Nhu Bui was Vinh Trang’s matchmaker. They met at a bar in Richmond, Virginia, and she tried to couple him with her friends for more than a year. When Vinh called in 2011, awhile after they had lost touch, he was newly single and looking for help. “Here I was again, trying to introduce him to more girls,” Nhu says. “Then one day, he asked if we could go out, and I said, ‘That’s weird’—I thought we’d have already dated. So, I kept coming up with excuses.”
Vinh persisted; Nhu relented in hopes of ending his pursuit. But when it came time for the date, “I got really nervous and couldn’t decide what to wear and was two hours late,” Nhu says. “I’m usually a very punctual person.” Vinh took Nhu to her favorite restaurant, and “the rest is history,” Nhu says.
Three years later, after Vinh’s UT Southwestern residency led them to Dallas, it was Vinh’s turn to have the jitters: He popped the question following a tarot card reading they had scheduled while visiting Nhu’s family in Virginia. “The reader handed me a card that said ‘Love is the breath that sustains us,’ and Vinh proposed,” Nhu says. (Vinh says he was lucky the reader’s cards were good.)
Vinh and Nhu are “polar opposites” aside from a love of hip-hop music, and they called on wedding planner Caitlin Sulley of Celebrate Dallas to help them execute a jam-packed day as full of juxtapositions as they are. “I wanted it to be glamorous and ratchet,” Nhu says. “As long as people had fun and enjoyed the food and music—that’s what was important to us.”
Conventionalism came by way of a sacred Vietnamese tea ceremony followed by a Catholic service to honor both of Nhu’s parents’ faiths. The reception at Marie Gabrielle Restaurant and Gardens is where they turned things up: Their first dance was to an acoustic version of Fetty Wap’s “Trap Queen.” “Our family members were saying ‘trap queen’ after the first dance, and they don’t even know what it means,” Nhu says, and laughs.
Caitlin helped design witty signage, and they interwove song quotes like “ice cold” and “gin and juice.” They built 6-foot, light-up letters spelling “LOVE,” added giant Jenga blocks on which guests could inscribe well wishes, and set out gold tattoos. “The wedding was an enormous labor of love—they spent countless hours personalizing every detail,” Caitlin says.
Yet both Nhu and Vinh say that the best part of the day was how they responded to a series of challenges. During the tea, rain seeped through Vinh’s silk Vietnamese áo dài straight to his tux shirt leaving blue dye stains, and it poured on the dance floor before the reception (Vinh recruited his groomsmen to dry it). Nhu and Vinh even had a flat tire before leaving Holy Trinity Catholic Church. But, “we didn’t get upset about anything,” Nhu says. “We just had so much fun.”
In fact, Vinh says, “If I were to be with someone exactly like myself, the wedding wouldn’t have been nearly as pretty or individualized. Nhu’s strengths complement where I lack, and vice versa.” In the end, it was clear they are the perfect pair after all.
“I wanted it to be glamorous and ratchet,” Nhu says. “As long as people had fun and enjoyed the food and music—that’s what was important to us.”
Holy Trinity Catholic Church
Shaun Menary Photography
Bridal Gown Designer
Made With Love
Bridal Gown Retailer
A & Bé Bridal Shop
Bridal Vietnamese Dress Retailer
Dream Dresses by P.M.N
Hair & Makeup
Mary B. Makeup
Bridesmaids' Dresses Retailer
Acaramia (invitations); Minted (table materials)
Cake & Desserts
Whisk Until Sweet; Jarams Donuts; DFW Ice Cream
Paradise Band; International DJ Moan
Big D Party Rentals; LCB Photobooth Co.
Caitlin Sulley, Celebrate Dallas