Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Reception Makeover

      Not sure how to transform your traditional ballroom or church space?
      Can't afford a full-time event planner but would like someone to bounce decor ideas off of?
      Overwhelmed by vendor choices and unsure of which vendors will be a good fit for your style/budget?

MyBrideStory now offers a 2-hour design consultation which includes:
      a comprehensive budget analysis,
      site walkthrough to discuss possible decor options
      recommendations on vendors who can execute your vision
      and a rough sketch of the ceremony/reception space
This consultation will give you an honest assessment of where to splurge or cut back from your wedding budget.

MyBrideStory is a boutique event design company specializing in thoughtful, creative, personalized events. Please note this is only a consultation, not a planning or coordination service.  MyBrideStory is not responsible for the conduct of vendors on the day-of the event, even if MyBrideStory provided the referral. 

 Please email Esther@mybridestory.com to schedule your appointment today. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Event Styling Tips (Part3) -How to Throw a Budget Friendly Kids' Party

Hi Everyone! 
I'm back on blogging to announce that our little space ranger turned two this weekend! Noah has brought so much joy and laughter into our lives and we're so grateful that God has entrusted us with two precious boys.  We're also learning, as parents, to love, embrace and cherish the terrible-two toddler stage.  Although he's slow in speech, (he fully understands both Korean and English but I think he's just refusing to talk! lol) his vibrant energy and excitement for every little things make us appreciate the little things in life too.
Last year, we didn't do a big 1st birthday celebration since we thought it was better to wait till Noah can remember and join in on the fun. Instead, we decided to sponsor 3 kids who share the same birth date as our son through World Vision. (Read about this post here) This year, my husband and I told ourselves to keep things simple and throw a small party at our concrete backyard (technically our carport area). We wanted to make as many fun memories at this house before we think about *possibly* relocating.  Plus, it was a great way to do some MAJOR house cleaning! ;) Like every other toddler, Noah is obsessed with Buzz Lightyear, so it was a no-brainer that we wanted to do a Buzz Lightyear themed party. I know… so typical but boys are easy to please! 

First thing, I envisioned was a long table for the kids under the shaded carport and a lot of benches for the parents to mingle and enjoy. Huge thanks to Luna Party Rentals providing all the benches, chairs, tables and draping to cover our trash bins, storage, toys and etc. and to La Tavola for providing linens for the tables and the purple sequin for the sign-in table to make it just a tad fancy!  Here's a before and after picture of our concrete backyard space/shared carport. Please excuse the mess. This picture was actually taken after the party, hence, the garbage overload but draping makes such a difference, right? 

I did an event styling tips and tricks series a while back Part 1 and Part 2, so today, I will finish it off by covering how to throw a budget friendly party with STYLE. 
I know every celebration (weddings, showers, kids’ parties) can get out of hand if you don’t stick to a strict budget and I'm a believer in minimalist living, that we can re-use what we already have.   Plus, your child will only remember all the fun she/he had but not necessarily what was on the table decor. 

Here are a few tips to get your party planning started!

Tip 1: Use what you already have
For example, Grant's car themed 3rd birthday party was at My Giggle Place and I used black butcher paper, white duct tape, white marker, and Grant's old toys to create a race track but I did splurge a little on those orange cone drinking cups to tie in the theme. :) 

Tip 2: Goodie bags can also double as a part of your decor/centerpieces. 
Yes, those 20 alien goodie bags took 3 hours of cutting and gluing but it was all worth it! I lined up the goodie bags as table centerpieces and put together 3 aliens on Noah's seat, since we all know how those little aliens are "eternally grateful" to Buzz! :) 

Tip 3: Choose your battles wisely.  Keep it simple but impactful. 
I'm sure all the parents know what I mean when they're raising their little ones.  Even prepping for a party, there's no need to go too crazy with all the cute details you see on Pinterest! If not done right, it looks messy and tacky!!!!  Choose 2-3 DIY projects that will make a statement and you can let go of other details.  I say this only because if you get too ambitious with so many DIY projects, set up not only gets difficult, BUT the cleanup is even more painful at the end of the party. Trust me, DIY projects does NOT save you much money. 
Tip 4: Have a photobooth!  
Kids have way more fun taking pictures than the adults. FYI, I got the biggest box from Home Depot to cut out a frame for the booth.  Again, I used my black butcher paper to cover the cut out and also hung it as a backdrop for the booth. Voila! Super simple but something personalized! 

I think Grant was jealous he didn't get to dress up as Buzz... lol

Tip 5: If it all fails, just rent a bouncer and you're good to go! 
It was our first time hiring an entertainer because we thought Noah would be star struck if he actually saw Buzz at our house... That only lasted for about 10 seconds before he was busy playing in the jumper. lol! I think having a bounce house is what every kids’ party needs.
P.S If you liked any of these Buzz Lightyear themed signage, my husband would be thrilled to send you the files! He is no graphic designer by any means but gotta love that he's trying! 

Hope this post inspired you to get creative with what you already have at home and be sure to check our IG for latest updates!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The heart issue.

There was a time when I actually enjoyed writing blog posts. Then, the kids arrived and I sort of stopped exercising my brain. It involved too much thinking (lol!) and the last thing I wanted to do at night, after putting the boys down, was to look at the computer screen and write a post about wedding stuff.  yeah.. wedding STUFF… so much enthusiasm and love for my job, right?

2013 felt like I was always on the go whether it was rushing to a playdate, gymboree classes or running around working. And balancing motherhood and the business has gotten much harder now that Noah is a toddler.  Although Grant goes to preschool full-time, Noah is still at home with me all day with barely any help from either side of our parents.  Don't get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE staying home with Noah, but it doesn't leave me much time for real work. I found myself complaining and whining that I wanted to quit this “wedding stuff.”  I came up with excuses (i.e. the wedding industry is competitive and snooty, my creative juices aren't flowing, I don't have the passion to continue and etc.)  

Last year, I booked almost the same amount of weddings as I would any other year but I didn't factor in the time I wanted to spend watching my two growing boys. And something was definitely suffering… my ATTITUDE.
I was burnt out trying to juggle everything that I had going on and my attitude clearly showed it. You probably didn't recognize it on my Instagram feed or my Facebook page, but I was complaining to people around me that I wanted to take a break from weddings and discover what I really love doing. Yeah… like I had something I loved doing other than sipping coffee and watching Korean drama. Haha! 

It all came back to the heart issue.  I didn't want to grow, learn, or be challenged as a person.  God gave me a special talent but I wanted to bury it because it required too much work and stress on my end. 
Then just last week, something happened. I won't share the story since it will be too long for this blog post and I might lose your attention, but it has definitely shed some light into my soul. 

My productivity looks different than someone with no kids, but that's ok. 

I may not be doing any wedding styled shoots or booking high end profile weddings, but that's ok.

I may have tricked myself into thinking I'm not progressing and that I’m falling behind, but that's ok.  
My everyday mundane sort of stuff may not be always exciting and amazing, but that's ok. 

At the end of the day, it's not just about accomplishments, reaching your dreams, how much you make, or how passionate you are about your job, it's about what God has entrusted us with and I need to stay faithful while doing it. Because ultimately… my job, kids, family, house or anything I *want to* claim as mine are not MINE, just a steward of God. 

So... to have a healthy attitude, I have decided only to book 6-7 weddings in 2014 and leave the rest to my associate coordinators (You'll get to learn more about them next month!)
Weddings will come and go but my kids won't stay this young forever… I would hate to be stretched too thin like last year and let my *evil* Esther take over me. 

Thank for reading my honest, personal post, and of course, I now leave you with some of my family portraits from last year because every blog post needs a picture ;) Thank you SO much Kevin Lee for graciously offering your talent! 
This is NOT the look I give my husband when he's home! Don't be fooled! ;) but he's my better half!  

Bald men get finer with age... :) 

our baby Simba!

 And last but not least, I would also like to thank our dear clients for entrusting me with their big day. You guys are one of the main sources of inspiration and I have gained so much out of our relationship, more than you can ever imagine.  Thank you for inspiring me and believing in me. 

My Bride Story from Ken Shin Films on Vimeo.
We are always honored when clients give us a huge shout out during their thank you speeches and this time, Ken Shin Films was right there to capture it. Here is a sweet shout out from Chi & Myles' wedding, which I will blog shortly!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Courtney and Darryl Tie The Knot {Featured on Style Me Pretty}

I'm SO thrilled to finally share Courtney and Darryl's wedding which was featured on Style Me Pretty recently! It's been almost a year since their big day and I still remember it like it was yesterday. They will forever hold a special place in my heart and I'm so fortunate to have had the opportunity to plan it.  You can read all the details from Courtney over at SMP and let me tell you... I can't take ANY credit for all her DIY and creative projects.  Over 100+ emails exchanged and endless ideas going back and forth, I'm quite proud of our modern take on a Great Gatsby inspired soiree. Please head over to Style Me Pretty to find out THE BEST vendor teams who were involved!
Stunning photos by Erin Hearts Court 

Photography: Erin Hearts Court

Lisa & Ed Tie the Knot {Featured on Green Wedding Shoes}

I planned Lisa's brother's bicycle inspired wedding 3 years ago and I was overjoyed when Lisa reached out to me as soon as she got engaged. Lisa mom mentioned at the end of the night how she wished she had another daughter so I can plan her wedding! So sweet!
We created a whimsical, romantic, intimate celebration at the Smogshoppe and Lisa gave me a total freedom to do whatever I wanted to do.  Completely trust your designer/planner and they will deliver nothing but the best! Head over to Green Wedding Shoes for the lovely feature and SO grateful Lisa gave me the sweetest shout-out!  Lovely photos by Esther Sun Photography 

smog shoppe wedding
pink bridesmaids
pink bridesmaids
flower girl and ring bearer
pink ceremony decor
vintage crates

wedding partysmog shoppe cermeony
bride and groom
bride and groom

The lovely paper goods by The First Snow were the perfect fit for Lisa + Ed’s dreamy celebration!
bride and groom table
ribbon chandeliers
chevron table numbers
pink florals

floral menu
tabasco favors
paper flower backdrop
A lot of people have been asking about these giant paper flowers. These were actually made by our former client, Elaine  who is super crafty and I had to recycle them for this wedding.  The big poster "I belong with you, You belong with me. You are my sweet heart" quote was perfect for our sweets table!

paper flower decor and cake