Karen and Sam’s wedding was a beautiful blend of casual elegance and vibrant details with and nods to Karen’s Chinese heritage. From their attire to the decor, the ceremony to the desserts, every aspect of their day was carefully curated to reflect their personalities and priorities.
“We wanted to keep things casual, fun and bright,” Karen told us. “We didn’t have a theme other than wanting to use seasonal flowers and nods to my Chinese heritage without having a traditional Chinese wedding ceremony.” This approach, set the tone for a celebration that was not only visually stunning but also deeply meaningful.
Karen made a striking appearance in a Bec + Bridge slip dress paired with a silk organza wrap top from Gown + Alter for the ceremony. The choice of a modern qipao-inspired dress from Sau Lee for the reception paid homage her heritage. The eclectic mix of jewelry from Mejuri, Seree and Ana Luisa also added a personal touch.
“I think simpler and more casual types of weddings are becoming more and more common now, especially since the pandemic put so many things on pause”, the bride continued. “We were of the mindset that we wanted everyone to have a good time, including ourselves, and wanted to make the wedding as stress-free as possible.”
They did this by not having a colour scheme and telling their wedding party (which was a mix of all gender identities) to wear whatever they considered ‘wedding appropriate’. For the flowers, the couple let their florist choose, just asking for whatever was seasonal and colourful, ” They turned out phenomenal!” Karen said. “We absolutely loved our seasonal flowers, as well as our pie table and our card box in which guests could place red envelopes (a traditional Chinese wedding element).”
A poignant moment during the ceremony was the tribute to Karen’s friend, who was supposed to be in the wedding party but had passed away in May 2021. The couple walked down the aisle together, accompanied by a recording of him playing the guitar – a really special way to honour him on our wedding day.
The reception was a culinary delight with dim sum for the cocktail hour and wood-fired pizza cooked on-site for dinner. The couple chose a unique approach to speeches, leaving a 30-minute time slot for guests to share words at the open mic. This unconventional format resulted in touching, ad-hoc speeches where everyone was really in the moment.
For future engaged couples, Karen and Sam offered the following valuable advice: “Definitely have a day-of coordinator at minimum. The last thing you want to do is worry about the run of the show during your actual wedding day. We honestly had the perfect day, and the important thing for us was that everyone had fun and felt
comfortable… which I think we were able to pull off!”
- Photography: Stories by Victoria
- Wedding Planner: Philly DIY Wedding
- Venue: Maas Building, Philadelphia, PA
- Bride's Dress: Bec + Bridge
- Bride's Top: Gown + Altar
- Bride's Shoes: Intentionally Blank
- Bride's Reception Dress: Sau Lee
- Groom's Suit: Ted Baker
- Cake: Velvet Sky Bakery
- Flowers: Fig-Bee Flower Farm
- Catering: Wood Street Pizza
- DJ: DJ Baby Berlin
- Bar: Dim Sum House
- Pies: Frosted Fox Cake Shop