Tying the knot has some new cultural twists
When Los Altos Hills resident Lina Broydo talks about weddings, she speaks with some authority. A native of the former Soviet Union, Broydo is public relations director for the San Jose Fairmont Hotel and orchestrates new twists for Silicon Valley weddings.
"There's an incredibly rich ethnic diversity in Silicon Valley. People are prosperous and they want to celebrate their big day in style," Broydo said.
"We have changed the spectrum of our weddings to meet the demands of brides and grooms who come here from all over the world. When they get married, they want to bring their relatives for the wedding and to see the area."
Since the Fairmont Hotel is on the archeological site of the homes of original Chinese settlers who came to San Jose in the 1880s, Broydo feels the grandeur of the venue is an appropriate place for Asian couples to say "I do."
"Asian weddings have moved from 'mom and pop' style restaurants to a luxury site, befitting the couples' new prosperity in this locale," she said.
With a trio of chefs to help plan these events, the Fairmont has presented American, Persian, Vietnamese, Chinese and Indian cuisine for weddings to fit in with the bridal couples' backgrounds.
French chef Daniel Maurice, Vietnamese chef Tung Nguyen, and Jimmy Lo, Fairmont's Master Chef and Chinese culinary expert (Lo is manager of the Pagoda Restaurant and has cooked for many dignitaries including Queen Elizabeth and Chinese leaders) coordinate their expertise for these fantasy events.
"We also draw on the wealth of global experience from our employees who represent a cross-section of cultural backgrounds," said Fairmont General Manager Fred Hansen, previously food and beverage manager at the San Francisco Fairmont. "For example, at an Indian wedding, the couple may arrive in a horse-drawn carriage or sometimes the groom rides a horse from the Plaza de Cesar Chavez across from the hotel to the front entrance."
For a Vietnamese wedding, the Fairmont literally rolls out the red carpet. "Red symbolizes good luck and happiness in many Asian cultures," Broydo said. "So the bride carries a red umbrella with a sash." Also in Vietnamese weddings, the elaborately decorated cake is the centerpiece, displayed prominently in the reception room.
To add some French élan to a Vietnamese wedding, chef Daniel Maurice calls upon years of French and international expertise in culinary presentations.
Persian weddings are also elaborate affairs at the Fairmont, Broydo said. "We have had seven or eight cakes held in place by a crane in the middle of a ballroom as the centerpiece for these weddings."
The Fairmont has purchased special serving dishes, lazy susans, and colorful tablecloths and decorations to create the ambiance of tradition and authenticity in the life of the newlyweds, said Food and Service Director Cathy Brock.
The Fairmont offers all newlyweds a complimentary luxury suite on their wedding night.
For more information on a San Jose Fairmont wedding, call Catering Director George Patten at (408) 998-3912.