While this whole wedding makes me stop and stare, it’s the little details that are the most impressive. From upscale Chinese takeout boxes full of petals to custom booklets for each guest with their own Chinese zodiac inside, this couple paid homage to the Bride’s family in the most creative of ways. Natalie Watson captured each and every one of them and this gallery is bound to keep me entertained for hours.
From the Bride… When Jonathan (J for short) and I started thinking about what we wanted the “feel” of our wedding to be, we knew we wanted the day/weekend to be not only be a celebration of our love for one another, but a celebration of the love we have for each and every guest that was there. After all, each one of them had played a role in helping shape the beautiful person that would stand before the other at the altar! We really wanted to make sure all the guests knew how much they meant to us. As we’re both accountants, we were definitely budget conscious, but at the same time we wanted to offer the best of everything! Best food, band, personalized favors, bridesmaids/groomsmen gifts… So we decided to go with quality rather than quantity… and with the help of my lovely bridesmaids, amazing vendors, and wonderfully talented MOH/florist/wedding planner, we were able to make this happen for the 110 guests that arrived! (Something to note about my MOH and vendor of all trades, Alex Stockton – my cattleya orchids for my bouquet came to us with just the bloom and no stems! So she actually had to take the stems of other flowers, and hand wire each of the blooms! Talk about fulfilling her maid of honor duties!)
The Saturday of our wedding weekend began with a savory and delicious breakfast, followed by bridesmaids/groomsmen gifts. The bridesmaids were given the softest, heather pink, Lauren by Ralph Lauren shawl collared robes and Kate Spade wristlets, either in a neutral beige or a maraschino cherry red.The guys were each given a bottle of Jack Daniels and little tie pins. After gifts, we all got ready and headed down to the outside stone fireplace, already lit, to have a traditional Chinese Tea Ceremony.
The tea ceremony consisted of my “lucky ladies in waiting (my wonderful bridesmaids)” pouring tea, and J and I serving it to our guests 2 by 2. The guests in return for the tea would offer small gifts in the special Chinese red envelopes along with their blessings and any words of wisdom they had on marriage. Custom has it that the tea should be poured only by those that you denote as having been very lucky and blessed in life, so they can pass a little of that luck to you and your spouse!
As our guests were arriving to the American ceremony, where we would exchange our vows, they were greeted with craft papered Chinese take out boxes for a petal toss exit. My parents own a store, so my MOH/planner and I really wanted to tastefully incorporate that aspect of my life into the wedding. So we thought, what better way to do that than to customize “upscale” Chinese take out boxes that displayed our very own created wedding monogram (thank you Word!).
After the ceremony, the guests were guided to the escort table that displayed stone-colored ceramic fortune cookies, each containing the guests’ “fortunes” as to which table they were to sit at. When they arrived to their table, there sat a tailor-made booklet, individually customized for each of the guests, tied with a ribbon, enticing them to open the booklet and “Discover their Chinese Zodiac.” I had made sure as we were compiling our addresses to take note of every guests’ birth dates, even if they were unable to attend.
As the guests left, they were given a bottle of wine that displayed our wedding monogram, and given a note that said: “In addition to this favor, J and I decided to donate to our local animal shelter in honor of our 3 pets, who are all tucked in, sleeping the night away. We also make the pledge to make this same donation every year at this time to commemorate the commitment we made to one another and to show thanks for this special day!” This was a really important aspect to us, because so often (and how can you not) we get swept away in all the beautiful details of planning a wedding, that sometimes we forget how lucky and blessed we are, and so we wanted to pay it forward to something we hold dear to our hearts.
Although I could go on and on about all the lovely and endearing details that was so wonderfully captured by Natalie Watson, of what we consider to be the best weekend of our lives (thus far anyway!), I’ll leave you with what I have shared above and hope that the pictures can tell the rest of our story. We hope you enjoy!
Photography: Natalie Watson | Floral Design: RT Lodge | Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Shoes: Kate Spade | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Monique Lhuillier | Bridesmaids' Dresses: BCBGMAXAZRIA | Catering : RT Lodge | Hair And Makeup: Bangs And Blush | Band: The Pink Cadillacs | Groom's Attire: ASOS | Groomsmen's Attire: Zara | Groomsmen's Attire: The Tie Bar | Wedding Venue: RT Lodge | Tent: RT Lodge | Bridal Salon: Joan Pillow Bridal | Bride's Robe: Ryan Seacrest Distinction | Bridesmaids' Robes: Marina | Earrings: Rent The Runway | Father Of The Bride Attire: J.Crew | Getaway Car: Regal Carriages | Mother Of The Bride Dress: Ralph Lauren | Planning: RT Lodge | Rehearsal Dinner Venue: RT Lodge | Veil: Vera Wang