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River Thames Asian wedding | Dan and Hung-yu

London Chinese Wedding Lumen URC creative portrait

Gorgeous Malaysian and Taiwanese Wedding in London

How do I even start ?! I loved every minute of this wedding, from Hung-yu’s intimate preparation surrounded by her closest family from Taiwan, Rolls-Royce ride to the church, beautiful wedding ceremony at Lumen URC church at King’s Cross with the most amazing Beam of light feature column. Dan’s surprise song which brought tears to many eyes (including myself :)), London Red bus ride to take all the guests to the Festival Pier where we all boarded onto a River Thames Boat. There was a super relaxed atmosphere on the boat with all the guests mingling and enjoying the view of  London’s landmarks. The icing on the cake was the most amazing colourful post-sunset night sky which made a stunning backdrop for some beautiful portraits.
I have to admit even after a very long day and a 2 hour journey back home I still had a massive smile on my face which proved how much I enjoyed being a part of Dan and Hung-Yu’s amazing wedding day.

The Story of Dan and Hung-yu

Tell us how you first met? Who what when where why?

Dan: We met digitally….i.e. online through a dating app. We started chatting a lot and I  remember asking her “what freelance do you do?”. She thought it was a weird question as to her “Freelance” only applies to musicians (she is a musician), but to me, “Freelance” can be anything. That question rather annoyed her. Haha. We met in person a few months later, and it was the weirdest first date in that I brought my youngest son along. I was taking him to London for a day out and suggested we met. So we did and had a play-date at Hyde Park followed by dinner. A week later, I went down to London alone; and we attended the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall. (note: HY is a trained classical musician, and I  listen to Swedish Melodic Death Metal). Aside from the slightly different taste in music, we have so much in common, from music to books, to art, to history. We never had anything we could not talk about. From that point on, I found myself back in London almost every weekend.

When did you know he/she was the one?

Dan: I knew a few months in. Most weekends for me were spent with her in London (I lived in Warwick at that time) just chilling out, going for plays, musicals, days in the park, just enjoying her company and the shared laughter we had. I felt that I could be myself around her. That she accepted me for me. It wasn’t anything in particular, a spotlight shining on her, or a bolt of lightning that made me “know”. I just “knew” that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. She filled a void in my life. She makes me smile and laugh. She has a heart of gold and over time I realised that I needed her in my life. We have disagreements, and arguments; like any couple, but we tend to reconcile rather quickly.

HY: Dan used to come to London to spend the weekends with me, and throughout those times we spent together, I knew he was the person I wanted to be with for my life. With him, we can share everything, good or bad. We can talk about silly stuff and also profound thoughts. I cannot think of anything that I do not wish we did together. When I am around him, I feel secure and I feel the warmth. Although we hadn’t met each other for long enough, I always feel I have known him for my whole life. He encourages me to follow my dream and supports me through all my decisions.

Tell us about the proposal

Dan: We talked about getting married about 1.5 years into the relationship. So we knew it was coming. The only thing HY didn’t know was the type of ring I was actually going to get. We talked about a sapphire ring, but I had actually planned (and saved up) to get her a diamond ring. I had planned to visit her in Taiwan during Chinese New Year and it was at that time that I was planning to officially propose. I bought the ring in Malaysia (I went back home for CNY, before visiting her in Taiwan), wrote a speech that I was going to use to ask her parents for her hand in marriage, got it translated from English into Mandarin by my sister-in-law, practiced the speech in Mandarin (I do not speak, read, or write Mandarin) and one evening over at her family home in Taiwan, delivered the speech in very broken Mandarin.

I had not given her the ring by then as I wanted it to be a surprise and had planned to propose to her on one of our day outs. I carried the ring in my bag the whole day and waited for the opportune moment. Secretly I was looking for a romantic spot that I could do it, so I had suggested we visited various touristy spots. 2 of my options didn’t work out (Top of Taipei 101 and at the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial) due to the number of people and I didn’t feel “it”. The perfect spot was at an old Taiwanese mansion called “Lin Family Mansion. The place was just beautiful. I found a secluded spot and suggested we sat and enjoyed the moment a little. I was planning to propose there, but she had other plans and was rather in a rush. “Why are we sitting here? We need to go to meet my family for dinner!! Quick! Let’s go!”. So, the proposal didn’t happen.

That evening, I pretended to throw a strop over something and said to her “We need to talk. Upstairs”. (Her family home was on the top floor of an apartment complex, which means that we had access to the roof-top that overlooked the Taipei skyline). She was a bag of nerves heading upstairs. And when she got there, I said, “we have a problem. You do not have one of these”, dropped on one knee and asked her to marry me. Thankfully, she said “yes”! However, it was a little arse-about-faced as her parents had already given us their blessing, so marriage was on the cards. I just felt that I wanted to propose to her “traditionally”.

HY: Dan came to Taiwan to visit my family and the few days before he proposed to me, we had been trying to get a table in a famous Taiwanese restaurant without success. My dad then suggested we go to the restaurant as soon as it opens. So on that day, we went to Lin Family Mansion, all in my mind was….” we need to leave at 11.30”. So when Dan suggested to seat down, I was like….” time is ticking, sitting down later! Besides, what’s there to see to sit?”  (Anyway, so for my defense, I didn’t just have other plans in my head, I wanted to bring him to the restaurant where he kept saying he wanted to go!!!!)

Then that night, he made up some excuse to ask me go upstairs. I thought he was having second thought about the marriage, when he digs out the ring from his pocket, my heartbeat was race, so my first reaction was ….” tsk! You are so annoying!” (And, I know I will never hear the end of this in my whole life..😤)

Did I know about this? Yes and no. Dan is a type of person, he doesn’t carry a bag out unless it is absolutely necessary. During the days in Taiwan, he would carry his backpack everywhere, even just to go out for a simple meal!!!! I kept thinking “what so precious about that backpack!” Guess I was right in a way….it was a very “expensive” bag!😂

Tell us the one thing you love most about each other.

Dan: What I love most about HY? Everything. I love her smile, her laughter. She inspires me to try to be a better person for her. (sounds a little cliche). She has a heart of gold. My Angel. She is sarcastic and has a weird sense of humor (like me)

HY: I love everything about Dan, cliche, I know. But it’s true. He may not be the perfect person in other’s eyes, but he is in mine. I love he has a heart of gold, his sense of humor ( I will definitely not admit that I understand all his nerd jokes); he is my best friend, also my solid ground.

If you feel comfortable, share with us something silly or quirky the other person does.

HY: hmmm…I can’t think of anything particular right now, I guess, Dan’s quirkiness has become part of my life, now I don’t even think it is quirky anymore! (That doesn’t sound too good after I said it out…)

What inspired your décor or theme?

Dan & HY : We wanted something really simple. The church we got married in (Lumen URC in Kings Cross London) is just beautiful and has a beautiful stained glass window set in a modern designed hall that is predominantly white. There is also an architectural feature that forms a “beam of light” radiating from the ceiling, so we didn’t want to overpower it with too much decoration. So we decided that we would go for a minimalist look, few flowers and basically just let the church “speak for itself”

London Chinese Wedding Lumen URC church outside portrait

What was the best part of your wedding?

Dan: Seeing HY walking down the aisle. I was shaking! Most of what happened after that was a blur to me. Everything happened so quickly. Having said that, there were so many memorable moments: Watching her cry as I sang to her during my vows, having our minister tell me off for kissing her before it was time. Reciting my vows when it wasn’t my turn. Traveling together with our guests in a vintage double-decker bus to get to Festival Pier for our dinner reception (which was on a boat). Being totally “lost in the moment” whist at Festival Pier posing for photographs with Latzo, and prancing about in our wedding gear. Cruising up and down the River Thames at sunset on a gorgeous Autumn evening.

HY: Everything. I saw all my loved ones there, my whole family flew from Taiwan for my wedding. Saw Dan in front of the aisle; his surprise (wait! Did I mention, I knew that church too well that I noticed there is a microphone right next to the piano and I thought that is unusual?). Everything is the best part of that day. The bus journey across the city I lived for 10 plus years; boat reception on Thames river, my favorite part of London; my not Bentley wedding car! (I had a Rolls Royce, and Dan works for Bentley!! ) Everything!

What’s one thing you wish you would have known earlier in regards to planning?

Dan: We went from proposal to wedding in 8/9 months and we decided most things rather quickly. We knew that we wanted to do something different so we landed on the “reception on a boat” idea, booked it and aligned everything on that. We also knew we had to transport our guests from the church to the boat, so we decided to book a vintage double-decker bus and then decided to be with all our guests on the ride. That was so much fun.

HY:  I guess for the bride, we all want to know about the weather on the day if it is warm enough for us to enjoy wearing our gown if it is dry and sunny so the photos will turn out great. But weather is hard to foresee, so better to just follow the flow and make the best out of it no matter what.

Could you give 1 or 2 most important pieces of advice for all the couples who are planning their wedding?

Dan& HY: I think everyone has their own ideas for making that day really special. For us, it was having our close family and friends together with us to celebrate that special day and we wanted an intimate and meaningful wedding. That was was drove a lot of our decisions, and it was something we focused on. So most decisions were made, with that in mind, from the decor to the wedding ceremony, to the reception. Our advice is to find out what is the most important thing you want to achieve that day, then plan for it to happen.

HY: apart from wedding venues, reception, family accommodation, etc. My wedding gown and jewellery was one of the very first few things I decided. We went to the wedding show and then I quickly decided I wanted to hire my gown instead of buying. I set a budget and I did try to look for buying but turn out, my first instinct was correct. I then went on hunting wedding gown to hire. Luckily enough, The Bridal Gallery London was right next to the school I used to work in. So I made the appointment to try on some different style dresses. The lady was very helpful and it didn’t take me long to decide my dream dress. It was early April and I never had to worry about my dress and veil and everything to make me like a princess for the day. So I would suggest brides to decide whether they want to buy the dress or hire and what style. Then search accordingly.

What was the most important factor in choosing your wedding photographer and why have you chosen Latzo?

Dan & HY: Latzo was recommended to us by a photographer we met at a wedding show at the NEC in Birmingham, and we are so glad he did. We were after a “documentary” style of photography because we wanted all the emotions of the day to be captured. Seeing Latzo’s previous work, we knew we wanted him to be our photographer. He manages to capture raw emotion in his photography, as well as very “fly-on-the-wall” shots. I remember a friend saying, whilst watching Latzo in action on the day “he sees the world so very different compared to us”, and I think that really just sums up Latzo’s talent. Seeing the photos again (which we do quite often), it is as though we are seeing someone else’s wedding until we realise that it was ours.

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