Le-Quyen and Dustin met at a local dive bar when Le-Quyen introduced herself to Dustin as he was talking to a mutual friend. They ended up knowing a lot of the same people, so after bumping into one another on several other occasions, Dustin finally asked Le-Quyen out on a proper first date.
Dustin is a self-proclaimed car guy, so when he and Le-Quyen ever find a free moment, they go for a drive in his Porsche 911. When they found themselves free on the first clear day following a long run of storms, they decided to drive along Garden Highway. Dustin set up his Go-Pro for the drive, which looking back, Le-Quyen says should have been a clue something was up since it was out of the ordinary. On the way home, they stopped so Le-Quyen could take some pictures for a photo album she was working on. After taking pictures, she got back in the car while Dustin started walking around the car mentioning how dirty it was and eventually knelt down in front of it. Le-Quyen got out to see what he was doing and noticed he was holding something shiny in his hand. In her mind, it was something car related, so it took some time to register that he was actually proposing. “I asked him, ‘What is it? What happened?’ And he responded, ‘No, will you marry me?’ To which I said, ‘Are you serious?’ He said “Yes,’and my response was ‘You know I will.’”
The couple did not waste much time before starting the planning process. They dove in headfirst, despite not really knowing all that goes into a wedding. Le-Quyen says, “I started going to a lot of bridal events and that actually made the planning process easier. The events gave me ideas for things I wanted to do and helped me figure out decorations or themes that I did or did not like.”
The couple’s big day was held at Vizcaya Sacramento where the focus was on elegance and fun. They had a thumbprint guestbook, a Polaroid selfie station and games during the social hour. The most unique aspect of the wedding, however, was the party favors. They wanted to incorporate favors that were significant to them, and could be truly enjoyed by their guests. So instead of one favor, they had four, including Porsche Hot Wheels, chocolates, succulents and wine charms, and each guest was given the favor they would most appreciate.
Although Le-Quyen and Dustin basked in the beauty they created for the big day, it was the little moments that they truly cherished. For Dustin, aside from watching Le-Quyen walk down the aisle to become his wife, it was looking around at all their friends and family together in one place. For Le-Quyen, it was the moment she walked down the aisle with her dad and saw Dustin waiting for her. She thought, “This is it. We’re getting married.”
— Kelley Saia
First Dance Song
“Crush” by Dave Matthews
Father/Daughter Dance Song
“Unforgettable” by Nat and Natalie King Cole
Mother/Son Dance Song
“What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong
Bouquet Toss Song
“Heartbreaker” by Pat Benatar
Garter Toss Song
“Another One Bites the Dust” by Queen
Details about the cake
I love cake, especially Ettore’s cake, so luckily we “needed” enough cake that I could pick multiple flavors:
• Wedding Cake: Princess Torte: vanilla sponge cake with raspberry preserves, pastry cream, a thin layer of marzipan, with whip cream underneath the fondant.
• Sheet Cake: Fruit Basket: vanilla sponge cake with fresh fruit and pastry cream, covered in whip cream.
• Sheet Cake: Chocolate Mousse: chocolate sponge cake, filled with a Belgium chocolate mousse laced with rum.
Details about the flowers
Roses, peonies – but other than those two, I just showed Jenn pictures of the bouquets I liked and she suggested flowers to me.
Details about the favors
So, as much as everybody warned us that favors often get thrown away, I was determined to still make an effort to give people a usable gift. Because we had so many factors to consider:
• a favor that both adults and kids would want;
• a favor that would travel well since a lot of people flew to Sacramento for the wedding;
• a favor that multiple adults would want, since only about a quarter of the invites were car guys like Dustin;
We ended up with a bunch of different favors, which meant that we had to put names on all the favors so people would get the favor we selected for them.
o Favor #1: Porsche Hot Wheels
• We spent lots of weekends searching Target, Toys R’ Us, and the 99 Cents Only Store for them. And then Dustin spent hours figuring out which person got what car model.
o Favor #2: Candy from Target
o Favor #3: Wine Charms (or they’re cute as earrings, also [Editor’s Note: just ask the Real Weddings team where are tassel earrings are from!])
• I made them with string from Michael’s and hoops from Amazon.
o Favor #4: Mini Succulent Terrariums:
• Container: IKEA 365+ glasses from IKEA
• I bought some of the succulents from Costco. A friend had a couple other varieties already. She spent the winter growing them for me.
• Soil and Spanish moss from Green Acres.
o The Hot Wheels, candy and wine charms were all given out in favor boxes with we bought at Michael’s. We stamped the box with a custom stamp made by 2712 Designs (we also used the stamp for adding a personalized touch to the back of our envelopes).
o The ribbon around the favor boxes and the succulents came from Michael’s.
o We printed and cut name tags for each favor using the design used in the wedding invitations.
Anything else you’d like to share about your wedding?
All of our vendors were awesome!
• Daniel Laukat was my wedding consultant at Miosa Bride and he was so great to work with – without him, I would not have found my wedding dress. When we arrived for my dress shopping appointment, I, my mom, and my sister gave him an idea of the types of dresses that I liked and that we thought could look good on me. We also told him to feel free to throw in dresses that he thought would be good for me. After the first five dresses I tried on, Daniel went to get another round and he came back with “the dress”. Looking at the dress on the hanger, none of us would have ever thought about me trying it on. But after having only known me for about 45 minutes, Daniel found a dress that fit my body shape, looked good on me (in my opinion), and reflected my personality. He is so good at his job and he’s super nice!
• Jenn Robirds is a genius! I was introduced to Jenn’s work through the Real Weddings photo shoot, and I became such a huge fan of her work. She has such a great eye for color and design. I expected great work from her, but she surpassed my expectations with the floral arrangements, her attention to detail and finishing touches. All of our guests thought the flowers were so beautiful and the wedding arch was a huge hit. After the ceremony I saw a lot of our guests posing in front of it for pictures. (I spread the love and left the centerpieces on the desks of some of the executive assistants at work as a Monday morning surprise, they also thought they were beautiful!)
• Christi Reynolds does amazing work! I felt so beautiful that day! I love how her makeup is so natural looking and that you don’t feel like you’re wearing a ton of makeup. She is also a super sweet person and is a calming presence during that pre-ceremony craziness!
• Jon Canaan did a great job as our DJ and with the lighting. He is definitely a professional and knows what he’s doing. We’d seen Jon and his wife’s work before we got engaged, and knew that we had to work with them for our wedding. It was great to select them and know that we wouldn’t have to worry about anything that they were in charge of.
• Kelsey (at Vizcaya) was great to work with. She helped keep us on track during the wedding planning and gave us a lot of suggestions based on her experience with coordinating weddings. Most importantly, she listened to us. When we came to her with what we thought were crazy situations that had come up, she empathized with us but then helped us put it all in perspective.
Any tips you’d give brides and grooms planning their wedding today?
Dustin: Just say yes to your fiancé! Anything she wants; happy wife, happy life! All joking aside, this is a big day, especially for her. Set a budget but be willing to adapt if financially possible; be willing to make compromises on both sides. For example: Le-Quyen wanted a videographer and I did not, so we compromised and got a videographer. Also, be involved in the planning process. If you have ideas or input on anything, make your voice heard; it’s your day, too.
• Make a timeline and stick to it. No matter how “on track” you may be, you will run out of time and have to scramble at the last minute.
o Le-Quyen: This is probably the same advice that they’re already hearing from others, but figure out what are the most important aspects of the wedding for you and what are the things that you “have” to have. This will help you prioritize where you spend your budget, and it will also help all of the people who are helping you with the wedding figure out where it’s not okay to change or deviate from your plan. A lot of times people who are helping you may think they have a better way of doing stuff or that how they’re doing something is “good enough”. If they know that something is really important to you or what your expectations are, they can help make sure things are done how you want it done.
• Don’t forget to come up with a prep timeline for your wedding party and pad it. Even if they are ready early, it’s nice to have a little time for everyone to relax and just hang out.
What would you have done differently if you had the chance?
o There’s a few things that I would have done differently: when we did our first dance, it took people a little while to come over to the dance floor. Many of them didn’t hear the DJ announce the dance, and so it wasn’t until they saw us dancing that they walked over to the dance floor. I would have waited for people to come over before starting the dance.
o I also would have taken more family photos, even if they were just with our cell phones. I’m not talking about the formal ones that you do after the ceremony, but the more spontaneous ones, like me laughing with my sister or hugging my nephews. We had some time before the ceremony and then before reception where we could have taken more photos of us all just relaxing and hanging out, but we didn’t even think about that. You get so focused on the “shot list” and forget about candid family moments you may want to capture.
o I would have planned some group events for our guests the morning of the wedding. While we did provide a list of places to visit, it would have been nice to just plan an outing for them so they could have an activity before the wedding.
Vizcaya Sacramento Officiant:
Lieutenant Commander Brian Irish, Bride's Brother-in-Law Photographer:
XSIGHT Photography & Video Videographer:
XSIGHT Photography & Video Reception Site:
Vizcaya Sacramento Bridal Hair:
Christi Reynolds at Christi Reynolds Beauty (Bride and Maid of Honor) Bridal Hair:
All Dolled Up Hair & Makeup Artistry (Bridesmaids) Bridal Make-up:
Christi Reynolds at Christi Reynolds Beauty Bridal Attire:
Miosa Bride Bridal Veil:
Miosa Bride Bridal Shoes:
DSW Bridesmaids' Attire:
Rent the Runway (Maid of Honor) Bridesmaids' Attire:
David's Bridal (First Bridesmaid) Bridesmaids' Attire:
DIY (Second Bridesmaid) Flowergirl Attire:
Macy's Groom’s Attire:
Men's Wearhouse Groomsmen's Attire:
Men's Wearhouse Ringbearer Attire:
Macy's (Suits) Ringbearer Attire:
Men's Wearhouse (Ties) Bride's Rings Jeweler:
Kenny G & Company Groom's Rings Jeweler:
Kenny G & Company Save the Date Cards:
DIY Place Cards:
DIY Menu Cards:
DIY Thank You Cards:
Mixbook Wedding Party Flowers:
Jenn Robirds Events Ceremony Flowers:
Jenn Robirds Events Reception Flowers:
Jenn Robirds Events Caterer:
Vizcaya Sacramento Bar Service:
Purchased at Opolo, Costco & BevMo Cake:
Ettore's Bakery & Cafe DJ/Entertainment:
Canaan Sound & Light Lighting:
Canaan Sound & Light Favors:
Candy, Matchbox Cars, Succulents and Wine Charms Decor Signage:
Original in Wood Linens:
La Tavola Fine Linen Rental Rentals:
Celebrations! Party Rentals & Tents (Lounge Furniture) Additional Resources:
Blue de Toi (Custom Car Fingerprint Guestbook) Additional Resources:
Green Acres Nursery & Supply (Favors) Additional Resources:
IKEA (Favors) Additional Resources:
2712 Designs (Favors)
Real Weddings Magazine is the most widely-distributed wedding magazine in northern California, and features the very best Sacramento and Tahoe weddings, ideas, inspiration and resources to help you plan your most perfect wedding day!