Lisa Ma and Ryan Wei
July 27, 2019
John M.S. Lecky UBC Boathouse, Richmond, B.C.
Photographed by Blush Wedding Photography

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Studying for med school might not sound like your idea of a romantic activity, but for Lisa and Ryan, it clearly was. Over long nights cramming together at UBC, the med students’ friendship blossomed into something more. “We had personalities on opposite ends of the spectrum,” says Lisa, “but it was so easy to be ourselves around each other.” 

On their graduation day, Ryan popped the question. “I had been carrying the ring around with me in case the opportunity came up,” says Ryan—and during a post-ceremony walk at Spanish Banks, the timing felt right. Lisa said yes, and the two new graduates started planning for their future.

When the big day came, Ryan and Lisa decked out the UBC Boathouse (the venue for both ceremony and reception) in organic textures and sculptural shapes in a palette of ivory and gold, a modern minimalist look that still brought in warmth. “We appreciate the juxtaposition of contemporary art with nature and wanted to weave this throughout,” explains Lisa.

Alongside the modern vibe, however, the couple also wanted to give a nod to their shared Chinese heritage. “As we are both children of immigrant parents, our outlook on life is primarily Western,” says Ryan. “But we still wanted to ensure we honoured our families.” They opted to skip the formal tea ceremony but still poured tea for their parents prior to dinner and gifted respective tea sets. Subtle pops of red in the floral decorations tie in the traditionally lucky hue.

Ryan had his suit custom-made by a tailor in Shanghai, taking inspiration from a traditional Mandarin collar design. “I wanted something unique but understated,” he says. Lisa, meanwhile, was searching for a minimalist dress with dramatic details and lines emphasizing a natural silhouette, and she eventually went custom herself with the help of Calgary's Laura George. A dramatic overskirt and interchangeable sleeves allowed her to have an off-shoulder look for the ceremony and change into pearl straps (repurposed from a necklace gifted by her mother) for the reception.

During the ceremony, under a rounded floral arch on the dock at UBC Boathouse (where their stepfathers acted as witnesses), the pair tucked their vows and a bottle of Champagne into a time capsule to be opened on their first anniversary. Everyone gathered afterward for a celebratory cocktail hour by the water before dinner from local caterer Savoury City.

In lieu of a bouquet toss, the couple asked Celsia Florist to create a bouquet that split in two, so they could each give one half to their mothers. “For us, this was symbolic of the love that they have poured into us,” says Lisa. “As we unite, we want them to know that they still have our hearts.”

Photos from This Summery Wedding at UBC Boathouse

asdsdasPhoto by Blush Wedding Photography.adadsaPhoto by Blush Wedding Photography.sfdsfsdPhoto by Blush Wedding Photography.dfsdfsdfsdPhoto by Blush Wedding Photography.SUIT UP As a nod to his Chinese heritage, Ryan chose a suit lapel that was influenced by the design of traditional Mandarin collars. Underneath, he wore a band collar shirt without any additional pieces for a minimalist feel.

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SWEET SNAPSHOTS The couple met for a first look at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen garden, the site of one of their early dates. The garden was fairly busy with tourists, so Blush Wedding Photography suggested a visit to Shannon Mews Park for portraits instead.

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PERSONAL TOUCHES Lisa designed, printed and assembled the stationery and signage. Celsia Florist produced ikebana-inspired bouquets for the tabletops, and the couple kept the rest of the decor minimal to highlight the centrepieces.