I met Jean-Laurent through his sister, Hoàng-Mai, when I was living and studying in Paris. At the time, neither Anne, Jean-Laurent, nor their two other sisters, Céline or Nathalie, were married. The past seven years have seen some big changes in the Huynh family, with Jean-Lo now joining Céline and Hoàng-Mai in the marriage department.
It was about a year ago when I ran into Jean-Lo at the neighborhood Safeway. He was telling me he was on a grocery run before heading to the airport to pick up his girlfriend. Several months later, I received an email saying that he and Grace were engaged! Fast forward a few months later to August 24, 2002, and here I was at their wedding!
Bonfire at Huntington Beach
The day before the wedding, we had a bonfire at Huntington Beach. With the exception of myself and Tammy, the crowd consisted of Jean-Laurent’s friends from France and Belgium. I found it interesting to see Jean-Lo describe the art of making s’mores, which obviously have not made their presence known across the Atlantic. Later in the evening, Jean-Laurent’s sisters arrived with their kids in tow. This was the first time that I’ve seen Céline’s second son, Cyrus, or Hoàng-Mai’s daughter, Claire. They both slept throughout the evening, but they were still very cute asleep! It was nice to see Céline’s son Victor again; he’s still the bundle of energy that he was at Anne and Pierre’s wedding two years ago!
Later in the evening, several of us went to the house where Jean-Laurent and family were staying to chit chat. Céline, Nathalie, Samy, and I worked on an interactive game we were going to hold during the wedding banquet, while Hoàng-Mai, Pierre, Anne-Katrine, and Sylvain talked in the nearby living room. When Jean-Laurent returned from his wedding dance rehearsal, we all retired to the living room to talk and inspect the wedding rings. For a moment, I felt like I had been magically transported to France!