When Rick Chen first laid eyes on Stephanie Cee at a Hong Kong nightclub, he worked his way into getting her number. “We started talking, I told a few jokes, Stephanie gave a few fake laughs, and by the end of the night, she had reluctantly agreed to give her number to me, a very persistent, very stubborn man,” Rick admits. They started dating and neither could deny the chemistry. During a lovely picnic while on vacation atop the French vineyards, Rick surprised her with a ring and secret photographers to capture the special moment, followed by a private flight in a wooden propeller plane.
The duo tied the knot at a verdant, open-spaced château in the South of France with a panoramic view of rolling hills. The opulent celebration featured a palette of blush and cream paired with copper and bronze accents. A luxurious candlelit pathway to the altar showcased peonies, garden roses, and hydrangeas. Instead of flowers, the rotunda was adorned with a chandelier to make the rolling hills serve as a natural backdrop. The morning of the ceremony featured traditional Chinese customs including a tea ceremony and gate-crashing games, which included the bridesmaids making the groomsmen wear lipstick. “We brought part of Hong Kong and Taiwan to France with us!” Stephanie recalls.
Literature played a unique role in the wedding. During the ceremony, Rick’s sister, a published poet, read a piece she wrote for the occasion, and Stephanie recited lines from E. E. Cummings’ “I Carry Your Heart With Me” in her vows. In lieu of table numbers, the couple used the names of poems they adore, including “A Drinking Song” by William Butler Yeats. They also named the bar after a popular 20th century author that has a special meaning in their relationship. “At the end of one of our incredible dates, we ended up in my childhood home where Rick read an old copy of Hemingway that I had on my bookshelf [and] every time we are in Paris, we stop by Bar Hemingway at the Ritz for a drink. So, we named our bar ‘Bar Hemingway,’” the bride illustrates. The night featured wine owned by the pilot who flew the duo over the vineyards following the proposal, customized cocktail names, and a dance party that lasted until nearly 5AM.
Looking back on her stunning destination wedding, Stephanie ensures that, aside from the hustle and bustle of wedding planning, it is important to enjoy the process and rely on your planners. “Focus on planning beautiful and fun moments," says Stephanie. "Don’t stress the small details like flowers and chairs. Leave that to your planners!”