Real New England Weddings: Helen Tsai & Andrew Harlan
Draw inspiration from this stylish local celebration.
October 2, 2010,
Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton
Though Helen Tsai and Andrew Harlan were in most of the same classes at MIT, they didn’t actually meet until senior year: “We were part of a team designing a bike that helped children with mental disabilities learn how to ride,” says Helen. Two and a half years later, Andrew, a robotics engineer, made plans to propose during a trip to Paris. He chose the Eiffel Tower as a memorable — “if not a bit clichéd” — spot to ask Helen to marry him, he says. Her take is a little different: “I was completely surprised and swept off my feet!”
Back home in Cambridge, the couple chose the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton as the wedding venue. “I wanted someplace funky and homey; Andrew wanted funky and modern. The Fuller was a great combo of all three,” says Helen, who worked hard to infuse the wedding with their geek-chic style.
The avid photographers made 120 photo-booth-style escort cards that guests could take home as keepsakes. Oh, and they ran — not strode — into their reception to AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck,” high-fiving guests along the way. Whoever said MIT students are strait-laced has never seen two mechanical engineers do a fast-paced lindy-hop routine, complete with aerials, on the most romantic night of their lives.
The day before the wedding, Helen spent $20 on flowers from a local florist and divided them into bouquets for her bridal party.
The tables were named after pairs that go well together. Some “were inside jokes,” says Helen, “like Bacon and Peppermint Whipped Cream.”
The couple served cupcakes in fall flavors like caramel apple.
(From left, top to bottom) Helen’s theater-arts professor, Leslie Held, helped design and make her gown. “Friends said it looked great from the front, but it was the back that really captured a bit of my personality,” Helen says.
Helen created “Helen” and “Andrew” crocheted robots and attached them to a pillow with the rings.
Bridesmaid Cindy Panas made the boutonnieres using fabric and ribbon from one of the couple’s first wedding gifts.
Helen and Andrew took 120 unique Polaroids of themselves to use as place cards.
Gown Custom-Made by the Bride and Leslie Held
Jewelry Voleur de Bijoux
Hair Flower xoxoDesigns
Bridesmaids Bridal Reflections
Menswear Men’s Wearhouse
Cake Kickass Cupcakes
Caterer Currier & Chives
Flowers Petali Flowers
Music DJ Nato/Nate Oinonen