When a pair of computer science majors from MIT met at a class reunion in Las Vegas, a romance ensued around a shared love of making things.
Two years later, Andrew Chen proposed to his future bride, Jennifer Chan, with a sign that read "Jenny, will you marry me?" She said yes, of course, and the couple embarked upon wedding plans that would reflect their love of DIY craft—and for Martha Stewart types out there, the celebration was one for the books.
At Cinnabar Hills Golf Club in San Jose, rolling greens and natural fields set the scene for a ceremony in an outdoor garden. Every other decorative element, however, was lovingly made by the bride and groom.
"We made almost everything ourselves, including the silk floral centerpieces, the ring pillow, and photo booth," says Chan. "We even constructed our own corn hole boards and bags as a cocktail hour activity, all painted and embroidered with our names and wedding date." Naturally, the engineering bride even created an iPad app for the custom photo booth, for which she constructed the backdrop out of tissue paper flowers and PVC pipes.
"All of the florals were designed and created by us, including the centerpiece flower balls, cocktail table flowers, boutonnieres, corsages, and bouquets. The arbor at Cinnabar also did not have any roses in bloom that day, so my parents added flowers to it to make it pop!" says Chan, who lovingly glued rose petals to an aisle runner and hung flower balls and tulle. "We had a mix of roses, hydrangeas, and various other flowers matching our color scheme."
A lavender palette was infused throughout, seen in the florals, napkins, ribbons, and bridesmaid dresses.
To commemorate their love for travel, tables were named after places they've visited and adorned with photos from each place along with handmade glitter table numbers. Guests sipped on signature cocktails named after the couple—Andrew's Yum Yum Coke and Rum and Jenny's Fairytale Triple Sec and Ginger Ale. And stuffed kangaroos (the couple's spirit animal) guarded the wedding cake.
"I wanted to feel like a princess," Chan recalls, so she opted for a classic ivory strapless ballgown with a full tulle skirt, a crystal belt, and a cathedral-length veil with scalloped trim. Chen was her perfect prince, dressed in a black tux with a white bow tie, vest, and boutonniere in their wedding hues.
The newlyweds had their first dance to "Say You Won't Let Go" by James Arthur, kicking off a dance party that would last into the night. Despite all the detailed planning that went in, Chan imparts sage words, "Take time to live in the moment during your wedding!"
Venue: Cinnabar Hills Golf Club
Dress: David's Bridal
Hair and makeup: Love And Artistry
Cake: Cake Expressions
Photography: Apollo Fotografie