Tropical Chic Garden Wedding at the Vanderbilt Museum

March 18, 2018 | Junebug Weddings

Kanha and Jilson perfectly fused their Dominican and Cambodian cultures in their Long Island wedding at the Vanderbilt Museum. Using a mix of glamorous wedding party style, tropical florals, and a neutral color palette, they created a crisp and dreamy ceremony and reception space in the museum’s waterfront garden and pavilion. After their vow exchange, the couple changed into traditional Cambodian wedding attire for a knot tying ceremony in which their family and friends offered blessings for their marriage. Kanha was a vision in both her glamorous Pronovias wedding dress and her red and intricate gold Cambodian dress, and the bridesmaids’ neutral gowns and single-stem monstera and orchid bouquets complemented both styles beautifully. The photography and videography team at Kapsule Co. did a phenomenal job capturing every gorgeous moment and exceptional detail of this wedding, most notably the groom’s sweet serenade to his bride before their first look!

The Couple:

Kanha and Jilson

The Wedding:

Vanderbilt Museum, Long Island, New York

The most memorable part of our day was the first look. Right before we saw each other, he surprised me with a medley of songs on the guitar. The songs he picked were ones that were significant to us throughout the years. It was almost like the music was “our story” and each song was a reminder of all the little moments that brought us to that day.

We originally wanted to elope, so once we decided on a wedding, we knew that we didn’t want to do things just for the sake of tradition. It was important for our wedding to feel intimate, unique, and authentic. At the end of it all, it became a fusion of all the things that we love and a fun blend of our Cambodian and Dominican cultures.

We love to travel so when searching for a venue, it was important for us to find elements that we appreciate most from our travels – water, history, and unique architecture. We had no idea this would be possible to find so close to home! As soon as we saw the courtyard and gardens of the mansion, we knew it was our venue. It felt like a destination wedding without having to leave New York. The empty saltwater pool was closed off and in bad shape when we toured the venue. But we thought it would make a great ceremony space — intimate with a water view and an iron staircase. Luckily, the restoration was completed a few weeks before our wedding and it was exactly what we envisioned!

We wrote our own vows and also love letters to each other that we sealed in a box with a bottle of wine. Our promise is that we open the letters and wine on our fifth anniversary or earlier if we ever need a reminder of how we felt on that day. After exchanging vows, we quickly changed clothes for a traditional Cambodian Knot Tying ceremony. Our family and friends were invited to come forward to bring their best wishes and blessings for our marriage by individually tying red blessing strings around our wrists.

Kapsule Co. was incredible to work with – such genuine souls with raw talent! It was a blessing to find a vendor equally talented in photography and cinematography. We spent our day with Nicole, Hannah, David, and Seann. They brought so much ease and comfort, especially for a couple that hates being in front of the camera. We would choose them a thousand times over!

The Wedding Team:

Photography and Videography – Kapsule Co.
Event Coordinators – Two Kindred Event Planners
Venue – Vanderbilt Museum
Floral Design – Petals and Roots
Catering – Caribbean Pearl
Cake – Little Sugar Shop
Officiant – Daniela VillaRamos
Calligraphy – Amanda Jo
Makeup Artist and Hair Styling – Munia Akter
Wedding Dress – Pronovias
Groom’s Apparel – Indochino


Congratulations to Kanha and Jilson, and an extra special thanks to Kapsule Co. for sharing this phenomenal wedding with Junebug! Looking for more tropical glam wedding inspiration? There is a lot to love in this tropical Gatsby wedding at Wolkenburg!

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