Diana & Michael

September 2010 at private homes and World Trade Center in Portland


Their meeting may have been all 21st Century—Diana introduced herself to Michael on Myspace and invited him to happy hour—but after a romantic proposal on the beach in Puerto Vallerta, the couple embarked on planning a traditional Vietnamese wedding with a modern twist.

"Originally, I wanted to get married in Las Vegas and have a small wedding there," says Diana. "Michael convinced me to have our wedding in Portland. He told me that even though it's a lot of stress and planning, it's our culture and we should do it the proper way and I agreed with him." 

Since Michael and Diana were the first to be married in either family, it was difficult to make sure every custom was included, but they focused on the essentials. They had two ceremonies, starting with the welcome of the groom and his family at the bride's family's home to "receive the bride"—a ceremony that in the past symbolically asked permission of the bride's family to perform the union, but today is also used for the Western exchange of wedding rings. The newlyweds then went back to the groom's house for another ceremony in the presence of his family. They were surrounded by lavish read decorations, lanterns, traditional gifts, and generations of family. Although brides have traditionally changed into three dresses, Diana chose to stay glamourous in the same white mermaid-style Dalia MacPhee gown and Calvin Klein heels.

Only when the couple and their 150 guests headed for the reception at the World Trade Center downtown did Diana change into a slinkier ivory gown—all the better to party in. Yes, Diana still got her raucous Vegas-style celebration with glittering city views and off-the-hook dancing. Before everyone got too crazy, though, they enjoyed a traditional seven-course dinner of soup, crab, tofu, fried rice, fish, salt and pepper squid, and shrimp from Jin Wah Restaurant. After making the customary rounds to every table, the couple enjoyed heartfelt toasts and cake from Decadent Creations.

Finally, in the calm moments, holding each other on the dance floor, they had time to focus on just the two of them. "We both looked at each other and said, 'it's finally over. All the planning and finally we made it.' We held each other with relief and knew this was the beginning of our forever after."

After a Hawaiian honeymoon, the newlyweds are back home in Portland.

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