Real Weddings Dallas 2019
Real Weddings

Dallas bride and groom celebrate new beginnings in colorful paradise of flowers

Dallas bride and groom celebrate new beginnings in paradise of flowers

Rita and Derek
The couple wanted an elegant and modern wedding with a small group of family and friends.  Photo by Fairy Tale Photography
Rita and Derek
The bride and groom were introduced through a mutual friend.  Photo by Fairy Tale Photography
Rita and Derek
Rita Saynhalath and Derek Ngai were married on May 18, 2019. Photo by Fairy Tale Photography
Rita and Derek
The bride's son served as ring bearer.  Photo by Fairy Tale Photography
Rita and Derek
The wedding took place at The Pearl Restaurant & Lounge.  Photo by Fairy Tale Photography
Rita and Derek
The bride's sister served as wedding planner and envisioned "a paradise of flowers and candles." Photo by Fairy Tale Photography
Rita and Derek
The mother of the bride made French appetizers in homage to the bride's birthplace.  Photo by Fairy Tale Photography
Rita and Derek
The bridal gown was purchased at Gowns of Grace.  Photo by Fairy Tale Photography
Rita and Derek
The bride and groom are both physicians at Children's Medical Center Dallas.  Photo by Fairy Tale Photography
Rita and Derek
The couple was engaged for seven months before the big day.  Photo by Fairy Tale Photography
Rita and Derek
The couple chose The Pearl Restaurant because it serves traditional Chinese food and the groom is from Hong Kong.  Photo by Fairy Tale Photography
Rita and Derek
Dream Weddings created a "paradise of flowers." Photo by Fairy Tale Photography
Rita and Derek
M2M Bakery created the cake.  Photo by Fairy Tale Photography
Rita and Derek
Guests celebrate the new Mr. and Mrs. on the dance floor.  Photo by Fairy Tale Photography
Rita and Derek
Rita and Derek
Rita and Derek
Rita and Derek
Rita and Derek
Rita and Derek
Rita and Derek
Rita and Derek
Rita and Derek
Rita and Derek
Rita and Derek
Rita and Derek
Rita and Derek
Rita and Derek

Rita Saynhalath and Derek Ngai never dreamed they’d one day stand in a Chinese restaurant in a suburb of Dallas and say “I do.” But the couple did just that, surrounded by a small group of family and friends, on May 18, 2019 at The Pearl Restaurant in Grand Prairie.

“It was a small wedding with close family and friends, so everyone knew the background to our love story,” says Rita. “We loved being able to share the day with them.” 

It was a rocky road to the altar for the bride, who was a single mom before meeting her groom-to-be.

Rita was adjusting to life with her 9-week-old son while also finishing her residency with the support of her parents. A fellowship in pediatric anesthesiology brought her to Dallas and she met Derek, also a physician, through a friend. 

“We went on a group date,” says Rita, now a doctor at Children’s Medical Center Dallas. “The next morning, Derek asked me out on a second date ... and the rest is history.”

The couple got engaged in October of 2018 at Derek's apartment. He greeted the bride-to-be at his front door and dropped to one knee, while Train’s song “Marry Me” played. She said yes — of course — and the couple began planning an intimate wedding with help from the Rita's sister, Rivann Yu, who acted as wedding planner. 

“Rivann envisioned a paradise of flowers with candles and soft purple uplighting,” says Rita. “We wanted the wedding to be elegant and modern.”

They also wanted it to be unique to them and meaningful in every detail — a true celebration of the family they were creating.

In homage to Derek's Hong Kong heritage, the couple chose to hold the wedding at The Pearl Restaurant, which serves traditional Chinese fare. French appetizers were made by the mother of the bride, nodding to the bride’s birthplace.

And the date was strategically chosen to honor the groom’s late father, whose birthday was May 18. 

Perhaps most special of all was the role Rita's son played. He was involved in every facet of the celebration and held the very important title of ring bearer.

“It was a relaxed vibe,” Rita says. “We just wanted everyone to enjoy themselves and celebrate. It truly felt like a new beginning.” 

Planner: Rivann Yu
Venue: The Pearl Restaurant & Lounge
Florals: Dream Weddings
Photography: Fairy Tale Photography
Bridal gown: Gowns of Grace
Hair & makeup: Q Makeup & Hair Artistry
Cake: M2M Bakery
DJ: RLF Society Events
Transportation: DFW Executive Limo

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To submit a wedding for consideration, email stephanie@culturemap.com. Weddings must have taken place around Dallas-Fort Worth since July 1, 2018.