Real Columbus Wedding: Yichen and Alex Calnon
From worlds apart to a lifetime together
Aug. 6, 2022 | “It is safe to say that neither of us ever imagined that our paths would meet and merge together,” says Yichen (Jiang) Calnon of her relationship with Alex Calnon, “but luckily they did.” Alex was born in Hershey, Pennsylvania, and grew up in Dublin; Yichen was born and raised in Dalain, a coastal city in northeast China.
The pair first crossed paths in March 2014 via a mutual friend at a Chinese New Year gala at Miami University. “I never wore make-up in college, but for whatever reason on that day, I thought I should put on some lipstick,” Yichen notes. “Little did I know I was on my way to meet my future husband.” Alex added Yichen on WeChat and messaged her the next morning. “Conversation just flowed, and the rest is history,” Yichen says.
In 2019, the couple celebrated Yichen’s 26th birthday with a visit to their alma mater. There, under the Upham Arch—where university legend says that kissing your sweetheart will ensure a lifetime together—Alex proposed.
While Yichen’s parents were not able to make the trip from China to attend the wedding, the couple made sure they were included in other ways.
“My family was able to livestream the entire wedding day from China! My parents gathered with seven of their closest friends at 4 a.m. local time to watch the events live,” Yichen says. “Having them be part of the activities, even though they couldn't be there in person, was incredibly meaningful.”
Alex took things one step further, reading his vows in Mandarin—which he’d studied in college and “was especially meaningful, as my parents do not speak English,” Yichen notes. “Having them hear his promise in my native language was particularly special.”
The wedding’s theme—“from worlds apart to a lifetime together”—paid homage to the unlikely journey that brought the newlyweds together.
“Many couples who meet young gradually grow apart, but luckily we grew together,” Yichen says. “We have come really far to find out who we are, what we want, and what our passion in life is. Yet the best part is that we have each other along this beautiful journey.”
Photographer: Nicole Dixon Photographic
Planner: Tanya Irelan Events
Ceremony and reception: Ohio Statehouse
Caterer: Milo’s Catering
Cake: Alice’s Piece of Cake
Florist:Vessel Floral and Event Design
Rentals: Chairs, stemware and bars from Event Source; mirror, flatware and shelves from Aiden & Grace; acrylic head table from Bolkem Event Rentals; linens and chargers from BBJ La Tavola; uplighting from Magical Attractions
Mirror calligraphy:Lovely Arrows Designs
Ceremony music: Lyrata String Quartet
Cocktail hour and reception music: Conspiracy Band
Videographer: ALC Productions
Stationery: BB Letters
Transportation: Xtreme Limo
Accommodations: Hotel LeVeque
Rehearsal dinner: Wolf’s Ridge Brewing; cookies from Nanny & Weebs
Sunday brunch: Groom’s parents’ home, catered by Recipe Express Catering
Bride’s attire: Milla Nova gown purchased online and altered by Alterations by Carolyn; veil and hairpiece from Amazon
Bride’s hair and makeup: Hair by Denise Chesser/Beyoutiful Creations Bridal, makeup by Marie Lai
Groom’s attire: Tuxedo from The Black Tux, Goodr sunglasses, No Cold Feet Co. socks
Rings: Yichen’s engagement ring from Diamond Cellar; wedding bands from Bookman & Son Fine Jewelry (Brecksville, Ohio)
Bridesmaids’ and flower girl’s attire: Azazie gowns
Groomsmen’s attire: Tuxedos from The Black Tux
Ring bearer’s attire: Suit from Macy’s