Trash the Dress: The Bride

August 10th, 2009

I booked a session with Mitch Ranger about a month after the wedding. Please be patient for them to load!

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Non-pro Pictures

August 8th, 2009


We had these two awesome Usher/Pig Carrier/Photographers with us all day. I can’t thank them enough for all that they did for us that day. THANK YOU, RYAN & CLAYTON.

Here are some of the shots they took. They posted the rest on the wedding flickr account.

Details
Tea Ceremony
Between Ceremonies
Justice of Peace Ceremony
Reception

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Details


All of the little details that keep brides busy.

Flowers by Sebesta Design
Photo courtesy of Sebesta Design

Flowers by Sebesta Design
Photo courtesy of Sebesta Design

Flowers by Sebesta Design
Photo courtesy of Sebesta Design

Flowers by Sebesta Design
Photo courtesy of Sebesta Design

Flowers by Sebesta Design
Photo courtesy of Sebesta Design

Flowers by Sebesta Design
Photo courtesy of Sebesta Design

Flowers by Sebesta Design
Photo courtesy of Sebesta Design

Our Guestbook
Guests signing the Guestbook I made!

Floral arrangements in the Cocktail Lounge
Floral arrangements in the Cocktail Lounge

Head Table
Head Table

Medium centerpieces
Medium centerpieces

Low centerpieces
Low centerpieces

Wedding cake
Wedding cake

Guestbook cards
Guestbook cards

Cocktail table centerpiece
Cocktail table centerpiece

Escort card table
Escort card table

Escort card table
Escort card table

Tea Ceremony


The first tea ceremony at the bride’s house was pretty emotional.





Pee Break
Pee Break… this picture is ummm, really funny









Between Ceremonies


The bridal party rode on the party bus for 1.5 hours to get to the groom’s house. We all needed a cat nap.



Catnap
Catnap – We all started at 4AM!

Catnap

Justice of Peace Ceremony


There was a quick JOP ceremony after the tea ceremony at the groom’s house.





Reception


Time to party!


































My painted panels separating VIP areas!














This is what he pulled out during the removal of the garter. We stayed to the very end! (Note the lack of shoes.)

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Photography by Mitch Ranger

August 7th, 2009

Site: Mitch Ranger Weddings

Score Card

Main Contact: Mitch Ranger
Main contactee: Thao
Grade: A+
Cost: A+
Words: The absolute best. Top knotch, highly talented, brings big city style anywhere.
Would you use them again? Yes I will and I already did for Trash the Dress photos!
Donny’s Grade: A+



Wedding Vendor Review – Synopsis

Mitch is the absolute best. He brings a very unique, big city style into his work which can range from photojournalistic to stylish and magazine-spread-like. He is cocky because he knows his work is good. The images speak for themselves. You won’t be disappointed. Just make sure you tell him exactly what you want! The only thing I regret is not forcing people to stick closer to a timeline – we missed out on a lot of good wedding photos because of tardiness.

Description

Photography was one of the most important items on my wedding to-do list. As soon as we were engaged in 2007 (two years before the wedding date), I started my research. …and if you know me, I can do some extensive research…

From recommendations, googling, and resources like theknot.com, lansingbride.com, etc, I ended up with a list of OVER 200 photographers. Some local, some from outside of the state.

It was due to a recommendation from my friend Jennifer, that I came across Mitch’s beautiful portfolio. I had siphoned through my photographer list to include my top ten. Then, I presented the top ten to the male half of DonThao. He scored the photographers based on my scale and Mitch came out on top. Things we considered: cost, flexibility, style, packages.

First, I should describe our style. We love big cities. We love EVERYTHING about them: the buildings, the life, the urban style, etc. This includes the alley ways with dumpsters, the brick and run down buildings that still exist. We wanted to capture a big city feel in our pictures since we couldn’t get married in a big city. We really love modern and updated design. I specifically love the clash of tradition and modern; streaming hard lines and organic upsets, the beautiful and serene versus the boistrous and dirty.

THAT is exactly what we got from Mitch.

His non-wedding portfolio is actually what really drew me into his work. He does much more commerical work. Weddings are a side thing.

We booked him during our first meeting. The packages are very reasonably priced too. Super bonus. Throughout the planning, I did not have to keep much contact with him. Approximately a month before the wedding, we met again to review the schedule. I gave him a list of the things that we wanted to capture and the VERY SPECIAL things, such as his parents ballroom dancing.

He is pretty resistant to lists, which I cannot blame him as it does limit his time to be creative. But you have to be very stern about things that are "must take" otherwise you won’t get it. Also, when we booked him, there was no time limit so he honored our agreement. We had to pay overtime for his assistant over 10 hours.

On the day of the wedding, he arrived on time (even though the guys weren’t!). During most of the day, you didn’t even notice him working – he was 100% unobtrusive, which I loved. He never got in the way of our unique ceremony. He was open to suggestions from Lexi, my very creative sister, during the group shots which amounted to some very memorable pictures.

When I got the photos, I was SO HAPPY. The album was of superb quality and all the details I was afraid of missing were captured. I was so happy that I actually asked him to do a Trash the Dress session with me and he gladly agreed. He even let me add in our siblings so we could have more family photos. I really enjoyed working with Mitch and hope to find a reason to book him again!

Here I am with Mitch at the end of the night! (He was off the clock at this point)

with Mitch

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DIY | Bouquet Preservation

August 6th, 2009

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I’ve been doing this for as long as I can remember. Whenever any woman in my family wanted to save flowers that were given to us as gifts (we’re rather sentimental), we wait until the flowers are a little past full bloom and preserve them.

DIY wedding bouquet preservation

How did we do that?

Tools:

  • Cheap hair spray
  • Rubberband
  • A place to hang bouquet such that it won’t have to sit against anything
  • Vase

It’s easy! Enjoy the bouquet for a bit first. Let all of the flowers bloom and just when you think it might START to die, tie a rubberband around the bouquet "handle". (Don’t hang it like in the picture yet)

DIY wedding bouquet preservation

Grab a can of hair spray and get outside or to a well ventilated area and spray the bouquet upside down and rightside up (make sure to be as thorough as possible).

Then, find a place to hang the bouquet upside down.

DIY wedding bouquet preservation

Wait until the bouquet is SUPER dried. THEN, you can remove it from hanging and enjoy your preserved beauty!

DIY wedding bouquet preservation

DIY wedding bouquet preservation

It’s not the most PERFECT preservation, but it beats paying $200. The hair spray allows the dried flowers to stay brighter than they would if they dried naturally and also helps the petals keep their shape. I also pulled out some stems first to press for our scrapbook.

DIY in Action

Here is the bouquet on the wedding day.

DIY wedding bouquet preservation

…and here it is sitting on our coffee table.

DIY wedding bouquet preservation

DIY wedding bouquet preservation

I did the same to his bouttoniere. Pics coming soon.

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Rehearsal Party

August 5th, 2009

On June 26, 2009, Devan and his wife, Karen, hosted our rehearsal party. It was a relaxed day – great BBQ and our bridal party with their significant others. We ate, caught up with each other, handed out some well-deserved Thank-yous, and then the girls headed east where they were pampered the night before the wedding.

Browse through the pictures in our gallery.

Me and Donny less than 24 hours before we tied the knot!
Rehearsal Party

Everyone hanging out.
Rehearsal Party

Rehearsal Party

Donny and his men
Rehearsal Party

Me and my ladies
Rehearsal Party

The whole gang plus little Joe
Rehearsal Party

Ed trying on his ao dai
Rehearsal Party



Rehearsal Party Gallery

August 3rd, 2009

Devan and his wife, Karen, were kind enough to host a Rehearsal party for us at their lovely home. I didn’t take any pictures, but Megan did and she was kind enough to share them with me!

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Wedding Photos by Clayton

August 2nd, 2009

Our good friend and usher, Clayton, took these photos for us on the day of the wedding!

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The Vision

August 1st, 2009

I never pictured my dream wedding. To be honest, I think the whole Asian parents saying, "NO DATING!" sunk in and I never even thought about it. When we got engaged, I was already working on my master’s degree and so inspiration came from googling pictures and sites like brides.com or theknot.com.

The long engagement allowed me to collect MANY ideas and develop many myself. The basic theme is "Asian-fusion VIP Club" (if that makes ANY sense to you). We definitely wanted to keep culture involved in the design. Our heritage is important and I love the elegance of modern, Asian elements. It has to be fresh, funky, and elegant. I know it seems like a clash, but I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE mixing traditional with modern. I think mixing styles are very appealing and bring life to both extremes. You can easily mix clean lines with an oddball organic vase to make things more visually interesting. I figure, I love my interior design this way, I will have the wedding this way. Donny is more into "all modern", but we both agreed to keep it sleek and clean. That’s the beauty of Asian elements. They’re usually very clean and simple if you think "Zen". To incorporate the traditional, I am designing a vector of the dragon and phoenix tail with heart shapes at the end.

By the way, he had a big hand in planning all of this too. We brainstormed a lot to come up with elements that made us both happy!

This is just explaining the vision of decorating the spaces. The ceremony decor was left up to the parents since it is traditional in reds and golds and in their homes. Here goes…

Overall Design Board

I made design boards in Excel (surprise, surprise). I googled for most of the images. This is what I used to have VISUAL conversations with Donny since describing even basic colors threw him into confusion! We have two areas to design: the lounge and the reception banquet room. These are the boards, click to enlarge!

Inspiration for the VIP lounge

Inspiration for the VIP lounge

I pretty much referred to this board for inspiration when I met with the vendors and made decisions. It helped us align on what we wanted first so that when we did come to something that needed a decision, we knew what fit into the overall design.



sorta DIY | Thank You Card

July 31st, 2009

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Eh, the last thing I wanted to do after the wedding was make more stuff. I ended up asking Mitch to send me the Thank You picture he took (I made the poster with the Vietnamese way to say it.)

Then, I uploaded them to trusty Vistaprint.

We expedited shipping and received them as glossy, folded note cards.

diy Thank You Cards


diy Thank You Cards

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Professional Pictures!!

July 29th, 2009

We got them back yesterday – all 20+ gigs of pictures!!

It is going to take a LONG time to get through them and pick our favorites, but I am determined.

I’ll be posting some soon.