Today we are sharing an intimate Iowa City, IA wedding. A neutral palette with colorful pastel blooms and a touch of gold. This wedding includes lots of gorgeous details all planned and styled to perfection by Hadley Harper Events. Enjoy these photos by Val Marlene Photography!
“Yue and Yushi have a unique and beautiful love that I’ve never encountered before. They have overcome so many things together already. They met through mutual friends in undergraduate school, then found themselves at the same school for their graduate studies, the University of Iowa. Yue says “We met in Buffalo when he visited his friend since about 10 years old, who was one of my best friends in Syracuse. We were picking him up from the airport that day.” They are both engineering students and incredibly witty. Their courtship blossomed throughout their years on campus and they married in a civil ceremony at home, in China, a year before contacting me.
When Yue reached out, she wanted an intimate, elegant and romantic “American” wedding with all of the meaningful details from home. She was living in Oregon and Yushi in Washington, performing their graduate program internships (they still are!). The fact that more of their relationship has been spent apart than together and they are still so in love encourages my heart and truly shows that love never fails! Together, they make each other laugh; have a beautiful respect for one another and their loving stares into each other’s eyes in the middle of a crowd- swoon!
Their ceremony took place in the Old Capitol Museum, which used to be the state capitol building. The architecture is breathtaking and after a fire in 2001, they restored it so beautifully. It’s the heartbeat of our campus and a landmark, to say the least. Yue’s sister, Xin, officiated and the couple read their vows in both English and Chinese. To this day, the thing that has stuck with me is that even though I couldn’t understand their personal vows to each other, the emotion I felt and the love that enveloped the room was otherworldly. These two exude love at their core, in the truest and purest sense of the word.
It was very important to Yue and Yushi to have photos taken at the campus locations where they fell in love. These included the Hydro Lab building and Engineering school, the Seaman Center, as well as areas along the Pentacrest walkways (the main part of campus).
The reception was held just a few blocks away at Hotel Vetro. We infused so much of their personalities and culture into this small affair (but with BIG doses of love). We had cocktail hour on the rooftop patio, complete with a drink station, Instax guest book and appetizers. We also had a lounge area inside for guests to enjoy throughout the evening, complete with beautiful West Elm throw pillows.
Throughout their design, we used gold zoo animal figurines, and Polar Bears on the paper goods, in honor of Yue’s love for all animals and the special meaning of the bears to the couple. We also had custom thank you books made for all of the guests, which you see on the place settings. Andrea, at AC Designs did such a beautiful job and was able to include bilingual everything! Another Chinese custom that we incorporated was traditional favor boxes with “happiness” beads. The happiness character is a good luck charm. For centerpieces, they wanted a romantic and colorful simplicity. So, we used floating candles and two floral arrangements, along with beautiful textured linen and satin napkins in peach and navy.
Elaine at Down to Earth Florist was able to pull together Yue’s vision of color through the flowers. We spent a lot of time texting photos and doing in store mock ups to get just the right look, size and shapes. The end product was such a simple, soft and romantic summer combination!
Dessert included a cake and Yushi’s favorite sweets from Sweet Satisfaction Bakery. Choices included two types of cheesecake and tiramisu. Their family and friends definitely brought the dance party and were such a joy to spend the evening with. They said goodbye to their guests with a sparkler send off. This was not only because it made for pretty pictures, but because they got engaged during a fireworks show at Disneyworld (which was her dream) and that was one of Yue’s requests! As mentioned before, these two are very sentimental and romantic. As such, they ended the night as the only two guests at their favorite restaurant, Devotay, to take in the day. What a perfect and romantic way to end their beginning, by candlelight laughing together.” – Jennifer of Hadley Harper Events
VENDOR LOVE –
Full Service Design + Planning: Hadley Harper Events | Photos By: Val Marlene Photography | Ceremony: Old Capital Museum | Reception: hotelVetro | Cake + Sweets: Sweet Satisfaction Bakery | Paper Goods: AC Design | Florals: Down To Earth Florist | Videography: Stover Films | Mr & Mrs Chair Signs: Laura Hooper Calligraphy