Jason John McKenzie, electrical field engineer at Bechtel Corporation, wed Lianna Marie Wong, senior graphic designer at Deskey Associations, at Sts Peter and Paul Church on Saturday, June 9, 2012.
How they met...
Though Lianna and Jason grew up a mere five minutes away from each other in Jamaica, it wasn't until they attended the University of Florida that the two met through mutual friends. Lianna admits that the first time she considered marrying Jason was the first Sunday he offered to take her to church. "That very Sunday, the usher asked us to take communion. As we walked up the aisle together towards the altar, I thought to myself...could this be a sign?" shared Lianna. Jason continued to accompany Lianna to church every Sunday since then.
Later that year, as fate would have it, they booked the same flight home to Jamaica during their Christmas break. As they strolled through the busy Orlando airport together, Jason turned to Lianna and suddenly professed his love for her. "Intrigued by his sense of adventure, love of food and openness to just about anything, I found myself enjoying life with him. He taught me that it was okay to let go and just laugh sometimes," shared Lianna. On New Year's Eve Jason asked Lianna to be his girlfriend — six years later, they are still madly in love with each other.
After college, Jason moved to Washington State and Lianna moved to Los Angeles to pursue their careers. They maintained a long-distance relationship for about three years before deciding to move to Cincinnati, Ohio, so that they could start their lives together. Last year, on Lianna's birthday, Jason surprised her by learning to play the guitar so that he could perform Jason Mraz's I'm Yours before proposing to her. She was so moved by the gesture that of course she said yes.
The couple tied the knot at Sts Peter & Paul Church, which was beautifully decorated by Ingrid Peralto and Jacqui Stephens of Exquisite Occasions. The bride's make-up was skilfully applied by Nicki Quallo and her hair was styled by Carolyn Wong Sam. She was escorted up the aisle by her dad Mark to the sounds of the wedding march in a strapless gown by La Sposa Bridal. The bridesmaids walked up the aisle to the sounds of Canon in D Major by Pachelbel in charcoal grey dresses by The Dessy Group, clutching bouquets of roses created by the bride's grandmother Sonia Hoo. The bridegroom was nattily attired in a Hugo Boss tuxedo and groomsmen wore suits by Vera Wang. The couple performed a unity candle ceremony which was officiated by Father Burchell McPherson, Monsignor Kenneth Mock Yen, and Father Donald Chambers.
The home of a family friend was completely transformed, as wedding planners executed the couple's vision of their reception. A clear tent with fabric draped along the ceiling and walls was erected in the backyard for the occasion. The tent's décor was exquisitely styled with golden chandeliers and custom-made accents. Guests were seated at banquet-styled tables, which were lined with layers of grey and white lace. Each table featured a two-tier miniature cake as well as mason jars filled with cake pops for guests to take home. The bride's grandmother, Sonia Hoo of Sonneville Gardens, also created hundreds of jars and tiny vases filled with a summer blend of fresh flowers in various shades of pink.
To the delight of the guests, more than 20 desserts — inclusive of pumpkin cheesecake squares, carrot cakes, heart-shaped cookies, lemon squares, rum raisin cheesecakes, peanut butter brownie shots, cupcakes and fruitcake-pops — were created by the bride's mum Selena Wong. Their wedding cake was a spectacular nine-tier Selena Wong creation which was over eight feet tall. The cake featured intricate sugar lace patterns and oversized peonies in various shades of pink wrapped around each tier. Vintage brooches, rhinestone banding and Swarovski crystals shimmered under the spotlight placed on the cake, which was topped with a beautiful brooch bouquet.
The couple recalls the toasting period as the most memorable aspect of their wedding day. The bride's father gave a moving speech in honour of the newly-weds, which made mention of the bride's grandfather Keith Wong, and her friend Tammy Ward who had passed away.
Jason and Lianna later shared their first dance to Is This Love? by Corinne Bailey Rae, while guests waved sparklers to light the way for the couple.
The newly-weds spent their honeymoon night at Strawberry Hill.