Sparks flew when Sharon Tsao and Albert Ho met through mutual friends at an electronic dance music festival in Las Vegas during the summer of 2015. The two hit it off so well that their first encounter quickly turned into a romantic relationship.
Fast forward to March 2020 when Sharon and Albert decided to grab lunch at Pho Street in New York City one afternoon. After trying out the new restaurant, the couple went their separate ways—Albert left to get his hair cut while Sharon made her way over to Chinatown to stock up on groceries. “Halfway to the supermarket, I got a message from him saying to open this app on my phone, which led me on a scavenger hunt around the city to some of our most meaningful locations,” Sharon recalls. “The last clue led me to home, which was where he proposed.”
After Sharon gleefully accepted the proposal, the couple celebrated over dinner at The River Café in Brooklyn Bridge Park. They continued the festivities at the 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge rooftop bar, where their inner circle was waiting for them. “I was overwhelmed with joy and burst into tears at the sight of our friends,” Sharon reminisces.
Since Albert’s only request was that their wedding be a destination wedding, the duo settled on Château de Saint Loup in France. At the beginning of the planning stages, the pair was gearing up to meet their wedding planning team, Smith + James, at their venue until they received the news that France had closed its borders due to the pandemic. After that dilemma, it was one setback after another. When the conditions didn’t look like they were going to improve any time soon, Sharon and Albert decided to postpone their wedding to 2021.
Even though planning an overseas wedding during a period of uncertainty was challenging, the couple was able to persevere thanks to their planner. “We relied heavily on Smith + James during the planning process,” Sharon remarks. “They helped us make countless decisions, both big and small, to arrive at our wedding day. We would be remiss not to highlight the value of Tory’s calm and soothing voice on the other end of the phone. Her best quality is her ability to reduce anxiety without being misleading.”
On September 5, 2021, the couple finally tied the knot in Saint-Loup-Lamairé, France, and they invited 50 guests to witness their vows. “We wanted to be able to spend meaningful time with our friends and family,” the couple says. “[They] are scattered across the globe, so it was a rare opportunity for everyone to be in one place.” Keep reading to see how the couple’s vision came to life, which was planned by Smith + James and photographed by Molly Carr Photography.
“Sharon loves classic French décor with a hint of modernism, so she wanted the colors of the wedding to feature the colors of France—French blue and lavender, specifically,” the couple shares. The pair established their color palette by distributing elegant invitations featuring intricate designs and a floral motif.
On the morning of her wedding day, Sharon got glam in a white long-sleeve silk robe while her bridesmaids wore the dusty rose version. They also popped open a bottle of bubbly to kick off the day’s events. “I was so nervous the morning of, so we all sipped Champagne to calm my nerves,” the bride admits.
To match her château venue, Sharon donned a strapless lace fit-and-flare gown with a deep V-neck and low back by Ines Di Santo. After trying on 70 different dresses at Bergdorf Goodman, the bride was debating between two gowns by the designer. “Then, mom told me a story about her experience with wedding dress shopping—how the dress should represent who I am and how I wanted people to remember me by,” Sharon notes. “After that, my decision was easy!” She accessorized with Manolo Blahnik nude pumps and pearl drop earrings.
The bride wore her hair in a low bun with face-framing tendrils for the big day. “I feel the prettiest when I have my hair up, so I knew for sure I wanted an updo on my wedding day,” she explains. “I went on Pinterest and found a few hairstyles that I liked and shared them with my hairstylist.” For glam, Sharon embraced a natural look. “I wanted to look like myself, just a touch more sparkly,” she illustrates.
Albert dressed himself in a classic black tuxedo from The Black Tux, which he paired with a white bow tie and black tuxedo shoes. He finished off his look with a spritz of Blue de Chanel.
Before the ceremony, the couple decided to share an intimate first look in the gardens of their venue.
After vacationing in France, Sharon and Albert knew they wanted to host their nuptials in the European country. They were considering five different châteaus, but after touring Château de Saint Loup, their decision became clear. “I found that it had the most character, and it still had much more of the original French décor,” Sharon illuminates. “We also loved that it had a little stream, an orchard, and a garden. We could have different parts of the wedding at different locations on the château grounds.”
Sharon’s bridesmaids all sported long Amsale dresses in the color thistle. “I thought the color was unique in that it’s slightly purple and pink,” Sharon notes. The bride and her group held bright bouquets in pink and white tones.
The groom’s squad all coordinated in black attire. The men wore black tuxedos from The Black Tux with black bow ties and blue pocket squares, while the female member donned a black Amsale dress.
The exterior of the château framed the couple’s vows. Since the bride and groom wanted the venue to be the focal point of their ceremony design, they kept their décor to a minimum. They settled on wooden chairs and accented their altar with lush floral arrangements.
I teared up the moment ‘La Vie En Rose’ started playing and Sharon started walking down the aisle.
Sharon’s dad walked her down the aisle to “La Vie En Rose,” a classical French song. “I teared up the moment ‘La Vie En Rose’ started playing and Sharon started walking down the aisle,” the groom reflects.
The duo personalized their ceremony by writing their own vows. “It was important for us to share our vows in front of our friends and family,” the bride notes. They both talked about the first time they met and the early stages of their relationship, and they promised to facilitate one another’s growth. “It was important for me to express that Sharon has helped me be a better version of myself than I could have been on my own,” Albert remarks. “We have also both made significant changes to ourselves for each other, and we promise to continue to do so.”
Once they shared their first kiss, the newlyweds recessed to “Ever Ever After” by Carrie Underwood from the film Enchanted.
After the ceremony, everyone gathered in the orchard to watch Sharon and Albert plant an apple tree—Sharon’s favorite fruit—as a symbol of their union. “We loved the idea of being able to return to the château and reminisce about our wedding day by our tree,” the bride says.
The reception took place in the château’s garden beneath twinkle lights. A walkway lined with potted plants led to the seating arrangements. Floral centerpieces composed of peonies and roses in pink and mauve shades, pink votive candles, and pink taper candles in silver candelabras were scattered across the center of each table.
The pair worked with their planner to set each table with gold-rimmed chargers, beige napkins, silverware, and monogrammed menu cards featuring blue embroidery.
Although the couple didn’t serve signature cocktails, they offered the standard selection of wine, beer, and mixed drinks at a wooden bar decorated with flowers. “The only hard liquor we had was the rum for the mojitos, and we ended up taking almost all of it as celebratory shots,” the couple remembers.
After the bride and groom made their grand entrance into the reception space, they dined on French cuisine. Duck was served as the main entrée of the night.
For their first dance as newlyweds, the couple swayed to “So Close” by Jon McLaughlin, another song from Enchanted.
An outfit change was a must for the after-party. Sharon replaced her lace ensemble with a strapless romper that had an oversized bow on the back.
After cutting into their raspberry cream cake, the pair danced the night away to electronic dance music. It was a full-circle moment. “We were particular about the after-party since we met at EDC, so we wanted our after-party to be focused on electronic music,” the bride explains. Next up on the agenda? Sharon and Albert are hoping to plan a romantic safari honeymoon.