the church ceremony

October 22nd, 2010

We had a traditional Catholic ceremony at St. Callistus Catholic Church to consecrate our marriage and seal the deal for reals. During planning we tried to convince our parents to allow us have the Catholic ceremony on location at the reception venue but that wasn’t going to fly with the priest or our parents or my grandparents so we never got around to pushing the idea that far. We were just happy we got the reception venue we did get them to agree on…more on that in a later post!

St. Callistus is near and dear to us, especially to me. I practically grew up there my entire life. I was baptized, received my first communion, attended Catholic scouts & catechism courses there so naturally I should be married there as well. Robert’s family adopted this church as their own ever since they moved to Orange County back in the 80’s. Most of both our memories are of this church so we’re not too bummed we exchanged vows there.

It was really a beautiful late July day. We were expecting scorching hot weather but as most of you Southern Californians know, we never even had a real summer! We were blessed with mild weather and it was perfect in every way. We couldn’t have asked for more. Now, onto the ceremony itself!

I’m rushing into church as fast as I can before anyone can see or stop me. People did see, but they were unable to stop me.

Some decor shots at the church ceremony.

Arrangements all done by KC Floral Designs.

Song choices we took great care in choosing. Tweena played the piano and most the songs were sung in English, but there were a few that mixed both languages so beautifully. The youth choir for St. Callistus did an awesome job incorporating modern music in their own way to make our ceremony great. You can witness their talent at Sunday mass held at 5:30pm. You can also experience some clips on Youtube.

Processional was “Canon in D” instrumental.
My paternal grandparents and our mothers walk down the aisle.

I walked down the aisle to “I’m Your Angel” by Celine Dion.

Me and my dad embrace.

Our mothers light up the 2 candles as a symbol of how they gave us life.

Other songs sung at mass were:

  • Responsorial Psalm: “On Eagle’s Wings”
  • Offertory/Presentation of Gifts: “Only Hope” by Mandy Moore
  • Communion: “How Beautiful” (this is a great mix of Vietnamese and English–I highly recommend it!)
  • Recessional: “Wedding March” instrumental

Note that you also have the option to hire on a violinist to play with the pianist. We opted out of it.

We also chose our readings and the respective readers thoughtfully.

The first reading was read by my cousin, Sister Bernadette Huong. She read in Vietnamese: Tobit 8:4b-8. The second reading was read in English by our friend, Laura. It was Corinthians 12:31-13:8a. It was a classic reading of “love is patient, love is kind…”.

Our wedding party sat in the 2nd rows right behind us.

Father Tuyen read Mark 10:6-9 in both languages.
“…they are no longer two but one flesh.”

We were both pleasantly surprised with how much we loved Father Tuyen’s homily. He made it laugh out loud funny, thoughtful, interesting AND recited it in both languages in a very efficient manner.

We were even more happy with how he had us recite our vows. He knew every line by heart and was very attentive throughout our vows. Nothing distracted us from each other: there were no awkward pauses since he did not have to reference a book and he himself held out the mic for us to speak into instead of having a young altar server fumbling around up there.

Of course I couldn’t hold back my emotions and tears. We had to stop several times for me to carefully wipe away tears and snot.

Father handing me the ring to place on Robert’s finger.

We take the unity candles our mothers lit for us and light our single one together as a symbol of 2 becoming 1.

Father Tuyen was hilarious when he shot off a slew of apologies to my grandparents, my sister cousin, and our parents before allowing Robert to “kiss his wife”. And kiss we did!

Our friend, Judy, read the prayers of the faithful in both languages. Our mothers brought up the offertory gifts.

We continue on with regular mass proceedings.

Robert and I both receive the bread and blood of Christ. We drank out of the fancy goblet for the first time!

We close off the ceremony mass with Father giving us his blessings and our special prayer to Mother Mary to bless our marriage.


Hugs all around.

And of course, you can’t forget the family portrait at the end with both priests.

Photos courtesy of Kim Le Photography.

4 Responses to “the church ceremony”

  1. Tony on October 22, 2010 8:03 am

    Soooo glad the aisle run held up…I was most worried about that…

    I also forgot to bow when I walked up to the front, doh!

  2. tdang on October 22, 2010 1:26 pm

    what a beautiful ceremony. great song choice for the aisle walk down.

  3. mareyberry on October 23, 2010 6:52 pm

    I remember that we were just pulling into the parking lot and caught a glimpse of you rushing through the doors!

  4. Anne on October 30, 2010 1:59 am

    i loved the decor and all of the song choices

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply

Name (required)

Email (required)


Speak your mind