Tag Archives: taiwanese

Handmade, Heritage Blending Garden Wedding in California

This handmade wedding is absolutely overflowing with lovely, personal details! Captured by Viera Photographics, Sandra and Brian were married on a gorgeous May day in an outdoor ceremony in wine country, California. The couple combined many aspects of Brian’s Jewish and Sandra’s Taiwanese heritage to create a wedding day filled with their own, new traditions. A strong love for food and wine shaped the couple’s reception; monogrammed cutting boards and serving spoons were give as unique favors! Be sure to read more about the couple’s inspiration for their wedding and a bit about all the handmade details below.

A few words from the bride:

Brian and I wanted our wedding to be uniquely us but at first we weren’t sure what that meant. We knew we were big foodies, loved handcrafted cocktails and wine. Venue in the heart of California wine country – check! Barndiva five course meal, two custom handcrafted cocktails, late night snacks and dessert bar – check, check and check! We also knew we both loved finding great deals at flea markets, sidewalk sales and our local Goodwill. Result – vases for the wedding, metal welded b+s initials, antique ammunition wooden crate, chalkboard cupboard door and much more! Check!

But how to incorporate both of our heritages with our new families and friends? Brian is Jewish and I am Taiwanese American. Which traditions to choose? And will it make sense to anybody? We started off by using the symbols חַי‎ ‘hai’ (Hebrew for ‘life’) and 囍 ‘shee’ (Chinese for double happiness’) for our save-the-dates and invitations. As the wedding date crept closer, we realized that creating a Jewish-Chinese home in itself is unconventional and that while we wanted to keep certain traditions alive, we were also creating something new. Ultimately, we decided to be married by Brian’s childhood rabbi under a chuppah (sewed from Brian’s bar mitzvah tallis) with traditional Jewish elements such as sharing wine, breaking glass and the celebratory hora. On the other hand, our wedding was on Saturday – traditionally the Jewish sabbath! We also decided to perform a Chinese tea ceremony after the wedding ceremony for all of our parents in front of our guests. Again, contrary to tradition, the Chinese tea ceremony is usually held in private, prior to the wedding ceremony and only for the groom’s parents. But this was the new ‘us’!

I can’t help but mention that almost everything was handmade… All the stationary from the Save-the-Dates to the programs to the wedding favor tags. I also made custom handkerchiefs for the guests, drew our ‘welcome board’ and sewed the chuppah covering. Brian saved used wine bottles and spray painted them with chalkboard paint for our table numbers. Family and friends chipped in as well, sewing all of the table runners, making the table seating chart, the chuppah poles and all of the flowers from bouquets to boutonnieres! It was a group effort!

Last but not least – our wedding day was also my parent’s 17th anniversary and my sister’s 11th anniversary. As we say, “Mazel tov!” and “Gong shee!” all around!

Photographer: Viera Photographics // Videographer: Motion Scope Weddings // Ceremony + Reception Venue, Catering: Barndiva // Bridal Gown Designer: Vera Wang // Bridal Gown Store: Glamour Closet // Bridal Shoes: Via Spiga // Bridal Veil/Headpiece: Custom by Wee Scotty // Jewelry Designer: Borrowed from mother of the bride // Bridesmaid Dress Designer + Store: J. Crew // Groom’s Attire: Indochino // Groom’s Shoes: Ferragamo // Groomsmen’s Attire: Own suits, Theory ties // Cake Designer: Fox and Fawn Bakehouse (vegan and gluten free)
Floral Designer: Bride and bridesmaids, flowers from San Francisco Flower Mart // Makeup Artist: Lena Chavez // Hair Stylist: Jade Tu // Invitation Designer: Bride // Guitarist: Paul Binkley // Band: Le Jazz Hot
Rings: Custom design by Neil Dahl Jewelers // Officiant: Rabbi Gordon Geller // All images by Viera Photographics // Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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Gorgeous Pink, Cultural Wedding in Downtown Chicago

Wow, is this wedding held at a fabulous venue! Captured by J Wiley Photography, Anne and Rick were married at the historic Rookery Building in downtown Chicago on a lovely Spring day. The ceremony and reception took place in the Rookery Building’s luminous central light court, remodeled by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1905. The soaring glass ceiling and expert ironwork make a stunning space for a celebration! The couple’s wedding effortlessly mixed Anne’s Taiwanese and Canadian heritage into the details of the day. A color palette of bright pink and purples complemented the mostly white reception space while still allowing the architecture to shine.

A few words from the bride:

Rick and I met while working together at a philanthropic management consulting firm in Chicago. Even though our cubicles were across the aisle from each other, we worked in separate departments and did not cross paths much. I just had a vague impression of him as the cute guy that did something tech-ish. After a while, I decided to switch jobs and move on to a new firm. As I was saying my goodbyes, I mentioned to Rick that we should keep in touch and hang out sometime–thinking nothing would come of it. To which he replied, “Great! How about Tuesday?” and we’ve been together ever since!

Five years later, we were married at the historic Rookery in downtown Chicago. We share a love of architecture and found the perfect venue in the Rookery. It is a National Historic Landmark originally designed by famed Chicago architects Burnham and Root and later remodeled by Frank Lloyd Wright. Technically it’s the lobby of an office building—which doesn’t sound romantic at all! But the light-filled atrium, gold-inlaid marble, and delicate wrought iron work make for a gorgeously ethereal space. To contrast against the Rookery’s white marble interior, we decided on a color scheme of rich shades of red and purple.

Our favorite elements of our wedding are the personal touches, of course. The contributions of our family and friends were so meaningful to us. We were honored to be married by Rick’s college roommate who flew in from Spain (where he was completing missionary work) to officiate our wedding. Our wedding also included nods to my Taiwanese and Canadian heritage. We had a tea ceremony to pay tribute to our parents and I changed into a chi pao for the reception. Rick’s mom, a talented quilter, quilted a double-happiness banner for our sweetheart table. It’s a wonderful keepsake of our wedding that will become a family heirloom for our children in the future. To celebrate my Canadian upbringing, we had a late-night poutine bar. If you’ve never tried poutine, it’s French fries smothered in cheese curds and gravy. Best midnight snack ever!

At the end of it all, we were absolutely thrilled with everything—the wedding, celebrating with our family and friends, and most importantly to finally be married!

Photographer: J Wiley Photography
Videographer: XO Pictures
Ceremony + Reception Venue: The Rookery
Catering + Rentals: Jewell Events Catering
Chaircovers: Sylwia
Draping: Art of Imagination
Bridal Gown Designer: Watters
Bridal Gown Store: RK Bridal
Bridal Shoes: Me Too
Bridal Veil/Headpiece: Occansey Designs
Jewelry Designer: Haute Bride
Bridesmaid Dress Designer: ML by Monique Lhuillier
Bridesmaid Dress Store: Nordstrom
Groom’s Suit: Balani Custom Clothiers
Groomsmen’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse
Cake Designer: Bittersweet Bakery
Floral Designer: Vale of Enna
Makeup Artist + Hair Stylist: Kim Piech
Invitation Designer: Minted
Wedding Planner: Sweetchic Events
DJ: Spin
Officiant: Ben Knox, friend of couple

All images by J Wiley Photography

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