From The Archives

Nancy and Ben

Our latest Real Wedding feature was sent to us by the lovely Wynn Austin of  Wynn Austin Fine Weddings & Events. Wynn was also the talent behind Jessica and JJ’s stunning wedding which we featured last summer and which was also featured in Style Me Pretty’s Best of 2011 Magazine.

Wynn gives us a little background about Nancy and Ben and more info about their wedding style…

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Ben & Nancy were high school sweethearts and were able to stay together all through high school and college even though they went to colleges in different states.  They are each other’s best friends and they were so excited to start a new chapter  of their life.

 The main priorities that they told me when we met is that they wanted a very elegant and gorgeous wedding and they wanted to make sure that we incorporated red and gold for Nancy’s Chinese heritage.  It was very important to Nancy’s family that red was present.  In the Chinese culture, Red symbolizes good luck and it is imperative to have at a couples wedding to chase away bad luck.  The Gold in weddings represents wealth & happiness.  Nancy also loves the look of all white so we decided to design the wedding with the palette of white, gold accents, and touches of red.

WEDDING DATE:  July 21st, 2012
LOCATION:  San Diego, California
CEREMONY + RECEPTION:  The Santaluz Club
PHOTOGRAPHER:  Braja Mandala & Gene Higa of Mandala Wedding Photography
FLOWERS:  Kathy Wright & Co.
WEDDING PLANNER: Wynn Austin Fine Weddings & Events
GOWN:  Anne Barge from Bliss Bride

Ben & Nancy wanted a lot of personal touches for their wedding.  As guests entered, they saw bookshelves of framed pictures of Ben & Nancy’s childhood, along with a hand calligraphy chalkboard sign welcoming guests (hand calligraphy chalkboards are a theme that you’ll see throughout). After the ceremony guests were invited upstairs to the courtyard for the cocktail hour where an escort card table was decorated with a white apothecary chest adorned with florals.  Above the table we strung a gold flea market chandelier with candles inside…

STATIONERY: Nancy and Ben chose the Love Logo #16 wedding invitation suite and matching menu cards.

california wedding, wedding invitations, elegant wedding

The reception was held in a beautiful white tent.  Nancy loved the timeless look of the crystal chandeliers in the tent.  As a nod to her Chinese heritage, we picked a gorgeous gold Acanthus leaf linen and gold chiavari chairs.  We also brought out the hints of red from the florals by embellishing each napkin with a red ribbon and on top was a “Thank You” to each of their guests for coming (some of their guests came from as far as China & France).  There was also a menu featuring Nancy and Ben’s wedding logo at each place setting.  We decided to play off of the logo and handpainted a large chalkboard wall on one side of the tent – the artwork included an homage to their wedding logo as well as a verse from their wedding vows “Always and Forever I’ll be right by your side”. The large 8×8 ft chalkboard wall served as the focal point of the tent and added an elegant but playful side to their wedding.  It also tied in with all the other signs that guests saw throughout the wedding.

Since Nancy loved the look of lush white florals, I designed a custom giant handmade paper flower wall to be the backdrop of their dessert bar.  I just loved the way it turned out!  It has so much depth and texture to it. And finally,  we can’t have a Chinese Fusion wedding without the performance of the lion dancers! Lion dancers have been a part of the Chinese culture for thousands of years and are known to chase away evil spirits.  When the drumming started from the musicians, all the guests were so surprised when 4 large lions started prancing into the tent! The performance was incredible and it was such an amazing way to open up the dance floor!

Thanks so much Wynn for sending us photos and details from Nancy and Ben’s wedding! You did an amazing job, as usual!

– gia

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All wedding photos © Mandala Wedding Photography
Invitation photos by betsywhite stationery

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