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Joel & Lin’s Durham Wedding

Couple Hosts Durham Wedding Ceremony at The Duke Chapel

Joel Boggan and L. Lin Ong’s love story began in Durham back in 2015, but their proposal was international. While trekking through a jungle in Rwanda to see mountain gorillas, Joel surprised Lin with a ring and asked her to be his wife. Following their epic engagement, the couple snagged an available date and decided to host a Durham wedding ceremony at The Duke Chapel in August of 2019. Luckily, The Cookery was available that same weekend! With six months to prepare, the bride and groom hired Daryl Eaker of Harmony Weddings & Events to help plan all the details of their big day.

Not only was their day filled with love, the couple also paid tribute to heritage as well. Inspired by Lin’s Chinese heritage, the wedding design featured the traditional wedding color of red and gold accents, which symbolize good fortune. Keep reading below to view all the details of Joel and Lin’s wedding day and to read about their wedding planning process!

Bride and Groom pose outside ceremony location Lin and Joel Durham Wedding Ceremony at The Duke Chapel Harmony Weddings and Events The Cookery Live View Studio

A Celebration of Lin’s Chinese Heritage

Lin and Joel’s big day wasn’t only a celebration of their shared love, but also Lin’s Chinese Heritage, something she chose to honor throughout their wedding day. 

As a symbol of good fortune, the wedding design featured traditional wedding colors of red and gold accents. Lin also swapped out her bridal gown in between the ceremony and reception with a Chinese wedding qun kwa and her late grandmother’s vintage shoes for a Chinese tea ceremony. The tea ceremony is a ritual of gratitude and respect that symbolizes the joining of two families. Joel and Lin intentionally prioritized their wedding guests in every element of their celebration.

Not only did the ceremony and reception honor heritage, the bride and groom also chose wedding favors that would remind guests of their big day. Purchased in Malaysia by the bride’s mom, each guest received a Chinese endless knot. According to Lin, who also pinned one to her wedding bouquet, “These represent many things including the interplay of opposing forces, resulting in union and balance.” As the perfect symbol of “tying the knot”, Lin and Joel wanted to use their favors as a symbol of unity and love, something their guests could remember forever. 

Wedding Planning Made Easy by Harmony Weddings and Events

Although a wedding day can be stressful, it should also be fun! While planning their Durham wedding on a tight timeline, Lin and Joel knew they needed someone who could provide them with significant support when trying to make decisions for their wedding day.

Luckily, a friend recommended Harmony Weddings & Events as the one-stop shop for all of Joel and Lin’s wedding day requests, and they delivered! Their planner, Daryl Eaker, not only helped them plan their day-of details but also supported the bride and ensured everything went smoothly so Lin and Joel could have their perfect day!

When describing her experience with their planner, Lin says “She, [Daryl] did such a good job on the day of the wedding, taking care of the moving parts and making sure everything ran smoothly.”

A Night to Remember at The Cookery

After their ceremony at The Duke Chapel, Lin and Joel moved their guests to The Cookery, which acted as their cocktail hour and reception venue. As one of the largest and most versatile warehouse venues in the Durham area, The Cookery provided the bride and groom with ample space to allow their guests to spread out and participate in different wedding activities. 

“We appreciated [The Cookery] having multiple “zones” for us to use throughout the evening,” Lin says. “It allowed for people to dance, catch up, play yard games, and space for the ice cream truck to serve a late night snack!” 

The couple also utilized party rentals from American Party Rentals and CE Rental to add the final touches to their big day.

Lin & Joel Reflect on their Wedding Day 

When reflecting on their big day, the couple shared that their goal throughout the wedding planning process was to give back to the people who had always loved them. Not only did they want the wedding to be intentional, they also wanted it to be joyful! Luckily, the pair got their wish, and had a wedding weekend filled with joy and love. 

If Lin could give any advice to future brides, she would say, “Just make a decision! There is freedom in making up your mind. We appreciated planning under a tighter timeline because it lent itself to decision making”

Lin would also recommend brides-to-be use Heart of NC Weddings for inspiration.

“We found some beautiful photos of our venues through HONCW and it was very useful to envision the spaces for our big day,” Lin said. We also enjoyed going through vendor lists for ideas and recommendations.

Wondering what the happy couple is up to now? Lin and Joel are enjoying married life in Durham, NC where Joel works at the Durham VA, and Lin is a global health researcher at UNC.

Looking for vendors for your big day? Click here to see Heart of NC Weddings preferred vendors.

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