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Our Wedding

We’re Married!!

Our awesome Thai-themed wedding took place on Saturday, July 17th, 2010 in Riverside, California.  The two of us certainly had a great time, and we hope our guests did, too!  (I think they did…)  Since this blog originally started out as our wedding website, we wanted to make sure to keep all of the wedding posts accessible as a nice archive for what we felt was a very personal and creative event.  Since we got so many great ideas and inspirations from other couples’ wedding blogs, we also hope that this information will be useful for other brides and grooms-to-be as they plan their own weddings.

The Wedding Photos

Click below to check them out!

About Us

The Wedding Details

About the Wedding

Because the two of us met in Southeast Asia, we very seriously threw around the idea of holding our wedding on one of the beautiful beaches of Thailand where we started to fall for each other 4 years ago.

However, it was important for both of us to be able to share this great event with all of our friends and family, not just the small fraction of them that might be able to make it all the way to Thailand on short notice.  So, we compromised on the next best thing…

Instead of having friends and family come to Thailand, we’re bringing Thailand to our friends and family!  Our wedding and reception will be Thai themed and we’ll be incorporating some memorable elements of our Southeast Asia trip.

Ceremony Location

The ceremony will take place at 6:00 P.M at the Chinese Pavilion in front of the Riverside Central Library (see Travel Information for details). Although the pavilion is technically Chinese and not Thai, we felt that it truly represents the ambiance,  architectural style, and traditional symbolism of many of the temples and sites that we visited in Southeast Asia.

History

The Chinese Pavilion was built in 1985-86 in honor of the Chinese settlers who came to Riverside in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The Pavilion is located within a block or two of the cluster of Chinese businesses that constituted Riverside’s “first” Chinatown.  Ironically, this neighborhood was relocated to a “second” Chinatown on the rural outskirts of town in 1885 after a suspicious fire swept through it, destroying Chinese businesses.

The Pavilion was cooperatively funded by the government of the Republic of China (Taiwan), the City of Riverside, and the Chinese Pavilion Committee, a local non-profit organization that raised local matching donations.

Architecture and Design

According to the program from the Chinese Pavilion’s groundbreaking ceremony in 1987:

The free standing pavilion, or t’ing, is a familiar part of the Chinese garden and landscape.  The architecture of a Chinese pavilion is meant to complement and enhance nature.  It brings the viewer into the whole landscape by drawing the eye both toward the sky and toward the earth.  The gleaming gold tile roof appears suspended within a bright blue sky.  At the ground level, the bright white of the balustrade and platform offers a startling, yet neutral, backdrop against which the various colors and shades of the vegetation can be fully appreciated.

The pavilion provides an auspicious setting for the viewer by using colors, symbols, and geographic alignments borrowed from the Chinese folk, religious, and philosophical traditions.  Its predominant colors of red and gold have long been used together in China to signify happiness and fortunate events such as weddings and birthdays.  The mythical fish-tailed creature on the ribs of the roof was first placed on T’ang imperial palaces to ward off calamity and ill fortune.

The key design concept borrowed from philosophy is that of “paired opposites,” known more popularly as Yin and Yang.  The creative promise of these opposing forces in the universe is symbolized by two benevolent creatures from Chinese mythology.  The phoenix represents feminine grace, virtue, love, and happy marriage.  The dragon represents masculine nature, power, and change.  These symbols are prominently displayed in the design of the Chinese Pavilion.

Reception Location

YMCA Groundbreaking Ceremony, 1909

Dinner and dancing will follow the ceremony, starting at 7:00 P.M. and continuing until midnight.  The reception will be held just 2 blocks away at the Life Arts Center, formerly Riverside’s YMCA.  The building was constructed in 1909, and just recently celebrated its 100th birthday.

During its construction in 1909, the corner stone of the Riverside YMCA building was laid with “Impressive Ceremonies” announced a Daily Press newspaper headline.  Chiseled into the marble were the words “To the Glory of God and the uplifting of man”.

At this time, the third floor hotel rooms had access to two balconies and views of black model T fords passing by mingling with the horses and carriages.  Riverside was a wealthy agricultural town thriving mainly by virtue of its verdant citrus orchards.  The wealthy class of landowners was able to contribute to what many consider to be amongst the world’s most beautiful YMCA buildings.

Like any centenarian, the YMCA/Life Arts building has seen good times and bad. It’s had its share of controversy, too.  It was close to the wrecking ball after 1968 when the YMCA moved to its Jefferson Street building.

In 1974, the abandoned building was purchased by the Riverside Mission of Scientology, until ownership was transferred in 1992.  Photos found in a time capsule found behind the building’s cornerstone provided the blueprint for a renovation in the 70’s.   The brick building has undergone yet another renovation in the months leading up to its 100th birthday celebration in November 2009.

The frames of the graceful, arched windows, one of the building’s most distinctive features, have been painted burnt orange, the original color selected by the building’s architect, Arthur Benton.

Today, 20 of the 25 rooms are rented out to artists, designers and photographers.  Rooms on the main floor are rented out for receptions and parties.

“There was a romance to architecture like this that’s been lost,” says the owner, Brent Corydon.  “Buildings like this are a treasure most cities have not been able to maintain.”

Check out an article in the Press Enterprise for more details.

Surrounding Area

Founded in 1870 by John North and a group of Easterners who wished to establish a colony dedicated to furthering education and culture, Riverside was built on land that was once a Spanish rancho.

The first orange trees were planted in 1871, but the citrus industry in Riverside began two years later with the arrival of Brazilian navel orange trees.  The trees thrived in the Southern California climate and the navel orange industry grew rapidly.

Within a few years, the successful cultivation of the newly discovered navel orange led to a California Gold Rush of a different kind: the establishment of the citrus industry.  By 1882, there were more than half a million citrus trees in California, almost half of which were in Riverside. The development of refrigerated railroad cars and innovative irrigation systems established Riverside as the wealthiest city per capita by 1895.

Historic downtown Riverside is crowned by the Mission Inn, a beautiful and eccentric hotel that will provide the backdrop to the ceremony, as it is directly across the street from the Chinese Pavilion.

Postcards of lush orange groves, swimming pools and magnificent homes have attracted vacationers and entrepreneurs throughout the years.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 20, 2010 7:40 pm

    But will the after party be in Thailand? Have passport – will travel.

Trackbacks

  1. One year (and one week) of a Thai-themed marriage « Les Aventures de Jamie & Katie

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