Wendy and Michael are back this afternoon gracing WWW’s colouful pages, yay! They married in April with a traditional Vietnamese Tea Ceremony at Wendy’s family home, followed by a reception at China Boulevard, London.
Wendy had two wedding dresses on the day, with a beautiful vibrant blue Vietnamese dress and a Monsoon dress for the evening. Michael went for a slim fit Marks and Spencers suit with tan shoes. Ahh they look amazing.
I am head over the heels for the pretty bridesmaids dresses, the DIY touches and the pure emotion of the day.
Thanks so much to the brilliant Miki Photography for sharing his photography with us today.
The Proposal… we were both living and teaching in south korea. i had just had laser eye surgery and was sleeping with some very unattractive goggles on! michael was looking after me and after he put in some eye drops in he proposed! However soon after that I had to go back to the UK and he the USA. Since then (Two years later) it’s been a trans atlantic love affair and endless flights back and forth for both of us as we’ve looked forward to this day.
The Vision for the day… It was a traditional Vietnamese Tea Ceremony which always takes place in the brides house. In Vietnam this is how all people are married. The Groom and his family come bearing gifts and then there are a few religious steps and both families impart words of wisdom to each other and then the couple welcoming them into each others family. Then each family member comes bearing gifts and well wishes. Finally the newly weds first act is to then serve tea to their family and elders. There is also a master of ceremony usually an old family friend. We then share food together in the house. This was quite intimate and only specific family members are allowed to attend. Afterwards the reception is then a 10 course Chinese Wedding Banquet which is quite specific in the courses served – only the best will do and here we invited the rest of our family and friends and combined some more ‘western elements’ such as speeches and first dance etc.
The Planning process… I left the tea ceremony for my parents to arrange and plan as there is quite a set way things have to be done. I put most of my energy into focussing on.the evening part. Since Michael was in the US and I over here understandably it was kind of down to me and my family to make most of the arrangements for this UK Wedding. (Michael and his family will be throwing a Wedding Party in the US in a few months!) which at the time, whilst planning a new life together and starting a new job was quite stressful but well worth it! : ) In terms of the Chinese Banquet it took a while to find a restaurant that could do the specific menu required and in the end it came down to two restaurants and the one I went with in the end – I am so glad I did as it was by the river and on the day we got glorious sunlight and weather. Once we’d decided on the venue it was all hands on deck designing the décor for the day. Luckliy my sister studied graphic design and one of my bridesmaids has her own graphic design company so that definitely came in handy. Michaels mum also got involved over email helping to design some of the art work for the day so it was quite a transatlantic effort!
Michael and his family flew in a week before the wedding and it was the first time we’d seen each other in six months so you’re dealing with all the feelings of finally being reunited, looking forward to your wedding but at the same time have a list of appointments you have to arrange, which included buying a suit for the groom and fitting in our engagement shoot with our photographer the fantastic Mick from Miki Photography!
Budget… ideally under £10,000
The Venue… China boulevard restaurant in wandsworth. tea ceremony done at the family home.
The Dress + Accessories… The Vietnamese dress was a traditional one my mum had made in Vietnam whilst on holiday and so for the eve I didn’t want something too bridal but at the same time could fit the occasion so I decided on a monsoon wedding dress, gucci heels and accessorize earrings.
Finding the dress… I went to an accesorize/monsoon sample sale and found a dress which needed to be fitted but was nice and simple. However when looking for accessories in monsoon i spotted a dress which for some reason really caught my eye so decided to try it on. once I put it on i had that ‘this is the dress’ moment.
Groom’s attire… after hunting all along the high street we settled on a marks and spencer slim suit and shirt. the tie was from tie rack.
The Readings + Music… tea ceremony reading by mr can a family friend and led by ki dang a close family friend.
Beautiful bridesmaids… My sister Emma and child hood friend dorothy, also my good friend Hanh who stepped in at the last minute when my make-up artist couldn’t make it also joined in the ceremony. They all wore traditional dress for the tea ceremony and changed later on in the day.
The Flowers… bought from covent garden market wholesale and arranged by my auntie thuy and family friend. green and white table flowers; baby breath, rannuculas, and some green flowers which im not sure what they’re called!
The Cake… supplied by the restaurant but paid extra for it. chinesesponge cake with plain white cream.
Your Photographer… the fantastic Mick from Miki Photography he went above and beyond on the day and was more like a family friend on the day in fact I think both my dad and Michael thanked him in their speeches for the effort and time he put in and we seated him with our guests. Michaels dad when he saw the photos said the were ‘the best he’d ever seen’ and some were ‘works of art’ and he worked for Kodak so that’s saying something.
The Details + Decor… home cut crepe paper streamers. tissue pom poms. white streamers and white backdrop. vases on tables with flowers and bird seating. blackboard painted with blackboard paint on mdf. design by my sister. thumbprint guestbook and all stationery designed by my amazing friend and bridesmaid Dorothy who has her own fabulous design company (free plug!) http://www.cafereload.com/
The Honeymoon… Not taken yet as Michael had to fly straight back to the States a few days later. I will then be joining them in the US in a few months for a USA Wedding Party and I’m sure we’ll make up for it then!
Memorable moments… The Tea ceremony was very emotional so much so than I thought it was going to be – I mean it was my living room! But I think everybody in the room cried at some point – something about that moment when you know you’re leaving your family to start a new life. Also the fun moments taking pictures in our back garden and then along the river later.
Advice for other couples… budget like crazy and write all expenses down. i used the wedding site to keep track of all costs. stick to the budget and don’t worry about tiny details as no one will probably see them but you! call in favours from friends as it’s the best time to and they cant say no to a bride!
Credit where credit is due…
oh happy day site for diy decor
pullingers for variety and good colour options for crepe paper
ebay for.pom poms
ikea for vases
new covent garden market for flowers
mackro for booze and sweets for favours
Such incredible imagery, i love the colourful wedding attire, ahhh.
Thanks so much to Wendy and Michael for sharing their gorgeous wedding with us today XOXO Lou