Manhattan's Iconic Architecture Took Center Stage at This Pair's Rooftop Nuptials
When Sissi and Feiran met at Columbia University's housing office in search of dorm rooms in the fall of 2015, the new Empire State residents bonded immediately. "I think we were incredibly lucky to find each other, as we were both coming from different places: I did my bachelor's degree in Seattle and Feiran did his in Miami," Sissi says. "Feiran is the first person I talked to in New York." They went on their first date the following spring, and have been together ever since.
Three years later, the two became engaged during a birthday getaway in Paris. "It was an evening on the fourth day of our trip when we were planning to go to a fancy restaurant to celebrate our birthdays (which we always celebrate together since they are only five days apart!)," Sissi recalls. After Feiran suggested they take in the sights before their reservation, the pair walked to the Eiffel Tower for pictures. "Feiran searched around for people to take a couple's portrait for us, and before I knew it, he got down on one knee! I cried and shouted 'YES.' It was a lovely memory that we will cherish for our lifetimes," she adds.
The couple planned their nuptials over the course of the following year, and when it came time to pick where they would tie the knot, New York City was a no-brainer. "It is the place where we first met, had our first date, and made so many memories," Sissi notes. "We love New York City and wanted to find a venue that embodied the culture, architecture, and style."
To execute all of their big-day details to perfection, the bride and groom enlisted the help of Lisa Li of Blooming Wed, who helped make their October 9, 2019, nuptials a total success. "Making sure that we planned everything carefully was super important to me," the bride shares. "Lisa and I have similar taste, so she understood me, knew what I wanted, and gave me the right guidance." All of the puzzle pieces came together with ease at 620 Loft & Garden, where the couple paid homage to their relationship in front of their 50 guests—in the city where it all began.
City-Inspired Invitation Suite
The couple's New York City-inspired invitation suite also nodded to their relationship, says their planner Lisa Li of Blooming Wed. "We worked together with Ink & Honey and added modern, city-inspired elements to the suite—a hand-drawn skyline and a map of their love journey, which highlighted monumental moments in their relationship." The suite featured pale pink, dusty blue, and white shades, which also spoke to the event's color palette.
All Dressed in White
Sissi wore a pair of sparkling Jimmy Choo pumps for her walk down the aisle.
The bridesmaids donned light blue gowns and carried asymmetrical bouquets filled with distant drum roses, dahlias, and foxgloves. Sissi held a similar arrangement; hers also included autumn anemone, butterfly ranunculus, and more pink florals.
Outfitted in Style
Feiran chose a slim-fit, midnight blue tuxedo with peak lapels from The Black Tux, while his groomsmen sported black tuxedos for contrast.
"The men wore textural boutonnières that featured white nerine, clematis seed pods, heuchera, and dried pennycress," Lisa shares.
Sissi was nervous as she made her way towards Feiran for their first look at the Lotte Palace Hotel. All she could think about was her groom-to-be's potential reaction, she says. Once they finally saw each other, Sissi says she cried hearing Feiran say she looked gorgeous.
New York Minute
The couple made the most of their city wedding—posing for portraits around Midtown—which actually coincided with the Pulaski Day Parade. The parade, however, caused a logistical headache for a portion of the bridal party and some of the vendors, who couldn't find a way around the processional while en route to the venue.
Sissi took it upon herself to make sure they got to the venue on time. "I ran up to a police officer and asked him if he could let our group pass so we could arrive at our ceremony. Luckily, the police officer was very nice and let us through," the bride recalls. "I'll never forget how I ran through the parade holding my wedding dress on Fifth Avenue."
Manhattan's dramatic cityscape was the couple's main reason for choosing a rooftop venue.
Big Apple Architecture
To highlight the architecture—including the historical St. Patrick Church—surrounding their venue, 620 Loft & Garden, the couple and their planner chose subtle décor details, including an asymmetrical, disconnected floral arch, which defined the aisle. White Chiavari chairs echoed the color palette and the clean lines and windows of the nearby Saks building.
Whimsical wildflower-centric arrangements marked the aisle's entrance, and were designed to look as though they'd sprouted from the grass below.
Here Comes the Bride
Sissi's father walked her down the aisle to "Can't Help Falling in Love." Before they made their way to the altar, the two also shared a cherished moment before the ceremony. "I also arranged a first look with my dear father," the bride says. "He is not a talkative man. But I know he loves me deeply, so I wanted to give the first sight of me in my wedding dress to my father—the man who raised me."
The couple's ceremony was a family affair. "It was so important for us to show thankfulness to our parents at our wedding. To thank them for their love and support," Sissi explains. "During the ceremony, before we exchanged our vows, we gave our parents a small bouquet and a big hug in front of our guests. It was a sweet surprise to them. We [wanted] them to feel the love we have for them [during] that special moment."
In the midst of their vow exchange, Sissi shared one of her favorite movie quotes. "The last sentence from my vows came from a movie that we watched together, Julie & Julia: 'You are the butter to my bread, and the breath to my life,'" the bride says.
Sealed with a Kiss
"A Whole New World" played as the officiant declared the couple husband and wife."
Cheers to the Happy Couple
After the newlyweds poured out a Champagne tower to kick off the cocktail hour, Sissi and Feiran skipped the remainder of the interlude to hold a tea ceremony with their parents.
Landmarks for the Love Birds
The couple's reception tables were named after their favorite places in New York City: the Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, Saint Patrick Cathedral, Flatiron Building, The Metropolitan Museum, and Columbia University.
Classic Reception Décor
Tables were covered in white linens and topped with classic drinkware and gold-rimmed chargers. Several centerpieces—some of which were Ikebana-inspired—"added a light and airy look," says the bride. "We chose pink napkins for a pop of color."
The couple placed their ceremony's floral décor—including the flower arch and grounded aisle arrangements—around their sweetheart table.
On the Dance Floor
In honor of Sissi's favorite Disney movie, the couple took their first twirl to a song from Beauty and the Beast.
Earl Grey chiffon and fresh blueberry compote filled the newlyweds' three-tier cake; vanilla buttercream icing was the finishing touch. "The cake's pink color matched the color palette," Lisa says, "and was decorated with fresh flowers arranged by Studio Imbue."
Photographer, Allen Tsai
Videographer, Haseokchung Studio
Venue, 620 Loft & Garden
Coordinator and Event Designer, Blooming Wed
Florist, Studio Imbue
Invitation, Escort Cards, and Menu Designer, Ink & Honey
Invitation Printer, Paper Event
Officiant, Pastor Alison
Bridal Gown and Veil, White by Vera Wang
Shoes, Jimmy Choo
Hair and Makeup, Belinda Ni Makeup
Groom and Groomsmen's Attire, The Black Tux
Engagement Ring, Tiffany and Co.
Wedding Bands, De Beers
Music, Sweet Harmony LLC
Catering, Creative Foods Catering
Cake, Anntremet Cake
Rentals, Westside Party Rentals
Lighting, Top Sound Group Entertainment
Pre-Ceremony Hotel, Lotte New York Palace