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Featured Wedding: Aimee & Virak // Chesapeake Bay Beach Club

Jan 04, 2012 04:44AM ● By Anonymous

The couple. It took two years for Aimee Bennett, 28, an assistant preschool teacher, and Virak Sath, 29, an IT specialist, to realize what was in front of them the entire time. They met at coworkers at the Bethesda County Club, but it wasn’t until Aimee was in her final weeks at the job when the pair started to develop a friendship outside of work. Later, Virak popped the question on New Year’s Eve right before the two attended a ball at the Hilton hotel in Washington, D.C. 

The dress. When looking for a wedding gown, Aimee was envisioning her grandmother, who “always had that ‘Audrey Hepburn thing’ going on with her glam red lipstick and simple yet classically beautiful style,” she says. Because of this, Aimee knew she wanted a classic dress that would remain the picture of beauty for years to come. She and her mother visited Kleinfeld Bridal in New York City to find a dress. Aimee tried on a strapless silk taffeta ball gown with a sweetheart neckline and a bodice of flowers and Swaroski crystal beading, designed by Alita Graham. “As my mother and I stood in front of the mirror at Kleinfeld staring at the dress that I had selected, I said ‘What would Grandma think?’ We both became teary-eyed knowing that she would have loved the dress,” she says.

Their heritage. Aimee and Virak faced the unique challenge of planning a “Protestant-Jewish-Buddhist” wedding to incorporate every aspect of their family’s faiths. “Virak and I wanted both the ceremony and the reception to reflect our deep friendship and the coming together of two families that are both very different, yet very much the same,” Aimee says. They started by lighting candles and incense before the ceremony, in accordance to Buddhist custom, and making an offering of food and wine to their departed family members. “It is believed these offerings help protect us from evil and bring happiness and a good life,” she says. Additionally, they incorporated a time-honored Jewish tradition at the end of the ceremony with Virak breaking a glass with his heel to shouts of “Mazel Tov” from their guests. 

The traditions didn’t stop there. During cocktail hour, guests enjoyed performances of traditional folk dances by Cambodian dancers, honoring Virak’s heritage. The dancing continued with guests participating in both traditional Cambodian dances and the Jewish Horah before contemporary tunes began.


The cake. Guests enjoyed three different flavors—chocolate filled with chocolate buttercream, vanilla with raspberry preserves, and almond with almond brittle—contained in Aimee and Virak's five-tiered cake frosted with buttercream. Blue and pink gum-paste flowers, which matched the garden theme of the wedding, cascaded down the side of the cake.

The future. "Once we were married, things happened pretty fast," Aimee says. Within a month of marriage, the pair moved into a home they purchased near Columbia, Md. Shortly after, they found out they were expecting their first child. "We look forward to welcoming our first child almost nine months to the day after the wedding," she says. "It's a boy!"