Give us the scoop 😉how did you two meet?
We met while we were graduate students at the University of the Pacific. We were both pursuing our master's degree in educational administration and leadership. What started off as a friendship slowly grew into something more!
Obviously, y’all put a ring on it 💍tell us your engagement story!
Eric proposed to me during our vacation in Taiwan. A majority of my family is from Taiwan so I had always wanted to take Eric there. While in Hualien, we were staying at a beautiful resort right on the Pacific Ocean.
We had decided to get up early to watch the sunrise over the Pacific (living on the west coast, we had only ever seen the sunset over the Pacific). As we were watching the sunrise, Eric got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. Of course, I said yes!
Fun anecdote: Before we left for our trip to Taiwan, we dined at one of our favorite Chinese restaurants in Portland. Eric's post-dinner fortune cookie read: "You will travel far and wide" and mine read: "Be prepared to receive something special." It was one of those rare moments where both of our fortunes came true!
You both had a vision for your wedding 🔮how did you come up with ideas?
It was really important for us to incorporate our families and cultural backgrounds into our wedding. At our wedding reception, instead of a traditional wedding cake, we served Taiwanese Pineapple Cakes made by a family friend. Pineapple cake is a sweet pastry that is one of my favorite Taiwanese desserts! We also gave out custom chopsticks as a wedding souvenir.
Our wedding hashtag #echiforever is a mashup: “E” for Eric, “Chi” my last name together phonetically sound like the Chinese word, together 一起 (Yīqǐ) so together, forever.
Tell us about your fams 👨👩👧👦
Family is very important to both of us, and we both have large families. My Taiwanese heritage inspired us to host a tea ceremony where we acknowledged and thanked our parents, grandparents, aunties, and uncles for being such a large influence on our lives.
Even though Eric’s family is not Chinese, they all still participated in the tea ceremony, which was very special to us. We also had custom rubber stamps made for us and our parents with our names that we used to stamp our wedding certificates.
Location, location, location 🎯where did you get married?
We got married on August 17, 2019 at Wind Mountain Ranch in Stevenson, WA. In searching for our venue, we were looking for a place that was special to us. I was drawn to the gorge because it is one of my absolute favorite places in the pacific northwest.
In 2015, Eric and I went on our first hike on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge. We stopped in the town of Skamania and got a hiking recommendation for a trail on Wind Mountain.
We were one of the only people on the trail, and our picture from the top doesn't do it justice. We fell in love with the area and it became one of our go-to weekend getaway spots.
In our search for a spot to tie the knot, we came across Wind Mountain Ranch. It wasn't until our site visit that we realized the wedding site sits at the base of Wind Mountain. We looked up, saw the trail we had hiked over 3 years ago, and immediately knew this was the perfect location for our wedding. The venue is absolutely gorge-ous with a breathtaking view of Wind Mountain and the Columbia River Gorge.
Since we both have a lot of family members, we ended up doing our tea ceremony at the Lan Su Chinese Gardens in Portland, Oregon.
Lan Su was built by Chinese artisans from Suzhou, China and is one of the most authentic Chinese gardens outside of China. It is an incredibly gorgeous garden and very well maintained.
Girl meets dress 💃🏻 how did you learn about East Meets Dress (EMD) and why did you choose an EMD cheongsam?
Once we decided we wanted to host a tea ceremony, I knew I wanted to wear a modern version of a traditional Chinese dress (qipao). In Portland, there are not many places to find even traditional dresses, let alone modern versions. I found EMD on Instagram and am so thankful I did.
EMD’s dresses are beautiful and ordering one was super easy. I ordered the Amal Dress. I was looking for a traditional high neck collar but a not-so-traditional mermaid fit. My favorite part of the dress is the gorgeous sheer back and lace detail.
Everyone loved the dress–including my very traditional mom who is hard to please!
Putting your own spin on things 💕How did you make your wedding more unique and personal to you two?
Most of our guests traveled in from out of town so sharing with them what we love about the Pacific Northwest was one of my favorite parts.
We love the outdoors and the Columbia River Gorge, where our venue was. We incorporated the Columbia River Gorge into our invitations (which I designed), the groomsmen's ties, and even had our rehearsal dinner aboard the Columbia Gorge Sternwheeler.
My aunt in Taiwan designed a custom logo that said “ECHI” and 一起 (Yīqǐ) that we had printed onto stickers. We used the stickers on our invitations, thank you cards, and wedding souvenirs.
And against conventional wisdom, we chose to have a large wedding party, which was incredibly fun! We had 12 on each side and our good friend officiated, making it a 25-person crew. And yes, we took up the entire length of a school bus!
Our family and friends are incredibly important to us so we tried to include them as much as possible in our celebration.
Additionally, the groom and groomsmen's ties were designed with the topographic maps of where we got married.
The big day 👰🏻How did everything go on your wedding day?
Our entire wedding weekend was amazing. My favorite moments were the ones with just Eric and I.
Eric and I did our first look at the treehouse we were staying at, and we had a special moment to ourselves before all of the festivities started.
The top moment for me though–after exchanging vows with Eric–was presenting him my wedding gift. Eric had always wanted to own a classic VW Bus, so I bought him one!
I wanted to surprise him with it at our wedding as our 'get away' car and the look on his face was priceless!
Seeking your wisdom 🙋🏻♀️lastly, do you have any advice for other brides planning a modern Asian-American wedding?
1. Make the day special and meaningful for you–whatever that looks like! There are so many options and ways to make this day special. Figure out what’s important to you as a couple. I know that sometimes Asian-Americans feel pressure to do what other people want, but this is an opportunity to focus on what you want and what is important to you.
2. Trust the professionals! Our day was amazing because our vendors were amazing. It's nice not to have to worry about abnything on your day except marrying your best friend and having a whole lot of fun. Assemble a great team so that you can concentrate on being the bride!
- The Bride and Groom: Jessika (@ikachi) Eric (@ericbluke)
- Wedding hashtag: #echiforever
- Wind Mountain Ranch (@WindMountainRanch) | Website
- Gorge-ous Weddings (@gorge.ousweddings) | Website
- Lan Su Garden (@lansuchinesegarden) | Website
- Photographer: Kiara at Indwell Weddings (@indwellweddings) | Website
- Florist: Bloomsbury (@bloomsburypnw) | Website
- Hair and Makeup: Heidi Osbourne (@heidiartistry) | Website
- Coordinator: Krystle Allen (@krystleclearevents) | Website
- Caterer: Chef Eric (@kiaweislandbistro) | Website
- Bartenders: Backwoods Brewing (@backwoodsbrewingcompany) | Website
- DJ: A Beat Above Entertainment (@abeataboveentertainment) | Website
- Photo Booth Bus: Little Photo Bus (@littlephotobusofportland) | Website
- Wedding Dress:
- Madison James Bridal (@madisonjamesbridal) | Website
- Charlotte's Weddings (@charlottesweddings) | Website
- Wedding Cheongsam: East Meets Dress (@eastmeetsdress) | Website
- Veil and Alterations: Andrea Hoyt (@augustveils) | Website
- Custom Suit: Hall Madden (@hallmadden) | Website
- Topo Ties: Kind Design (@kinddesign) | Website
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