ANNI + RICH
July 10, 2016 / Shelter Cove, CA
How did you propose?
While picnicking on the beach, we started talking about our relationship, and I suddenly sensed an unmistakable “now-or-never” feeling. I fumbled around in my backpack before pulling out the ring and getting down on one knee. The sun was setting, and there she was, sitting on a fallen log, tears in her eyes. The words seemed to come from some inexplicable place deep within me as I asked her to be my wife. In classic Anni fashion, she was so overcome, she clasped her hands over her eyes and for several minutes, could only look through her fingers before telling me, “Yes—of course I will.”
Describe the location of the wedding and why you chose it—it looks beautiful!
We both really wanted to get married on the Lost Coast—a designated wilderness area in Northern California; we both backpacked 100 miles of the coastal trail and had significant personal experiences there. Shelter Cove is this tiny fishing town right in the center of the Lost Coast, so we rented a couple beach houses, spent the weekend there, and got married on the last day.
What made your wedding unique?
We picked our own flowers and greens, made our own food, Rich’s sister made the cake, and a friend made the bouquets. Rich and his groomsmen actually backpacked 27 miles to the location as his bachelor party! We all spent the weekend together cooking and celebrating.
Rich, what did you think when you saw Anni?
We had talked about it for so long, I wondered if I had any emotions left for the moment after so many weeks of planning. But as soon as she rounded the rock on the beach I forgot everything else in the world. Our eyes locked, and I saw that she had the biggest smile on her face. It calmed me down so much, and I knew that I would never forget what I was seeing. It felt so sacred. I can’t even explain it…
Anni, what were your thoughts as you walked down the aisle…
Seeing Rich as I walked down the aisle was a highly anticipated moment for me; I had thought about it for months and cried probably 20 times (yes, just from thinking about it!). It was overwhelming in every good way. I felt a deep sense of love, acceptance, and joy as I walked towards this man who was choosing to love me for the rest of his life—I was crying and laughing at the same time. Walking down with my dad was more meaningful than I had ever imagined; I didn’t want the moment to end, I felt like I couldn’t contain or absorb everything I was feeling.
Tell us about your gown, Anni!
I wanted something simple and affordable, but I also wanted it to be unique, elegant, and bohemian. I was in love with the dress I wore and bought it within 24 hours of seeing it, one month before the wedding. It was definitely meant to be.
Did you incorporate any traditions into your day?
Rich and I grew up in different counties—Rich in Laos and me in India—so we incorporated some cross-cultural traditions into our wedding. We had a Baci Ceremony. It’s a traditional Laotian blessing ceremony to celebrate special occasions where everyone in the room ties a string around our wrist and says a prayer.