Rarely do I find so many different inspirations in one wedding day but this elegant Kohl Mansion wedding feature is packed full of the most intriguing designs & ideas! The couple & their wedding team brought very fun ideas to life – my favorites being three wedding cakes in a “cake garden” with multiple flavors of course. Then also the reception where everyone dined in the clouds! An excellent way to wow everyone in what is normally a very simple portion of the wedding day.
You are sure to enjoy this elegant & fun feature!
From the Event Planner – “We wanted to make sure every element of the wedding day was well-intentioned and reflected the vision of the couple and their love story. The bride’s favorite colors are blue and apricot. We created a color palette of ocean blue, white, yellow and apricot for an elegant and sophisticated look. The ceremony arch was a symmetrical arrangement composed of green vines with white and yellow garden roses blooms. A harpist regally to the side of the arch with its gold strings in harmony with the golden-backed chairs for the guests. For the reception design, we created a modern table scape with peonies, garden roses, poppies, ranunculus, and other spring flowers. Apricots were delicately placed on the table for guests to visually and gustatorily enjoy. Ocean blue velvet table linens were selected from La Tavola Fine Linen. All table top rental items were thoughtfully picked from the Theoni collection to cater to the modern and high-end tastes of our bride. Even though the reception was stunning as is, the couple really wanted to wow the guests, therefore we created the illusion of “dining on clouds” upon entry from the cocktail hour to reception.”
How did you meet? “Pengfei and I met in New York City, the place where I once worked. Pengfei was already working in San Francisco by then, he traveled to NYC to run the NYC marathon. He arrived a few days prior to the race began to acclimate to the weather there. We happened to ask a common friend (which was my friend at UT Austin and his classmate at Shanghai Jiaotong University) to dinner on the same day. That common friend did not bother to have 2 separate dinner catch-ups so he asked each of us if he could bring another friend to come to dine together. We both said okay and that’s how our first very coincidental meeting happened 🙂
In terms of our first met, we just had a very casual dinner chat that night. The restaurant also happened to have a free KTV so I also sang a song. Pengfei mentioned to me later that he was pretty impressed by my singing but I did not know at that time. I felt he is an interesting person, a bit shy but can also be quite talkative. I was not paying too much attention to him, knowing that he lives in SF and I do not want a long-distance relationship back then.
After the first met, Pengfei tried to ask a group of people out (so I wouldn’t feel embarrassed and turn it down) during his week of stay in NYC. He organized a dinner/visiting the Empire State Building/ a movie, so we had a few chances to meet during that first week.”
What is your proposal story? “Pengfei proposed to me very casually and I had been complaining about it for a while. But on Chinese Valentine’s day, when we went back home after a great dinner, I found a bunch of small lights on the ground with some paper-folded flowers and Pengfei proposed to me again. I was deeply moved by the fact that he spent nights folding those roses after I fall asleep. It was a romantic and memorable night for sure!”
Tell us a little a bit about your wedding.“We wanted a summer outdoor wedding, so the color plays an important role in bringing in that atmosphere of summer romance. Light blue and Champagne colors appeared quite frequently in our wedding, from flowers to linens to bride’s dresses. Kohl Mansion has a very nice little rose garden that blooms in June, with a nice waterfall of beautiful bougainvillea on the wall. Those are both great natural summer decorations for our wedding.”
Tell us about your attire choices. “To accommodate our outdoor wedding, I went for a sparkly wedding dress as my wedding gown. The sunny weather in San Francisco will give it extra colors. For the first-dance dress, I picked a more light-weighted dress in a light champagne color. Our first dance happened in an outdoor space as well, so I wanted to make sure the dress is light enough to move with our steps and the wind.”
What did you do for favors? “We created a bookmark with guest’s name and table number on it. We tied it on the champagne flute to work as an escort card. Afterward, our guests can take their own bookmark home as a favor.”
What was the most important to the two of you while planning? Was there anything that you chose to splurge on or skip? “We were very clear on the budget allocation from the beginning. We allocated a majority of our budget to food and drinks/venue/ flowers. We felt it more important to put money on things that our guests will perceive and remain in their memories, as I usually remember about the settings and atmosphere from the past weddings I attended.”
Do you have any advice for couples planning their weddings now? “I think one of the previous questions about budget allocation is a great starting point – making sure that you are aligned on how to spend the money. It all comes down to what you want yourself or the guests to remember from that day, your own dresses/flowers/wedding cake, whatever will make that wedding your most lovely memory.”
Tell us about your wedding cake. “We started with browsing some really delicate wedding cakes on vendors’ websites that our friends recommended. Those were beautiful cakes but were also too costly (easily $1-2K per cake). We eventually decided to order 3 cakes from my favorite local bakery, with strawberry vanilla flavor and earl grey flavor with peach fillings. I went to this bakery at least 1-2 times a month; although their cakes are plain-looking, they are very delicious and sugar-light.
Our cakes do not have those decorations you typically see on other wedding cakes, so our wedding planner and designer Lisa helped us create a small garden around the cakes to make the entire presentation more colorful and playful. I think it will likely be one of the most delicious and unique wedding cakes for our guests to remember.”
What were your favorite parts of the day? “There are a few things I really like about our wedding – the vows, the cloud, the wedding cake presentation. Our vows consist of 2 parts – we read our vows to each other, and we also sang a song for each other. The 2 songs we picked for each other are: How long will I love you & Nothing’s gonna change my love for you. It took both of us a lot of preparation ahead of time but it also made us remember the lyrics as the words we gave to each other.
We also set up our dining hall as a “fairyland with clouds” (dry ice). When guests entered the hall after the first dance, the “cloud” flowed towards and came around them, the presentation was awesome and romantic. Walking towards our table felt like moving in the clouds through a mysterious path.”
Photography: Allen Tsai Photography / Ceremony Venue: Kohl Mansion / Reception Venue: Kohl Mansion / Event Planning: Blooming Wed / Floral: Amanda Vidmar Design / Stationery: The Aerialist Press / Videography: Uforia Films / Wedding Cake: Whole Cakes San Francisco / Rentals: Theoni Collection / Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen / Hair: Makeup by Quis / DJ: Big Fun Dj / Harpist: Angelic Harp / Catering: Weir Catering / Submitted via: Matchology