A Formal Coral-and-Brown Wedding in Chicago, Illinois
Liezel and Christopher
During a Christmas visit home to Chicago in 2002, Christopher felt it was the perfect time to propose. He took Liezel for a walk along the shore of Lake Michigan, got on one knee, and proposed. Liezel immediately said yes. When they looked up, two deer were gazing directly at them. "I knew it was a good sign," says Liezel.
The coral-and-brown letterpress invitations for Liezel and Christopher's May wedding reflect colors woven throughout the event, which also featured aqua.
Just a few lush 'Coral Charm' peonies and hosta leaves create lovely bridesmaid bouquets.
Bridesmaids wear silk mikado gowns with matching wraps by Blue.
Following Filipino tradition, wedding coins were carried in on a coin pillow, blessed by the priest, and passed to the groom, who then gave them to the bride in a ritual meant to symbolize the sharing of earthly possessions. This pillow's top is white silk shantung folded to resemble a lotus blossom.
Liezel's 3-year-old nephew, Everett Munez, is the coin bearer.
Coral and aqua silk brocade fabrics cover the ceremony programs, which are tied closed with brown satin ribbon.
Escorted by her father, the bride enters Saint Josaphat Church. Her cathedral-length veil of handmade scalloped lace belonged to her mother.
Liezel and Christopher used petite handmade coral and aqua quotation books as seating cards. The couple compiled favorite sayings about life and love and bound them in card-stock covers with thin brown satin ribbon.
Seating Card Table
Seating cards encircle a lavish arrangement of peonies, clematis, and dogwood flowers in the center of the reception hall.
Paper flags that read "mabuhay," Tagalog for "all good things," wave from bamboo skewers in the featured cocktail, made with mango, ginger ale, and vodka.
Festive votive candles and porcelain Asian bowls, each holding a single peony, decorate the room where the cocktail hour was held.
The groomsmen and coin bearer stand outside the church after the ceremony.
At the guest-book table, family and friends could express their hopes for the newlyweds as well as receive a written wish from the couple. Guests wrote their notes on coral cards and placed them in apothecary jars. In return they could draw a wish from another jar.
For the centerpieces, wild bunches of flowers and foliage -- including peonies, clematis, hosta leaves, fuchsia, variegated honeysuckle, and begonias -- overflow from simple footed compotes. The aqua sequined mats underneath the arrangements mimic the glittering mosaic ceiling of the dining room.
Letterpress menu cards, bound to napkins with gold cording, also serve as place cards, with each guest's name calligraphed across the top.
Table numbers feature gold calligraphy.
Fantail shrimp, and a small tower of mango, papaya, and goat cheese compose the first of the wedding meal's five courses.
At the end of the evening, everyone will go home with small boxed favors (dark- and milk-chocolate truffles), which are wrapped in gold-patterned coral and aqua papers. Gold cording secures cards on top that read, "Magandang Gabi," Tagalog for "good night."
Guests dine at the historic Chicago Cultural Center under a majestic dome ceiling tiled with mosaics and lit with wrought-iron chandeliers.
The couple selected a grand four-tier cake by Vosges Haut-Chocolat. A cluster of peonies serves as the topper, and the tiers are draped in rolled ivory fondant and detailed with jewel-like swags and dots piped in royal icing. Fresh peonies, begonias, and fuchsia decorate the corners. Inside, the cake is a rich medley of flavors: Layers of white Tahitian vanilla-bean cake have rose petals baked right in them; the filling combines strawberries with a ganache made of white chocolate, pink Champagne, and rose water.
Cutting the Cake
Liezel and Christopher cut the cake.