Caroline & Jonathan: A Fall Wedding in Los Angeles, CA

Although Caroline and Jonathan became an item soon after meeting, the proposal didn’t go quite as smoothly -- Jonathan wound up having to pop the ques

Although Caroline and Jonathan became an item soon after meeting, the proposal didn’t go quite as smoothly -- Jonathan wound up having to pop the question twice! The Bride Caroline Tran, 26, physics teacher The Groom Jonathan Ly, 31, database administrator The Date October 7 The first time Jonathan proposed, Caroline, having just entered grad school, turned him down. But once Caroline and her mother discussed it, Caroline realized that she could wait to plan the wedding after grad school. Jonathan was given a second chance while the two were overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge. Caroline had a definite feeling about what was going to happen, and after a little encouragement, Jonathan proposed for the second time. “I just remember screaming, ‘Yes!’” Caroline says.

Guests received custom-made fortune cookies, which Caroline and Jonathan had placed in Chinese take-out boxes and tied with orange ribbon and monogrammed tags.
Caroline and Jonathan wed on a bridge over a koi pond, with their guests sitting around them on either side. “It was very intimate, even with 200 guests,” the bride says. Instead of having a traditional tea ceremony at home, the couple chose to incorporate a brief tea ceremony into their Western ceremony. Their officiant explained its significance while the bride and groom served tea to their parents and grandparents.
Caroline used an Asian-style orange floral fabric to sew the strapless, tea-length bridesmaid dresses. She added dark orange sashes that featured the same floral design as the dresses.
Caroline and Jonathan created their fan-style programs as well. Caroline added a bookmark insert with a personal message to their guests and the story of how they had met. The couple also included a tribute to their loved ones who had passed away.
Caroline and Jonathan mixed sweet fortune messages (like “Today I married the one I live for, dream with, and love.”) with “nerdy quotes” (like “Love is like pie, irrational but very important.”).
Caroline created escort cards with watermarks of each character, which included beauty, fortune, and strength.
The colors of the Japanese garden where they exchanged vows inspired Caroline and Jonathan’s wedding style. For their homemade invitations, they incorporated wood (because they were marrying on a wooden bridge), green accents (to show for all the lush greenery surrounding the site), and orange (just like the koi fish swimming beneath the bridge).
Rather than traditional table numbers, Caroline and Jonathan named each table with a Chinese character, which included beauty, fortune, and strength.
Caroline wore a natural white, A-line gown by Paloma Blanca that featured an Alencon lace bodice and a raw silk skirt. She wore a natural white sash and brooch for the ceremony and then swapped it out for a thick sable-hued sash, which she sewed herself, for the reception.
The couple chose orange- and green-hued blooms for their flowers to match their garden-inspired palette. Caroline’s bouquet included tulips, orchids, alstroemerias, and ranunculuses.
Caroline and Jonathan’s reception decor was dominated by dark wood hues and hints of green and orange. The dance floor was lit with the couple’s monogram, and pin-spot lighting illuminated the centerpieces on the tables.
Jonathan chose the couple’s cake, a five-tiered, hexagonal cake with raspberry filling. The outside was frosted with off-white buttercream and decorated with chocolate-brown ribbon and orange lilies. “It was definitely a crowd-pleaser!” Caroline says.