"Today isn't about us. It's about you all-- our family and friends who came here to celebrate with us."
These words from Edward and Lily's welcome speech perfectly describe the type of people they are. Throughout their wedding day, they wanted to make sure all of their guests were happy and relaxed. Lily and Edward are kind hearted, welcoming, and thoughtful. You may remember these two from their Pasadena engagement session where Lily hand made her flower crown and bouquet out of Costco flowers. It was no surprise that she also made most of the flowers for her wedding as well!
Their day started out with a traditional Chinese tea ceremony at each of their houses to honor their families by serving tea to each one of them. This moment in the day stood out to me because my parents did the same traditions like the tea serving, door games, and praying for their wedding too. Also, as someone who has been to many tea ceremonies, this is usually where the photography timeline falls behind. However, Lily and Edward were such an amazing T.Wu couple that not only were we ahead of schedule, but we also had extra time to relax and eat lunch.
They are the first in their family to do a traditional American ceremony, so they chose to have a Castle Green wedding. This venue has been on my bucket list for years, and I'm so thankful that I finally got a chance to shoot there for their wedding! The colors scheme they chose were burgundy and purple, making their wedding look so elegant and royal with Castle Green's historic backdrop.
When I met Lily and Edward's friends and family, I could see where they got their kindness from. I usually only get to talk to guests at small intimate weddings of 50 people or less, but their guests were so friendly that I felt like I was able to get to know them despite a guest count of about 200 people!
Thank you so much Edward and Lily for having me as your wedding photographer. I had so much fun getting to know you and your friends and family!
If you didn't know this, floral invites are my FAVORITE! Also, I loved that Lily purchased the design from Paper Alphabet and printed through Vistaprint.
In addition to these gorgeous Valentino shoes, Lily also brought flats to be more comfortable later in the day. This is a great tip for other brides who want the stunning high heels, but also want to be comfy later on.
When I saw these vow books, I did a happy dance because I was so excited to shoot them.
The Chinese tea ceremony usually starts with door games at the bride's house where the groom isn't allowed to see the bride unless him and his groomsmen pass a set of challenges given by the bridesmaids. For each challenge failed, he owes the bride a certain dollar amount. The challenges included singing, dancing, and even passing a rose petal between each other using only their mouths.
When the groom finally passes, the tea ceremony begins with a prayer and serving tea to their family members. Once this is done, they perform the tea ceremony at the groom's house. I loved Lily's qi pao (Chinese dress) that she wore during this ceremony!
After the tea ceremony, we headed to Castle Green!
Tall trees like this are a photographer's dream for portraits.
When you find the perfect doorway to hang the dress. P.S. if you're ever shooting at Castle Green, you have to wrap the hanger so that it doesn't damage the wood since its a historical venue.
Since this room had the best light, we started the boys getting ready here, and then sent them outside so that the girls could get ready in the best natural light.
Since their ceremony started at 5PM, they opted for a first look because we were worried it would be too dark for portraits following the ceremony (Sun sets around 5:30PM in January and it sets behind Castle Green, so it gets dark really quickly). Thanks to the first look, we were able to shoot their bride and groom photos, bridal party shots, and even their portraits with their family members before the ceremony.
We had so much time working with the photography timeline that I helped them build, the I even got to sneak in shooting both their ceremony and reception details. You'll see why this was all super helpful when you see the unexpected thing that happened after the ceremony.
Lily, you look gorgeous!
These girls were so easy to work with!
Such a fun group! I think I said something along the lines of, "Laugh at me because I'm so funny hahaha." They didn't think I was funny, but at least I got some great laughs for this photo.
The groomsmen looking very GQ.
This is my new favorite bridesmaids pose!
I still can't believe that Lily made these!
Lily told me that one of the reasons she booked Castle Green was the interior, so I had to sneak in some shots of the inside for her.
By the time I was shooting the ceremony details, the sun was behind the building, perfectly providing shade for this entire area. Since there's no harsh and direct sunlight, I was able to get these dreamy ceremony photos!
Hooray for perfect lighting and skin tones thanks to the shade!
I thought it was so sweet that Edward's vows made Lily cry happy tears. My favorite promise that he made was to "always fulfill her midnight In-N-Out cravings." These two are the best!
Loved their reactions when pronounced as husband and wife!
The surprise following the ceremony was that there was still golden light! We hadn't planned to shoot after the ceremony, but I had to sneak them away for a few minutes to get these shots.
I know that the first thing couples want to do following the ceremony is to greet their family and friends, so I'm so thankful that they trusted my photography judgement that delaying the greetings would be worth it.
Since I was able to shoot these details earlier in the day, I could get the light and airy look that Lily and Edward love for their reception details. Special shout out to the bridesmaids for helping with putting the centerpieces and details up!
They didn't choreograph their first dance, but this dip was perfect!
I love the purple qi pao Lily changed into later in the night since it complemented her wedding colors so well.
Love these two!
Special thank you to all the vendors who put this together:
Photo | Tiffany Wu Photography
Venue | Castle Green Weddings
Coordinator | Ellenar Events Lyrissa Roman
Hair & Makeup | MakeupByKarenLee
DJ & Officiant & Lighting | SpotlightGroove
Invitations & Stationary | Paper Alphabet & Vistaprint
Caterer & Rentals | Castle Catering
Bridesmaids Dresses | Lulus.com
Wedding Dress | David's Bridal
Photo Booth | The PhotoBooth Guy
Bridal Shoes | Valentino
Rings | James Allen Rings Happy Jewelers
Wedding Baby Sitting Service | LA Wedding Sitter