Petite Soirée, the micro-wedding-based sister company of Lauryn Prattes Events that includes creative partners Abby Jiu Photography, Sweet Root Village, and Buttercream Bakeshop, announced this week the winners of their micro-wedding giveaway.
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The contest, which launched in June featuring a team of top DC-area vendors (below), was designed to award a couple in healthcare, whose wedding was affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, with a free micro-wedding at Anderson House. The winners of the micro-wedding are: Xiya Zhu and Woojin Lee—two doctors in New York City, whose original wedding plans included a destination affair in Tuscany.
Drs. Zhu and Lee are resident physicians at the New York Presbyterian Columbia University Medical Center in the department of anesthesiology—they met in orientation and say it was love at first sight. They’d been dating for two years before the pandemic hit, at which time, they say, they began working on the hospital’s emergency airway team, where they were “repeatedly called to the ED for emergency intubations,” and then in the ICU where they managed Covid-19 patients.
“Our hospital eventually had to convert the majority of our operating rooms to ICU units, where we were assigned to care and manage critically-ill patients,” Xiya wrote in a personal essay. “Walking into the ICU was just surreal. As doctors, we take every patient and loss personally; we understand firsthand that each life is more than just a life or statistic. Everyone has loved ones, aspirations, dreams, and a lot to live for. We’re all protagonists in our stories: stories that deserve many more pages, chapters, and sequels.”
At one point, Xiya says, she herself became sick with the coronavirus, but eventually she was able to return to work where her team regularly arranged for family video calling to help keep patients connected to their loved ones who could not be with them in the hospital.
“Through this experience,” she writes, “my fiancé and I realized that we were it for each other… We were able to reaffirm and support each other through this extremely difficult time. I really came to appreciate having someone who understands the seemingly bleak situations and choices doctors are faced with, and, together, it feels like we’re able to find hope again. This experience has also reinforced how compassionate and caring [Woojin] truly is, and I’m endlessly thankful and beyond fortunate to be spending the rest of my life with someone who has stuck with me through the worst. And, just like others have been grateful to healthcare workers in our fight against Covid, we are also immensely grateful to all the companies, restaurants, friends, and family who have generously provided donations and promotions to cheer us on.”
Though they currently reside in New York, Woojin went to college and medical school at George Washington University, so the DC wedding will be a return to where his career in healthcare began. Xiya and Woojin were nominated by the bride-to-be’s sister, and were selected among more than 40 contest entries.
The prize includes:
- A micro-wedding for up to 10 guests at Anderson House on September 27, 2020, including a 15-minute ceremony followed by a one-hour mini-reception with brunch plus a 30-minute photo session.
- Design and planning by Lauryn Prattes Events and Styling
- Photography by Abby Jiu Photography
- Bridal bouquet, boutonniere, alter flowers and table flowers by Sweet Root Village
- Cake from Buttercream Bakeshop
- Catering by Get Plated
- Makeup by Nikki Fraser of Beauty and the Bride
- Videography by Clayton Film Co.
- Designer tabletop rentals by Maison de Carine
- Ceremony music