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Thank You for Coming!

Thank you so much for being part of our special day. We are very happy that the event went so well. I hope you all had a great time. Paul and I certainly did, but we regret that the night went by so quickly and we didn't have more time to spend with everyone.

Pictures will be posted here:

Check back from time to time to see updated photos. We probably won't be getting the professional photos for 4-6 weeks from now.

Also, check out Coupon Suzy if you get a chance, as she is our TV face for printable coupons online.

Wedding Toasts

Isabelle, my bridesmaid, gave us a great toast. Unfortunately, it was rather hard to hear some of the toasts during the reception. So here it is if you care to read it:

"Those of you who know me (or who have read my bio on the pookies in love Web site) know that Karen and I have been friends for several years. When I first met Karen, I learned about a very interesting characteristic of hers. Karen has this tendency to discover new things and gets a bit obsessed or fixated on them. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, let me give you a few examples. Several years back, Karen discovered Italian food – actually pasta. I think it was during a trip to Italy that she realized pasta, when made well, is delicious! So what did she do? She started cooking up all sorts of pasta dishes, throwing dinner parties for her friends to try them, bringing pasta for lunch every day, and we all thought she’d probably quit her day job soon and start her own cooking show.

Or, take the time she discovered ice cream. She went out and bought an ice cream maker and made a different flavor of ice cream every day. Of course, we were all rushing to try them out and actually hoped she’d quit her day job and make us ice cream all day instead!

Ok, I’m making it seem like Karen is obsessed on with food…but her obsessions span other areas too. I remember when Karen discovered eBay…she was online every day winning auctions. And what about tennis? Karen had hardly picked up a racquet three years ago…but the day she did, we all knew Karen would be well on her way to winning tennis championships…and we were right!

All of these examples of Karen’s obsessions are centered around food and sports. And while Karen became great at all of these, she probably wasn’t getting much love back because as we all know inanimate objects and activities can’t reciprocate! So that brings me to Karen’s most recent obsession (aside from wedding planning)…Paul. I still remember the first day she told me about Paul. It was during a phone conversation and I remember thinking that this guy seemed to be pretty into her (but that wasn’t a surprise!). I had no idea that after that day, I’d be hearing about Paul every day for the rest of my life. But there was a slight difference with Karen’s new fixation, and I experienced it the first time I met Paul…this time, the obsession was mutual, and as strong (if not stronger) from the other party. The first time I met him was during their weekend trip to visit me in SB. That weekend, I don’t think I had Karen alone for more than 3 minutes (when we were waiting in line for food while Paul went to the ATM). They ate out of one plate with one fork and shared one glass. They called each other pookie!

So please join me in raising your glasses to Karen and Paul…and their obsessions."

About the Wedding

We are having our wedding at Foreign Cinema, which is and has been one of the Top 100 restaurants in SF Bay Area for the last 10 years. The restaurant cuisine focuses on using fresh seasonal and sustainable ingredients prepared in French and Mediterranean styles, or colloquially known as Californian Cuisine.

Foreign Cinema is named for its large projector style movie screen contained in the outdoor atrium area. The ceremony will be held in this area, which is open air. Please dress appropriately as weather can be rather brisk or change unexpectedly in San Francisco. The other two main areas in the restaurant, both in-doors, are the Gallery, where cocktails, hor d’oeurvres, and dancing will take place, and the Main Dining room, where a formally seated 5 course meal will be served. Bring your appetite!

The restaurant is located in a vibrant neighborhood called The Mission. This area is one of the major hot spots in the city, containing a plethora of trendy restaurants and bars. Parking in the area can be difficult, though Sunday evening is one of the best times to find parking there. Foreign Cinema offers valet parking for $10 and there is a paid parking lot behind the restaurant on Bartlett St. between 21st and 22nd. See map. However, we suggest using public transportation such as BART or taking a cab.

We are very much looking forward to the big event and sharing our special day with all of you!

Wedding Events and Registry

Please respond to corresponding evite for each event, or contact Paul to attend.

Saturday, July 7, 2007
Bachelor Party (open to all)
Bachelorette Party (open to all)

Saturday, September 22, 2007
Rehearsal Lunch @ 1:30pm Taqueria Altena
Wedding Rehearsal @ 2:30pm Foreign Cinema
Family Dinner @ 8:30pm King of Thai Noodle House

Sunday, September 23, 2007
Groom’s Family Brunch @ 10:30am Yank Sing Rincon Center
Wedding Ceremony and Reception @ 6:00pm Foreign Cinema

Monday, September 24, 2007
Post-Wedding Brunch @ 11:00am Zazie (open to all)

Registry Info:
Our first preference is to honor the Chinese tradition of the red envelope.

If you prefer, you can instead help fund the honeymoon by contributing here. We're planning to take an exotic trip to Vietnam during the Winter.

Alternatively, if you strongly prefer to get us a boxed gift, we are registered at Target.

Wedding Program

(Programs will not be handed out at the wedding to conserve paper. )

Special thanks to the people who helped make this day so special:

Bride’s Parents: Rosina Shu-Hua Chen & James Hendel
Groom’s Parents: Tonie & Phil Hiley, Michael Willard
Officiant: Nancy Wang
Bridesmaids: Annamarie Ho, Isabelle Meyer-Stapf, Agnes Hsu
Groomsmen: Mustafa Patni, Matthew Hiley, Steve Winter
Musicians: Trina Willard, Trey Gunn
Reader: Christin Engstrom
MC and DJ: Guri Singh
Usher: Jason Chao, Chi Chen
Greeter: Rachel Yang


Officiant Greeting
Reading from The Alchemist
Exchange of Vows
Presentation of Rings
Musical Performance of We’ve Only Just Begun


Cocktail Hour @ Gallery & Atrium
Cocktails, Passed Hor D’oeurvres, & Seafood Bar
Formal Seated Dinner @ Main Dining Room
Dinner includes:
* Salad Course
* Pasta Course
* Fish Course
* Main Course (Kobe Beef, Mixed Grill, or Vegetarian)
* Wedding Cake

Cutting of the Wedding Cake
After Dinner Festivities @ Gallery
Bouquet Toss
Garter Toss
First Dance
General Dancing
To-Go Dessert Bar

Reception Seating & Map

We named the tables after restaurants and eateries around the world that are significant to us. Have fun guessing where each is located and why they are significant.

(Please click on images to view larger version.)

About Us

Karen and Paul met as acquaintances back in 2000 through their mutual friend Nancy. Though they did not spend much time with each other until April of 2006, when Paul was coming to SF on a business trip and asked Karen and Nancy to have dinner. Nancy couldn’t make it, but Karen could, since she fortuitously could not play tennis due to rain. So they met for dinner in The Mission and that is how it all started….

About Karen:

Born and raised in San Francisco, Karen got her bachelor’s degree from U.C. Berkeley in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research. In college, she fell in love with traveling after going to Europe for the first time during her junior year. After college she worked in Silicon Valley and began to pursue a part-time master’s degree in Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University. After a few years, she then decided to finish her master’s full-time and throw in some travel in between. During that time, she was able to spend two months in Taiwan and one month backpacking around Southeast Asia and Japan. After graduating from Stanford, she began a new career in the wireless industry and is now currently working at a small Palo Alto start-up that creates mobile media applications. Karen still loves to travel and especially loves to travel with Paul, as demonstrated by how they have already been all around the world together. She also loves to play tennis and makes Paul hit with her almost every day. Additionally, she enjoys cooking delicious food, but hates to clean, so Paul generously offers his services there as well.

About Paul:

Paul was born in West Palm Beach, FL and spent his early years shirtless catching lizards, stepping on frogs, and eating fish and lobster. He moved to St. Louis, MO and got his Bachelor's degree at Iowa State University in Aerospace Engineering. He then went to Seattle to design aircraft at Beoing for 7 years. After that he got a Master's degree in Manufacturing Systems Engineering at Stanford and joined NextCard, a startup in San Francisco. At NextCard, he had the fortune to meet Karen through their mutual friend Nancy. He always thought she was cute and fun, but unfortunately never got to know her very well back then. Since then he has worked on web sites for banks, including Advanta in Philadelphia and Washington Mutual in Seattle and San Francisco. He has pursued several sports including basketball, mountain climbing, running, and most recently tennis to enjoy the quality exercise time with Karen.

The Proposal

Saturday, December 16th, 2006

Karen and Paul were spending a weekend in romantic Monterrey, CA so that Paul could get his Scuba certification before their trip to Belize. Unbeknownst to Karen, Paul was planning to propose during dinner on Saturday night. While Paul was out doing his certification dives, Karen was wandering around Monterrey’s cannery row with Paul’s cell phone when she noticed that he received a text message from one of her good friends. The text said “Good luck tonight and I don't mean the diving!” Instantly, Karen knew that tonight was the night he would propose. Later on that day, Paul caught wind that Karen knew. So he had to resort to some unplanned stunts. The first one was being wishy-washy about where to eat that night. The second one being that he was super tired and wanted to just stay in. After Karen practically forced Paul to take her out to a restaurant in Carmel, they ended up wandering around the city looking for a place to hang out. They ended up at the restaurant called Cassanova’s, where they sat in the atrium area under a tree and enjoyed some wine and dessert. At around 11pm at night, when Karen was pretty convinced that Paul was not going to propose, he finally popped the question.

“Will you marry me?”

And you all know what the answer was. :)

The Wedding Party

The Officiant:

Nancy Wang
Karen and Nancy were both engineering majors at Berkeley, so they saw each other around and had the same classes. Karen tried to talk to Nancy once in a lab class, but Nancy ignored her. Nancy was irritated that her lab partner kept on flirting with Karen and assumed she was stuck-up. During the final days in college, Nancy had a change of heart and decided Karen wasn’t so bad after all. They started to hang out during all the graduation festivities and became even better friends after college.

Paul and Nancy met through working at NextCard. Paul hired Nancy straight out of college and saw her as a little sister. During those crazy days, they got to know each other over probably one too many drinks at after work happy hours. Even when NextCard went bust and Paul moved out of town, Nancy kept in touch with Paul.

Nancy currently lives and works in Emeryville, CA where she is a proud mother and still fobulous.

The Bridesmaids:

Annamarie Ho
Karen met Annamarie in college. Annamarie initially didn’t like Karen because she seemed “too Asian”. It took a class on rocks that they mutually hated that made her warm up to Karen. Through that experience they soon became friends and Annamarie invited Karen to go to Europe with her the following summer. In Europe they really bonded and have now become the best of travel buddies, having gone all around the world together: Thailand, Tunisia, Italy, Mexico, Spain, Germany, Holland. Annamarie is currently a not-so starving artist, living and working in New York City. She’s really living the Sex in the City lifestyle such as dating a hip music producer, living in a Soho loft, being featured in magazines, attending fashion week, and always looking like a million bucks.

Isabelle Meyer-Stapf
Karen and Isabelle also met in college since they were in the same major. Although they hung out a bit, they weren’t really good friends until a few years later when they both started working in the same group at Cisco Systems. Isabelle and Karen often gossiped, in the bathroom and cubes at Cisco. And eventually, they both attended Stanford University together for their Master's degrees to continue their gossiping on campus. Isabelle currently lives and works in Santa Barbara as probably the youngest Director ever, managing an organization of 40 people while being an awesome mom to two cute babies!

Agnes Hsu
Karen and Agnes met at a random party back in 2000. When she found out Karen worked at Cisco Systems, she instantly warmed up to her and asked her to refer her for a job. A few months later, Karen and Agnes are co-workers. Though, it took a while for them to bond, they soon became partners in crime – Cisco gym workouts, nights out in SF, trying new restaurants, and impromptu trips to New York City. Agnes currently lives in San Francisco but is hardly there since her job at Apple sends her off to China every other week practically. She’s a real jet-setter, heart breaker, and has all the secret scoops on iPhones and iPods.

The Groomsmen:

Mustafa Patni

Paul and Mustafa met through working at Boeing and have been friends since. A true friend, when Paul tore his ACL, Mustafa was there to take care of him and has hence been dubbed the name “Mama Moose”. Mustafa currently lives and works in Seattle and spends the majority of his free time hanging out with his beautiful wife, two cute spunky kids, and working on a major house remodel. Go Mama Moose!

Matthew Hiley
Paul didn’t have choice in liking Matthew as he is his younger brother. But he sure was easy to like as Paul loved playing with “Bud”, especially as a baby since he could sing “Can’t Touch This” better than MC Hammer himself. Now Bud is all grown up, has an adorable daughter and is working on being the sandwich czar of St. Louis, MO. This guy knows his sandwiches!

Steve Winter
Paul met Steve in college at Iowa State University since they were both in the same major. When Karen and Paul first started dating (not more than 2 weeks into it), Paul and Steve went on a weekend mountain climbing trip at Mt. Hood. After that trip, Steve told all their mutual college friends that Paul was going to marry Karen, because he could tell Paul was a changed man, in a way he had never seen or expected. That’s how well Steve knows Paul. Steve currently lives and works near Seattle, WA and spends a lot of his time racking up miles for the next big marathon.

Tourist Attractions

This city is truly one of the best places to live in the country. SF boasts a range of fun and interesting activities and sights for everyone. Here are a few suggestions on must see tourist attractions:

Golden Gate Bridge – Don’t miss this. It’s like going to Paris without seeing the Eiffel Tower. The views are spectacular from here. Karen's favorite way to see the bridge is to walk there from Crissy field in the Marina, while Paul favors driving to the hills on the Marin side of the bridge to view the structure back dropped with SF. You can't go wrong either way.

Fisherman’s Wharf – A very touristy part of town along the waterfront that includes Pier 39 and Ghirardelli Square that can be a fun stroll, but not very representative of the real SF. The best part is seeing the sea lions by Pier 39. You can also take ferries from here to Sausalito/Marin, Angel Island, and Alcatraz.

Cable Car Ride – The quintessential SF experience.

Ferry Building Market – This has become one of the most popular places to hang out and shop on the weekends. Save your appetite for perusing the various local artisan food shops, stands, and restaurants. Spending $6 for a tomato is not unheard of at this upscale farmer’s market. For those on a budget, don’t worry, there are tons of free samples to fill up on as well.

Chinatown – Makes for an interesting walk to see all the exotic foods and shops located in this “town”. A lot of it is touristy (i.e. bad Chinese restaurants and cheap junk for sale), but there is still the "real" Chinatown dispersed with the tourist traps.

Lombard Street – This famous crooked street is quite fun to drive or walk down. The crooked section is the block below Hyde Street.

For a more extensive list of things to do and additional information on the above, please visit this site.

Recommended Good Eats

We love the restaurants in San Francisco. Here are a few of our favorites that we would highly recommend going to. Reservations are recommended for some of them.

Budget Friendly:

PPQ – Delicious Vietnamese food for little money. Try the shredded pork roll and the green papaya salad.

Good Luck Dim Sum – Take out or eat in dim sum with no frills. Everything is cheap and good.

Shanghai Dumpling King – A bit out of the way, but the place to go for really good Shanghainese style food. Try the spicy pork and leek dumplings and the fried rice cakes.

Pauline’s Pizza – Interesting pizzas made with fresh local ingredients.

Taqueria Altena – Our favorite taco place. We always get the al pastor tacos and a carrot juice.

Good Frickin Chicken – Sounds cheesy, but the chicken is really frickin good.

Bi-Rite Creamery – Salted caramel ice cream is sinfully delicious and rich.

Tartine Bakery – Delicious sandwiches and even more delicious desserts.

Weird Fish – Sounds weird, but tastes good. Very affordable fish dishes, including fish & chips.

Golden Gate Bakery – This small whole in the wall Chinatown bakery always has a line out the door. They are especially known for their egg custards. If you pass by, get one and eat it while it’s still hot. Worth the Extra Bucks:

Myth – Very popular French style food in upscale setting. Try the pasta with foie gras.

Gary Danko – As high end as it comes in the city. This place is a splurge but amazing.

Koo – Our very favorite sushi joint with the freshest fish around. Don’t miss the Spoons Full of Happiness.

A16 – Very delicious Italian food in the Marina that is quite a scene on the weekends. Ordering their pastas and pizzas are a must.

Range – Hip mission restaurant with great Californian cuisine. They always have delicious fish plates and appetizers.

Delfina – Unpretentious Italian food made from fresh local ingredients.

Hog Island Oyster Bar – Located in the ferry building, it’s a great place to slurp a few oysters, sip some champagne, and people watch on a nice sunny weekend afternoon.

Hotel Info

We suggest staying in the Union Square area due to its close proximity to many of the sights listed above and to the main shopping area. Additionally, the wedding is easily reached by BART or a 10 minute cab ride from this location.

We have reserved a room block at the Marriot Hotel in Union Square for $179 a night. To reserve, please call 1-800-228-9290 and ask for the special rate for Paul Willard.

There are a lot of other hotels in the area such as the Westin St. Francis, W Hotel, Sir Francis Drake, Hotel Nikko, and Triton Hotel to just name a few. In looking for a hotel around this area, please avoid the areas around Market & 6th and Eddy St.

There are fewer options for those who want to stay closer to the actual wedding venue. The beautiful Mission Dolores area, which is adjacent to The Mission, but closer to Dolores Park and the Castro, has a very nice B&B that is close to public transportation and is walking distance to Foreign Cinema called The Parker Guest House. Another good option to try is Elements Hotel that offers private rooms; however it also houses a very popular club on Friday and Saturday nights so loud music will pump through the hostel until 2am. Some people stayed here and liked it just fine though.