Sunday, October 25, 2009

Why I do what I do...

2010 weddings have been booking so fast and I cannot begin you to tell you how excited I am to be working at some of the amazing venues with renowned photographers in the industry next year. The upcoming venues include but are not limited to St. Regis in Monarch Beach, Fairmont Hotel in Newport Beach, The Langham, Sheraton Delfina & Casa Del Mar in Santa Monica, Adamson House in Malibu and so on... I am truly honored to be chosen out of all the wedding planners out there in the industry and thank you so much for your kindness and encouragements.

When I sign and book a client, I make it a priority to make sure that they will be getting 100% of my time and attention. This is one of the reasons why I choose not to book 4-5 weddings each month. If I do, I know my clients won’t be getting the attention they deserve, and plainly put, I’ll go nuts! A lot of planners in the industry who exclusively offer full wedding planning choose only to coordinate a handful of weddings each year. This is because they want to ensure that each client’s needs and wishes are fully met and fulfilled. While I completely agree with this, I believe that there is a far greater purpose and motive behind this... well at least for me there is.

I love what I do, I love helping couples start a new chapter in their lives together, but it would be ironic and sad if my marriage was falling apart because I was so busy helping others start theirs. I believe that in my life the greatest blessings have been and continue to be my marriage and family. My job is wonderful but it does not and will never come before them. I would hate to think that a lack of time management and devotion would ruin what means the most to me. Marriage takes work; by work I mean you have to spend quality time with your husband and children and make them your number one priority. It would really suck if I was going through a divorce while helping someone else get married. It gives me the chills to even think of that, to be honest, the image of me filing divorce papers while creating a timeline for a wedding I’m planning scares me to death. I’m not perfect and I fail miserably. I’m sure there will be moments when I want to drop everything and run away from the responsibilities and duties of being a wife and mother. But it is my true desire to hold on to the precious gift of family that I have been given. I want to treasure it, make it work and make it grow.

At the end of the day, I don’t want to be buried in timelines, vendor contracts, floral arrangements, or even design boards for my clients. I want to go home to my husband and my precious son, they are the reason why I do what I do; I want to help others start their marriage and families of their own. (Motherhood is truly putting things in perspective. It's like finding a new identity that you never thought it existed in you! I sometimes surprise myself too!)

With that all said and done, I want to encourage all you 2010 brides to hurry and reserve your wedding date! I can’t wait to help make your special day a memorable one, filled with meaning and loads of personalized details that reflect who you are.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Lotus Inspired Tablescape

Hello Readers!

For those who have been checking my blog religiously for new entries, I apologize for the lack of updates! I've been very very busy booking weddings for 2010, and working on ideas for my upcoming projects.
Anyways, for those of you who have been following my blog, you know how I feel about cultural weddings. I love how couples reflect their cultural values and also incorporate different cultural details into their weddings. It really does add that special touch to make a wedding that much more meaningful. I simply adore them!

This season I feel like there have been A LOT of vintage, and rustic inspired dessert bars and tablescapes. I've seen so many pictures of beautiful designs out in the blog world. However, I haven't seen many Asian inspired tablescapes or dessert bars. While talking to one of my clients I was inspired to do a LOTUS INSPIRED tablescape with a French twist! :) I have decided to collaborate with some of my favorite vendors to do a photoshoot for this new idea! I am so excited to share with you guys what we have come up with. It is definitely something new, creative, and stylish. Yet very meaningful. To be honest I am more nervous about the photoshoot rather than my upcoming weddings!

While looking around online for inspiration, I stumbled upon this blog called Lotus Haus. You must check out her blog for Asian inspired theme weddings, parties, showers, floral inspirations, or any products related to the Asian culture. Here are some pictures I saved on my desktop from her blog.

I'm crossing my fingers that we can pull off this look sometime in end of November or early December so please continue to visit the blog for updates.

Speaking of culture infused ideas, here are some killer fusion/couture hanbok images designed by Mehee Kim. She was the designer for Grey’s Anatomy star Sandra Oh back in 2008 SAG Awards.
Photo courtesy of Taek Photography
UPDATE: Mihee Kim, the hanbok designer has agreed to make custom runners & napkins for the photoshoot!!!! I can promise you this tablescape will be out of this world!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Julia & Chris tie the knot!

Annie from Varland Photography sent me the images today and I am so thrilled to share them with you!
I swear Julia's pearl necklace winked at me and said hello... :)
I am completely in love with the day-after session!
Magazine worthy shots.. oh my...HUGE props to Annie & Toby!!!!
All the flowers were arranged by Julia's mom
B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L bridal party! Loving the girls' dresses purchased at David's Bridal
My favorite shot of Julia.. Isn't she just a classic, elegant bride? She could not have looked prettier... Chris is a lucky guy!
Chris breaking the glass "Mazel Tov!"
My favorite shot from the pae bek ceremony. Chris' mom looks so happy!
OK.. I've seen lots of pae bek gowns and this has to be the most fancy gowns ever! Check out Julia's intricate braid/wig on her head! It's straight out of K-drama! From what I've learned about Korean history, the material and length of the wig varied according to the women's class and status. Back in the days, Koreans considered bigger and heavier wigs to be more desirable and aesthetic. So basically what Chris & Julia are wearing is fit for a king & queen!
I am cracking up over this shot! :)

Dear Julia & Chris
Thank you so much for entrusting me with all the details of your wedding day. And I truly felt like I was part of the family than your coordinator. This wedding will be one of the most memorable weddings and I will definitely remember. Welcome to the KIM clan!!

Now with the vendor round up
Church- Half Moon Bay Methodist Church
Reception- Cetrella Half Moon Bay
Photography- Varland Photography (they flew in all the way from Cincinnati, Ohio!)
Florist- Julia's beautiful, loving mother
DJ- Raymond Fernando from Big Fun Disc Jockeys
Pae Bek rentals- Bok Shin Han Bok (this is the only pae baek rental company in SF)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Esther's Pet Peeves

Wedding planners are the first ones to be on site and the last ones to take off. We're practically working 11-12 hours straight without taking much of a break. We hope and rest assure that the day will go without any trouble, but no matter how ready we are as planners/coordinators, there are some things that's out of our control. That's why we must be quick on our feet and have solutions to problems at a moments notice.
Someone recently asked me if I have any pet peeves about this job and the answer is... OF COURSE!! I can think of tons of things that really bother me and I'll share some today.

1) Vendors that are late. I don't care how talented you are, showing up late is just unprofessional. I don't care if you're caught in traffic you should know that there is always traffic on Saturdays. It’s always better to arrive early than showing up late. Please give yourself an extra 30 min. before you hit the road. For you vendo
rs out there, please note, it you are running late, that means the whole schedule is running late and I'm not talking about being 5-15 minutes, but being an hour late to the wedding site. I don't want to sound like one of those OCD planners who come off as a bit cocky although I am mildly OCD when it comes to wedding planning :)

2) Maid of Honor and Best Man speeches that drag on and on and on. Ok, I know you have tons of wonderful things to say about the couple but c’mon you are giving a speech. Anything over 10 minutes is unnecessary and just plain boring. To the MOHs and BMs out there, make a flashcard or type it out. This way you can visualize all the things you want to say. If you decide to rehearse it, you can get a better idea of how long y
our speech is going to be. (Click here for a quick guideline)

3) Pastors/Offciants long messages that don't make any sense.
I’m sorry to say but there are some pastors who give long messages during the ceremony but in reality the message isn’t really saying much. Especially outdoor ceremony messages under the scorching hot sun, they shouldn't be longer than 15 minutes.

4) Elderly Korean guests who leave right after dinner with centerpieces on their hands. Gosh… As much as I try to accommodate to their needs and make sure all the guests find their seats, I find it very rude and impolite to leave right after dinner. AND they're the first ones who take off with the centerpieces! Hello!!?! Who knows what else they're packing up. I mean really… Can you at least enjoy the reception; mingle with other guests for a little while. At least until the bride and groom have their last dance together. For some reason, I catch them looking angry & bored during dinner. Please note that you are there to bless the couple, not to receive some type of top notch restaurant service.

5) Vendors that don't keep their words. There's a reason why it's called a DEADLINE. Any vendor that doesn't meet deadlines needs to really consider hiring another staff on board.

Trust me, I can go on and on about my pet peeves, but I cannot stress enough about my # 1 pet peeve. I can understand guests, ushers, gift attendants and helpers who are late, but if you're PAID for your services, there shouldn't be any excuse as to why you're one hour late.

OK. Better stop now because this is bringing back so many unpleasant experiences...haha :)

P.S Hope this answered some of your questions, Lori! Please don't get me wrong... I really do LOVE this job!!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful week~