Traditional Vietnamese Wedding at The Essence Event Center

Styled Shoot
Blending Vietnamese traditions with modern flair results in a divine design for a special day.
Written by
Sherri Hildebrandt


Minnesota Bride Fall/Winter 2022

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.


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.




Planning & Design
Photography & Stationery
Flowers & Candles
Linens, Napkins & Glassware
Après Event Décor & Tent Rental
Furniture & Tableware
PHOS Events