Once in awhile, we get these special weddings that bring back feelings and memories from childhood. Wendy and Hugo’s wedding took place at Walden West, a science camp in Saratoga, California. This was the camp I went to learn about nature and science for our 5th grade weekend camping trip. When I came back to this venue after 25 years, everything looked as I remembered, except significantly smaller, haha. Wendy and Hugo and the coordinator team did a great job of turning this camp into a beautiful wedding venue. Knowing Wendy and her bridesmaids for over 13 years, it was amazing to see that their friendship is as strong now as it was back then.
Wendy and her bridesmaids got ready at the Saratoga Oaks Lodge in one of the bungalows. The lodge is conveniently located near Walden West and other popular wedding venues like Saratoga Springs, Mountain Winery, and Hakone Gardens. Meanwhile, Hugo, their daughter, and the groomsmen got ready at one of the cabins at Walden West. Wendy’s sense of humor allowed us to capture fun moments and portraits, like her being an omelette-eater model.
Walden West features some lush greens, redwood tress, and an interesting trail that runs through a waist-high wheat field. Wendy and Hugo also included some wedding details, like providing guests with bubbles for kids and adults to use at the wedding ceremony. Other wedding details include customized coasters at the reception, and an engraved wedding cake topper made from wood. Since the ceremony took place in grass, one of the bridesmaids had a DIY stiletto heel protector made completely out of hot glue.
Toasts were given by the best man and maid of honor, which brought tears to Wendy. We couldn’t tell if Hugo had shed a tear, but he made have been trying to hide it. Nonetheless, the wedding toasts were heartfelt and funny, especially when you bring up old history in their relationship with the bride and the groom.
Wendy and Hugo visited each of the tables to share their appreciation to each of the guests, and give them a chance to share congratulations as well. It is a Vietnamese tradition to do table visits at a wedding reception, and it typically ends with everyone coming in for a toast. The bride’s father usually shares a few words as well, particularly at tables where there are uncles and aunts.
The night ended with open dancing, and the guests certainly danced the night away, despite open bar being closed.