Although she started off as an Event Director, Christine Chang ultimately found that wedding planning was her true calling. “I think the job found me. It was a combination of things that led me into this role, and it all happened organically,” she says. “I grew up classically trained in the arts and graduated in fine arts at UCSD. And as many know, painting can only get you so far and while I was practicing in my early 20’s, I worked in the service industry as a server for many years to pay the bills. The company I worked for saw me hustling hard as just a server and eventually asked me to train other FOH staff for events that were being held at the restaurant. Being the lead server/host for the small events at the restaurant led me to bigger off-site events and then to a job offer working with other companies as an event planner. However, being a corporate planner never really filled my cup. I wanted something more creative, hence diving into the world of weddings. A daydream of that requires attention to detail, aesthetics and design that represents the couple that is to be wed. Anyone can plan something and be meticulous about logistics, however, I brought a bit more to the table having an art background. I combined my love of arts with the skillsets learned working in the service industry to plan, design and execute my couples’ dream weddings. Live.Love.Create Events was born in 2009 and our team continues to push ourselves to bring our couples’ wedding visions to life.”
Live.Love.Create Events is, at its core, three friends fusing their strengths together. “In 2009, the company was born with two close friends of mine from high school/college, Erica and Janet. Janet had recently gotten married and planned the entire wedding herself with the help of her girlfriend and me. Erica was one of her bridesmaids and was probably one of the most involved people in the group. One day after the wedding, we might have been just hanging out and Janet mentioned she would love to help other brides plan weddings as well since she’d gone through it. She did not get stressed one bit in the process and truly enjoyed it. She wanted to start a service where she could help out others to be wed, but also wanted to get us involved, knowing our strengths, since she knew she couldn’t do this alone. Janet is the ‘LOVE’ in the company name. She really does love being hostess with the mostest and can plan a hell of a party. Erica is the ‘LIVE’ in the company name. Extremely number savvy and meticulous in organization and logistics. She’s the one that brings life to the company. I am the ‘CREATE’’ in the company name. The creative and the artist that brings the couples’ wedding visions to life. Since then, many things have changed. Janet and Erica have moved onto different cities and are no longer in LA to service the events. However, we have a strong team of other beautiful ladies that work hard to help our future newlyweds on their weddings. I think the strongest quality of ours is that a lot of us planners here have an art background. You are not just getting a planner, but an artist that really does care about your vision. We also specialize in Asian American weddings where we help our couples incorporate Eastern traditions into the wedding day such as tea ceremonies and proper Eastern attire.”
Christine was undaunted by the prospect of wedding planning during Covid. “I started creating styled photoshoot sets for those that still wanted to celebrate their milestone event such as engagements, Korean first birthdays, elopements and more. I would come up with a concept and build/execute the set specific to the event and turn it into a socially distanced photoshoot. One photoshoot in particular was so special to me. I helped a friend that didn’t have a wedding capture their moment in a styled paebaek (Korean Tea Ceremony) photoshoot. She wanted to do something that was true to her Korean heritage to pay respects to her late mother. These photos will be forever kept for her to share with her children and their children.” Her dedication led to an unexpected acting opportunity. “The Korean Tea Ceremony photoshoot that we did caught wind in the local news. Many were interested in how we as Asian Americans were celebrating our weddings in a traditional way and I kind of became the spokesperson for those that wanted to learn. At the same time, I was working with a Filipino couple to re-plan their wedding due to postponement from Covid. The hustle began since they wanted to get married sooner than later since their family members were waiting years for them to be wed. However, Chris (the groom) also happened to be a writer, director, and producer. He took our real life experience and was inspired to write a script on the life and process of how Asian American weddings are planned! The wedding planner in the story was based on my character and Chris asked me if I would like to audition for it. Although I didn’t have much experience, I gave it a try and got the part! Whoohoo!”
She enjoyed the surreal experience of playing a version of herself on screen in The Wedding Hustler. “It was so fun to relive/act out some of the moments that actually happened with my past clients in the film. It also wasn’t so difficult since the moments or words that I had to say were things that I would be doing in real life. Of course there were moments that were dramatized and required thoughtful acting but otherwise, it felt very organic.” Acting came naturally to Christine. “I loved every moment of it. Maybe because I’m surrounded by people all the time, it didn’t feel strange to me when all cameras were pointed at me and I was asked to deliver. It was also extremely interesting learning the world of cinema arts and acting – how to dissect a scene and learn the character and emotions and turn it into yours. It was also beautiful collaborating with the writer/director’s vision for my character and adding my interpretation to that. Art comes in so many forms and this is a type of art collaboration I haven’t been exposed to until now. I absolutely love it and can’t wait to pursue more in the future.” In the meantime, her job remains even more chaotic than you might expect. “Our team is already doing such a fantastic job with the couples that we work with currently. We love what we do and can’t get enough of it. However, if I can share with you my big-time dream… I would love to have a reality show that shows the craziness that actually happens during the wedding planning and on the day of the wedding. CRAZY things happen, for instance how a makeup artist accidentally left and flew back home after the bride’s getting ready with the couple’s rings, which resulted in the bride’s breakdown. The bride was crying and halted the wedding and I had to come up with a plan to counsel her back to her sanity. We borrowed her parents’ wedding bands for the ceremony to get the show rolling. Or how I had 3 different weddings where a guest had a heart attack and we had to pause things to get the paramedics on site. Or (this is the worst one yet) when a kid almost drowned in a pond near the reception space and turned blue in the face and stopped breathing. I knew there was a doctor in the couple’s family and grabbed his arm and ran with him to save the little boy’s life. A Children’s Hospital helicopter took the boy out and he was okay at the end of the day. There are many more stories to be shared but I’ll save that for when Netflix calls us for our show!” Hollywood couldn’t make this up! The Wedding Hustler will premiere on Amazon in early 2023.
Read more Celebrity Interviews on ClicheMag.com
Christine Chang Hustles to Plan a Wedding in “The Wedding Hustler.” Photo Credit: Sohyun Lee.