Wedding Style: Chi and Seth
A sparkly proposal under the blanket of the night sky.
“I was not expecting anything at all,” says Chi Nguyen, when her then boyfriend Seth Porter got down on one knee to propose to her during a ski trip in Denver. The couple had gone hiking one evening, to a yurt for a moonlight dinner.
“We were high up in the mountains and watched the sunset as we enjoyed a five course dinner,” she says. “On our hike back down to the car, Seth stopped us to have us sit on a rock to look up at the moon and stars. We also love to look at the night sky. I was in shock when he bent down and pulled out a sparkly ring from his pocket. I was so surprised and happy!”
The couple decided to call the celebration of their union a jubilee and forgo the term wedding.
“I wanted our wedding to be a big party, lighthearted, and fun,” says Nguyen. “It was a day of celebration – with lots of color and vibrancy.”
They chose the Grange Insurance Audubon Center for the jubilee because of the beautiful views of Downtown, the central location, and the ability to have the entire event at one setting.
“We wanted something different and since we are both non traditional, we wanted a venue that was fun and also unique,” says the bride. “We fell in love with the eco-friendly and natural aspects of the venue.”
The reception room was a blank slate that Nguyen was able to decorate exactly as she wished. “The entire day was filled with many homemade and local touches,” she says.
She happened to be at Polaris Fashion Place one day and noticed several large colorful chevron patterned cardboard pieces as part of J.Crew’s window display.
“I fell in love with them!” she says. She spoke with the store managers, who donated the pieces to her for her to use at her wedding. She also spoke with the Anthropologie store at Easton who donated seven, four to six feet tall homemade flowers made from recycled materials from the store’s summer window display in 2012.
Flowers leftover from the Anthropologie display were turned into decorations by the bride, her sisters, and friends and used to adorn the seating for the ceremony.
Nguyen wore a strapless ivory dress with a sweetheart neckline by Nicole Miller dress and accessorized with a Nicole Miller blossom sash, and her mother’s veil.
“The dress was beautiful, yet fun and elegant,” she says. “I wore my mom’s veil which she wore 39 years ago in Vietman.”
For the reception, she traded fresh white orchids for the veil, and a a bright and colorful necklace by J.Crew for the sash.
The necklace served as the color inspiration for the flowers – a rainbow of multicolor.
“I wanted to incorporate bright pinks, oranges, yellows, blues, greens, and purples into my flowers dresses and décor,” she says.”
“The flowers were one of the most favorite parts of my wedding!” says Nguyen. “Our florist Daphne did an amazing job with the bright colors.”
Bridesmaids wore dresses from Madewell in a bright pink and a colorful floral print. The groom and groomsmen wore charcoal gray suits with colorful ties, echoing the hues of the celebration.
“My sister and maid of honor, Nhu, hand-stitched a special patch onto the back of Seth’s tie and surprised him with it the day of our wedding,” says Nguyen.
Handmade touches flowed throughout the jubilee. Porter made signs on reclaimed wood to direct guests to festivities. The bride made her own version of the large and decorative Geronimo balloons.
“I strung together colored tissue paper to make tassels and attached them to 36 inch balloons,” she says. “The balloons turned out amazing and were scattered throughout the cocktail space.”
Framed art made by Nguyen’s sister Doan, and friends, Rachael and Alisha, decorated the cocktail tables. Centerpieces consisted of jars wrapped with yarn to serve as vases, wheat-grass vases with colorful flowers, and flowers in a white lantern. Strung white lanterns lined the ceiling of the reception space. The bride’s eight year old cousin, Brandy, drew a picture to ask guests to sign a guest book that was bought for the couple in Denver by the bride’s sister Hien.
For rings, the bride’s was specially designed in Los Angeles by a family friend. The groom’s features an inlay of hardwood.
During cocktail hour, the couple featured the homebrew of a few friends and an open bar with specialty drinks. They also surprised their guests with two Capuchin monkeys dressed up as a bride and groom.
A trio of cakes in flavors of Italian cream cake with fresh raspberry and chocolate ganache filling, dark chocolate truffle cake with fresh strawberry and caramel filling, and spiced cake with apple infused caramel filling sweetened the day.
“I loved all of the vibrant colors, flowers, and decorations -so many homemade and recycled- for the day,” says Nguyen. “At the end of the night, we all gathered on the deck of the Audubon and set off 50 sky lanterns. It looked beautiful and was perfect end to a magical day.”
The couple honeymooned in Montego Bay, Jamaica and will also be going to Vietnam with the brides family as a second honeymoon.
Ceremony and Reception Venue: Grange Insurance Audubon Center
Bride’s Dress: Dress by Nicole Miller, vintage heirloom veil, necklace by J.Crew
Bride’s Hair: Jenna Burchett
Bridesmaids Attire: Madewell
Groom’s and Groomsmen’s Attire: Jos A Bank with ties from the Tie Bar.
Bride’s Wedding Band: Custom by a friend
Groom’s Wedding Band: Minter & Richter
Officiant: Pat McDonald, Friend of the groom
DJ: Midwest DJ Pro
Invitations: Illiah Manger of Two Twenty Two Designs in Baltimore, Maryland
Food: Mass Appeal
Flowers: Daphne Ashby of The Floral Design Studio (now Ashby Floral Boutique) in Hilliard
Wedding Cake: Sue Larson of Le Gateau in New Albany
Favors: Macarons by Pistacia Vera
First Dance: Chi’s cousin, Mimi, sang Ingrid Michaelson’s “The Way I Am” and played the guitar while, Chi’s sister, Hien, brother in law, Nick, and friend, Jared played background music.
Photography: René Boston Edmondson.
All photos provided by Chi Nguyen.
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