A Tea Ceremony Preceded This Twinkle Light-Filled Wedding at Saddlerock Ranch in Malibu, California
Although the pandemic forced Catherine Hsu (31 and a metrology specialist) and Wilson Le (31 and an operations manager) to change venues midway through planning, they didn’t let that roadblock derail their vision for a “classic English garden” celebration. In the end, the couple’s dream came to life with a wedding ceremony in front of a lush floral arch, followed by dinner under a canopy of twinkle lights. Yet, despite the beautiful program of events they planned, the duo’s favorite moment of the entire day took place before all of that when they shared their first look. “Sometimes in the midst of planning you forget the reason for having a wedding in the first place. It was nice to get a quiet moment with Wilson to exchange vows privately before everything started,” says Catherine.
Before their Western wedding ceremony, Catherine and Wilson paid respect to their families and their heritage with a traditional Chinese tea ceremony. Another way the two honored their parents was through thoughtfully prioritizing bilingual communication. The couple had their invitation printed in both English and Chinese, and hired a Mandarin-speaking wedding planner to ensure clear communication. "It was really important to us to incorporate a Chinese tea ceremony into the wedding to show respect and gratitude to our parents for all their years of love and care," says Catherine.
Personalized musical selections were paramount for Catherine and Wilson. The ceremony included the wedding party processing to the K-pop hit “Feel Special,” by Twice. The couple later recessed while a finger-style guitar version of the Naruto: Shippuden theme song “Closer,” by Joe Inoue, rang out. At the reception, the DJ spun Top 40 and Chinese karaoke hits. Catherine and Wilson shared a first dance to “Stolen,” by Dashboard Confessional.
To complement her off-the-shoulder crepe wedding dress with lace appliqués, Catherine handcrafted crystal hairpins to adorn her updo. Catherine completed her look with a diamond tennis necklace, bracelet and earrings from her in-laws.
Guests were given a choice of three entrées: miso-marinated black cod, hanger steak with chimichurri or Maine lobster. For dessert, an array of mochi doughnuts, with flavors ranging from matcha to black sesame and strawberry, accompanied a simple buttercream cake.