Destination I Do

Destination Wedding in Beijing

Words by Sarah Padilla
Photos courtesy of Otto Schulze Photographers

The Great Wall of China has stood the test of time for centuries, and the symbolism wasn’t lost on Alissa and Alan when they chose this magnificent landmark – also the site of their engagement – as the backdrop for their October 2011 wedding.

The couple met and fell in love in Beijing, the city they currently call home, while on a business assignment. When it came time to plan their nuptials, Alissa and Alan wanted to share the country and culture they had grown to love with their family and friends. Despite the distance, they were thrilled 70 guests were able to attend.

Cultural differences made planning the event a challenge. “Every time we turned around things were changing,” says the bride. "But in the end, all of our close friends and family made it and that was truly the most important part.”

While the planning process might have been less than perfect, the end result was exquisite. Alissa and Alan wanted to combine both of their cultures in an East-meets-West style Alissa dubbed “modern-glam-Chinese-fusion.” The striking color combination of red and blue represented traditional Chinese and American wedding colors. Alissa walked down the aisle to "Here Comes the Bride" played on an erhu, guzheng and pipa – traditional Chinese instruments. Earlier in the day, the couple had honored their families in a traditional Chinese tea ceremony.

One of the day’s most memorable events was taking photos at the Great Wall. Construction and traffic issues led to the bridal party making most of the trek through the village by foot, all while trying to shield the bride from her groom.

“We were quite a spectacle,” says Alissa. “The girls were wearing heels and were walking on the Great Wall, and the guys were managing every roadblock so we could make it to the ceremony on time. We had so much fun up there.”

And much like the landmark which brought them together initially, the memories of Alissa and Alan’s wedding are sure to last for years to come.

Photographer: Otto Schulze Photographers, Wedding Planner: Miyoshi Nakahara, Ceremony/Reception Site: The Brickyard Inn/The School House, Gown Designer: Wedding Gown, Vera Wang; Tea Ceremony Gown: Sally Tailor, Florist: Flower House Enomoto, Groom's Clothing Designer: Sally Tailor, Bridesmaids/Groomsmens' Clothing Designer: Sally Tailor/Sally Tailor, Tea Ceremony Jewelry: Belita Jeweler, Makeup Artist: Meili Autumn, Cake: CC Sweets

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