Atlantic breezes and Asian accents create smooth sailing for the big day

Nicole Son Hing started collecting bridal magazines at the age of 6, so when Scott Roberts proposed, she was more than ready to plan the wedding of her dreams. Though Nicole, Scott and his family live in Ontario, Canada, the couple decided to marry at the Wexford Plantation, a Hilton Head, SC, community where Nicole's parents live. For their October 16, 2004, outdoor wedding, Nicole and Scott wanted "an Asian-inspired event filled with handmade details to reflect our life as a couple," says the bride. With the fall breeze blowing off the Atlantic, Nicole (whose Chinese name means "orchid") carried cymbidium orchids down a raspberry-pink-parasol-lined aisle to a canopy of white orchids, where she and Scott recited the vows they wrote. Guests (many of whom had flown in from Canada several days before the wedding) kept cool with fan-shaped programs and waved wands with kiwi ribbon streamers instead of throwing rice as the newlyweds left the ceremony.

At the reception, guests sat at iridescent chartreuse taffeta-covered tables under a tent illuminated by twinkle lights and 100 white Chinese lanterns. Taper and votive candles surrounding the rose, orchid and hydrangea centerpieces gave the tent a romantic glow. After sipping bubble tea, a Taiwanese beverage, the guests feasted on prime rib with brandy-cream sauce, tortellini with herb-infused olive oil, and tilapia with mango-pineapple salsa. Following a Chinese wedding tradition, the newlyweds visited each table and toasted the guests. "The entire day was perfect," says Nicole. "I would do it again in a heartbeat—with Scott, of course!"

Learn From Nicole and Scott
Customize your welcome bags: Stickers reading "Nicole and Scott" embellished the packages of homemade biscotti and banana bread that the couple gave to guests in monogrammed beach bags.
Forgo the ferns: Instead of leaf filler, green orchids and hydrangeas complemented the pink roses and orchids in the floral arrangements.
Cater to the kids: Nicole and Scott mailed young guests their own invitations and entertained them at a separate reception in the Wexford Plantation clubhouse with movies, games and a magician.
Keep out-of-towners busy: Nicole and Scott organized boat trips, beach picnics and spa treatments for guests in the days before the wedding.

At the ceremony, raspberry paper parasols "created a striking line of color along the aisle," says Nicole.