Camp Tecumseh Wedding with a Cultural Fusion
October 8, 2014
Tri State
RusticVintageRustic Weddings
The most beautiful weddings - in my humble opinion - are the ones crafted from the heart. The weddings where every detail, every moment speaks to the couple's story and it's exactly what these two accomplished. In the bride's words, "With my Chinese heritage, his graphic design, and our crafting skills - set against the backdrop of his parent’s 400 acre camp - the creative possibilities were endless." See what happened next in the gallery from Love & Light Photographs right here.
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From the Bride... When I first began wedding planning, I was mistakenly under the impression that to create a beautiful wedding I would have to copy other brides’ wedding ideas and try to pass them off as my own. It wasn’t until I tried to “pitch” some of The Knot and Pinterest ideas to my fiancé that I realized I was being unfair to what he wanted. I was missing out on the most exciting time of our lives stressing about what other brides did for their weddings, rather than create a wedding with my fiancé as a team. After that realization, wedding planning became so much easier (and far more fun) because we started blending both of our ideas and cultures together to make our own unique, non-traditional and personal wedding day. With my Chinese heritage, his graphic design, and our crafting skills- set against the backdrop of his parent’s stunning 400 acre camp - the creative possibilities were endless!

Camp Tecumseh was the first wonderful idea we had for our wedding, because it had such a beautiful character of its own. The woodland theme inspired us to create our very own rustic/DIY wedding. For the Ceremony, we made our own wedding arch with hand-picked timbre that we cut, stained and assembled together with ivory cotton-gauze fabric, and leafy green garlands weaved together with twigs. We felt so empowered by creating our own arch that we decided to personalize the entire ceremony – we asked our good friend to officiate the wedding, we composed the entire ceremony script along with the vows, and we designed and printed our own wedding programs. To personalize it even more, Doug arranged the music with his Christian Contemporary band, Unbound, to play all Beatles preludes and Paul McCartney’s “Maybe I’m Amazed” as I walked down the aisle. Then, as the guests exited the ceremony onto the wrap-around deck of the Tabernacle, they were greeted by Chinese finger-foods, red garlands and lanterns bought by my mother in China, and vases that my mother hand-painted with the Chinese characters for “Double Happiness,” “Love,” and “Good Fortune.”

For the reception, each detail was carefully thought out and crafted so that we could fuse together the Chinese cocktail hour theme with the rustic/garden-party camp theme in a subtly artistic way. For wedding favors, my mother-in-law made large batches of homemade strawberry jam each stamped with the “Double Happiness” Chinese character on the mason jars. We tied handmade “firefly” mason jars filled with LED lights to the wooden beams of the ceiling over the dance floor, paired with Asian white paper lanterns. For the dessert table, we asked a local Dutch Farmers Market (Becca’s Bakery) to make 300 homemade donuts (which were to die for!) in place of a traditional cake. We bought 15 different ice cream toppings at a grocery store and placed them all in mason jars for the Sundae Bar, and my mom brought several Chinese desserts wrapped in red foil labeled with the “Double Happiness” wedding symbol. The mason jars set along the windowsills of the Dining Hall were also stamped with the “Double Happiness” character along with twigs from the woods, and a vase filled with pinecones, twigs and LED lights. Our catering company, NoCo Catering, also helped express the combination of our two cultures by splitting the dinner menu in two: half of the dishes were American and the other half were traditional Chinese dishes like Peking Duck.

In order to honor Doug’s family as well, we tried to implement the letter “B” (the initial of his last name) as much as possible in the decorations. Collecting and displaying the letter “B” is a fun tradition in their family, so we tried to highlight that custom by purchasing a marquee “B” on Etsy a few months before our wedding (and then we set it on the mantle of the fireplace in the Dining Hall which lit the room beautifully with a yellow glow)! We also decorated vases with hemp and lace attached with wooden B’s to hold the floral arrangements, and we bought another wooden "B" for guests to sign as the guest book.

Each piece of our wedding – every moment and every element was extremely special to us. Doug and I will always look back on our wedding day as the happiest day of our entire lives, because it was a day filled with so much love and laughter that we shared with both of our families.

We are so pleased to see all of those moments, and every small painstaking detail focused on by Jessa of Love & Light Photographs. Every bride wants to feel complimented by how well she and her spouse worked together as a team for their wedding, combining and marrying all of the little things that are special about the both of them – and Love & Light Photographs captured that magnificently!