Dallas and Rich had a 55-guest restaurant wedding that beautifully combined their two cultures. And they planned it in just four months.
“We wanted to incorporate the traditions that were most important to us and create a wedding that blended my Southern style and his Thai heritage,” says Dallas, who hails from none other than Texas.
One of the Thai traditions that the couple included was the water ceremony, in which guests pour holy water from a conch shell over the couple’s hands and offer a marriage blessing.
“All guests participated in our wedding. We also made jokes during the ceremony and laughed as a group. It was a very laid-back day with many, many cocktails before, during and after the vows,” says Dallas.
After the ceremony, the couple held a brunch reception at Second Empire. (The same venue where the ceremony was held.)
Dallas, 32 & Rich, 32
Raleigh , NC
Wedding Date: September 3, 2011 at 11:39 am- 3 and 9 are lucky numbers in Thailand
Number of Guests: 55
Wedding Cost: $15,000
Wedding Ceremony Location: Raleigh , NC at Second Empire
Wedding Reception Location: Raleigh , NC at Second Empire
Why did you have an intimate wedding?
Our friends and family are all over the world and we wanted to spend time with them during the wedding weekend. By having a small wedding, we were able to ensure that we had time to enjoy their company. Also, the success of our relationship is a direct result of the love and support we received from others. We therefore, wanted them apart of our marriage and designed our ceremony with their participation in mind.
What are some the challenges that you faced planning an intimate wedding?
We realized that a small wedding requires as much work as a large wedding. We also had the unique challenge of blending together both of our cultures.
Was it difficult to pare down the guest list?
No, it was quite easy. We invited those we could not imagine being without and each person we invited was present with the exception of 2-3 who could not find their way to the US on fairly short notice. We planned our wedding in 4 months.
Did you have any ‘issues’ with the small guest list from friends and family? If so, how did you address them?
We had a few issues with not inviting some of our extended family but Rich and I both are from relatively small families. We invited each guest based on their love and impact they had on both of our lives. We didn’t invite people based on the expectations of others. Plus, we paid for the wedding ourselves and refused to be bullied.
What were the highlights of the ceremony?
All guests participated in our wedding. We also made jokes during the ceremony and laughed as a group. It was a very laid-back day with many, many cocktails before, during and after the vows. Rich was expecting me to cry and no one expected him to shed a tear due to his tough military persona. It ended up being the opposite and Rich shed “happy” tears the entire ceremony.
What were the highlights of the reception?
We were able to talk with everyone and truly enjoy our time. We didn’t want to waste a minute knowing it may be years before we see them again.
What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding?
I was marrying the most wonderful person with the support of those we love.
What advice do you have for couples who are considering an intimate wedding?
Do not base your guest list on an ideal number but instead make your list based on who you cannot imagine sharing this moment without.
Officiant: Rev. Robin Renteria, PhD.
Wedding Venue: Second Empire
Cake and Food: Second Empire
Flowers: The Flower Cupboard ( Cary , NC )
Suit: Calvin Klein
Dress: White by Vera Wang
Jewelry: Custom made in Guyana, South America