Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Why having personalized wedding vows are important

I always tell my clients to write their own vows. I know it can be nerve wracking and challenging to express your heart in front of all your friends and family but I can guarantee you that this will bring so much more meaning & personal touch to the ceremony. Yes, the details are important but there's nothing more special than listening to two people share their love and dedication to one another in public. Here's a wedding video from Cloud 9 Studio that perfectly captured their moment. It's a must watch!

Randy & Esther from Jason Kim on Vimeo.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Grant's 1st Birthday Party

I can’t believe how time flies by so quickly! Our little boy will be turning one next month! Everyone has been asking me if I was planning his dohl (1st birthday party- it’s a pretty big deal to all Korean moms!). I’ve been hesitant to give an answer because I wasn’t sure if I was going to throw one at all.

While looking for a location and bouncing ideas back and forth with my husband, we decided to rent a baby photo studio for 40 of my closest family and friends. We will be given access to use the space freely and take pictures with all the kids. This studio has some really cute backdrops with props, clothes, hats, etc. I’ll reveal the pictures soon!

It has been an incredible journey for our family this year. We want to use this occasion to honor God, our family and friends for their gracious support and wisdom. Grant has been so blessed and has received so much love from those around him that as a family we have decided to donate all gifts to Giving Children Hope. This is a “nonprofit organization dedicated to alleviating poverty (domestically and abroad) through disaster relief, health and community development, vocational training and advocacy.” They are currently sending medical supplies to Haiti after the earthquake that struck on January 12, 2010.

Although I feel pressured to throw a kick ass party, (mainly on myself) I have decided to intentionally keep things simple with the hopes of creating an atmosphere to enjoy the company of our friends and family, but a few little awesome details wouldn't hurt, right? :) I want to make this event meaningful and memorable hoping that this will lay the foundation to teaching and educating our son to care for others when he gets older. Yes, it would be nice if Grant got extra toys and clothes from the party but he really doesn’t NEED all of that. As long as our little boy eats well, sleeps well, plays well (hopefully by himself without me having to entertain him all the time), we couldn’t be happier.

As my husband and I have traveled during summer mission trips to Thailand, Cambodia, China, Kazakhstan, Vietnam and other third world countries, we have realized that we are fortunate to be living in the most wealthiest nation in the world. At times we can whine and complain about what we don’t have but if we take a step back, we realize how lucky we are to have our basic needs met and loved ones around us. My hubby and I really do believe in living a modest life and a life that gives back to others.

As I’ve been sharing the idea for Grant’s party, it has been inspiring my friends to also give gifts they receive from their kid’s parties to charity as well. Even those who aren’t able to come to the party have agreed to send in a donation. Thank you so much for joining our family.

Here's an invite that my hubby quickly put together. He graduated UCLA with a degree in chemical engineering and has no formal training in graphic arts whatsoever. But he definitely tried and gotta love him for doing this! :)

Check back next month to see all the fun photos of us monkeying around!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Confessions of an Engaged Chick: Wedding Snacks

I've mentioned that awkward time before between the ceremony and reception where you walk around trying to find something to do or someone to talk to. It's always nice to go to a wedding where they have FOOD during that time. Little snacks or hors d'oeuvres to keep the guests occupied while they wait for the main course. I saw these cute grilled cheese sandwiches and button shortbread cookies and thought what a nice twist to classic childhood snacks that we grew up with! I'd definitely take those over expensive oysters any day.

the engaged chick, angela

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Why DIY is not for everyone

I’m sure a lot of you have visited the tons inspiration blogs that are taking over the blog world. They are all filled with awesome DIY ideas, but I do want to point out that being a DIY bride may not be worth it for some.

Yes, Martha Stewart and other savvy brides may encourage and inspire you to DIY flowers, invitations, and all your stationary, but it certainly is not for everyone. You may think, "Well.. When am I ever going to get the chance to craft and do projects like these? " Or maybe you want to save money or make the day more personal with the little details, but let me be honest with you all; I don’t recommend DIY projects for those who don’t have a lot of time on their hands and for brides who aren’t too talented at being crafty (sorry for being so blunt). You may imagine DIY projects to be fairly easy, especially with the tutorials, but sometimes after you buy all the materials and start putting things together, you quickly realize it is not as easy as you thought it would be. It might even lead to being dissapointed and discouraged by the end results. Yes, you might be saving a few bucks here and there but don't forget to calculate the time and effort you have to put in.

By no means am I writing this entry to discourage the savvy brides out there to DIY, because there are a lot of brides that blow me away by their talent and ideas. However, if you are not much of a crafty person I would definitely think twice before you run to Michaels or to the Flower Mart. Reality is doing a DIY wedding/projects is very time consuming for the bride. People/vendors are called professionals for a reason- they have the skill, knowledge and artistic ability. Plainly put, they know what they are doing; I mean that is what we are paying them for right? We might be dealing with the same materials and flowers that the professionals are using but the results can be quite different.

For example, (a true story!) one of my clients called me frustrated and disappointed a couple weeks ago about her invitations. Her friend had offered to help design the invites and at that time the bride was thinking it couldn’t be too hard to print out the invites on her own once the design was completed. Unfortunately, she had no idea what she was getting herself into. She went to two different Paper Source locations to get the right color paper and when she finally got to Kinko’s to print out the invites the printer kept jamming because the paper was too thick. After many attempts to print out the invites my bride had no choice but to go back to Paper Source to purchase a thinner paper. Who knew printing invites could give you such a headache and we didn’t even get to the part about cutting the invites correctly, taping the papers together, getting all the addresses from your guests, and sending out the invites on TIME! Whew!

I can totally understand and relate with her because I too get overly excited with just the thought of trying new things. Oftentimes I have to filter all the thoughts and ideas that go through my mind because there are just too many projects I’d like to try. :) Here’s a great example, when I was 6 months pregnant, I had this idea of gifting a handmade crocheted baby blanket to my son. I wanted to somehow ‘bond’ with my unborn child and I thought this project would be perfect. However, I would have never thought of doing it if I knew how time consuming it would be! I guess that's the whole point of crocheting? Taking it one day at a time and not getting antsy about the end results? Unfortunately, I realized that's not me. I need to see the results within 2-3 days! Anyways, so I spent $50 on just the yarn. A couple days later I realized that I didn’t get enough yarn, so I had to go out and buy another $20 worth of yarn from Michaels. After 3 days of attempting to crochet and $70 later, I got impatient, and handed the unfinished blanket over to my mom. Haha! Do I use the blanket now? Not really. Lesson I learned: Go to Target and buy a $15 fleece blanket that is super warm, soft and won’t shrink!

With that said, here are some things to keep in mind if you are considering to DIY some things for your wedding:

1) Am I savvy? Do I like to put together crafty things?

2) Is this project doable? Can I finish it in time before the wedding?

3) Do I have family and friends who can help me? Always have a back-up plan but never take them for granted. (PLEASE take some time to read this entry I wrote a while back)

4) Who is going to help me transfer and set it up? I HIGHLY recommend that you hire at least a “Day of Coordinator” even if you are trying to save money.

With that said, I have seen beautiful interpretations of weddings on a budget. You can find so much inspirations by really breaking down the parts and looking at each element as a potential project. So for those that LIKE to get their hands a little dirty, I encourage you to think outside the box and go all out with your creativity!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Confessions of an Engaged Chick: Venue List

First of all, I am loving My Bride Story's new layout! So dreamy and chic!

Secondly, I was perusing through my list of wedding blogs a few weeks ago and found these! I feel like I opened a treasure box and this will hopefully help us find a venue. Our deadline to find a venue is the end of this month so must hop, hop to it! I thought I'd share the lists with the bride-to-bes to make venue searching a bit easier. The first file is an excel sheet with a list of Los Angeles wedding venues along with their website, address, price, contact info and other necessary details. The second is from The Relentless Bride's website. Not only does she have details on all the venues she researched in Southern California, but she also has pictures! What a hidden gem! Thank you to both and happy planning!

Los Angeles Wedding Venues:

The Relentless Bride:

the engaged chick, angela

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Nayun & Paul's E-session

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season full of lots of laughter, good food, family & friends. Nicole & Scott's wedding at La Venta Inn was our last wedding we had in 2009 and the photos will be up in a couple of months to reveal the details.

We're ready to kick off our 2010 wedding season in two weeks with Nayun & Paul's wedding at Casa Del Mar. Stay tuned for 'music & guitar' inspired wedding and I'll be sure to capture a clip when they sing the JUNO song "Anyone else but You" with their guitars. :) You don't want to miss this! Meanwhile, enjoy these dreamy engagement session taken by Stephanie Williams Photography.