They Went on a First Date at Wendy’s, Then Married at Cairnwood 13 Years Later
Their Big Day included a Chinese tea ceremony.
Spring is well under way, and with it comes blooming flowers and a fresh, light quality to the air. And this Cairnwood wedding for two high-school sweethearts is imbued with that aesthetic, from the color palette to the simple, airy theme to the historic setting itself. (Click here to see more landmark spots like this for your Big Day.) Photographer Dyanna LaMora captured the bright, beautiful moments, and we’re sharing them below.
For Philly natives Yong Weng and Kevin Wu, it all began at Central High School. A mutual pal introduced them during their freshmen year, and they became fast friends. By the time they were sophomores, they were dating. Their first date was a movie and Wendy’s — fitting for 15-year-olds in 2006 — where they snacked on chili and sour cream and chive baked potatoes (Yong’s favorite) from the dollar menu. It was a sweet start to their relationship, which continued for 12 and a half years before they got engaged.
Kevin knew he had to come up with something that he could easily keep under wraps — Yong has an uncanny ability to ruin her own surprises — so he decided to pop the question at the Morris Arboretum. (Yong loves gardens, so he knew it wouldn’t make her suspicious if they spent the morning at the scenic grounds.) He got down on one knee as their time at the park came to an end; a good friend, who had followed them the entire time, snapped photos of the big moment.
Some 10 and a half months later, on June 15, 2019, Yong and Kevin said “I do” at Graeme Park, with a reception afterward at Cairnwood Estate. It was important to them to honor both their American and Chinese cultures, and they incorporated aspects of each into their Big Day.
The Chinese tea ceremony was particularly poignant for Yong, who wanted to honor her grandparents. “We understood that it was more than just offering our elders tea,” she says. “It was the ultimate sign of respect; it showed our gratitude for all the love and support and symbolized the joining of our families.” (Kevin, meanwhile, was touched by his cousin’s speech, delivered in their Chinese dialect.) The couple also had a traditional American ceremony, during which a harpist played several pieces from the Game of Thrones soundtrack — one of Kevin’s favorite details.
The reception had a simple, airy theme — what the duo calls a Joyous Spring Day. There were floral arrangements of blush peonies, ivory and blush roses, ivory ranunculus, light blue delphiniums, and Queen Anne’s lace, all of which complemented the late-19th-century architecture and verdant greenery of the estate. For a bit of whimsy, a caricaturist captured humorous sketches of the guests, and Yong surprised Kevin with a live painter; their portrait now hangs in their New Jersey living room.
Other unique details included the menu. Guests dined on a mix of American and Chinese food, the latter of which was from Han Dynasty, one of the couple’s top food spots in Philly. There was also a Cantonese-style roasted pig. And instead of a cake, a dessert table was stocked with doughnuts, cupcakes and popsicles — nostalgic treats to finish the night on a sweet note.
Photographer: Dyanna LaMora | Venues: Graeme Park (ceremony); Cairnwood (reception) | Planning/Design: Forever Love Events Co. (now Musa Weddings) | Florals: Posey Hill Flowers | Catering: Han Dynasty | Bride’s Gowns: EastMeetsDress (tea ceremony); BHLDN (wedding dress) | Bridesmaids’ Attire: Lulus | Hair: Emboldened Hair Artistry | Makeup: Mayed Up | Groom’s Attire: Oliver Wicks | Entertainment: MingtheMC | Harpist: Thérèse Hurley | Desserts: Beiler’s (doughnuts); Tracey Tran (cupcakes); Lil Pop Shop (popsicles) | Invitations: P8perHearts | Videography: Shutter & Sound | Live Painter: Brittany Branson | Caricaturist: Bruce Blitz | Photo Booth: Mini-Booths | Celebrant: Celebrant Robin
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