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Clarkson couple weds in St. Lawrence County legislative chamber

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CANTON — Joy filled the St. Lawrence County legislative chamber Friday afternoon rather than political dealings as the wedding of Clarkson University graduate students Zhe “James” Qu and Meng “Ivy” Cai took place.

The wedding is believed to be the first conducted in the Board of Legislators’ boardroom. It took place under the auspices of County Administrator Karen M. St. Hilaire and her staff. Mr. Qu and Ms. Cai, both master of business administration program graduates, knew Ms. St. Hilaire through her affiliation with Clarkson, where she teaches a class on entrepreneurial ventures.

“Karen’s our teacher and we asked her where the best place was to get married, and she said the courthouse,” Ms. Cai said.

The setting met their expectations.

“It’s perfect,” Mr. Qu said.

The couple’s celebration continued Saturday as they graduated from Clarkson. This week, they have job interviews in Austin, Texas.

The wedding was attended by the mothers of the bride and bridegroom, several friends, Ogdensburg businessman James Ma, who taught a class in Ms. St. Hilaire’s course on import and export, Clarkson economics professor Mark R. Frascatore, who was an official witness along with Ms. St. Hilaire, and some of the staff from the legislative office, who helped plan the wedding.

County Emergency Services Director Michael J. LeCuyer, who also is a Louisville town justice, married the couple.

Ms. St. Hilaire originally had thought to have a green and gold cake in keeping with Clarkson’s colors but nixed that idea after learning that green can symbolize infidelity.

Instead, she arranged for a white cake with red decoration topped by an orchid.

Ms. Cai wore a dress of red and white because happiness in China is associated with the color red.

The couple met in college in Xian, China, applied to Clarkson together, and planned two years ago to marry after graduation.

Mr. LeCuyer concluded the wedding with the lighting of a unity candle. The couple each used individual candles to jointly light a third candle.

“Forever let this light lead you in your lives,” Mr. LeCuyer said.

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