A City Hall wedding always sounded ideal to Angela and Ryan. “In San Francisco, magical moments occur between strangers every day,” she told me. “Like the way people banded together to chaperone elders in Chinatown during the surge of anti-Asian violence. I found those acts of service so moving during a scary time. So, it felt natural that Ryan and I would get married at our City Hall.” Here are some photos from their intimate day…
“We agreed to get ready at home because we feel most comfortable there and wanted to spend the morning with our cat, Clancy. I got dressed in our bedroom, and Ryan put on his tux in the guest bedroom. We did our ‘first look’ by walking out of the bedrooms and seeing each other in our hallway. It was low-key, without any pretense.”
“Ryan and I planned our wedding during the height of anti-Asian hate in early 2021. It was scary, especially as a Taiwanese immigrant living in the Bay Area. I decided that one way to highlight the beauty in my community was to put my wallet where it mattered and support Asian creatives during our wedding planning.”
“My wedding look started with a pearl bag by Simone Rocha, who was born in Ireland and has Chinese heritage. My dress was from Self-Portrait, a brand owned by a Malaysian-British designer. I love how simple and classic it is. And my bouquet was made by Mint Kim of RayFlorets in San Francisco. (Veil designed by Twigs and Honey, and the shoes are from Loeffler Randall.)”
“Our ceremony lasted five minutes, and we were married by a retired judge, who was very sweet. We were the last couple getting married that day, so after our ceremony, she let us take our time taking photos and soaking it all in.”
“Afterward, we cut our cake right outside City Hall with 20 friends and relatives. We chose a small cake for the two of us, which was made by a fellow Taiwanese-American named Elizabeth Chin of Sincerely Meraki. And we served cupcakes to our guests.”
“Then Ryan and I switched into our Vans and hiked to the top of Twin Peaks, where we shared our private vows. We chose that spot because during one of our first dates, we spent the whole night talking and then watching the sunrise. ”
“We ended the day celebrating at one of our favorite Japanese restaurants, Family Cafe in North Beach. We had an outdoor happy hour with friends and family, followed by a Japanese/Californian dinner.”
“I didn’t think I would have so much fun with such a small wedding, but I did. I felt very present, and it all felt true to us, which is exactly what we wanted.”
Thank you so much, Angela and Ryan!
P.S. A casual NYC wedding and an important wedding question.
(Photos by Lynn Chang Lewis.)