Wen-Chih and Matt saw their wedding as the perfect opportunity to acquaint their guests and family so they chose to host their wedding within a relaxing long weekend at the beautiful Ahwahnee Hotel at Yosemite National Park. With exceptional staff and gorgeous scenery, their wedding was full of natural moments of peace, love and light, all beautifully captured by Mark Janzen Photography.
Junebug: What three adjectives best describe your wedding?
Wen-Chih and Matt: Inclusive, natural, fun.
Junebug: What inspired your personal wedding style, and how did you incorporate your style and personalities into your big day?
Wen-Chih and Matt: We wanted to make sure that all the people important in our lives would enjoy themselves during our wedding, and we knew that people of all ages and physical abilities would be able to find something to do and enjoy in Yosemite. We love getting out in nature and didnt consider any other venue. We wanted to keep everything relatively informal, to give our guests a chance to reacquaint with people they hadnt seen in a while and to get to know family and friends they would be meeting for the first time.
Junebug: Looking back, what are the moments, decisions or memories that you love the most about your wedding?
Wen-Chih and Matt: We are glad we were able to integrate activities on each day of the weekend for all our guests, including a dessert reception on Friday (after the rehearsal dinner), the wedding ceremony and reception Saturday morning, a casual campfire event Saturday night, and a non-hosted farewell breakfast on Sunday. By Sunday you could tell our families felt they had gotten to know each other well after seeing each other multiple times over the weekend.
We also loved integrating nods to the special family members who shaped who we are today through the favors we gave to our guests. The buri fans were of the type that Wen-Chihs grandparents used when they lived with her family. Matts father passed away unexpectedly in May, which made the flashlights he would have encouraged everyone to keep handy at all times even more meaningful. In addition, both items were useful during the wedding (fans during the warm summer days and the flashlight to guide the path to the evening campfire event), and would continue to be useful many years afterward.
Junebug: Can you tell us a bit about your wedding planning and your experience with Ahwahnee Hotel and Yosemite National Park?
Wen-Chih and Matt: The Ahwahnee Hotel and Yosemite Park staff really made our wedding low-stress and enabled us to enjoy our wedding without having to worry about the logistics. Leading up to the wedding, Group Services Manager Janis K. was instrumental in ensuring we covered everything during the planning, and we didnt feel pressured to do any more or less than we wanted to do. Banquet Manager Michael T. was so helpful during the wedding weekend and made sure everything we envisioned for the day came to fruition. The Ahwahnee staff helped coordinate everything during the weekend and took care of all the set up and clean up behind the scenes. One thing that blew us away was how they magically made our cake look gorgeous while implementing our design concept despite challenges presented by the florist. We cannot recommend the Ahwahnee more highly for any event, after our amazing experience working with them on this event that was so important to us and our families.
Junebug: What specifically drew you to Mark Janzen Photography and his imagery?
Wen-Chih and Matt: Marks familiarity with photographing in Yosemite Valley was our initial attraction to his work, and his gorgeous, natural photos speak for themselves! We were really looking for someone who would take photos that captured moments in addition to creating marquis photographs that took advantage of the natural splendor of our venue. Mark was calm, cheerful, professional, and patient throughout the entire process. Our relatives specifically sung his praises to us post-wedding–in fact, my aunt wants to recommend him to everyone she knows (even though she lives in the mid-west!). Plus, can you believe that he doesnt touch up his photos? (And they clearly dont need it!)
The Wedding Team:
Photographer: Mark Janzen Photography
Ceremony and Reception Venue: Ahwahnee Hotel
Officiant: Rev. Terence Chow, Honolulu, HI
Catering and Cake: Ahwahnee Hotel
Wedding Dress: La Sposa Denia
Bridal accessories: Veil – Erica Koesler; Jewelry – Christopher Larry
Bridesmaids apparel and accessories: Club Monaco (maid of honor) and J.Crew
Groom apparel and accessories: Suit – Oxford Tailor, Singapore; Accessories – Cartier and Tiffany & Co.
Groomsmen apparel – Van Heusen
Hair: Lisa Schwinden, Revive Salon
Live music: Harpist – Anne Roos
Favors: Flashlights and buri fans
Rings: Bridal rings – Christopher Larry; Grooms ring – Romas Banaitis
See more work by San Francisco wedding photographer Mark Janzen on his website!