Meeting as classmates in a Macroeconomics course at Orange Coast Community College in 1999, Sophia Huynh and Steve Tran never knew the 7 years they spent as best friends could ever blossom into more. With the foundation they formed as close friends, they decided to take a leap of faith and began a romantic courtship.

After four blissful years of dating, Steve surprised his fiancé during a Napa Valley tour at Del Dotto Winery while posing for photos, Steve proposed to his beloved, captured on film by their friends.  A return visit to the romantic island of Oahu prompted their decision for a destination wedding, and the couple set the date at the historical Bayer Estate. The incredible journey of their love and celebration of their wedding day was captured on July 23, 2011 by L’Amour Photography.

It was love at first sight when the couple first laid eyes upon The Bayer Estate, not only for its charm, but for the historic significance held dear to their hearts. As Sophia shares, “We chose the Bayer Estate for many reasons, but mainly because it has decades of history just like our families do.” A year before their engagement, Sophia and Steve were amazed to learn that their parents had met 33 years prior in Malaysia during the Vietnam War. “My father was the first to give Steve’s family a hand off the boat as they arrived in Malaysia and provided them with food and shelter. During this time, Steve’s mom was pregnant with him. Our families lost touch and didn’t reunite until my grandfather’s funeral in 2009 when we introduced our parents for the first time—or so we thought.  My father recognized Steve’s mother, and they invited my family over for lunch to share the story of how they met before we were both born,” Sophia remembers.

Their magical moment culminated as Sophia walked down the aisle in a glistening ivory alencon lace Lazaro gown and vintage Casadei heels. The groom awaited her beneath the arbor in a crisp Joseph Abboud tuxedo and Hugo Boss dress shoes. In keeping with the soft tones of the decor, the bridesmaids wore long rose chiffon Dessy gowns and the beautiful Henri Bendel pearl bracelets gifted to them from the bride.  Sophia describes the overall theme of their wedding as “vintage glamour”, reflecting the history and romance they shared after realizing their familial ties and the years of loving friendship that brought she and Steve together.

The backyard was transformed with Italian lights and crystal chandeliers to create a classic ambiance. Event and floral designer, Debbie Hemingway of Designs by Hemingway, created a breathtaking arbor of soft blush chiffon, hydrangeas and roses in ivory and pink delicately framing the moment of their union overlooking the water’s edge. Those same soft shades of blush were echoed in the satin and lace linens adorning their reception tables and throughout the floral decor. After a delicious ‘surf n’ turf’ dinner and beautiful wedding cake in unexpected tropical flavors of mango and lemon/blackberry, guests were treated to the beautiful sounds of guitarist Randy Allen. As Sophia remembers of their magical day, “With the Pacific Ocean as our backdrop and the sound of the waves crashing on the sand, our outdoor wedding was nothing short of magical.”

Venue: The Bayer Estate; Wedding Dress: Lazaro; Bridesmaids Dresses: Dessy; Bridal Jewelry: Henri Bendel; Groom’s Suit: Joseph Abboud; Florals: Designs by Hemingway Catering & Cake: D’Lish Catering; Musicians: Randy Allen & Harp Hawaii