Real Weddings: Inside Antony Szeto and JuJu Chan's Wedding
What do you get when two martial artists fall in love? When they’re Antony Szeto and JuJu Chan, you get an action-packed romance and a wedding to remember.
The couple first met nine years ago in a post-production house but it wasn’t until Antony, a martial arts choreographer and film director, reached out to singer and martial arts actress JuJu for a role that they began to work together.
Their relationship remained professional for some time before Antony asked JuJu out. “It was a slow-building relationship, but it is stronger for it,” he says.
“I had no idea Antony was interested in me until he asked me to go steady,” says JuJu, who quickly realised that she felt the same way about him. Soon, the couple became inseparable.
“We just love that we can talk freely about our work with each other,” says Antony, who is now also JuJu’s manager. “We share a love for living very active lives. We’re both avid martial artists, love travel and cooking, have the same circle of friends and keep close ties with our families. Being bilingual makes things a lot more fun too—Chinglish is very much spoken in our home.”
With JuJu’s busy filming schedule, the proposal was no easy feat. After planning two attempts that had to be called off—one at a luxury resort with family and friends, the other at a beachside Los Angeles home—Antony finally managed to pop the question in Vancouver, where JuJu was filming Netflix series Wu Assassins.
“The original plan was to have dinner at a restaurant where I’d arranged a plane to fly a ‘Marry Me’ banner outside,” says Antony, who’d come to Vancouver to surprise JuJu on her day off. However, JuJu was called into work that day, so Antony pulled a last-minute plan together in her Yaletown apartment complete with rose petals, champagne, candles and something quite unexpected—a wedding proposal cake. It goes without saying that JuJu said yes.
Do things the way you want and don’t let others influence you otherwise. In the end, it can be difficult enough just trying to please yourselves, and you don’t want the burden of trying to please everyone.
— JuJu & Antony
The couple decided to get married in Los Angeles because it “allowed more friends to attend but also reflected our relationship,” according to Antony. And since JuJu’s childhood dream was to get married in a glass church, Wayfarers Chapel was chosen as the venue for the ceremony.
“I’ve always thought of glass churches as fairytale-like and very romantic,” JuJu says. The fact that it was designed by Lloyd Wright, son of the famous US architect Frank Lloyd Wright, made it even more interesting for Antony, a self-described “architect fanboy.” When the moment came for JuJu to walk down the aisle to a piano version of A Thousand Years by Christina Perri, there wasn’t a dry eye in the church.
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After the ceremony, guests headed to the legendary Hollywood Roosevelt hotel, an art deco building and the site of the first ever Oscars ceremony, for Antony and JuJu’s tea ceremony and wedding reception. Rather than the usual sit-down dinner format, the couple hosted an epic party in the Gable & Lombard penthouse suite, which spans three floors, with a rooftop deck overlooking all of Hollywood, including the Hollywood sign.
There, guests stepped into a party scene straight out of the movies, complete with a “Hollywood meets old Hong Kong” theme, dai pai dong-inspired snacks, double happiness signs and plenty of red roses. After making their entrance as a married couple for their first dance, Antony made a welcome speech with an emotional declaration of love to JuJu.
“It was so moving and unexpected that I immediately choked up,” says JuJu. The party continued with a father-daughter dance, speeches from the bridal party—including a particularly hilarious speech from best man Mark Szeto, Antony’s brother—cake-cutting, games and a group dance that had everyone on the floor.
“At one point, I felt the building shaking and thought it was an earthquake,” says Antony. “But it was actually because the DJ was playing a song that had everyone jumping up and down at the same time.” Other highlights of the night included an impromptu double nunchucks performance by JuJu and the bouquet toss towards the end of the night.
As the party moved downstairs into the penthouse suite, along with more drinks and dancing, no one could deny that this was one blockbuster of a wedding. The best part, though? “Being able to finally call the person I love my wife,” says Antony.
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