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Real Wedding | Stephanie + Jon

Tell us a little about yourselves!

We’re Stephanie and Jon—we met many moons ago in New York City through mutual friends, in the midst of our early twenties exuberance and a mutual love of karaoke. What began as a party-attending duo between us grew into a romantic courtship, initially bonding over our shared Chinese American heritage and the simple joy of spending time together, deepening into a relationship rooted in shared values and an inability to imagine living life without each other. With age and time, we grew alongside each other and blossomed a shared life in New York and over a move to Los Angeles. Finally after eleven years together, in Sea Ranch, California—next to the ocean, under the sun and over a small picnic - we tearily said yes to forever.

Why did you decide to get married where you did?

Just days into planning, it quickly became clear to us that returning to New York City to get married felt the most “us” as the place where we had family roots and grew our relationship for so many years. We decided on a multi-day celebration with a series of events that could express both the intimate and convivial sides of ourselves and to honor the different ways we felt it would be most meaningful to gather with our family and friends. Our vision unfolded as an ode to classic New York; effervescent with a touch of nostalgia, both for our personal histories and for the stories and timelessness of New York past, with a focus on Chinatown as the heart of our celebration. We both have multigenerational family roots in the Chinatown neighborhood so it felt right. On a Friday in late September of 2022, we hosted the first day of our celebration with an elopement-ceremony at our suite in The Bowery Hotel. With our immediate families present, along with our close friends Ann and Albert, who introduced us (with their three-year old daughter Sophia as our ring-bearer), Stephanie’s childhood friend Sheela officiated our ceremony surrounded by views of downtown Manhattan, and then we joined extended family for a luncheon at the hotels restaurant, Gemma. Later that evening, we kicked off the rest of our weekend with welcome drinks with our friends at wine bar Parcelle. On Saturday, we continued our celebration with our exchanging of vows and reception hosted at a private loft in the heart of Chinatown. Draped by the afternoons golden light and the sounds of Bill Evans’ “Peace Piece” filling the room, we shared our vows among our closest friends, followed by a cocktail-style “banquet” dinner prepared by Bonnie’s. After toasts and many espresso martinis, we hopped over to Nightmoves, a speakeasy-style dance club we love for its intimate scale and retro feel, for a private party. Stephanie shared a dance with her father, and then we had our own first dance to our song—Tamia’s “So Into You”—and then everyone joined us on the light-up floor, with champagne, cake, and pizza until late.

How many guests did you have?

We had 15 guests at our elopement-ceremony and 26 guests at our luncheon on Friday, and 70 guests present for our vows exchange and reception on Saturday.

Tell us about your outfits.

On Friday, Stephanie wore an ivory off-the-shoulder ruched dress by New York brand Khaite, with peep toe mules by Jimmy Choo, earrings by AGMES, and a vintage gold chain bracelet gifted by her grandmother. Jon wore a charcoal suit with a Prince Wale check pattern by Osaka-based suit maker Ring Jacket, a custom grey-blue chambray shirt, accessorized with a pocket square and tie by Drake’s, custom oxfords by Carmina, and a lapel pin made from his late grandmother’s charm bracelet. We both wore wedding bands from Cartier, paired with Stephanie’s custom engagement ring from Ceremony. For Saturday’s festivities, we went the bespoke route to create our dream party attire. Stephanie worked with the team at LOHO Bride to create a custom tiered plisse blue-silver gown by Los Angeles-based designer Katherine Tash, and paired it with ivory satin slingback pumps by Manolo Blahnik for Danielle Frankel and baroque pearl and gold earrings from the AGMES x Simone Turner-Bodmer collection. Jon wore a fully bespoke suit in an olive green fabric by Holland and Sherry, created with Los Angeles-based custom tailor High Society, opting for a classic cut with a high-waisted single pleat trouser and Neapolitan style jacket. A pocket square and tie by Drake’s and black loafers by Carmina completed his look.

What was the most important aspect for you, in terms of planning your wedding?

Making it feel like us. From the choice of venues to the tiny details in each event, it was so important that each decision felt connected to us, our story, and the ways we love to host together. This was also why we decided to plan our wedding ourselves - with Stephanie’s background in design and work in creating experiences, we were excited to take on all the pieces of wedding planning including the creative for the events and design of our invitation and printed pieces, as well as the curation, sourcing, and production of all the elements. It ended up being a very personal project for both of us and our hope was to create moments that felt warm, heartfelt, and convivial for everyone who joined us.

Were there any elements that were important for you to incorporate?

Incorporating elements that nodded to our Chinese American heritage, as well as nostalgia from our own personal histories, became more important to us the more we continued to plan our celebration. We carefully chose each touchpoint an ode to these themes—with our venue location in Chinatown, our wedding dinner as an interpretation of a Chinese wedding banquet, the vintage blue and white platters that we sourced from Wing On Wo + Co to serve our dinner on, and even the selection of Asian candies that we used to eat when growing up, included in our takeaway gifts. And for the actual wedding elements, it was very important to us that we were able to host a ceremony that was intimate and comfortable enough for Stephanie’s grandmother to be present; this was a large reason why we decided on the elopement ceremony, which ended up feeling more sacred and special than we could have imagined.

Are there any vendors that you would like to tell us a little more about?

We are so grateful to have worked with friends—and vendors that have become friends—to help us bring our wedding weekend to life. Calvin Eng of Bonnie’s, a Cantonese American restaurant we fell in love with when we had visited New York shortly after we got engaged, collaborated with us to create an interpretation of a Chinese wedding banquet for our dinner. We found so much joy in the meal and equally in the process; Calvin brought so much creativity in building out the menu with us, and we are so grateful for his trust. The stars aligned when we were introduced to Sophie Berard, our photographer, by a friend—we were looking for someone who worked with film and who would be able to capture a breadth of shots with an editorial-meets-journalistic eye. Words can’t express how lucky we feel to have worked with her—Sophie not only captured everything and more, but also became a friend to us with her beautiful personality and warm presence throughout our wedding weekend. Kinga Mojsa, our florist, was referred to us by Stephanie’s dear cousin Marissa. Using seasonal flowers, Kinga is a true artist—her thoughtful palette and sculptural arrangements took our breath away and completely brought the vision for our space together. Beginning our mornings with our hair and makeup team set a calm, comforting tone for the rest the day: our friend hairstylist Taylor Lambert, who offered his time and talent to create two timeless looks for Stephanie’s hair, and makeup artist Michelle Coursey, who made it so easy to feel both beautiful and natural with her approach. And prior to our wedding, we worked with the team at Ceremony, co-founded by our friend Chelsea, to help us create a custom engagement ring. The process of designing a ring together inspired us to plan a wedding with equal love and care. Now, the ring has become an emblem of both our relationship and our celebration that we get to remember it with every day.

Photographer : Sophie Lin Berard @sberardweddings | Welcome Drinks Location : Parcelle @parcellewine | Ceremony Location : The Bowery Hotel | Reception Location : Lee’s on Canal + Nightmoves | Celebrant : Sheela Ramesh | Styling + Planning : Stephanie Tam (the Bride) @stephanie_tam | Rentals : Luxe Event Rentals | Flora: Kinga Mojsa @kingamojsa | Makeup : Michelle Coursey @michellecoursey | Hair : Taylor Lambert @tensegritt | Catering + Beverages : Bonnie’s @bonniesbrooklyn | Cake : Fay Da | Stationery Design : Stephanie Tam (the Bride) @stephanie_tam | Stationery Printing : Casual Letterpress @casual_letterpress | Month-Of Coordinator : The Privilege is Mine | Bride’s Outfits : Khaite @khaite_ny + Custom Dress by Katherine Tash @katherinetash from LOHO Bride @loho_bride | Groom’s Outfit : Ring Jacket @ringjacketintl + Bespoke suit by custom tailor High Society @hellohighsociety | Engagement Ring : Ceremony | Wedding Rings : Cartier @cartier | Bride’s Shoes : Jimmy Choo @jimmychoo + Manolo Blahnik for Danielle Frankel @manoloblahnik | Groom’s Shoes : Carmina @carminashoemaker | Bride’s Earrings : AGMES @agmesnyc | Bride’s Jewelry : Bracelet gifted by her Grandmother | Groom’s Accessories : Drake’s @drakesdiary

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