Fasten your seat belt. This is going to be a long one, bloggettes! But first off, I needed to start this post with a chunk of text Janet emailed to me at one point during our planning process. This alone brings so much clarity to what I’m sure it all looked like from the outside looking in and is important to keep in the back of your head as you soak up the photos.
‘In a Chinese society, one of the few traditional rights that a Chinese girl is given and entitled to, is to dream in fantasy to the fullest; because a Chinese woman’s life can be so difficult, especially later when the/a girl is married. You can see this right manifested in the ‘cute phenomenon’ of Asian girls’ deep fascination to the likes of Hello Kitty, cute and small cartoon characters, or fuzzy plush dolls anything. Contemporary wise, more and more financially independent Chinese women refuse to be married (due to all the hardship associated with marriage.) And on the contrary, many married Chinese women today still utilize our ancient and traditional right to dream/fantasize as an outlet to evade the hefty daily familial tasks and mental pressures. Jon’s and my aesthetic and personal preferences influenced by pop/alternative culture aside, this fantastical element through out our wedding is extremely important and ritualistic to me. Because my marriage is not the end of my womanhood, but only the beginning. That is why I needed my engagement shoot and wedding to be dreamy and fantastical but somehow demonstrate still the realistic and darker air, signifying what many of my fellow Chinese women experience in marriage (and what I would have had to go through, if not for Jon.) The fantasy in my wedding is a celebration, reflection, reminder, and documentation of my understanding in MY married womanhood. It’s really, my rite.’
Janet and Jon came into my professional life while I was smack dab in the middle of a massive business rebrand. You can read more about how our client relationship unfolded over here. Basically there was a lot of glitter, rainbow color and shabby chic goodness infused into our relationship. And a lot of unicorns. Lots. It’s funny because as much as Janet and Jon needed me to help plan their big day I needed them to teach me things I never thought I needed to know. I’ll let the fabulous photos from Kelly Braman Photography do the rest of the talking from here because I get a little teary eyed thinking of how special my time was with these two. I also need to give a huge shout out to my incredible assistant Kaci and my incredible Mother in Law Pat for their hard hard work on making this wedding possible. For the first event under the new HGE brand, I think we did good. Really good. Team work does makes the dream work. Truly.
Let’s do this!
Janet had two pairs of almost everything for two different looks. Two pairs of earrings, two gowns, two pairs of shoes, two hair styles, two hair pieces, and two make up looks. Her first look was more of a cross between a rainbow princess and couture bride (that veil!) and her second look was a nod to her Taiwanese roots with a custom ombre hand died silk gown. Janet is seriously so stinkin’ gorgeous as I’m sure you can tell. Her skin is like a beautiful creamy porcelain.
How fun that Goldberry Woods had a little sign with a unicorn on it! If that’s not fate, what is huh?
Janet’s bouquet was so much fun to make. I combined lots of color and texture to create the perfect accent piece for her to carry. There’s coral charm peony, pink peony, peach garden roses, purple and red anemone, orange and yellow ranunculus, blue thistle, pink astilbe and veronica among a few thrown in there. I wrapped the stems with a gold textured ribbon and finished off the look with a vintage gold unicorn brooch I found online. The shape of the bouquet was so fun and really set the tone for the floral design and style that I’m becoming to come into as my own.
So fierce right? I love these two.
After a few more portraits around the property of the bed and breakfast it was off to the ceremony.
A tub of drinks awaited guests at the Blue Dress Barn. Too bad we had uncharacteristically freezing weather for June.
The cat’s couple, Dobby was also included in the ceremony. Hilarious!
Janet will correct me if I get this wrong but in Asian culture, a woman’s spirit exits through the top of her head so before she is to walk down the aisle to be married, her head must be covered to protect the spirit. Her Aunt had this honor of protecting her prior to getting to the aisle where she was then free to walk down the aisle with her Father.
On to cocktail hour!
Hiw adorable are those metallic unicorn flags from Rebecca at The Pink Orange? J’adore!
I surprised the couple with metallic air horns used during the ceremony (shown above). Such a hit!
So. Much. Spray. Paint. And. Glitter. Remember those unicorns for the escort cards? They were perfect.
Tying together the rainbow detail was the couple’s wedding cake; the bride actually shrieked when she cut into it!
And now for a little dancing. I love these photos because they show the cone garlands in action over the dance floor.
Janet and Jon, being a part of your wedding celebration was beyond a pleasure and honor. Let’s do it all again soon ok? Thank you for trusting my ideas, being so kind, and most of all, yourselves. Come back to Grand Rapids soon so we can grab some sushi together and next time I’m in the Windy City I’ll be sure to give you a ring. To see the couple’s engagement session check it out over here and be sure to go see the two part feature here and here over on the always amazing Green Wedding Shoes! What an awesome feeling to have this incredible event shown off. Thanks, Jen :)
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Design, planning, florals and coordination: Hey Gorgeous Events / Photography: Kelly Braman Photography / Getting ready venue: Goldberry Woods / Ceremony and wedding location: The Blue Dress Barn / Videography: Future Focus Media / Hair styling: Jennifer Grace / Make up services: Rebecca Gohl / Bridal gown: Renee Austin Wedding (with custom alterations) / Bride’s pumps: Kate Spade / Bride’s sparkle heels: BHLDN /Bride’s Veil: FascinatingCreations via Etsy / Bride’s earrings: DanniJo / Sequin linens: La Tavola / Bakery: Mirabella Confections / Catering: Christine Ferris Catering / Bar Services: Events with a Twist / Rentals: The Rental Co / Chiavari chairs: Events by I Candy / Invtations: Smitten on Paper / Custom coasters, post card guest book and drink flags: The Pink Orange / Table numbers and banners: ReadyGo via Etsy / Bridesmaid’s shoes: Nina / Bridesmaid’s gowns: Wtoo (various styles) / Bride’s tiara: Gilded Shadows / Custom ring bearer pillow: Oatmeal Lace Design / Vintage rentals: Fancy Fray / Custom Taiwanese gown: Yi Zi Chi Pao Studio / Second set of earrings: Charm and Chain / Bride’s lace gloves: borrowed from HGE / Bride’s second set of gloves: Jollejye via Etsy / ‘Unicorn Farts’ lip balm favors: Long Winter Farm