For five years, Chhay waited for Meesha to feel the same way about him as he felt for her after meeting through mutual friends. Years of occasional conversation went by and Meesha resisted taking their friendship further but Chhay was patient. He pursued Meesha again when she was ready to take the next step and from there, their love affair began. A 1920's-1930's inspired vintage glam wedding ceremony, in front of over 300 family and friends soon followed a down to earth Thanksgiving proposal.
“Our wedding took place at Morais Vineyards and Winery, which happened to be located blocks away from where I went to middle and high school,” Meesha says. “The first time my husband and I went to visit the vineyard in person, I first felt like I had been transported to the beautiful, rustic backdrop of Tuscany, Italy.”
Wedding Date: September 27, 2015
Wedding Location: Morais Vineyard and Winery in Bealeton, VA
First Dance Song: "Someone" by Musiq Soulchild
Favorite Item on the Menu: Between the red velvet/cream cheese frosting Kappa groom's cake and the marble cake with cinnamon cream cheese filling in our wedding cake, it's hard to choose. Our favorite items were the cakes and the signature wedding drinks.
Bridesmaids/Groomsmen Gifts: I held a bridesmaid appreciation luncheon and spa day and I took care of my girls' wedding day makeup. The groom gave his groomsmen personalized flasks, as well as their accessories for the wedding including color coordinated socks along with the guys' favorite accessory, their Air Jordan Concord lows.
Tell us about how you met and all about the proposal!
Chhay and I initially met through mutual friends in the fall of 2006. For the next six years, there wasn't even as much as a first date. However, we did communicate off and on via Facebook and AOL instant messages. Chhay eventually worked up the nerve to ask me out on several dates, but as nicely as I could, I ignored them all together and quickly signed off.
Time passed and I wouldn't hear from him. I couldn't blame him though, there aren't many men who would keep up what would turn into a five year pursuit. In fact, he was the only man who had taken that kind of time to get to know me and develop a foundation of friendship before romance. God was still molding, shaping and preparing me for what was to come and I was learning to be okay with that. I slowly began to see that He was just orchestrating my future.
Fast forward to the fall of 2011, I was doing a spring cleaning removal of people who I hadn't spoken to in a long time. I eventually came to Chhay's name. After a minute or two of debating his fate as my friend, I went ahead and deleted him. I wondered about the "what if's" and decided that if I was going to take him and any of this seriously I already would have by then.
A few months later, I logged in and I saw an inbox message notification as well as a friend request. I immediately felt embarrassed. There was Mr. Chun, in my inbox letting me know that he noticed that he had been deleted. I hung my head in shame and added him back as a friend. With our friendship back in tact, the lines of communication were reopened. After a couple of months of conversing over the phone, Chhay expressed an interest in meeting up once again and this time...I accepted. On March 16, 2012, we went on our first "date" which was actually a group outing with friends.
It all went down on November 26, 2014, the night before Thanksgiving. It had been a cold, snowy day and I had a full schedule on my plate. I had a grocery list to take care of, several dishes I needed to prepare, and a nail appointment that I couldn't afford to miss. I knew I had to squeeze all of these tasks in before heading to Chinatown for what I thought was Chhay's "company sponsored happy hour." I finally accomplished all of my tasks, being rushed home with texts and phone calls from everyone who was there waiting for me to arrive so we could leave. We finally arrived on time to Lucky Strike and after two miserable games and many gutter balls, I was ready to throw in the towel.
The next thing I knew, one of my favorite Beyonce songs, "End of Time" started playing which was kind of like my hype music. I feel like I can do anything when Beyonce enters the equation. With Beyonce as my guide, I stepped up to bowl and what came next was indeed a miracle...I actually bowled a strike! I turned around to get my high-fives but no one seemed to be happy for me. I later learned that I messed up the original plan by bowling that strike. Chhay then insisted that I bowl for him. As expected, I bowled yet another gutter ball.
When I turned around to apologize for the gutterball, all I saw was Chhay down on one knee holding a little wooden box! It took me a little while to really process what was happening. All I could say was "Oh my God!" over and over again. It was such a surreal moment. There we were surrounded by our close friends and family and so much love in the room. This was the way I had always pictured being proposed to. I later found out that he had been planning this for about a year.
I found my dream wedding gown at The Bridal Salon at Saks Jandel. It was a journey that included road trips to Virginia, Maryland and New York. I thought that I had found my dress at a charming bridal shop in Flushing, NY, that was owned and operated by the sweetest mother-daughter duo. I had grown tired of shopping and wanted to say yes to the dress, so I did. The dress in New York was very beautiful, but it was missing that unique twist and flair that my 'Lindsey' dress brought to the table. A few days, later I changed my mind completely about the dress in New York. I felt like I needed to search a little bit more for the perfect dress for. I took a look at the Bridal Salon at Saks Jandel nearby in Chevy Chase. Once I found my dress during my first visit, I cancelled my order in New York. The Lindsey dress by Vera Wang is so beautiful.
I later changed the neckline to a sweetheart style. There are about 5 or so different types of lace strategically sewn throughout the dress. Lace was a big component of my vintage glam theme and I wanted to make sure that my dress embodied the theme in all of its details. I played around with different kinds of veils with various lengths, as well as some other accessories such as bracelets, earrings, and hairpieces so that I could have a variety of looks as the evening went on. I also added an ivory sash with rhinestones that was sewn in an Art Deco design. Finding my perfect dream dress was quite an adventure, but it was fun to share those precious moments with my mom and my best friend/maid of honor and in the end, I made the perfect choice.
My husband is Cambodian and Chinese, so we had two weddings. We had a traditional Chinese wedding ceremony which was held at his parents' home in Maryland. There was a generous spread of delicious, traditional Chinese and Cambodian dishes, as well as tea ceremonies to honor our parents and grandparents, as well as to honor one another as we united as one. Chhay's parents, who are chefs, also catered part of the wedding reception dinner. Our guests enjoyed the food so much, many still talk about how good the food was today!
As we went around to each table to greet our guests and take pictures, many handed us monetary gifts in the traditional red envelopes which are a huge part of my husband's culture for celebrating special events. We also jumped the broom after our ceremony, which is something that I always wanted to incorporate into the wedding and my husband did as well. After we jumped the broom, we danced arm in arm to the perfect song for any September wedding, "September" by Earth, Wind and Fire!
My husband is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. and he and his brothers (who I love like my own brothers) surprised everyone with a choreographed stroll to Jidenna's "Classic Man." My husband dropped to one knee as his brothers encircled me and serenaded me with the Kappa Sweetheart Song. I became an official Kappa Silhouette!
My favorite memory was when Chhay surprised me with the Kappa stroll performance and Sweetheart song serenade along with all of his close fraternity brothers. My other favorite moment was having the opportunity to wear my mother's wedding dress which just about fit perfectly! My mom was so surprised that I even thought of the idea of wearing her dress and taking photos in it before stepping into my own dress.
One of the other special highlights was having my musically gifted brothers and sister-in-love play the piano and sing Anthony Hamilton and Marsha Ambrosius' version of the Stevie Wonder classic masterpiece "As" during my entrance.
Another highlight was having my godfather co-officiate the wedding. He was responsible for starting the ceremony and officiating until my father, a pastor, continued with the remaining portions of the ceremony including the vows, holy communion and the pronouncement.
His favorite moment was when I surprised him in song. He had been questioning me about singing at the wedding and I kept telling him that I wasn't. I think he knew I was going to sing just because I knew how much he really wanted me to. In keeping with my vintage theme, I sang the timeless Etta James classic, "At Last" and "Love on Top" by Beyonce.
Help a bride-to-be out!
Our best advice is to make a plan, include a budget and do your best to stick to them. The other advice we'd like to give is to be prepared for imperfection and lack of cooperation. Pray about everything and worry about nothing. Take care of what you can manage. Everything else will fall into place.
Photography: Scrole Vision Photography
Wedding Planner: Frances Berry
Photo Booth: Flash Foto Booth
Videography: D.P. Weddings Videography
Makeup: Blushen Makeup by Tiffany Graham
Hair: Hair by Cynthia Green
Wedding Dress: Vera Wang 'Lindsay'
Salon: The Bridal Salon at Saks Jandel in Chevy Chase, MD
Shoes: Manolo Blahnik 'Cassia' via Nordstrom
Fascinators: Handmade by Joan Jackson
Bridesmaid Dresses: Jim Hjelm
Salon: Love Couture Bridal in Potomac, MD
Shoes: Blue by Betsey Johnson
Groom and Groomsmen Attire: Vera Wang Tuxedos, Hugo Boss Shirts via Men's Wearhouse
Florals, Event Design, Decor: Frances Berry, Gisela Marshall, Myca Gray, Alex, Berry, Roy Berry, Jr.
Signage: Adrienne Berry
Programs: Designed by Kate Aspen, Personalized by Frances Berry
Wedding Stationery: Minted
Transportation: Vintage Limos
Catering: Hackett Family Catering
Entertainment: DJ Stylz
Wedding Cake and Groom's Cake: Fluffy Thoughts Cakes