East Meets West … A Love Story

A beautiful journey began when a beautiful young Chinese girl of culture and perseverance crossed paths with a kind and hard working young American boy.

How did their future unfold – did they pass each other in the crowded college hallway, did their hands brush briefly by accident – did they look up and lock eyes… and feel themselves moving towards a possibility?

love on appetizer table

I love ‘Love Stories’ – and theirs is certainly one to embrace…for 25 years this beautiful friendship and marriage  has grown and touched  so many lives; mine just recently when they asked me to help them plan a celebration.

 When Hsin and Ken’s 25th wedding anniversary approached they knew just how they wanted to celebrate:

 Family & Friends

Love & Laughter

Music, Delicious Food & a Beautiful Setting

 Hsin and I immediately bonded, excitedly exchanging ideas.  I could hardly keep up with her energy!  We shared a love of vintage and her vision of putting vintage and Asian together was …well…brilliant!!

 East meets West

Her choice of their theme flower…. chrysanthemums

Which symbolize Optimism and Joy

Yellow Spider Mums + Gerbera Daisies

Yellow Spider Mums + Gerbera Daisies

Cremon Mums

Cremon Mums


yellow crysthanthemums

Mason jars with chalkboard space for guests names;

Vintage crystal glasses perfect for toasts!


 Mixing white vintage linens with red brocade.



Weeks before the event, I staged table settings for Hsin to review,

playing with settings, color, lighting

Even though we LOVED the narcissus flowers, they were out of season



After months of planning, the weekend was finally here.  The day before dawned in brilliant golds, beginning the day of preparation with the best possible weather

The Lincoln Farmhouse was quiet and empty when we arrived,

waiting for us to fill its rooms and grassy fields.


bubbling fountains greeted the early morning dawn

Fountains at Brookside Farmhouse

Feeling the urgency of the tasks ahead, I slipped away to the quiet coolness

of the poolhouse to create the flower arrangements


over 200 mums, 80 kale leaves, stems of horsetail + bunches of curly willow

waited for me ~~ LOVE

The night before we worked until after dark…reluctantly leaving the evening behind


…..the next morning  – so much more to accomplish!


 This amazing wall at my office inspired me to create the entry flower arrangement with

white spider chrysanthemums, curly willow, iris leaves and horsetail stems.

What a lovely welcoming vignette the entry table created,

a contrast in black and white; softness and definition

white crysthamums

Square vases filled with clear sparkling marbles &

white cremon mums, spider mums & green kale topped  the round indoor appetizer tables.

Hsin’s daughter wrote “Love” in many different languages on small chalkboards for each table

The dessert table held delightful treats by Heather DeBorba, Executive Chef of Elles Catering

& the wooden birdcage we recently discovered at an estate sale was a perfect centerpiece on one of our vintage french tablecloths.

We filled the bottom of the birdcage with piles of soft green moss then

nestled in a crystal candle holder & beautiful tea cup.

Then Hsin carefully placed one of her vintage tea pots on the candle pedestal.

vintage teapot

Next – the Dim-Sum appetizer table

bamboo dim sum

East meets West

Asian meets Vintage

Red brocade draped across two extraordinary Batten-burg lace tablecloths

appetizer table with manzanita branch

Vintage platters mixed in with bamboo steam baskets


Chop sticks grouped inside red paper cones

(I copied a beautiful paper napkin on both sides of thick paper and formed it into a cone)


            Teapots and lace

teapot and buddha

Tiny red lanterns holding mini tea lights hanging from a Manzanita branch placed inside an Asian vase created beautiful shadows against the wall


The manzanita branch was held securely in place with tumbled river rock;

the layered green moss at its base gave it a natural look.

I have always loved unique chair backs for couples  so I was excited to create two for Hsin & Ken

I used East meets West theme; ~~burlap meets brocade!

Dragonfly satin

A great find: gold brocade with ethereal dragonflies!

How perfect for a wedding anniversary!

Dragonflies symbolize “change and transformation; joy and light;

an invitation to dig deeper into your feelings”.

Football mums and horsetail flowers anchored the corners

football mums chair cover

The guests were arriving!

Time to share the evening with family, friends, laughter, music and great food!

farmhouse front porce

wine barrelsDSCN2952

Family and Friends received personally hand written notes from Hsin on each place setting

For the men:  “The Key to My Heart” ~ key bottle opener

the key to my heart gift

And for the ladies:  “All You Need is Love” ~ heart shaped soap

all you need is love gift

We chose different vintage linen napkins, silverware and plates for each place setting


Mini LED lights on copper wire were intertwined throughout the tablesettings

 As twilight gave way to darkness, the evening turned magical!

Congratulations Hsin and Ken!  

You bring optimism & joy.

chinese symbol of love

Photographs by Carol Burns @ Anneliesa’s Table &

a special Thank You to Yuki @ YukisLens  for her photographs

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