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An open letter of gratitude

Posted On 2014 Jul 29
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Jannelle So_So LAI have been saying this over and over again… that I feel blessed to have found my life partner and even more blessed to have been able to share the love with family and friends. It’s been about a week since that special day in scenic Mendocino Coast, California and my heart is still overflowing with wonderful memories from that weekend.

Mr. & Mrs. Perkins' Wedding by KLK Photography

Mr. & Mrs. Perkins’ Wedding by KLK Photography

For some of you who have seen the beautiful photos from last Sunday, I’m sure you will agree that one other thing that inspires my gratitude is the lovely weather we’ve been blessed with that day! There was slight drizzle as soon as Lester and I exited the church as Mr. & Mrs. Perkins. In our Filipino beliefs, that signals a blessing from heaven. But when it didn’t stop for the next 20 minutes or so, I started to worry. One of the reasons we chose the beautiful estate right next to the cliffs was because of the deck where we hoped to treat our guests with a beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean. With the fog and mist, there wasn’t going to be anything to see.

Jannelle So Wedding gown by Carlyn Nuyda-Calloway of Thumbelina Atelier Mr. & Mrs. Perkins' Wedding by KLK Photography)

The beautiful bride – Jannelle So Wedding gown by Carlyn Nuyda-Calloway of Thumbelina Atelier (Mr. & Mrs. Perkins’ Wedding by KLK Photography)

But as if on cue, as soon as the guests started arriving at the venue, the sky turned from gray to yellow and perfect blue hues. The sun came out showing all its glory over the dramatic cliffs and the mysterious ocean. Lester and I couldn’t believe our luck! We can now not just say; but fully affirm that Mendocino is indeed magical!

I have always kept a vision of my dream wedding – small, with very few select  guests we could pamper. I wanted each and everyone who made an effort to be with us on that day and witness our vows, to be treated to a good time and a memorable experience. The weather and the stunning sunset that followed were something we couldn’t control. I am most grateful to God for that.

In addition to that was the passion and dedication of all the vendors whose work came together to produce such a lovely event that people who witnessed it still can’t get over.

Jannelle So's parents walk on the isle (Mr. & Mrs. Perkins' Wedding by KLK Photography)

Jannelle So’s parents walk on the isle (Mr. & Mrs. Perkins’ Wedding by KLK Photography)

Carlyn Nuyda-Calloway of Thumbelina Atelier made my exquisite gown. I wanted to wear a Filipiniana gown. But when I first came to her, she told me she didn’t do pinya. She offered to recommend me to other designers if I wanted my gown to be made f pineapple fabric. I wanted her to make my gown, so I persisted, knowing she does French lace well, “Can we do Filipina butterfly sleeves in French lace?”

The lace was ordered from the same house of lace that wove Kate Middleton’s lace for her wedding gown. I felt like royalty! I had to constantly remind myself to keep my back straight, even after hours of wearing the 15-pound ensemble, made heavy, albeit beautiful by hand-sewn glass beads all throughout.

Mr. & Mrs. Perkins' Wedding by KLK Photography

Mr. & Mrs. Perkins’ Wedding by KLK Photography

Crystal Sanford of Recycled Love Story did the wedding design and flowers. She kept the whole look flawless, vintage, as planned; yet very elegant. There was nothing over the top, just simple, subdued elegance. She and her assistant drove 11 hours from Los Angeles, to the Northern California Coast.

Kristin Nicasio of Presence, a small shop in Studio City, did all the wedding stationery. She bore with us through  many changes and revisions when Lester and I (but mainly I) kept changing our minds. One thing I was excited about was, instead of usual table numbers, Lester and I used the London tube station names, for the tables. The invitation, that set the tone for everything, at least in my opinion, was in the form of a travel ticket.

The groom Lester Perkins (Mr. & Mrs. Perkins' Wedding by KLK Photography)

The groom Lester Perkins (Mr. & Mrs. Perkins’ Wedding by KLK Photography)

The delicious meal at the reception was prepared by Julia Conway of Assaggiare and her staff.  The appetizers had a flavor of England, the Philippines and Mendocino. For dinner, guests had a choice between the English pot roast or Mediterranean sea bass. In addition, there was also a live risotto station where Julia prepared plates of goodness, made with fresh ingredients.

Accomplished harpist Anna Maria has played for kings and queens and even Pope Benedict XVI. Last Sunday, she shared her gift of music with our guests. Richard Cooper and his team musicians played at the reception.

Jannelle So Wedding gown by Carlyn Nuyda-Calloway of Thumbelina Atelier Mr. & Mrs. Perkins' Wedding by KLK Photography)

Jannelle So Wedding gown by Carlyn Nuyda-Calloway of Thumbelina Atelier Mr. & Mrs. Perkins’ Wedding by KLK Photography)

Mendocino Coast Reservations is a vacation rental company based in Mendocino. Their properties are stunning; and they are such a delight to work with. We ended up renting 3 properties for the weekend, including the state where we had our wedding reception.

And the glue that held everything together was my wedding coordinator who labored and toiled out of her love for me, Rocio Nuyda, also an esteemed leader in our Filipino American community. She was my secret weapon; we couldn’t have pulled it off without her help and guidance.

Kristi Klemens and her husband Paul of KLK Photography, documented almost the entire weekend, through their photography lenses. Watch out for the photos soon – www.facebook.com/JannelleSoOFFICIAL, where I will also share details about the vendors, in case you’re planning a wedding.

To all these special vendors who helped make our dream a reality; to all the guests who partook in our celebration; to all of you who have read the news and seen photos and expressed their support and best wishes; Lester and  are most grateful!

Jannelle So is taking a break from 20-years of print and broadcast journalism career that began in the Philippines and continued here in the US. Connect to her on Facebook (www.facebook.com/JannelleSoOFFICIAL); Twiiter (www.twitter.com/JannelleSo); and Instagram (www.instagram.com/JannelleSo) or email her at sojannelle77@gmail.com.

A scenic view of the Pacific Ocean at Mendocino Coast, California with the bride and groom - Jannelle & Lester (Mr. & Mrs. Perkins' Wedding by KLK Photography)

A scenic view of the Pacific Ocean at Mendocino Coast, California with the bride and groom – Jannelle & Lester (Mr. & Mrs. Perkins’ Wedding by KLK Photography)

The family  (Mr. & Mrs. Perkins' Wedding by KLK Photography)

The family (Mr. & Mrs. Perkins’ Wedding by KLK Photography)

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