Real Wedding: Christine and Julius
The month of June holds a special place in our hearts. It brings back a nostalgic feeling when we were dating and our fond memories of staying up late outdoors. When we visited the Queens Botanical Gardens, we loved the idea of having a subtle and relaxed outdoor wedding. We pictured the warm summer breeze in the air with the starry skies at night and knew we had to have our wedding there. Everything came together once we had our hearts set on the location. All of our ideas began with our invitations, a 1920’s timeless theme featuring a man serenading a woman on the moon. I loved how different our invites looked and arrived as royal ball admission tickets with detachable save the date subs. From that point on, I knew we did not want our wedding to be like what it should appear to be but instead how we saw our love from our own perspective. We recreated everything we loved with our own twist.
When the day came we got the confirmation of what we felt and knew all along. There is something very serene and spiritual holding a wedding in a garden. Our family and friends loved the calm and peaceful feeling of hearing the water running through the footbridge and the weeping willows swaying near the gazebo. The gardens had a beautiful Victorian era setting. It was very important to us since we love nature and being outdoors. We feel that at no matter what age, there’s a nature side to all of us. Our officiant performed a personalized hand ceremony & special readings as well as our written vows. A guitar and flute string duo from Ten Strings Music Studio played during our ceremony. We took our time to incorporate songs and elements into our wedding for a one of a kind and meaningful ceremony.
Our journey began right from the planning process. Throughout our whole wedding planning, all of the vendors that we worked with, we got the final say on what to include and what to take off to make our wedding truly our own. For the ceremony and reception, we wanted an intimate wedding with our family and friends. Since the botanical garden is a city-owned park, we rented out the wedding garden to have a sacred ceremony. We even had an outdoor cocktail hour held at the terrace with a red rooftop. The cocktail hour included passed hors d oeuvres with signature mimosas and beverages. For the reception, we rented out the Cherry circle lawn to have an outdoor tent so our families and friends could enjoy the privacy without intrusion from the public. We worked with the Architects Music Group to hand pick all of our songs for the cocktail hour to the reception so there was something for everyone. We worked intensely with our caterer; Ten Bistro 18 to come up with a summer feast for everyone. The chef prepared a summer mixed entrée of grilled gulf shrimp on sugarcane skewer, kohlrabi slaw, filet mignon with mango salsa, smoked purple potato salad, and grilled asparagus. Mint mojitos were served along with wine and champagne. Our wedding cake by Cara Linn Cakes, Inc. was a one of kind featuring a 3-tier winter white cake with raspberry preserves and lemon butter cream with gorgeous cascading flowers making the ultimate summer treat. Our Precious Moments Japanese Ceremony Cake topper was unique. I loved that it represented my mixed heritage and incorporated elements of cultures where East meets the West. Daniela, the belly dancer entertained our guests with amazing Middle Eastern dances and a sword performance. At the end of the night, our guest enjoyed lighting sparklers and carried our wedding favor of a picnic basket with truffles. Instead of following a traditional Emily Post wedding, we add our own special touch and flare to the details of our wedding. I loved that our wedding had an elegant and vintage setting from the décor to the tables and maintained a laid-back atmosphere. It had really touched us to hear our families and friends rave: “This was one of the best weddings we’ve been to.”
It was an incredible and memorable experience for both of us. We were actively involved putting our wedding together. It took over a year of planning since we wanted to incorporate fun surprises and activities for our family and friends. We always knew our wedding would be in the summer. We really wanted our wedding to reflect a celebration of our life together with our family & friends. We felt the best way to capture that was to plan an outdoor garden ceremony and reception for everyone to kick back and have fun. We definitely wanted our wedding to be an amazing day for everyone and a event to enjoy and cherish in their hearts. It would not have been possible had it not been for my family and friends’ involvement throughout our wedding planning. Their combination of ideas and creativity contributed extra spark and dazzle to the vision of our wedding day. Our deepest gratitude to our families & friends for their endless support and love!
Instead of the traditional bridal march, I chose the song 'Everything' by Lifehouse. It's a very deep spiritual and sentimental song. It was the perfect song to walk down the aisle because it captures everything we believe and love about each other. The song definitely made a bold statement that expressed our originality and encompassed all of our ideas making our wedding one of a kind.
The colors were eye popping and gave it a glamorous and romantic look without too much glitz. My inspiration came from the linens and décor for our reception. Our table setting of lace embroidery over sea foam tablecloth coordinated with our wedding colors. For the flower scheme, I loved plumerias and orchids which was decorated everywhere in Hawaii. I had an unbelievable time in Waikiki, Oahu during our travel there. To recreate those moments and memories, our ceremonial archway had orange and white lilies that created a tropical island backdrop. Our reception centerpiece had jade and soft pink Cymbidium Orchids with white freesias and tea light candles giving it a soft romantic setting. A branch arrangement with cascading orchids and crystals was display for our sign-in table. The floral arrangement of cascading orchids and branch centerpiece presented a beautiful touch to the tables. Our tent liner was lined with orchids everywhere. Even our gorgeous wedding cake had cascading flowers around the cake with ribbon and gold beads. The effect was stunning; we produced an imagery of a destination wedding that felt like it took place in Hawaii.
In keeping in like with offering something unique and different for our guests to experience, we were looking for something far from the ordinary that would provide entertainment and let our guests experience belly dancing for themselves. Since FH (Julius) family is from India, I thought it would be a really fun idea to pay tribute to their heritage by involving cultural dance/performance similar to the Middle Eastern belly dancing. We loved having Daniela. She's an amazing performer and entertainer. We had so much fun following her cues and executing her belly dance moves. She was stunning from her entrance to the reception tent with the gold wings and veil to dancing with the finger cymbals and balancing a sword on her head while belly dancing! Everyone at our wedding had an unbelievable time and joined Daniela in belly dancing all night.
My wedding is truly a day I will never forget. There was a romantic and sultry feeling in the air that I loved and enjoyed every moment of our wedding. As we walked out of the wedding garden as husband and wife with our families and friends showering us with confetti, it had a profound impact on me. I was looking at my husband Julius and I couldn’t believe we were finally married! I loved the feeling knowing I couldn’t contain my excitement. I couldn’t have been happier than knowing I could look forward to spending my life with him. I want to embrace all the life challenges and embark on a journey together. I loved the excitement of everyone coming together to witness our union to share the laughter and joy on our special day. The minute we walked into the reception tent, we were so in awe by everyone that had congratulated us with best wishes for our future. It was definitely a memorable day for the rest of my life!
I would strongly advice upcoming brides to make their wedding their own and something for both members to the couple to fondly and enthusiastically remember. It’s good to draw inspiration and ideas from trends, magazines, Internet, etc. However, it’s best to create an unforgettable wedding simply by adding your own touch and creativity throughout your planning. Don’t fret over what weddings are supposed to appear as, and include, particularly the details. Remember it’s a day of celebration for two people that want to join together and make their mark in life together. Incorporate ideas and things that hold a special significance or meaning for only the both of you to make your wedding truly remarkable. I love bold weddings that are really different particularly daring brides who does everything the unconventional way. It shows that brides are stepping out of the box and they’re not afraid to put originality into their wedding