After seeing an image of a Ukrainian couple getting married on the front lines, seasoned wedding planner Christine Chang knew that she wanted to help in whatever way she could. So Chang put together a styled shoot to celebrate Ukrainian brides that have relocated to America to showcase the beauty and courage of Ukrainian culture, and send the message that “Love is worth fighting for.” We interviewed Christine to learn more about her inspiration behind this shoot and how it came to be!
Live Love Create Events
Christine Chang has been featured in Brides along with many other bridal presses and has conducted weddings for celebrities and working professionals for more than twelve years. Over the last decade, Chang and her team have helped execute hundreds of beautiful events. Founder of Live Love Create Events, a woman-owned business, Christine takes delight in orchestrating weddings throughout America. Follow Christine Chang on Instagram @livelovecreate and on Facebook.
Chang is showcasing authentic dresses made by Ukrainian dressmaker, Kingsley James Couture Bridal, with Ukrainian brides at the historic The Maxwell Pasadena House. In response to the war that’s happening Chang states, “I stand with Ukraine and decided to provide this styled shoot for future brides that have been affected by the war. I was inspired by seeing a couple getting married on the battlefield, and I wanted to do my part to stand up for love... to stand up for Ukraine.”
Interview With Christine Chang
1. Tell us more about what your goal was for this shoot?
“We don’t actually get to see what’s happening in Ukraine, we just hear stories on the news and social media. I think visuals speak louder oftentimes. I was going through social media and everything I was seeing really hit home for me. I thought about how my industry celebrates love and family and this war is breaking up couples and families and it was all very emotional for me. I saw an article about a couple that still got married during the war and I was inspired by their love and bravery. That’s how I came up with the slogan, love is worth fighting for."
"I wanted to do something special for Ukrainian brides and create a memory and a moment of happiness. One of the brides in the shoot just got married through the court and couldn’t go back home or be with her family, so I wanted to do something to make her feel like a bride and help her celebrate. My main goal was to brighten up their day and do what she could to bring awareness that even through war, there is still love."
2. What was the process like of putting it together?
“The process was very easy. We planned and executed it all in a week. The community around me came together and was so willing to help and make this happen. It really warmed my heart! I first called Joe Kim Studio, the photographer and he immediately came on board. We had four vendors in total, a planner, a photographer, a dressmaker, and the venue. I did florals. The sunflower is the country’s flower and she used the colors of the Ukrainian flag for the color palette."
"Ukrainian brides traditionally wear flower crowns so I wanted to bring that element in. Unfortunately, the flower crown has been diluted by mainstream trends and fashion cycles but the roots carry a lot of meaning. It means purity in Ukraine and reflects and tells the story of a young woman. I made sure I did a lot of research to make sure I respected the culture and did it justice. I made a traditional flower crown that could be placed on the head and a crown to display on the floor for pictures."
3. How would you describe the Ukrainian wedding gown style?
"Ukrainian dresses are much more traditional and have colorful embroidery. The dressmaker I worked with is Ukrainian and she shared the most beautiful and extravagant gowns for the shoot!"
4. What was it like working with the Ukrainian brides?
"It was so nice to see them celebrating themselves as women and brides. I wanted the atmosphere to be peaceful and give them a small reprieve from what’s happening back home. These brides have been under constant stress and fear because their friends and family are hurting. I was happy to help them feel like brides even if it was just for a moment. I know that having these pictures will be really important for the brides to look back on."
"Often times when awful things are happening in the world, it can feel like there is nothing we can do to help. I want to inspire other industries to reflect and think about what they can do, what’s in their power, and within their industry to make a difference."
“Love is worth fighting for.”
Christine Chang @christineschang
Joe Kim @joekimstudio
Ukrainian Dress Designer:
Kingsley James Couture Bridal @kinsleyjamescouturebridal
The Maxwell House Pasadena @maxwellhousepasadena
Hero photo courtesy of Joe Kim Studio