After several years spent as classmates in the same small Bay Area high school, Janice Law and Jonathan Wong reunited at Chicago’s Northwestern University. Already linked by a foundation of friendship, Janice and Jon transitioned to coupledom with ease. They fell in love in the Windy City, so it was natural for Jon to ask Janice for her hand after a day spent along its scenic Michigan Avenue. But with plans to move back west after school, Janice and Jon planned a summer wedding in San Francisco for a year and a half down the road to coincide with their exciting homecoming.
Because they wanted the look of the wedding to be “modern, yet timeless and elegant,” the bride and groom chose the Westin St. Francis Hotel, a location synonymous with these criteria. With charming built-in architectural details and panoramic views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz, the hotel’s ballroom needed little adornment. The bride and groom chose to incorporate the existing colors of the space—luscious peach and rich gold—into the reception décor with simple, graceful candelabra centerpieces of orange- and canary-colored calla lilies and orchids, chocolate-brown linens and gold chiavari chairs.
Bridesmaids wearing sage green dresses led the ceremony processional also held at the hotel. During the proceedings, the priest wrapped Janice and Jon’s hands in cloth to symbolize their newly affirmed unity and briefly honored the bride’s mother, who passed away several years earlier.
After the poignant ceremony, Janice and Jon used the reception as a showcase for the lighthearted elements of their well-suited personalities: a love for “golden oldies” music and an appreciation for inventive cuisine. While big band standards whaled, guests were treated to a multi-course cocktail hour and dinner that included truffle risotto fritters, shrimp bisque, pistachio-encrusted lamb chops and a trio of pear, mango and merlot sorbets. A gourmet dessert table and a beautiful four-tiered wedding cake draped in sugar swags and decorated with fresh flowers were also enjoyed. But the surprise of the evening came when the groom’s cake was revealed. Janice secretly worked with the baker to design a cake in the shape of Jon’s favorite things: a couch, TV, Xbox, golf bag and an issue of a soccer magazine. Says Janice of the surprise creation, “We were all so pleased with how life-like and artistic the delicious cake turned out.”
And because the wedding was filled with so many precious moments with family and friends, Janice and Jon were glad they had spent some private time together before the event took place. That morning, the couple shared a breakfast just for two, while a few weeks earlier, Janice and Jon traveled to San Diego with their photographer for an engagement photo-session-meets-mini-vacation. They chose to shoot the pictures during a weekend away to take a break from the fast-paced wedding planning and to reflect on the significance of the whole experience. It’s a decision Janice and Jon advise other couples to make, too. “Not only were we able to get comfortable in front of the camera, but we were also able to share a sentimental weekend together. Everything else went by so quickly, especially the wedding day when the focus was on our guests to make certain they had an enjoyable experience.”