All Wedding Day Details

October 24th, 2009

Every detail you could imagine…

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All The Floral

October 23rd, 2009

Flowers weren’t the main focus of our décor. It was actually lighting, but the flowers did bring a little something extra.

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Do-it-Yourself

October 20th, 2009

We incorporated a lot of DIY (do-it-yourself) into the big day. I LOVE to make and create "things". I love art, design, and owning these projects. These were a nice distraction from work where I can’t create "pretty" things. I did most of it myself and sometimes enlisted the bridesmaids in sweatshop-like conditions. (Some templates are also available for download. Look around.)

If you think I slaved day and night over the projects, then you’ll stand corrected. DIY shouldn’t be so difficult that you’ll give up. I just worked on everything for a couple of hours every couple of nights. It ramped up as the wedding got closer, but it was nice that we had such a long engagement. This website is also a DIY – I used to design websites way back before college and picked it back up to help our guests get more information. Then it just kinda grew after I received emails from other brides asking for help!



Trash the Dress

October 17th, 2009

I wore several dresses, a tradition in Chinese/Vietnamese weddings. In the morning, I had plenty of pictures in the traditional Ao Dai and I also had plenty of pictures in the white gown during the reception. However, I did not change into the party dress until later in the evening, so I thought it would be fun to do a Trash the Dress shoot with our awesome photographer, Mitch Ranger.

He agreed! Even better than the Trash the Dress shoot, he also agreed to take photos of us with our siblings. We had to rush through taking photos on the day of the wedding, so we missed that opportunity. He gladly took some of us with them.

We followed Mitch to this awesome, grungy, train track location i Grand Rapids. I love photos of brides in urban settings and Mitch is perfectly experienced in this. Here are some of our favorites!

Trash the Dress with Mitch Ranger

Trash the Dress with Mitch Ranger

Trash the Dress with Mitch Ranger

Trash the Dress with Mitch Ranger

Trash the Dress with Mitch Ranger

Trash the Dress with Mitch Ranger

While Mitch was shooting, the boys took some photos of him in action.

Trash the Dress with Mitch Ranger

Trash the Dress with Mitch Ranger

We pulled up and thought PERFECT!

Trash the Dress with Mitch Ranger

Trash the Dress with Mitch Ranger

More of Mitch in action.

Trash the Dress with Mitch Ranger

Trash the Dress with Mitch Ranger



Honeymoon

October 14th, 2009

As I mentioned on the planning site, he planned the honeymoon as a surprise to me since I was working on most of the wedding tasks. I had no idea where we were going until the day we left (Monday, June 29 after the wedding). It stayed a secret the whole time, though I never tried to unhide the secret.

At the checkin station for Continental Airlines, I saw that we were flying in Cancun.

"We’re going to Cancun?" I thought that was weird for a honeymoon.

"No… that’s the airport. It’s outside of Cancun." At this point, I could not wait any longer.

"WHERE ARE WE GOING?!" The people working looked at me strangely as he announced…

"PLAYA DEL CARMEN!"

IT WAS GORGEOUS! He did a wonderful job. We stayed there for a week at the Secrets Resort where we spent our time relaxing, sunbathing, zip-linging, rappelling, snorkeling, exploring ruins, getting deep-tissue massages, and reading. I would recommend this resort to any honeymooners! In fact, their clients were all honeymooners or anniversary-ers. The food was THE BEST (Mexican – try the shrimp and fish tacos, Italian, Pan Asian, American, etc.) A lady we met told us that she’s been to many resorts and Secrets was by far the best service and food.

It was perfect and we met many great couples who shared our wedding date! Here are some of our favorite photos!

Honeymoon at the Secrets Resort in Playa del Carmen, Mexico
First time I checked the "Married" box was on the Visa

Honeymoon at the Secrets Resort in Playa del Carmen, Mexico
We were greeted with champagne and a moist towel

Honeymoon at the Secrets Resort in Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Honeymoon sign on our door

Honeymoon at the Secrets Resort in Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Honeymoon at the Secrets Resort in Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Honeymoon at the Secrets Resort in Playa del Carmen, Mexico
We saw Mayan Ruins in Tulum

Honeymoon at the Secrets Resort in Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Honeymoon at the Secrets Resort in Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Honeymoon at the Secrets Resort in Playa del Carmen, Mexico
He’s about to zip line!

Honeymoon at the Secrets Resort in Playa del Carmen, Mexico
I finally got to read out of pleasure

Honeymoon at the Secrets Resort in Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Honeymoon at the Secrets Resort in Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Honeymoon at the Secrets Resort in Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Donny… being Donny. He’s being driftwood.

Honeymoon at the Secrets Resort in Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Meet Bobo



Red Backdrop Pictures

October 13th, 2009

Mitch does this cool thing where he sets up a red backdrop and guests can pose for a picture during the reception. Some of these were caught when the guests weren’t paying attention and we love those!

All of the backdrop photos are in the gallery.

Red backdrop photobooth photos

Red backdrop photobooth photos

Red backdrop photobooth photos

Red backdrop photobooth photos

Red backdrop photobooth photos

Red backdrop photobooth photos

Red backdrop photobooth photos

Red backdrop photobooth photos

Red backdrop photobooth photos

Red backdrop photobooth photos

Red backdrop photobooth photos

Red backdrop photobooth photos

Red backdrop photobooth photos

Red backdrop photobooth photos

Red backdrop photobooth photos

Red backdrop photobooth photos

Red backdrop photobooth photos

Red backdrop photobooth photos

Red backdrop photobooth photos

Red backdrop photobooth photos

Update// A couple years later and now you see photographers doing this a LOT. Kudos to Mitch for paving the way – at least out here in the West MI.



It’s Not a Club without Dancing

October 12th, 2009

We met at a dance club. The adult guests all ballroom dance for fun and most of our friends are all club-goers like us. Q, Lexi’s boyfriend, was our DJ and he did a fantastic job playing Vietnamese ballroom music and then mixing awesome dance music for everyone all night. The party didn’t end until 1AM, where the remainder of the guests closed down the local bars.

All images were taken by Mitch Ranger.

Ballroom Dancing

Lots of cha cha, rhumba, and tango…

Dancing!

Dancing!

Dancing!

Dancing!

Dancing!

Dancing!

Dancing!

Dancing!

"Other" Dancing

Lots of booty-shakin’, cupid shuffle, and cute little kids…

Dancing!

Even my mom got into it!
Dancing!

Dancing!

Dancing!

Dancing!

Dancing!

Dancing!

Dancing!

Dancing!

DJ’s view
Dancing!

Dancing!

Dancing!

Dancing!

Dancing!

Dancing!

Thanks, Q, for keeping the party going all night.



The Knot Real Weddings

October 12th, 2009

Well, our third and probably last feature on The Knot is up! About a week ago, I was contacted by another sweet member from The Knot. She wanted to feature us in their "Real Weddings". Here is a link to the first story and the second live interview.

It is basically a story they print about a couple with their favorite shots (The Knot’s favorite). Had I submitted the photos, I would have probably chosen different ones.

The honor though, was the act that I did not have to submit anything. They approached us about it and I thought that was pretty cool. It’s definitely nice to know that the effort we put into throwing a great party for our guests went beyond that night and beyond the people in attendence!

I still love receiving emails from other brides about using my ideas as inspiration for their own projects, so keep it up and let me know if you have too.

Here is the whole story about the feature.

Our Real Wedding feature on The Knot



Garter Toss

October 10th, 2009

All of the single guys were up next. I’m still shocked by the turnout, but glad they participated because it amazing.

All images were taken by Mitch Ranger.

Boy, were they eager! This one ended up being a talk of the night as Donny’s brother, Kevin, leaped over several men to grab the garter. Someone is itching for an engagement…

Garter toss

Garter toss

Garter toss

Garter toss

Garter toss

Now, watch this.

Garter toss

Garter toss

Garter toss

Garter toss

Garter toss

Garter toss

Garter toss

Garter toss

Garter toss

Take a bow, Kevin.

Garter toss

Let’s get this party started.



Bouquet Toss

October 9th, 2009

All of the single ladies were called to the floor. Beyonce’s "Single Ladies" played. We actually had a pretty big turnout on the floor. I didn’t think we’d have participants. Our groomsman’s girlfriend ended up catching it!

All images were taken by Mitch Ranger.

Bouquet Toss

Bouquet Toss

Bouquet Toss

Bouquet Toss

Bouquet Toss

Bouquet Toss

Bouquet Toss

Calling single men