Nikki & Dan: “Korea to San Diego”


Nikki & Dan
1.2.15
Wedding Film Teaser Trailer
El Prado, Balboa Park in San Diego, CA
Licensed by TheMusicBed

Director/DP/Editor – James Lee
Cinematographers – Daniel Dai and Mike Huang

James Lee Films officially started off 2015 with our first destination wedding! While San Diego is still within the mainland U.S. and not considered ‘destination’ for some, it was certainly so for everyone involved from guests to vendors and even the bride and groom. Nikki is the sister of my beloved friend JR Pena, and it was an honor to be able to do this wedding. The first time I saw Nikki was in the form of a portrait done by JR leaning against the living room wall in JR’s home. JR always talked highly of his sister, but I never got the chance to meet her because she was always traveling. For awhile, she was in Korea teaching English – and it was there that Nikki and Dan met.

Specifically, Nikki and Dan met five years ago working an Academy in Anyang. Dan had been working there for awhile when Nikki came. Nikki was looking for a couch, and she asked Dan because apparently he knew where to get good used couches. Nikki is really good at chess, but Dan told her that she could beat her one day. Three months later, Dan said’ Hey, let’s have a chess match; I beat the computer.” They bet the loser had to cook dinner for the winner. Dan won – but Nikki convinced their friend Tracie to tell Dan that she’s a bad cook, and he ended up cooking anyways. The dinner was amazing, and slowly their love grew from there.

Dan grew up in Washington near Seattle and Nikki grew up in New Jersey. After transitioning from Korea to the U.S., they finally settled in Orange County and decided to hold their wedding in San Diego. It was a beautiful wedding not only because of the weather (in the 70s the whole time we were there) or the setting, but because people traveled from all over the world to attend this wedding. Nikki and Dan said their vows before close friends and family on January 2, 2015 at St. Francis Chapel in the Museum of Man in Balboa Park, San Diego, CA and held their reception at The Prado, all within Balboa Park. They held a photo scavenger hunt between the ceremony and reception for people to run around the park and take fun photos. Overall this couple was just lots of fun.

Quick shout-out to Paulo Salud Photography, who is always awesome to work with, and his second shooter for the wedding Justin Element. I highly recommend both photogs. Also big thanks to Undercover Live for providing us with properly mixed audio and running a party like none other we’ve seen. Also none of this would have been possible if it weren’t for Danielle Evans from Bridal and Event Lounge who planned and coordinated the event. She is a highly-organized planner and was a pleasure to work with throughout the day. Overall, we had an amazing team of vendors for this wedding.

Now, for those of you who’ve known me in the past, I’ve always loved working alongside Mike Huang and was sad to see him go when he left for Wisconsin. But because we had to fly to SD anyways, I thought of it as an opportunity and called him up to see if he was available. Sure enough, he was. Our James Lee Films Crew for this wedding was therefore awesome. with Daniel Dai and Mike Huang, JLF crushed this wedding. Honestly I had a hard time editing this trailer because there were just so many good shots (which is why the trailer edit is a bit longer than usual – still so much was not included). You’ll just have to wait till the feature film is out to enjoy this wedding film to its fullest glory. Stay tuned. 🙂

Congratulations again, Nikki and Dan!