Diana and Renaud’s Wedding 5.10.14

Disclaimer: Long blog ahead with lots of pictures. As this is my sister’s wedding, I will be extra critical and tell you ALL the behind the scenes including chaos, stress, tardiness, weather etc… In KDWP book of events, this is considered a failed job by me but in the eyes of everyone else, this is a well executed wedding. In the end, spending time with family, friends and seeing how happy my sister and newly acquired Brother-in-Law are, made it all worthwhile. I also learned that if I survived my sister’s wedding, I can now conquered anything thrown at me. Another wedding that truly tests my ability to be a wedding planner/coordinator.

Wow! So where do I start with this wedding??? First and foremost, I will NEVER be a planner/coordinator, bridesmaid AND mother all at once EVER AGAIN! The whole year leading up to the wedding, I was on my sister’s case to get things DONE. I mean a month before the wedding and she STILL hasn’t sent the invitations out! If you know my sister and I, you will definitely notice how complete opposite we are. I am organized, detailed, borderline OCD, want things done right, punctual while she is a procrastinator, takes things very lightly and she has this take on life that I wish I had. She is funny, ghetto fabulous, a romantic at heart, loves her family and friends with a passion and is very into fashion.  This is what happened on the day of the wedding:  stress, anxiety, running around, dealing with a cranky toddler, weather issue, wedding dress to be ironed, missing wedding decoration items, all of this while in a foreign country (well, not so foreign to me since I grew up in France and I can speak French so it was an advantage) basically, anything that could go wrong at a wedding happened and I didn’t have ANY of my KDWP team to back me up so it was all me. Thank God for some of my sister’s friends and the bridesmaids, who I must admit, some must have been pissed at me and didn’t want to help because they had an earful out of me for being 2 hours late – SORRY ladies but we had a schedule to keep and things got really backed up. I was very disappointed that I didn’t get a lot of time to enjoy the wedding, take pictures with my sister and spend time with the family :(

One thing was for sure, amidst all the controlled chaos (I called it controlled because it was controlled after all) is that I knew I could count on Thao Vu Photography to deliver amazingly beautiful pictures.

Yes, this is a REAL Chanel ring purchased in the original Chanel store in Paris. Pretty unusual for an engagement ring right?

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The little ring bearer outfit. I have to plug my son in this blog a bit ;)

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The wedding took place in Normandy (an area know for rain), it was raining the whole day up until the last minute before the ceremony started.

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The bride chose one single ginormous rose as her bride’s bouquet. Very unique.

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My sister’s custom made ceremony gown. Different and unusual right?

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The 2nd dress that took forever to iron. I think we tried using a flat iron, blow dryer, and other hot items to get the wrinkles out as much as possible. In the end, we put the dress in between pillow cases in order to properly iron it. Glad it turned out straight and well-ironed (considering the circumstances and what we had on hand) for the picture. I wouldn’t have had the patience to do this while getting ready and taking care of everything else. One of my sister’s friend volunteered for this and I’m more than happy that she did.

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Due to unfortunate event, my sister’s original hair and makeup artist couldn’t make it to France 2 days prior to the wedding. This was the start of the wedding crisis, I had to figure out a last minute hair and makeup artist for the bride and her wedding was 2 days away! Thankfully, I booked a hair and makeup artist for 4 of the bridesmaids while still in the States so I called Sheryl Chua, explained the situation, negotiated a bit and she was able to squeeze in the bride and mother of the bride on the day of too.

I remember a couple of nights before the wedding, I reminded the groomsmen to be ON time because I was afraid that they were going to be late. Well, it was 3 of the bridesmaids and the bride who were 2 hours late. Add to this, the bride was NOT happy with how the makeup turned out for the other 3 bridesmaids, who had theirs done at a salon. They had to redo their whole makeup, which totally threw me off and we got even more backed up on the timeline. At that point, I was going to throw the towel and give up on everything. I was so freaking stressed out!!!

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While some of the girls were getting their hair and makeup done, the rest of us had to rush to fluff the paper pompoms and hang everything. I was showing the girls where I wanted the pompoms to be hung and I decorated the chimney.

I remember at one point Thao telling me that she would like a photo of all the bridesmaids and the bride in their kimono, well, THAT didn’t happen seeing that I was running around like a chicken with its head cut off. Another missed photo opportunity because I was wearing too many hats that day.

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With all of the running around and making sure everything was executed, I didn’t get a chance to soak in the beauty of the Manoir. Now, looking through the pictures, the place is breathtaking with all greenery and tall trees.

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The groom getting ready with his father.

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Since Diana’s ceremony dress was too long for her, she had to purchase stripper shoes to walk in her gown. She said if she had to buy stripper shoes, then they at least need to be pretty. I think she fell several times walking in those and I have a couple of pictures to prove it.

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 Her facial expressions are priceless and the funniest.

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Gift exchange. She received an Alexander McQueen scarf, which she proudly modeled.

If you haven’t noticed yet, Renaud and Diana are designer obsessed.

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 Quirky girl.

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As for the Groom, he received an Hermes tie.

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Time to put the one of a kind beautiful Thai Nguyen gown on.

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Look at the details on the dress!

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For pictures, she put on her Jimmy Choo shoes on but we all know what she really wore underneath that dress for the ceremony. I’m divulging all of the behind the scenes. ;)

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All the groomsmen arrived on time and dressed so I had to pin boutonnieres on them when I wasn’t even ready yet.

The ceremony was 2 hours away and it’s been raining on and off. Bridesmaids in high heels + long dresses and guests in their great outfits, I could already envision a downpour in the middle of the ceremony so as I saw that guests started to arrive, I decided to move the ceremony indoors,which wasn’t really ideal as the Manoir was very tight.

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Meanwhile…with all the commotion going downstairs, my sister was being the beautiful bride that she should be, trusting that everything was being handled.

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Ceremony: J-1 hour, the rain stopped so to make the bride and groom happy, we moved the ceremony back outdoors.

Here’s a mommy moment: in between running and setting things up, I told my husband to make sure that our boy took his nap or he’ll be cranky during the ceremony. While flying by the hubs, I think I heard, “he doesn’t want to sleep, he wants YOU to put him down for a nap”. Oh boy…that’s not good but at that point, I thought, I’ll deal with this later. Here’s a few pictures of my precious son in his ceremony outfit. Even though, he’s a sleepy little boy, he’s still as handsome as ever.

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Squeezing a First look for the Bride and Groom while it wasn’t raining.

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Here comes the tripping from the stripper shoes. Not easy walking on rocks with those 10″ heels lol…

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And…the rescue from our cousin, otherwise it would’ve taken her forever to reach her husband.

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Finally, here we go…First Look!

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With no rain in sight, Thao Vu Photography took this opportunity to take some portraits.

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It started to rain again so they moved inside for more photos.

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I just got done getting ready and they caught me on my way down to move the ceremony back inside as it was 30 min until the start of the ceremony and it was pouring.

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Everyone’s waiting to see where the ceremony will take place. At this point, I had my shoes off, dress pulled up and running to make sure ceremony will be inside.

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As soon as the caterer, florist and I finished setting up inside for the ceremony and I started gathering the bridal party to line up, the rain stopped and the sun came out. FML!!!  I asked my sister what she wanted to do now. She said she wanted to have the ceremony outside and that’s the whole reason why they booked the venue. I looked at all the guests cramped in the little room where the ceremony was going to take place, looked outside and told my sister “you do know we all have long dresses and we have high heels right?” She said yes, I prayed to God to give me strength and said “Let’s do it!”. I ran to find the florist and the caterer, told them we’re moving outside now, enlisted the groomsmen to run outside and wipe the chairs as much as they can and come back ASAP to line up.

The bridesmaids started moving all the guests outside and we were ready to get these 2 married!

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I asked my cousin’s boyfriend to look for the children because they were not lined up with the bridal party. We had 8 children, 4 were under the age of 4! Keep in mind that I didn’t even get to rehearse the bridal party. The original plan was to rehearse the bridal party at 1PM but because we were 2 hours late on everything, I didn’t get the chance to. I was going to wing it and if anything goes wrong…oh well!

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I totally ruined this picture.

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Bridesmaids were troopers walking and sinking in the grass with their heels.

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As expected, my little boy was too tired to walk and didn’t want to do anything. He was crying the whole time we were lined up so I had my brother carried him with us.

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Sleepy head. We practiced at home with him carrying the heart and he was so excited about it too. I learned that it is very unpredictable working with children (especially if they are tired) and you just have to go with it.

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This is what happened when you have lots of nephews/nieces at a young age in your bridal party.

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Cute chaos.

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Nobody was sitting because the chairs were still wet or on a more positive side, it was a nice guests receiving line as we walked up.

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Baby boy was not happy at all.

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The children arriving after the bride lol…Isn’t my God  daughter the cutest little girl?

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Renaud’s mother reciting a poem.

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All of the bridesmaids dresses were carefully chosen by the bride herself to fit our body type. She said she wanted her wedding to be her personal fashion show. I think she accomplished that.

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I think God heard my prayers. It was sunny throughout the whole ceremony. Even after the ceremony, it didn’t rain one bit!

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You may kiss the bride!

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The Bride and Groom surprised Renaud’s sister with a beautiful cake as it was her birthday.

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The whole crowd sang happy birthday.

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Married!!! Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Haccart!!!

Diana needs to do something about that tongue of hers sticking out in most of the pictures.

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A little traffic jam, the bride couldn’t walk fast enough and we kept stepping on her dress. Renaud came up with the perfect solution.

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Renaud’s face is priceless!

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Right after the ceremony, I checked inside the Manoir to make sure that everything was set up.

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Diana and Renaud reside in Hong Kong and they have a little corgi named Kingston. He might not have been there for the wedding but my animal nephew was there in spirit.

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Unfortunately, due to the rain, the cocktail couldn’t take place outside. The Caterer needed more time to set up.

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With everything going smoothly inside and the worse behind me, I made my way outside to mingle as much as I could and take pictures with the bridal party.

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We couldn’t keep all the children still for the pictures and this is the best we could do.

My little boy was too tired and needed his nap so he wasn’t even in the group pictures. :(

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My dress was the dirtiest of all the bridesmaids.

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Recreating sibling moments we had at my own wedding.

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Renaud’s family.

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Look straight…

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Look up…

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uh…what way?

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Look left….

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Look right…

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While the bridal party were taking pictures, amazing food was served inside. I don’t think I even got to try everything! My fault for spending a little too much time at the oyster station. Yes! They had fresh shucked oysters!

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I was in heaven!

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Fresh guacamole.

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This seared beef patty was delicious!

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Mango sorbet.

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Ahi bite.

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Foie Gras.

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THIS girl and her many facial expressions.

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After the cocktail, all the guests mingled outside in the courtyard. Here is the final reception setup.

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Diana wanted her wedding theme to be Great Gatsby/20s era, which was difficult to execute overseas but we somehow pulled it off a bit.

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I can’t decide which photo I liked best so I am putting both of them up. This was when I rushed them to greet the guests so they can enter the reception. Guests were getting cold outside and anxious to enter the reception. My sister and Renaud wanted to do it “American/Asian” style where they take a photo with their guests as they make their way into the reception. Things got a bit chaotic at times but it was manageable.

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Foie Gras with pear as a meal starter.

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Maid of Honor speech. My cousin did an awesome job!

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Best Man speech: less emotional and more humor.

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Main Course.

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In France, the meal ends with cheese. The stinkier the cheese, the better it is.

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The dessert buffet station consist of:

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Lemon tarte

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Flan

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Creme Brulee

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Cupcake and cake pops

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Assorted macarrons

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Pistachio and Raspberry Sorbet.

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In France, the dancing at weddings lasts until the next morning. I recall my sister mentioning that they danced until the sun came up and she didn’t go to bed until 6am!

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The perfect ending to a perfect day for the happy newlyweds

(or the perfect ending to an exhausting day for the wedding planner/coordinator/sister/bridesmaid/mother of a toddler)

Well, I’m glad you stuck through the long blog.  It was indeed a long exhausting and frustrating day for me but I anticipated as much since working family weddings are tough. The expectations are different than a client wedding. The fact that this wedding was in a country where the customs are a lot more different and I was limited with the resource I had, I would say it turned out quite well. Guests came up to me and praised me for the job well done to which I replied “it’s not me, all the credit goes to the bride and groom as they dreamed up their special day and I was merely the facilitator” . My war wounds for this wedding were bruises up and down my legs, I can’t even count how many times I fell down the stairs, tripped on my dress and stubbed my toes. My feet and legs were dead by the end of the night and I could barely walked the next day because my body was aching so bad. Aside from the complaining and frustration, this was a special wedding to me. It was my little sister’s wedding after all. I’ll always only have 1 sister and to see how happy she was on her wedding day and catching Renaud’s stolen loving looks to his bride were priceless. It was a beautiful and loving wedding with the most delicious food ever! ;) Love you guys!!! Sorry for being pushy, bossy on your wedding day and thank you for making me be part of your crazy wedding!

Ceremony and Reception location: Manoir D’Aulnay

Hair and Makeup: Sheryl Chua

Photography: Thao Vu Photography

Floral: Melanie Miguel

Caterer: Henri Morel

Ceremony Dress: Thai Nguyen

Reception Dress: Junko Yoshioka

DJ: DJ Khoizilla

Ring bear jacket: Gina Montano

 

Cindy and Huy’s Wedding 3.1.14

I’m so lucky to always have gorgeous couples! I met Cindy and Huy about a couple of months before their wedding and they only requested my services part time. We didn’t have a long meeting since the first thing Cindy told me was that everything was already done and she knows exactly what she wanted. She just needed someone to execute her vision on the day of. I learned that Cindy is an interior designer, with great taste, I was sure the wedding would be stunning.

I didn’t work the morning of the wedding for the tea ceremony but posting photos anyways because you can’t miss the happiness radiating from Cindy and Huy.

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Oh how I love First Looks!

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I’m sure you will agree with me that Cindy and Huy are one good looking couple!

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Gorgeous ladies!

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The red balloons give a nice “pop” of color. Love!

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This is actually when my team and I come in. We set up the ceremony, cocktail area and reception.

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Paper cone arch courtesy of the talented and beautiful bride.

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Married!!! Congratulations Cindy and Huy!

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I’m in love with the cake!

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Cindy + Huy, thank you for letting my team and I be part of such an elegant wedding. It was such a pleasure working with the both of you and the look of happiness you both had on your faces was contagious throughout the night.

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Ceremony + Reception location: Crowne Plaza Hotel

Officiant: Pastor Jon Olson

Bride morning Hair & Makeup + Bridesmaids reception makeup: Bold Face Beauty

Bride evening Hair & Makeup: Dolled up by Lulu

DJ + MC: Shine Entertainment

Photobooth: The Stylish Fox Photo

Cake: Amazing Cake Creations

Catering: Furiwa

Photography + Videography: Kevin Lee Studio

Lighting + Drapery: XL Entertainment Systems

Florals: Kim Chi Floral Designs

Furniture: Found Rentals

Team KDWP: Winnie, Ying, Lily, Christine and Julie

 

Lauren and Brian’s Wedding 11.16.13

I met Lauren a few months before her wedding date and we clicked right away. It was a great 1st meeting and hearing what Lauren had in mind for her wedding and all the DIY party favors made me all the more excited for the big day to arrive. It was also a nice change working a non-Asian wedding. I didn’t meet Brian until a couple days prior to the wedding and as soon as I met him, I knew why Lauren is marrying him. Brian is a super caring person, in my eyes, he was a gentle giant. :)

We started off at Lauren’s parents in Whittier.

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Lauren’s mother was a big part of the wedding, she helped Lauren plan the wedding and came to several of our meetings.

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Lauren’s twin nieces were the cutest flower girls!

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Another flower girl with the cutest smile!

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Siblings love.

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A fun loving family!

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The beautiful bride and her lovely bridesmaids.

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Pinning boutonnieres on the ring bearer, groomsmen and the groom.

I absolutely LOVE how Brian’s Irish culture was incorporated in the wedding. Every groomsmen and Brian were proudly wearing Irish Kilt!

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Married!!! Congratulations Lauren and Brian!

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Lauren had a lot of details laid out at the reception. The fall colors were perfectly executed by Helen of Flowers by Helen.

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There will be a lot of cake pictures. It is just too cute not to share it. ;)

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In Memoriam Table.

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Lauren works for the Girls Scouts so she had custom made patch as one of her party favors.

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Yep! That’s Kale in the centerpiece!

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Team KDWP at its best, re-routing the flower girl to the dance floor as she just kept walking straight ahead :)

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Wedding and a game…great combination!

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As the guests started to leave, they were greeted by a table full of DIY party favors from the bride.

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Lauren and Brian, we can’t thank you enough for having us be part of your wedding day. All these months of planning and the wedding turned out absolutely beautiful! We hope to have executed  your vision and have made the both of you  happy. We wish you a lifetime of happiness!

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Ceremony: Our Lady of Guadalupe

Reception: Westridge Golf Club

Photography: Photography by Tracy

DJ: Mystical Vibrations

Cake: Lucky Treats

Flowers: Flowers by Helen

Team KDWP: Tania Bui, Ying Voong, Vi Le

Thanh and Duc’s Wedding 9.28.13

The outpouring of love for Thanh and Duc on their wedding day was contagious. They had family flying from almost all over the world to attend their wedding. You cannot help but love Thanh + Duc once you get to know them and I was lucky that I got to be by their side during the whole planning process. They truly are the sweetest, most loving couple. Props to Thao Vu Photography for ALWAYS providing amazing photos. www.thaovu.com www.thaovu.com www.thaovu.com www.thaovu.com www.thaovu.com www.thaovu.com www.thaovu.com www.thaovu.com

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Helping the groom and his family get ready for the tea ceremony.

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Thanh’s quick change into her 2nd ao dai heading out to groom’s side for another tea ceremony in Long Beach.

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After the tea ceremony, we were all en route to Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Fountain Valley.

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Here I am helping the bride with her wedding gown and putting on her veil.

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LOVE their kiss!

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Congratulations Thanh and Duc!

Such a happy couple!

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Wedding party portrait at the Huntington Beach Park.

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Reception

If you follow us on Facebook, you can see all of the behind the scenes on reception set-up.

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Thanh and Duc know how to boogie!

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It was a fun filled wedding day! Thank you Thanh and Duc for having KDWP be part of it. We wish you a lifetime of happiness and lots of laughter.

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Ceremony: Holy Spirit Catholic Church

Reception: Mon Amour Banquet

Hair and Makeup: All Made Up Team

Photography: Thao Vu Photography

Videography: Dai Bac Wedding Center

Floral, Draping & Lighting: Thuy Bridal & Florist

Cake: Patty’s Cake and Desserts

DJ: AAA Entertainment

Photo Booth: Viral Booth

Transportation: White Rose Limo

KDWP Team: Winnie Ing, Ying Voong, Tania Bui and Jennifer Dinh

Jennifer and Chung’s Wedding 9.21.13

Jennifer and Chung’s wedding was the 4th wedding out of 5 weddings back to back. Jennifer contacted me about a year and a half prior to her wedding, she loves Snoopy and wanted to get married at Knott’s Berry Farm so Snoopy could be part of their wedding day. Since Jennifer and Chung were stationed in Japan (they are both dentists in the military), they needed someone in Orange County to visit the location, meet with clients etc…and I was the person they entrusted me with. I was surprised that KDWP name traveled all the way to Japan and I am glad that I got to meet Jennifer and Chung. They are a lovely couple who definitely is loved by their family and friends.

Jennifer and Chung were already married in Japan but they wanted to renew their commitment in front of all their friends and family.

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Snoopy made the Grand Entrance with the Bride and Groom

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He is one popular guy!

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Jennifer and Chung, thank you so much for having KDWP work your festive wedding. It was a lot of fun seeing how everything came together after a year of planning the whole event. We wish you all the best in the future and a lifetime of happiness.

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 I helped Snoopy put his tuxedo on and tuck his ears inside his hat. Such a sweet sweet dog :)

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Ceremony + Reception: Knott’s Berry Farm Hotel

Ceremony music: OC Damia Strings

Officiant: Pastor Paul

Photographer + Photobooth: Herman Au Photography

Floral: Pink The Little Flower Shop

Hair and Makeup: Taka Hair Salon

DJ + lighting: DJ Sam House

KDWP team: Lily Luong and Ying Voong

Hieu and Hung’s Wedding 9.14.13

1st post of the year 2014. Happy New Year Everyone! Each year, I make the resolution to blog quicker but with a full time job and a toddler who requests your attention all the time, it’s a challenge. Just getting a little bit of time to blog is precious to me.

Hieu and Hung live in the Bay area and booked my services about a year prior to their wedding. They saw my name on photographers’ blog and decided to contact me. Since most of Hung’s family live in Orange County, they decided to have their wedding here. When we first met, I thought they were the nicest, most down to earth couple that I’ve met. Hieu was very organized and knew exactly what she wanted for the wedding, it was such a pleasure working with her. While working their wedding, you can see how their family and friend’s adore them. Hieu and Hung’s wedding marks # 3 of 5 weddings back to back. Excited to have had the chance to work with Lin and Jirsa Photography, they captured the whole wedding beautifully.

Hung and his groomsmen before heading to the tea ceremony.

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Custom made boutonniere for the Groomsmen and bouquet for the Bridesmaids.

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The tea ceremony was very traditional. Hieu opted to wear a very traditional Ao Dai instead of a more modern one.

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Their awesome ride for the day.

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For the Church Ceremony, Hieu and Hung went with a Vietnamese tradition where the bride and groom walk down the aisle together.

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Adorable flower girl and ring bearer.

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Married!!! Congratulations Hieu and Hung!

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En route for some wedding party portraits.

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In love with the next few photos of Hieu and Hung at sunset!

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Reception Details.

Hieu and Hung’s custom made ice luge.

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Moon cake (Banh Trung Thu) money box.

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Groom’s cake for Hung from his wife, his favorite food is pizza :)

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Since Hieu and Hung’s wedding was during the Autumn Festival, their party favor was a moon cake.

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The reception.

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Hieu’s sister was the cutest! She’s a Buddhist nun. Very funny and helpful too.

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Father Daughter dance. The look on Hieu’s face shows a daughter’s love for her father.

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Mother and Son’s dance.

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First Dance

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And they lived happily ever after…

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Hieu and Hung, thank you very much for being such an awesome couple. It was a delight being part of your joyful wedding. Everything was absolutely beautiful. We wish you a lifetime of happiness!

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Ceremony: Our Lady of La Vang Parish

Reception: Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort

Caterer : Furiwa

Photography + Videography: Lin and Jirsa Photography

Floral: Better Choice Flower

Linens: Stephanie’s Linens

Hair and Makeup: Vivian Tran Makeup

Band: Moonlight Band

Cake: Sweet Traders

Ice Luge: Carving Ice

Party Favors: Dang Good Sweets

Lighting and Drapery: XL Entertainment

Photobooth: Huey Bui

Transportation: OC Cruiser

KDWP team: Kayla Ton, Vi Le and Tania Bui