Taryn dreamed of simple, clean lines with natural greenery for her big day, and her Californian clubhouse wedding was exactly that. When Taryn and her now-husband Froilan first toured the venue, they were drawn to the big space that at once felt open and intimate.
The newlyweds Taryn and Froilan both have big families and lots of friends, so combined, they hosted a 400-person wedding. Though this number may be overwhelming to some, Taryn knew that the most important thing about their wedding was for her and Froilan to celebrate their love and their families, so they intentionally kept it simple to highlight that.
“I had nerves about the ceremony, thinking of 400 people staring at me as I walked down the aisle,” Taryn recalled with laughter, “But I walked into the ceremony with such peace. My dad officiated the wedding and my sisters were part of the bridal party, and even though it was a big, 400-person event, it felt really intimate. My dad managed the ceremony so well and it was so beautiful and calming.”
Taryn is the daughter of Cantonese immigrants, and she grew up around North Beach, close to the San Francisco Chinatown. Taryn grew up speaking Cantonese and Toisan with her grandparents. “They were the ties to my roots,” Taryn remembered fondly. Though most of her grandparents have passed, it was important for Taryn to wear a cheongsam at her wedding as a connection to her culture. “My mom wore a cheongsam for her wedding that she had custom made in Hong Kong,” Taryn said, “We actually decided not to do a Chinese tea ceremony to keep the wedding simpler and more budget-friendly, so wearing a cheongsam was one thing that was really important for me to do.”
Initially, Taryn had a hard time finding her dream Chinese wedding dress. She found websites with seemingly great dress photos but realized some of the same photos showed up on multiple sites and it was difficult to find contact information for these vendors. “Then I stumbled upon East Meets Dress on Pinterest,” said Taryn, “and it felt so personal because East Meets Dress really reached out to me with personal messages, and there was even follow up after I received my dress.”
Taryn chose the Marilyn cheongsam with floral embroidery and sheath silhouette to match the floral, natural themes of her wedding.
To celebrate her Chinese culture, Taryn also had lion dancers at her wedding. “We made sure the colors and numbers of the lions followed the traditions,” Taryn recounted.
Incorporating natural greenery and florals was not only beautiful, but was also personally meaningful for Taryn as she spent her college years in Hawai’i. Taryn was part of a hula dance group and along with her hula sisters, Taryn surprised her husband with a dance at their wedding.
“Incorporating hula was very important to me because my hula group is like another family to me,” said Taryn, “When I moved back [to San Francisco] after college, hula was one of the key things that helped me to stay connected to Hawai’i.” Taryn remembers her time in Hawai’i very fondly, “I loved the focus on community and family, and dancing itself has been such an important form of exercise and healing.”
Taryn’s husband, Froilan, is a second-generation Filipino American and he showed off his barong to celebrate their multicultural wedding.
The cutest part? Their ring bearer donned a matching barong and their flower girl rocked a white mini cheongsam dress!
“Vivian was amazing!” Taryn said of East Meets Dress’s co-founder. While kids cheongsams are not (yet!) officially in EMD’s collection, Taryn worked with Vivian to have a custom one made for her flower girl.
Reflecting on her wedding weekend, Taryn was moved by her friends and family network. “I didn’t anticipate so many friends reaching out to ask if we needed any help, even friends we had lost touch with,” Taryn recalled with appreciation, “It reaffirmed for us that it was ok to ask for help and that it was a community effort, and that helped with the weekend being so peaceful.”
To brides planning an Asian-American wedding, Taryn said, “it’s never too late to connect more deeply to your roots. And there is no right way to do it so just have fun with it. With all the complex things going on in the world right now, appreciating your family and being as close as possible is the most important thing.”
More to Love
- Get inspired by 30 ideas for a modern asian wedding
- Shop modern cheongsam dresses
- Learn about the 5 elements of a traditional cheongsam dress