Esther + Cheng | Elie Saab Wedding from Jhovany Quiroz Photography

Here’s a sweet + romantic California wedding loaded with tons of DIY’s and pretty-in-pink details.  Esther + Cheng spent a year and half prepping for their big day, making their wedding a “Whimsically Romantic, DIY Wonderland”.  I love that! And how neat that after so much handy work, Esther’s hand sewn, silk petal backdrop for their ceremony was chosen as ‘Pin of the Day’ on the Martha Stewart Weddings website.  But my favourite has to be Esther’s generosity and thoughtfulness, as she hopes to use the money from the sale of her dreamy Elie Saab gown, Laertes to treat her parents to a vacation as a special thank you for all of their love and support.  So sweet!

Esther + Cheng | June 23, 2012 | Tierra Rejada Ranch in Moorpark, CA | Dress Listing: Elie Saab, Laertes

The Ceremony
Our ceremony was “whimsically romantic”, as it was set in a beautiful walnut grove, with a handmade DIY ombre petal curtain used as the backdrop. The petal curtaininvolved over 8,000 silk petals that I hand-sewed together, and it was featured on Martha Stewart’s wedding website as a “Pin of the Day”.  We used Beatles songs for ALL of the music in the ceremony, and I walked down the aisle to the song, “Here Comes the Sun” wearing my DIY 
crystallized Christian Louboutin shoes holding a peony bouquet with a DIY crystal bow accent. The officiant was actually my principal (I work as a high school history teacher), Dr. John Biroc, and he started off our ceremony with a short poem, “Who Knows If the Moon’s a
Balloon” by E.E. Cummings.

The Reception
Our reception was a “DIY Wonderland”, incorporating dozens of DIY projects I had worked on (with the help of my family, friends, and husband) for over a year and a half, averaging about 8 hours a day on all of the crafts. Our colors were pink and turquoise, and the decor included a number of different DIY projects, including petal balloons (my own creation), petal chair coverings for the bride + groom table, petal chandeliers, a peony and baby’s-breath escort table, crystal table numbers, bow shaped turquoise napkins, crystal signs for each of the areas, a Photo Booth, a photo printing station, a candy buffet (with crystal bows, petal flowers, and gigantic lollipops used as decorative accents), and a wedding cake set on a crystal wedding cake stand. Halfway through the reception, we honored my husband’s Chinese heritage by bringing out red decorations with the double happiness symbol, which is supposed to bring us luck in our marriage. We changed out the decorations of the two parents’ tables so that the tablecloth and flowers were all red, and the bride and groom table was also changed to all red decor.

Esther’s Dress Search
I wanted my dress to not only look beautiful in pictures, but for it to move beautifully rather than looking stiff and overly structured. The reason I chose Elie Saab’s gown called Laertes was because it is made mostly out of silk tulle, which has a naturally beautiful, graceful flow to it that cannot truly be emulated by synthetic materials. I loved the clear sequins sewn all over the dress and the sparkle that it adds is so subtle making the dress look magical in person (without looking over-the-top). The fullness of the dress is a really special feature as it just sort of surrounds you making it look as if you are sitting in a beautiful, silk tulle cloud.

How Esther Felt in Her Wedding Dress
Beautiful, Glamorous, Luminous.

Why Esther Decided to Sell Her Wedding Dress
I love my wedding dress, but I know I will never actually wear it again. Also, I received a lot of requests from brides on wedding blogs that I joined for me to sell my dress after the big day.  It made me realize how much I wanted to share this dress with other brides that would appreciate it and love it as much as I did. Also, as a thank you to my parents for all of their love and support they have given me throughout the years, I wanted to use the money from the sale of the dress to send my parents on a nice vacation. Lastly, I didn’t want to make any of my hypothetical children feel obligated into wearing a dress that I had worn, since I realize that they would probably have different tastes or want to wear something different to their own wedding.


Wedding Dress: Elie Saab, Laertes | Photography: Jhovany Quiroz | Ceremony + Reception Venue: Walnut Grove Weddings at Tierra Rejada Ranch | Event Planning: Michele Spring from Mia Bella Weddings| Floral Design: The Floral Event by Lisa Chen | Cake: Porto’s Bakery in Glendale | Martha Stewart Weddings Pin of the Day: Ombre Petal Curtain. See all of our Elie Saab wedding dresses for sale…