There was no particular “Aha!” moment for Robin Choban when she decided Jeffrey Han was “the one.” She was, however, aware that their time together seemed effortless and that Jeff was the kindest, smartest, and most considerate man she had ever met (other than her dad).
The couple had been dating for several months when Robin casually asked Jeff if he would consider accompanying her to China, as she always dreamt of visiting the country and hoped he could show her around one day.
A CHINESE-INSPIRED COLOR PALETTE OF RED AND GOLD WAS SELECTED, SYMBOLIZING MARITAL HAPPINESS AND GOOD LUCK.
“Jeff got a shy look on his face, and admitted that he had already booked tickets for us to go to Hong Kong and Shanghai for Chinese New Year–which was still months away–in hopes that our relationship would progress into something serious,” Robin explains. “I was completely speechless. Both of us knew we were committed to each other and felt that we had never been happier.”
Jeff proposed on New Year’s Eve, which is Robin’s favorite holiday because it symbolizes new beginnings. He also rented a suite at the W Hotel, and the couple enjoyed dinner at their favorite local restaurant. At midnight, they sipped champagne together and Jeff presented his new fiancé with a gorgeous Tacori engagement ring.
During the wedding planning process, Robin and Jeff decided to host their wedding at the historic Driskill hotel in Austin, Texas. “My parents held their wedding reception there in 1975, and it’s the most grand and elegant event space in the city,” says Robin. “We also wanted to honor Jeff’s Chinese heritage with our color and stylizing choices.” Naturally, a Chinese-inspired color palette of red and gold was selected, symbolizing marital happiness and good luck. The floral designs and décor were also inspired by the drama and luxury of Shanghai’s cabaret culture from the 1920s–one of the couple’s favorite cities in the world.
For the ceremony, the ballroom of the Driskill hotel was beautifully decorated with gold Chiavari chairs, cream-colored draping, and stunning floral arrangements in vivid shades of deep red. Guests then proceeded to the mezzanine for cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and a seated multi-course dinner. Personalized menus were also designed for each guest with their name handwritten in calligraphy.
As everyone dined, the ballroom was transformed into a reception and dance space that had a “vintage Shanghai nightclub” ambiance. A red lacquered dance floor served as the focal point of the room, and subtle lighting revealed Asian-themed lanterns.
The wedding festivities continued into the next morning, when the newlyweds held a meaningful and traditional Chinese tea ceremony. Robin also commissioned a custom tea set with her and Jeff’s Chinese names and wedding date hand-painted on the bottom of each piece in the set. “We knelt before my parents and each member of Jeff’s family, and served them a cup of tea to symbolize respect, loyalty, and obedience,” she says. “My Mandarin lessons came in handy as I promised Jeff’s mom that I would be a good daughter-in-law, and to always do my best!”
Location: The Driskill, Austin, TX; Planner: Platinum Weddings & Events, Austin, TX; Floral Design: The Flower Studio, Austin, TX; Wedding Dress and Veil: Carolina Herrera; Groom’s Attire: Armani