Andrew + Kieu Anh
Danang |Hoi An | Ho Chi Minh City | Halong Bay|Vietnam
I’ve tried to start the beginning to this blog at least 23 times. How do you do provide two weeks of new and incredible experiences justice? I can’t think of a poignant or worthy enough statement for that.
I traveled from a previous destination wedding in El Gouna, Egypt to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam(seriously I am not as cool or as interesting as that sentence sounded). This trip held extra significance for me because it was my baby brother and my future sister in law who I would be photographing.
There were so many incredible take a ways getting to experience the Vietnamese culture. One of the most impressive to me was the pride and artistry in their craftsmanship. From the smallest jobs to the biggest, they took pride in absolutely everything they did. This was evident to me the first time I saw Kieu Anh’s traditional wedding gown: it was customly measured, hand sown, beaded and embellished. My brothers traditional wedding attire included a hand painted dragon that extended from the bottom to the top (the glitter used in the outline of the dragon got everywhere and he looked extra sparkly haha).
Andrew and Kieu Anh squeezed two ceremonies (a traditional one and a western one) into one day, which you would think would have been stressful for anyone. They navigated it all with the utmost happiness and joy. The only thing that may have gotten everyone was the ridiculous heat and humidity; there are lots of photos of Andrew standing by a fan for a reason!
One of my favorite parts of their day was right before their western ceremony (which they ever so graciously let me enjoy as a guest for once!). They decided to have a quiet and private first look in the hotel room they both got ready in, before they entered a reception full of almost 400 people! It was so incredibly sweet and I love when couples make an effort to carve out time by themselves.
We decided to take portraits after the wedding during a more relaxed setting with a cruise in Halong Bay, Vietnam. The cruise ship only held around 20 people and slowly sailed through the bay without any distractions or even wifi. Being off the grid really elevated the epic scenery. During their portrait session they decided to privately recite their hand written vows to each other, this time without the distraction of nerves or hundreds of people listening. What unfolded should have been in a movie scene. It was incredibly quiet and peaceful being in such a remote area. The sun set perfectly behind them, and they were able to really take everything all in. I was honestly so happy to be documenting such a moment for them.
…It’s really difficult to put into words my experience. I’m hoping my photos can help in doing it justice!
To my brother, Andrew, and my new sister in law Kieu Anh: Thank you for letting me follow you along on this journey. I am so happy your hearts found each other. Wishing you many, MANY, MANY years of bliss guys!!! I love you!!!
How would you describe your wedding in 3 words?
Unique, meaningful and joyful
What was the best moment of your wedding day?
Andrew: Seeing her for the first time in her traditional dress right before heading downstairs. She was shy but she couldn’t hide her beauty from me!
Anh: when we secretly snuck away from everyone before the reception just to have a moment for ourselves. That brief moment helped me to take a deep breath and let it sink in how lucky I am to be his wife.
Is there anything you would have done differently? Why?
Andrew: Make a list of everything needed so that I wouldn’t have forgotten all of my stuff the day of the wedding.
If you could give advice to a bride planning her wedding, what would it be?
Get a wedding coordinator!
Danang + Hoi An
Traditional Ceremony in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Ceremony at The Rex Hotel
After Wedding Session in Halong Bay