Real Weddings

A Tyler Arboretum Wedding With The Prettiest Pampas Grass Decor

How gorgeous is that ceremony circle?


pampas grass wedding decor

Photography by Emily Wren

Though pampas grass has been quietly making gains in the wedding decor world for a few years now, we have a prediction: 2019 is it. The year of the pampas grass. The billowy reeds are perfect for the couple that wants a more boho wedding look without blowing the budget on pricier blooms, and they can make quite the statement with only a few blades. Get acquainted with what just might be the new silver dollar eucalyptus in this pretty Tyler Arboretum wedding, shot by Emily Wren Photography.

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Yuhe Cong and Adam Wheeler first met as students at New York University. Though their initial conversations happened stateside in an economics class, a friendship blossomed during a shared semester abroad in London.

“Along with a few others, we spent almost all of our time together,” says Yuhe. As she got to know Adam better, she found him to be “quiet but incredibly warm and open.” Adam, for his part, enjoyed Yuhe’s “great sense of humor and bright personality.”

The pair’s first real date was lunch at an Ethiopian restaurant, where they bumbled through the “awkward but fun experience” of eating with their hands while trying to turn their friendship into something more.

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Five years later, the couple was living together in New York City and had picked out a custom engagement ring. Yuhe was pretty certain Adam would propose before a trip to visit her family, but, to keep some element of surprise, Adam led her to believe that there would be a delay in delivery, and the ring wouldn’t arrive until after her departure.

A week before the trip, Adam asked Yuhe to accompany him on a walk through NYU’s campus. He told Yuhe it was to look at all the changes that had occurred since their graduation, but really, he planned to pop the question. At NYU’s main plaza, Adam asked a passing student if she would take a picture of him and Yuhe.

“By the time I looked back, Adam was down on one knee with the ring,” says Yuhe. “Luckily, the random student took some good photos!”

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Two years after that, the couple exchanged vows in front of 118 guests at Tyler Arboretum in Media, Pennsylvania. Sophisticated boho-style arrangements of protea, roses, and pampas grass adorned both the ceremony site and the tented reception, where friends and family — many of whom made their way from NYC to Media via a bus the couple chartered just for the occasion — found their seats via a 10-foot-tall acrylic seating chart.

Come dinner, Yuhe’s parents prepared a detailed toast in both Chinese and English that brought tears to the eyes of several guests. The meal included a charcuterie table, gazpacho, a pickled beat and apple salad, and, for the main course, a choice between coriander chicken, flat iron steak, and artichoke strudel. (The signature cocktail? A lemon basil martini.)

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Yuhe and Adam selected “Make You Feel My Love” by Adele for their first dance, and cut into a red velvet cake with buttercream frosting for dessert. On top of a choice of donation to one of three charities — the Bowery Residents Committee, The Conservation Fund and the ACLU — the couple also gave traditional Chinese xitang candies as favors. They honeymooned in Japan, and still call New York City, where they both work as financial analysts, home.

THE DETAILS
Photography: Emily Wren Photography | Venue: Tyler Arboretum | Florals & Decor: Oleander | Bride’s Gown: Alexandra Grecco with a sheer overlay by Leanne Marshall | Bridesmaid Dresses: H&M | Hair: M&G Hair | Groom’s Attire: The Black Tux | Catering & Cake: Jeffrey A. Miler Catering | Entertainment: Scratch Weddings

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