Planning

Day After The Wedding: Brunch

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Not necessary to include into your wedding, but a brunch for some of your closest family and guests is a nice way to conclude your celebrations.  Brunches are typically funded by the bride and groom and are held either at a home or restaurant.  If you decide to have brunch at home, it’s more carefree and relaxed, but you’ll have to deal with the cleaning after.  But a restaurant brunch allows for freedom to just eat and catch up on the previous night’s events.  You don’t have to clean and you just enjoy the list couple of minutes before you depart on your honeymoon.  Some hotels and restaurants provide great packages when you include the reception dinner and brunch to your deal is a great bonus to having brunch.  You can invite anyone to the brunch.  Some people tend to invite the guests who have come from out of town just to thank them for taking the time to come out and share in your celebrations.  Of course family and close friends can be invited too.  So do as you like with the brunch.  Have it or don’t.  It’s just a great way to say thank you to your guests and is a last hurrah to your wedding experience.

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Hire A Nanny On Your Wedding Day

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You may not think it practical now, but wait until the day of your wedding and you wish that the little ones had some other place to run around and play instead of making a lot of unnecessary noise at the reception.  Children have so much energy in them that when asked to sit quietly, they will not.  Nowadays, nanny and babysitting services have specific packages for weddings.  They supply everything you will need to keep the children entertained.  You can also hire them for both the ceremony and the reception if you feel it necessary.  Not only will you have a wedding that is free of loud and rowdy children, but the parents of these children can actually enjoy the celebration of your marriage.  Everyone is happy in the end.  Just make sure that if you decide to hire a babysitting service that they have high ratings, are licensed and insured.  You want to make sure you enjoy your day to the fullest so why not  provide this great service to your guests as well!

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Save the Dates: Not Your Life Story

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The most effective save-the-dates are those that are brief and to the point.  You don’t want to include too much information because that’s what the invitations are for. Save-the-dates are mainly just to let your guests know to hold your wedding date and to expect an invitation in the coming months ahead leading to your wedding.  All you really need to include in your save-the-date are your names, the wedding date, and the general location of the wedding (like the city and state).  You also want to include, “Invitation to Follow” so guests know to expect it and not wonder where the rest of the information for your wedding is.

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Your want your save-the-date to be eye catching.  Adding to many words to it would cause too much clutter and the letters would be too small to read.  Don’t forget to include a photo of the two of you in your lovely message!

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Keeping A Journal While You Plan Your Wedding

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Many brides today keep little memories in a binder or notebook when planning their wedding.  But what you don’t often see them doing is writing little memories throughout the planning process.  From the moment you say “I do” to the day you walk down that aisle, you should take notes of everything thing that you’re feeling and the ideas that keep looming in your head as you plan your special day.  Maybe one day, your future daughter can have the honor of being able to read your journal and see how it was like for you to plan your wedding when it comes time to plan theirs.

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The journey to the alter has many trials and frustrations, laughter and exhilaration, and lots of important decisions that need to be made down the road.  When you keep a planner for your wedding, you jot down notes for everything you needed to do and the choices you made from invitations to linens and colors.  But writing down your feelings will make it so much more meaningful.  It’ll definitely be a treasure to keep for years to come and for generations to read years from now.

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Write a letter to that future daughter or daughters of yours as you are planning your wedding and tell them how you will contribute to theirs and what your hopes will be when it comes time for them to plan their own wedding.  Their is no right or wrong in keeping a wedding journal.  It is whatever you want to write and decorate to your heart’s desire.  Memories and keepsakes mean more to anyone than any expensive gift in the world.  It’s a beautiful gift to yourself and to your future daughters to come!

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Choosing the Perfect Wedding Date

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Choosing a wedding date is very crucial because you want to ensure that the date you want is available to the venue that you are choosing.  And also because it is another milestone in both your lives and the date should be a memorable one.  It should be made with a lot of thought and consideration.

You want to make sure that you pick a date that isn’t around the time of terrible weather season because it might impact the number of guests who will decide to attend the day of.  If you’re in California or anywhere where rain is scarce, then you’re lucky to not have to worry about the rainy weather so much.  But the heat may be a different story.  Your guests will most likely still be in attendance but you should reconsider the date in the summertime if you have plan to have an outdoor ceremony.  Your guests might not like it very much if they are stuck outside in the heat as they wait for you to walk down that aisle.  But if you do decide to go with a summer wedding, make sure that you accommodate your guests with cute fans or refreshments to drink prior to the start of the wedding.

Avoiding a date around the holidays or a birthday should also be considered.  You want your date to be special.  When I say birthday, I specifically mean you and your significant others’ birthdays.  Do you really want to celebrate a birthday and a wedding anniversary at the same time?  Others might beg to differ and think it has more meaning when you celebrate a birthday on the wedding day as well.  But that is a matter of preference.

So carefully consider your wedding date and make sure you avoid any milestone dates and special memories that you feel could take away the special significance of your anniversary!

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Trimming Down The Guest-List

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As much as you want to invite every single person that has touched your life, you just can’t. One of the hardest parts about planning your wedding  is figuring out who you feel should be invited to share in your special day.  And we all know, the bigger the guest-list, the bigger the budget your wedding will have to be.  So the best thing to do is to start writing down a list of people you actually want to invite to your wedding early on in your planning phase.

One thing you can do is once you list out all the guest you’d like to invite, you can make a note next to each name explaining how they have touched your lives and why they should be invited.  People you aren’t close to or relatives you haven’t seen in ages can definitely be eliminated from the list.  Co-workers you are not close to can also be eliminated.  Just because you are close to some co-workers doesn’t mean you have to invite all of them just so the few can attend.  I’m sure the ones who aren’t close to you will understand why they weren’t invited in the first place.  Don’t feel bad for taking them off the list just because you’ll have to see them almost everyday after.

Keeping within the budget can get tough as the planning process progresses.  Ensuring that you invite only people who matter to you the most will definitely help to eliminate the stress of your budget going up.  It’s the easiest way to keep your budget in check and be able to spend your money on other parts of your wedding that matter to you more.

So don’t feel bad for that family member who was twice removed whom you won’t be inviting.  Or that casual friend who you see on occasion at other weddings or special events.  Your main focus is to ensure that you are happy with the whole outcome of your wedding.  Also, don’t feel like you need to please your parents and invite the whole enchilada of a family you have and have never met in your life.  Sometimes they just want to share in their child’s big day, but if they aren’t going to help with the budget, then don’t feel obligated to invite your mom’s best friends aunt to your wedding.

Happy planning!

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Should You Follow The Trend?

14473533783_8affbe1b42_oYou’re finally engaged!! It’s now time for the fun part.  Planning your big day!  Okay.  It may not be fun for all.  It might actually be stressful.  That’s why you have professionals like me to help you along the way.  So it’s now time to figure out the theme of your wedding.  You’re probably trying to figure out what the current trend is and how you can incorporate it into your theme.  But is today’s trend really something you want to incorporate into your wedding?  What if you aren’t a huge fan of the rustic theme or having metallic pieces decorate your tables?  Do you feel the pressure to have the best wedding ever and the only way you think you can do that is to follow the current trend of the year?  I say NO!! Don’t follow the trend.  Follow your heart and what you love.  In the long run, it will make you a lot happier when you see the outcome than to create a wedding theme to impress your guests.  I feel that no matter how you make your wedding look, your guests will be impressed no matter what.  After all, you are inviting your nearest and dearest friends and family and not wedding critics to your wedding.  So forget what those trendy magazines and websites have to say about what today’s trend is.  Just do you!! Do you and be happy!! That’s all that matters.

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Adult Only Reception – No Children Allowed?

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So you are thinking of limiting your guest count to adults only but you don’t know a good way of telling your guests without hurting their feelings?  Your wedding should go off without a hitch and with no interruptions.  Having an adults only reception allows your guests to enjoy the night without having to tend to their children.  This also allows for the underage kids to not “accidentally” obtain adult beverages on accident.  You also won’t have to worry about the little ones crying during the important moments of your wedding.  But how do you let them know that children aren’t allowed without getting their feelings hurt?  Personally, I feel that guests should see being invited to your wedding as a privilege.  You are extending an invitation to share your special day with them and they shouldn’t be upset you don’t want their children attending.  It is your preference to do this, not theirs.

I have compiled a couple of ways to tell your guests that children are not allowed at your reception.  Here are a few:

//1// Plain and simple – Note on the invitation “Adult Reception to Follow.”  It is straight forward and clear directions on your invitation of what is to be expected.

//2// Have fun with it – “Children will be given double espressos, a pound of chocolate, a paintball gun, and a puppy.”  I saw this online and thought it was a cute way to note to your guests to not bring their children.  If you are a couple who loves to joke around with your friends and family, then this would be a great way to tell your guest on your invitations.

//3// Address the invitees – “To Mr. and/or Miss/Mrs…”  Addressing the people invited also shows your guests who you are expecting to attend.  Not including “…and family,” will allow them to realize what your expectations are.

//4// Number of guests invited – “We have ______ seats reserved in your honor.”  This is also a straight forward way of telling your guests how many are expected to attend within their family.  You can also include “Adult Reception to Follow,” in the invitations as well.

Creating your guest list should be the least of your worries when planning your wedding.  It’s all about you and your other half joining together in uniting your love for one another.  You are inviting your friends and your family to share in this special moment with you and however you choose to create your guest list will not matter to them as much as you think.  You may be worried that people would think of this as rude to do so.  But if they really do get hurt for not being able to bring their children, then maybe they should rethink who’s day is being celebrated in the end.  It most definitely is not their day right?  Let me know what you think about this!

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Preparing for Wedding Vendor Meetings

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It is important to prepare for a meeting with vendors.  Meeting with vendors can be nerve-racking.  What if they charge you more than what they are worth? What if they seem good from your first impression but they turn out to be your worst nightmare?! With these simple steps, you’ll be ready for you meeting in no time.

1// Research

Go online and read their reviews; if they have any.  Check out their website and blog.  Most vendors have websites so they can show potential clients their work or what they have to offer.  Ask people within your circle if they have ever worked with these vendors before.  It’s always good to have knowledge of potential vendors so you don’t meet them blind.

2// Prepare Questions to ask your potential vendors

There are various amounts of questions you can ask depending on what vendor you are meeting for.

Some common questions are:

“Do you offer packages?”

  • Vendors can charge you in a couple of different ways.  Packages are the best choice because they offer a wide range of services for a consolidated price.  If you end up hiring a vendor hourly or per service, you risk a very high bill in the end.  Packages can give you piece of mind that you won’t be overcharged by your vendor.

“How long have you been in business for?”

  • This question can be iffy because vendors who have only been in business for a short period of time can be great and vendors who have years of experience may not be as good.  This question should be asked with an open mind.

“Do you have a portfolio?”

  • Portfolios are good to have visually because this is how you know if the vendor has the same taste as you.

3// Know Your Budget

It is good to know your budget when heading into a meeting.  That way you don’t end up spending past your budget. Prioritize your vendors and think about which vendors are the most important to the least important.  This way you get rid of services on things that you know you can live without or just cut back on it.

4// Know Your Style

Research and figure out the theme and style of your wedding.  Going blinded makes it hard for a vendor to figure out what it is you want from them and you may end up hiring a vendor who can’t produce the image you will have for your wedding. Knowing this makes it easier for you to tell vendors exactly what you want and you will get exactly that when you go in prepared.  This also helps to eliminate the vendors that don’t fit with your style.

5// Shop Around

Don’t just visit one vendor for each service.  Visit multiple vendors so you can find the best fit vendor for your wedding.  Don’t be afraid to turn down vendors.  If you don’t like them, don’t hire them.  It will be the last time you’ll ever see them anyways!

Happy Planning!

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Irene + John’s Wedding: California Science Center //110814//

A couple of months ago, I’ve had the pleasure to plan my cousin’s wedding.  Now, you may be wondering how I was able to plan and coordinate a wedding and be able to enjoy my cousin’s special day.  I am very lucky to have such wonderful assistants who helped me coordinate the wedding once the festivities have begun.  The venue for the reception was the Willis Annenberg Building at the California Science Center.  This building was located right next door to the Rose Garden where the ceremony was held.  What made this wedding stand out to me was that this wedding was very different from the weddings that i am used to planning.  Nowadays, many brides prefer the rustic feel for their wedding.  Rustic weddings are one of my favorite themes to plan.  But getting out of my bubble and planning a totally different theme was a challenge but it was so much fun to plan.  The location offers traditional and contemporary beauty.  Where else can you find a botanical garden on the second floor, a beautiful water fountain, and an amazing backdrop?  This beauty was just jaw dropping and I definitely hope that I can plan more events in that space.

Irene and John’s wedding was just so magical.  The venue was transformed into a beautiful and glamorous reception.  With the high and low centerpieces and pink lighting and fluorescent pin spots throughout the room, it was a sight to see.  This wedding was very different for the guests because in an Asian culture, oftentimes, the wedding consists of the tea ceremony, hours at the park taking photos with family and friends, and the reception at a traditional Chinese restaurant a couple of hours later. Irene and John wanted to do something different but include some of the traditions that Irene did not want her family to forget.  We had the tea ceremony in the morning and we also had Lion Dancers at the start of the receptions.  We also did a family style dinner consisting of specialty Chinese dishes.  As soon as dinner was completed, the festivities began and guests enjoyed dancing the night away.  This day was definitely one Irene and John will never forget.

Kevin Le Vu Photography was kind enough to send me some photos of the wedding.  Check it out down below!  If you haven’t had the chance to watch their same day edit video by FonD Productions, click here.

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Videographer// FonD Productions

Photographer// Kevin Le Vu Photography

Wedding Planner// Emily Lieng: Everlasting Serendipity

Wedding Caterer & Reception Coordinator// Mariel Lee: Event Professionals

Hair and Makeup// Chiali Meng

Floral Design// Matt Duran: The Flower Garden

DJ & Lighting// Allen Lee: Shine Entertainment

Wedding Ceremony// Expo Center Rose Garden

Wedding Reception// California Science Center ( Wallis Annenberg Building)

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