Thursday, February 6, 2014

Thanh & Joyce : Psalm Oines Photography

If you could bottle up sunshine and put it in human form, that would be Joyce. And the man lucky enough to have that sunshine every day is Thanh. Read on to see the touching I Guess I Do moment that led to their Hawaiian nuptials. Enjoy Joyce's story in her own words below!

Thanh and I met the summer of 2012. Our first date was one of the few sunny days in Seattle. He had suggested we go to the driving range. We had a great time and ended up spending the entire day together. The rest is history! 

Then in May of 2013, Thanh sat my parents down and asked for their blessing to get to marry their daughter. They of course said yes and were very excited. My father was lucky enough to have the opportunity to get a liver transplant. Yay! He would be on call beginning October 1st, 2013. This meant that he had to be within 30 minutes of the hospital. Now begins my very first I Guess I Do moment. 

In my mind I kept thinking summer of 2014 would be perfect! I would have all the time in the world to plan and enjoy the wedding process. Finally, my mom and fiancĂ© sat me down and gave me a heart to heart. I am very blessed to have them both in my life. They gently suggested that we have the wedding before the October 1st date, because if for any reason my dad was called for surgery on the day of the wedding, I’d be devastated. Not only would my dad not be able to walk me down the aisle, but my mom wouldn’t be there on the biggest day of my life! All of a sudden my mind flooded with questions I had never asked myself. How do I feel about a destination wedding? Do I want the big white wedding? What about all my friends, my 25+ aunts and uncles, my 40+ cousins, and my grandmother? I won’t lie it was not an easy decision, but I grew up with my dad reiterating daily the importance of family. I had faith that my friend and family members would understand and support our decision. We finally decided that a small ceremony was the best way to ensure both of my parents would be with me when I married the man of my dreams. 

Thanh and I found a great hotel near Kona, Hawaii. We spoke with a beautiful resort hotel about hosting our wedding. If you are thinking about doing a destination wedding, I would highly recommend it. There is very little leg work required of the bride and groom. The hotel provided a lovely package that included the venue, officiant, flowers, cake and photographer. We picked from a few options and my dream wedding was complete. Done and done! Now all that was left was for Thanh to ask me to marry him!

On June 7th, 2013, Thanh took me for a walk around a river near our home. We had done this walk many times over the last year. He led me down a walkway that was right next to the water. He told me to look at the fish. There were no fish! Then I turn around and there he was on one knee asking me to be his wife. Since wedding planning was all finished, I got to enjoy every moment of just being an engaged woman. I was on cloud nine and so excited to be Mrs. Thai! 

Soon the day was here, September 17, 2013. We had been on Hawaii’s Big Island for 3 days already. We woke up late, stopped by the coffee shop, and went for a 30 minute walk around the resort. We ate a small brunch and decided it was time to go to our separate suites to get ready for the wedding.

My mom and maid of honor met me in my room. We chatted and slowly got ready. My maid of honor was my cousin LuAnn. We had grown up together and had remained very close since I can remember. I was so glad that her and her family could make it out to Kona, because I couldn’t imagine getting married without her! My other bridesmaid was not able to make it out, she had just two weeks earlier, welcomed a beautiful baby boy! I know if she could have sneaked herself and her newborn baby boy on a plane, she would have!

Our photographer showed up and had a fun energetic personality. We were on time and everything was running smoothly. We had picked this gorgeous grass area that overlooked the ocean lagoon for our wedding ceremony. On my way to the ceremony, we stopped and took some pictures with my mom and maid of honor. Also, my dad came by to snap some of his own pictures, which gave me the opportunity to get some very meaningful photos with just my dad. Finally, the time came to walk down the aisle. I was so unbelievably thankful that my dad was the one sharing those precious moments with me.

The ceremony was surreal! Our vows were perfect, there were tears and lots of laughter. After the wedding, we were giddy. We did cake, champagne, and apple cider for the kids. Then some great family photos and off we went to take couples photos in different areas of the resort. Then came a few of my I Guess I Do moments. First off, no one tells you how awkward taking professional photographs can be. I was completely blindsided. We hadn’t done an engagement photo, so I had no idea. In my mind, me plus the man I love, equals amazing photos. There were countless times that I just busted a move (I dance when I’m nervous) or made a super dorky face because I felt like such a cheese ball. Our photographer captured some beautifully touching photos even though I was awkward as hell. 

About a third of the way into the wedding photos, my next I Guess I Do moment, was when I starting to feel like a drowned rat. If you have ever been to Hawaii it can be rather warm, and I had made the decision to wear the full deal wedding dress. The full length gown did not breathe well, as I would have liked, so I was sweating up a storm. My hair is very thin and as the amount of sweat increased, the more my hair began to stick to my head. I am pretty sure my sweat soaked hair resembled a helmet by the time we were half way through. I was distracted from my awkwardness and helmet head by the breath taking views of the ocean. It was easy to focus my energy on soaking up every second with my new husband. Eee! 

Our final photo spot was by the water where our wedding ceremony had taken place. After our photographer had left, we sat and reflected on the day’s events. One of my favorite wedding photos is the one our photographer took of us, from behind, sitting where we had said our ‘I dos’ just a few hours earlier. We just wanted to soak in our first few moments alone as husband and wife. We were oblivious to our photographer’s presence, until we received our copies of all the wedding photos. Still drunk on happiness we walked up to our room, changed into our swim suits, and headed to the beach. To this day I will remember our time as a married couple together in the warm waters of Hawaii. What more could I ask for? 

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