When Ivana Xu and Nevin Zhu’s friends went out for a first date after meeting one night at a nightclub, they each brought a buddy with them. While the friends’ relationship didn’t go anywhere, Ivana and Nevin developed a friendship that eventually turned romantic.
One morning in 2012, after two years of dating, Ivana awoke with a spontaneous idea. “I woke up and thought getting married was a good idea,” she remembers. “Nevin thought so, too.” A trip to the courthouse, a visit to Cartier, and an impromptu Hawaiian honeymoon later, they were married.
The couple wanted to celebrate with friends and family but didn’t want to settle for anything less than perfection for their big day, so they decided to wait until they’d saved enough to host their dream wedding and could afford to fly in their loved ones from near and far. It took a few years, but host one they did, on September 30, 2017 at The Laurel in Grapevine. Ivana and Nevin flew in friends and family from their native China to be a part of their special day, which began with a traditional Chinese tea ceremony for which the couple donned his-and-hers custom ensembles crafted by Chinese artisans.
Ivana wore not one but two gowns for the subsequent Western ceremony and reception—a Swan Lake–style ballgown and a short, flared dress adorned in dragonflies. With the help of the wedding-planning team at The Wildflowers, the entire evening incorporated nods to the couple’s shared Chinese culture and was set against a beautiful backdrop of deep reds (the color of luck in Chinese culture), marigolds, and blues. It was everything Ivana could have imagined.
“A traditional Western wedding with a Chinese culture touch was what I wanted to achieve,” says Ivana. “And Nevin just wanted to drink the best whiskey and Champagne with friends.”
For the seasoned “newlyweds,” their five-years-in-the-making wedding day was undoubtedly worth the wait.
Jenny McCann Photography
Bridal Gown Designer
Dennis (Suzhou, China)
Tea Ceremony Ensembles
Artisans of Suzhou, China
Hair & Makeup
The Black Tux
Bridesmaids’ Dresses Designer
Lan Gui Yu
Bows and Arrows
Southern Fried Paper
Layered Bake Shop