Wednesday, October 26, 2011

September 3rd: Our Wedding Story

Looking back on our September 3rd, I am simply amazed at how faithful God has been to us. I could count blessing after blessing in how everything and everyone came together for our wedding. Throughout the eight short months we had to plan our wedding, we have learned and grown so much; God has taught us to be patient, to compromise, to trust, the deeper meaning of friendship and sacrifice, and that a truly "perfect" wedding is simply one where two hearts come before God seeking sincerely to become one in Him.

Hearts became the theme of our wedding because we loved how it represents the deepest part of who we are and the very part of us that we want to be joined together forever. Will and I also often use hearts in our chat messages, texts, cards, letters, and emails to each other and it always makes me smile. With the heart symbol as my inspiration, I began designing the stationary for our wedding starting with our save-the-date postcards and formal pocketfold invitations.

At the same time, Will and I were on the search for an elegant and romantic wedding venue with lots of character. We found everything we were looking for at the historic Ebell of Los Angeles. The beautiful Ebell clubhouse, built as a women's club in the late 1920s, included a pretty courtyard garden, stately art salon housing rotating art pieces, and gorgeous lounge ballroom with glistening floor to ceiling windows and magnificent chandeliers. We loved that the Ebell was so rich in history, distinctive architecture, and elegant vintage pieces like a rustic grandfather clock and antique patterned couches. Coupled with the fabulous staff and delicious French inspired cuisine by Chef Louis Pechan, the Ebell was absolutely perfect for the timeless and romantic evening ballroom reception we were envisioning.

For our ceremony we discovered nearby First Congregational Church of Los Angeles and immediately fell in love with the grand cathedral architecture of the church and majestic organ lights that made the sanctuary glow with color. Also a historic landmark of Los Angeles, the church felt like a perfect meld between old and new, traditional elegance with a colorful modern flair. Although our first impression of the regal sanctuary constructed in a revival gothic style seating well over 700 guests was actually quite intimidating, we soon realized it would be the perfect setting to reflect the sanctity of our marriage ceremony and the seriousness of our vows.

Although I never really intended to be a DIY bride, I've always enjoyed artistic and creative endeavors so when it came to our wedding, I decided that I wanted to design and hand-make many of the details myself; before I knew it, our wedding had evolved into a pretty massive arts and crafts project. We bought two paper cutters, dozens of ribbon spools, and ordered card stock from online wholesalers. We recruited our friends for many long nights of paper-cutting, pattern-punching, card stock-glueing, and ribbon-tying. I shopped around for decorative elements and bought monogrammed mugs from anthropologie spelling out "love" for the guestbook table and a small antique-looking wooden chest for our card box. We also added many personal touches such as displaying our parents wedding photos at the welcome table, creating a photo guest book with our engagement pictures, including our favorite recipes along with heart-shaped measuring spoon as wedding favors, and hand-painting table numbers on wooden plaques. 

We wanted a soft and romantic color palette so we chose blush rose, sage green, champagne, and brown as our wedding colors. Our florist incoporated lisianthus, hydrangeas, lilies, roses, eucalyptus, and branches in our wedding florals to accent our colors while keeping a flowy and organic feel to all of the arrangements.  My bridesmaids wore rosy pink tea-length dresses with a lacey shrug and champagne Steve Madden heels with bows (they were a great find, on sale at over 50% off!) that matched the sash of the dress and the champagne vests and ties of the groomsmen. I chose to rent my wedding dress instead of purchasing one, but had a custom hanger personalized with our names made for the dress from an Etsy shop. My dress had lovely lace detail, intricate beading, a classic A-line silloute, and a sweet and girly bow in the back. I also especially loved my ruffly wedding shoes from Nordstroms that were in the softest shade of blush. We also incoporated our colors into the seating cards using a pink heart to designate the salmon entree choice, a light brown heart for chicken, and a green heart for vegetarian. 

When the long-awaited day finally arrived, there were so many unforgettable moments that our wedding day actually felt much longer than just a single day, yet it that passed by so unbelievably quickly that everything seemed like a blur. 

I will never forget the echo of the big double doors of the church opening as my dad walked me down the asile, Will's calm and composed voice repeating our wedding vows and my own shaky and emotional voice, laughing together when our DJ accidentally announced one of my bridesmaids as a groomsmen and vice versa, making our grand entrance into the reception down the grand staircase of the Ebell, how we sang "Marry Me" by Train to each other as we danced our first dance, my dad's very moving speech and toast (I never knew he was so eloquent!), Will and I thanking all of our guests and especially our parents for all of their love and support (I teared up a bit....I couldn't help it!), singing happy birthday to my grandfather who's 84th birthday was the very same day, throwing our shoes at our groomsman Mike who tried to embarrass us during a newlywed game, and finally dancing the night away with all of our friends (we were so wonderfully surprised that our friends joined us on the dance floor! We didn't hold back and we are so glad many of our friends didn't either!). 

We are filled with gratitude for the many people who truly made our wedding an unforgettable and fairy tale day: Our parents' unending support that made our dream wedding possible, family and friends who flew in from all around the country to celebrate with us, fabulous vendors and coordinators who made sure our special day would be just the way we envisioned it, our wedding party and friends who spent all day cutting paper for programs and spent all night gluing invitations, talented friends who led praise, sang, and put together a truly memorable slide show, church leaders who counseled us and prayed for a us, generous family and friends who showered us with mountains (literally) of gifts...

Most of all, I know I am the luckiest girl in the world because I was marrying the most kind, patient, understanding, and supportive man I have ever known. Will has truly humbled me in everything I thought I knew about love. He encouraged me to indulge in my creative vision for our wedding and drove me all around the city visiting wedding vendors and exploring venues. Though not a very arts-and-crafts person by nature, he dove headfirst with me into an immense DIY wedding project. I took the lead on most of the wedding preparations, but when we had trouble with a rude and dishonest vendor, when we thought we had almost lost our church venue, when we were missing 1/3 of our wedding favors two days before the wedding, and when I ultimately dissolved into tears from stress and frustration, Will would always calmly take over (he was always much better than me at handling these sorts of situations) and reassure me that I wasn't planning our wedding alone. On our wedding day, I was overjoyed with the final realization that from this day forward, no matter what we planned next, no matter what our next big project was, no matter what challenges and surprises lay ahead,  no matter where God leads, Will and I would always be facing it together.

The verse in our wedding ceremony program from Psalms 115:1 reads "Not to us, Not to us O Lord but to your name be the glory because of your love and faithfulness." Our prayer is that starting with our wedding day and continuing with our marriage and throughout the rest of our lives, we will glorify our Heavenly Father and always remember that it is He who holds us together with His love and faithfulness.

Our Wedding Vendors: 
Ceremony Venue: First Congregational Church of Los Angeles | Reception Venue: The Ebell of Los AngelesPhotography: Pix of LifeWedding Dress and Bridesmaid Dress Rentals: Beautiful Day Wedding | Groom and Groomsmen Tux Rentals: Frair Tux Shop | Coordinator: Events by Lynette | Floral: Ninfa's Flowers | DJ: Steve Kikuchi of High Resolution DJs | Makeup and Hair: Etude Lounge | Photobooth: Photobooth Love | Cake: King's Hawaiian |

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Recipe Box

I recently picked up this simple but pretty recipe box from one of my absolutely favorite stores, Crate and Barrel. The box is made from bamboo and has a slot on the top for a clear stand that props up recipe cards while you are cooking.
For a long while, I have just been saving all my recipes in a Word doc on my computer and just printing it out everytime I wanted to use a particular recipe-- not exactly the greenest and most organized way. I have actually been wanting to start a recipe box for a while; in fact, our wedding favors were actually recipe cards and included one recipe from Will and one recipe from me, along with measuring spoons in the shape of hearts. It was meaningful and personal to us because:
1) We love to eat!
2) The recipes were designed, and hand-made by us with the help of our friends
3) The heart-shaped measuring spoons were simply adorable and it perfectly went along with our heart-themed wedding.

For my brand new recipe box, here's a round-up of pretty recipe cards I found on etsy:

Personalized Recipe Cards 20 for $12.00 via InvitaPaperStudio

Fancy letterpress recipe cards $46.00 for a set of 42 cards in 6 colors via 1canoe2

Rustic recipe cards $6.00 for set of 6 via ohHelloMagpie

Photograph recipe cards $16.00 for set of 8 via newivystyle

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Graceful Lace

I love the beautiful lace details incorporated into this wedding inspiration shoot by Jose Villa. There is something just wonderfully romantic, girly, and timelessly elegant about lace. The challenge is to dress lace in way that isn't grandmotherly, old, or overdone without loosing its natural vintage charm. Often, there is a fine line between vintage and just plain frumpy, outdated, hand-me-downs. Not so with this beautiful photoshoot! Lace was styled by Jill La Fleur in a way that is bright, fresh, and still effortlessly romantic.



via stylemepretty and Josevilla

Even though I am no longer wedding planning, I still find great everyday inspiration from wedding design and wedding photography. 

Monday, October 10, 2011


I've recently joined Pinterest, a virtual bulletin board where you can pin images for inspiration and ideas. It's been really fun pinning everything I love and keeping great finds all in one place-- a visual bookmark of sorts. I kind of wish I had discovered it sooner….it would have been a great resource for finding wedding inspiration. Now though, it has become my scrapbook for decorating and furnishing ideas for our new home! Much more organized than tearing pages out of catalogs and copying links into a word file!

A snippet from my pinterest boards~
Happy Home: filled with gorgeous homes and rooms
Look Book: fashion finds and outfit ideas
Sweet Nothings: for mouthwatering delectables and recipes
Fabulous Finds: my wishlist of adorable things
Inspiration: everything else I like~


sources all available at my pinterest 

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