With all the paperwork in place my husband and I set about making plans for our wedding album and with me being a perfectionist I knew I was going to give him a few headaches.
But I was no crazy bride asking for outrageous demands. I did, though, want everything to be perfect and the photos to be out of this world. Not a big ask, I think.With all the paperwork in place my husband and I set about making plans for our wedding album and with me being a perfectionist I knew I was going to give him a few headaches.
Well, first things first we had to get a reliable company to organize the wedding shoot, outfits, make-up etc. After visiting a few places which we sensed were just out to fleece us, we chose a nearby shop in Quang Trung Street in Go Vap District which ironically has a huge sign promoting its business with a happy couple on the beach with the words ‘Happy Wedding’.
Having passed it every day much to my husband’s amusement and typo aside we thought we’d give it a go. The girls in the shop gave us the real personal touch and after a few moments we got the feeling they were honest and trustworthy and decided to give them our business.
We were shown the city locations and thought to be honest having been at most of them they were a bit naff. The previous shop was even trying to charge extra if we chose to go outwith their obvious but hardly sexy selection of city highlights.
We decided it was going to be Vung Tau but then after looking through one of the glossy albums we saw Ho Coc and our minds were made up. It would cost extra but it is the biggest and most important day of your life, so we didn’t mind and it is such a lovely place full of great locations we were sure it would give us the album we were after.
So now we were settled and as they do an all in package, we reckoned we would be better hiring our own driver so that we were in control of everything. Not that we needed to bother as a lovelier bunch of people we couldn’t have met.
So now we were ready, my husband and I and our wedding director/photographer and translator, well my friend really, got up at four a.m. to set about the task ahead of us. We really didn’t need those extra cocktails at Buffalo Saigon the night before but it was too late now or was it?
I headed for my two-hour make-up session at the wedding shop only to be met with a locked door and shutters down. After some frantic phone calls the embarrassed girl admitted she had put down the wrong date and had put us in for the Saturday. So back to our respective beds for the three amigos and some much-needed shuteye.
The hammering rain on the Friday afternoon made us smile realizing that maybe the gods were with us and it was a lucky escape.
Take two and I started my make-up the next morning at five a.m., while the other two made their way to the shop a little later with clothes and refreshments as the photographers also arrived. Seven a.m. on the dot and we were off with the dark clouds looking as threatening as a pool of sharks. Excluding the driver the magnificent seven, our three, two photographers and two girls from the shop, headed off on an adventure into the unknown, well for my husband anyway.
He was the only non-Vietnamese and being a Scottish native he did ask if he could wear his kilt but I told him only when we have another wedding party back in Scotland next year.
It was getting to that time as we hit the road for about half an hour before giving into our hunger at bun bo Hue near Suoi Tien amusement park in District 9 which was jam-packed and the noodles were delicious. We were finally on our way out the city and onto the first location of Rung Cao Su near Dong Nai Province which is such a picturesque woodland area which is just begging for amazing wedding photos. The clouds were disappearing though and we must have been there an hour and the photographer and his assistant were also looking a bit drained as we finally left with the sunshine now beaming in all its glory.
I was drained already and that was only the first shoot after only having an hours sleep but despite my husband’s pleas I couldn’t catch forty winks, he however was out for the count for the hour it took us to get closer to Ho Coc.
Before that, though, it was time to go to a small sandy area which had lovely green grass literally on the side of the road. The photographers had obviously been there before and it is a famous spot for happy couples. There is no footpath though and it was down the slippy bank we went and fortunately there were no casualties.
Next up and wow what a beautiful spot with huge sand dunes. It was like something out of a movie and with my husband in his tux I felt like a Bond girl to his James. I don’t like to admit it too much but he looked so handsome in his white suit.
The photos from this must be amazing and we laughed so much and were really starting to enjoy this now. Next up was time to go the hotel Vien Vien Hotel which is hundreds of years old and it was time to get on my ao dai I was so excited. My husband also had his on also but he had to hold in his stomach as it was a little tight fitting, he must have held his beer belly in at the measurement.
From there it was a short journey to a huge pond with some large rocks where we got some amazing shots in the woods and on the rocks without falling in thankfully.
Finally it was time for me to get rid of the long wedding dresses, five I sported included my ao dai, and into my shorts and white shirt for some fun on the beach. The sun was setting and romance was in the air as we frolicked around the sand and water and even partook in a spot of fishing. It was the perfect end to a perfect day. I’ve never felt so happy and alive.
The journey home saw everyone nod off, well except the driver of course and back home to reality but the fun was just beginning. Next day it was off to the shop to pick our top 90 pics and now we patiently await our dream wedding album from the wonderful people at Wedding Hai Vinh, 16b Quang Trung, Ward 10, Go Vap District, website http:/www.weddinghaivinh.com. By Jolie Phan in HCMC
A newly-wed couple has some fun in one of the many gorgeous locations in Ho Coc – Photo: Jolie Phan