Monday, November 23, 2009

Jenny & Justin tie the knot

My initial consultation with Jenny back in April was with both of her parents. Quite nerve wracking that may sound, they treated me like their daughter during the whole planning process. And during the 6 months of planning, I actually never met with Justin until the rehearsal. I swear he was an invisible fiancee! :)
Jenny attended Sarah's wedding back in 2008 and told me that her wedding was the best wedding she had attended and she knew she wanted to hire me soon after she got engaged. That's such a huge compliment because somebody noticed our hard labor that made a quite an impression.
A lot went on during the 6 months of planning, Jenny’s parents ran into some financial issues I knew and felt compelled to stay true to our budget.
Don’t get me wrong, if I had a flexible budget of $70K+, I would love to concentrate solely on the design and décor aspect of the wedding, while hiring all top notch vendors I'd love to collaborate with.
However, maintaining a budget is part of a wedding planner’s job which allows me get creative with what I have to work with. On average, I contact about 4-5 different rental companies to get the best deals, I usually attend 2-3 meetings with the florist before we can finalize the details, and I DIY some of my client’s unfinished projects. In the end when everything is said and done, it takes so much extra work to make a wedding look like more than what was actually spent but the extra hundreds of dollars here and there really do add up. (But this doesn’t necessarily mean you have to cut corners on photography, good food, and entertainment! ) At the end of the day, I don’t want to see any of my brides filing for bankruptcy but rather focus on personalizing their ceremony order and details that can be incorporated throughout the reception décor and schedule. After all, these are the things that leave a lasting impact on you and your guests.

Now back to Jenny and Justin’s wedding, I felt like I was helping my little sister. There were a lot of times when we were able to sit down and share our joys in life but also our personal struggles. I feel like we crossed the relationship barrier of planner and client to being sisters. During our planning, Jenny has taken a special place in my life. Did we have our moments of frustrations? Yes, but Jenny through it all you know how much I love you!
Here's a sweet email I received the night of their wedding.
"I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to work with such a talent and for all of my loving friends and family to see the amazing wedding we had. Thank you uni from the bottom of my soul for letting you be such an instrument in giving me and Justin a beautiful and memorable wedding. Thank you is all I can say tonight. I know you will continue to do so many weddings in the future but I just want you to know that for us, it was a one and only in our lifetime.
Thank You."

Here are some pictures from the wedding ceremony. The church had high ceilings and I knew we had to have something tall to fill the space.

We had a tight budget for flowers but Eddie from Commerce Flowers came on board and understood the vision we had.


The part where the bride & groom are hugging the parents always gets me these days..

Jenny wanted her wedding to have a classic look with a little bit of bling. She and her mom own an accessory store so I was able to get some crystals and gemstones and incorporated them all throughout the wedding décor. They got married at Irvine Baptist Church, where Justin’s mom attends church. Then the guests headed off to a lunch reception at Agora Churrascaria with live jazz music. Live music + unlimited Brazilian BBQ= PERFECTION!

The original guest count was at 150, but just one week before the wedding Jenny called me and said that the final count would be 190 people! I had to do last minute changes to the floor plan, rearrange the seating charts, change the rental and floral orders, increase all the stationary, and order one more speaker to compliment the space. WHEW… the last week was pretty stressful but definitely worth it because we received so many compliments about the wedding! A huge shout out to Leo from Agora who managed to cater to all our needs with ease & grace. We could not have pulled it off if it wasn't for you, Leo! And let's not get started with the one lady that kept interrupting the reception... lol!

My creation
some of the shots of the place cards table
My creation
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Wish we had a great table shot but we had over 60+ floating candles throughout the restaurant and it was truly romantic & beautiful. The dessert bar created by Kaylas's Kakes was another a huge hit. I also need to give a shout out to Cesar Haro for letting us borrow some of his props for the dessert bar. Also check out their flower shop for AMAZING floral props & decor ideas, not to mention Cesar's finest & impeccable taste on flowers.

Dear Jenny & Justin,
Thank you so much for treating me as your family. Working with you and your parents was such a pleasure. You know we'll have our chats over coffee often and I can't wait to see how our sisterhood will develop over the years.

All photos credit to Chocolate Photography


Jenny and Justin said...

Thank You Esther for everything from start to finish.The pictures are just a small glimpse into our special day but it was all because of your hard work along with everyone else involved that it was able to come to life. LOVE YA!

elisa said...


Jessica said...

loving the dessert table!