When Diana Ming and John Gold matched on Hinge, they shared a first date at Goodnight Sonny, a bar in the East Village, and quickly discovered they both, coincidentally enough, grew up in the NYC area and even had a few mutual friends—“Seemed like fate,” Diana smiles.
Nearly four years later, on a bright fall day, John suggested they spend the afternoon with a picnic in Prospect Park. “After lounging in the park for an hour, I got up to start packing away our things and turned around to see that he was on one knee!” the bride exclaims. “John’s family, who had been hiding the entire time, came out to celebrate with us with flowers, Champagne, and lobster rolls, and we FaceTimed my parents, who were living in Singapore and eagerly awaiting the call.”
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden set the scene for the summer ceremony. “Since moving to Brooklyn together in 2019, the garden has become a peaceful escape for us from our busy city lives,” Diana explains. “Given our relationship really developed together in Brooklyn and we both have a true love of the outdoors, we knew the garden would be the perfect NYC wedding venue that was timeless and could reflect our garden party vision.” Dawn Goldsmith of DM Events & Design executed each detail, transforming the venue into a colorful oasis, and Vik Moon captured it all on camera.
“Our bright invitation suite was designed by Michael from Anticipate Invitations,” Diana notes. “He absolutely delivered with a tasteful, seasonal palette that incorporated unique touches like a 1947 postcard of our venue and vintage stamps of our favorite interests from biking to tennis.”
Over The Moon Styling helped Diana finalize her wedding weekend wardrobe. “It was a no-brainer to use OTM’s best-in-class styling service and I had an incredible experience working with stylist Anny Choi. Anny and I worked together to arrange my dress appointments and build a lookbook of truly inspired options for the entire wedding weekend,” she notes. “Thanks to OTM’s styling service, I was able to stay authentic to my personality and the spirit of our celebrations in an elevated way.”
“I had a strong idea that I was going to end up choosing Vera Wang—a designer I’ve looked up to who shares my Chinese-American background,” the bride shares of her wedding dress. “I had always envisioned a chic and timeless wedding dress in the spirit of Carolyn Bessette.” Diana had saved an image of a bride wearing a simple crepe gown, and just like that, the look became the one she wore on her wedding day. Diana accessorized with Beekman New York jewelry and a Monvieve European-inspired veil.
“For my rehearsal dinner, I was looking to incorporate red as a nod to my Chinese heritage and the family-style Chinese meal we were planning, as the color typically represents happiness and good fortune,” Diana explains. She donned a red Emilia Wickstead frock, shoes by The Row and Oscar de la Renta earrings.
“For my welcome party and after-party, I knew I wanted fun twists that still incorporated bridal white.” Before the wedding, her vision came to life when she wore a set by Danielle Frankel paired simply with Manolo Blahnik heels and diamond studs.
On the day-of, John looked handsome in a classic black tuxedo by Martin Greenfield Clothiers and Del Toro velvet slippers. Bridesmaids complemented Diana in dresses of different colors by Agua by Agua Bendita, Ganni, and Show Me Your Mumu. Jennifer Behr earrings, a gift from the bride, completed their looks.
The wedding weekend began with a stroll through Chinatown before the rehearsal dinner at Mr. Chow in Tribeca. Everyone raised a glass to the couple amidst a family-style feast of Peking duck, ginger scallion lobster, sesame noodles, and lychee martinis. Brooklyn-based baker Kozy Toast created custom mooncake favors for the occasion.
“The Friday highlight was surprising our friends and family with a traditional lion dance performance! The crash of the percussion music was an amazing entrance and jolt of energy that carried into the entire weekend,” Diana notes. “Lions are symbolic of wisdom and power in Chinese culture, and the purpose of the lion dance is to bring good fortune. Our dance finished with a celebratory unveiling of a scroll wishing us prosperity and happiness.”
On June 3, 2023, Diana and her bridesmaids popped Champagne, while Michelle of Willow House Beauty created her natural beauty look. Then, the bride walked alongside her parents, on the way to meet John before a beautiful floral arch by Ivy Joy Flowers. Highline Quartet strummed Coldplay’s “A Sky Full of Stars.”
“Giving our vows that we each wrote was no doubt the most important, emotional moment of our entire wedding experience,” she smiles. “Everything melted away when we read our vows to each other; it was just me and John being connected and fully present which was so powerful. We will both cherish those words forever.”
As a nod to the groom’s Jewish upbringing, the couple closed the ceremony with the breaking of the glass. “It was such an uplifting moment of sheer happiness with our friends and family cheering us on and wishing us ‘Mazel Tov,'” Diana remembers.
Following the ceremony, guests enjoyed an oyster raw bar and custom cocktails named after the couple’s Chinese zodiacs. An intricate escort card display featuring pressed wildflowers led everyone to their seats inside the glass Palm House for a seated dinner. Snap pea panzanella, roasted beef tenderloin and seared striped bass were served by Union Square Events ahead of the wedding cake—chocolate devil’s food with buttercream frosting.
The fathers of the bride and groom gave heartfelt toasts before the newlyweds danced to “Baby I’m Yours” by Arctic Monkeys. The Sultans had everyone on the dance floor all night long with classic rock-and-roll hits and ABBA tunes. The newlyweds featured second looks—a Vivienne Westwood silk mini and a white J. Crew dinner jacket—“We both felt so glamorous and it was just the right attire to dance the night away!” Diana exclaims. Then, everyone joined in for a spirited hora.
The celebration continued at the Yellow Magnolia Cafe for the after-party and then traveled to the couple’s favorite neighborhood bar, The Bearded Lady for a nightcap. The next day, the newlyweds hosted a Sunday brunch in Prospect Park, the place of their engagement, before heading to Antigua for their minimoon.