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Mimi and Harry
The couple wanted to stress the importance of community and their individuality in their bespoke ceremony. So their semitraditional nuptials reflect their life philosophies and personal informal aesthetic.
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Mimi and Harry chose Brookside Gardens, in Silver Spring, Maryland, for their outdoor ceremony. The natural beauty of flowers and trees make it the perfect hometown setting. Another bonus: The bride's sister had chosen the same open-sky location for her nuptials years earlier.
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The First Look
Mimi and Harry first see each other prior to the ceremony at their home.
Mimi wears J.Crew's "Lucinda" ball gown (her "something old," since it had been worn previously) and a custom fascinator by Unveiled Bridal Designs. The flower has a button sewn into the center with blue thread -- her "something new" and "something blue," respectively. Her "something borrowed"? A Swarovski necklace on loan from a cousin. Harry wears a custom dress shirt by Modern Tailor and a custom suit by Thick As Thieves LA.
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A tiny polka-dotted fabric flower by EmersonMade adorns Harry's lapel. Similar boutonnieres are given to the couple's closest friends, subtly marking them as the unofficial bridal party.
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Drinks in the Park
An adorable drink station is set up to help guests cool off before the ceremony. Large pitchers of pink lemonade match the palette and quench everyone's thirst in the hot early summer.
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The Signature Drinks
Event planner and designer Vicki Grafton of My Simple Details personalized the drink table with mini origami cranes perched on the lip of each cup.
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Mimi and Harry tweak the traditional processional by having all of their parents walk down the aisle first. Then, the two of them walk in from different sides, meet in the middle, and walk down the aisle together.
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The couple worked with their officiant over several weeks to create a ceremony that reflects their views on life and marriage, and that includes their communities.
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Harry and Mimi exchange vows they wrote together, in front of their 200 guests. The couple's guitar teacher, Marcell Horvath, plays at the ceremony.
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For the nuptial blessing, everyone is to "touch" the bride and groom as the officiant reads a blessing. The parents first place their hands on the couple, and everyone behind them puts a hand on the shoulder of the person in front -- creating a chain with the couple in the center.
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The trilingual program is a touching keepsake of the remarkable ceremony. Originally written in English, the text is also printed in Vietnamese and Chinese, so that everyone present can understand and fully participate in the joining of the two families.
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Theresa Choi takes family portraits in the park following the ceremony. Here, the bride and groom stand with the bride's father and stepmother.
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The Bride's Family
The couple also pose with the bride's mother and sister.
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Portraits with Friends
Mimi and Harry pose with two of their close friends, Minh and Lisa, who are part of their unofficial bridal party.
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The Groom's Parents
A photo of the groom and his parents round out the portrait hour.
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Cocktail Hour Decor
Small cups and teapots filled with light-pink roses add to the decor of the day.
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A tree by the pond is adorned with festive tissue-paper pom-poms to help anchor the ceremony area.
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The Lounge Area
A lounge area in the shade is a picture-perfect backdrop for fun portraits with the newlyweds. Second photographer Julie Lim snaps a few shots of Mimi and Harry holding a pennant flag banner that nods to their favorite song, "The Luckiest," by Ben Folds (to which they also danced at their reception).
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A Special Surprise
The couple's wedding planner and designer added a surprise touch to the lounge area in the park: a customized pillow with their names and wedding date embroidered in the color of the day.
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An 11-course dinner reception at China Garden Restaurant in Rosslyn, Virginia, includes fresh shrimp with jellyfish, crispy taro-stuffed duck, and Cantonese-style golden roasted chicken.
A dessert bar of the bride's favorite sweets boasts chocolate chip-cornflake-marshmallow cookies, brownie bites, and crisped rice treats. Hundreds of chocolate-covered strawberries and chocolate truffles made by Mimi's godmother are also served. A small banana cake from Momofuku Milk Bar in New York City (the couple's favorite bakery) is finished with a custom topper by Paul Pape Designs based on the couple's avatars on Nintendo Wii.
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DIY centerpieces consist of origami cherry blossoms created by the bride, her sisters, and her closest friends. More than 1,500 blooms are added to branches to grace each table.
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