On the day of Tommy Peng and Emme Zheng's wedding ceremony, rambunctious flower girls in white dresses with cream overlays and floral bows were running around, the ring bearer was in tears, and the couple's puppies were scampering underfoot. Though the moments leading up to the vow exchange did not exactly unfold as planned, all was well once the bride entered the scene. Recalls Tommy of his beloved at their wedding ceremony, “Emme [made] her entrance and everything was calm.” 

The alfresco service was set on the grounds of an impressive venue designed to resemble a castle in the Scottish Borders. Sitting above the Tuckasegee River valley, the vantage point offered expansive views of the surrounding lush hills. When the couple first visited the locale, the bride fell in love with the scenic setting. “I knew [that it was] where I wanted to get married,” Emme shares.

The bride walked down an aisle coated in yellow and ivory petals. She looked beautiful in a strapless gown featuring a bodice covered in floral appliqués with crystal centers and a tulle skirt. Emme’s elegant coiffure was adorned with vanilla orchids and a veil. She accessorized with delicate diamond drop earrings and a necklace, as well as striking bullion-hued heels. Emme carried a hand-tied bouquet of saffron and white calla lilies, golden orchids, pearl peonies, and foliage.

She joined her groom at an altar composed of branches lightly decorated with yellow orchids. Tommy was clad in a classic black tuxedo with a boutonniere comprised of a calla lily and orchid at his lapel. To honor their Chinese heritage, the bride and groom exchanged rings featuring a red and blue gemstone, respectively, along with their wedding bands.

Dinner was served beneath a transparent canopy strung with light strands. Round tables were swathed in taupe linens and displayed varied petite centerpieces showcasing yellow, pale pink, and white blooms accented with greenery in mercury-glass vessels or wooden boxes. Guests savored an extensive array of Asian dishes served family style. Though rice pudding was offered as the dessert course, other treats awaited: an ivory, two-layer cake with pink sugar cherry blossoms sat atop a tower of cupcakes. Should loved ones had desired more sweets, tarts, cookies, and cake-in-a-jar desserts were also at hand.

After the dinner service, Emme changed into a traditional Chinese wedding dress, known as a qipao, for the tea ceremony. “[The tea ceremony] is a formal introduction of the bride and groom, and shows respect to their family,” she explains. As for the vibrant hue of her gown, the bride shares: “The color red is a symbol of love, luck, and happiness.” Though the color is prominent in nuptial celebrations, the couple opted to do something different with the aesthetic of their event, so that it reflected their personal tastes and complemented the natural setting.

“I have always been a fan of golden yellow. I thought it would really go well with the mountain scenery,” says Emme, who is an interior designer. “The color also means happy and fortune in Chinese culture.” So, it was only fitting to close such a joyous day with a final wardrobe change into a lace bullion frock for the merriment of the after-party.