Bell Harbour International Conference Center Wedding, Seattle

Bao-Uyen & Chris tyed the knot on June 18th in downtown Seattle at the Bell Harbor International Center. 

A wedding filled with lots of love, tradition and creative wedding design elements brought together perfectly. If you need inspiration planning your wedding day, here is Bao-Uyen's story and her vendor recommendations. See below:

Full gallery HERE.

How/when/where did you first meet? Here is what we had on our wedding website:

We met at work…

This is Bao-Uyen speaking in 3rd person --- At first, Bao-Uyen found him intimidating and Chris thought she was annoying.

One day Bao-Uyen quit her job and they had dinner together... and here we are.

How/when/where did the proposal happen?  

We were just sitting on the couch at home. We talked about it and we both agree that we should get married. It was a mutual decision. Chris didn’t ride in a horse with a banner to ask me to marry him and I didn’t hire a plane to write the question in the sky :)

What was the vision for your wedding, the style/color/scheme? How many guests?

We had 179 guests. For our wedding, we wanted a rustic elegant wedding. The colors are green, white and gold. I love plants and is fascinated on how a seed can grow into something beautiful and unique. As stated in our during the seed ceremony:

“Now Chris and Bao-Uyen  are going to plant seeds to symbolically represent their new lives together and the growth of their love.The blending of these seeds represents the union not only of you but your friends and families as well.  Within these seeds, if given proper loving care, is the potential for an even more beautiful expression of Life and Love in the form of this plant.  And so it is with your marriage.  Your marriage is like these seeds – ready, with your nurturing and proper loving care  – to blossom into a very beautiful expression of life”

We used that as a base for the wedding. The under theme of the wedding is “let love grow”. The escort cards are seeds packages that I handmade. Each seed package has different type of herbs or flowers seeds, which represents each table. For example, the guests sitting at the rosemary table get rosemary seeds to bring home and grow. For the party favor, it was lavender soap, which is one of the table names at the wedding. We also sow lavender seeds as part of the seed ceremony.

Why did you choose your wedding venue?

Most of our guests are out of town so we wanted something that is in the heart of the city, close to all of the attractions, and has a nice view Seattle. Additionally, we had to get married on a Chinese lucky day and also on a Saturday and Bell Harbor was available that day. June 18 is an auspicious day and it was a Saturday. Indeed, it was also raining that day…. but not during the ceremony or wedding pictures time. We definitely picked a lucky day!

Describe the ceremony, what made it unique/special.

Our friend Michael is our officiant. Chris and I wrote the whole ceremony and Michael reviewed it and made suggestions. For the seed ceremony,  we chose to sow lavender seeds because lavender represents opportunity and promises new adventure. For centuries, lavender was used to scent love letters. The seeds ceremony ties in with the whole theme.

How about the reception?

For the reception, it was really fun to surprise our guests with our quirky first dance. We both can’t dance for the life of us. Instead of taking dance classes and learn the proper way to dance, we thought of making something fun out of it.  Chris and I found a song that we both like and choreographed the entire thing using some wacky fun dance moves we made up.

Describe the flowers used for floral arrangements:

My sister and I made all of the floral arrangements a few days before the wedding.

Centerpieces:

We picked green/white hydrangeas from my mom’s beautiful garden, intersperse it with white orchids, spider mums, and roses from Costco.  

Boutonnieres:

My sister made them using lamb’s ears picked from my front yard, along with white roses and a variegated yellow leaf from my mom’s garden.  

Bridal bouquets:

I made my own bouquet while my sister did all of the bridesmaids’ bouquets, toss bouquet, and the flower girl’s crown. She rocks!! If she isn’t going to be a cardiologist, we would own a floral shop!

Ceremony aisles bouquets:

I made simple bouquets of eucalyptus, white spider mums and baby breath.

Gate:

My friend made that based on my drawing. It is is made of eucalyptus leaves.

Ceremony backdrop:

My other friends made that using the hydrangeas from my mom’s garden, the orchids, and spider mums.

In the end, we still had a lot of flowers left over, so I told my friends to have fun with them and spread them around the venue. My friends are so great! Without their help on the day of the wedding, none of my vision would come to live. It turned out to be way better than what I had envisioned because of their awesome work!

A few months before the wedding, Chris & I went to a floral supply store to buy the vases, floral foams and other supplies.

I ordered the all the eucalyptus from QFC because Costco didn’t have eucalyptus. Mindy from QFC was super helpful and friendly!

What was the inspiration of your wedding cake?

For the wedding cake, we want something simple and elegant. Originally, I wanted to put fresh flowers on the cake, but the more I read about the chemicals are being used on flowers, I changed my mind.   The standards for organic flowers is not the same as those for organic food. ..then I started worrying about the possible bugs in the fresh flower. Instead of being paranoid, I opted for a nice wooden cake topper, with a plant theme. I scoured Etsy and found the perfect one at CorkCountryCottage.   It was shipped from Bulgaria! The whole process took about a month from the day I ordered it til I got it in the mail. It was totally worth it! Kosta (the shop owner) wrapped it so well and it arrived in perfect condition….and bug/pesticide free! :)

Describe the favors for guests:

Last summer, we visited a few lavender farms during the Sequim lavender festival. At one of the farms, we picked some lavender and saw how they create lavender extract. We thought the process was interesting and bought a bottle of it. For our party favor, Chris made lavender soaps using the extract and the lavender flowers we harvested.  I dried the lavender and Chris mixed it into the soap. This was the biggest task since Chris insisted on full size soap bar and we kept running out of supplies. Chris made 200 bars of soap! He started making soap back in November for our June wedding.

Chris personally hand stamped every take-out box, while I made the labels and helped him wrapped the soap. For the thank you note, it was Chris’ genius idea of turning business cards into “thank you” notes. In the back of the thank you notes are directions on how to sow the seeds that the guests received as part of the escort cards. Since the escort seeds packages were handmade and handwritten, the directions to sow the seed would have taken long time to handwrite!

Other items that I handmade were: table names and guest book signs, ring pillow.

Please list designer for your wedding dress, shoes, veil, and jewelry

  • Wedding dress: David's Bridal Collection

  • Shoe: Nina Karen

  • Veil: handmade by Bao-Uyen

  • Jewelry: Bridemaids earrings were made by Bao-Uyen and Bao-Uyen wore jewelry that were gifts from family members

Please list designer for groom’s attire: Joseph Abboud

Please list designer for bridesmaids dresses:  David's Bridal

A Shout-out to all the Wedding vendors that have made Bao-Uyen and Chris's day special!