Garden weddings are such a breath of fresh air! Vibrant greenery, lush florals and the timeless elegance of a garden party are what Meg and Michael were seeking for their New York wedding. After a traditional church ceremony, the reception began with a Chinese tea ceremony and cocktail hour before things really got started with a totally fun reception that included a special guest. Meg looked beautiful in a Christos gown, accented with just a little bit of spring green – perfect for the Brooklyn Botanic Garden venue!
Our wedding was Saturday, August 10th, 2013 in New York. The ceremony was at St. Joseph Church in Garden City. It was the parish that Mike and his family attended during his childhood. It was a beautiful day with perfect weather so we were really able to take advantage of the beautiful gardens.
The Brooklyn Botanic Gardens is a beautiful green spot in the heart of Brooklyn, New York. It really combined the convenience and urban neighborhood of being in Brooklyn with the natural beauty of a botanical garden. Mike and I moved just a few miles away from the gardens in Brooklyn in 2011 so the location is very important and memorable for us. We didn’t quite have an overall theme but I wanted to incorporate our family’s culture.
We had bagpipers at the ceremony, a tea ceremony and at each seat, guests were given a bamboo dim sum steamer that was filled with Irish wild flower and bells of Ireland seeds, and some Asian candies to incorporate our Chinese and Irish families and the overall garden theme through the seeds. We wanted the reception to be relaxed and natural, to reflect our (or at least Mike’s) easygoing personality and wanted to just keep things light and fun.
Mike is half Chinese and the tea ceremony is something that is traditional in Chinese weddings. Different families execute the tea ceremony in different ways, (sometimes it takes place before the wedding at a family’s home) but the main idea is that the now married couple “serves tea” to all his/her elders, as a sign of thanks and respect. In exchange for the tea, the elders (defined as any relatives older than the couple and married) will give the couple “lucky money” in red envelopes (similar to those used during Chinese New Year) as well as their well wishes and “advice” — mostly they wish for lots of babies and happiness which is not too different than the types of wishes and congratulations I receive from my relatives too!
We included my parents and aunts/uncles who were not too familiar with the tradition but were happy to participate. It actually turned out to be such a nice way to thank all those relatives who are so important to mike and me because we had some time with each relative to speak with them and thank them for being there. Much of the evening flew by so quickly and I felt like i had no time to talk to everyone, so I was so happy we had that moment to share with those who are most important.
The tea ceremony took about 20 minutes and was held simultaneously with the rest of the cocktail hour, for those guests who did not take part. They could grab a drink and food, and if they wanted, observe the ceremony, or just enjoy the lovely weather and gardens outside and wait for the reception to begin!
Mike is a huge Mets fan, has always been since he was born and so when a co-worker mentioned to me that Mr Met can do special events, I had to look into it. Mr Met was so much fun and I kept it as a total surprise. Only a few of my close bridesmaids and mother knew of the “special guest” so most people were completely shocked! He spent about an hour at our reception dancing and taking pictures with friends. It was an amazing moment because, I think, once Mr Met arrived, most of the eyes were finally off me and Mike so we could finally relax and enjoy the party!!
Meg’s Dress Search
I didn’t really have any style in mind, since I was told that I should keep an open mind. I have never tried on anything as special or grand as a wedding dress on before so I was open to most styles. That said, I was looking for something light and comfortable, fitting in with our garden venue.
I found my dress on my second visit to a dress store, after trying on about 25 dresses or so. I was totally surprised at how many of the dresses and style looked better on me than I would have expected and was happy that I tried on a number of different styles that I normally wouldn’t have picked out for myself. I went with this dress because it just felt like it fit in with the total feel of my wedding. It was light and fun.
It was really important to me to feel comfortable and i was worried about it being hot (my wedding was in August) — this dress was so comfortable (allowing for a lot of food intake!) and much lighter than it looks because of the tulle. As a unexpected benefit, it also stayed surpsiringly clean because the tulle did not absorb dirt on the floor or ground the way a different type of fabric would. I also appreciated the fairly plain stlye because it allowed me to add some pizzazz thru the belt (which I had made to match my bridesmaids dresses.)
How Meg Felt in Her Wedding Dress
Girly, like a princess, comfortable!
Why Meg Decided to Sell Her Wedding Dress
I realized that for the most part, my dress would sit unopened and unused for many many years if I simply cleaned and stored it. I felt like while I would absolutely love to think of my future daughters wearing the dress, I understand that styles change, sizes are different, it probably wouldn’t happen. Even friends of mine who wanted to wear their mother’s dress ended up hitting obstacles that prevented it. Plus, throughout the entire wedding planning process, I realized just how expensive wedding can be: for the bride, groom and parents.
My dress was in such awesome shape after the wedding that I thought if I can help another bride experience the beauty and awesomeness of my dress while saving quite a bit of money, then maybe that bride could add more guests, choose a bigger bouquet or afford some other expense that is bound to arise!