Monique Huynh, 30, Virginia
Kevin Loftus, 31, Florida
Honestly, neither of us can remember the exact moment we first met, but it was some time during the fall of 2007 at JMU.
What we CAN remember is always laughing and having fun the few times that we got together with our friends.
After graduating, we lost touch for a couple years (Kevin was traveling as a consultant), and only occasionally ran into each other in DC or at a mutual friend’s birthday.
Finally, in 2013, we grabbed a bite to eat with just the two of us – no other friends or occasions driving us together – and started to realize how much we have in common, and how well we complement one another.
We talked endlessly in the weeks that followed.
Many conversations, laughs, concerts, and trips later, we headed down the aisle and tied the knot!
After finishing our entrees during our 4th anniversary dinner at Rose’s Luxury, Kevin asked the waiter to take a photo for us. The waiter quickly replied and said they have an “in-house photographer” tonight who would be happy to do so.
Monique was skeptical at first, but it was a nice restaurant, so she thought, “Why not!” Could be a nice perk they offer.
Seconds later, Kevin got down on one knee and popped the question. The whole restaurant turned and cheered!
Turns out, Monique’s brother and his friend had been waiting to capture the big moment on camera throughout the meal. She had no idea they were in on it (and hiding from her) all along! 🙂
We wanted our wedding to feel romantic and timeless, with both of our family’s cultures, Vietnamese and Venezuelan, weaved in throughout the evening.
At each dinner table, there was a menu that read, “Today, two families became one. Tonight, please join us in a family style dinner.” That was followed by the traditional courses served at Vietnamese dinners. Each setting included a pair of chopsticks with a note that said, “Thank you for sharing our first meal together as husband and wife.”
A Lion Dance performance kicked off the reception, with a live drum and two red lions weaving around each side of the reception venue to greet all of the guests before joining in the middle of the dance floor to amaze everyone with their stunts and surprises.
During the reception, Kevin and Monique each gave a short speech honoring their parents, incorporating both Vietnamese and Spanish languages. Afterwards, they honored the Vietnamese tradition of “Chào Bàn,” where the newlyweds personally greet each table to receive blessings and gifts. This was done while wearing Áo Dài, traditional Vietnamese attire.
Blush, Navy, and Gold.
Our venue was adorned with lush pink and white florals, sheer flowy drapes, and beautiful gold accents.
Our Bridesmaids were in long, flowy blush dresses and our Groomsmen were in sleek navy tuxedos.
It was 80 degrees on our wedding day, so we didn’t have the usual crisp October air that time of year. Nevertheless, we were well into Autumn, and that was reflected in the beautiful white pumpkins, with “Mr. & Mrs” scripted in gold, that adorned each bar. We also gave another nod to the season in one of our signature drinks: ‘Fall’ing in Love, with bourbon, apple cider, and cinnamon. This was a hit with our guests!
As they entered the venue, they were greeted with a large, ornate gold mirror that said “Welcome to the beginning of our next adventure” in calligraphy. At the front of the foyer stood a 12 foot tall, totally Instagram-worthy flower wall with our initials, “M” and “K” carved in wood.
In lieu of little treats, we opted for non-edible favors for our guests. We took a photo with each guest as they came in – the dreamy flower wall serving as the backdrop. Each photo photo was printed within 30 seconds and slipped into a card with two gold hearts and our hashtag, #LoftusHuynhsHerHeart (his last name is Loftus and Huynh is pronounced “hwin” – get it? You can thank our amazing Maid of Honor, Lisa, for coming up with that one.)
We also opted for a creative take on the conventional guestbook. Next to a large photo of us with a beautiful blue sky were silver markers and a sign that said “Love is in the air! Please sign the sky around us.”
Definitely planning the music!
It started with choosing a song for our first dance as husband and wife. We asked our talented Groomsman, Allan, to perform live for us. Not only did he immediately agree, he recorded samples for us from NY and sent them to us so we could nail down our favorite song. When we heard Allan’s cover of “Kiss Me” by Ed Sheeran and Kevin started tearing up, we knew that was the one!
For the Father Daughter dance, Monique’s dad was quick to select “I Will Follow Him” (yes, from the movie Sister Act!). He explained that the song was both meaningful in its lyrics, and unexpected in its composition – starting off very slow and formal, it transitions to a fun, upbeat version. In that transition, Monique and her dad also shifted from the standard ballroom dance to fun choreography that was a total surprise to everyone!
From both of us tearing up during the ceremony to both throwing our heads back in laughter at the reception, there were so many unforgettable moments that we will treasure forever.
However, as many say, the day goes by faster than you’d ever imagine, and there are inevitably things that you miss or don’t remember. For that very reason, our Pastor took a moment in the middle of our ceremony to ask us to hold hands and look around the entire room. We were able to have at least one moment of pure appreciation of all our family and friends who love and support us, all sharing in the joy we felt that day. We were also able to see how our planning had come together, with the beautiful decor in the venue. Such a special moment for us!
Ceremony & Reception Venues: Fairview Park Marriott
Stationery: Unica Forma, Etsy, DIY
Photographer: pH-Studio & Glamour Photo
Florist: HN Blooms
Gown: Pronovias; Love Couture Bridal
Hair: Kandy Huynh (sister-in-law)
Make-Up: Kandy Huynh (sister-in-law)
Veil: Pronovias; Love Couture Bridal
Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Engagement & Wedding Rings: Blue Nile
Bridesmaids Dresses: Dessy Collection; Nordstrom
Desserts: Anh-Thu Duong (friend)
Music/DJ: Saigon Stars
Guest Count: 275
After the wedding, we spent two weeks at The St. Regis Mauritius Resort off the coast of Africa and it was amazing!