Morton Arboretum Wedding Honoring Chinese Heritage

Cat and Jonathan’s Morton Arboretum wedding honored their Chinese heritage. Their personal ceremony was officiated by Cat’s best friend, and their wedding day beautifully captured by Alaina Bos Photography.

2013-5-4 Chen/Yuen Wedding
2013-5-4 Chen/Yuen Wedding
2013-5-4 Chen/Yuen Wedding
2013-5-4 Chen/Yuen Wedding

How We Met

Jon was completing his Masters and Cat her Bachelors when we met in a biomedical engineering class at Northwestern. It didn’t take very many study sessions before we realized that there was something special. A batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies, postcards from Taiwan, and a borrowed copy of Ender’s Game was all it took to seal the deal, but it was still another six months, a trip to the Shedd Aquarium, flowers, and seemingly endless ribbing from Cat’s friends before she acknowledged that we were dating.

2013-5-4 Chen/Yuen Wedding
2013-5-4 Chen/Yuen Wedding

The Proposal

After four years of tedious medical school classes and seemingly interminable PhD experiments, we found ourselves in a long-distance relationship when Cat relocated to St. Louis to start her post-graduate training. After two and a half years of three-day call cycles and numerous Amtrak points, Jon shipped a package to Cat with strict instructions to not open it until he visited the following week. Being around Christmas, Cat assumed it was a Christmas present, so left it unopened and barely acknowledged on her dining room table.

Jon arrived 10 days later with the stated purpose of accompanying Cat to a residency holiday party. Before leaving for the party, Jon told her that they needed to open the package first. The package contained not a Christmas present, but rather a ring and a question, to which the answer was a wholehearted yes.

2013-5-4 Chen/Yuen Wedding

The Vision

Our goal for the wedding was for the following to be achieved: 1. To be married, 2. To each other, and 3. For everyone who attended to be well-fed. We also wanted our Chinese heritage to be reflected in our wedding. We used the traditionally auspicious colors of red and gold as accents throughout the wedding, and the double happiness characters were featured on our invitations and wedding programs. Cat’s traditional red wedding dress completed the list of “musts.”

2013-5-4 Chen/Yuen Wedding
2013-5-4 Chen/Yuen Wedding

Memories

Cat’s best friend officiated our wedding, and started off the ceremony with quotes from both Princess Bride and Star Wars. That set the tone for the rest of the ceremony, and encouraged people to get up and speak when we invited members of the audience to stand and share stories about us. Jon’s graduate school roommate shared a particularly entertaining rendition of their grad school days, and his siblings may have disclosed previously unknown misadventures. It really helped to foster the community spirit that we were trying to accomplish with our wedding.

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2013-5-4 Chen/Yuen Wedding