Married: John & Vida – June 27, 2009 {Pt 2}

The Ceremonies So where were we? It was 3pm, John and Vida had just finished their photo session and arrived at the venue, Envent, to get ready for their Chinese Tea Ceremony. Vida is Thai/Chinese, so she paid homage to her Thai heritage by wearing a beautiful, traditional Thai silk dress. Tea was poured and they served it to their parents and relatives as a sign of respect. In return, they received blessings from their elders along with red envelopes filled with money and gold jewelry. For many Chinese who uphold traditional beliefs, this is when the actual marriage takes place, and you are not technically married until you partake in this particular tea ceremony.

Thai dress
Chinese Tea ceremony 2
Chinese Tea Ceremony

{Note that the bride serves tea to the male elder and the groom serves to the female elder}


Then it was time for Vida to change back into her white wedding gown and get ready for the Western-style ceremony.


Their beautiful ceremony programs, notice their monogram subtly embossed in the bottom left hand corner.


Vida asked both of her parents to escort her down the aisle, one of my very favorite ways of honoring both parents who raised her.


Now I’d like to highlight a part of their ceremony that was truly unique. Vida and John opted not to have a traditional bridal party (too many friends, couldn’t decide who to include?!). So we brainstormed on how we could incorporate the special people in their lives. We played around with a few ideas, but ultimately came up with a Candle Lighting Ceremony. This is not your typical Unity Candle lighting!

First, both of their mothers came up and lit two taper candles (using a pre-lit votive) and then lit the large center candle which was in the shape of a lotus blossom.

candle lighting ceremony 1
candle lighting ceremony

Lighting the lotus blossom…

candle lighting ceremony 3

Then the mothers handed the tapers to two of John and Vida’s friends who then lit the next pillar candles.

candle lighting ceremony 4

And then they handed the tapers off to the next pair of friends…

candle lighting ceremony 5

Who then did the same…

candle lighting ceremony 6

And the end result was a gorgeous candle-lit tablescape representing their family and friends. Meaningful and perfect!


John and Vida wrote their own vows, which I always highly recommend! Their vows were both touching and brought many of the ladies to tears (myself included!)


There was no ring bearer, so they asked two of their closes friends to hold the rings in a special vessel (see, didn’t I say that Vida loves shells?)


I love this shot… a stolen kiss as the officiant signs the marriage license.

To be continued…

All images by SecondPrint Productions.