A traditional Chinese wedding is filled with an exceptional amount of color, and where better to house said vibrant pallet? The Museum of Fine Art of course! Jenny and David's big day is one we will not forget anytime soon. Not only did Jenny give us the whole scoop on how she saved big, but this couple put on one hell of a fabulous wedding day, complete with traditional Lion Dancers!
Keep scrolling to find out where Jenny found her classic style wedding dress as well as her Qipao (tea ceremony) dress. Oh and don't miss a single detail. We have all of the beautiful and fun-filled photos Lauren Galloway Photography captured in our full gallery.
From the Bride: I actually bought my wedding dress with my mother near Shanghai from a local store, no particular designer. We were traveling and visiting family in China the year before the wedding so we took the opportunity to visit the "Bridal Street" in Suzhou to find a dress. Doing our shopping abroad with favorable exchange rates helped save on the budget. It also allowed us to have a private mother-daughter experience and prevent too many opinions from confusing me. We also bought my Chinese wedding dress (qipao) while in Shanghai.
I got my bridesmaid dresses from Revelry. It's a relatively new startup company geared toward offering designer inspired dresses at a more affordable price point. I loved the tulle and lace separates by Jenny Yoo but the price point was a little higher than what my bridesmaids could really afford, Revelry had something very similar at a better price. They also allowed the girls to order samples to try on before they ordered their dresses, that way we could see how the styles fit on the girls before purchasing. This was helpful as each bridesmaid lived in a different state!
Want to learn more about Revelry, we recommend checking out "How To Have A Revelry Try On Party".
Why the Art Museum
From Lauren Galloway Photography: Both Jenny and David have a common love for art museums. To Jenny art is about emotion, expression, and communication between human souls and how it couldn't get more romantic than that. Making the Museum of Fine Art in St. Petersburg the perfect place for their wedding!
Jenny's father created the golden frame that stood in front of them as they said their vows to mimic a painting. The intimate space Kimberly Hensley Events and Florist Fire created was warm and inviting with gold chivari chairs, candles, and greenery down the aisle.
Color Pallets & Culture
From Lauren Galloway Photography: Their color palette of dusty blue with accents of deep red and gold, carried throughout their event from the bridesmaid's dresses, to the delicate ribbon on the bridal gown to the groom's Carolina Tar Heels details he proudly wore! The organic florals added that romantic layer to their entire day.
Jenny incorporated many of her family's Chinese traditions into their wedding. After dinner, Jenny changed into a Qipao style dress to perform a tea ceremony to their parents. After which dancers performed a traditional Chinese Lion dance for all guests, which brought such joy and excitement to their special event. The symbol for marriage in Chinese was also proudly displayed above the head table in lights. Combining her heritage into their day was so special for their family!
Time Flys, Plan Accordingly
From the Bride: I wish we had booked more time at the venue. 5 hours flew by! We incorporated some cultural elements (lion dance, tea ceremony) which took up a little extra time and I wish we had had a little more time to just party, play with the photobooth, and enjoy the elements I'd spent so much time planning. Also, don't be afraid to invest in your planner and photographer! A full-service planner is a priceless guidance and Kimberly Hensley kept me on track and excited for the wedding throughout the sometimes draining year-long process.
Your pictures ultimately define your wedding memories so finding a photographer who matches your personality and style makes all the difference. I spent a lot of time and energy researching wedding photographers before finding Lauren Galloway and she's an investment I'll never regret.
I'm not sure how detailed you would like, so I included all the estimates I could remember. We also saved on some budgeting in a few areas. I bought my dress abroad, my father built the gold picture frame we married in front of, I hired the University of Florida Lion Dancers instead of a professional troupe, and much of my wedding jewelry was either a gift from my husband or tokens from my mother (I wore her ivory necklace engagement gift as my bracelet). Click to find Jenny and David's full budget breakdown.
Wedding Planner: $3600
Catering (included rentals and chairs, etc): $9,000
Photography: $5,000 (included photo albums and great extras)
Bridal attire: $1800 (wedding dress, qipao, shoes, veil)
Entertainment (lion dancers): $500
Invitation suite: $1,300
Planned Budget: 40K
Actual Budget: 38K
Number of Guests: 80