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A French-Themed Wedding at the Westgate Hotel

By Carly Shihadeh

Tossing rice at the end of a marriage ceremony is said to be a sign of good fortune. So, it’s fitting that Norman proposed to Kristine at Fushimi Inari Taisha in Kyoto, Japan. After all, it’s the shrine for the kami (spirit) of rice and agriculture.

To capture the magical moment, Norman set up a small tripod and used a camera remote to snap pictures as Kristine turned around and, to her surprise, saw he was down on one knee.

“After I said ‘yes,’ a crowd gathered and cheered for us after,” Kristine recollects.

And though they live in the Bay Area, the couple was sold right away on a San Diego wedding. It’s where Kristine grew up, and it’s where they found the idyllic slate for their French-themed reception. Following a Catholic ceremony at The Immaculata, the newlyweds continued their celebration at The Westgate Hotel, kicking off the night with an epic grand entrance.

“We walked in to ‘Give me Everything’ by Pitbull and Ne-Yo, and did a little impromptu dance that we usually do in the car when we hear this song. I love how we just play off one another’s energy, and I think everyone could see that at the moment.”

newly wed couple kissing French-themed wedding Immaculata Parish French-themed wedding

After meeting at a mutual friends’ wedding, not even distance or medical school could keep this couple apart. For five years, the lovebirds flew back and forth between the East and West Coasts before finally settling together in the Bay Area.

groomsmanbridesmaidswestgate hotel reception room French-themed wedding bride and groom pose in front of their getaway car

Cake: MMC Bakes
Catering: The Westgate Hotel
Ceremony: Immaculata Parish
Coordination: Jacob Thater, Lavish & Co.
Dress: Martina Liana
Entertainment: DeOndre
Florals: Flora Glamor
Hair: Makeup & Hair by Chrissy
Linens: Boutique Event Rentals, Bright Event Rentals
Makeup: Jenna Mitman
Photography: True Photography
Videography: RyanFilms

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