This joyful union combined heartfelt traditions with a modern architectural edge.
With 250 guests, three gorgeous gowns, two ceremonies and one fairytale forest, you could say Lisa and David made the most of their big day. In what the bride calls “our crazy 14-hour Vietnamese-cross-modern wedding day” family traditions were interlaced with contemporary style, perfectly mirroring the couple themselves. “We complement one another really well,” says architect Lisa, who describes her own creative, bubbly energy as the perfect counterpoint for the calm, caring, articulate and entrepreneurial spirit of radiographer David (currently finishing his medical degree).
Inseparable since they began dating more than a decade ago, the pair’s love story has been defined by shared values, plenty of laughs and a passion for travel. David even saved his proposal for one of their overseas adventures, patiently waiting out a hailstorm to present his custom-designed engagement ring on a romantic, rain-kissed mountaintop in Seoul, Korea. “I bawled my eyes out,” recalls Lisa. “It was the happiest moment.”
A large Vietnamese wedding was always in the stars, with Brisbane’s Victoria Park offering a stylish reception space for the couple’s 250-strong guest list. “We loved the city views and ambience from the terrace outside the marquee, and the draping detail inside,” explains Lisa. “I was inspired to bring the outdoors in with a whimsical fairytale forest theme.” The bride shared her vision with florist Kate Dawes via hand-drawn sketches and collated images. “Kate executed it perfectly,” says Lisa. “It was amazing to see it come to life.”
Lisa also lent her keen design eye to location scouting. Photo backdrops (including an overnight penthouse stay for her bride tribe) were carefully curated for their architectural details, interior design and historical character. “We liaised closely with our photographers about what style of imagery and scenery we wanted to have to incorporate our personal aesthetic into the photos,” shares the bride. “Tina and Doruk (from Lovelenscapes) provided a flawless experience and brought our vision to life.”
The couple’s action-packed wedding run sheet kicked off with a traditional Vietnamese tea ceremony. “It brings together the two families while showing respect to our ancestors, parents and family members,” explains Lisa, who also gave back to this treasured inner circle with another Vietnamese custom – buttonholes for all immediate family, uncles and aunties, which she created herself using market-sourced flowers and foliage. Bowties for David and his groomsmen were handmade by the groom’s sister-in-law in another personal touch.
After tea was sipped and gifts bestowed, celebrations moved to All Hallows Chapel, with the bride swapping her traditional ao dai for a sculptural Brides Desire gown. There, the sweethearts ushered in an exciting new chapter with a beautiful ceremony. “Marriage is a way to celebrate that we are officially one,” says Lisa. “It opens the door to having a family and building a life together.”
After slipping away for that spectacular photo shoot, they arrived at Victoria Park ready to party with friends and family. As for the magical fairytale forest? It was awaiting their arrival (and another costume change for Lisa), along with an incredible feast. As the confetti settled on months of planning and an epic day, the newlyweds were already dreaming of their honeymoon. “Koh Samui, Thailand ticked all the boxes for us,” says Lisa. Two weeks of being “completely pampered, relaxing, eating delicious food, exploring local towns, markets and beaches while staying in architecturally inspiring accommodation,” was the perfect way to welcome #marriedlife
[Little Black Book]
Photography: Lovelenscapes Photography // Ceremony venue: All Hallows Chapel // Reception venue: Victoria Park // Traditional dress: Ao dai custom-made in Vietnam // Ceremony dress: Brides Desire // Reception dress: Bronx and Banco // Suits: InStitchu // Rings: Diamond Exchange (Lisa) and Crown Family Jewellers (David) // Bridesmaid dresses: Showpo // Accessories: Lovisa // Florist: Kate Dawes Flower Design // Cake: Bake&Co // Transport: Hertz Car Rental