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If I had complete free rein to do whatever I wanted for my wedding, the ceremony would be held inside a Chinese garden, like these:

[The New York Chinese Scholar’s Garden]

[Portland Classical Chinese Garden]

[Garden of Flowing Fragrance at the Huntington Library]

Unfortunately, there are no Chinese gardens in the San Francisco Bay Area. In fact, according to Wikipedia, there are only five Chinese gardens in the continental United States. There’s the Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco and the Hakone Gardens in Saratoga, but they’re not the same (also, let’s just say it would not get the seal of approval from certain unnamed relatives).

That being said….yes, I know, there are many lovely non-Asian gardens to pick from, like the San Francisco Botanical Gardens, the Morcom Rose Garden in Oakland, the Gardens at Heather Farms in Walnut Creek, the San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers and the Kaiser Rooftop Garden in Oakland. However, my dream of an outdoor garden wedding was VETOED early on in the planning stages.

Awe, but by who you ask?

  • DL (the future husband): I don’t want to be in the sun. It’s going to be hot ’cause it’s summer.
    • Me: And you’ve lived in the SF Bay Area how long?!?….Clearly, someone forgot how cold (and possibly rainy) it is in July.
  • Mom: I don’t like outdoor weddings. They look nice, but it’s not very comfortable. (This opinion stems almost entirely from a “rustic” wedding she attended once where a tent was set up in the middle of a dirt field with no floor. So not only did it get a little chilly that night, it was dusty and a bit dirty.
    • Me: Yea, yea, yea. But outdoor weddings look so nice in pictures….argh.

So why didn’t I stand my ground. Well, let’s just say that I kinda, sorta agree with them. While I can deal with the dirt that comes with rustic weddings, I don’t like being too cold or too hot. So I concurred with the veto and we embarked on a search for an indoor venue. To be continued….