SO, I have something pretty incredible to share with you guys today. Some of you may remember American TV channel TLC’s Royal Wedding Project where 3 lucky couples got married in Times Square as part of the station’s first live telecast ever. I also must mention the fact that my favourite TV show EVER (Say Yes to the Dress) was a cosponsor which is pretty awesome. One of these lucky couples happened to be designer Jesse Chao and his wife Marie, who got in touch with me to share their story. OMG. While the rights to the actual wedding belong to TLC and will be revealed later on, I’m am extremely pleased to share these photos with you guys – what a crazy opportunity and awesome day.
Saying “I do” in front of millions of viewers, Chao wore a custom tie from his own line, the VJNY collection, along with a bespoke tuxedo, shoes by To Boot New York, and a custom shirt from Imparali Custom Tailors. The bride, Marie Chao, wore a dress by Anna Maier for Ulla-Maija Couture, and photos of the two were taken in Duffy Square, the Muse Hotel and on Broadway by wedding photographer Tom Wang. Early press included The Record and the Herald News. “It was an amazing experience for the both of us and want to thank TLC for the experience. We shared our special day with the biggest wedding the world has seen since Charles and Diana, it was really magical. As a designer, I was especially proud of wearing one of my own ties in front of millions of people. Marie and I are still recovering from the whole experience.” says Chao.
Wedding Sponsor: TLC / Say Yes to the Dress
Photographer: Tom Wang
Hotel: The Muse
Dress: Anna Maier for Ulla-Maija Couture
Dress Sponsor: Kleinfeld Bridal
Bespoke Tuxedo: Michael Andrews Bespoke
Custom Shirt: Imparali
Custom Tie: Vittorio J
A little bit about the couple from Vittorio:
1.) How did I meet Marie?
Marie and I have been dating for 10 years now! We met during college (Montclair State University). Like most long-term relationships, we had our ups and downs but I always knew she was THE one. She is everything a man wants in a wife and I am excited to spend the rest of my life with her.
She is also one of the most patient people I know. I told her when I first started Vittorio J that this ride was going to be really bumpy and making it big was NOT going to be easy. She never stopped believing in me and I am grateful for that.
2.) Describe the proposal
6/20/2009: I planned it so that it would appear like any other Saturday. We started the day by going to Barnes and Noble to read some magazines and relax after a long week of work. On the way back home, I asked Marie if it was OK to visit our old college since they have not been there in awhile. Marie agreed but kept complaining when we were walking on campus. It was raining that day and the school was a ghost town. I said to Marie “You know I want to spend the rest of my life with you right?”. She replied, “Yeah well, if in 6 months I don’t have a ring on my finger, its bye bye Jesse!”. I laughed out loud in my head, took the ring out of his pocket, got down on one knee and popped the question. She said yes… and then proceeded with “PLEASE don’t tell my mother about the bye bye Jesse thing”… Of course, when we got back home, there was a surprise party with friends and family and I tell Marie’s mom the story 🙂
3.) How did this event happen?
I actually read about this randomly on a blog. I asked Marie if this was something she was interested in. She said “why not” without really thinking it through. We had to answer a pretty detailed online application that took us over 3 hours to complete. I knew that it was going to be pretty competitive and we needed to sound witty and stand out from the crowd. We received a call from Semi Sweet Productions, the casting director, asking us to schedule a tapping. I told Marie we had to make an impression and we needed to dress to impress. I even bought her a brand new dress just for the tapping and I wore my best bespoke suit. I guess our personalities really shined because we beat out a lot of other couples. There was a lot of planning and communication with the casting director and TLC throughout the process. We only had a month to plan everything so there was a lot of pressure to get everything set-up for the event. I have to say that they treated Marie and I like royalty. Marie received a beautiful dress by Anna Maier, 100% sponsored by Kleinfeld Bridal. They tapped her for a future episode of “Say Yes to the Dress.” Some of clips of the tapping were used during the live event.
The funniest thing about the whole experience was Marie’s anxiety during the process. There were times when she was completely freaking out! In my head, I knew this was a once-in-a-life time opportunity and really tried my best to convince her to go with the flow. I’m glad I did because everything turned out great!
Lastly, It was important for me to capture this event so I hired Tom Wang – who did our engagement shoot and will be shooting our September wedding. Yes, I am getting married twice – and no, there will be no TV cameras on that wedding 🙂 We just got our pics back and we absolutely LOVE them!
4.) Feeling I had when saying “I do” in front of millions live on TV?
To be honest, I was perfectly calm when I was up on stage. Felt like it was just me and my girl and I didn’t even notice the cameras. Marie was SO funny when she was walking down the isle. She was doing her “model strut.” I absolutely loved it and knew then that we made the right decision to get married on TV…
What killed me was the anticipation! The actual event started 2 to 3 hours before we got married. We had to wait in the staging area and all these scenarios ran through my head. When we finally walked to Duffy Square, we got hit by a line of reporters including Extra! and Reuters, which added to the anticipation. I have to be honest, I felt a little dehydrated and thought I was going to pass out. Thank God I pulled it together and the event turned out perfect!
Make sure to check out Tom Wang’s website for more details and congrats to the happy couple!