Monica + Adam by Danielle Dong

MA: To my husband, we are only a couple months into our marriage but I am so excited to see where our future takes us. Like I said in my vows to you, I will continue to choose you every day and be your biggest cheerleader in life. I love you today, tomorrow, and for the rest of our lives! 

AM: To my wife, I love you more than you could ever know. I am so blessed to have found you and there’s nothing that I wouldn’t do to make you happy! Here’s to many more years of love, laughs and happiness. I love you Monica, forever and always. 

Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love… 

Our names are Adam and Monica. We live in sunny San Diego in California. We both live to eat and exploring food from different cultural backgrounds is one of our favorite things to do. 

Most weekends you can find us at a local brewery and just soaking up the beautiful weather around us. We both love music, specifically old school hip hop and R&B, and we have shared many memorable moments at concerts throughout the years. 

How/where/when did you meet – and what were your first impressions? 

We met on an online dating app called “OKCupid.” Our first date was at a local brewery in Los Angeles, Ca on August 17, 2018. 

MA: Considering Adam was 20 mins late to our first date due to parking issues, my initial impression of him was pure annoyance but after spending over four hours together on our first date, he had quickly redeemed himself with his infectious laugh and quirky personality. I knew early on that he was definitely someone worth investing my time in. 

AM: My first impression of Monica was that she was very patient because as she mentioned, I was 20 minutes late. After we gave our initial hellos/hugs I noticed early on in the date that she was easy going and super easy to talk to. I knew she was someone that I wanted to get to know more.

When did you first realise that this was someone you’d like to spend the rest of your life with? 

MA: I don’t feel like there was an exact moment I knew I wanted to spend my life with Adam but rather a collection of moments that solidified my decision. He has a heart of gold and always treats me with the utmost of respect. Most people relate feeling safe with a place such as a home but for me, my safe place is wherever I’m with Adam. 

AM: I would say I realised she was the one when we were hanging out in our apartment and I came home from a bad day at work. She sensed this and made me some food and she asked if there was anything else that she could do to make me feel better. 

Was there a proposal? Tell us a little about it… 

AM: Just to give some insight, she’s pretty hard to surprise. Knowing this I had to try and make the proposal as spontaneous as possible. It was on February 6, 2021. We wanted to go to the beach for a taco lunch date. I figured this would be perfect to propose because we both love the beach and tacos! I was super nervous the whole time leading up to lunch. She kept asking me if everything was okay because I was acting so weird. We picked up the tacos and headed to the beach. When we parked and made our way to the beach I grew more nervous and I just had to keep myself together otherwise she would definitely know something was about to happen. I was trying to think of the slickest way I could pull off the proposal. It was windy and I knew that I was running out of time because Monica kept saying that she was cold. So I said okay let’s go. As we got up to roll up the towel, I knew this was the moment! When she picked up the trash and towel facing away from me I quickly dropped to one knee and pulled the ring out and pretended that I needed her help so she could turn around and when she turned she saw me and a look of disbelief came across her face, she asked me if i was really doing this. I said I’m really doing this and popped the question.

Tell us about the vision you had for the mood or style of your wedding… 

MA/AM: We are both from two different backgrounds, I am South Asian Indian and Adam is hispanic and because our cultures incorporate such beautiful colours and traditions, we knew we wanted to melt those characteristics together for our big day. Our wedding was in October and I loved the idea of having lots of fall colours such as burnt orange, yellows, whites, sage green, peach, and dark purple in our colour scheme. Food and desserts were a big deal for us since we both love food and we knew our guests would appreciate the items we chose for the day. Ultimately, we wanted to be able to enjoy the day with our guests from our wedding ceremony to our reception and having a small guest list under 100 was exactly how we were able to achieve that. 

Tell us about your main outfits, what was unique, is there a story? 

MA: Since we had decided to have a Hindu wedding ceremony, Adam and I had worn traditional Indian garments for our ceremony. Adam wore a forest green Kurta with light gold pants and traditional Indian shoes and I wore a tomato red lengha and a green dupatta (something similar to a veil). I think the most touching part of my outfit is that I was able to wear my mom’s wedding jewellery from 52 years ago on my big day. It is something I will cherish for the rest of my life and hopefully one day I can continue that tradition with my future daughter.

What was one element you were happy to splurge on? 

We decided to have a traditional Hindu wedding ceremony which meant there were multiple small events that would lead up to our ceremony. One event is called the “Baraat.” This is when the groom’s family/friends are part of a procession with music and dancing that leads them to the bride’s family as they welcome them into the wedding ceremony. Traditionally, there is Indian music for the groom but because Adam is hispanic, we really wanted to have a Mariachi band there to not only incorporate his culture but to also add a little fun twist to the festivities.

Did anything happen on your wedding day that you laugh about in hindsight (even if it was stressful at the time)? 

MA: Surprisingly our day was very smooth. Shoutout to my amazing friend and impromptu day of coordinator, Vianne Enriquez. However, I did find out later that Adam had forgotten to give his wedding band to my older brother, Eric before the wedding ceremony and so there was a lot of scrambling behind the scenes in order to get that ring in the right hands. 

Ceremony + Reception location: Hilton Harbor Island | Photographer: Danielle Dong Photography | Entertainment: Dancing DJ Production | Flora: Family Tree Florist | Catering + Beverages: San Diego Airport | Cake: Jenny Wenny Cakes | Stationery: Minted | Attire: The Sari Palace | Ring/s: The True Gem | Shoes: Chinese Laundry | Makeup + Hair: Maribel Angelica | Fragrance: Chanel