Whitney and Kyle’s wedding 8.16.14

Whitney and Kyle are the sweetest, nicest , most caring, and thoughtful people ever. I know I say this about all of my couples but it’s the truth! I have the best clients! I am truly blessed and thankful to work with all of the amazing couples. When Whitney approached me about 10 months prior to the wedding inquiring about my services, my first thought was “Wow! She is tall!” I dwarfed next to her with my 5’2 itty bitty height. Our initial meeting was very productive but I wanted to give Whitney and Kyle some time to think about my services before they decided to hire me. They were still living in Boston  at the time and in the process of moving back to Orange County so I didn’t want them to feel pressured about booking me right away. When Whitney and Kyle were ready to book my services for day of coordination, I was elated! The Nixon Library is one of the venue I’ve been dreaming of working at for a while and to have the opportunity to do so for Whitney and Kyle’s wedding made it much more special.

We started the day with a traditional Vietnamese Tea Ceremony.

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Whitney has a very talented mom, she made all of the bridesmaids dresses and all of the Ao Dais.

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The details on these ao dai are mesmerizing!

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Precious moment between mother and daughter.

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I love love love Whitney’s ao dai.

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Ceremony.

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Married!!! Congratulations Whitney and Kyle!

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With a venue as beautiful as the Nixon Library, the wedding party took advantage of the grounds as backdrop for portraits.

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I can’t get enough of how regal and gorgeous this venue is.

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Kyle’s mom passed the family secret tomato sauce to Whitney.

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Another beautiful ao dai creation from Whitney’s mom! I’m obsessed!

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Whitney’s mother also made her 3rd gown! So talented!

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Here is Whitney and Kyle’s wedding highlights.

Whitney + Kyle, Thank you so much for booking my services and allowing me to fulfill my dreams of working at this gorgeous venue.

You both are the greatest sweetest couple I’ve met. We wish you a lifetime of happiness, laughter and love!

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Ceremony: La Purisima Catholic Church

Reception: Nixon Presidential Library & Museum

Caterer: White House Catering

Photography: Harvard Photography

DJ: Flawless Entertainment DJs

Flowers: KC Floral Designs

KDWP Team: Kayla, Tania, Winnie and Julie

Nikki and Thien’s wedding 7.19.14

I met Nikki and Thien about a year prior to their wedding, Nikki is genuine, sweet and is a foodie while Thien couldn’t be any nicer and thoughtful. They booked me so I could help them plan the wedding along the way and there was a lot of hiccups throughout the planning process. Poor Nikki, she was a real trooper and spent many sleepless nights because she had to study and take her exam right up to the wedding day. Nikki and Thien went through a lot during their relationship and to see them tie the knot truly proves the love they have for each other.

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The ceremony venue was at Puddingstone Resort. It brought back a lot of memories as this was the 1st venue I ever worked at.

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Nikki has the best support for her wedding day, her maid of honor made the flower girl’s dress and Nikki’s sash.

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Thien and Nikki’s first look.

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It was a gloomy day but as soon as Nikki stepped out, the sun made an appearance.

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Married!!! Congratulations Nikki and Thien!

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Nikki’s 2 evening dresses were made by one of her best friend, who also officiated their wedding.

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Here is Nikki and Thien’s Same Day Edit by Photofilms LLC

 

Nikki and Thien, thank you so very much for having me be part of your wedding day and confiding in me and trusting me to share your story. It was truly a blessing being able to witness your wedding. We wish the both of you a lifetime of happiness!

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Ceremony: Puddingstone Resort

Reception: Diamond Seafood Palace

Personal flowers: BeMine Wedding & Events

Photography: Bellus Photography

Videography: Photofilms LLC

Photobooth: MK Magnet Photobooth

Band: The Young Brothers Band

Italian Ice: Zero Degrees Italian Ice

Transportation: ULC Limousine

Drapery: Hollywood Bridal

Cake: Van’s Bakery

KDWP Team: Ying, Tania, Winnie and Julie

Shari and Jay’s Wedding 5.24.14

Shari and Jay live in Arizona and our means of communication was via email throughout the whole wedding planning. I didn’t get to meet Jay and Shari until about a week or so prior to the wedding. Once you meet Shari, you can’t help but have a smile on your face, she is the sweetest and funniest person you’ll meet. Jay, on the other hand, is more on the quiet side but I think it’s because he wasn’t convinced that they would need a wedding coordinator on their wedding day. I found out later from Shari that he thinks hiring a wedding coordinator was one of the best decision Shari made. Glad KDWP passed the test!

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Married!!! Congratulations Shari and Jay!

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So the story with the parents pictures, Shari and Jay were supposed to take pictures with the frames during their bridal portraits but didn’t get to it. When they decided to take a pictures holding the parents’ wedding frames up, we realized that they forgot them in the limo. The limo wasn’t able to come back to drop off the items because they were on their way to pick up another party, so I sent one of my team member to drive all the way up to West Covina/San Gabriel to meet up with the limo driver. We were very tight on time but my awesome assistant Lily made it right back on time for them to take a picture before the Grand Entrance.

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Surprise dance group from the Maid of Honor to the Newlywed.

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A traditional Vietnamese dance as entertainment to the guests.

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Shari and Jay, Thank you so much for having KDWP be part of your wedding day. It was an honor making your wedding come true. Wishing you all the best and many years of happiness!

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Ceremony: St. Christopher’s Church

Reception: Hilton Costa Mesa

Caterer: Top Catering

Morning Photography: 2071 Photography

Afternoon Photography: Alex Rapada Photography

Hair and Makeup: SMAEkup makeup by Mae

Florals: Kat’s Creations Floral Design

DJ: Cerritos All Stars

Photobooth: Dazzle Photobooth

Cake: Van’s Bakery

Transportation: The Limo Time Team

KDWP Team: Lily, Ying, Tania, Jennifer

Phuong and Scott’s Wedding 5.17.14

Phuong and Scott, these 2 lovebirds definitely know how to party! I remember when meeting with them, they told me to try to get things moving as quickly as possible so they will have more time to party and boy did they. :) They totally deserve it after all the hard work planning the wedding. The ceremony was held at the beautiful Japanese Garden in Long Beach and the weather was perfect for their nuptials. Phuong and Scott only booked my services for the reception to make sure everything is set up per their vision.

Even though I wasn’t present for Phuong and Scott’s wedding ceremony, I have to post photos as it is way too pretty no to.

Thank you Tin Photography for the great photos as always.

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Married! Congratulations Phuong and Scott!

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The reception was just breathtaking!

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 Check out Phuong and Scott’s Same Day Edit by 8 Kinds of Smiles

 

Phuong and Scott, thank you for trusting me to make your wedding the way you envisioned it. It was such a joy seeing you having a great time at your wedding.

We wish you nothing but the best and all the happiness in the world!

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Ceremony: Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden

Reception: Mon Amour Banquet

Photography: Tin Photography

Videography: 8 Kinds of Smiles

Floral: Better Choice Flower

DJ: Platinum Peaks

Photobooth: Facebooth LLC

Cake: Taylor Cake Creations

Hair and Makeup: Theresa Huang Hair & Makeup

Officiant: Officiant Guy

KDWP Team: Lily, Christine, Julie and Tania

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