A romantic scene unfolded at this Saigon Riverside wedding in Vietnam, where white blooms cascaded elegantly from the ceremony archway. Like freshly fallen snow, rose petals blanketed the grass, creating an atmosphere reminiscent of the whimsicality of Christmas. Lush emerald palms, ferns and colossal trees enveloped the Vietnamese garden aisle which was later transformed into a reception dance floor. Giant classical chandeliers, a white haze, and a playful use of lighting added to the dream-like mood as the bride and groom took the floor together for their opening dance.
Inside, the dinner was styled with hundreds of candles, touches of gold and strings of pearls. The bride wore an elegant gown designed by Eva Lendel.
Names / Nguyễn Lê Hoàng Linh & Phạm Hoàng Hải
Location / Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Wedding Date / December 17th, 2022
Guest Numbers / 60
How We Met
Like some couples in modern society, I met Hải on Tinder. Our first date was at the movies and then we went to have phở for dinner. At first, Hải didn’t strike a good impression on me and, as guilty as it was, I even tried to ghost him. However, when we were having phở together, I thought to myself “Hey, he is actually cute” so we kept in touch.
On our second date, I totally fell for Hải as he looked more mature and smelled so good. We instantly clicked and our chemistry skyrocketed as if we had known each other for ages. Hải and I started dating and then our first trip together came shortly after. The rest is history.
Our Engagement Story
Hải proposed to me after one year of dating before he moved to America. When he asked me to go out for dinner that night and suited up fancily, my guts told me what was going to happen. On that date, probably due to nervousness, Hải executed the proposal in an adorably sloppy fashion. Even though there was no element of surprise, I still loved it and said ‘yes’.
What we love most about each other…
The thing I love the most about Hải is how he is always protective of me and firmly supports me emotionally. He has been right by my side through thick and thin, and has always prioritized my well-being above anything else. I see myself as an emotionally high-maintenance person but that is what Hải loves about me. He always says to me, “I love your kind heart and how you are rich in emotions.”
After the proposal, due to Covid-19, we experienced a long distance relationship which was a great challenge for us. But thanks to that hard time, I can see how we were able to nurture our love. He went through several 2-week quarantines in Vietnam after taking long flights from America to Vietnam to visit me. Every single time, he said he would not do the flight again, however, he then would.
We finally had our dream wedding in 2022 when things got better, with all of our beloved ones, healthy and safe.
My choice of Anlam Retreat Saigon River was influenced by my wedding planner, Quỳnh Anh. I wanted a venue with a beautiful lawn located next to a river and Anlam Retreats Saigon River checked all the boxes. I love the lush green garden and cozy indoor space of Anlam and on top of that the venue has an overview to the Saigon River. I had always known that I wanted an outdoor wedding and it was even more meaningful when the venue was located in the city that witnessed our love story.
At first, I honestly had no idea what my wedding would be like, but one thing I always knew for sure was that it would have a festive vibe, especially a Christmas vibe. Although I’m not Christian, Christmas has always been my most beloved time of the year. I do enjoy the festive and cozy atmosphere it brings, just like in the stories and fairytales I used to love.
The overall aesthetic was a modern take on the concept of classic fairytale weddings. However, instead of a plainly storybook-ending wedding, we wanted to breathe some fresh air into it – modern and exciting, all the while romantic and dreamy. Hence, the name of our wedding – A Modern Fairytale.
The primary palette was pure white, as implemented on most of the décor elements; the flower arch and the aisle flowers. White symbolizes love in its most sincere form and brings out a sense of purity in a wedding, which was exactly what I wanted in terms of the overall aesthetics for my Saigon Riverside Wedding in Vietnam.
Among the wedding photography choices provided to me, Hipster Wedding’s style was the most suitable as they are experts in outdoor/destination wedding photography. With their portfolio, I could whole-heartedly trust them in capturing my special day. We absolutely love his shots of us in the sunset under the luxuriant flower arch!
Jacob Wedding Films was our wedding videography team for the wedding. We love their style and how they construct each of their productions. The camera crew did an amazing job capturing all the emotional and precious moments that we might have missed in the wedding. We really felt like reliving the wedding after watching their film.
As a matter of fact, I’m extremely introverted and camera-shy. However, the whole crew of photography and videography teams was so patient with me. They just knew how to make me relax. In particular, Andrew Nguyễn, the photographer helped me calm down and comforted me so well that I felt much better while having my photos taken.
Aside from the luxuriant flower arrangement, the smoke effect did wonders at bringing about a fairytale vibe to the ceremony. A little dramatic theatrically, however it really made our entrance much dreamier.
We wanted the wedding to feel welcoming and personalized for our guests. Therefore, we put name tags on the seating chart and each of the welcome drink glasses. Instead of a regular signing book, we put up a fingerprint board so that everyone truly became a part of our special day.
Flowerless décor! For the dinner reception, we used crystals and candles (400+ of them) to create a cozy, Christmas-ish atmosphere. We used All Good Things to create our tablescapes. The reception was glowing and dazzling just as I had always wanted.
After dinner, everyone moved to the dance floor area which had been decorated and illuminated with chandeliers and pearls. The lighting and smoke effect truly created a dreamy scene for our wedding party. It was almost mind-blowing to see how the ceremony area was transformed and re-decorated into the dance floor in a couple of hours.
Wedding Planner & Stylist
Quỳnh Anh and her team at The Planners provided me with tremendous support and consulting throughout the wedding planning process and wedding day. Quỳnh Anh was the best companion I could ask for during the whole planning process.
It almost felt like some sort of sixth sense that connected our minds. I was quite impressed with the famous wedding scene in the movie “Twilight” but I had not talked to her about it. Nevertheless, what she proposed to me was significantly similar, or should I say even better! She is extremely professional with her work which assured me that my wedding was in good hands. In fact, I enjoyed the planning process so much that after the wedding, I even shed tears thinking that the planning was over. I missed all the conversations that I had with my wedding planner to achieve the Saigon Riverside wedding in Vietnam I was looking for. However even now, we still keep in touch with each other.
One thing about me is that I love roses. As seen in the photos, white roses were on both the flower arch and in the invitations. Roses might be the most classic floral choice, but classicism was exactly what we needed for our modern fairytale theme.
Fashion & Beauty Notes
Bride’s Dress & Shoes
For my bridal look, I wanted to keep it elegant and refined. I chose a design by Eva Lendel. I loved the wedding dress for its simplicity, elegance. It also allowed me to move freely. But it was the wedding veil that really completed my classic bridal look and it was another great suggestion from my wedding planner.
Before the reception began, we had a little time for couple shots in the reception area, which was decorated with a Christmas vibe with hundreds of lit up candles. When I put the veil on in the middle of the dazzling decorations, Andrew gasped, “This is possibly the most epic shot I’ve taken in my career!”
While getting ready I wore a bridal robe from Achelois.
Wedding Rings, Jewelry & Accessories
Hải chose a classic and dashing 3-piece suit. Initially, he was going with a necktie but then changed to a bow tie. We both loved how it looked so nice on Hải.
One of my favourite movies ever is Crazy Rich Asians, and who doesn’t love the rendition to “Can’t Help Falling in Love” in that movie? I knew that it would definitely be my wedding song! In order to create an emotional climax, I had singer Thai Trinh sing that song for my wedding entrance. Our ceremony song was, “Can’t Help Falling In Love” by Kinna Grannis.
We actually had 15 lessons for our 5 first dance songs. While I’m pretty much uncoordinated when it comes to dancing, Hải has a knack for it! He watched a dance video of the song “What is Love?” a K-Pop song, mastered it on his own and even had 2 solo performances for our first dances.
Furthermore, the musical flow was something that we worked on a lot to curate the perfect emotional spectrum for the wedding. The live band did a great job at performing festive, Christmas-vibe songs in the background. In order for the reception to be more unique, we had the violinist play solo and interact with our guests during dinner. Safe to say they absolutely loved it!
A memorable moment…
I love connecting with people and watching my dearest people having a great time. Therefore, my favorite parts about the wedding were the activities with the guests, especially the lottery game and the “Miss Anlam” pageant contest we held. The people factor is always something I cherish about my wedding, as I got to enjoy every moment with my loved ones, whose presence means a lot to me.
If I could give other brides one piece of advice…
Looking at the photos, you can clearly see how great of an influence and supporter my wedding planner was. If you want to have a perfect wedding and you want to reduce the stress of planning your once-in-a-lifetime event, please find yourselves a good wedding planner! The whole wedding process will feel so much better if you have a great companion, giving you advice, following you step by step, and making sure that you do not overthink and can enjoy every moment of the wedding.
Wedding Venue / Anlam Retreat
Wedding Stylist & Planner / The Planners
Videography / Jacob Wedding Films
Bride’s Shoes / Amina Muaddi
Groom’s Suit / Kim Bespoke
Wedding Rings / Cartier
Stationery / Deus Wedding Invitations
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