Lao- Murray Wedding Oct. 29, 2011
hen two cultures unite, wedding planning takes on a little more creativity. On Oct. 29, 2011, Hong Lao and Matthew Thomas Murray celebrated their love twice— with a Chinese tea ceremony and a traditional church ceremony. Hong, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Mieng Chiep of Montgomery, Ala., and Matthew, son of Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Murray of Fairhope, Ala., began their wedding day at Alley Station with traditional Chinese activities for close friends and family. Hong wore a Chinese QiPao gown – a fitted, red silk gown with gold accents, and she and her bridesmaids waited in the ballroom for the groom and his groomsmen to find her. In Chinese traditions, when the groom arrives, he has to bribe the girls to let him see his future wife, and they determine if he is worthy to see his bride. The bridesmaids had fun making the groom sing, dance, do pushups, speak in Chinese and blindfold him for more games. After the bride and groom were allowed to see one another for the first time, the Chinese tea ceremony began, where the bride and groom served cups of Chinese hot tea to the elders of both families to show their respect and to gain acceptance into each other’s families. In return for the hot tea, the couple was given their wedding gifts.
After the Chinese tea ceremony, Hong changed into her traditional white wedding dress and accessories, and the couple did a “first look” photo shoot. It was a special and emotional experience for the couple and their families. The wedding ceremony was held at First Baptist Church with Jay Wolfe officiating. After the ceremony, the guests headed back to the Alley Station Ballroom for the reception, where guests were treated to a variety of foods including a shrimp and grits bar, a pasta bar, a dip bar, a salad bar and a fruit and veggie bar. The guests danced the night away to the band and DJ, Groove Factor, and they also enjoyed a photo booth and rooftop games of corn hole played with custom-made corn bags with the bride and groom’s name and wedding date on them. Hong and Matthew left the reception through the alleyway while guests threw ivory rose petals. The bride and groom’s favorite part of the wedding was that it held so many features and personal touches that were important to both families. The Lao-Murray wedding is the perfect example of two cultures blending together into one successful wedding day. Special thanks to The King’s Table, Vickie’s Cakes and Things, Flowers, Etc., LUSH Makeup Art and Jamison Alexander Hair
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