Joey Chiang and Melody Yu were brainstorming on where to have their engagement photos taken – they thought of the common spots in the Bay Area, and the beauty of the Legion of Honor and the Golden Gate Bridge, but did not find any spark on any of these places.
Berkeley Bowl, though, is so dear to their hearts. They often shop for groceries and get their kitchen needs here when their relationship is just starting to blossom after their first meeting at UC Berkeley.
“There were some others ideas that were floated, like a few restaurants that were really special to us,” Yu shared to SFGATE. “… But we reached out to the staff at Berkeley Bowl and they were so welcoming and supportive.”
As first reported by Berkeleyside, the grocery store welcomed the couple when they proposed their plan. The location is also agreeable to their photographer, Anna T. Nguyen who told SFGATE that: “This is definitely the first time I’ve ever done anything like this… I was really excited. I was like, I definitely have to do this.”
They started the shoot on Sunday after the operating hours of Berkeley Bowl. Yu said the grocery store’s special projects manager, Chi Dixon, allowed them to do what they wished.
“The whole thing was fun, but personally, I really loved seeing Berkeley Bowl after hours,” Yu said. “It’s kind of like that magical feeling when you’re in elementary school and you’re there in the halls after school ends. … It doesn’t look the same. They put these burlap sheets on the produce, and when I walked in I made a joke, I was like, ‘Shhhh, they’re sleeping.’”
Among the hilarious shots was the groom-to-be holding a huge watermelon like a baby bump. Cuteness also overflowed in other shots, like the one where the two held hands and smiled at each other in the produce section.
Yu cannot believe they were the first to explore the idea after seeing how the photos looked so great.
“Berkeley Bowl has such a cult following within the Bay Area that I’m really surprised that no one has done that before,” she said. “The way we did the shoot was pretty unconventional, but it was so much fun. I would encourage anybody to go out of their comfort zone on how they want to document a special moment.”