Getting married is a family affair and when those families come from different backgrounds, being open and warm is everything.
Blanca, the mother of the bride, first reached out to us to talk about her vision for wedding stationery for her daughter last Spring. I knew this was going to be a beautiful collaboration from the start! Her daughter, Bianca and future son-in-law, were planning a big multicultural wedding in the fall. Bianca comes from a Mexican American and was marrying into a traditional Vietnamese American family. Her mother took on much of the planning to make it perfect for her only daughter, starting with the invitations.
As is traditional with Vietnamese weddings, the two families sent separate his & hers invitations. Blanca and Bianca’s embrace of the traditions of both families was heartwarming. The mother-daughter duo worked closely with me to make sure the invitation was elegant and unforgettable. We created stunning boxed invitations with gold foil and an elegant brooch – sure to make a dramatic impression on each guest.
We are so excited to finally share the beautiful photography from Mike Phan and the story of Bianca and Long’s American-Mexican-Vietnamese wedding last November!
I asked Bianca for some details about the milestone multicultural fete.
Andaleeb: Let’s start with your love story, how did you and Long meet? And tell us about the proposal too!
Bianca: Same hometown, mutual friends, but Long really noticed me at the gym. We were both regulars and would always see each other. He asked me to workout with him. From there we became great friends.
Long and I knew we wanted to get married and had been living together. He had my ring for about 7 months before he finally decided to propose. Holidays and birthdays passed and I waited anxiously. Family is important to me and Long knows that. He proposed during our family’s annual white elephant [party] on Christmas Eve 2018. Only my parents knew, so my whole family was in shock and as excited as I was. I had no clue! I am so competitive and I was yelling at Long to steal a gift instead of opening the present he had picked. He declined and asked me to help him open the gift. It was a sign with rose petals that said will you marry me, then he got down on one knee….
Andaleeb: Wow! What a sweet proposal! Surrounded by family sounds so warm and just lovely! Can you describe your original vision for your wedding during the early stages of planning? How did that vision come together?
Bianca: Elegance! I love gold ! And we wanted a fall wedding so a navy and gold color palette was perfect. My mom is the reason my wedding vision came together. I had no idea where to start planning such a big event. I had the most perfect vendors! From there we knew what direction we were going in when it came to meetings with our decorator.
Andaleeb: You both come from families with very different backgrounds and faiths, tell us how you brought these backgrounds together and how you infused elements of culture in your wedding.
Long is Vietnamese Buddhist and I am Mexican Catholic. We compromised with a modern traditional Vietnamese wedding along with a Catholic ceremony .
We had a traditional Vietnamese tea ceremony in the morning. We both wore traditional Vietnamese Ao dai. Longs family offered my family gifts at the Tea Ceremony. I received gold jewelry from Long’s family as is traditional. We prayed and served our parents and elders tea.
Then we had a traditional Mexican Catholic ceremony in a church. My Godparents were our sponsors and participated in the Mexican traditions for the El lazo (wedding lasso) and the coins.
The venue was at a Chinese restaurant in San Jose, California. Traditional Vietnamese weddings have a 10 course seafood meals at a very big wedding banquet. We had about 500 guests! But the best part was my brothers surprised us with a Mariachi band! It was amazing!
Andaleeb: It sounds like a beautiful mix of family and culture! Tell us about a few of your favorite decor or design elements from your wedding.
Bianca: First of all, my favorite design/decor started with our invitations. They were absolutely amazing and gave our guests a preview of what to expect for our wedding. I also loved our sweetheart table area. It was everything I wanted and more. Everything flowed beautifully.
I also just loved the blended cultural traditions. I felt so beautiful in the Ao dai. I wore two! A traditional red one for the tea ceremony and an ivory and gold one to walk the 50 tables and greet guests/collect monetary gifts. My favorite part of the day was when we officially got married in church. Long knows how much my faith means to me, so agreeing to get married in a Catholic Church by my childhood priest was so special.
Andaleeb: How did your guests respond from invites to the farewell? What was the guest experience like?
Everyone LOVED the invitations and decor. My family loved the food and experience since it was so different from what they’re used to. And it was an open bar for 500 guests and a night of dancing so, everyone had a blast! They especially loved the dance floor props!
Andaleeb: I personally loved working with you and your mom to design your invitations! I’d love to hear any thoughts on the idea and inspiration behind that design.
Bianca: My mom really wanted the invitations to arrive in a box.
I LOVED the gold foil and navy folio. The invitation is the first look guests get into the wedding and it was the best representation of what to expect for our big day. You was great to work with! Very responsive and your work is one of a kind. I’m so glad we made the trip to meet you and have you design our invitations. DETAILS & CREDITS: Bridal wear:
Ao dai – both we’re handmade in Long’s family’s hometown in Hue, Vietnam.
Wedding gown- Angel Rivera Designer purchased from Kingsley James boutique. I actually got to meet Angel Rivera himself when I picked up my dress!
Long wore bespoke tuxedo for the reception.
Shoes / accessories brand for each event:
My shoes had crystals and pearls . My dress also had pearls on it so it all flowed . My dress was called “pearl”. The shoes were Badgley Mischka
My jewelry was custom made by the designer who designed our wedding bands and engagement ring
Wedding court clothing ( Parents, bridesmaids, groomsmen ) (for each event or your main event):
The girls wore champagne gold dresses and the groomsmen wore traditional black suit and tie.
Colors / Themes / Look and feel / Inspiration (for each event or your main event):
Gold and ivory light and elegant with accents of navy. Chandeliers and jewels were everywhere as well as gold and crystal broaches on each plate. Guests loved them and wore them all night!
Tom’s flowers was also the florist from my quinceañera so it was special to have him for our wedding. All the flowers were light. Ivory’s and blush. Lots of roses and hydrangeas. My bouquet also had peonies .
Cake & dessert:
The cake was from Nolands bakery who also made the cake for my quinceanera . It was 5 tier and had our favorite flavors! Carrot cake, marble, lemon poppyseed, coconut cream and Bulgarian cream. It was delicious! But we also had a big donut wall/donut bar
Menu & Cocktails:
10 course seafood meal. Longs signature drink was an old fashioned and mine was a Paloma. It was open bar with many other options as well as frozen margarita machines!
Our white seamless dance floor with our initials was gorgeous! My mom also surprised us with gold confetti for our entrance during our first at dance at the reception.
Andaleeb: Do you have any tips for couples who are in wedding planning mode?
Bianca: You only get married once! It’s the best day of your life so make sure you get a videographer to capture the special day. You get to go back and watch all your loved ones reactions and moments you may have missed .
VENDORS/Credits: planner, decorator, cake, others…
Decorator- chair Divas
DOC – Truc Nguyen
Photography- Mike Phan photography
Videography- films by drew (drew Tabar)
Hair – sheastyles (Shea Nishimura)
Makeup- Ashley Bias
invitations – azure wedding invitations
Flowers- Toms flowers
Cake- Nolands cake shop
Donuts – Johnny’s donuts