Perfect in Puerto Vallarta
KTRK-TV reporter Miya Shay interviewed her future husband several times over the years. However, it wasn’t until State Representative Gene Wu asked her to lunch that Miya actually noticed Gene. The two immediately hit it off, leading to a whirlwind romance and tropical nuptials at Villa Verano, in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
Unlike most brides, Miya didn’t try on one single wedding dress. Instead she asked friend and “Project Runway” winner Chloe Dao to create a one-of-a kind gown for her tropical ceremony. The two collaborated on a long A-line gown that would be figure flattering and travel easily. Crystals embellish the waist and halter neckline; the back is bare with sheer panels. The Houston designer also custom made coral bridesmaid dresses for the entire bridal party.
Villa Verano is a private estate that sits high on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean with amazing views. But this wasn’t a lounge around destination wedding. The star couple kept guests busy all weekend. The day before the wed- ding, a catamaran sailed the group across Banderas Bay to Las Caletas Beach for a day of snorkeling, kayaking and sunbathing. Parrots flew out to greet the boat as it approached the private beach, once home of film director John Huston. Later that evening, everyone gathered at Puerto Vallarta’s famed Café des Artistes for re- hearsal dinner.That’s where KHOU-TV’s Courtney Zubowski wowed the crowd with an entertaining toast disguised as a news report.
The ceremony took place on Villa Verano’s expansive patio as the sun set over the Pacific Ocean behind the couple. United Methodist seminarian and friend of the groom, LyAnna Johnson Smith led the couple through vows they had written as fifty friends and family members witnessed the union.
The celebration continued through the evening with mariachi musicians, authentic Mexican buffet, and three tres leches cakes. Revelers danced till mid- night and most took a dip in the pool to beat the Mexico heat.
A few brave guests rose extra early the day after the wedding and set out on a chartered fishing boat where they reeled in lots of fresh tuna. The couple cooked up the fish that night for their guests to round out the Mexico festivities.
A few weeks later, more than 300 people toasted and congratulated the newlyweds at an Asian inspired bash in the grand foyer of the Hobby Center. Chinese lion dancers kicked off the party and the joint was jumping all evening to the tunes of Radio London. The star- studded guest list was a literal who’s who of Houston society, politicos and media. Among the well-wishers were Mayor Annise D. Parker with Houston First
Lady Kathy Hubbard, former Mayor Bill White and wife Andrea, Ambassador Arthur Schechter, U.S. District Judge David Hittner, State Rep. Carol Alvarado, City Councilwoman Melissa Noriega, and more.
Gene and Miya are self-proclaimed foodies and they shared their favorites at each step of the wedding celebration. From lavish breakfast spreads featuring lengua and fresh baked pastries at Villa Verano to whole roasted pigs and sea bass at the reception. In Houston they served the freshest sushi and chef David Cordua’s “wall of salad” added some interactive fun. Salads were followed
by roasted pig, dumplings, Peking duck tacos and assorted desserts.
The newly weds are busy back at work. They are planning a first anniversary trip and reside in Houston, Texas.
Photography by Jillian Mitchell Photography