“When Chi-Wei + Kam invited us to capture their big day, we knew we were in for artsy and modern style wedding. It was exciting seeing how their day’s plans fully developed. The day was filled with anticipation, Chinese wedding cultural traditions, the last of the Fall season’s tree colors, sun shine, and close family and friends joining in on the vows and celebrating in the Chicago suburb of Elk Grove Village, Illinois.
You may remember us talking about how Kam’s a natural in displaying her creative talents in reading our last blog post from our engagement session with C+K. With Kam being a graphic designer, she definitely did not hold back a bit on being creative and dressing up her own wedding with designer graphics and colorful artsy design elements. Her ornate and butterfly inspired graphic designed monogram incorporated her purple + brown wedding colors… Chi-Wei + Kam’s wedding venue Belvedere Banquets in Elk Grove Village hosted both the couple’s ceremony and reception. Kam decorated the room with her designs and created a digitally printed backdrop which matched in style cohesively to her stationery items, programs, menu cards, place cards and invites. Not only did Kam do a gorgeous branding their fabulous Fall wedding day, but we noticed C+K’s kept their day very personable. It had all the makings for rock-star wedding status… especially with Kam having three sets of bridal shoes, and changing three times into three different wedding day dresses!
We enjoyed while photographing learning more about the Chinese wedding traditions Kam had briefed us about while out on their engagement session. We learned culturally the color red symbolizes good fortune and joy and is traditionally used symbolically as the color of happiness. Kam had mentioned that each of their families spoke opposite languages of China with only a little English, so Kam was often busy translating Cantonese and Mandarin to each of their parents. Especially during each the bride and groom’s family’s Chinese Wedding Tea Ceremony festivities. The tea ceremonies were the first events of the day taking place individually at each of their Chicago area family’s homes. During the Chinese tea ceremony, the parents each expressed words of blessing and provided gifts to the couple.
Another Chinese tradition we captured was the Chinese Wedding Door Game. While Kam was waiting upstairs for her groom, Chi-Wei was trying to enter the house but first had to complete tasks set forth by the bridesmaids at the doorway. This game is a Chinese wedding tradition in which the groom and his groomsmen are forbidden to enter and see the bride until they satisfy certain requirements set forth by the bridesmaids and friends. This tradition is the girls block the door to demonstrate their unwillingness to marry off the bride because of their love for her and is all done in good fun. Before the ladies allowed the groom to head upstairs to fetch his bride, he was asked to answer questions relating to their courtship, reenact the marriage proposal, sing love songs acappella style, complete silly tasks such as dancing, and other embarrassing performances. The groomsmen stood by Chi-Wei helping to complete the fun tasks. In addition, the groom and groomsmen also had to bargain and buy their way through the door by offering money in lucky red envelopes to the bridesmaids. It is tradition to keep the money which is given to you in the envelopes. To our surprise, before leaving the home Chi-Wei + Kam present us their photographers with two red envelopes. We greatly appreciate the bonus and thank you C+K! It was a very unexpected surprise.
Chi-Wei + Kam we loved getting to know you both over the past few months, and are so glad you shared your big day with us. Hope you enjoy the pictures… and they bring back memories of your fabulous wedding day. Many cheers and congratulations!”
Chi-Wei + Kam’s wedding incorporated many DIY elements. Below are a few highlights:
Ceremony + Reception: Belvedere Banquets, Elk Grove Village, IL
Veil + Brides Wedding Dresses: House of Brides
Bridal Shoe(s): Nina Shoes
Hair: Rachel Pierce
Makeup: Mario Triocci
Bridesmaids Dresses: A mix of House of Brides, David’s Bridal, 1 hand made, and 1 out of town
Suits: Men’s Warehouse
Cake: Rolf’s Patisserie, Lincolnwood
Flowers: Arranged by Chin-Wei Lin, Freshroses.com
DJ: Brian Test from Sound Test Entertainment
Honeymoon: Hong Kong and Bali in May 2011