Our Wedding Reception at Gjelina + The One Common Complaint About Wedding Photos

The second most asked question I get is, “Does photographing weddings help you get clear on what you want for your own?.”


Whenever I work an event or wedding, I take note of what feels good to me, some of those things being:

– A small guest list.
– Multiple parties/celebrations instead of one big one.
– Knowing where I wanted to spend money and what I would actually care about after.

The thing I enjoyed most about looking through our wedding photos were pictures of our friends & family enjoying themselves. New friends + old friends meeting each other for the first time … old friends seeing old friends … my parents meeting everyone…

A friend told me a long time ago that a major complaint people tend to have about their wedding photos is that there weren’t enough photos of guests. Luckily this was early on in my career so I always consciously make an effort to get photos of the guests, as our photographer Ashel Parsons did so lovely for us. Now I really get why.

These are photos from our Wedding Reception. If you’d like to see photos from our Wedding Ceremony at Culver Hotel, click here.

I asked my friend Mark to help shuffle everyone to the front when it was time for Grand Entrance. He said it usually takes a lot of energy to wrangle people but he only had to ask once and everyone did it IMMEDIATELY. He said, “Damn, those are definitely your friends.” I don’t have time to hang out with people who dilly dally. Chop chop! 🙂

Thanks to Gjelina for keeping the booze flowing and for providing the most delicious food. If you haven’t been, definitely check it out the next time you are in Venice Beach!

My dad said to me, “I didn’t know you had so many friends! And they all know me!.” It never occurred to me that he hasn’t met most of them, and as a parent I’m sure there is some relief knowing your children have a supportive community, especially when they live far from home like me.

Marriage is: I really wanted everyone to have sparklers but Pete said no because he was concerned about the neighborhood and permitting (we got married where he works). I said, “Are you serious?!.” He was, so we agreed on 2 sparklers and glow sticks for everyone else. I still brought the whole box of sparklers to the venue and it took ALL MY WILLPOWER to not tell the Event Planner to pass out all the sparklers anyway.

The celebrations aren’t done yet. We still have a reception in New Jersey for Pete’s extended family, and I’m pretty sure my dad is going to arrange some sort of Chinese banquet for his side (Pete & I both have really big families of 150+).

Shout out to our vendors for making this day smooth and easy. The party felt very “us,” and we loved every single minute of it.

Venue: Gjelina

Event Coordination: Skybox Event Productions

Photography: Ashel Parsons

Video: Ryan McDuff

Flowers: The Bloemist

Make-up & Hair: Kelly Zhang Studio

Dress: Halston Heritage


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