Chosen for Its Auspicious Qualities, Red Anchored This Wedding at the University of Illinois
Liuqing and Yansong, students at the University of Illinois, chose to highlight their college's bucolic campus when it came time for the duo to tie the knot. The couple exchange vows in the Japanese Garden at the University of Illinois Arboretum and used the garden's lush botanicals as inspiration for their own décor. "The flowers definitely played one of the most important roles in the overall style of my wedding," notes Liuqing. The ceremony was anchored by a floral arch that incorporated local dahlias and plenty of roses, blooms that appeared again at the reception. Of the floral arch, that was later repurposed at the reception, the bride recalls that it was "one of the best memories in my wedding, and I will never forget the sweet fragrance of full bloomed garden roses suffused in my wedding." The couple's floral décor was one of the key ways they conveyed their color palette of "white, blush, red and burgundy. As red color is believed to bring good fortune for weddings in Chinese tradition, so I want to have some red color in the theme," Liuqing says.
Beyond stunning floral elements, the Liuqing and Yansong's wedding fashion was especially memorable. In keeping with traditional Chinese culture, the bride wore four different gowns, all of which were made by one of her family's neighbors at home in China and then brought over with her parents when they traveled into town for the wedding. "I wore four dresses on my wedding day. In the morning, I first wore a Chinese traditional wedding dress made of red silk, with gold embroidery of dragon and phoenix, which has the good wish of bringing prosperity to the new couple in Chinese culture. My second dress is another Chinese traditional dress also made of red silk, with Suzhou embroidery of blooming peonies, which also means good fortune in Chines culture. My third dress is the wedding gown for the ceremony, which is picked by my parents, and made by tailors in my hometown, Suzhou. My fourth dress is a red gown for the reception, which is also picked by my parents and made in my hometown. In contrast to the bride's four dresses with impressive amount of meanings, the groom bought a tuxedo," says the bride of the fashion choices for her University of Illinois wedding.
When looking back on her wedding, Liuqing had this advice to share with engaged couples who are presently planning their weddings: "Firstly, hiring a wedding planner and day of wedding coordinator can ease a lot of stress. Even though there might be event coordinators at the ceremony and reception venues, they will not know your wedding as much as your wedding planner does. An experienced day of wedding coordinator can make the best decision for you when any incident happens. Secondly, it's important to meet and talk to the venders in person, and search for their previous works to see whether you like their style or not. Thirdly, you need to have a rough idea of the theme and style you want for your wedding. It makes the communication with vendors more efficient by bringing some inspirational photos to the meetings with your venders."