John and Judy

Brookline, Massachusetts

 

 

Photography | P.Tfaufiq Photography

Venue | Alden Castle at Longwood Events | @longwoodvenues

Design and Decor | Your Love in Lights @yourloveinlights

Floral Designer | Flowers by Darlene

Gown Salon | Bisou Bridal @bisou_bridal

Bridesmaids Dresses | Lulus | @lulus

Men’s Attire | Indochino | @indochino

Hair and Makeup | Jenny Luu Hair + Makeup @_jennyluu

Ring Designer | Persona Jewelry | @personaboston

DJ | Siagel Productions | @siagel_productions

Musicians | The Gilded Harps | @gildedharp

This beautiful couple brought together both Vietnamese and Chinese traditions to the Alden Castle in Brookline, MA. With family from all over the world, they celebrated their international romance, her from Canada and him from Boston.

 

Tell us about your wedding! What was the inspiration behind your day? Did you have a specific theme, style or color palette? Did you incorporate any cultural or religious traditions in any part of your day?

Deciding on a color theme for the wedding was a bit of a struggle for Judy and John. However, eventually they came up with white, gold and lavender which paired very well with the ceremony venue (Alden Castle) which had a beautiful gold ceiling and natural dark wood. The bride and groom chose to make the wedding a bit more of a formal event and therefore, elected to have the wedding attire be black-tie optional. The groomsmen wore dark-charcoal color suits while the groom went one notch up with a classic black tuxedo—everything was custom-tailored by Indochino. Black is such a versatile color and naturally could match well with anything–it really showed during the morning Vietnamese ceremony when the ladies on the bride’s family all donned various chromatic “Ao Dais” (Vietnamese traditional garments). For the morning traditional ceremony the bride wanted to incorporate two cultures- Chinese and Vietnamese, traditional style into one dress. The dress was all red and lace with top of the dress being custom design into a traditional Chinese style collar and sleeveless wedding dress, but she kept the bottom of the dress with the traditional Vietnamese style. The bride wore a trumpet style all lace wedding dress with a beautiful open back. The wedding dress was hand stitched with beautiful beading.

 

Let’s talk wedding decor. How did you decorate your space for the ceremony and the reception?

Given Judy lived remotely (in Vancouver, BC) and John worked as a consultant and was frequently on the road, the couple felt comfortable leaving most of the décor up to the wedding venue, which did a fabulous job preparing the venue to their liking. In addition, the bride and groom went with a local florist who handled the table arrangements, bouquets, and laid a path of white rose petals for the bride to walk through. For the ceremony room, Judy and John wanted to keep it simple because the room itself was already gorgeous so all that was really needed was adding some flowers to the room to give it a romantic feel. In the bar area for the guest they had a custom picture frame made with little wooden hearts for the guest to sign their names on to. The bride and groom wanted something they could hang in our home so the picture frame with all their guests names and messages was the perfect piece. They had two beautiful, large light up signs of “Love” and “J & J” displayed in the reception room. In another corner of the room there was this large life size mirror that was actually a photo booth for the guest to enjoy. Furthermore, they picked purple as a backdrop up-lighting color.

 

What were the florals like in your wedding? Did you use flowers in any of your design elements like the bridal bouquets, centerpieces or ceremony backdrop? Did they play an important part in the overall style of your wedding?

Judy and John went with mostly white floral as they thought this color epitomized class and elegance. They added some lavender color roses to the bridesmaids bouquets, the table arrangements and the two large flower stands on the side during the ceremony, but wanted to keep the bride bouquet all white. To give a little detail to the bridesmaids bouquet they incorporated the lace from the bridesmaids dresses to their boutique by using the fabric from their dress and wrapped it to the handle part of their bouquet.

 

Did you personalize the day in any way (food trucks, guest entertainment etc.)? What were some of your favorite parts of your wedding?

The bride and groom wanted to add some glamour to the day and they found some inspiration from their photographer who connected them with Your-Love-In-Lights, a local company who offered life-size letters that light up. This was a huge hit at the wedding as their guests were awed by the L-O-V-E and J & J display. All night they had people inquiring on where they got them. Everyone absolutely enjoyed posing for pictures in front of the signs. Overall this added another level of uniqueness to their wedding.

 

Let’s talk fashion. How did you both choose your wedding day look? Describe the looks in detail.

Judy and John wanted to keep it classy and elegant, but with a touch of modern flair. The bride wanted something that was form fitting and all lace for her dress. She wanted a romantic look with a bit of a princess look for the day but not too over the top. Instead of going with a big or flashy hair piece, she kept it with this small yet sparkly hair piece that she randomly found in New York City one week before the wedding. It fit perfectly with the overall look because the she wanted the dress to be the focus point and her Chanel necklace. For the groom, he wore a traditional tailored black tuxedo with a crisp white shirt, bow tie and pocket square.

How did you meet? Tell us about the proposal.

(Taken from the wedding site) The Proposal (his side): Judy and I planned a February get-away vacation to an all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana, DR. Prior to departing from Boston I had mentally prepared myself for this week to be the week I was going to propose to Judy. I wasn’t exactly sure how it was going to happen, but I liked my odds of having seven days to carry it through. No sweat John, you got this! Fast forward, we are now several days in to our vacation and everything is amazing – white-sandy beaches, delicious meals, sunshine, excursions, etc. everything except still no proposal…and a bad sunburn. Each passing day I also got progressively more and more nervous; until finally, I drew the line on Valentine’s Day, our last day. On Valentine’s Day morning I went down to the resort lobby to book a professional photo shoot for us during the afternoon. I thought this would be a fun activity for us to do and secretly I knew having the photographer on-hand during the special moment would be clutch. I just had to find a way to weave in a moment to pop the question. Needless to say, during the entire photo shoot as the photographer (whom for some odd reason dubbed himself as “Banana Amigo”) was directing us around the resort, my mind was completely preoccupied trying to decide on when and where would be the perfect moment to go for it. Any time I thought it would be a good moment something felt off…. Oh wait, there is too many people here, maybe the next one (in my head). Nope not here, the wind is crazy, next one for sure etc.

 

Finally, it was towards the end of the session when I mustered the courage to ask the photographer if he was okay if we saved one last shot at the gazebo, which was a few steps away from the beach. As he was zooming his lens to take the picture of us while we were standing in the “prom pose”, I dug into my back pocket and lifted the ring out and waved it over Judy’s head so only Mr. Banana Amigo could see it and would know what to do next (I hoped). Well he sure did and without a moment of hesitation or giving away a signal to Judy, he started taking a flurry of candid photos while I got down on one knee and gently shifted Judy around, so we could face each other. She turned and immediately looked down. Her puzzled look on her face was classic as she was bewildered by what I was trying to do…like are you kidding me – do you really need to tie your shoelace right now? Or maybe she thought I had accidentally dropped something and had to pick it up. Anyways I guess it took a few long seconds for it to register in her head what I was trying to do, and when it finally hit her, I am pretty sure the first words out of her mouth were something along the lines of “holy crap!!!” With that said, I am happy I got her by surprise. Happy Valentine’s Day… my dear fiancé! The Proposal (Her side): While on vacation in Punta Cana, DR, many of our pictures together were taken by random strangers and didn’t turn out well, so John told me he wanted to have some professional photos of us on this trip. He booked a session for late afternoon the next day, which also happened to be Valentine’s Day. Personally, I wanted something earlier in the day (instead of 4 pm as scheduled) so we could have more time in the afternoon to enjoy our final day on the beach, but on the morning of, the photographer was not at his usual station, so John wasn’t able to reschedule the shoot.

 

I decided to get ready anyway even though it was way too early. While we were both getting ready, John was acting a little off. He kept pacing back and forth and was taking even longer than usual to get ready (he usually takes longer than me). At one point, he suddenly sat down and flipped open his laptop to do some work! Are you kidding me? I was already beginning to get hangry, so I stood in front of the doorway, while he walked back into the washroom. “John!” I told him, exasperated, “Your hair looks fine!” Let’s go! If the photos don’t turn out okay, we don’t have to buy them.” I really thought he was nervous because he’d never taken professional photos before. We finally made our way downstairs, and lucky for us, we ran into our photographer who agreed to move up the photoshoot (yay!) so we quickly grabbed a small bite beforehand and then off we went to take some photos. We started with some shots around various locations around the hotel. I felt a little embarrassed as hotel guests nearby kept staring at us. Eventually we made our way to the beach, and after a few photos, John mentioned that he wanted to go back to the gazebo to do “our pose” (a shot of him lifting me into the air, which we do on all our trips). We did “our pose” in the gazebo, and then John turned me around and told me he wanted us to do a “prom pose”. I gave him a look of… are you kidding? So cheesy! But he was strangely insistent, so I went along with it. It was quite windy, so I was focused on fixing my hair, when out of the corner of my eye I saw him bending down. Thinking that he must have dropped something, I looked over. Right there in front of me was my boyfriend, down on one knee, with the most beautiful ring in his hand and the most hopeful look on his face. My mind went absolutely blank. I froze. I was in total shock, I could not believe this was happening! I just stood there with my mouth open, the seconds ticking by as he asked me to marry him… and then asked again… while I still hadn’t moved. From a faraway place, his voice brought me back… “So… is this a yes? I snapped out of my fog. “Yes, yes, of course it’s a YES!” Tears were running down my cheeks as I watched this amazing man gently slide the ring onto my finger. It was perfect, all of it. I can’t believe that what started off as a friendship became the man that I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with. To John, my best friend, my life partner, my fiancé, I love you to the moon and back.

 

What was the most anticipated or special moment of your wedding day?

Judy: It was the moment I walked down the aisle. This was when I knew this was it. It really didn’t sink in until I was walking down the aisle and saw John’s smile. That charming smile that I fell so madly in love with, that’s when I realized this was it. I know we did the whole day ceremony at the house, but it really didn’t hit me until that moment. I guess I was just too busy all morning with getting ready and trying to stay on time. As a got closer to John I held my father’s arm a little tighter and tried not to tear up. John: It was the moment I turned around and saw Judy for the first time in her wedding dress.

 

Do you have any wedding planning or marriage advice that you’d like to share with other couples planning their day?

During planning, don’t over think things. Stay calm and handle one stressful situation at a time. The wedding day will likely be crazy, and it will go by fast, so try your best to enjoy every moment. Don’t expect everything to be perfect at the end. Most of all, be supportive of your partner throughout the whole journey.