Captured by Lizzie Christine Allen
Submitted by RK Weddings & Events
A culturally focused wedding, including a Tea Ceremony, focusing on red and gold for the traditional Vietnamese wedding colors. For the rest, an abundance of bright floral creates the perfect ambiance. Read this interview with the happy couple!
Q: Tell us about your wedding! What was the inspiration behind your day? Did you have a specific theme, style or color palette? Did you incorporate any cultural or religious traditions in any part of your day?
A: The tea ceremony was obviously very culturally themed, focusing on red and gold for the traditional Vietnamese wedding colors. For the rest, we just wanted it bright with all the florals. My vision definitely wouldn’t have come together like it did without Deborah’s help!
Q: Let’s talk wedding decor. How did you decorate your space for the ceremony and the reception? Was any part of the decor DIY?
A: Shawn was very adamant about there being an abundance of flowers. The venue had ample space to spread out the tables and decor, so we definitely took advantage of that. Also, our initials spelt STAR, so we projected stars onto the ceiling of the reception room. We DIY’ed some things, like the bar signs (based on our dogs) and the seating chart displays.
Q: What were the florals like in your wedding? Did you use flowers in any of your design elements like the bridal bouquets, centerpieces or ceremony backdrop? Did they play an important part in the overall style of your wedding?
A: Every time Shawn and I discussed the florals, his response was always, “There should be more.” We had greenery covering the rails of the grand staircase entrance to the venue, large floral arrangements on each reception table, a floral bridge over the head tables, and florals hanging over the bars. Our florist, Ana, really helped us picking out the types of flowers we wanted, as we had no clue what we initially wanted.
Q: Did you personalize the day in any way (food trucks, guest entertainment etc.)? What were some of your favorite parts of your wedding?
A: For the drinks, we incorporated our dogs by making signs for the bar stations that said “Bruce’s Bar” and “Drogo’s Drinks”. We are huge foodies, and Shawn has the appetite of a small country, so food was very important to us. We ended up mix-and-matching stations, ending with a Latin station, an Asian station, and a Hollywood station. We wanted variety for our dessert, so we had 3 cakes, including the groom’s’ cake, and our friend made the most delicious macaroons you’ll ever eat!
Q: Let’s talk fashion. How did you both choose your wedding day look? Describe the looks in detail.
A: For my look, I knew I wanted something on the sexier side with an open back of some kind. My dress ended up being a lace over tulle, fit and flare dress with a deep-V front and dramatic back. The dress was originally see through from waist up, but I had it lined in alterations. The veil I used was my aunt’s; she had a cathedral length veil, and my mom altered it to be waltz length. For jewelry, my earrings and bracelet where presents that Shawn. They are made of blue Tanzanite jewels, so they worked for my something blue items! Shawn had a very specific blue that he wanted, so he went to a local men’s boutique, Harley’s, which custom made him a suit from Italy, which he was able to customize all the way down to the design of the inner lining. His dream shoe designer is Salvatore Ferragamo, so I convinced him that the wedding was the perfect justification to finally splurge on them! Ironically, the silver glitter heels I ended up falling in love with were from the same designer. For comfort, I made sure to have a spare pair of shoes for the reception, which were platform, sliver glitter Keds.
Q: How did you meet? Tell us about the proposal.
A: We met at his work; he was a local doctor that I was assigned to shadow for a college class. For our first date, he made dinner and we watched Game of Thrones, and the rest is history. We love to travel together, and Las Vegas is a frequent trip for us. We went to Las Vegas with my parents to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. He planned a helicopter ride for us all over the Grand Canyon, and he proposed when he landed in the middle. The finishing touch was that he had arranged for us to have dinner in the middle of the Grand Canyon before we flew back.
Q: What was the most anticipated or special moment of your wedding day?
A: For me, it was being part of the tea ceremony. That was all new to me, and it really was special to be able to experience his family’s culture like that. Also, our wedding dance was a big lead up moment of us both. We had practiced for weeks, but about 20 seconds after the music started, my mind went blank. Luckily, Shawn was able to keep me in step and we finished it without anyone noticing that I had no clue what I was doing!
Q: Do you have any wedding planning or marriage advice that you’d like to share with other couples planning their day?
A: Relax and breathe. Especially having a COVID wedding, this became our motto for the whole thing. Also, just hire a wedding planner. We never in a million years would have been able to pull off the spectacular wedding that we did without Deborah! She basically molded our 1,000+ ideas into one dream wedding.