In China, lilies are a representation of lifelong happiness, and the delicate flowers’ beauty was predominant at the August 6, 2007 wedding of Houston Rockets center Yao Ming and his love of the past eight years, Ye Li, a member of China’s national women’s basketball team. A heart-shaped placard emblazoned with the couple’s identical first name initials was propped outside the China Hall at the Pudong Shangri-Li Hotel in Shanghai, where 70 guests gathered for the early evening ceremony. Although journalists were not allowed inside for the nuptials, each was presented with wedding candy and a cuddly pink bear which held a large chocolate treat.
Although the bride and groom had posed in several wedding day creations for offical photos in the days to the event (the bride was seen in both an off-the-shoulder gown and a strapless wedding dress accented with a bow), only friends and family members were privy to the garments the couple chose for their big day. Following the three-hour ceremony and reception, the newlyweds had a chance to unwind as they boarded a houseboat for a leisurely cruise upon the waters of the Huangpu River.