I don’t think Diego and I have laughed at a wedding as much as we did at Donna and Daneil’s Vietnamese wedding at the Shangri-La Banquet Hall in Markham. Their fun-loving nature, combined with a phenomenally supportive, and highly entertaining, bridal party, made the whole wedding an absolute blast. By the end of the night, despite a 15 hour day, it was hard for us to leave and we just wanted to stay on the dance floor all night.
Donna and Daneil both got ready at their family’s homes. Donna was surrounded by her closest family and friends as she got ready, and thank god for water-proof mascara, as tears just kept flowing down Donna’s cheeks as she was so overwhelmed with the love that surrounded her that morning. Daneil’s boys arrived shortly before the limo was scheduled to pick them up, as is usually the case for when the guys are getting ready, so there was a mad dash to finish getting ready. With all the mirrors on the main floor already being occupied, Daneil and some of the groomsmen used their reflections on the TV to figure out how to tie their ties. Daneil’s mom and aunts huddled behind them on the stairs, admiring how handsome Daneil looked all suited-up. Daneil completed his look with awesome Nike Air kicks, which fit his personality to a T and looked very badass in contrast with his sharp grey suit.
As the limo arrived to pick up the boys, they paused to scarf down McDonalds breakfasts, the first (or was it already second? We lost track…) of many McDonalds meals consumed by the bridal party throughout the day. While the guys finished their meals, Daneil took the moment to open Donna’s wedding gift to him, a beautifully crafted scrapbook with photos and memories from varies moments of their relationship. We absolutely love when couples incorporate such personal touches into their wedding, especially when it brings tears to the groom’s eyes. :p
Daniel and the groomsmen were greeted by the bridesmaids when the limo arrived where Donna was getting ready. The bridesmaids prepared a series of wedding door games that Daneil and the groomsmen would have to complete to be allowed inside the house to see Donna. Wedding door games are traditionally played in Asian weddings, where the goal is to have fun and have a few laughs, while also embarrassing the groom a little in the process. With each task the groom and groomsmen complete, they get one step closer to seeing the bride. So as Daneil and his boys ate a ton of wasabi, caught candy with their mouth as it swung from the groomsmen’s hips, ran in ladies’ heels, and sang songs, Donna watched the hilarity unfold on her phone as the final make-up touches were applied. Wedding door games are such a fun way to get phenomenal and silly photos of the bridal party, and Diego and I are always super giddy when we get the opportunity to capture the bridal party in wedding door game action.
With the door games successfully complete, Donna came down the stairs for her first look reveal to Daneil and her family and friends, who were all excitedly waiting for her at the bottom of the stairs. Lots of tears, hugs, and kisses followed. After a quick exchange of blessings and the lighting of candles, Donna and Daneil, along with their bridal party, were off to Richmond Green Sports Centre and Park for their formal portraits. Despite the rainy weather, we had such a blast with the bridal party as the groomsmen kept cracking jokes, the ladies were always giggling, and Donna and Daneil were just enjoying chilling and being silly with their friends.
On the way to the Shangri-La Banquet Hall in Markham, the limo made a pitstop at McDonalds, which was so fitting with Donna and Daneil’s fun-loving personalities. A long McDonalds receipt later, we were on our way again to the Shangri-La Banquet Hall.
At the Shangri-La Banquet Hall, Donna changed into a traditional Vietnamese dress for the tea ceremony. Once the tea was sipped, red envelopes were gifted, and blessings were bestowed, Donna was off again to change back into her white wedding dress just in time for the wedding ceremony. The outdoor wedding ceremony was held under a large white tent, where Donna and Daneil could not stop grinning from ear-to-ear the entire time.
Back inside the Shangri-La Banquet Hall, the reception space was beautifully set up and decorated in gold and purple hues, all ready for the party to begin, and once it began, it did not stop! The entire reception, from the wedding games, the speeches, the table toasts, to the dancing, was so high energy it kept the entire room in stitches, laughing and celebrating the whole night! Drinks were flowing freely, and the sound of Mot, Hai, Ba, YOOOO!!!!!(the Vietnamese version of Cheers, which literally translates to 1, 2, 3, yo! and is normally yelled out) could be regularly heard throughout the night. The dance floor was always jam packed, and it seemed that the only time a dance break was taken was to step outside to grab funnel cake from the Funnel Cake Dream food truck, or to replenish the McDonalds supply. Donna and Daneil, you throw one heck of a party! Here is to you! Mot, Hai, Ba, YOOOO!!!!!