Claudia Kim and Andy Wu’s story began like an old romance movie. The couple met online, but Andy was traveling at the time, so they wrote letters to each other for a month. “He would write these very descriptive letters about parts of China he was visiting…and what he saw and felt,” Claudia says. “I think that made us feel close to each other fast, and I really loved his letters.”
After two years of dating, Andy, who grew up in Livingston and runs his family’s outerwear business, surprised Claudia, a native New Yorker, on Christmas with an engagement ring.
The couple had a nondenominational Christian ceremony on May 16, 2010, in the outdoor garden at Crystal Plaza in Livingston before 250 guests. Claudia wore a silk mermaid-style Tara Keely gown that she customized with a jeweled sash and silk flower pins. She carried a bouquet of orchids, roses, and anemones, and her bridesmaids wore short, black dresses from various designers. “I bought the dresses based on their style,” she says.
At the ceremony, the couple had a special reading of E.E. Cummings’ I Carry Your Heart. Cummings is Claudia’s favorite poet, and the poem reminded her of their early relationship. “He was gone for weeks and months, so we didn’t get to see each other as much as most couples,” she says. “But we held each other in our hearts and are always with [one another], no matter how far we are.”
The reception was held in the Crystal Plaza’s grand ballroom, where the décor was romantic and elegant with a modern flair, says wedding planner Candice Benson of the Finishing Touch Events in Millburn. “Claudia and Andy chose black and white for the classic romantic feel,” says Benson, “and added hot pink to create a trendy signature look.”
Claudia’s favorite part of the wedding was the alone time she shared with Andy during the cocktail hour, but laughs that the dancing was probably Andy’s favorite. For their first dance, they choreographed an elaborate routine with an instructor, but when the band played the song, the beat was off. “We had to improvise on the dance floor,” she says. “I suppose it was a good experience, since I know Andy and I will be able to work our way through any surprise mishaps with a smile.”
Instead of the traditional bouquet toss, all single ladies participated in a Taiwanese tradition of grabbing one ribbon from the bride’s bouquet and pulling, and the winner was Claudia’s mother. Guests were given beautiful chopsticks representing Andy’s family’s culture as favors. After a honeymoon on Cocoa Island in the Maldives, they are at home in Livingston.
WEDDING PLANNING, INVITATIONS & WEDDING-DAY STATIONERY: The Finishing Touch Events, Millburn
FLORAL DESIGN: A Touch of Elegance, Randolph
BRIDE’S GOWN: Tara Keely Collection
SHOES: John Paul Gaultier
BRIDESMAID DRESSES: BCBG
BRIDE’S HAIR: La Sposa Bridal, Queens
GROOM’S ATTIRE: Isaia
GROOMSMEN ATTIRE: Men’s Wearhouse
GROOM’S RING: Cartier, the Mall at Short Hills
RECEPTION ENTERTAINMENT: Escapade from Craig Scott Entertainment, Rochelle Park
VIDEOGRAPHY: Abella Studios, Fairfield