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The story of Scott and Shu is like something from a movie. Scott was born and raised in Milwaukee, while Shu was born in Southern China and moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan, at age 14. The two met in their Analytical Chemistry class at the University of Michigan where they were lab partners. Throughout the semester, the couple got to know each other both in and outside of the classroom, then started dating that summer — talk about chemistry! At the end of the summer, Scott left for Medical School in Ohio. One year later, Shu went to Cleveland to start her PhD. “Though we were busy, we spent all of our weekends and vacations together.”
Scott asked Shu to marry him during a weekend at Shu’s parents’ house in Ann Arbor. “I had an elaborate plan of taking her on a scavenger hunt of meaningful places in our relationship,” says Scott. But Shu, not knowing the surprises the lie ahead, said she didn’t want to leave her family — and she couldn’t be swayed. Finally, Scott abandoned his plan; he slipped a ring on Shu’s finger, asked her to marry him, and she said yes.
Click on any image to enlarge.
In planning their wedding day, Shu and Scott were all about blending their respective Chinese and Jewish traditions. They started the morning with a Chinese tea ceremony, complete with traditional gate crashing games by the groomsmen to ransom the bride. Shu wore a traditional Qun Kwa, a Chinese wedding gown made of red silk embroidered with dragons, phoenix, butterflies, and flowers. Shu actually designed the dress herself, then had it handmade in China.
Before the Jewish ceremony that afternoon, Shu changed into a traditional Western wedding gown. “Under the witness of close family members, we signed a Ketubah — a Jewish marriage contract — designed by artist Cindy Cooper. “Our Ketubah is decorated with illustrations representing all of the Jewish holidays and the double happiness Chinese symbol in bright red and gold, the traditional colors for a Chinese wedding.”
Following the signing of the Ketubah, the couple had another small ceremony, Bedekken, where the groom places the veil over the bride. “During the ceremony, we walked down the aisle with out parents to music played by a flute and harp. We exchanged vows under the chuppah and concluded the ceremony with Scott breaking the glass.” One of the couple’s favorite moments during the ceremony was when they stopped to take an impromptu selfie before leaving the stage as husband and wife.
Both the Jewish ceremony and reception were held at Congregation Sinai in Fox Point. “The food from Lee Johns was absolutely amazing! Appetizers, salads, and main courses were all tasty.” As for the cake from The Cake Lady: “When we did the cake tasting, we loved so many flavors that we couldn’t settle on just one. We served red velvet cake with vanilla buttercream and vanilla bean cake with raspberry jam to our guests. The cake’s top layer was a lavender cake with raspberry jam and vanilla buttercream — we can’t wait to enjoy it on our anniversary!”
Scott and Shu even had help from Scott’s parents and brothers in choosing the cake flavors, and this is one of their favorite memories from planning their big day. “Our wedding was a family affair, and it wouldn’t have been the same without the efforts from our beloved parents and siblings.”
Their practical advice for a happy wedding day: “If you’re planning an outdoor ceremony like we did initially, pick a venue with a great back-up plan. We had to move our ceremony indoors at the last minute, but luckily we had planned for it ahead of time and it was a smooth transition. Also, start planning early, doing things in small portions. We had one year to plan, and we spread out all of the planning over 12 months. It’s not only more manageable to spread the work out, but the process becomes more enjoyable.”
Photographer~ Leo and Jenny Photography
Ceremony & Reception Location~ Congregation Sinai, Fox Point, WI
Cake~The Cake Lady
Flowers~Impressions by Esther Fleming
Wedding Coordination~ Scott’s Mom
Day of Coordination~Luxe Events
Event Room Design/Rentals~Canopies
Invitations~ Invitations and More
Rehearsal Dinner~ Four Points Sheraton
Guest Rooms~Four Points Sheraton
Music/Entertainment~ The Michael Walters Orchestra
Videographer~ One Fine Day Productions
Dress Designer~ Shu Situ (bride)
Where did you buy your Dress~ Design was sent and hand made in China
Formal Wear~ Mark Pasch, Ltd.
Rings~Julius Oksenhorn Jewelers and Stein Group, LLC.
Categorized in: Real Weddings