There’s nothing that amazes us more than a special day that is a true labor of love organized by an awesome couple who really knows what they want. Annie & Kevin’s lovely soiree is a perfect example with chock-full of personality. Planning a western style wedding in Asia isn’t necessarily easy, for it takes a lot of communication, determination, and creativity to challenge the traditions, not to mention when you have a large bridal party of 20 people!
As seen through the lens of the talented Allen Fu Photography, this couple opted for a modern and stylish day filled with fun, love-filled moments, and incredible handmade details. Imagine hundreds of hand-folded paper fans, beautiful florals, and glittery gold vases (all painted and glittered by the Bride)! Read on to see more beautiful details!
From the Bride (Annie): Our love story begins in San Francisco circa 2007. After 2 years of dating and falling in love, Kevin was summoned by the family business to return to Taiwan.Convinced that an evil witch had cursed that all my boyfriends would one day move back to Taiwan, I decided to give this stud a shot. So we packed our bags (12 bags for me alone to be exact), and we made the big move to Taipei.
Let me just start off by saying, I was born and raised in California, and unfortunately do not have any family left in Taiwan. After 5 years of being homesick, countless mosquito bites, and constant cravings for burritos, I finally somewhat adjusted to life in Taiwan, and Kevin (finally) proposed in February 2013 in San Francisco, where we first met.
Annie: I had to return back to San Francisco to attend my best friend’s wedding as Maid of Honor in February 2013. Kevin’s initial plan was to take me sky diving in Monterey, Ca., and then propose after we land, but it was set back due to the dreadful weather.
He then had to scramble quickly to book a room at the Mandarin Oriental where he planned a romantic evening of fine dining, champagne and rose petals. Unfortunately, on our way to dinner, I accidentally felt the ring box in his jacket pocket! And because I was so nervous during dinner, I totally over ate until I was uncomfortable. One piece of advice ladies, don’t stuff yourself if you know your man’s about to propose, it’s not sexy!
He proposed over champagne and sweat pants, and of course I said “yes” to the love of my life. The weather cleared up the next day, and we went sky diving. The instructor jokingly asked Kevin over the phone, “Did your girl say yes? Because we don’t want to be held responsible for suicide attempts”.
The Planning Process
Annie: I can’t stress how important it is to book your wedding venue immediately after setting the date! Kevin and I lagged on this for 3 months, and luckily Hyatt still had their Main Ballroom available!
After locking down the venue came the difficult tasks of finding our vendors. It was very important that we find a suitable photographer because Kevin and I decided to go down the more Western route of not taking wedding photos until our big day.
If you know us personally, you know that we are definitely not the studio-picture type of couple! It would be like paying the dentist a dreadful visit! After weeks of searching online and seeking potential candidates, one of my bridesmaid actually recommended Allen’s website to us.
I instantly fell in love with his work! His ability to capture the softness of each couples affections towards one another and to bring out each couple’s personality is pure perfection.
I think both Allen and I were delighted knowing that he would be helping us capture our special wedding moments such as our: First Look, First Dance, Cake Cutting, Father/Daughter Dance, Garter Toss and so on. I was so happy that he actually knew what I was talking about since these events are not in a typical Taiwanese wedding. And he was excited that he finally had an opportunity to shoot these events in a wedding in Taiwan!
Wedding Design & Theme
Annie: Anyone who knows me, knows that I love to plan events! But of course, planning a wedding is completely different compared to a small get together! We did not have an immediate vision of what our theme would be for our big day, but we both knew that we wanted it to be fun, easy going and very “us”.
Annie: The first thing we agreed on was the color palette: Ivory, Grey with hints of Gold. Setting the color palette is very important and makes designing and shopping a whole lot easier.
In the end, I would say that our theme was modern and clean, which reflected our personal style. We wanted the atmosphere of the ceremony and reception to be intimate and warm, so we used a lot of dim lighting, candles, and simple clean white flowers in gold vases.
Advice for future newlyweds
Annie: Before you start planning a wedding, it’s important to keep in mind that you can’t always have what you want, but it’s important to communicate and compromise. Being able to communicate clearly with your vendors is key to a smooth and successful wedding.
Another important advice is, make sure everyone involved in the wedding is crystal clear about the wedding day schedule. Although we had a fairly large bridal party (20 people), everyone studied the schedule, and was very clear about what their responsibilities were.
We managed to complete hair & makeup for 17 women, tortured the groom and his groomsmen during “fetching the bride”, took our wedding photos with Allen and his team, had a heart-warming ceremony, managed to seat all 380 guests on schedule, and opened up the dance floor and open bar to start the after party at 10pm sharp! We couldn’t have asked for a better day!
Annie: In the end, the most important thing to keep in mind is to have fun! It’s not going to be perfect, and there will be mishaps, but honestly, no one will even notice. Make sure to take the time to enjoy every single moment of your big day because hopefully this will be your first and last wedding of your lifetime!
Annie: Because I was unable to find gold vases (that I liked), I decided to DIY it myself! Yes that’s right, I was insane and actually painted and glittered 100 gold vases by hand!
Our favorite wedding detail would be the 10 ft. tall reception backdrop behind our sweetheart table which consisted of hundreds of hand folded paper fans that took everyone’s breath away.
What to expect after your big day
Annie: Waking up the next day in our hotel room, we felt an awkward sense of calmness. Even though it was an amazing day for us, there was a huge sense of relief that it was finally over. However, after a few days went by, I found myself not knowing what to do with myself because there was so much free time on my hands. In all honesty, I actually felt a little empty on the inside. There was no more scrambling to rearrange the seating chart, updating our RSVP’s, stuffing invitations into envelopes and running to the store to pick up more supplies for all of our DIY crafts.
About a month after the wedding, I received a little package in the mail, and when I opened it, I was delightfully surprised to see Allen’s wooden box! I was so excited to slide open the box, and when I did, I was overcame with joy! We received 10 timeless photos neatly wrapped in a band and a super cool wooden USB with all off our photos!
He even took the time to separate our photos into folders, original size for high quality prints, and reduced sized photos to upload and share on social media for our friends and family. You can tell that Allen Fu puts in so much effort into perfecting not only his photos, but his entire service.
From day one, his dedication in making an effort to understand what we wanted made the planning process a breeze. We knew on the day of our wedding, that we had nothing to worry about because Allen and his team were punctual and professional, and we knew that they would capture every single moment that was important to us. And to top it all off, receiving his hand crafted wooden box really just made everything so much more personal. If you want a photographer who will take the time to get to know you as a couple and to capture all the perfect moments and deliver amazing photos, hands down we recommend Allen Fu! We can’t thank him enough in helping to preserve memories of our special day!
Thoughts from the photographer
Allen Fu: When Annie and Kevin first came to me with their wedding plan I knew right away this is the kind of wedding I have hoped to have shot in Taiwan. Annie and Kevin had the idea of having a truly western style wedding in Taiwan which from my past experiences were difficult due to many different reasons. However through sheer determination and careful planning, Annie and Kevin really pulled it off, and I was so happy that I was the one they chose to have the honor to capture those beautiful moments for them.
One of the most memorable part of the day was when we were shooting for the bridal parties, because there were 19 people including the couple themselves within the bridal parties, it was definitely a challenge for me to find ways to incorporate everyone in the photographs! Annie and Kevin reserved ample amount of time for me to not only shoot the bridal parties but also a more intimate shoot for just the two of them.
The wedding was fun, intimate, and beautifully planned. It was truly an honor or me to have shot this wedding, and I am so grateful for the trust that Annie and Kevin had in me to capture such a monumental moment for them. We’ve grown into good friends ever since the wedding because the precious moments we shared and that is one part of my job I cherish and thank God for it!
About Allen Fu Photography
Hi my name is Allen, I am not really good with words but what I am good at is telling a story through my cameras. Growing up in three different countries, Taiwan, New Zealand and USA, had helped me see and understand things in different cultures which can translate into my work. I love photography, I love how I am able to tell stories through photography. I love natural, unpretentious, honest and lifestyle moments. If you are like me, I hope you will like my work as well!
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Venue: Grand Hyatt Taipei | Videographer: Chad Studios | Florist: Chic ô Fleurs | Event Design: JinDu Advertising | Hair and makeup: Yuiki | Alcohol: S.Y.C Vino & Cigar Company | Photo Booth: on CLOUD NINE