Isabel and Anthony’s bright and beautiful Belle Mer wedding in Newport was full of family, culture and fun. Holding their ceremony next to the open water gave the images such a calm feel, other elements of their day included pops of color & handmade favors for their guest!
While at Emmanuel College, Isabel was invited to join their biweekly Asian Student Association meeting. She didn’t know what to expect and was amused at how nerdy all of the members were, with special emphasis on ASA’s president Anthony. Time passed and through a mutual friend, they began a friendship that turned into something quite special. Their friendship grew for 8 years before they both finally confessed their feelings for each other. Their love proves that marrying your best friend isn’t necessarily a cliché and sometimes “geeks” actually get the girl after all.
For their wedding day, they kept things chic and sophisticated, taking inspiration from the blank white canvas of their venue. To honor their cultures from both sides of the family, they changed into their Hanbok (Korean) and Ao Dai (Vietnamese) traditional outfits for portraits by the water. The reception design featured botanical greenery and pops of yellow with fresh lemons and favors handmade by the bride. The night ended with toasts, dancing, and a special song performed by Isabel’s parents. -Jessica K Feiden
How did you two meet? What were your first impressions of one another?
During the fall of 2010, Isabel was invited to join Emmanuel College’s biweekly Asian Student Association meeting. She didn’t know what to expect and after introducing herself, she immediately bolted out the door. She was amused at how geeky all the members were with special emphasis on ASA’s president- Anthony Mai. A few years passed and through a mutual friend, they began a friendship that turned into something quite special. Over 8 years, Anthony and Isabel would discover that they could talk to each other about everything from their favorite foods to their most personal circumstances. Through their friendship they created a bond that was more than they ever realized.
During one evening as they finished their usual dinner as friends, something strange happened. Anthony couldn’t help the urge to ask, “Do you like me?’ Horrorstricken, he waited for her reply. Before she could stop herself, Isabel immediately answered, “Yes.” After this night and 10 years since their first meeting, Anthony and Isabel’s love continues to grow in ways they never imagined possible. It seems that marrying your best friend isn’t necessarily a cliché. It also seems like sometimes “geeks” actually get the girl after all.
What part of your wedding day was/is most important to you?
Both my first looks with my dad and Anthony was the most emotional but special. My dad never cries and when he hugged me he was shaking cause he was fighting tears back. The years of the struggle in our family and seeing him so proud of me was just very dear to my heart. With Anthony, he immediately started ugly crying and I was expecting a wow or smile more than him crying. It was unexpected but made the moment very special. His love for me was so big he couldn’t contain it.
Describe a hurdle you had to overcome in your relationship or during your wedding planning.
We made communication plans to all our guests when the date kept changing because of COVID. This helped our guests a lot but makes it difficult when we needed hotel room blocks. Communication is key even with your venue. Working together with your venue will make your life much easier. They want your day to be spectacular so they’re willing to work with you on achieving this day.
If you had one piece of advice for other couples, what would it be?
If you have a full time job, it might be best to hire a wedding planner. It would take loads off of you.
Delegate and divide the tasks on what you and your partner can realistically do. The women doesn’t have to do it all. It’s all about being a team even during the planning. The planning part of being a good team will go a long way in your marriage because there’s nothing easy about wedding planning. There’s a lot of stress, decisions and expectations and when you both can do it together, it’ll make things much smoother.
What was your favorite part about planning your wedding?
I made the name tags and lemon favors from scratch. I printed a template from etsy, bought a whole puncher and ribbons to create the nice aesthetic over the menu. We made the lemon favors with my family. It’s called a lemon chung order most know it as citron tea. We made a big batch from lemon meyers and added it to the mason jars topped with honey. These can ferment for a few days and can be eaten right away by adding it to tea or hot water, cocktails or just a simple lemon seltzer water. We then decorated it with our wedding tag and rope to make it match well with the other table centerpiece feel and look.
Tell us a funny story relating to your wedding day or relationship!
Anthony almost falling because he stepped on my dress during our reception entrance was not forgettable. It was so funny because that is something he would do. He can be clumsy in the most important times.
Any special ways you incorporated your family or family history into your wedding day?
We wore the Hanbok (Korean) and Ao Dai (Vietnamese) for portraits. We did this to honor our culture from both sides of the family. People loved our Korean and Vietnamese traditional outfits which made the experience and pictures even more vibrant.
Photographer: Jessica K Feiden
Venue: Belle Mer
Floral Designer: Sweet Talk Floral
Dress Designer: BHLDN
Makeup Artist: Lena Nguyen
Hair Stylist: My Big Hair Day
Men\’s Formalwear: The Black Tux
Film Lab: PhotoVision
Videographer: Jaynandez Films
DJ: DJ Nathan Lindsay
Bridesmaid Dresses: Birdy Grey