Kristina & Ki Yin's Double Happiness East-meets-West wedding

April 10 |
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Photos by Rachael Jane Photography/Arrjay Photographica

The offbeat bride: Kristina, Student Adviser at a Natural Health College

Her offbeat partner: Ki Yin, Enterprise Resource Planning Officer (IT wizard!)

Date and location of wedding: Queensland Registry Office and a hotel, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia — December 19, 2011

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: It was a tale of East meets West: a Canadian dame living in Adelaide (West-ish), and her beau from Hong Kong in Brisbane (to the East). An androgynous Asian fell for a rockabilly chick! That's us: the quiet, quirky couple who finally decided to settle in Brisbane and tie the knot our way. We wanted a wedding that would reflect our style and incorporate Chinese tradition in the mix. We both love the colour red, and as this represents good luck in Eastern tradition, we went for a "Double Happiness" theme with a rockabilly twist.

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We had a Feng Shui expert in Hong Kong appoint a "lucky" wedding date for us in Brisbane: Monday, December 19th. This turned out to be a perfect date for us as we were planning our wedding on a budget, and venues charge less on a Monday. We had to factor in a second wedding ceremony in Canada into our 'round-the-world honeymoon, as my mum is battling stage IV breast cancer and too ill to fly out to Australia.

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Wedding in Brisbane, December 19, 2011:

Our ceremony was at the Queensland Registry Office, so this was one of those stock standard ceremonies where you tie the knot in ten minutes, and can't alter the vows. Perfect for the two of us who both prefer not to be the centre of attention.

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Our reception was held in a private dining room within a luxury hotel in Brisbane, only a ten-minute walk from the Registry Office. Our reception complemented our style and taste. We had a three course, sit-down dinner with our favourite music playing softly in the background (anything from Marilyn Manson to Buddy Holly).

We both couldn't imagine sitting at a head table and sharing a first dance together. Ki Yin has two left feet, so we would have looked ridiculous. Plus, this way it took the pressure off by not having too many formalities, and really just enjoying a fancy dinner with 25 of our close family and friends.

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Wedding in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, February 3, 2012:

Planning two weddings and a 40-day, 'round-the-world honeymoon is a lot to have on one's plate. Plus, it can be costly! Our choice of venue in Canada was perfect. We chose a local brewery that has a private function room for both the ceremony and reception. The cost of the venue hire includes all-you-can-drink beer, and we were able to bring our own food, which kept the cost down.

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I brought a suitcase of decorations over from Australia, so both weddings in the Northern and Southern hemisphere had the same red "Double Happiness" theme.

Tell us about the ceremony: Here was one of our readings:

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Ode to Krissy and Ki Yin — Poem by my Auntie Liz in Canada
There once was a young girl named Kris
Who travelled afar and found bliss
In a country "down under"
It really made you wonder
If it could ever end up being like this

The young fella to catch Krissy's eye
Was a very quiet and reserved kind of guy
Who, when visiting the Great White North
Brought only a pair of Bermuda shorts
Now THAT is true love, you can't deny!

We wish all the best to Krissy and Ki Yin
As the next phase of their lives together begins
They call Australia their home
Along with Gotti and Capone (our dogs)
The next question will be: When will you have children?

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Our biggest challenge: I suppose some would find it challenging making 43 wedding DIY items, but to me it was a hobby. I made everything I could to cut costs and stamp our own selves on the wedding day. From the cake topper, the bouquets, my veil and fascinator, the fabric birds, and I even sewed 30 dinner napkins! I'm sure by the end of our wedding people either loved, or had enough polka dots for a lifetime.

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My favorite moment: We found the most amazing student photographers in Brisbane, and we enjoyed spending time just the two of us and them doing our photo shoot. We walked from the Registry Office to our venue and were able to take pictures with some amazing backdrops. This also gave us a chance to take in the fact that we just said "I do," and have some alone time.

UntitledOur ceremony in Waterloo was officiated by my close friend from high school, Steph. Here we were able to have customised vows, which was great because the second time around we felt a bit more relaxed. Plus, having a special ceremony led by your high school friend is so personal.

All of the wedding speeches at both ceremonies were touching, and made us both laugh and cry. My cousin in Canada topped everyone though. She is 13, and just as shy as my husband. Rachel rustled up the courage to write a poem for us and recite this in front of 45 people! It was probably one of the most thoughtful things someone has ever done for us.

Cousin Rachel's Poem in Canada — You're a firework
You decide your own decisions
When Krissy chose Ki Yin for a partner
Krissy and Ki Yin chose a brother and a sister
Be happy and have fun
When you wear your dress
You are as pretty as a lilac
When you wear your tuxedo
You are as handsome as a rose
You are your own person
You are not Katy Perry
So make it shine
And wear shorts in winter
So just be yourself
Congratulations on your wedding day

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Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? I hadn't seen the venue in Canada in person, and we only arrived into town the evening before the ceremony. I tried to work with photos the venue sent through to organise a floor plan, but of course what I had worked out with table set-up did not fit into the actual plan. We only had an hour before everyone came to set up the venue. Luckily, with family helping set up, it came together in the end.

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My advice for Offbeat Brides: I would have been lost without Etsy! I found so many suppliers for the crafty DIY items I made. I was also able to source vintage milk vases for the table setting. My mum used to have some of these on the window sill when I was young, so this was my way of having her close to me with our wedding in Brisbane.

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Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

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  1. GORGEOUS! You two are a stunning couple, and I love how you incorporated Ki Yin's culture and your love for rockabilly!

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  2. I love it when you can see joy bursting out of someone, and these pictures have that in spades. Congratulations!

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  3. Lovely! I'm a Caucasian American marrying a dude who was originally from Hong Kong in June! We are lucky to have a Chinatown here in Chicago, so we're having the reception at a dim sum joint. Congrats! :)

    • I am in a very similar situation.. could I ask which Dim Sum joint you decided on? We're narrowing our choices now.

      Cheers!

  4. Ohh my god, what a gorgeous couple. <3 Whole series of photos gave me butterflies :3

  5. Hi! Beautiful wedding and what a lovely story! I am also a Canadian bride-to-be trying to decide on a location. Just wondering what exactly your venue in Waterloo was? Love the idea of all you can drink beer :)

    • I'm waiting on confirmation from the venue to see if I can mention them online (some venues get funny about this). In the meantime, if you search online for 'a Waterloo brewing company' you might turn up a lead ;)They are on King Street also.

      Let me know if you are into victory rolls too (from the pics with the red and white dress at our ceremony in Waterloo). There is a great hair salon in Kitchener that I used who are perfect for this!

  6. OH! Your dress maker! I've been starring at her page forever. I want a shelf-bust wedding dress, but the example she has up… I can't tell if it just needed to be steamed, or if the seems were funny. It looks like your dress came out beautifully, though, so that's VERY reassuring.

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    • I lost some weight so my mother-in-law took in the dress a bit as she is a seamstress also. The dressmaker did an amazing job, and the petticoat was so full! It was perfect!

  7. Thanks everyone for your kind words! It truly was such a special day, both ceremonies actually!

  8. Jesus Mary Christmas Cracker, you guys are just the hottest couple ever. Mazel Tov!

    …This is a really sacrilicious comment. MY POINT STANDS.

    • Thanks Katie. :) It's funny because we are both shy and tend not to want to draw attention to ourselves. We're just a quiet couple living in the burbs with our two dogs :)

  9. Great to see you guys, I hardly recognised you. Best wishes. Trev

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  10. I'm sorry–did you saw microbrewery with all-you-can-drink beer?! I might be getting married in Canada, now! :P

  11. Gorgeous! I am so glad to see your wedding! I am awaiting my dress from Porsches Place too! (Femia is a sweetheart!) Should be here any day now. :)

    • It's a very exciting day receiving anything from Femia! I can't wait to order some vintage reproduction day dresses from her in the future!

  12. I'm late to the commenting party here, but I wanted to add to the chorus of congratulations. As a Brisbane girl currently living in the UK, I loved seeing my city look so fabulous in your photos – it's amazing how the addition of a happy couple can make even the Central station underpass look gorgeous!

  13. Hey there, I'm wondering how you went with parking for everyone going to the Brisbane Registry office? I'm planning a wedding there and parking seems like an issue

    • Hey!

      Most of our guests were from out of town, and walked from their hotels. Some people managed to find street parking as there isn't any parking at the office. Our wedding was at 4pm on a Monday so some struggled to find street parking.

      How about having people park at a train station, and arrange a bus or taxis for them to get to the Registry Office?

      Also, you might want to call and confirm your ceremony date/time. I think they forgot about our 4pm ceremony, and the celebrant was wearing leggings and a leopard print top. Thankfully for our rockabilly themed wedding this worked, but for others they might have been disappointed.

    • Hey!
      Most of our guests were from out of town, and walked from their hotels. Some people managed to find street parking as there isn't any parking at the office. Our wedding was at 4pm on a Monday so some struggled to find street parking.
      How about having people park at a train station, and arrange a bus or taxis for them to get to the Registry Office?
      Also, you might want to call and confirm your ceremony date/time. I think they forgot about our 4pm ceremony, and the celebrant was wearing leggings and a leopard print top. Thankfully for our rockabilly themed wedding this worked, but for others they might have been disappointed.

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