The Hong’s Wedding at Calgary’s Devonian Gardens and the Regency Palace Restaurant

A Vibrant Asian Wedding

Tina Getting Ready

We started the morning off at the Pham family home, the house of Tina’s parents. At the house they set up a traditional Vietnamese gift giving ceremony, part of her family heritage. Her close family and wedding party were all in attendance. We waited until the bride arrived; she was out having hair and makeup done.

Tina soon arrived in her gorgeous red Vietnamese dress and hat, and headed into an upstairs room to wait for the arrival of her husband-to-be.


The Vietnamese Door Game

While Tina hid, Bryan arrived with Bonny, who was his sister and Best Woman, and his two groomsmen Sehee and Nathan. They were stopped at the door by Tina’s half of the wedding party: her Best Man and brother Peter, her Maid of Honor Linda, and bridesmaid Karen. They halted the party and asked for payment of $9,999 to prove Bryan’s love to Tina. He replied that he had no cash, and in that case, he had to pass several tests of mind, body, and devotion.

Before he was allowed entrance into the house, he had to answer questions about his bride. The first challenge came when he mixed up some of the letters in her full Vietnamese name. His punishment: pushups! He took it a step further and did jumping pushups instead!

After a few more questions and several more pushups, he was instructed to spin around in an elephant trunk spin. He wrapped his arm around his head and spun quickly ten times! He later told us that he felt fine until spin number 7. After that, he became really dizzy, and from our vantage point it looked like he could barely stand! He then had to grab a giant nerf gun and shoot bottles of water over. In frustration (and a dizzy stupor) he ran over and knocked the bottles over with the barrel of the gun.

He was finally granted access to the inside of the house, but the game wasn’t over. Once inside, he and his wedding party did a number of yoga poses, some which looked incredibly difficult! They finished the yoga with an impressive four-person pushup.

Finally, Bryan was welcome to go up to the bride. But wait! They said. There was one more thing he had to do. Every step he took, he had to explain why he loved about Tina. There were 16 stairs, but of course, he did it, although a little shyly.

Once at the top, he opened the door and was awarded with the site of his beautiful bride in her red dress. The couple headed down the stairs together, and her father gave them a blessing in front of the altar. Morning snacks were out, and everyone mingled while the guys struggled to get their troublesome boutonnieres to stay pinned down! Tina seemed to know how to fasten them, and was a big help.

We went outside for some family photos before heading out to the Hong household for the Tea Ceremony


Their Chinese Tea Ceremony

Over at Bryan’s parent’s house in southwest Calgary, the Chinese tea ceremony was set up to honor his family heritage. The beginning of this ceremony started with incense and prayer in Cantonese. During the ceremony, Bryan and Tina poured tea for all their elders and in return received gifts. His parents gifted them with an incredible amount of meaningful jewelry. Every peace had important significance. One of the beautiful rings, set with a milky jade, had belonged to his great-great Grandmother.

We did a bunch of family photos with the whole Hong family, the room bursting at the seams.
Brunch was a full Chinese meal, set out for everyone to enjoy. Mrs. Hong was a gracious hostess, and made sure everyone got enough to eat.

We headed outside to set up some staged shots of the guys getting ready in the front yard. Once those were finished we sent the Grooms party out to Central Memorial Park downtown for the first look.


The Creative Formals at Central Memorial Park

Starting with Their First Look

At Bryan’s parents home Tina changed into her white wedding gown, and we took a bunch of shots of the dress itself, and as the girls helped her button it up. We then to made our way downtown to the park.

Central Memorial Park in Calgary is the oldest park in the city, and sits in the heart of the Beltline. It is home to the Memorial Library, and was completed in 1912. Behind the Library, we found several beautiful spots to photograph Tina before meeting up with the guys. We got a great shot of the bride and her reflection across the rippling pond.

Once in front of the library we reunited with the guys, and Bryan got to see Tina in her white gown for the first time as the wedding party looked on in the background.

Formal Photos with the Wedding Party at the Park

We took a bunch of group shots in front of the library and the fountains. Everyone was in a good mood, and it came across in the photos. They all had a fun time, and a few of the photos even got a little goofy.

We split off from the group to take some pictures of Tina and Bryan together amongst the beautiful fountains. Then it was off to the Devonian Botanical Gardens.

Finishing the Creative’s at the Devonian Gardens

Arriving at the gardens we headed inside the atrium, where we got several beautiful shots of the couple together amongst the lush greenery. Tina held her beautiful orange and red bouquet. There were orange and red accents all over the place, and they really made her bouquet pop. We rejoined the group for a few minutes before wrapping up the creative formals.


Their Ceremony at the Devonian Botanical Gardens

It was time for the ceremony. Their officiant, Bruce Adlington, helped us get set up. He was a nice guy: accommodating, and very easy to work with. The short and sweet ceremony began. Tina and Bryan said their vows, shared a quick kiss, and officially became husband and wife!

After the ceremony we set up a bunch of family photos, and even did one of the entire group of attendees. It was a massive party, and made for a truly epic wedding keepsake.


The Hong Reception at the Regency Palace Restaurant

Then we were off to the Regency Palace Restaurant for the reception. The Asian restaurant is a unique space for weddings, and nowhere else in town is quite like it. We got to work right away photographing all the autumn themed details in the place.

The bride and groom greeted every guest as they entered the reception, in a large receiving line.
Dinner followed quickly, and was an absolutely huge and delicious ten course Chinese meal. The courses consisted of amazing dishes like BBQ pork, scallops, crab balls, mushrooms, fish, lobster, chicken, noodles, shrimp, and coconut squares for dessert! There was a lot of food to go around.

In between the courses were speeches and some cool games that the wedding party played. They duelled with rock paper scissors, had a chicken fight, and played a game where they had to pass nectarines from their necks to their elbows. It was the bride’s party vs. the groom’s, and at the end of it all, the groom’s side lost. As punishment they ate a spoonful of wasabi each, which they handled like champs.

Cutting the cake created by Nancy a Close Family Friend

The bride’s brothers then presented a nice slideshow that they made for the couple. Next, the newlyweds cut the delicious cake, a massive 5-tiered creation with every level a different flavour.
We then presented our same day slideshow to the reception. This was followed by a bouquet toss.

Dancing the night away to the sounds of DJ Johnathan Ashkin with Split Circuit Sound

The first dance came next, and Bryan and Tina danced to ‘Alien Like You’ by the Pigott Brothers. From there we heading right into the party, and DJ Johnathan Ashkin with Split Circuit Sound kept it going. Lots of people were up dancing, and the party went well into the night.


Online Gallery

An online gallery of all their images is available for the next 30 days. From the online gallery you are able to favourite images, order prints and share the gallery with your family and friends. The gallery can be accessed via the link below and you can contact Tina and Bryan directly for their secure password.


The Hong’s Wedding Day Slideshow

Above is the beautiful Wedding Slideshow that came with Tina and Bryan wedding package. It was created from a selection of their best photos captured on their special day, mixed to their wedding song Alien Like You by The Pigott Brothers.

We are so fortunate to have had the opportunity to share Tina and Bryan’s special day with them and we wish them many years of happiness together.

Want to share in the experience? Contact us today for a free consultation or to book a portrait session!

Calgary Wedding Photographers – JM Photography © 2016


Some of my Favourite Photos from Tina and Bryan’s Wedding


The Hong’s Wedding Credits

Date | 9.10.16
Officiant – Bruce Adlington with Engaging Weddings
Ceremony Location – Devonian Gardens
Reception Venue – Regency Palace Restaurant
DJ – Johnathan Ashkin with Split Circuit Sound
Florist – Was a friend of the couple
Photography by Jeremy Martel & Amy Cheng


Learn more about our studio

JM Photography offers Calgary brides the very best in wedding photography! Our unique style and best in class experience is one of a kind. Each wedding is treated with the greatest of care and creativity, resulting in breathtaking imagery. We also offer Calgary newborn photography, capture maternity sessions as well as family portraits.

One of the top studios in Western Canada, servicing the Calgary area, including but not limited to, Canmore, Banff, Cochrane, Chestermere, Airdrie, Lethbridge, and Red Deer. We also offer coverage in Edmonton, Vancouver and to destinations worldwide.

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