Qiqi and Harry’s Wedding, August 2002

Wedding Gallery
Photo Gallery

By Judy Johnson
25 August, 2002

In a setting of intimate elegance, Qi Wang of Guangzhou, China, and Dr. Harry Dole III of San Jose, California, born of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, exchanged vows of matrimony Sunday, Aug. 25, 2002.

The late afternoon wedding took place in the Miramontes Point Room of the Ritz-Carlton at Half-Moon Bay, with the crashing surf of the Pacific Ocean and the setting sun as a backdrop. Judith Dempsey Malear of Half-Moon Bay was the wedding celebrant.

Ms. Wang, known as Qi-Qi to her friends, is a scholar and author of two books on Chinese ceramics and their place in the cultural history of the Chinese. Dr. Dole, a mathematician, is engaged in software for the design of electronics.

The bride is the daughter of Su-Xia Yang of ShenZhen, China, and of her father, the late Si-Rong Wang. The bridegroom is the son of Mrs. Helen Dole of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and of the late Mr. Harry Dole Jr.

Guests gathered on the patio of the Miramontes Point Room for cocktails, hors d’ouevres and photographs prior to the ceremony and briefly following the vows. Among the delicacies prepared by the chefs of the hotel staff savored during this time were smoked salmon roulade with avocado cream, polenta cake with roasted zucchini and sun-dried tomato, crisp scallion potato roll with bleu cheese sour cream, crab beignets with saffron garlic aioli, coconut crusted mini lobster tails with mango relish and baby lamb chops dipped in honey lavender glaze.

Pianist David Roleff, a friend and co-worker of the bridegroom, offered a program of classical pieces, with Qi-Qi’s entrance from Grieg’s Wedding Day at Troldhaugen, and the bride and groom’s exit from the traditional Mendelsohn’s Wedding March of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Additional pieces were Rachmaninoff’s 18th Variation from Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, the love theme Evergreen from ‘A Star Is Born’, Chopin’s Opus 25 no. 1 Twelve Etudes, and Liszt’s Etude in D-flat ‘Un Sospiro’.

Other friends of the bridegroom, Kathy Glegg of Dallas, Texas, and Dale Paar of Jackson, California, took candid still and video photos of the evening. Formal photography was provided by Rocha Photography.

The traditional wedding color of China, a bright, vibrant red, was used throughout in the decorations on the patio, the wedding alcove and the larger room, where a table was set for the wedding supper.

The couple exchanged their vows flanked by beautifully crafted urns filled with massed blossoms in all shades of red. The urns stood atop gilt pedestals swathed in golden illusion.

The bride was radiant in a gown of her own design, handcrafted for her in her native China. The tube of white brocaded silk combined elements of the European sheath with those of the traditional qipao and was topped with a bolero-cut jacket. The material was worked with a dragon and phoenix motif among floating clouds. With this she wore white hosiery and white leather pumps, and carried a delightful nosegay of closely bound red roses tied with ribbons of gold illusion. She wore her hair upswept in a mass of curls, and her only jewelry, other than her wedding ring, was her grandmother’s pendant: a single strand of gold with a cluster of pearls.

The mother of the bridegroom wore a beige silk crepe pantsuit, its blouse on top and jacket shot through with pearls and gold tracery.

For the formal wedding supper which followed, guests were seated at a table laid with heavy white and pale yellow cloths and set with chasers of white porcelain rimmed with a pattern of gold inlaid in yellow. At each place, a set of pink, engraved chopsticks awaited guests along with the more traditional silver service.

Down the length of the table ran a strikingly dramatic swath of red brocaded silk, upon which sat bowls of blossoms in all shades of red, from the deep fuschsia hues of anemones to the sunny yellow-reds of zinnias. Scattered among the flowers were tokens reminiscent of the coastal setting, including sea shells and polished stones. Flower arrangements were by the Ritz-Carlton’s in-house florist, Marisha.

The bridegroom officially welcomed his guests to the dinner by offering Champagne toasts to his bride and mother, and to the many friends and family gathered for the happy occasion. A flurry of toasts from the guests followed.

Under the further direction of Kim Nelson, associate director of catering for the Ritz-Carlton, guests were served a first course of sautéed jumbo Gulf shrimp with potato gnocchi served with braised fennel in a ratatouille jus. The second course, Maine lobster bisque baked in a pastry crust, was followed by a heart of romaine caesar salad served with shaved parmesan and garlic focaccia croutons. After a champagne sorbet with crystallized mint leaves, the entrées were presented: beef tenderloin with morel jus, a fondant potato cake and roasted main lobster served in lobster jus. The dinner was accompanied with an assortment of excellent California vintages, including a delightful Chardonnay and an excellent Cabernet Sauvignon. Schramsberg’s Blanc de Blanc accompanied the toasts.

Dessert was slices from the couple’s wedding cake, a special concoction of Ritz-Carlton pastry chefs called the Chocolate, Chocolate Cake. The two-tiered confection sat atop a silver epergne, was iced with white, some of the frosting forming tuxedo ties, and strewn with fresh red roses.

After a wedding trip spent at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, with side trips to the Tenaya Lodge of Yosemite, the Furnace Creek Resort of Death Valley, and the Pelican Inn Suites of Cambria, California, the couple is at home in San Jose.

25 Aug, 2002