Nelly Dang & Vincent Hoang
Hometowns: Honolulu, HI & Seattle, WA
How did you meet? Vincent and I met 17 years ago when I first came to San Antonio. We met through mutual friends and felt an instant connection. We connected in so many ways but the most important is our mutual respect and love for our families.
Tell us about the proposal. We never had an actual proposal. We started living together one year into our relationship. We kind of let things go naturally. We had two kids, who are 8 and 11 now, and decided now is the time to make it official. It helped that September 24 (our 17 year dating anniversary) fell on a Saturday this year. I always wanted to get married on our anniversary.
What inspired the design or theme of your wedding day? I am a romantic at heart, so that was the theme I was going for. I love all things elegant. The gold, the candles, the soft florals. I love timeless looks. I incorporated a bit of a rustic look in there—because Vincent's element is wood—to kind of balance the feminine look with a bit of masculinity (just a bit :-) ).
How did you choose venue and vendors? I wanted a venue that had beautiful grounds and a country feel. An online search brought me to The Club at Garden Ridge. Once I toured the site, I fell in love with its elegant ballroom and gorgeous grounds, lake, and gazebo. They also offered beautiful rooms for the bride and groom to get ready and were very flexible with what vendors we used. The Club at Garden Ridge is a beautiful venue!
We didn't go with the typical Chinese restaurant reception and were afraid our guests wouldn't like the change, but they absolutely loved everything about it. The atmosphere was lovely and the food was delicious. I knew I wanted to have a buffet style dinner, and I chose Absolutely Delicious because of their very large and very appetizing menu. They also provided all the china, table dressings, and a whole team of waitstaff. Everything far exceeded my expectations! The food was delicious, and the waitstaff was great.
And I found Aria Productions online. Sonia takes such natural and beautiful photos and was very pleasant to work with. My wedding day schedule kind of went out the door but she went with it and did so with a smile. I really appreciated that.
All of our vendors were wonderful! Our wedding day was such a success that the guests couldn't stop talking about it for weeks after. Our day couldn't have been more perfect.
What were some unique elements of your wedding? Taking pictures with guests in front of the gazebo was something that was planned at the very last minute but it couldn't have been more perfect. Also, for a lot of my family and guests who usually attend Vietnamese weddings in a Chinese or Vietnamese restaurant, the buffet-style American food was something very new for them.
Did anything about your wedding exceed your expectations? I was kind of waiting to hear the guest complain about the food, because they always do! Instead, they did the opposite. Everybody raved about how delicious the food was. Many of them went for seconds and thirds! They also raved about how friendly the bartenders and photo booth people were.
And then finally, leading up to the wedding, it had been really hot and humid, but the morning of the wedding brought a few showers and then it turned out to be such a beautiful day with a nice breeze.
What are your favorite memories from the day? Spending time with all of our friends and family. We were going to opt out of going table to table to greet guests because that usually takes a bit of time, but I am so glad we didn't. There were so many people who'd come from afar who I hadn't seen in so long that I am glad I got a chance to at least personally toast with them.
What advice do you have for couples planning a San Antonio wedding? Mind the weather! If it is hot, guests will be sweating outdoors. Fall and spring are the best weather we have here. And don't sweat every little detail. In the end, the guests won't notice. Just have a good time—and if something goes wrong, it's OK.
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