PHOTOGRAPHY BY THE APARTMENT PHOTOGRAPHY
A quirky proposal leads to an intimate, industrial chic wedding of Carissa Chua Chiaco and Daniel Dy
Two former lovebirds reconnect a decade after breaking up. It’s an old story, but one that played out a little differently for Daniel Dy and Carissa Chua Chiaco. “Daniel and I met on the first day of fifth grade,” Carissa recalls. “We started ‘dating’ summer break of the following year, but when he told me he loved me one month later, I got weirded out and broke up with him.” Ten years later, they had both moved, separately, from the Philippines to L.A., and randomly crossed paths at the grocery store. They started dating—“for real, this time,” Carissa quips.
Soon enough, Daniel began plans for another big gesture. “I knew Carissa didn’t want a cheesy proposal, and that she is always worried about my safety. One morning, I woke up early and told Carissa I was gonna go for a morning run. I went to the kitchen and made it sound like I’d fallen. My plan was that Carissa would come out to the kitchen, help me up and then I’d surprise her.” Alas, Carissa drifted back asleep, so Daniel restaged his scene at a more decent hour. “Thankfully, it worked this time,” he chuckles. Now back in the Philippines, they set out planning a small destination wedding in Vancouver, a place they’d both spent time as children. The goal: “great food, drinks and a fun environment—nothing stuffy or too formal,” says Daniel. The big day matched their blueprint exactly— with one surprise. “There was an unexpected Turkish music festival. It was right next to our venue,” Daniel recalls. “When Carissa was giving her vows, they started playing music. The first song was “I Will Survive.” We laughed it off because everyone was in such a great mood and nothing could really ruin the day.”
The couple felt The Pipe Shop, a heritage building in North Vancouver’s Shipyards, channelled their personalities. “We were both immediately drawn to the beautiful architecture—especially the giant windows and exposed wooden beams. It felt like the perfect blank canvas for us to decorate.” Cahoots Creative and Our Little Flower Company used a combination of “greens, cement, wood and copper,” to set the stage for a ceremony that “was an appropriate mix of traditional and modern, with heartfelt vows... and many, many tears.” Lonsdale Event Rentals provided rental services, while award-winning wedding band Side One provided the tunes; per Daniel, they were “a total hit! Everyone loved them—even the oldies ended up on the dance floor.”
Planning a B.C. wedding from the Philippines was a lot less challenging than you might think—a fact the couple attributes to their planner, Margaux Richards of Filosophi, who was “the key to bringing our wedding to life. We showed her our wedding ideas on Pinterest and she found all the vendors that would understand and execute our vision,” says Daniel. “We were so surprised at how easy it was to plan a wedding halfway across the world."
“Since we both love food and drink,” says Daniel, “we made sure that there was a ton of alcohol and that the food was tasty and fun: waffles with foie! The tastiest seafood bisque!” Catering by Savoury Chef. Cake by A. Elizabeth Cakes To house the ceremony and reception in one venue, floor-to-ceiling curtains were used to split The Pipe Room into three sections for ceremony, reception and cocktails. “Entering each area felt like a surprise,” says Daniel. Carissa wore a dress from Philippines designer Vania Romoff with hair and makeup by Denise Elliott Beauty Co. Daniel was decked out in an A-Man Hing Cheong tux from Hong Kong.