our honeymoon

April 29th, 2010

We booked our honeymoon! With Anne’s diligent help we were able to make this an unforgettable trip. From August 4th – 13th we’ll be spending our time relaxing in Tahiti on the islands of Bora Bora and Moorea.

Our first stop is the Intercontinental Resort & Spa Moorea. For 4 nights we’ll be in a bungalow beach room with access to the beach right outside our terrace. Breakfast included on all 4 mornings and a black pearl pendant is gifted to us.

Our second stop is the Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort & Spa.  The first night will be in an overwater bungalow and the last 2 nights we have our own beach suite. Breakfast included on all 3 mornings. The best part of the beach suite is our own private outdoor garden-enclosed jacuzzi!! On top of that, located on the other end of our suite is direct access to the sandy beach. And since we’re on our honeymoon there will be complimentary champagne and a gift of a single loose black pearl. I’ll prob have it mounted into a ring or a necklace to commemorate our time spent there.

Check out the floor plans.

Can’t wait!! Can you feel my excitement?!? Now it’s time to plan our activities. Woohoo!!!

Thanks soo much for your help, Anne!!

Oh…our alternative was a 12-day Princess Mediterranean Cruise from Rome to Venice. We’ll save Europe for another time when we can explore it on land vs from port to port.

being crafty

April 20th, 2010

I knew I wanted to wear a birdcage veil at some point in my wedding adventure. whether it be at a photo shoot, my bachelorette party, or on the wedding day itself–I just knew I had to. I also knew I did not want to pay $200 for one. That very reason lead us all to being a bit crafty back on February 12th.  Instead of me wearing a birdcage veil all on my own, I suggested all my girlfriends each wear one as well on my main bachelorette party night and at my bridal shower. We all went a little crazy and scrounged our local Michael’s and Joann’s for supplies. I ordered the Russian netting from Lace & Co and metal wire combs from Veilubridal. [metal wired combs are recommended over plastic–much more secure]

Below are photos of our workshop night and some pieces of our unfinished work. We will be getting together again very soon to finish things up before May 20th rolls around and we’re off to Napa and SF for a fun-filled weekend. Can’t wait to strut our stuff around SF!!

Workshop full steam ahead.

Anne’s piece.

Here’s a shot of the black netting material.

Gwen Huyen thinking about what she wants to do.

We dubbed this one bumblebee. Nancy’s.

A shot of Julie’s piece while in production.

Steph had made this beautiful piece for herself but she had given it up for another piece she made.

Another shot of the crazy messy workshop in my dining room.

Final pieces without the netting and combs attached.

You may remember this piece Steph had made out of ivory tulle and white ostrich feathers for my Mission SJC photoshoot.

cake vendor hunting

April 13th, 2010

Only 109 days left until our wedding! ahhhhh! it’s coming up so fast. Still have a ton of things to blog about and get done so I had better get a move on…pronto!

3 times really is a charm for us. We visited 3 different cake vendors before deciding on Jeseca’s Creations. See story below.

Torrance Bakery – January 16th

They have great curbside appeal.

As you can tell they have quite a big production going on.

Shown here are 4 of the 6 samples we tried.

My niece, Nicole, who is a bakeries fanatic came along for this tasting.

This bakery was priced ok. The main decision killer was that they could not accomodate a single cake layer higher than 4 inches. We wanted 2 layers to be at least 6 to 8 inches tall. They refuse to stack their cakes so we had to look elsewhere. The flavors weren’t too bad but Nicole thought the red velvet was a big NO NO. Surprising huh? They also seem to produce many wedding cakes so they’re more commercialized versus giving personalized service. It’s very cookie cutter type stuff. You know this when their show room has about 25 wedding sample cakes on display.

Filigree Cakes – February 8th in the AM

My younger sister, Julie, accompanied us on this taste testing.

We got to try 5 flavors.

The cakes tasted great, but all the PRO’s ended there. Sunny, the cake maker, was gonna charge me an arm and a leg just for a 4 layer cake w/o any fruit fillings. She wasn’t going to roll the fondant detail on the 2 layers we wanted but was going to hand swirl them onto the cake. She also couldn’t go any higher than 6 inches tall on each layer. Her personality was very dry and emotionless so we didn’t click with her at all.

Jeseca’s Creations – February 8th in the PM

Earlier that day we had been quite disappointed with Filigree Cakes so was hoping for a miracle of some sort with our next cake vendor visit that evening.  Jeseca was a referral from my retreat roommate. When we met with Jeseca we had no doubt that she was the one we wanted to hire. Her passion for cake making and can-do attitude was so refreshing after having visited 2 bakeries that either told us NO or charged quite a hefty price on things we wanted. She was willing to do exactly what we asked and so much more at a much lower cost. In addition to the great cake flavors she also puts a special layer of white chocolate on the outside of the cake before adding fondant on top of it for a very unique taste in her cakes. We tried 5 cakes and ended up choosing red velvet and strawberry shortcake.

Jeseca specially made a Costco pizza cake in honor of Rob’s 30th birthday last month. Why a Costco pizza cake, you ask? Well, first it was Lent and Rob had given up pizza amongst other things for the season and pizza is also one of Rob’s favorite foods. In this case Rob got to eat a slice of pizza during Lent. The entire cake and its corresponding “pizza box” is edible. Cake was lychee with mango and strawberry filling.

oh…you must be scratching your heads wondering what the heck our cake is going to look like. well, we’re going to keep that as one (of many) of the surprise elements at the reception; something for our guests to look forward to that evening. I reveal and blog about enough stuff as it is; gotta keep some stuff a surprise. =)

young me, today me

April 7th, 2010

During one of our vintage shopping trips we landed on a little red dress that looked quite similar to the one I wore in my childhood photo posted in the “Our Story” section. We came up with an idea on the spot to re-take a similar photo of ourselves today to see how much we’ve changed/grown. What do you guys think? Were we meant to be since age 6 and 7?

my wedding ao dai

April 2nd, 2010

It’s time to tell you a little bit about my dear mom. Can’t really blog about a wedding without mentioning the mother of the bride! Like most Vietnamese women she likes to wear the traditional gown called the ao dai (sample shown at left). I’d like to say that my mom more than likes to wear it, she’s obsessed with turning any piece of silk or patterned fabric into one! I don’t think I’m exaggerating if I say she has about 50+ in her closet right now. Funny thing is, the ao dai really only has a few different cuts and my mom only likes to wear 2 kinds of cuts: the traditional high neck one and the rounded boat neck cut. So in actuality she really only has just 2 different ao dai’s but all in different fabrics. Most of you would call me crazy if I walked into a Gap store and bought all the colors available in 1 dress, but somehow it’s not the same with the ao dai. The pattern of the fabric makes each one so interesting and unique even though its really the same dress (cut). I may think the whole concept of her having so many made year after year is absurd but it makes me so happy to hear her talk about it. She’s so passionate about it. It’s her hobby, her love, her specialty. I haven’t involved her in too many things regarding the wedding, but I was more than happy to let her in on this part of it.

So…of course when it was my time to get married she was super ecstatic to help me choose. Hell she even offered to pay for all the fabric and the cost of it being custom tailored! SCORE! We went down to Bolsa (Little Saigon) together back in November to buy fabric and had my aunt transport it back to Vietnam to have it custom tailored. Just a few weeks ago our dear friend, Melanie, came back to the States with it for me. Below are photos of the fabrics I had chosen for the 2 ao dai’s I will be wearing. One for the morning tea ceremony and the other for the evening reception. No photos of me wearing it–you’ll have to wait until the big day!

Tea ceremony ao dai fabric

Reception ao dai fabric

Me wearing the matching ceremonial headpiece with silly Rob in the background. (btw, this only cost us $8 to have made in VN)

Will Robert also wear an ao dai that day? That has yet to be determined. What do you guys think?

BTW, do you see my slight crooked teeth in the photo above? I am now wearing BRACES to have it corrected in time for the wedding. That is the reason for the quick 2 photo shoots before I had to go under to have braces put on. I admit it’s been pretty painful, but as they like to put it: “NO PAIN, NO GAIN”!