cousins were ensuring people had a good time!
After all the introductions, eating, dancing, and traditional wedding festivities were over, we then made it back to the hotel for the afterparty. The Sofitel has a surprisingly modern and comfortable lobby/bar to wait in, then after a brief disaster with the alcohol supply (or lack thereof), we got the party going.
Sometime around 2:30am, after watching Dennis take a nap, finding beer for Sarah and Amy, going through the Corzo Reposado, the Gentleman Jack, the Southern Comfort, plus whatever else was left, we declared victory and decided to go to bed. The party was definitely still going at that point, but that was enough fun for old farts like us!
Congratulations, Simon and Pearl!!!!
Oh yeah, Alicia might've given Carley a little push towards the bouquet... not that she needed it! *grins*