Anh and Cong’s wedding in Geneva is unique in several aspects. The couple had not one but two first looks; the first in their modern wedding gear in front of their families, and the second later in the day with just the two of them in their traditional Chinese garb. This Asian Swiss couple included a traditional Chinese tea ceremony into the latter half of their day after the official ceremony at the Town Hall of Vernier, following which the party travelled to a vineyard in the Geneva countryside. Anh and Cong were absolutely thrilled to have Jesus Caballero capture their day, and have a wonderful recommendation for him below. We absolutely love Anh’s parting words: “I could get married every year, each time with a different theme, but always the same man!” 

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HOW THEY MET

“Cong and I met in December 2012 at a friend’s birthday party. We started dating and lived together for two years before Cong got a job offer for Singapore- an assignment of two years. We talked about it over and over and the bottom line for me was: he needed to go for his career. Having this great opportunity and not seizing it was a mistake in my opinion. So, I told him I would follow him but we had to get married first! Cong accepted the job offer and we started the wedding planning. The departure for Singapore was in January, so we had to get married in December latest in Geneva. Despite the very short time to plan, we decided to have a true celebration for our wedding: a big party for family and friends.

THE WEDDING PLANS

Cong and I are both Asian: he is Chinese, and I am Vietnamese-Chinese. For us, it was an obvious choice to have a Chinese wedding because of our background and this meant a lot to our respective families. But we also wanted a party and a more modern celebration- that’s why we decided to combine the two by wearing traditional chinese costumes during the tea ceremony. In South China and North Vietnam, the tradition is for the couple to pour tea: that is what we call the tea ceremony. During the tea ceremony, the couple start by pouring tea for the parents, followed by the grandparents and then uncles and aunties. This is the moment when the parents and relatives bless the newly weds. During this moment, the newly weds also receive red packets with money or jewellery as wedding gift. Our wedding would not have been complete without the tea ceremony.<

For the reception, we visited a few venues but fell in love with the very first one- Le Clos du Château in Choully, Geneva. It is a family owned vineyard family. We liked that it was personal, you could feel that it was not as business oriented as the other places we saw. The ceremony room was beautiful with visible wallstones. Once we had the venue, we found Traiteur de Châtelaine catering through a recommendation. We chose the Town hall of Vernier for our ceremony for two reasons: firstly it was convenient because we lived on the commune, so we had priority to get married there. Secondly the building is so beautiful: it’s an old house dating from the 18-19th century that was owned by a well-known family in Geneva. The house is in a park with a splendid view of the mountains, which is what we wanted for photos.

For our photographer, I searched the internet and asked for recommendations and one day, I clicked on a wedding photo by Jesus Caballero. After looking at his website I realised I really liked his work and decided to write him an email. Truthfully, I never though the would reply, I just thought he would be too busy! But he replied quickly and took time to get to know us and get very much involved. We like the way he asked about the venue, he even checked on the weather forecast! We had conversations and exchanged ideas. His interest and involvement in the wedding made it unique for us. As a couple, this is really how it should be: we felt like the stars of the day!

THE OUTFITS & CHINESE DECORATION

I found THE dress in Lausanne, in Belle en Blanc. I was blessed to find that dress because of the short notice, I had to buy it right off the shelf and there it was: the perfect dress for me and in my size! I got the shoes from Dune. Because it was winter time, I needed something to cover my shoulders and keep me warm, so I had a gorgeous chale in Swiss wool custom made. Long ran around to try and find a tuxedo and finally ended up getting one made especially for him in Singapore during his trip back a month before the wedding. He bought our traditional Chinese dresses in a local shop in Singapore too while he was there. For the decoration and flowers, I did a lot of things myself like the red Chinese lanterns. We ordered a lot of things from China to save on the costs, and I had several very memorable handicraft sessions with my cousins who were the best bridesmaids ever. Congo’s father prepared a red fabric with best wishes in Chinese calligraphy, which was such a beautiful gift.

ADVICE

When we look back and think about our wedding, we are so happy! Everything went well, people were happy, we were happy, we have gorgeous photos of our wedding and great memories to share with our loved ones. Our advice for the couples preparing their wedding is this: get the things in order. Set a date, book the town hall, book a venue for dinner/party, look for your dress and tuxedo, but most of all, stay true to yourselves and be sure of what you want. Even on a tight budget, you can have amazing wedding. Go and look on wedding blogs, Pinterest is great for inspiration and if you have great vendors like we had, you will be well advised on the food, and photo ideas. I could get married every year, each time with a different theme, but always the same man!”

Photography: Jesus Caballero Photography | Venue: Clos du Chateau | Caterer: Traiteur de Chatelaine | Bride’s Dress & Wrap: Belle en Blanc | Shoes: Dune of London | Traditional Chinese Costumes: Local Singapore Store

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