happy 1 year anniversary

November 13th, 2010

We revealed in a blog post earlier this year that we were already legally married. Today we celebrate the one year anniversary of being recognized as a legal institution. We thought it would also be fitting to bid you all farewell as this will also be our last blog post on our wedding website. We had tremendous joy sharing our wedding adventures with the world and it’s time for us to stop reflecting on the past and to look to our future together as a family. We thank you for sharing in the fun ride of wedding planning with us and hope to maybe someday start up our family blog. ┬áIf you would like to keep up with me, shoot over to my photography blog and consider hiring me to photograph your wedding.

We bid you farewell with a little secret and a ton of formal portraits taken on our wedding day.

Robert’s ring is engraved on the inside with our official wedding date.

Right across from it is engraved: love never fails. It was the last line from our 2nd reading at our ceremony.

Now…enjoy the many wonderful portraits taken by the talented Kim Le.

Good luck to all the couples getting married and wedding planning. We hope our blog is an inspiration and helpful guide/reference.

To my husband: one year has flown by so quickly. I truly do love you more with everyday that passes and I wish all couples out there can experience what we’re experiencing. Thru out our busy lives I hope to remember to stop and soak in our cherished time together. One year has already gone by and I don’t think I’ve stopped to appreciate it enough. I love you, babe! You truly rock my world.

Wedding day photos courtesy of Kim Le Photography.

splurge or purge

November 11th, 2010

I always wonder what decisions couples have to make on whether or not to splurge on something or making the hard decision of purging from their list due to budgeting reasons. Most of us live in a pretty realistic world where we can’t have everything. I was fortunate enough to have most of what I wanted done for our wedding. Check out our list below.

Splurged (and glad we did):

  • the reception venue
  • string lights
  • uplighting for the 3 trees in purple, orange, and red
  • dance floors (white and black)
  • open beer and wine bar for 4 hours
  • filet mignon w/salmon (versus chicken)
  • pintuck linen for all our tables
  • individual placecard frames
  • 4″x6″ frames as favors
  • my blinged out heels
  • the invitations
  • the photographer
  • the florist
  • the silhouette artist
  • honeymoon to Tahiti

Purged (due to budgeting):

  • bigger budget for DJ
  • wish we hired an MC
  • bigger budget for videography (not that we don’t like what we got, just had to do a lot of researching for the budget we had)
  • bigger budget for the cake (to the source versus settling for a duplicate from another vendor that ended in disaster)
  • pin spot lighting (on each centerpiece)
  • ice sculpture(s)
  • cabana over our sweetheart table
  • complete open bar all night (not just beer and wine)
  • Enzoani gowns for the bridesmaids (although we loved the deal we got on both gowns)
  • Limousine or vintage car rental

Here was our inspiration for a cabana over our sweetheart table–too bad we couldn’t get it done! Would have been amazing!!

A couple of the Love by Enzoani dresses I was interested in having the girls try on, but they were too pricey for us.

We were also inspired by this set of ice sculptures. Again, not a big enough budget.

Do you have stories to share? What did you splurge on for your wedding that you were so glad you did? And what did you grudgingly have to give up that you really wish you could have had?

the reception

November 7th, 2010

It’s already November! Did you know I actually wanted to get married last November? Things just didn’t work out the way we wanted to so we got legally married instead. I’ll be shooting a wedding on our 1 year anniversary next weekend. Hopefully the hubby has a surprise for me when I come home all tired and exhausted from a long day at work. We do have a little activity planned the next day: segway touring in Huntington Beach. Can’t wait to experience the segway together since I did it without him in SF for my bachelorette already.

Anyhow, onto talking about our reception.

  • Side track: can you see where this is heading? Our blog posts are nearing the end of its life since I am now talking about pretty much the very last darn thing about our wedding. It was a great run, but it had to end some time soon. Only a couple more topics left and that’s it folks. =( Perhaps that’s why I’ve been lagging on blogging the last couple weeks. I just can’t bear to see it come to an end. But don’t worry, we’ll keep it live on the Internet for future couples to use as a reference.

As you may recall from our post back in July, we had a pretty hard time convincing our parents to allow us to have it at Rancho Las Lomas. We ended up booking the venue without their full support and just prayed and hoped for the best. We knew in our guts that it would turn out just fine in the end and that our guests would appreciate the location when the day arrived. We were right to listen to our guts. Our parents received tremendous praise from family and friends of the location. Everyone was so excited to experience something entirely different and at such a beautiful, picturesque venue; absolutely a hidden gem in our OC backyard. Even with all the complaints we got from our parents along the way, in the end, they did not regret letting us have it there. It was 1 good decision we made against our parents’ wishes.

The grand gates leading into Rancho Las Lomas.

The mesmerizing fountain in the courtyard.

Seating chart and road signs.

One of the first things guests did upon arrival was take a photo with us.

Then they would sign our matted/framed image from our NYC photo session.

Cocktail hour with hors d’oeuvres and open beer & wine bar was enjoyed around the fountain.

Champagne was also served along with water and lemonade.

Remember the silhouette artist?

Seared ahi tuna!

The reception down below.

Diagram of the reception area. Blue is Rob’s family. Green is my family. Red are our guests. Tables 9 and 12 were our parents; 8 and 23 were our siblings. Our closest friends were seated behind us at tables 32-36 (right next to the bar, of course).

Birdcage centerpiece and antique gold placecard frames.

I LOVED the archway!

Grand entrance across the candlelit bridge.

Our first dance. Two is Better Than One.

Rob gave a heartfelt speech.

Salad is served.

Newlyweds question game.

Gorgeous at sunset.

The aerial view down from above is amazing. String lights were the best thing we thought of and money well spent!

Pulling the winning # out of the bag.


Guests picked up their framed photos at the end of the night (the one they took with us upon arrival).

We had amalfi lounge furniture set-up with ivory cushions (also comes in white or chocolate brown) and a black dance floor for our after hours party in the grand salon. Fifteen LED uplights were set-up thru out the room.

The diagram of the grand salon is below. Shows where the dancefloor, furniture, photobooth, candy station, and DJ are located.

Candy Shop is fully stocked.

Photobooth was a huge hit. Want to rent it? Inquire with Thao Vu Photography.

As if cake and the candy shop wasn’t enough–we also had apple cobblers.

Party time!!!

My bridesmaids can get down!

Sasha time to Beyonce’s Sweet Dreams.

The crowd goes wild! If you missed the videos of this dance, check it out here and here.

My husband looks pretty happy.

We seal the night off with a kiss.

To this very day I still can’t get over the beauty of the venue. Boy would I love to have the freedom to just roam around there on a sunny day to enjoy the scenery, read a book under the oak trees, take a nap on the swing, or just visit with the animals. Rancho Las Lomas holds a special place in our hearts now and if it were ever to go on the market, I would buy it if I could (please win the lottery!). For now I think I’ll just sneak in on a random weekend for a quick trip down memory lane or maybe shoot a wedding there someday. If you’re having your wedding there, please hire me!!

Photos courtesy of Kim Le Photography.