Remember to look at their amazing Cambodian Ceremony posted previously! Here are some of the gorgeous details at Golden Ocala. I LOVED the incredible pink cloth Dan Hathcock (Unforgettable Events) hung outside for their cocktail hour! Inside Golden Ocala: As we move into the images of Lisa and Edgar dancing with their mothers, I wanted to tell some about what both of them as well as their families have overcome in their lives. After getting to know them throughout the last year and a half, I was so moved by everything they have victoriously lived and thrived through. I just love the human spirit and the absolute joy and love I get to see in my couples and their families. Because her father has passed away, Lisa chose to dance with her mother and first gave a very moving speech about what a wonderful support her mother has been. When I first did their engagement session so long ago Lisa told me about her family history and I was embarrassed I knew very little about the Cambodian Genocide where nearly a third of the Cambodian people were killed in a horrible human tragedy. Lisa’s parents escaped the Khmer Rouge and the genocide and came to the US where they were married in 1982 with no property. Lisa’s father, Heng Lim, had to abandon the medical school he started in Cambodia and worked as an electrician. Lisa’s mother was also stripped of her Cambodian education and had to work in warehouses and as a waitress. While on vacation visiting family in Philadelphia, Lisa’s father was the victim of a hate crime in the middle of the night and killed on Father’s day in 1990. I’m tearing up just writing about this. Lisa’s mother, Mala, moved to Orlando because it was where she and Heng had wanted to move to before he died. She raised Lisa on her own, having difficulties being the first generation in America with fear of losing her daughter and learning the culture. Lisa told me a story of her first day of kindergarten knowing not a single word of English and being terrified of the policeman at the school. Obviously they were strong and successful together because Lisa now has a doctorate in pharmacology from UF and is a pharmacy manager. I have such an immense amount of respect for everything these ladies overcame to have a successful life in America, and because of the amazing person Lisa has become. She has such a genuine care for people that is amazing to watch.
Edgar then had his dance with his mother and also gave a beautiful speech about what she has done for her family. His mother and father, Lourdes and Eduardo, were married in the Philippines and moved to America where Eduardo became a cook in the Navy. They raised 3 boys, Edwin, Edwardo, and Edgar (he was the miracle baby because Lourdes was not supposed to be able to have any more children and 7 years after her second child, she had Edgar in Naples, Italy). When Edgar was 16, his dad was diagnosed with lung cancer. He was struggling through chemotherapy because he wanted to see Edgar graduate high school. He did not make it; as everyone thought he was getting better, he passed away. Edgar told of how his mother made a commitment to get all her children through college without debt and was able to achieve that goal as a single mother and how much respect he has for what she has accomplished. Both Lisa and Edgar’s mothers never want to remarry.
So one of the Cambodian traditions is to go around to each table to hand out favors and collect the cards... and apparently some guests believe in making you reach for it. Wasn't sure what was going on, but was VERY amused! :)
American Wedding Coordinator | Melissa DiStefano from Masterpiece Weddings
Photography| Lindsey Tropf from Pure by Lindsey
Venue | Golden Ocala Golf and Equestrian Club
Videographer | CollabCreation Films by Eric Torres
Flowers/Décor | Unforgettable Events by Dan Hathcock
Hair | Manou Retting from New U Salon & Spa in Jacksonville, FL
Ceremony Music | Bella Strings with Stephanie Bower
Cake | Chef Albert Barrett from Stella’s Modern Pantry
Cambodian Master of Ceremony | Lanh Srey from the Jacksonville Cambodian Temple