Vietnamese-American Wedding Weekend in Westerville
, 2023-01-19 07:02:05,
March 27, 2022 | Kim Nguyen-Halter and Jacob Halter almost didn’t have a first date, but destiny led them to have three weddings.
The couple, who originally met at a gym, were to have their first date playing disc golf at Griggs Reservoir in Northwest Columbus. But after circling parking lots for what seemed like hours, they still couldn’t locate each other. “I was impatient and getting angry,” Kim says. “I was just about to leave. I figured it wasn’t meant to be—and then Jacob pulled up. His smile was so contagious.”
The date that almost didn’t happen lasted six hours; nearly six years later, in 2020, Jacob proposed to Kim during a private tour at The Wilds in Muskingum County, one of their favorite destinations. “I wanted it to be private, so I booked the whole vehicle,” Jacob says.
Because their visit happened during COVID, Kim wasn’t suspicious that they had the whole bus to themselves. Jacob popped the question when they were stopped near Kim’s beloved giraffes, and in another stroke of good fortune, Kim’s favorite giraffe approached them. “Everything aligned perfectly,” Jacob says.
COVID altered their original wedding plans, so the couple eloped in 2021 at a cabin in the Hocking Hills, exchanging vows under an arch made by a friend. Two more weddings followed in 2022: a traditional Vietnamese ceremony held at a New Albany apartment complex clubhouse on March 26, and a larger American-style event the following day at Jorgensen Farms in Westerville.
“My culture has always been very important to me, and Jacob has been curious and eager to learn about it,” Kim says. “My family is very superstitious and said getting married on Saturday—between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.—would bring us the best luck.”
The couple personalized their weddings with Vietnamese, Japanese and French desserts and incorporated calla lilies. “I’ve always loved them,” Kim says. “They’re such a simple flower, but so elegant.” They also are the flowers that Jacob just happened to bring on their first date, not knowing at the time how much they meant to Kim.
Planning two, back-to-back ceremonies was stressful, Kim says. “What wedding is perfect? And two? But when we were walking up for our first dance, it was like no one else was there. We just saw each other.”
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