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Tony and Chi in the Valentina Gown

Tony and Chi’s tropical destination wedding unfolded in Cartagena, Colombia, at a stunning colonial home adorned with deep orange hues.  

A Meaningful Connection

 Tony and Chi met at a neighborhood bar in San Francisco, where there was an instant spark. Their first date, which lasted six hours and concluded with a huge Mission Burrito, allowed Chi to feel an immediate sense of ease and authenticity with Tony. Their second date, an epic bike ride in the Redwoods, revealed Tony's adventurous side. By the time they explored the wonders of the Exploratorium Museum on their third date, his curiosity, openness, and inquisitive nature were evident. From the beginning, Tony consistently showed up and rose to every occasion. His wit, curiosity, warmth, and humor made it effortlessly easy for Chi to fall in love with him.  

Bride in our Valentina gown
Bride and groom dancing together
Bride and groom kissing
Back detailing the Valentina gown

Beneath the Maui Sunset

In Vietnamese culture, the proposal and engagement are deeply enriched by the involvement of the bride’s parents, and Chi's parents wanted to be integral to their love story. In October 2022, after competing in the Ironman World Championships in Kona, she and Tony embarked on a serene vacation with her parents to Maui. One memorable day, they ascended to Haleakala National Park to witness the breathtaking sunset. Amidst the ethereal backdrop of the sun setting above the clouds, Tony dropped to one knee and proposed. Overwhelmed with joy, her parents could not contain their excitement, inadvertently standing too close and momentarily throwing Tony off. It was an endearingly memorable moment that perfectly encapsulated the deep involvement of their family in this chapter of their love story. 

Wedding ceremony set up
Bride getting ready with her mother
Bride and groom walking together
Bride hugging her father

A Tropical Destination Wedding in Cartagena, Colombia

Tony and Chi’s special day in Cartagena, Colombia, was held at the breathtaking Casa Estrella, a stunning colonial home with deep orange walls, lush palms, and exquisite architecture. Their vision for the wedding was to create a joyful and relaxed gathering with their loved ones, emphasizing a casual atmosphere that encouraged mingling and celebrated the natural beauty of Cartagena. Local native florals and lush garden motifs enhanced the venue’s tropical charm.  

The ceremony was a highlight for the couple, especially as both sets of parents spoke, sharing heartfelt stories about their love and offering marital advice and support. Chi's father’s words were particularly touching as he expressed his desire to call Tony his "son" rather than "son-in-law," warmly welcoming him into the family. The celebration was filled with unique touches, such as honoring guests' birthdays. Ashton, who turned five that Saturday, delighted in a candy-filled piñata, while two other guests received Vietnamese red envelopes of money for good luck. The day passed quickly, and they found it essential to take moments to connect with each other and soak in the love and joy surrounding them. Their advice to others is to enjoy the day without getting caught up in worries about logistics or other details, as the couple are the guests of honor, not the hosts. 

Yellow walls in Cartagena, Colombia

The Luxury of Valentina

Chi visited our boutique with her family by her side. “The Grace Loves Lace boutique was so gorgeous, and the gals were incredibly gracious, shares the bride. She envisioned a simple, elegant, and classic wedding dress which she found in the Valentina gown. “From the incredibly luxurious satin to the thigh-high split, super flattering pleated bust, and low back, I felt like it emphasized all my best features and gave me a little boost in other areas. Chi cherished the Grace experience with her loved ones.  

Bride in our Valentina gown

Valentina Gown

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Back detailing of our Valentina gown

Vendors

WEDDING DRESS: VALENTINA GOWN
PHOTOGRAPHER & videographer: BLANCO STUDIOS
hair & makeup: MERAKI BY SANDY
VENUE: Casa Córdoba Estrella