Ah Paris. The epitome of romantic cities. It’s no wonder this Boston Couple traveled across the Atlantic to commit their lives to each other in the City of Light. And thanks to the talented Andrea & Marcus, they were able to share their big day with all of us. It’s gorgeous in every way – the romantic city setting, the delicious-looking Croquembouche, and the fantastic couple. Oh la la, is all I have to say. Meet me in the gallery where we can all study the romance language á la this pretty fête!
At the heart of our decision to organize this destination wedding, we wanted this moment to be uniquely meaningful and symbolic. We chose the auspicious date of 10.10.10 for this celebration as it carries a special significance when translated into the Chinese idiom “shi quan shi mei”, which means “Beauty and Perfection”.
Picking Paris as our wedding location was an easy decision as it was where Julien grew up. We chose La Maison des Polytechniciens in the 7th district of Paris, near Musée d’Orsay, for our event. This hôtel particulier with its turn of century architecture and décor together with a meaningful history provided the perfect backdrop for our special day.
The decor and design of our wedding were driven by my love for anything vintage and each of our favorite colors, purple and green. My hobby of crafting quickly became a full-time job, designing and making all our wedding stationary and details from our save-the-dates, invitations, place cards, programs to seating diagrams, signs, menus, and even folding our own napkins. Due to the multilingual nature of guests, all our wedding stationary was made bilingual in both English and French. We slowly realized our vision of the day from our Boston home after hours of web-surfing, picking vendors online and communicating with them via email.
We arrived in Paris five days ahead of the wedding, luggage packed with DIY products, purple napkins and even more supplies for unfinished projects. Thanks to my bridesmaids and good friends who labored day and night in Paris, we managed to get every ribbon knotted and napkins folded in time for the wedding. Other friends and family helped setup and decorate the wedding site.
Following the traditions of my culture, I was not allowed to see my husband-to-be 24 hours prior to the wedding. I crashed at my bridesmaids’ who shared a rented apartment in a neighborhood full of life. It provided the perfect backdrop for Chinese door games, nice photo shoot, and a Cyrano de Bergerac like love declaration.
The wedding ceremony was the most important event of the day and is also the most memorable one. It included elements from my Malaysian Chinese background, Julien’s French Vietnamese origin, his Buddhist upbringing, our American life together, Taking advantage of the multi-cultural dimension of our relationship, we a wanted our guests to experience the different aspects of what our union signified. We customized our ceremony to start with a western wedding procession (I have always dreamed of walking down the aisle), a Buddhist ceremony carried out in Sanskrit by a Buddhist monk who blessed our union, followed by the Vietnamese ancestral ceremony and ending with a Chinese tea ceremony. We provided our guests with a booklet containing the translations of the sutras recited and the symbolism and meaning of each ceremony. I wore three different wedding dresses throughout the day to represent the different cultures we stand for: a western wedding dress, Vietnamese ao dai, and Chinese qi pao.
The celebration after the ceremony was done in Parisian style, serving French classics at dinner, and a delicious croquembouche as our wedding cake. We gave our guests a flower and Chinese tea blend (another DIY) as wedding favors to symbolize our appreciation and thanks. Instead of hiring a videographer, we gave our wedding party Flip video cameras as favors which allowed them to document the event from their experience of the day. We ended the night dancing away to music and drinks in the vaulted cellar cum lounge within the compounds of the hôtel particulier.
Planning a wedding from abroad in a country that I was unfamiliar with, together with the language barrier made this an experience of a lifetime. Every moment beginning from the day we started planning up till the very last minute of the wedding night was truly a memorable one. We are very thankful to have found our wonderful photographers – Andrea and Marcus – who did an amazing job capturing this special day which will allow us to reminiscence this day in true color many years from now.
Venue: La Maison des Polytechniciens / Photographer: Andrea & Marcus / Floral Designer: Charline Michelet / Music + DJ: Eric Ianneta / Piece Montee: Stroher / Hair: Lexi Derock / Event Planning & Design: DIY from Bride / Wedding Invitations & Stationery: DIY / Wedding favors: DIY / Wedding Gown Designer: James Clifford / Bridesmaid’s Dress Designer: Allure Bridals & BCBGMaxazria / Veil: Unveiled Bridal Designs / Engagement ring: Designed by groom, purchased from La Ron JewelerJames Clifford Collection is a member of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here.