Dream Wedding Giveaway



WORTH OVER $75,000!


Congrats to Carol and Nhi!


Wedding Date: October 13, 2012


Enter to win the Dream Wedding Giveaway 2013!



Nguyen and Tran

Nguyen and Tran on the waterfront at Harbour View, their ceremony and reception location.

And the Winners Are…

We sat down with engaged lovebirds Nhi Tran and Carol Nguyen to discuss their upcoming nuptials with Northern Virginia Magazine’s Dream Wedding Giveaway.

Story by: Lorin Drinkard • Photo by: Modern Wed

Meet the Couple
Nhi Tran, 31 – Nail technician from Alexandria
Carol Nguyen, 24 – Government auditor from Alexandria

Just Friends …?
You’ve got to hand it to mutual pals at George Mason University for bringing our lovely husband- and wife-to-be together in 2001.

“We were just friends, for a few years,” says Carol Nguyen, explaining how she and Nhi Tran’s relationship began its slow but steady trek toward romance. “We started dating officially in July 2003.”

The First Date
“He picked me up from the gym, and we went to the movies,” recalls Nguyen. But they weren’t alone. Tran asked his buddy to tag along. “He brought his friend with him!” says Nguyen.

“Actually, I was pretty shy,” says Tran.

“It was fun,” says Nguyen. “His third-wheel buddy was OK. He didn’t intrude or anything.”

OK, More Than Friends
After spending more and more time together, the two realized they were destined for more than being just platonic pals.

“It turned out to be something else,” adds Nguyen, when Tran mustered up the courage to officially ask Nguyen out. Although she was hesitant at first, persistence paid off for Mr. Tran. After vowing to cut off their friendship if she didn’t take him up on his offer, Nguyen agreed.

“He said, ‘If you don’t want to talk to me anymore, that’s it. No AOL Instant Messanger, don’t email me anymore.’ … And that’s when I realized, ‘Oh, there was something special.’ I didn’t want to lose him.”

Happy Birthday, and a Proposal
In summer of 2011, Tran decided it was finally time to pop the question. “She claimed, ‘Oh, I’m not ready. Maybe two or three years…’ but sometimes she’s like, “Are you going to propose to me?’” says Tran, talking of their pre-engagement days.

With all their friends and family gathered around, Tran asked Nguyen to marry him on July 3 at Carol’s birthday party.

“I think 40 or 50 people were invited … it was at his family’s house,” says Nguyen. “The parents kept it a secret. They did well.”

What a Dream
The couple first heard of the Dream Wedding Giveaway through a friend’s Facebook page. “At that time, it was late fall/early winter … soon after we wanted to start planning,” says Nguyen. “How could we not enter?”

“It’s the same month that we planned to have our wedding—October of this year,” says Tran, further embracing the perfect timing of it all.

Feel the Love
When news of the couple’s video entry in the Wedding Giveaway spread to family and friends, it didn’t take long for the couple to see just how supportive and dedicated their loved ones were in helping them win the competition.

“My father printed out 200 to 500 flyers to give out to students at his school,” says Tran, who also passed out flyers at his work. “And clients come back [to Tran’s job] and ask, ‘Did you win? Did you win?’”

College friends, lots of relatives and even Tran’s former Boy Scout troop members all rallied together to vote for their entry, which included a photo montage and music from Celine Dion.

“This wedding giveaway made us realize how meaningful our family was … [that they] would go above and beyond,” says Nguyen, whose cousin even put together a campaign for the couple in her neighboring town. “It made me feel really touched.”

“Are You Serious?”
When the votes were tallied, magazine staff called the couple to let them know they’d won the giveaway.

“Honestly, I wish I hadn’t been driving at that time,” says Nguyen, thinking back to that surprising phone conversation.

“I was floored,” she adds. “We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for our family and friends so I think that’s the most important factor … In order to achieve your dreams, you have to have support.”

Let The Planning Begin
Once the initial shock of winning had passed, our bride- and groom-to-be sat down with Jolleen Tran, Northern Virginia Magazine’s Dream Wedding coordinator, to discuss colors, themes and other details for their upcoming big day.

“They like yellow, gold tones, orange and burgundy,” says Tran, who will be helping the couple with everything from the cake tastings to selecting invitations.

Check back each month to follow the couple’s progress as they begin their journey toward saying “I do” through Northern Virginia Magazine’s Dream Wedding this fall.




Honeymoon: Honeymoon Islands in partnership with Banyan Tree Mayakoba
Caterer: Lavender Green Florist:
Reception / Ceremony: Jeweler:
Rehearsal Dinner: Videographer: Black Tie Weddings
Photographer: Dress:


Invitations: Transportation:

Tuxedos and Bridesmaid

Grooms Cake: DJ:

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