An oriental delight seeing East meet West is an excellent objective view on Thidar and Ming’s wedding at Corinthia Hotel London. This bride and groom, both youthful and contemporary, wanted to combine the understated luxuries of our traditional English ballroom with elements of their Chinese and Myanmar cultures.

The common theme at this Bank Holiday Sunday wedding was to keep things fun. The couple were so relaxed and just wanted to enjoy happy times with their friends and family which is portrayed excellently in the day’s photography.

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From mid-morning, the fun and games began… quite literally. In the Chinese culture there are pre-wedding ‘door’ games which are a light-hearted and entertaining point when the groom wishes to pick up his bride. Generally it is a list of tasks, games and questions from the bridesmaids to the groom and groomsmen to assure all involved that he is ready to take the bride’s hand in marriage. On my way to their beautiful Trafalgar Suite, I could already hear the giggles and squeals from down the corridor so even before witnesses with my own eyes, it was evident that all was well and that everyone was having a great time.

Downstairs we were busy setting up the spaces: the Ballroom taking shape with flowers and decorations, rows of chairs being set out in the Courtroom and a wonderful wishing tree being decorated in the Pre-Function area.

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Ready to go once the games had finished, Ana Ospina for the make up and Severin Hubert the hair, were all set up and waiting to prepare the bridal party. And once hair and make up were both in place, it was time for the couple to change into their first of three outfits.

Ming in an impeccably smart black tux and Thidar in her gorgeous Pronovias wedding gown, the couple were ready for their civil ceremony to take place. With all the guests in the Courtroom and the cue to bring down the bride, Thidar walked down the aisle with everyone equally blown away as myself by how beautiful she looked.

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Immediately after the ceremony, Alethiea from Xander and Thea Photography began to take the group shots outside before a more intimate moment where we headed up to the fabulous Musicians Penthouse without the crowds, just the couple.

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The couple, on the roof with the London skyline behind them, couldn’t have looked more perfect together and it really was lovely to see them so happy. At Corinthia we have seven penthouses, all themed differently, and the Musicians Penthouse being available that day could only have been fate and luck tied in one. Ming, a musician, was able to take to the piano in the penthouse lounge and perform a piece for his beautiful bride on their special day. It was a moment that I will never forget and I felt truly privileged to witness.

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After some drinks and canapés, it was time for Thidar to change into her traditional red silk dress before the wedding breakfast in the Ballroom. On hand were Ana and Severin, ready to tweak the bride’s hair and make up to fit her new look – a french twist and a slick of red lipstick were the perfect additions.

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Once announced into Ballroom, to a round of applause from their friends and family, the traditional Chinese tea ceremony could take place. As with all the elements of their wedding, Thidar and Ming tailored this tradition to them by extending this ritual to additional family members as opposed to just the immediate family which welcomes and shows respect to their important group.

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A lot of thought had gone into the aesthetics and overall set up of the Ballroom prior to the wedding and, unique in so many senses, it looked wonderful and just as the couple had imagined. Blues and turquoises combined with deep pinks and reds were such a special change from our usual Corinthia Ballroom weddings. Walking around the room, there were traditional Chinese favours, customised place cards and personal touches, all wonderfully bespoke and, more importantly personal to Thidar and Ming’s wedding.

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Something I will always remember from this wedding is the amount of effort that both bride and groom went to in terms of details for their wedding, and one of the key elements for me was the handmade origami cranes.

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The bride, using a beautiful selection of paper, had handmade perfect cranes to decorate both the wishing tree in the Pre-Function area, and the throughout the Ballroom. As I later admitted to the bride, I have kept one for my ‘special wedding box’ where I keep all important souvenirs… well, they were far to pretty to throw away!

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One thing that brides and grooms are often worried about when planning their wedding is the thought of there not being enough food and their guests leaving peckish. For Thidar and Ming’s wedding, there was never a chance of this happening after we created a bespoke six-course menu for their special day. To mirror everything else at the wedding, there were more traditional Chinese dishes, with some more western courses mixed in as well.

Potentially one of the loveliest parts of this wedding had to be a very special performance that left all guest impressed and speechless. On the stage, set up ready, was a piano that Thidar expected her groom to play however he surprised her in actually playing the violin, an instrument that he is not as comfortable playing but accompanied by his sister on the piano.

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Not only was this is a beautiful musical performance, it was also a stunning visual show for all guests with two aerial acrobats entering the Ballroom and making their way to the red silks hanging from the ceiling on either side of the stage. The combination of the graceful gymnastics and the elegant music created an unforgettable piece of theatre to watch.

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Towards the end of the meal, the bridal party slipped out of the Ballroom to go change into their traditional Myanmar outfits. The traditional Myanmar wedding dress is a two-piece called the longyi and the anngyi which tends to be made out of delicate silk material, embellished with beads, sequins and pearls. The customary entrance and traditions taken place then left Thidar and Ming sitting regally on the stage which was a wonderful image and a great opportunity to take some additional family photos.

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Learning about different cultures from planning weddings is something I always class as one of the favourite parts of my job. Weddings are a fascinating time to observe and note the elements which different countries, cultures and religious inject into their special day to make it fitting to them and their guests. Thidar and Ming, a couple so in touch with the western culture, created such joy for all involved in their big day by bringing eastern traditions and customs to their wedding, and ensuring everyone involved was shown the importance of both their family values and culture’s traditions.

Venue: Corinthia Hotel London
Photography: Xander & Thea Photography
Florist: Ivy Pip & Rose
Cake: GC Couture
Bridal gown: Pronovias
Groom’s suit: Austin Reed
Hair: Severin Hubert – The Hepburn Collection
Make Up: Ana Ospina
Chair covers & bows: Northfield’s Linen
Piano Hire: Markson Pianos
Entertainment: Sternberg Clarke – Wandering Hands, Gareth Magician
Acrobats: Evolve Entertainment – Nathalie & Siobhan
Harpist: Rebecca Jones
AV equipment: SPJ

With love from Corinthia London,
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