Location: The Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa, FL; Event Planner: Cindy Stonehouse, Stonehouse Events & More, Inc., Tampa, FL; Officiant: Joseph Guggino; Cake: Chocolate Pi Cakery & Dessert Shoppe, Tampa, FL; Caterer: Mise en Place, Tampa, FL; Entertainment: DJ Carl; Florist: Redman Steele Floral Design Studio, St. Petersburg, FL; Hair and Makeup: Abby Griffin, Mint Hair Lounge, Tampa, FL; Linens: Linens by the Sea, Tampa, FL; Rentals: Grand Events of Florida LLC, Tampa, FL; Valet: 717 South; Stationery: Paper Presence, St. Petersburg, FL; Rings: Tiffany & Co.; Shoes: Valentino; Videographer: Voila Cinematic, Tampa, FL; Photographer: Divine Light Photography, Tampa, FL
Canadians David Shoemaker and Jennifer Hsiung met for the first time in the spring of 2007 in Beijing, China. It was all thanks to David’s former boss, Larry Scott, who Jennifer, an international sports anchor for China Central Television, had interviewed a few weeks prior.
At the time, David who was Chief Operating Officer of the Women’s Tennis Association—he is now President—was about to set up a new Asia Pacific office in the pre-Olympic city and both David and Larry were in town for only one day for a press conference. Jennifer didn’t get to make an impression on David that day, but she did manage to make one on Larry. And it was strong enough that Larry would later pass on her business card to David and say, “You should call her; she’s no wallflower.” David was a little phone shy, so he opted to email her instead.
After a year of MSN’ing and emailing as so-called “business colleagues,” David finally mustered up the courage to tell Jennifer that he was “fond of her,” not the friends she was trying to set him up with. Needless to say, the feeling was mutual. They dated for nine months before David got down on one knee, surrounded by family, in the middle of their favorite childhood rotisserie chicken, family-style restaurant, the Swiss Chalet in Toronto, four days before Christmas.
Planning their Florida wedding from China was a bit of a challenge, but the couple knew that they were going to be relocating to sunny St. Petersburg at the end of 2009. So after selecting the new Tampa Museum of Art, finalizing details for their three-day celebration was easy.
The weekend was kicked off with a welcome dinner at Malios Prime steakhouse, followed by a karaoke party on the upstairs patio overlooking the rectangular cube museum at night. The next day, on March 20th Jennifer and David wed before 80 partied out guests—more than half of which flew in from out of town and overseas (Beijing, Bangkok, Australia, England and Taiwan).
David’s good friend, Joe Guggino, went through the trouble of becoming a minister online just so he could officiate the ceremony, which took place on the museum terrace at sunset. The couple exchanged deeply personal vows and Jennifer’s was actually in the form of a rhyming poem.
Following the ceremony, guests were assigned to sit at one of nine tables named after cities that David and Jennifer had travelled to together and the flip side was a collage of photos of them in that city. After dinner and speeches, Jennifer changed into a red Chinese-style chiffon dress. The couple’s first dance was a rumba that they took lessons for two months to learn. After more dancing and some wedding games—such as blindfolding the bride and having her touch three different pairs of feet to guess which ones are her husband’s—it was time to cut the three-tiered cake inspired by a Tiffany gift box.
Pistachio and strawberry gelato, pizza and miniature Panini sandwiches were brought out to sustain guests as they partied into the wee hours. As a favor, each guest received a miniature Chinese-style takeout box filled with fortune cookies dipped in Tiffany blue chocolate and a pair of cherry blossom chopsticks to match.
The following morning, guests were invited to a private buffet-style brunch at Café Dufrain where they feasted on chicken and waffles. Although everything made for incredible memories, the most memorable moment for the happy couple was probably the ceremony. Guests remember that “there wasn’t a dry eye” while Jennifer and David recited their vows.
Copyright 2014 Grace Ormonde Wedding Style Magazine