First Look Weddings, Weddings by Corine

St. Andrew the Apostle Panda King Vietnamese Wedding Photographer | Van & Tung

Married: February 9, 2019
Bridal Prep: Family Residence
Ceremony: St. Andrew the Apostle
Reception: Panda King
Videographer: Dyle Films
Band / : DJ Bubbles
Florist: Ever After Floral
Bakery: La Louisiane Bakery
Hair: Ali Vasquez
Makeup: Lynna Vo
Brides Gown Designer: Martina Liana
Bridesmaid Gown designer: Lulus
Bridal Boutique: The Bridal Boutique by Mae Me
Photobooth: Envog Events

How did you meet?
We first met at a local bar, The Bulldog in Midcity New Orleans on Wednesday, October 17, 2012 through a mutual friend. I was so tired from working all day, that I didn’t care to drink alcohol so I had water. Every time Tung went to the bar for a refill of his drink, he’d ask me “do you want another shot of that H2O?” Needless to say, I was not very fond of him nor his comments. When my friend and I left later that night, I told her that Tung was such an asshole!

Three nights later, I went out to Masquerade inside Harrah’s Casino. Our mutual friend texted Tung and told him our whereabouts. We eventually met up inside the club. While on the dance floor, his friend Francis accidentally pushed me to the ground causing me to fall and bump my head. Tung was there to help me up and did not leave my side the rest of the night. At the end of the night while walking my friend and I to my car, Tung handed his phone to me so that I could enter my phone number. {YES…handed, he never asked for my number!} As he handed it to me, I remember saying I can’t believe I’m actually giving you my real number! It took him a couple of days to check on me but when he did, he said that he felt terrible about the fall and wanted to treat me out to dinner. And like the saying goes…the REST is history!

What is your favorite thing about each other? 
Van is caring and nurturing. Tung is very thoughtful and full of surprises.

I am a very difficult person to surprise, but Tung manages to pull off a surprise every year. He has thrown multiple surprise birthday parties for me. Heck, he managed to pull a surprise proposal on me!

How did the proposal go? Who proposed to who?
He proposed on my birthday at the same location where we first met…The Bulldog! He told everyone to come out for a surprise birthday party, but little did they know…he had another surprise up his sleeve. At about 10pm, I walked outside to the courtyard after doing a few birthday shots with our friends. As the doors opened, Tung walked up to me. He looked nervous, which made me nervous. My best friend who was beside me, told me to turn around and look. I turned around to some of our family and friends holding letters which spelled out “Will You Marry Me?” in glitter and bright glow sticks. It took me a while to process what was going on, but of course I said YES!

Where was your ceremony held and why did you pick this site?
The ceremony was held at St. Andrew the Apostle Church in Algiers. I picked this church because I went to school here from Pre-K to 8th grade and always pictured my dad walking me down the aisle on my special day!

Where was your Reception held and why did you pick this site?
Our reception was held at Panda King Grand Ballroom in Gretna. We went with a traditional Vietnamese style reception.

What unique or special things did you do at the reception? 
We had a lot of special things at our reception. Each couple in our wedding party had a small dance routine which they performed during the introductory portion of our reception. This year, our wedding was 4 days after Vietnamese New Year so we had dragon dancers perform. Our wedding party used confetti poppers after our first dance, it’s a mess but looks beautiful in pictures! We also had glow sticks for our guests once it was time to dance the night away!

Pick one moment in the day that was your favorite thing?
One!?! This is so hard! Our day was just so perfect, that I have many favorites, from the first look to walking down the aisle with my dad, to the vows, to being pronounced husband and wife, to dancing with my husband followed by my dad and partying with our guests. It was wonderful!

Did it really go by as quickly as everyone says?
Yes…it really goes by fast!

What was the inspiration behind picking the color palette and decor that you picked?
Lots of magazines, Pinterest boards, Instagram stalking etc! But we went with our favorite colors: mine- lavender, Tung’s navy blue and then we incorporated some gold. Since our wedding was in February, I went with a winter theme for the flowers and decor-lanterns, candelabras, candles etc.

From the Bride – When you first saw the groom, what were you thinking/feeling?
My first thoughts when I saw Tung was “Damnnn he looks so handsome!” I was nervous at first but then got excited because I was getting ready to marry my best friend.

From the groom – When you first saw the bride, what were you thinking/feeling?
She took my breathe away. She was absolutely gorgeous in her dress. I just knew she was going to choose a beautiful dress with a long train.

Who was your baker, what was the flavor of your cake? Was it delicious?!
Our delicious cake came from La Louisiane and it was phenomenal! We went with a 5 tiered cake with 3 flavors, because why not?!! Our flavors were red velvet with cream cheese icing, Pandan (traditional Vietnamese cake flavor which La Louisiane has perfected!) with coconut mousseline, and a white almond cake with white chocolate mousseline raspberry filling.

Did you do a first look? If so how did you feel about it? If not, do you wish you had?
We did something a little different from most couples, we did a first look with our wedding party present. Before this first look though, my bridesmaids along with one of the groomsmen had a little first look surprise for Tung. They had our close friend Alan dress up in full wedding dress, veil and black wig. It was staged just like what the real first look was going to be. It was hilarious and it took the edge off of Tung. He loved it. It was also a surprise for the rest of the groomsmen who had no clue what was going on. Our real first look was still an intimate moment between Tung and I even though we had our wedding party present…I don’t regret it one bit!

Did you have a coordinator or did you plan everything yourself? If you didn’t have a coordinator any advice for brides planning their own wedding?
Surprisingly, I planned everything myself! At first I wanted a wedding planner, but my best friend bought me a wedding planner and organizer and that was my Bible for an entire year. I made a timeline and stuck with that. Occasionally I had to deviate from my timeline but I tried not to panic much and moved on to another task. My advice to brides planning their own wedding…you can do it! It definitely is going to be stressful, but enjoy the process.

What was your first dance song? Why this song?
We danced to John Legend’s “All of Me” with our best friend Julie singing the song. This is our favorite song and it’s just the perfect first dance selection…just listen to the song!

Band or DJ? Did they rock it?
We had both! And they totally rocked it. We had so many people on the dance floor, it was awesome! Even the little ones were dancing.

We want to hear YOUR advice for future brides.
My advice to future brides…enjoy every moment! It’ll go by VERY fast. If you can, set aside a day of pampering for yourself a few days before the wedding just to get away from all the noise (family, friends, work, wedding stuff etc.) Make sure you stay hydrated and eat something (even if it’s light) on the day of the wedding. Lastly, the day you have been waiting for is here, so smile because all eyes are on you!

Anything else you want to say?
Studio Tran is awesome! We loved working with Corine and Kacie, so trust what your photographer says…they are professionals for a reason!