La Dolce Vita! A Beautiful Honeymoon Love Shoot: Alex & Hieu
Alex is the founder & CTO of a tech start-up in Silicon Valley that focuses on Machine Learning and Hieu is an award-winning senior producer with CNN whose current work includes Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown.
Hieu is a die-hard dog person with the most precious little long-haired Chihuahua named Coco. Alex is a die-hard cat person.
Luckily that’s the only thing they disagree on!
They are both avid travellers and Hieu chronicles their adventures on her food blog la petite belle blog.
This is their gorgeous honeymoon love shoot!
La Dolce Vita!
Words by Hieu. Images by destination wedding photographer Janice Yi Photography.
How did you meet and fall in love?
Our first date occurred on September 28, 2011 (almost four years ago!). I remember pulling up at his apartment building and taking a look at his place first before we headed out to dinner.
Total bachelor pad – penthouse unit, floor-to-ceiling windows, a circle sofa. We shared a nice “getting-to-know-you” conversation on his balcony that overlooked an amazing view of the Atlanta skyline.
Afterwards, we walked to Ecco, which was actually a favorite restaurant for us both, in Midtown and we got the best seat in the house. A table tucked in the corner with a view of the open kitchen and the rest of the restaurant. We had wine and amazing food – wood-grilled squid, the infamous and delicious fried goat cheese balls drizzled with honey and handmade tagliatelle pasta. He struck me as warm and extremely intelligent.
After dinner, we went back to his apartment and talked some more. We played one of those parlor games in which one person asks questions like “there’s a room, what’s in it?” and the other person responds. Once all of the questions have been answered, the questioner reveals the meanings of the answers. We played this game for about two hours and I learned a lot about this tall, dark and handsome stranger.
I recently read a New York Times article titled “To fall in love with anyone, Do This,” and it felt like the questions he asked that fateful night felt like we were already sharing our most innermost desires and intimate hopes and dreams on that first night we met.
In the article, the key to falling in love is asking 36 specific questions which creates a space for trust. I felt the questions he asked created an instant trust and connection that night. Our conversation had quickly moved from the superficial to the personal.
I left that night feeling like I had known this mysterious gentleman longer than one night.
How did he propose?
Paris holds a special place in our hearts. It was where I was taking classes and workshops for my low-residency MFA in Poetry from NYU. For two years, we would make two trips to Paris annually, once in January and another in July.
On our last trip to Paris in the summer, Alex finally popped the question in front of the Eiffel Tower.
It had taken him weeks to plan, and I had been oblivious to it all.
Unbeknownst to me, he had been carrying the ring the whole trip. He had mentioned that this trip would be a journey of celebrations.
At every nice dinner we would have, he would present me with a hand-written note in calligraphy with a special date that signified a big moment in our lives – our first date, my ten-year anniversary from CNN, and finally the most memorable night of all, our proposal. In each note, was a wonderfully written piece of his heart that expressed his love for me. I think he has as much of a poet’s soul as I do.
I’ll never forget that night. We were picked up in front of our apartment by a black Bentley! I knew we were going out, but we were definitely going out! Our first stop was one of Paris’ best cocktail lounges “Prescription Cocktail Club.”
Afterwards, we were whisked away to the Eiffel Tower. At this point, I was starting to suspect something was going on. Then finally he got down on his knee, pulled out the last of his beautiful notes and the last line asked…
“Will you marry me?”
The Eiffel tower began to sparkle at that exact moment and we drank champagne and nibbled on macarons. It couldn’t have been a more amazing moment. We ended the night dancing until 2am at Silencio, David Lynch’s underground club.
The next day, I told my classmates the exciting news and we had a toast along the Seine. C’est magnifique!
I knew it was love when…
Hieu – I knew it was love when… he inspired me to write poetry. The poem is about a love-sick girl in love with her professor. He inspires me to be the best version of myself I can be. I haven’t let him read the poem yet!
Alex – I knew it was love when… On our second date, in a noisy restaurant where I was sitting across from her, she invited me to sit next to her on her bench seat. I was secretly wanting the same thing. It punctuated what had been unstated – that we had an instant comfort level with each other.
Oh wow! What an amazing shoot and couple – I think you’ll agree that they are just perfect for each other.
Congratulations Alex & Hieu and long may you live La Dolce Vita.
images by janice yi photography