LUISA CHONG & PIERRE-ANTOINE TRICEN
May 18, 2013 in Paris, France
For Luisa Chong, hanging out with friends was an integral part of her college experience. One day, her international group of buddies was joined by the new student from France. Pierre-Antoine Tricen was immediately intrigued by the Panama-born and Miami-based Luisa, and asked her out for coffee.
The two discussed their different cultures and things seemed to click. Soon, they were talking or seeing each other every day. “There wasn’t a particular moment we fell in love, it just happened,” says Pierre-Antoine.
For a while, their continuing educations separated them, with him in Compiègne, France and her in Beijing, China, but eventually,Luisa moved to France to be with Pierre-Antoine. There, they decided to never be apart again. When Pierre-Antoine was offered an internship in Shanghai, China, the couple moved there together.
Returning to Miami for the holidays, Pierre-Antoine took Luisa for a trip down memory lane on campus. Things had drastically changed and they had to search for the spot where they first kissed. Finally there, Luisa was staring at the new buildings when Pierre-Antoine got down on his knee to ask her to marry him. She was so surprised that she failed to realize he had spoken in French, but her answer was “Yes” in any language.
Because of the international make-up of the two families, wedding locations such as Shanghai, Panama, and Miami were considered, but in the end, the couple chose the romance of Paris. “I wanted a place that was old style French,” says Luisa, “and Les Salons France-Amériques reminded me of Versailles.”
On the night before the wedding, Luisa donned a red silk qipao evening gown for a traditional Chinese tea ceremony officially welcoming the newlyweds into their new families.
The next day, the bilingual, non-denominational rites emphasized love and commitment. In a sand ceremony, the bride and groom poured two containers of differently hued sand into one, signifying the inseparable nature of their love.
The cultural blending continued over cocktails, as guests were treated to a traditional Chinese lion dance. During the reception, where the food was decidedly French, the speeches flowed in Chinese, English and French. “For dessert,” says Luisa, “we had a traditional layered American wedding cake and a decorative French pièce montée, complete with sparklers.”
Pierre-Antoine did not warn Luisa that he was going to address their friends and family, and she was a bit concerned when he stood up. “He thanked everyone who had traveled to be with us, spoke about his dad who passed away, and finished with how we built a strong relationship together,” says Luisa, “and I was crying by the end of it.”
A champagne fountain for the one hundred guests wrapped up the dinner and was “super fun” according to Luisa, who then changed back into her red qipao gown for the after party.
For five days after the wedding, the couple remained in France as tour guides, sharing one of their favorite cities with their guests. Several months later Luisa and Pierre-Antoine took a belated trip, flying from their home in Shanghai to The Shore at Katathani honeymoon resort in Thailand where romance and relaxation were the order of the day.
> Written by Francine Kaplan