From a date change to a wedding gown that was lost in transit, this couple had more than their fair share of hiccups during their wedding planning journey. Thankfully, they had a kickass team of wedding pros behind them who helped them navigate all of the ups and downs. Despite all of the hurdles, they managed to throw a beautiful wedding and give back to their community at the same time. Plus, they had the cuddliest cocktail hour we've ever seen!
Thankfully, they were able to keep 501 Union, their original venue. Their planner, Angela Siu, was there with this couple every step of the way and helped them re-design their moody fall wedding into something more appropriate for their new summer wedding date. Designs by Ahn moved quickly to rework the florals and created these beautiful bright arrangments. From the puppy-centric cocktail hour to the dance party, Sarah Joan Studio was there to capture every special moment. Check out the full gallery to see all of the photos from this fun Brooklyn wedding. Keep scrolling to read more from the bride, Amy Lee, and learn how this couple was able to use their wedding to give back to their community.
OUT OF THE DARKNESS AND INTO THE LIGHT
Our wedding ceremony was not only a reflection of our culture but things we personally love as well as causes that are important to us. Amy Lee and Ryan Tsou, Ph.D. were married on July 2nd at 501 Union in Brooklyn, NY. We met in 2017 through the dating app, Hinge. Ryan proposed 2019 in the gardens of the Palace of Versailles during a vacation to France. The wedding was originally planned for Fall 2020 but moved due to the Coronavirus pandemic. We had initially planned on deep jewel colors in the romantic art deco venue, 501 Union, but with the date rescheduled to Summer 2021, we worked closely with Designs by Ahn to change all the florals to bright, colorful arrangements that lightened up the location.
A LAST-MINUTE DRESS CHANGE
My custom wedding dress from Taiwan was lost in the mail for months during the height of the pandemic and finally arrived in the wrong measurements. With no way to easily travel back to Taipei to fix the dress, I donated the dress to UNCHAINED at Last, an organization dedicated to ending forced and child marriage in the US. I then fell in love with a clean and chic, off-the-shoulder, satin Essence of Australia ballgown from RK Bridal in the Upper West Side. Hair and makeup were beautifully done by VickyC5, the OG of all Asian wedding hair and makeup in the tri-state area. We struggled with which hairpiece and veil to wear the morning of the wedding. It was my maid of honor’s ingenious idea to wear a headband as a reverse crown underneath the long veil. All bridal accessories were from BHLDN. The bridesmaids wore satin midi dresses, also from BHLDN, in different pastels that tied back to the flowers. The groom wore a Calvin Klein tuxedo while his groomsmen were dressed by The Black Tux.
A CUDDLY COCKTAIL HOUR
We decided to write our own vows only a week prior to the wedding, but all the stress of the last-minute vows was worth it as there was not a dry eye in the room! We took our guests on an emotional rollercoaster with the first surprise of the night–the cocktail hour was joined by adoptable, adorable puppies from local rescues via FITPIT! In lieu of favors, we partnered with FITPIT who distributed our donation to rescues and even dressed the pups in flowers that matched our colors. Soft sobs were quickly replaced by squeals of joy! Our very own pandemic puppy also joined our ceremony as well as our first dance.
DINNER FOR A CAUSE
Our vision for the reception was upscale, Korean small plates and tasting course. Although there are a lot of restaurants in New York with this concept, we could not find any vendors that did this. The Brooklyn catering company, Night Kitchen, completely understood the assignment and was able to come up with an amazing multi-course menu. My Korean aunties could not believe this food was from a non-Korean chef! Our second surprise of the night was that the meals of guests who could not attend in person as well as the wedding flowers were donated to CHiPS, a local soup kitchen, and shelter for homeless mothers and their infants, located a few blocks away from the wedding venue. Many of our guests could not make it in person due to the pandemic, but we had already committed to a headcount so we donated the delicious meals to a worthy cause. Night Kitchen prepped the donation meals in advance and our wonderful coordinator and MC made sure that the hot, amazing food was delivered just in time for their dinner. We loved that we were able to enjoy the same meal at the same time as those in need.
LET THEM EAT ICE CREAM
I changed into a silk Alexia Maria jumpsuit with a cute bow on the back from Over the Moon after dinner for dancing. We ended the night with our last surprise for our guests–an ice cream truck from Brooklyn-based, woman-owned Blue Marble Ice Cream. Shane, our DJ from Beat Train, shared that while not everyone eats cake at a wedding, everyone always eats ice cream and this could not have been more true!
The budget for this wedding was $80,000. Please note that prices do change, and this budget breakdown gives you an idea of how much a wedding like this might cost you.