Finding your soulmate among the billions of people on this planet may seem daunting sometimes, but love works in mysterious ways. Xinyan and Bingjun both grew up in Shanghai but didn’t meet each other until mutual friends brought them together in the U.S.! We were lucky to get to know this sweet couple during their sunrise and sunset engagement session in Paris earlier this year, and were honored to capture their special day this summer.
“Nestldown is the first and only venue we visited,” says Xinyan. “It was love at first sight. I love absolutely everything about Nestldown. It’s beautiful at every moment and every turn.”
With its storybook cottage, wishing well, giant chess board, and forest throne tucked among the redwoods in the Santa Cruz Mountains, Nestldown was the perfect venue for their fairytale wedding. Xinyan was stunning in a strapless princess gown and delicate flowers in her intricate updo, while her Prince Charming looked dashing in a black tuxedo with silver vest.
Birds twittered as Xinyan and her father descended the steps through the majestic redwoods to join Bingjun for the touching ceremony, which was conducted in both English and Chinese. Birds, in fact, were a big part of the wedding decor.
“My name means ‘new bird,'” says Xinyan. “There was a bird singing on top of the roof on New Year’s day, on the day I was born. That’s how I got my name. Bingjun wanted to use a lot of bird elements in our wedding so we can be lovebirds.”
They did an incredible job incorporating birds and greenery into their “let love grow” theme. Vibrant teal peacocks perched on floral centerpieces, and peacock feathers complemented the succulent boutonnières. Lovebirds swooned on the wooden card box. Guests signed their names on the leaves of a 3D guestbook. Small succulents and triangular boxes of seeds served as wedding favors.
Xinyan joined the reception in a gorgeous red qipao featuring a dazzling peacock. Loved ones shared humorous stories about the newlyweds, cheeks and bellies hurt from too much laughing, and glasses clinked merrily. When Xinyan and Bingjun stepped onto the dancefloor for their first dance, we gasped when we recognized the opening notes of “City of Stars” from La La Land (whose soundtrack we were quite obsessed with for a while).
“Neither of us is good at dancing,” says Xinyan. “Believe it or not, Bingjun has zero dancing experience. He never danced in his whole life. So I had to pick a song that sounds super easy to dance to and yet is romantic enough to convince him to dance with me. I was a little worried about this part. Luckily, when we saw the movie La La Land, we found our dream song.”
Congratulations to the lovebirds! Here are some highlights from their joyful day. Enjoy!
Bride’s wedding dress: MTF (Suzhou, China)
Bride’s reception dress: local brand from Suzhou, China
Bride’s shoes: Badgley Mischka
Bride & bridesmaids’ robes: Old Shanghai
Groom’s tuxedo: Rental from Tuxedo Fashions
Rings: Tiffany & Co. (engagement ring), Shane Co. (wedding bands)
Bridesmaids’ dresses: JJ’s House
Caterer: Poetry in Motion
Cake: Amour Patisserie
Flowers & centerpieces: Shari Blackwell
Coordinator: Chelsea from LadyMarry Wedding Services
Hair & make-up: Zhuo Liu
DJ: Big Fun DJ
Wedding signage (signs, menus, escort cards): MomentiDesignStudio (Etsy)
Succulent favors: 5starsucculents (Etsy)
Tree guestbook: WeddingGuestbook3D (Etsy)