When I met Luan and Lusally, they told me that they were easy going and that their wedding would be lots of fun. They knew they wanted a blend of Chinese and Western customs but didn't know what that would look like. As we talked it became more clear but I never really understood the real out loud joy and joking and kidding that would accompany their ceremony, as well as the seriousness and honoring of their families and friends. You can tell a lot by these pictures.
I thank Chantel Smith and Maisha Wright from Events in a Box for bringing Luan and Lusally to me. They were great, organizing all the details to perfection.
I loved being a part of their wedding and I have huge thanks to Tesh Parekh of IWP Photography. He was just the right person for capturing the vitality of their ceremony. See more pictures at his blog entry for their wedding. It's great and can give us all ideas for creating and really fun loving reception.
Their ceremony was held at The Indigo Hotel in Durham; the reception in the ballroom and the wedding in the foyer. It was just the right size for this group of about 50 guests and even had the perfect location for their tea ceremony. After I introduced the day and it's purpose, I introduced each elder in the families who would come forward to be offered tea by the couple. People had come from many countries to be with them and I practiced how to say the Chinese and Vietnamese names for awhile beforehand.
The laughs were already happening even before Lusally even entered the room.
Here are Luan and Lusally offering tea to Luan's mother.
And here to Lusally's father, who had come from Venezuela for the ceremony. Lusally was raised in Venezuela and amazingly she speaks Spanish, Chinese and English all perfectly. Her father is a great joker who had us all laughing.
In the ceremony, the couple was also given the traditional Chinese custom of a red envelope with a cash gift.
Then we began the western part of the ceremony which included the 'I do' part where I ask Lusally and Luan if they are here to marry, in body, mind and spirit. In the spirit of joy and playfulness they had fun with this part, too.
In a rare serious moment they exchanged their vows and rings.
I pronounced them married to great shouts and calls both fun and funny.
Their cake was an unique as they are.
These games at the reception look like so much fun. You'll have to ask Chantal about them.
Their photographer, Tesh, got some wonderful images like this one.
They're a delightful couple, who work hard at their work and enjoy great play whenever possible. I loved the twinkle in their eyes when they talked about themselves and growing their love. They bring vitality to everything they do. I wish them many many happy years together.