Candace Lam and Eddie Huang Say, “We Still Do!”
Monrovia residents Candace Lam and Eddie Huang celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary on November 10, 2023, a joyous milestone by any standard.
But in addition to honoring a decade of successful marriage, the parents of two young children—son Casper is age seven, while daughter Emmie is three—also had another objective.
“Our families are Chinese,” explains Candace, who has operated her wedding planning business, Love is Sweet Events + Floral, in Pasadena for over ten years.
“In our culture, the way we were raised, family members are very reserved. This means that traditionally, we don’t hug and kiss a lot or say ‘I love you’ a lot. Except that my husband and I do! We do all of that! And we decided to have the party mostly as a way to show our children that it’s okay to show love. We show it a lot. It’s the best thing!”
With a curated guest list of 29 friends and family members, the recent backyard fête was intimate and elegant, defined by the subtly luxurious style that quietly emerges as Lam’s brand signature.
She comments, “Our wedding ten years ago was a large event; of course, it was very important for our families. Our parents got really involved in the details. But we wanted this party to be different.”
The kids are alright
Again, this has to do with children. As a professional event planner, Candace’s clients sometimes request adults-only parties where children aren’t invited. Without passing judgment, Candace remarks, “I really do understand this. Kids don’t have the attention span of adults. They get bored and whiney, and then they can get really hyper and loud! So, running around after kids can definitely impact an event.”
Candace’s solution for her party was an obvious fix hiding in plain sight: she hired a professional babysitter, James of @mollycoddlersnanniessitters.“It was important for us to celebrate our day with Casper and Emmie. And some of our friends have kids, too. We wanted everyone to feel welcome.” Shortly after the vow-renewal ceremony, the babysitter corralled the youngsters, got them seated and fed, and then took them into the house for stories, songs, magic tricks and balloon animals.
“Doing this gave the grown-ups a chance to relax and have a good time while adulting, knowing that our littles are all safe, having fun with other kids, and being entertained,” says Candace.
Love is more than skin-deep
Lam also departs from tradition in another even more understated but powerful way. Adorning her left shoulder is a tracery of exquisitely delicate tattoo work. The astrological symbol for Candace’s sun sign, Virgo, is flanked by the letters “C” and “E” for children Casper and Emmie.
“Of course,” laughs Candace, “Eddie might have been a little bit disappointed because he thought the ‘E’ was for him.” Candace had the tattoo artist add a constellation of stars to the design to represent the protective power of Eddie’s love for the family, which, like the stars, may be invisible but is always present.
Candace’s ability to discover hidden beauty is evident in her love story and her creative life. She notes that she chose Lisianthus for the party’s pastel blue, yellow and pale pink floral arrangements, a ruffly, peony-rose-like blossom often overlooked by designers.
“A lot of people never even think about Lisianthus because it’s not showy; it looks so small. But they’re gorgeous if you take the time to fluff the petals open, one by one.”
She added roses, stock and wildflowers to the arrangements for a soft, outdoorsy, yet deluxe vibe. During the ceremony, Emmie tossed handfuls of loose petals as vocalist Sarah Nolan sang a sweet Taylor Swift cover. Supplying Yang to contrast all of that Yin, the day’s activities also included something loud, noisy and exciting to offset the sentimental moments: Eddie fired dollar bills across the lawn from a money cannon while everyone boogied down to “Fly Me to the Moon.”
A simple twist of fate
The romance between Candace and Eddie, who is a cybersecurity IT specialist, also formed and revealed itself in a surprising way. Candace explains that, as a super-busy single woman, she was feeling a bit isolated. So she joined a MeetUp hiking group just to get out into the sunshine and shake a tail feather. “I was not looking for romance,” states Candace flatly, “but it found me.”
After hiking with 60 or 70 others that morning, the group reconvened at a restaurant for lunch. Candace noticed Eddie sitting by himself beside the window. “He looked kinda lonely,” she recalls, so she joined him. They clicked.
What made it work then and now? “Communication,” says Candace. “This gets back to the idea that it’s really important to express our feelings. And husbands should remember romance. It doesn’t have to be expensive or extravagant. Take her out for a date night. Go back to where you had your first date. Surprise her. Small gestures can help both people in the couple feel appreciated.”
Hydration is key
“Once couples have kids,” she says, “they can kind of lose each other. We all get so exhausted.” On the subject of entertaining, she notes, “When a client just hires me to do the floral design, and they do their own planning, they don’t remember to eat! They freak out, get dehydrated, get a headache, and run around making sure the guests have their drinks, but they don’t enjoy themselves—and it’s their party!”
Candace’s detailed run-sheet for the day of her own anniversary party holds the key: she’s a master of time management. Built into the schedule are time allowances for essentials that many hosts and hostesses overlook. She included strategic entries like: “3:30 PM. Go back upstairs to rest/light bite and drink water” and “5:30 PM. Candace and Eddie need to focus on eating!” Because relaxation and self-care were explicitly built into the agenda, supported by a professional babysitter, Lam and fam were able to raise a glass, party down, and prepare for many more decades of “I love you’s” to come.