. . . . . After Two Ceremonies and a Fabulous Reception!
Written by Allison Hopkins for Très Fabu Event Planning and Design
At the end of the evening on May 15, 2010, Alvaro and Inthira Mendoza felt absolutely speechless. Their wedding day began at 10 o’clock that morning with an authentic Lao ceremony performed at home, followed by a traditional Catholic Hispanic wedding that afternoon at St. Rose church in Sacramento. The evening included a ten-course Chinese meal at The Asian Pearl, and dancing until midnight. Everything had gone off without a hitch and a total of 350 friends and family members had witnessed their vows and celebrated as the two families from very different cultures united.
Alvaro and Inthira are both the first generation from their families to arrive to the United States. Alvaro’s family is from Mexico and Inthira’s is from Laos, and although both families immigrated when the children were young, they continued to raise them with their traditional languages, customs, and food.
“Having two wedding ceremonies was very important to us because this shows that we are celebrating not only the unity of love but the unity of both families,” says Alvaro.
“Further, because our families have played an important part in our lives, we wanted to reflect both families’ cultures and traditions and also show the respect and love that we have for one another,” adds Inthira. “Usually I am the one who would plan and execute an event for my friends and family. But since I am the bride, I did not want this task to fall on any family member or friend…therefore we decided to hire an event planner. I think that was the best decision I have made, especially hiring Debra.”
With the help of Très Fabu Event Planning and Design and its team of fabulous vendors, a reflection of the couple’s individual cultures and traditions is exactly what was created…
The Lao Wedding: 10am-noon
Alvaro and Inthira began the first ceremony dressed in traditional Lao outfits that they had recently traveled to Laos to find. Inthira wore a red silk skirt with a matching wrap-around shirt with buttons on the sides and trimming from the skirt along the seams, and Alvaro wore red silk wrap-around pants and a golden jacket with gold chains that went across his chest. Inthira’s outfit was accompanied by a matching red scarf called “pra beang,” with gold beads hanging from the end. Alvaro wore special golden shoes that were shipped from Thailand—these shoes were his favorite part of his outfit, as this style was only worn by the royal family!
One hundred and fifty guests gathered at the home of Inthira’s parents in Elk Grove to join in the festivities. The decorations were kept simple for this ceremony, with tissue pom poms hung up in the backyard and the inside the house, hydrangeas and palm leaves at the entrance of the home, a mixture of lavender and white roses in the lunch table centerpiece, and white roses and white hydrangeas around the bowl (khan) that held the wedding rings.
“In the traditional Lao wedding, there is a lot of blessing for the bride and groom,” explains Inthira. “The significant part of the ceremony is the tying of the white string to the bride and groom. Tying the white strings also gives the chance for guests to give personnel messages and blessings to the couple.”
The ceremony was followed by a lunch that consisted of authentic Vietnamese and Lao food prepared by Inthira’s mother and also by a local restaurant. Inthira’s father introduced the newlyweds and thanked the guests for attending, announcing how happy he was to see both sides of the family together and enjoying the event!
The Catholic Hispanic Wedding: 3:30pm-4:30pm
After celebrating in Inthira’s true Lao style, the couple, along with 200 guests (some had attended the previous ceremony as well), arrived at St. Rose Church for a traditional Catholic ceremony. The wedding party consisted of three bridesmaids and three groomsmen (Alvaro’s three brothers). Alvaro stood at the altar dressed in a black Calvin Klein suit awaiting his bride…
Holding her father’s arm, Inthira made her way down the aisle in a beautiful mermaid-style gown with a cathedral train. Although Alvaro had seen Inthira earlier that day, he felt a lot of anticipation and excitement during this ceremony.
“The Catholic ceremony was very exciting because the groom does not get to see the bride until she comes through the front door,” he says. “It feels like you have not seen each other in a long time because you both see each other with more love than you can possibly describe. Everything goes by so fast that the only thing you remember is the last phrase when the priest says ‘you can now kiss the bride.’”
With the day’s events going by so quickly, the couple was thankful to have the local husband and wife photography team, Eye Connoisseur, and local videographer, Jonathan Knox, capturing it all.
The Reception: 6pm-midnight
By 6 o’clock that night, Alvaro and Inthira were ready to celebrate, dance, and enjoy a ten-course Chinese meal. Inthira had slipped into a pink dress with a shiny thread design—chosen because the hand-sewn decoration would shine better with the evening light.
“Inthira’s gowns were above amazing,” says Debra Hiebèrt of Très Fabu. “She belonged on the cover of an international glamour magazine!”
The Asian Pearl restaurant had been transformed into a magical place, with candles on the tables and tones of purple implemented perfectly throughout the table skirts, napkins, and centerpieces. Extreme Productions created a lavender logo that was shining on the white dance floor, accented by purple background lighting.
“Everyone we spoke to kept telling us how beautiful the reception looked,” says Inthira. “They love the decorations and the floral centerpieces on our head table.”
Floral Artistry provided all the arrangements for the reception, using an abundance of different types of orchids. One challenge was making sure the flowers could handle the spinning of the Lazy Susans that were used on the tables!
“She [Inthira] wanted really tall arrangements,” says Shelly McArdle of Floral Artistry. “We came up with tall cylinders and hung orchids on fishing line and also applied orchids to the outside of the vases.”
The couple chose to have a Lao band and a Spanish DJ, and while having a combination of music concerned them, Debra made sure that everything ran smoothly.
“Debra is beyond amazing,” says Inthira. “She is like a fairy godmother that listens and actually makes your dreams come true. What is great about Debra and her team is that they were with us the entire day without actually showing themselves until they were needed.”
After an endless variety of Chinese cuisine, guests enjoyed a triple berry wedding cake created by Divine Desserts. It was decorated with fresh purple orchids (provided by Floral Artistry), shiny silver rhinestones, sparkly silver ribbon, and silver plaques.
It truly was a full day of unity, happiness, and joy…as Alvaro and Inthira, along with their families and friends, made a promise to each other and began a life together.
“After meeting Debra, I knew at that moment that we just had to hire her,” says Inthira. “She is a great listener and her enthusiasm and professionalism is hard to find. Weddings are not complete without Très Fabu Event Planning and Design.”
For more information regarding the vendors, please go to:
Photography: Eye Connoisseur, www.eyeconnoisseur.com
Flowers: Floral Artistry, www.floralartistrybyshelley.com
Lighting: Extreme Productions, www.extremeprodjs.com
Cake: Divine Desserts, www.divinedessertsbyaguirre.com
Video: Jonathan Knox, 916.284.8563
Music: DJ—Francisco Martinez, 916.995.0622; Salika Band—Contact Sunn Phommavong, 916.233.8255
Party Rentals: Classic Party Rentals
Linens: Wildflower Linens, Mimi & Company