Anytime a bride cites “Father of the Bride” as a source of wedding inspiration, you know her wedding is going to be lovely! Following a traditional Catholic ceremony, Kelly and Marvin celebrated with their guests in the backyard of Kelly’s childhood home, in a reception full of lush red peonies, the most charming swing, and sweet nods to Kelly’s Chinese heritage. I especially love that their most memorable moment was their peaceful, private drive to the reception, and the fact that Kelly literally let her hair down to twirl around the dance floor with her new husband!
Big SW hugs to the talented Katie Stoops for sharing Kelly and Marvin’s wedding with us!
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I was so lucky to have my mom with me at every dress appointment. When we visited Carine’s Bridal Atelier, I loved every Monique Lhuillier dress I tried on! Putting my dress on with the veil sealed the deal. I felt like a bride!
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My something borrowed and old was my pendant from my mom, which was passed down to her from my great grandmother. My something new was my shoes. I wore a little something blue under my dress!
I loved our wedding flowers! We used our wedding invitations and other Redoute prints as inspiration. The colors ranged from white, blush, pops of peach, pink, and red. We had peonies, garden roses, clematis, ranunculus, freesia, sweet peas, jasmine, and hypericum. The red peonies were amazing, full, and lush.
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We did not do a first look. It didn’t fit into our schedule before the ceremony and I really wanted that moment of seeing Marvin waiting for me at the altar. I didn’t realize I would become so emotional the moment we arrived at the church!
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did not write our own vows. We stuck to the traditional Catholic vows.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The swing! The swing hung on a huge tree in my parents’ backyard, just beyond the tent. It was decorated with greens, beautiful flowers, and ribbon streamers. It added just the right hint of whimsy to our wedding.
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? St. Clare of Assisi is a beautiful church tucked away in the town of Clifton. It is surrounded by trees and natural beauty. Our reception was at my parents’ house. Ever since I was a little girl watching Father of the Bride, I’ve dreamed about a wedding at the home I grew up in. I couldn’t have picked a more special place for our wedding celebration!
I am half Chinese, and for our favors, my Aunt Wendy handmade tea cups with the Chinese characters for double happiness stamped in red on the front. In China, red is the traditional wedding color, as it signifies joy, love, and prosperity. Because the wedding was at my parents’ house, we were able to use lots of personal items throughout the day.
Our first dance was to “The Way I Am,” by Ingrid Michaelson, and the father daughter dance was to “The Way You Look Tonight,” by Steve Tyrell. Marvin is Puerto Rican and I teach Zumba, so we also put together a collection of salsa music to dance to later in the evening.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Our wedding cake was called Heaven and it is my favorite cake–we have it every year for my birthday! It is white chocolate cake with raspberry filling and white chocolate frosting. It was simply decorated and adorned with flowers. We also had a dessert bar with mini sweet treats. The berry crumble with ginger ice cream was amazing!
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We first met on Memorial Day 2010 when Marvin moved onto the same floor as me in our condo building. A few months later, after lots of brief chats in the elevator (he was a principal and I am a teacher), he slipped a note under my door. We eventually met for coffee and went out for dinner. We’ve been together ever since! The real love story unfolded shortly thereafter on my birthday when Marvin gifted me our two puppies, Pippi and Penelope!
Tell us all about the proposal! Marvin proposed on Memorial Day 2012, two years after we first met! After finishing dinner with my family, Marvin gave me a gift: a picture of him with our puppies that read, “Will you marry us?” Then, he pulled out the ring, and of course, I said YES!
When did y’all get married? June 29, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 100
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? The readings we selected were Genesis 2:18-24, 1 Corinthians 12:31-13:8, and Mark 10:6-9.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We chose “Canon in D” for the procession and “Ode to Joy” for the recessional. A family friend sang the most beautiful “Ave Maria” during the presentation of flowers to Mary.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? We really wanted an outdoor tented wedding reception, but that meant we had to let Mother Nature do her thing. It poured like crazy the day before our wedding. Thankfully, we had Megan, our wedding planner, by our side, thinking of backup plans for pictures, cocktail hour, etc. Luckily, the sun came out bright and early the morning of our wedding!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $50,000-$75,000
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? I really loved all of our vendors. I’m so happy that we worked with our photographer, Katie Stoops. Her work is amazing and she has a great personality. Plus, she loves dogs! She was able to make us feel comfortable and capture the beauty of the day. I also loved our florist, because she brought our wedding to life. She had such a fun personality and really listened to what we envisioned. I love that in her description of my bouquet, she wrote “It will be drop dead gorgeous.”
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? My favorite memory of the day was leaving the church with Marvin by my side. We didn’t have a limo, so the two of us drove from the church back to my parents’ house together. I loved the moment we had alone, driving through the back roads of Clifton, with the sun shining down on us. Our other favorite moment was walking out as Mr. and Mrs. Rodriguez, escorted by our puppies!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Don’t stress, and enjoy every moment! What’s meant to be, will be. I felt confident about our wedding day going off without a hitch because we had an amazing wedding planner who stayed on top of the details and thought one step ahead! And, it helps if you have a team of vendors that have worked together in the past.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are enjoying married life! We bought a home the month before getting married, so we’ve been busily making our home our own. We can’t wait to start a family. We’ve been writing shared goals for our future and we’re excited for the journey ahead!
Photographer: Katie Stoops / Planner: Megan Pollard, Events in the City / Ceremony Venue: St. Clare of Assisi Catholic Church / Reception Venue: Private residence / Florist: Barbara Von Elm, Growing Wild Floral Company / Cake Baker: Victoria’s Cakery / Catering: Design Cuisine / Rentals: Capital Party Rentals / Band: Empty Pocket / Custom Watercolor: Tina Steenerson / Bride’s Gown: “Sentimental” by Monique Lhuillier / Paper Products: Smitten on Paper / Bride’s Accessories: Carine’s Bridal Atelier / Hair Stylist: Giselle Chreky / Makeup Artist: Susan Lim Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka /Bridesmaid Dresses: BCBG and David’s Bridal / Men’s Attire: Brooks Brothers / Tea Cup Favors: Double Happiness Pottery / Caricature Artists: About Faces / Valet Parking: MarcPark
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