I love this Bride and Groom and I’ve never met them. How is that possible, you ask? Well it’s simple. I took one look at their beautiful Boston wedding at the Cyclorama captured by Kelly Dillon Photography, and then I read their descriptions. Yes with an s. They both sent in their viewpoints of the day (complete with the proposal story – a must read), and that always turns my heart into mush. Then I spent some time with their sweet video from Brighter Lights Media, and it immediately turned into a full-on love affair with these two. After devouring all this pretty, it’s simply impossible to avoid. See why here.

And you simply cannot miss this video from Brighter Lights Media


From the Groom… The Proposal. My future wife had no idea what was going on. We teased about the idea of getting married very early into our relationship. I knew she was the one and I knew that when I proposed, I wanted to do something she would never forget…

The previous year I had been talking to her about going to Hawaii during her spring break. My plan was to plant the seed of the idea, and then at the last minute, to unexpectedly cancel out. I was going to encourage her to go ahead and take a girls-only trip, without me. I followed through with this plan, printing out a fake itinerary for China– telling her that I had a last minute work-thing in China! She reluctantly agreed to go ahead and go to Hawaii with the girls. Unknown to her, a couple of my friends and I flew out two days earlier, scoped out ‘proposal spots’ and purchased items to decorate the private dining room I selected. We set up video cameras and made arrangements with the staff to record the surprise proposal.

I have to say it didn’t go as smoothly as I had hoped – and I experienced a few minor panic attacks during the pre-proposal hours. But soon the girls were seated at the table, preparing to watch a fake “required video presentation” as  part of a supposed Groupon deal.  As the video began, Christina Perri’s soundtrack to A Thousand Years began to play– and my fiancee’s face came on the screen. I had created a four minute video telling her how much I love her and… still pretending that I was in China… told her to enjoy the week in Hawaii. As soon as the video was over, she reached for her phone to call me. It was then that my friends and I walked in the door. She was SO surprised she literally fell off her chair! I hadn’t prepared a speech, but in the end, I just said, “Marlana, will you marry me?” She very quickly said, “Yes!”and we proceeded to enjoy a wonderful celebration dinner with our friends… followed by a relaxing week in Oahu and the Big Island. At one point, she asked me if I had to go back to China. She didn’t quite understand that part of it was all a ruse…

From the Bride… Phong and I had known each other for many years throughout college. He attended Northeastern University and I went to Simmons College — so we were a hop, skip and a jump away from each other. We ran in the same circles and were both from the Boston area. However, when we graduated we were still merely acquaintances. I went out of state for graduate school and it wasn’t until my Christmas break back home when things began to heat up. On New Year’s Eve, 2011, we shared our first New Year’s Kiss at midnight. And as they say, the rest is history!

After the totally unexpected surprise Hawaiian proposal, we planned our wedding in just six months! Phong took care of a lot of the ground work, and for that I am blessed. I was busy at school so I couldn’t be as involved as many other brides are. Our whole theme in planning and designing our wedding was to create an event that we would enjoy coming to as guests. We love hosting house parties and taking care of our friends and family and this wasn’t going to be any different. There were 3 things that were non-negotiable for us: a modern city wedding look, someplace that allowed outside catering, and and an open bar. We love Chinese family-style dinners but wanted a modern atmosphere for our wedding. And that is how we found the Cyclorama as our venue. It allowed everything we wanted and more. I loved the industrial look of the building from the brick flooring to the glass ceilings and overhead truss. It was so big, so open, and so unique. It just screamed at us, “Blank Canvas.”

I knew what I wanted, but the only way I could convey it to Phong was by e-mailing him loads of photos and links from Pinterest and blogs that I loved. He wasn’t thrilled about sifting through all the e-mails, but he did a wonderful job trying to make logistical decisions without me, and still incorporate what I was envisioning. The color scheme of our wedding was silver, white, and varying shades of purple. Phong captured that well with the silver chiavari chairs, white cushions and lounge furniture, silver table clothes, and gorgeous uplighting. Alex Bombard at Advanced Lighting and Production Services was also particularly helpful in translating my vision into real life! Luckily, we also have talented family and friends that helped us. My aunt is a florist and she helped us so much in making ALL of my floral design dreams come true from my lovely orchid bouquet to the ceremony décor.

The ceremony was kept short just like we would like it when attending weddings, the cocktail hour was a time for us to pose and take pictures with our guests, and the reception was a blast with lots of speeches, food, drinks, and dancing. We had never danced with our parents before, but on this special day we did. Even though we felt a little awkward at first, it’s a memory I wouldn’t trade for the world.

We had many personal touches around the venue. Our cake topper was customized to have our faces on a married bobble-head couple. The groom on the cake topper had a red “S” under his shirt. {My husband’s nickname in his fraternity is Superman so it was perfect.} Since my husband also worked for Keurig, we thought it would be perfect to have a Hot Beverage Bar in lieu of a desert bar. It was a huge hit. We added homemade heart shaped sugar cubes, heart shaped marshmallows, crushed Andes mints, and many other toppings I thought would be both delicious and cute.

We love kettle corn as a snack, so for our escort cards, we individually wrapped kettle corn in organza bags, tied on tags with our engagement picture, and added tags with the guest name and seating location. We named half of the tables after Marvel Universe characters (which Phong loves), and the other half after Johnny Depp movie characters (which I love). Our Photo Booth props included super-hero props to go along with this ‘theme’.

After attending many weddings where the bride and groom just walk into the reception space, Phong decided that he wanted us to make a grand entrance! We dressed up as Batman and Batgirl and had Kevin Garnet scream (just like at the TD Garden)! Once KG got everyone hyped up, the curtain dropped with a loud boom, the lights shined through and started to swirl, and the wedding party fired off confetti canons that rained down on us as we made our way from behind the dropped curtain to the dance floor to the beat of “In My Mind.” (You can see this in the wedding film!) Though it wasn’t my ideal entrance, it was fun and that is what weddings should be all about! Plus– my husband had put so much love into planning our wedding, I wanted him to enjoy this moment! I was never the type to dream of my wedding as a little girl but this wedding that my husband planned for us surpassed anything that I could ever imagine. Everything was beautiful. I wish it could have lasted forever.

Wedding Photography: Kelly Dillon Photography  | Cinematography: Brighter Lights Media | Wedding Venue: Boston Center for the Arts Cyclorama | Floral Design: EC Florist | Event Coordination: Linda Lee of Lemon Drop Team | Production + Lighting: Alexandra Bombard of Advanced Lighting & Production Services | Hair + Makeup: Makeup 2 Die 4  + Beauty by May Chin | Wedding Dress: David’s Bridal | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: David’s Bridal

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