our photographer

January 27th, 2010

This has been the big IT question everyone who knows me has been asking since day 1 of our engagement (which was 1 year and 1 day ago to be exact). I must say it was not an easy decision. We would love to have Duy shoot our wedding, but then again we want him to have a great time without the stress of shooting the best darn wedding he could for his partner.

From my very early days starting out as a wedding photographer, I’ve admired the work of a husband/wife team of evoke photography. I was so excited to be engaged and perhaps finally have the opportunity of them shooting my wedding that I contacted them the very next day after the engagement to obtain a rate sheet. We met with them and thought they offered everything we loved but for a hefty price. I had to go home and really think it thru: I could very well design my own album and have it printed at a much lower cost; but I love their work so much so do I really want to hire them for that much? They didn’t offer a package without an album.

We also met with another photographer just to get a feel for what’s out there; she was Caroline Tran. I had seen her work before from friends of friends weddings and thought very highly of it. Since we were now looking for a photographer to provide digital files only, albums were not a concern at all. Her prices were still a little high and out of our range so we had to keep looking.

Our third meeting was with Kim Le Photography. At this very moment I can’t remember exactly how I landed on her page, but it was thru some sort of page from another page while wedding surfing the net. We felt as if we hit it off with her pretty well. She’s around our own age, also Vietnamese so she understands the culture, the language, and nuances that go on during a very Vietnamese-y wedding. She has also shot at our ceremony and reception venues before so familiarity was a huge plus. Given that she always has a 2nd shooter, provides all high-res images on disc, does excellent work, and compromised with my not needing an album or engagement session–it worked out well.

Here she is at her birthday shoot last summer. Photos courtesy of Brian Khang. Just from the images alone you can see that she’s fun, cute, and has a great sense of humor. We’re excited to have her shoot our wedding this summer.

my gown

January 20th, 2010

I popped into Mon Amie bridal salon last February with KimChi and Jen to try on a few gowns. I didn’t have a specific gown in mind; only that I wanted it to hug my body and show off some curves so we went rack to rack searching for mermaid and a-line styles. I ended up trying on 4 different gowns; all with a huge price tag attached. I really liked one by Ines de Santo, but it was $5k+. Yikes!! (pictured below) I felt like a princess wearing it, but it was definitely too much for a gown. Going home a little sad and frustrated, I was determined to find a gown that fit my budget and my body like a glove.

As you may already know, it’s hard to picture how beautiful a gown could look on a person when it’s hanging on a rack without any shape/form to it. That’s why I like to shop online for most my clothes since they have images of models wearing them. My next step was to scour the Internet for a gown that I liked on a model. There are a ton of designers and gowns so I had to filter well. I asked around for different brands that friends/relatives have bought from and landed on Enzoani. As I looked thru their collection I ended up falling for 2 styles:

Dominique 2009 with the tulle/lace jacket with detachable train

Aspen 2008 (Blue by Enzoani Collection)

I loved Dominique for the way the tulle/lace jacket and train looked on it. I loved Aspen for the couture look (and side flower) without the couture price tag, the bustling all around the side/back, and the scrunchy material.

Mon Amie didn’t carry the Enzoani line so I had to look elsewhere. I tried on both gowns at The Wedding Day bridal salon in Fountain Valley in early April 2009. Yes, Robert did come along to see me in the gowns this time. We’re not superstitious about him seeing me in my gown before hand, but probably on the day of he won’t get to see me in it until I walk down the aisle.

Dominique ended up not being too flattering on my body and the tulle/lace jacket did not fit me well at all, but the long tulle train was to die for.  Aspen, though, made a huge statement and hit it where it felt right; I fell for it almost immediately upon wearing it. I placed an order for it in September and picked it up the day after Christmas; yup, it took over 3 months to complete and it was a nice Christmas gift to myself.

The official gown description from the designer: strapless, soft A-line, slight sweetheart neckline, dropped waistline with tucked and bustled skirt finishing with metallic taffeta rose. Color is gold (just like the one pictured). Fabric is metallic taffeta.

Detail of the bust and beading area.

Tip: I was able to bargain with the store owner to waive the sales tax on it if I paid for it all in cash. You can try this with a lot of different mom & pop shops to save some money.

Below are some photos of me in the gown and a funny video of Anh popping out from under it. I’ll be doing a shoot with my gown next month so we’ll post up those photos in a future blog when they are ready. (no, my veil isn’t the one pictured below. i ordered one that’s to my fingertips only so it doesn’t cover up the gown)

vintage shopping

January 17th, 2010

One of my ideas for a photoshoot is something vintage themed. I am so inspired by all the shoots out there that I had to do one of my own, hoping that my photography clientele will follow suit and do something creative for theirs as well. Today we went shopping in Long Beach where there was a row of vintage shops called Retro Row off of East 4th Street. I’ve never seen so many vintage shops in such a confined space before. There are lots of goods to find if you have the patience and time to look. My advice is to start early and plan on staying for hours.

We were able to find a number of vintage dresses for me and lots of small goods for details. Can’t wait for it all to come together. Our shoot is scheduled for March so we have about 2 months to finish up everything.

Here are links to shoots that I was inspired by:

Jessica Claire

Simply Bloom’s Short Film Session

Simply Bloom’s a Valentine Tale

Simply Bloom’s Breakfast in a Meadow

more to read!

January 11th, 2010

We’re back from a break in wedding planning. Enjoyed the holidays and celebrations and am ready to start planning at full speed for the next 6 months. We’ve since added to Our Story detailing events of how we met and fell in love (in both our perspectives).

We also announced our flower girls and bridesmaids in the Wedding Party section.

An Events page was added for reference if you’re attending various events before the wedding.

There’s plenty to read in those sections for now. Enjoy!!

happy 2010!

January 1st, 2010

We’ve finally stepped into the year where Rob and I will tie the knot. Yesterday was our last new years even celebration as singles…I doubt it will change at next year’s celebration though. I can’t believe it’s almost been a year since he proposed and only 7 short months away until we say “i do”.

Anyhow…I promise to be back into wedding planning mode soon to blog. We just need time to unwind before going full speed ahead.