In the form of a cute and girly picture, I received a text message that read, “Will you be one of my bridesmaids?” Without hesitation, I replied, “Of course!” The message was from my good friend Lilly, who I first met in the dorm during my sophomore year of college in 2006. She was about to get married to her college sweetheart Anthony, who I also met that same year.
So in September 2014, I was off to Seattle to not only go to the wedding, but to also spend quality time with my friends who I seldom see on a regular basis since they live thousands of miles away from me.
Lilly and the four bridesmaids all got up extra early the day of the wedding to get our hair and makeup done at her house. That was a treat since I hardly ever get my hair and makeup done! After getting dolled up, her entire family gathered at her house for a traditional Vietnamese tea ceremony. I didn’t know this, but Vietnamese families usually partake in traditional tea ceremonies prior to the wedding. It usually involves the bride and groom serving tea to their parents in front of family and friends — at least this is what I observed.
So after the tea ceremony at Lilly’s house, we then drove to Anthony’s house for his family to partake in another tea ceremony — introduced by a grand lion dance — and lunch, which consisted of an assortment of Vietnamese delicacies. Delicious, to say the least!
Our next adventure took us to the Belltown district of downtown Seattle, home of Lilly’s and Anthony’s co-owned coffeehouse called Artisan Cafe (I will get to that on a later note), followed by more photos in the Pioneer District. It was all Lilly’s idea to take group photos in the Pioneer District, which I personally thought was a smart choice — the vintage brick architecture, decorated with vines made for a classic and elegant photo op that distinguished itself from other typical photo locations. Out of all the photo locations, I liked this spot the best!
We then headed to the Pan Pacific Hotel, where the actual ceremony and reception were to be held, for more picture taking and extra preparation for the big moment.
The actual wedding was just beautiful. With Ingrid Michaelson’s rendition of “Can’t Help Falling in Love” playing in the background, the wedding party took their positions at the front of the room. As we watched Lilly slowly walk toward us, tears welled up in my eyes, and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one.
I couldn’t believe the moment was actually here. One of my dearest friends would be exchanging her vows — the bubbly and cheerful girl down the hall who I spent countless hours laughing with and exchanging stories about boys with. I thought about the excitement in her voice the day she told me Anthony asked her out, followed by memories of the times the three of us spent watching movies together, eating dinner together and playing the “Apples to Apples” game in our living room.
I felt proud and honored to know these two and that I was sharing this picture-perfect moment with this beautiful couple. I wish them an eternity of happiness as Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Nguyen! Congratulations!
(Photos courtesy of Lilly Tran)