Real Wedding: Chhay Chhun & Li Ouyang
September 12, 2015
The Rocks Estate
Bethlehem, New Hampshire
That her boyfriend, Chhay Chhun, would eventually propose was no surprise to Li Ouyang. What the New Hampshire native didn’t know was when Chhay would pop the question—or how. So it was “totally surreal,” Li says, when Chhay, after leading friends and family in a choreographed flash mob at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, finally got down on one knee to ask for her hand. “A bunch of people we don’t know were filming it and crying,” Li says with a laugh. “There were so many times I thought he was going to propose, and it didn’t hit me that it was really happening.”
When it came to planning their wedding, the couple, who live in California, sought a kid-friendly, outdoor venue that could accommodate their lengthy guest list. They settled on the 1,400-acre Rocks Estate, a verdant property in Li’s home state with stunning views of the White Mountains. “We wanted something with a country-escape feel,” the bride says.
To coordinate the details of their rustic fete, Li and Chhay turned to event designer Emily Starr Alfano, who helped them craft a personal celebration that—much like their YouTube-worthy engagement—incorporated elements of their shared love for music and dance. After swapping original vows on the picturesque grounds, the couple and their bridal party two-stepped back down the aisle to a playlist created by Chhay, a Harvard grad and former DJ. The reception, complete with a classic New England clambake dinner, included a salsa-inspired father-daughter dance and a bachata routine performed by the newlyweds. Starr Alfano even had the phrase “Love Is a Rhythm,” the couple’s music-inspired wedding motto, printed on the cocktail napkins and a dance-floor decal. “Everything was so cohesive,” Li says. “It was a beautiful day.”
Fresh pomegranates, along with gold-plated flatware and custom lobster bibs, added a touch of whimsy to each place setting.
Bound with hand-dyed silk ribbons, the bridal bouquet featured blooms including clematis, scabiosa, and sweet pea vines. “I really like the full-flower look,” Li says.
“Our vows were my favorite moment of the day,” Li says. “Everyone was crying, especially me.”
The couple served a spiced banana cake topped with cream cheese frosting and fresh flowers.
“I wanted to stay true to my Taiwanese heritage and not have the wedding be all white,” Li says of the berry-toned color scheme.
Bride’s Dress Marisa, Bridal Galleria
Bridesmaids’ Dresses Jenny Yoo, Bella Bridesmaids
Catering Chef Joe’s Catering
DJ DJ Accurit
Flowers Emily Herzig Floral Studio
Hair and Makeup Blushing Brides
Menswear Charlie Chhun (Groom’s Father)
Event Design MStarr Design
Rentals Lakes Region Tent & Event; Rentals Unlimited
Rings No. 3
Videographer Duy Le Photography