Why did you choose Blue Hill at Stone Barns for your wedding?
Joanne: We went to visit multiple venues in the city, because we had guests coming from all around the world and we wanted something easily accessible for them. These places were mostly hotels or old historic buildings and they were nice, but I really wanted an outdoor ceremony and no where in the city could we find that. I’d heard great things about Blue Hill at Stone Barns through friends, and we decided to check it out even if it was a little farther away than we hoped. As soon as we arrived, we fell in love immediately. The rustic yet modern atmosphere, the large open spaces with new surprises, the friendly staff, and of course, the amazing food – it was a pretty easy choice.
What was the easiest wedding planning decision for you to make?
Joanne: I must say, I definitely have a bit of OCD and I put a lot of thought into almost every single decision. The easiest was probably choosing the cake. I really love a simple wedding cake, it’s literally my favorite part of weddings. We probably spent about five seconds deciding on that one.
Calvin: We did not hire a wedding planner and did everything ourselves. We asked friends for reliable vendors and let them do all the work. For example, we worked with Hank Lane on the music. We pretty much just met with them once but everything turned out better than we expected.
What was the most challenging?
Joanne: The number of people to invite was extremely difficult. Both of us didn’t want a huge wedding, and neither of us had a large guest list. Yet my dad decided he wanted to invite all of his friends, so telling him he only had a certain number of seats was a struggle.
Calvin: Since we had so many guests flying in from different countries, I was worried they would have a hard time getting to Blue Hill Stone Barns because it is an hour away from Manhattan. In the end we decided to hire a bus service to shuttle everyone from Manhattan to the venue and back. During the day, I was always worried guests would either miss the bus or not be able to find it.
What were some of the most special moments of your day?
Joanne: Definitely the first look – time sort of froze while we took pictures together and it was definitely my most stress-free moments where we could enjoy each other’s company. I also enjoyed the last hour of the wedding, because I was able to have my first sip of alcohol (was trying to avoid “Asian glow”). By then, all the formalities were over and we were just able to have a great time.
Calvin: Everything went by very fast, but I would have to say I enjoyed the dance at the end the most. This was the only part of the wedding where I could really mingle and talk to the guests. Some of our guests flew in from far away so it was good to catch up, even if it was just for a quick few minutes.
Did you incorporate any personalized components or traditions into your day?
Joanne: We had a Chinese tea ceremony which is traditionally equivalent to the wedding ceremony itself. We pour tea as a sign of respect to our elders and it signifies how we are entering into each other’s families.
Calvin: When I lived in Asia, I enjoyed going to karaoke with my friends. So for the first dance, bride-father dance, groom-mother dance, we played some Chinese karaoke classics.
What’s the best relationship advice you’ve ever received?
Joanne: Let the little things go.
Calvin: Talk openly about everything.
Did anything surprise you?
Joanne: Definitely how quickly the day passed. I’m pretty sure I went home thinking, what just happened? Can we do that again?
Calvin: Yes, I was really surprised at how quickly the day went by.
Finally, what is your dog’s name, why is he so cute, and what role did he play in your day?
Joanne: His name is Snowball, he’s an eight-year-old Malti-poo (Maltese-Poodle Mix). He’s the cutest, fluffiest, silliest, belly-rubbing loving, sock-eating little monster out there. We decided to bring Snowball because he’s a big part of our relationship and our little family. Initially, I wanted him to be the ring bearer, but we had fears that he would eat our rings or run into the farm with them. So we decided to have him be our flower-dog/grooms-dog. Apparently he got sidetracked while walking down the aisle. Honestly, he probably got more attention from our guests than we did.
Calvin: Joanne’s had Snowball for 8 years. I just met him a year ago before our wedding. I was never really a dog lover because I’m pretty obsessive about being clean, but I’ve adapted myself and now I can’t wait to see him when I get home.
Photos by Rebecca Walker & Michelle Mosqueda
Cake & Catering: Blue Hill at Stone Barns
Floral Design: Denise Fasanello Flowers
Hair & Makeup: VickyC5
Lighting: Pegasus Productions
Music: Hank Lane Music
Stationery: Paper Source
Venue: Blue Hill at Stone Barns