Press | Chinese-American Summer-Meets-Fall Wedding Featured in Martha Stewart Weddings
We are so thrilled that our Wildflower Couple, Ivana and Nevin, and featured in Martha Stewart Weddings!
Read more about their incredibly romantic love story and how we created a blend of a summer wedding and a fall wedding below.
The famous ancient love story of King Qian Liu and his Queen Lady Wu from Tang dynasty in China had been in the back of Ivana’s mind as she envisioned her wedding day. The King and Queen were praised for their love for each other and the great harmony in their marriage. One day, while the Queen had gone to visit her family, the King missed her so much that he wrote her a poem. It read, "陌上花开，可缓缓归矣", which translates literally in English to "The wildflowers have all bloomed beautifully (indicating to the queen that she had been gone for some time), it's a good time to come home (and enjoy the view)." The poem became very well known and is often referenced today. When Ivana and I met to discuss my company, The Wildflowers, being her wedding planner, she felt it was the perfect match.
Upon meeting Ivana and Nevin, we discussed their personal story: how they met, when they fell in love, and their dreams for their wedding day. This is where I usually draw most of my inspiration for wedding design: the couple themselves. However, the moment Ivana showed me her wedding fashion, while Nevin excused himself for a brief moment, this became the focus of our inspiration. All three (yes, three!) ensembles were each stunning in different ways. A classical Swan-Lake-style ball gown for the ceremony, a traditional Chinese Dragon and Phoenix Qun Kwa for the Tea Ceremony, and a short, flared dress adorned in dragonflies for the reception. In my mind, together they created a feminine, outdoor wedding with gentle nods to traditional Chinese culture.
The Color Palette
With the wedding date set for late September, and Ivana and Nevin’s trust, I built a palette that illustrated the closing of Summer and the introduction of Fall: traditional autumnal hues of ruby, cranberry, ginger, marigold, and butterscotch mixed with summertime colors of mauve, cinderella blue, and raspberry, with notes of taupe, greige, and dove to bring them all together.
We utilized a dragonfly as a motif throughout her paper goods, inspired by the dragonflies of her reception dress. With the dragonfly motif and the forest-setting of the venue in mind, I worked with Southern Fried Paper to design a beautiful laser-cut framed invitation. For the day-of paper goods, we replicated the floral and dragonfly frame almost as if the laser-cut invitation was a stencil. Both the invitation and day-of paper goods were different, but complemented each other beautifully.
Bows and Arrows created lush, wildflower-like settings both inside and outside of the venue. Lush, verdant, autumnal florals with pops of our summertime hues. The ceremony florals were almost entirely separated by type of floral and hue to give a more natural, wildflower-look. Instead of a traditional Flower Girl, Ivana’s close friend donned flowers in her hair and poured petals down the aisle to make way for the bride. Ivana’s four bridesmaids wore cinderella blue gowns, which were custom made in China.
Traditional Chinese Tea Ceremony
As guests gathered for cocktails post-ceremony, Ivana and Nevin surprised their guests with a Tea Ceremony, wearing traditional Chinese Dragon and Phoenix Qun Kwa ensembles, a wedding clothing style that was influenced by the royal family in Qing dynasty. As Ivana changed into her Tea Ceremony ensemble, she also changed her hair into an updo adorned in florals that matched the colors of her Qun Kwa. Guests crowded around with their cocktails as Ivana and Nevin honored their closest family members by kneeling before them and serving them tea.
Guests were invited to dinner, greeted by a display of realized illustrations of the dragonfly and floral frame, with each guests’ name hand calligraphed with their table number. Upon entering the reception space, drapings of ivory silk and a gleaming fireplace welcomed the guests into a cozy, intimate setting. The room was laid out with a mix of round and king’s tables dressed in an organized arrangement of taupe, grey, and beige velvet linens. Guests were treated to wild mushroom strudel, sea bass, chicken, and butternut squash ravioli. After heart-warming speeches, guests enjoyed a live string quartet performance, Ivana and Nevin’s choreographed First Dance to La La Land’s City of Stars , an array of desserts, and dancing. As the night grew darker, guests guided the bride and groom to their getaway car by the light of sparklers, signaling the end to a magical evening.
Wedding Planning and Design: The Wildflowers | Photography: Jenny McCann | Calligraphy: The Left Handed Calligrapher | Catering: Food Glorious Food | Cake: Layered Bake Shop | DJ: Le Force Entertainment | Draping: Stage Works | Floral: Bows and Arrows | Groom & Groomsmen Tuxedos: The Black Tux | Officiant: Love Notes | Paper Goods: Southern Fried Paper | Rentals: Bella Acento; Marquee Event Rentals | Venue: The Laurel | Videography: byDesign