Real Long Island Wedding: Vivian and Victor
Victor & I met six years ago when I used to work as a Pharmacy Technician at Rite Aid Pharmacy. One day he came into the store and approached me at the register and asked me if I knew where the school supply stuff was…and I showed him. He took a stack of pens to the register and after purchasing them, he aked me for my phone number and told me he’d like to take me out on a date. I thought he was crazy and I told him “Maybe next time”. He came back two more times and was so persistent that I finally gave up and said “Yes”. I guess the third time really is the charm. This is how our love begins. We went out on our first date and many dates afterward. We had an immediate connection. We talked, texted and send pictures to each other every second, every minute and everyday of our lives. We cannot stand being apart.
Ironically, we had been engaged for three years before we actually decided to tie the knot. Victor proposed to me at my college graduation party in front of my & his family and our friends. It was a surprised and I was in shock. After graduating from LIU, I left the U.S. for one and half years to do volunteering work in a Cambodia hospital for the hospital I worked for in America. This was the hardest and toughest time of my life and his also. Not only did I have to live away from my loved ones but also I get to experience many tragic things such as terminally ill children, lack of food and shelter for families, etc. And, that made me love and appreciate my life more and more everyday. During the one and half years that I was apart from Victor, we kept in touch by writing letters and web cam. Our three year engagement taught us many lessons and had many benefits, especially since our situation tested us and our relationship in so many ways. We understand each other like no one else does, even our family. We know that even if we spend time apart in the future, we will always come back to one another. Not only we loved each other very much but we are also best friend, soul-mates and also each other’s shelters.
From the beginning, Victor & I knew and had a motto that “ if we can it by ourselves in anyway, we would” when it comes to our wedding. My parents offered to pay for our wedding but we told them “No”. We felt that since we wanted to get married, we should be able to pay for our wedding on our own. We wanted a beautiful wedding and at the same time we agreed that we don’t have to spend so much money in order to have a beautiful wedding. So the word “budget' and “do it yourself” are the keys to our wedding. Unlike many grooms, Victor did as much planning for our wedding as I did. We went to every place together; from looking at reception halls to booking vendors, and we always made decisions together. We cut coupons and went through circulars every Sunday and got familiar with stores like Michaels, AC Moore and Party City. We must have accumulated at least ten coupons before we purchased the items to do our wedding favors and menus. We did this all by ourselves with (some) help from family members. The end result was excellent ! We didn’t feel the need to spend money we didn’t have when we could simply be creative on our own. Now, our wedding has an even more “personal” element to it and a very special meaning to us.
Throughout our planning process, we always had to remember to incoporate two different cultures in our wedding since I am Vietnamese and he’s Hispanic. Our invitations were custom made both in Vietnamese and English, making it easier for some of those from my family that were on the guest list. In addition, we had to search far and wide, as far as California to find a place that could print the invitations for our wedding.
My wedding dress, in honor of my heritage and culture was red. Red is the main color in Asian culture. It represents happiness, luck and prosperity. We had a tea ceremony the day before our wedding. Victor & I served tea (holding the teacup in both hands) to our parents, aunts and uncles. We do this out of respect and to thank our parents, aunts and uncles for raising us. In return, we received lucky red envelopes stuffed with money or jewelry. These envelopes are placed on the platter which holds the teacup which represents respect.
We both knew that we wanted to get married at Jericho Terrace the moment we stepped into the place. For both of us , it was instinctual; almost as if a voice in our heads saying that “this is the place.” We both turned to each other after taking a tour and knew exactly that we would get married there. Jericho Terrace is an absolutely beautiful place with so many beautiful decorations. It was breathtaking. From the waterfalls to the ponds to the beautiful terrace to the bridal suite, it was everything we both wanted and had dreamed of. We did not care if the place held more than one wedding at a time. We booked with the general manager, Robert and until this day Victor & I cannot thank him enough for everything that he has done for us. We changed our wedding date at least five times before we decided on 05.24.2009. Robert never had a problem with it. At times, I thought that I was going to cancel our wedding due to a host of reasons, but Robert never allowed us to. He always took care of every situation that we were in. We wanted a night wedding but we knew that we couldn’t afford it so Robert told us 05.24.2009 which happens to fall on a Sunday and he would give us a night wedding on this date if we don’t mind that there will be other weddings happened on th same date. We didn’t care. This wasn’t a big deal to us. On the day of our wedding, the staff and the service was amazing. The bridal attendant greeted us from the start and stood by us throughout the wedding. Robert also gave us a chocolate fountain and other desserts as a wedding gift. He never tried to sell us his business or tell us to pay for extras that we didn’t couldn’t afford and didn’t need. He was always truthful and on point. It was because of him that we could have a night wedding, and the wedding of our dreams.
Our color palette was pink & blue. Blue because this is Victor’s favorite color and I wanted to incorporate as many things as he liked and were important to him into the wedding. His car is blue and he owns more than 35 pairs of sneakers in blue. In fact, we ended up picking our bridesmaid dresses in blue and the personalized menus and our names is also painted in blue too. Pink? Well, not only is pink the only color I love but also I wanted to give a gift to a child in Cambodia when I was doing volunteering work a part of my wedding. This child taught me how to become an adult and to love my life for what it is and have no regrets. She told me every time she sees pink, she smiles and all her sadness went away. She passed before we got married so this color held a special place in my heart as much as hers. We have pinks in our flowers, favors and also on our wedding cake.
Flowers were the hardest to decide on. I love roses and I knew that I wanted roses and pink and blue color somewhere in my bouquets and my centerpieces. After going to many florists (Pedestals, Burtons, Flowers By Gina), we decided to make an appointment with John from Flower Michele. John from Flower Michele was fantastic and he is our favorite vendor. We made so many appointments with him but somehow, some way we always ended up missing our appt. until six months before the wedding. John showed us a lot of pictures, worked with us patiently and completely until we decided on how we wanted our centerpieces, which is a combination of calla lillies and orchids. We showed him a picture of the bridesmaids dresses and he told us that he knew exactly how he wanted the bouquets and the centerpieces to look. On the day of the wedding, the flowers were beyond perfect. Every time we went to see him, he was so friendly and he is such an easy person to work with. He is the biggest teddy bear and he brought our wedding to perfection !
One of the greatest moments in our wedding planning was the time we won our DJ services from The Wedding of The Year. We remembered that when we opened the envelope and saw that we won the DJ, Victor & I were hysterical laughing and in shock. We couldn’t believe it. We asked if it was for real. This was an awesome gift, one of the best that anyone could give us, especially since music is so important to us! Thank you Liweddings ! Winning the DJ services have helped us tremendously in our wedding finances. We used the money we saved from here to book our honeymoon, otherwise we couldn’t afford to go on one. Frank & his staff from G & F Global Entertainment have been incredible and very helpful since the start. They treated us like we paid for their service rather than winning it. They played all types of music and completely got All our guests from various age groups up out of seats and out on the dance floor all night. All of our guests raved how great our DJ was until today.
Throughout our wedding planning, we have so many memorable moments but nothing can top the moment when we said our own vows to each other. We made all of our guests cry ! I always told Victor that I always wanted this day to be special and memorable for everyone that attend and for everyone to know how much love we have for each other. We have this strong bond for the last six years and when at times we don’t know how to express our feelings to each other, all we can do is write and give it to one another. Writing our own vows was very special to Victor & me. When we read our vows to each other, all the cry packs that we made went into use and there was no tissue left. We are each other’s best friend and soul-mates.
Our wedding was extra special to us because we had so many relatives that traveled from Cananda and Puerto Rico to be a part of our special day. My grandparents who are in their 90s traveled from Alberta, Cananda to be there for our wedding. This was a huge surprise for us ! They shocked us completely ! Everyone loved our wedding and they said the details, the vows and the food were amazing. They were so honored to be a part of it ! May 24, 2009 couldn’t happen and be as special as it is without the AMAZING vendors that we booked. Each and everyone of them holds a special place in our heart. They listened to our ideas and things we liked and didn’t like. They treated us with respect and we treated them with respect also. It is important to establish a friendship with the vendors because without them, there will not be a wedding. Victor & I always remember since the start, that for a perfect wedding to happen, it takes special vendors to create it! We wanted to thank each and every single vendor: Amanda Picone, Frank & his staff, Robert, John, Royalty Limo and especially LIWeddings for making our wedding day so special to us and our families and friends.
That will bring me to the best advice Victor & I can give to future couples that are getting married. Trust your instinct when it comes to wedding planning like picking the place for your wedding and booking vendors. Don’t try to compare reception halls or vendors when it comes down to it! If you truly love the place, book it ! Save money on other areas ! Enjoy each and every moment of wedding planning before it’s over ! This is your and his special day ! Let yourself be free and enjoy it ! Have fun !