For Andrea, 30 and Ted, 40, one wedding ceremony just wasn't enough. The couple wanted the groom's cousin to officiate, so they had a civil ceremony to make it official, then invited 100 guests to the Strathmore Mansion in North Bethesda, Maryland, for their March 30, 2013 wedding. And that's not all! A few months later, in June 2013, the two headed to Taipei, Taiwan for a third ceremony—this time saying "I do" in front of 250 guests!
After searching for a venue online, Andrea and Ted's wedding planner, Courtney of A Sweet Soiree Events, took them to visit the Strathmore Mansion. It was the first venue they visited in person, and the couple fell for the classic style. "I loved we could use the mansion's different rooms," the bride says. "It made the wedding feel like a cozy dinner party." Andrea and Ted are classically trained musicians, so the mansion's art exhibitions and proximity to the Strathmore Music Center made the venue even more perfect for their stateside celebration.
Keep reading to see how this couple dressed their traditional venue with a stylish, modern twist, as captured by Michelle VanTine.
When Andrea first flipped through wedding magazines after getting engaged in February of 2012, she stopped when she saw the Henriette gown by Vera Wang. "I wanted something different from the sea of strapless dresses out there," Andrea says of the dress's high collar and cap sleeves. But after wearing the gown's beautiful lace top for the ceremony, this fashionista created a second look by removing the lace top, adding a belt, and bustling the wavy tulle skirt.
For her wedding shoes, Andrea looked to her personal style icon, Kate Middleton, and chose to wear the pair of strappy Jimmy Choo sandals that the princess frequently wears with evening gowns. The bride also wore the same nail polish as Kate, Essie's Allure, over a shade of pale pink.
With socks in his favorite color and a classic dress shoe, the groom's footwear was equally as stylish. The style of his Ferragamo shoes? The bride's name, Andrea, of course!
The bride added a brooch from her grandmother, who was too old to travel from Taiwan to the US for the wedding, to her all-white bouquet of roses and hydrangeas. For her jewelry, Andrea wore diamonds borrowed from her mother's jewelry collection.
Andrea and Ted said "I do" under hanging orchids (a nod to their Taiwanese heritage!) inspired by Lily's wedding to Bart on Gossip Girl. With the room's dark-stained wood and antique gold details, the couple let the beautiful space speak for itself. With music chosen by the groom's mother, a piano teacher, the groom's sister played the piano while her husband played the cello during the processional.
Instead of one giant centerpiece, hydrangeas, roses, phalaenopsis orchids, and calla lilies were clustered together on a mix of round and long rectangular tables in the reception area. Candles of different heights and mirrored titles were added for a romantic look.
For their three-tied wedding cake, the couple incorporated their wedding colors: pale pink, champagne, and light beige. The confection, topped with sugar flowers and a quilted pattern, featured layers of German chocolate and lemon cake.
The wedding favors were soaps handmade by the bride's mother. Andrea designed the wrapping herself and included the Chinese double happiness character.
After transforming the ceremony space for the reception and a quick dress change for the bride, the new Mr. and Mrs. took to the dance floor for their first dance to "Only Fools Rush In" by Elvis. Changing the beat on the dance floor, Andrea and her father showed off their ballroom skills to "The Tennessee Waltz." Later, the DJ spun a mix of old and contemporary Taiwanese tunes.
The couple headed to Taiwan for a wedding reception a few months later. "We were totally pampered," says Andrea. "It felt like a mini-moon!"
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Strathmore Mansion || Event Planner: Courtney of A Sweet Soiree || Bride's Wedding Dress: Vera Wang || Shoes: Jimmy Choo || Hair & Makeup: Linda of Beautiful Life Salon || Groom's Shoes: Salvatore Ferragamo || Florist: Davinci Florist || Invitations & Paper Goods: DIY || Music: Brian Jones of My Dee Jay || Rentals: Davinci Florist || Cake: Sally Kwok of Cakebee || Photography: Michelle VanTine Photography