LAN ANH DINH & JACKSON HIGNITE
Lan Anh and Jackson met while attending the University of Notre Dame. Three months into their relationship, they confessed to one another that they planned on spending the rest of their lives together.
“...Our friend and mentor sat us down and made us confront how we felt about each other,” Lan Anh said. “After some long conversations, we both agreed that we wanted to be together forever.”
Lan Anh’s best friend invited her to spend the day in downtown Boston for one of their regular Instagram photoshoots. Little did Lan Anh know that her friend was helping Jackson plan his proposal to her.
“In the middle of taking photos, I was surprised to see Jackson walking towards me with a bunch of roses, and with two photographers in tow,” Lan Anh said. “I always said that since we had been together for four years, I wouldn’t be surprised by the engagement or cry, but I was wrong on both counts.”
Jackson had originally planned on proposing to Lan Anh several weeks before he got down on one knee, but the worst blizzard in the history of Boston thwarted his Plan A. Luckily for him, Lan Anh loved his backup plan!
WEDDING VENDORS WE LOVE
Count in Threes Photo
Ceremony venue: St. Raphael’s Catholic Church; Reception venue: The Apollo on Emma; Day-of coordinator: Heidi Faires; Ceremony gown: Quyen Nguyen Bridal; Reception dress: Made by Morgan; Bridal earrings: Ytonghandmade (Etsy); Bride’s wedding and engagement rings: MindJewelry(Etsy); Groom’s wedding band: StoneForgeStudios; Florals: Arloh Flora; HAMU: Blossom Beauty; Catering: Catering Unlimited; Dinnerware, cake table, bar tables, and dining Staff: Eventures; Lighting: Lightworks Events; DJ: Elite Beats NWA; Cake: Harps Bakery; Bartending: Tie One On NWA; Dance floor: Dancenhance; Car Service: NWA Classic Car
Q & A
Q: What was the inspiration behind the multicolor arch?
A: “I wanted a beautiful spot dedicated to taking photos that would, and I couldn’t have found a better match than what Mackenzie from Arloh Flora designed,” Jackson said. “I think it looked stunning in that corner surrounded by art from local Springdale artists.”
Q: What was your favorite moment of the day, and why?
A: “As a surprise, my family (who all flew across the world from Vietnam) brought over 200 hand fans to give out as party favors to our guests,” Lan Anh said. “Later that night during the dance party, everyone busted out their gifts as we danced in the heat, and it added so much fun and color to the evening.”
A: “A family friend told us after the wedding that they could hear the dance party happening from blocks away,” Jackson said. “It’s my opinion that the volume of the music accounted for only half of that noise, with the joy and energy of the people dancing together in the sweltering Arkansas heat making up the other half. It felt like everybody was living in the exact same moment as we danced, and I felt blessed to be a part of it.”
Q: What is your secret to wedding planning success?
A: “Communication between us and our families was crucial,” Lan Anh said. “Wedding planning is stressful, especially when you don’t have a planner and are doing it from out of state while completing your master’s degree at the same time! We leaned on our families for support from Arkansas to help coordinate communication between us and the vendors.”
Q: We are obsessed with your venue, why did you decide to have your reception here?
A: “Growing up in Springdale, I’ve always loved The Apollo on Emma,” Jackson said. “I’ve seen the way the new owners have really poured a lot of time and love into fixing it up and retaining its status as an icon of downtown Springdale. It was always our first choice, and as we looked through different options, it only became more clear that the Apollo was the perfect place for us.”
Q: Why did you decide on a rainbow-themed reception?
A: “The last thing we wanted was a straight-laced, buttoned-up, black-tie affair,” Lan Anh said. “We encouraged everyone in our invitations to wear bright colors, and we asked our wedding party to choose their outfits for themselves. We wanted everyone to indulge in an event that felt vibrant, merry and gay, and we wanted the evening to look just as bright and welcoming as it felt.”
Q: Tell us the details behind your outfits for the day of the wedding.
A: “My ceremony dress was a custom-made traditional Vietnamese áo dài that I had made a year prior when I went home to Ho Chi Minh City,” Lan Anh said. “I love the tiny pearl details on the sleeves and collar -- it made me feel so chic. My reception dress was actually designed and made by my best friend and right-hand man Morgan, and it took them 3 months to source the material, drape, and stitch all the beautiful details together almost entirely by hand. The design for the dress was actually conceived at the beginning of our friendship as a half-joke, but when I think about how supportive Morgan has been in Jackson and I’s relationship throughout the years I couldn’t imagine wearing anything else. The idea for a mini-dress reveal was perfect for the electric atmosphere of the dance party and the Arkansas heat!”
HONORING TRADITIONS & CULTURE
“My ceremony dress was a custom, traditional Vietnamese áo dài that I had made a year prior when I went home to Ho Chi Minh City,” Lan Anh said. “I love the tiny pearl details on the sleeves and collar—it made me feel so chic.”
WORTH-IT WEDDING DAY SPLURGES
“We rented a ‘67 Classic DeVille from NWA Classic Car to take us from the church to The Apollo on Emma,” Lan Anh said. “It was kind of a last-minute decision, but the photos in the classic car in front of the classic movie marquee look incredible—we’re so glad we splurged for it.”