Sherry & Jonathan’s Fun and Sporty “Running Sole-Mates” Themed Wedding
I know how much you love seeing unique weddings here and today you are in for a treat! Sherry and Jonathan are marathon runners and you will absolutely adore how they incorporated their passion for running in their wedding details, likening it to the start of their “race” in life together as “solemates”. So clever! Everyone was encouraged to wear sneakers, from the couple to their parents and guests. Their ceremony even had a sneaker exchange in addition to the traditional ring exchange. Both are also avid surfers so their celebration was in a hotel along the coast, allowing them to surf the waters the next day as husband and wife.
This wedding is just chock-full of quirky & meaningful personal touches and now you can enjoy them through Vivian Chen Photography’s beautiful photos.
About the lovely couple in the pretty Sherry’s own words:
My husband and I were introduced to each other by mutual friends because we are passionate about God and running and a lot of people describe us separately as “extreme”. Before we met, we had traveled the world on missions trips, I traveled to different countries on surf trips, and Jon traveled to different countries on running trips. Combined, we’ve run so many races we’ve lost track, but aside from running races, we both love to adventure into nature, especially exploring the mountains hiking, running, or snowshoeing and the ocean snorkeling, kayaking or surfing. We like to pack our “rest” time with long runs, hanging out with friends, surfing, and discovering new coffee, beer, and vegan places.
We wanted our wedding to reflect the love of Christ, our love of running and our love of surfing.
The ceremony was lined with race posters that people often use to motivate runners at races.
Solemates and running was an easy theme to use because metaphors of “perfect pair” and “running the race” are often used to describe a marriage. Our scripture reading and words of exhortation was on Jesus washing his disciples’ feet during the Last Supper. Because Jesus loved us first and washed his disciples’ feet, as a married couple, we wanted to show that kind of love by putting on each other’s running shoes, a perfect way to show humility, love, and the start of “running with perseverance the race marked out for us” (Hebrew 12:1).
We put on each other’s racing shoes as a reflection of Jesus washing His disciples’ feet. In doing so, we were serving each other humbly like Christ, but also inviting each other to be running partners in the marathon of marriage together. And, because of my love of surfing (and the time I spent living in Hawaii), as our shoes were being put on, we placed a lei on each other symbolizing the receiving of each other into each other’s lives. We had so many talented friends, including my pastor as the officiant, that helped us out throughout our wedding, which also allowed for a lot of personal touches from our friends’ point of view!
At the end of the ceremony, we had a start line race banner raised to indicate that our marriage was the start of the race and I thought it was appropriate to play, “Let’s Get It Started” by Black Eyed Peas as we did the running man down the aisle as we exited! I got the idea to have everyone sign our banner just like at the Boston Marathon and it now hangs up on our wall to remind us that our marriage is supported by friends and loved ones!
Our wedding party wore running sneakers, the bridesman and groomsmen wore race bibs from past races, and we encouraged our guests to wear their running shoes (since, afterall, they are running this race with us!). Our guests loved wearing their running sneakers since they knew that because my husband and I love to dance, they’d have a long night of dancing ahead of them.
Our wedding invitations, cake, and website shows each of our shoes together proclaiming each other as “solemates” (not soulmates). “A solemate,” according to Gary Thomas from his article on relationships, “is someone who walks with us as together we apply biblical love.” Running the race with each other’s solemate was the theme of our wedding at the perfect venue next to the world famous big wave surf break, Mavericks. I had spent a few years living in Hawaii with a non-profit surfing organization, so I had leis brought in from Hawaii for our parent appreciations and for each other!
The next day, to keep true to packing our “rest” time, we invited guests who stayed the night for a morning run along the coast and in the afternoon, we went surfing. It meant a lot to me to be surfing in the same waters with my surf crew from Hawaii and from California … and my new husband!
The advice I would give to other couples would be to not let wedding planning take over your life. Jon and I still trained and ran major races while wedding planning and a lot of my quirky ideas came while running, of course! Focus on what matters to you as a couple because years from now, only the two of you will remember this special day to the minute details. Our guests loved our personal touches and had fun with one another and with us. Enjoy the day because it’s probably the only time all of your family and friends from both sides will be together at once. Also, getting married in Winter equates to more wedding venue discounts! Winter weather may actually be better if you’re thinking of getting married on the California coastline like Half Moon Bay where it’s known to be less overcast versus Summer.
Wonderful words of advice from the newlyweds. Couldn’t agree more!
Huge thanks to Vivian for this amazing submission, and congratulations to Sherry and Jonathan! Thank you for sharing your special day with us. I wish you a lifetime of married bliss! 🙂
Photographer: Vivian Chen Photography
Videographer: Samuel Apuna, The Loving Eyes
Wedding Venue: Oceano Hotel and Spa, Half Moon Bay, CA
Officiant: Pastor Brian Hui
Cake: Black China Bakery (for our vegan wedding cake!)
Cake Topper: Erin Gillman
Brirde’s Make-up and Hair: Elizabeth Chang, Skyla Arts: Makeup | Hair | Skincare
Wedding Party’s Hair: Sherry Lee (Yes, the bride! I love doing hair, so this was fun for me!)
Bridal Gown: Maggie Sottero (bought 3rd hand)
Florist: Joylani Shibata, friend of the bride
DJ: Ricky Mak
Photo Booth: Mark Quijano
Image submission via Two Bright Lights