Young at Heart

Two SLU grads add plenty of fun to their wedding day while staying true to tradition.

 

THE BRIDE: Tiffany Tang, 26, Customer Service Team Manager
THE GROOM: Randy Chan, 28, Reporting and Workforce Manager

THEIR STORY Tiffany and Randy met at Saint Louis University and immediately found common ground in their Chinese roots and love of math (she double majored in finance and marketing, he in finance). They quickly became friends, but their relationship didn’t really add up until years later, when Randy—who had returned to China after graduation—contacted Tiffany via instant message. Once they reconnected, the couple started a long distance romance peppered with online and phone chats, as well as visits when they could afford them. Randy moved back to the states and eventually back to St. Louis to be closer to Tiffany, which further convinced her that he was the man she wanted to settle down with. One night at a Christmas party, Randy and Tiffany were chips-deep in a poker game when Randy suddenly and inexplicably left the table. At her friends’ urging, Tiffany got up to find him—when she did, he was kneeling before her with a bouquet of red roses, a ring and the all-important question: “Would you marry me?” Her answer was a sweet and simple “yes.”

TEA FOR TWO It was important to the couple to honor their families’ culture in the wedding, so they performed two traditional Chinese tea ceremonies before their nuptials. Traditionally, the groom and his groomsmen meet the bride at her parents’ house—which, in this case, was actually the hotel room where she was getting ready. The couple knelt down and served tea to their older relatives as a sign of respect. The elders drank the tea and offered their blessing, along with gifts for the bride. This first ceremony symbolized the bride’s move from her own family to Randy’s, and that from that point on, he would be the one to protect her and care for her. The couple then moved to another room where Randy’s family was waiting for them. They again knelt and served the elders’ tea, receiving blessings and gifts to welcome Tiffany into the Chan family.

PUT TO THE TEST Part of Chinese tradition dictates that before the groom and groomsmen can pick up the bride for the tea ceremonies, they have to face a series of challenges designed by the bridesmaids to win her over. For Randy and his guys, this included everything from handing over their IDs and cash to taste-testing soda and eating contests. A few unlucky fellows even had to put on lipstick because the bridesmaids “didn’t like the way they talked.” All of this happened while Tiffany was hiding, to symbolize that she was the “treasure of the family.” It reminded the groom how precious his soon-to-be-wife was to him, and started the day off with laughs and a healthy dose of embarrassment.

CLASSIC DETAILS Tiffany and Randy wanted to keep their nuptials classic and traditional. For her dress, the bride chose an Oleg Cassini ball gown with three-dimensional floral details. She found it on her first visit to the bridal store, and though she continued looking for a “better one,” she kept coming back to that first choice. Her bridemaids wore purple and carried bright bouquets with purple, pink and white roses. For her own bouquet, Tiffany decided on a more muted color scheme with white roses accented by colored orchids. The ceremony and reception were both held at the Ritz Carlton in Clayton. Accompanied by harp music, the couple exchanged traditional vows, which covered everything important to them and brought tears to Tiffany’s eyes (causing her a moment of panic that her makeup was melting off ). After the ceremony, guests enjoyed a cocktail hour while the bridal party took pictures at Washington University and the Grand Basin at Forest Park. Dinner was a four-course sit-down meal with dessert of cheesecake and a four-tiered chocolate cake, featuring a cat cake topper—a nod to their two family members who couldn’t take part in the special day.

BELLY LAUGHS At the reception, the bridal party incorporated another tradition that often takes place at Chinese weddings: playing games to tease the newlyweds and test how well they know each other. First, Tiffany sat down blindfolded and had to feel people’s bellies to guess which one was Randy’s. Then, Randy was blindfolded for a series of shoulder rubs, and had to figure out which came from his wife. Though Tiffany identified her man’s belly correctly on the first try, Randy wasn’t so lucky. The rest of the evening was spent dancing and enjoying time with friends and family. At the end of the night, guests left with gift boxes filled with Hershey’s kisses and decorated with Chinese characters reading, “We’re getting married!”

 

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TIFFANY TANG & RANDY CHAN

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Tang & Chan Wedding

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Tang & Chan Wedding

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Tang & Chan Wedding Flower Arrangement

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Tang and Chang Blindfold

 

Photo credit: Simpli Photography

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