a reflection

wow

it’s been quite the year…

growing up in chicago, new years day has always been gray and freezing cold in the middle of winter. it didn’t really consist of anything since my parents (coming from a chinese background) celebrated new years according to the lunar calendar which so happens to begin the year sometime in february.

for the past few years, i’ve made it tradition to reflect on the expiring year before looking forward. and as i scroll through this blog, i began to notice how there aren’t any personal thoughts. i guess it’s safe to say that i haven’t shared much of myself here in an attempt to keep the business apart from the personal.

i have another year of filming coming soon and many destinations scheduled but before that, i have taken some time to meditate on some things.

i’m so very thankful for you, the couples that entrusted me with your day. i’m blessed to be able to call this my full-time vocation, and it’s all because of you that i can do this. it’s been a year of firsts. we drove through the hills of southern california en route a beautiful winery in temecula, and later on to the breath-taking cliffs of malibu for an intimate vow renewal. we ventured and filmed all over this season: an industrial giant of a tower – the trump, a rustic barn north of chicago, a small backyard in santa monica, a vineyard all the way in virginia, the heart of downtown indianapolis, an urban building turned wedding venue – room 1520, the historic cultural center of chicago, the magnificient cafe brauer, an outdoor celebration with trees towering over us out in west illinois, a home to many aquatic lifeforms – the shedd, and everywhere in between.

to be fully honest – the locations pale in comparison to the people who filled them. thank you for sharing life with me and for your continued support.

before i go, i have some new years resolutions.

i want to connect with people more, to establish deeper relationships. that’s why we’re here, right? it’d be such a wasted opportunity if we just lived among one another without truly getting to know each other on a deeper level.

once the wedding edits are complete and delivered, i plan on taking some time off to travel and create some personal pieces. if you want to stay updated with what’s going on in my world, follow me on instagram.

most of all, i want to shoot weddings. in chicago, california, phuket, cape town, wherever. because it really doesn’t matter where you get married, or what you’re doing. you’re getting married. and that’s pretty much the coolest thing ever.

wow, you’re getting married.

i’m so looking forward to telling more stories in the coming year. partnering with you in charity is going to be amazing.

i can’t wait.

oh, and – i woke up this morning and decided to make a recap film. and so i did. i was originally going to create a new post about it but figured attaching the film to this reflection post would be most ideal being that i’ve already given my thanks to all the lovely couples who entrusted me with their day this past year. i hope you enjoy it!

god bless.

  • Wes Craft - Wow! You’ve got a great eye for composition and color. Can we be friends?ReplyCancel

    • admin - Haha…Thanks Wes! OF COURSE WE CAN BE FRIENDS.ReplyCancel

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jo + vik // chicago -> singapore

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WEDNESDAY, 9:30PM. 2 days prior to their wedding day, they sat across the booth sipping almond milk tea. Our first conversation occurred a couple days before and wasn’t sure if time allowed for a physical meeting. She being exhausted from her stay in NY and him arriving back from his bachelor party. Jet lagged and all… they began to share,

Here’s a typical story about boy meets girl. Except this boy was born and raised in chicago, the greatest city in the world and the girl of his dreams lived life in the future. Thirteen hours into the future to be exact. After Vik graduated from Dartmouth, he ventured out east for job opportunities and that’s when he ran into Jo. It all began at a house party in Singapore. She was cooling off in the kitchen. He needed a beer. Well, that’s that and here we are.

She’s the kind of girl who doesn’t apply make-up on the daily.
He never really touches up his hair, but when it happens – she applies it for him.
She gets excited over the small things, especially the texture of doughnuts from glazed & infused.
He loves Mexican food but it’s nowhere to be found in Singapore.

It helped me learn that their celebration was not just a coming together for the two of them, it was a joining of families and friends. And of course, that’s what I decided to highlight in their film. With Jo’s family hosting a traditional tea ceremony and Vik’s side a hindu ceremony, I knew that they had huge family ties and much respect for where they come from. Over boba, Vik mentioned that there would be a open mic of sorts going on during the reception. This was great; it allowed us to learn about their separate childhoods and also a window into their lives as a couple. Normally we only incorporate one or two speeches into a film but this time around, the more the merrier.

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Special thanks to all the vendors who made this wedding possible! Especially Jenn Gaudreau for referring us to Jo & Vik! I’ve also got to mention that Beth did an amazing job making sure everything ran smoothly! Her team is top-notch! DJ Harsh was excellent as well – keeping folks moving on the dance floor and updating us on all things related to the itinerary. Props to the team at FMK for killing it with that morning ceremony set-up.

Photographer: Jenn Gaudreau
Venue: The Hyatt Lodge
Coordinator: SQN Events
Florist: Forget Me Knodt
DJ: DJ Harsh

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jun + nowie // legends, heroes, and truth // chicago cultural center

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Jun and Nowie are from the bay area. Their friends and families are also from San Francisco. Now, you must be wondering why on earth they would get married in Chicago. Trust me, you weren’t the only one. When we first chatted, I tried avoiding the question but I couldn’t help but to wonder and if you know me even a little, you’ll know that I speak my mind. This situation was no different and right after we exchanged greetings, I asked, why chicago?.

Well, during a spontaneous trip to chicago – they stopped by the Chicago Cultural Center and the tiffany dome caught their eye. Later in the evening, over dinner, Nowie breaks the silence. ‘alright, what’s up? what’s on your mind?’ And that was the moment. That was the moment that changed everything. That moment brought over one hundred and forty of their closest friends and family members from the bay to the midwest. Here’s a little treat, because you guys deserve it: when Nowie called her mom, she was praying for them while they were gazing at the tiffany dome. boom. The power of prayer ya dig.

As their wedding day approached, Jun & Nowie created a timeline for their bridal party and others that wanted to explore this wonderful city of ours! They scheduled one of those architecture boat tours on the chicago river. Normally, this information wouldn’t be interesting to me but because they visited Chicago and fell in love with a piece of architecture, I thought it would be pretty sweet to join them on this tour – and it was.

From the little time I spent with Jun & Nowie, I learned a lot about who they are and what they hold dear to themselves. They’re adventurous. Getting married in a city based on a spontaneous visit? They are major foodies. When I spoke to Jun during the boat tour, he described his week with his food. Oh, and at their reception, they had a chicago styled hot dog stand for their guests! They’re very different from each other. While in the same car, he’s burning up and wanted the a/c on – she’s freezing cold and wants the heat on. She’s a pork and eggs kinda gal while he’s on that yogurt & fruit. He’s up at sunrise watching cycling on a saturday while she’s asleep til noon. She does things with haste, while he takes his time. Definitely opposites. One thing they have in common though, is their love for their friends / families, and are loved in return. Most of all, they love Jesus.

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Special thanks to all the vendors who made this wedding possible!

Photographer: Gabriel Boone
Hotel: Hotel Palomar
Make Up & Hair: Heather Lim Salon
Venue: Chicago Cultural Center

  • R|N withdrawals | all things R | N - […] The amazing wedding highlight video by our ever talented videographer, Henry […]ReplyCancel

  • CHICAGO WEDDING | ROQUE-NIDO | Micah B. Cabebe - […] My first experience out of state in the beautiful city of Chicago. I want to thank Bien for giving me the opportunity to travel and do her bridal party’s (of 11 ladies) makeup on her big day.  Alongside with Heather Lim from Chicago, who is super talented with hair. Photo credit goes out to Gabriel Boone Photography of course…Last but not the least, I have to share this amazeballs highlight vid by Henry Wu… click HERE. […]ReplyCancel

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jon + hye jin // room 1520 – chicago

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I sat down with Jon & Hye Jin for the first time on July 26th. During our meeting, they shared about their proposal and how it was exactly one week ago. I didn’t say it out loud then but I was SO excited because that means they’ve been following my work! Anyway, Jon & Hye Jin started off their wedding day at The Public Hotel and wow, those windows were so great! Maybe I just don’t get out much but the hotel felt really peaceful and the neighborhood it was in added to the calmness of the day. As the guys played pictionary, the girls admired how beautiful the bride was while Sonia Roselli’s team applied finishing touches. They exchanged personal letters in the morning and Hye Jin’s bridesmaids did all they could to prevent her from tearing up!

For their ceremony, we moved to what seemed to be a warehouse but it was in fact a modern venue called Room 1520. When I first arrived to set up, it seemed like just an empty space but with Art of Imagination and Vale of Enna at work, the space turned out amazing! It was a joyous ceremony and the tears did not hold back. Congratulations again to Jon & Hye Jin! Thank you so much for having me take part in your celebration. We’ve already bumped into each other a few times since your wedding day so I’m sure we’ll see each other again!

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Special thanks to all the vendors who made this wedding possible!

Hotel: The Public Hotel
Make Up & Hair: Sonia Roselli
Floral: Vale of Enna
Venue: Room 1520
DJ: DJ ChrisMix
Drapery: Art of Imagination

  • Christine - Henry, I’m a friend of Daniel’s and I just wanted to say that your video here is amazing. I love it. The way you filmed and compiled it together with the voices and videos made it into a fantastic memory that I am sure the couple will treasure for years to come.ReplyCancel

    • admin - Thanks For the kind words, Christine! Thanks for taking the time out of your day to share your thoughts with me! More to come. :) ReplyCancel

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