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Extraordinarily kind, truly joyful, and positively brimming with grace, Gaby & Ryan are a special pair. With his roots in Singapore and hers in Texas, their partnership brings together two distinctive cultures–although both of which have a powerful emphasis on family and kinship networks. Their wedding celebration–an intimate, gorgeously-executed affair held at the stunning Westin St. Francis–reflected the couple’s deep appreciation and respect for family. Gaby & Ryan focused such thoughtfulness and attentiveness on their guests, so that their wedding day was as much about honoring their loved ones as celebrating their marriage. Everybody in attendance was truly made to feel that they were collectively engaged in special, unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime event that wouldn’t be complete without their unique presence and participation.
With design inspiration rooted in understated elegance and just a hint of vintage, it was Gaby herself who developed the vision for their wedding, with help in execution from the Westin St. Francis’ Natasha Jankauskas. Her aim–which she achieved with abundant success–was to cultivate an aesthetic that she and Ryan could look back upon and still find tasteful and attractive over time. For instance, Ryan’s Ralph Lauren suit was navy–rather than standard black–to communicate elegance without being overly formal; pink flowers, designed by the inimitable Fluert, were selected to lend a touch of whimsy and femininity to the decor without being excessively frilly.
Love is usually best shared through the eyes of the beholder. Written from the perspective of the groom, below is adorable description of how Ryan finally managed to woo and win his beloved Gaby:
We met while working at Banana Republic, shortly after graduating from different colleges. I had worked there a few months before Gaby started. I tend to be fairly outgoing and comfortable around people, but when I first worked with Gaby, I found myself nervous and not knowing what to say. And since I didn’t know what to say, I just ended up not saying anything at all. We didn’t work many shifts together, but I would check the schedule every week, looking for days that overlapped with Gaby, even though I wouldn’t talk to her.
One day, I was eating lunch in the back, watching a Simpsons video I had brought in. Gaby came down and sat next to me and, thankfully, struck up a conversation. We began talking more and more the few times we worked together, but never outside of work. As my courage grew slowly, I began inviting her to come out with my friends and me. She never appeared to be too interested (at least how I interpreted her responses), so I never followed-up with her. After a few months, Gaby finally accepted an offer to come to a friend’s Halloween party. I was really excited, but also half expecting her not to show up. She did! And I stayed by her side the entire night, like a lost puppy. Towards the end of the evening, I stole a kiss from her–much to her surprise. And, almost nine years later to the day, Gaby and I were married.
Gaby also has a way with words, and below she describes some of her most vivid memories from their wedding day:
Ryan and I both agreed that our most vivid memories are from our ‘first look.’ I can be superstitious and slightly traditional, so I was initially against seeing one another before the actual wedding–but I am so glad I changed my mind! Those moments that Ryan and I spent together were our most intimate of the night–everything else seemed to happen so quickly. Another great moment was after the ceremony when we were announced as Mr. & Mrs. Ryan Tan while Arcade Fire’s Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels) played in the background. This song is really special to us, and the moment was perfect! I still get chills thinking about it.