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Traditional Vietnamese Wedding at The Essence Event Center

Blending Vietnamese traditions with modern flair results in a divine design for a special day.
By: 
Sherri Hildebrandt

Simple white florals and greenery complement the exposed brick and high ceilings of the Essence Event Center, once a bustling blacksmith shop for the Northern Pacific Railway, in St. Paul’s Bandana Square. Real-life couple Claudia and Justin wear the Vietnamese ao dai, a fitted top with long panels and high collar.

Subdued florals and pears set off the pristine stationery suite, with deckled edges and a wax seal in dusky rose to create casual elegance. The ring features a pear-shaped diamond to pick up the decorative motif.

“The subtle yellows‭, ‬greens and browns of a pear were used as a palette throughout the shoot‭. ‬You'll find details are really important to both Bright Events and my style‭ ‬‮…‬‭ ‬so intention was of utmost importance to us‭.‬”‭ ‬—‭ ‬Alexandra Robyn‭, ‬photographer

It’s the little things that add up to refined beauty: Satin ribbons that grace the bride’s patterned shoes, an echo of Justin’s brocade ao dai, the spare symmetry of ceremony seating.

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Claudia is enchanting in her Galia Lahav “Jessie” gown and khan dong, a formal headpiece often worn at Vietnamese weddings. Her flawless makeup is highlighted by a bright red lip for a touch of drama.

"We envisioned a modern wedding that incorporated the client’s unique style, cultural preferences and traditions." — Ashley Amarasuriya and Milena Holmen, Bright Events

The lavish head table is aglow with candlelight, sparkling crystal and a riot of blooms, set off by edgy table linens. Greenery and basket lanterns float above it all in a dramatic installation.

Guests dine on sushi, each one an edible work of art.

A breathtaking cake, as much modern sculpture as it is confection, features textured frosting, floral touches and an intriguing pear- and flower-filled glass globe between the tiers. As guests wait to for the couple to cut the cake, individual cupcakes fill the bill for a sweet treat they can enjoy at tables draped in luxurious velvet. 

It’s a bounty of blossoms, not only in Claudia’s bouquet — a mass of roses in white and palest pink, orchids and fern fronds — but with lace appliqués cascading down her tulle gown.

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