Michelle Cheng & Yang Zeng | August 10, 2018, at The Market at Grelen
Photography by Jen Fariello
The happiest days comprise many little moments—some unexpected details and some planned. For Michelle Cheng, one of the best moments of her wedding day was an ATV ride with her photographer, planner, and new husband, to the top of a hill overlooking guests below.
“[The ride] was bumpy, full of twists and turns and pleasant surprises (we even rode in a pond!),” Michelle says. “It was amazing how the perspective shifted—the ceremony was held with the hills as the backdrop but suddenly we’re on top of the hill overlooking the garden and the tent from afar.”
A favorite moment for Yang came right after the couple said “I do.”
“Our exit song was ‘Yellow Submarine.’ Michelle started swinging her arms to the song halfway down the aisle while we were holding hands, and added a little hop to her step, so that we were skipping down the end of the aisle—to the awws and surprise of our guests,” says Yang. “I love it because that moment captures Michelle’s sparkling and independent personality that I love very much.”
The bride’s personality shone through in other ways, too: her love of hydrangea and roses in the bouquet, her favorite color—serenity blue—showing up in porcelain accents on the dinner tables, the cake plate, and even the cake. (Maliha Creations’ Anita Gupta used a dish as inspiration for one of the cake layers.)
“[The blue accents] added a unique, sassy, chill flare to a warm, summer palette,” says Yang.
In a nod to their Chinese heritage, the couple offered guests Maotai, “the best rice wine in China,” says Yang.
Though the couple lives in New York, they chose to get married in Virginia for budget reasons (and because Yang’s family lives nearby). “We instantly fell in love with Grelen’s plants, garden, view, and diversity of spaces,” Yang says.
Michelle’s wedding inspiration Pinterest board included all of the bouquet styles and flowers she loved. It helped the couple home in on a look for the arrangements. “We decided on loosely arranged bouquet composed of all colors in the palette wrapped with long, trailing dusty blue ribbons,” Michelle says.
To select a caterer, the couple made a list of their favorite dishes from the restaurants they most frequent at home in New York. “We reviewed each caterer based on how they played with our list of dishes and unique regional cuisines,” says Yang.