Thursday, March 31, 2011

Closet Turned Reading Nook (For under $150)

Hope everyone's enjoying the beautiful SoCal weather! We have been in full swing since January but the photos will have to wait a bit since they're pending for possible features so sit tight as we reveal some of our gorgeous 2011 weddings!

To give you another personal update, our son, Grant turned two last month! Time surely flies and we couldn't be thankful that he's growing into such a sweet, lovable & happy camper! This year, instead of throwing Grant a birthday party (I'm sure I'll always come up with excuses to plan parties for him in the future), we decided to take on a mini project and renovated his nursery to a boy's room (Of course, on a tight budget).
 Again, I'll do a full blog post when I'm done with his room, but for now, I'll show you a before & after picture of Grant's empty closet, which was being used more like storage space. It has been transformed into a reading nook and you have NO idea how much he absolutely LOVES spending time in that corner!!!!  Total cost of renovating his closet: less than $150 dollars. I think my husband was surprised that I actually kept things under budget!
Here's the breakdown of the cost
Home Depot's sample paint for $3 dollars (didn't think it would actually cover the wall with the 8oz bottle)
Ikea TV shelf & red cushions- $80
Robot wall decal from Etsy- $25
Vintage truck wall decor from World Market- $12 each, $36 dollars total 
Total= $144 dollars 
I also displayed his current favorite books, hung Schylling ABC Nesting cubes (he no longer has interest in playing with them) on a string and used our old halogan lamp for night time reading.
 I was first inspired by this project here on Ohdeedoh but since I can't use any of the power tools or drills, I had to come up with simple, easy and practical ways for my son to feel like it's now a part of his room- filled with his favorite toys and books. 

A huge thanks to Apartment Therapy Ohdeeoh for featuring our son's reading nook yesterday! If you're a mom or expecting, make sure you bookmark their site

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

2006 Martha Stewart Weddings: Minhee & Truman's School Inspired Wedding

Hello Everyone!  My name is Sally and I am delighted to join the My Bride Story team as a "guest blogger" and assistant coordinator.  I've always admired Esther and her team for their excellent work ethic and eye for beauty.  Even after my own wedding in 2009, instead of getting rid of all the wedding blogs and replacing them with other topics pertaining to marriage, I kept all my bookmarks in my Google Reader and continued to add more.  There were so many swoon worthy posts especially from My Bride Story's blog.  I loved all the pictures, insights, and inspirations that each post contained even though I was already married!  There were many moments when I would say to myself "I wish I did that!" or "That's such a great idea!"  I hope to bring more inspirational blog posts to you and can't wait for everything that lies ahead for this year!

One of my favorite weddings of all time was my friend Minhee and Truman Cho's April 15, 2006 wedding.  They are the founders and owners of Paper+Cup Design Studio.  I'm sure many of you have seen their wedding feature in Martha Stewart Weddings, Fall 2006 edition.  Their wedding pictures from that feature are still available online. All photos are from my own personal collection, unless otherwise noted.  
The couple's engagement photo which guests saw as they entered the ceremony.
Minhee and Truman have known each other since the fourth grade.  They were also friends throughout high school and college.  They planned their wedding around this fact.  Everything about their wedding told their story-- even down to the dduk (Korean rice cakes) that were served.  This wedding was chock full of details!  So much thought was put into each intricate detail of the wedding.  It was so personal, unique, and sentimental.  Many of their guests were also friends with both the bride and groom since elementary school so it was almost like a grade school reunion. 
18"x24" open face Letter Board in black from School Outfitters
They chose a retro school theme to be played out throughout their wedding.  They came up with the idea from the sheer fact that they were grade school sweethearts and added the retro/vintage element which  they are fond of.  Instead of a traditional bride and groom sign, they used their elementary portraits in a frame.  They also used vintage lunch pails as the money box.
Their reception was held outdoors at the Fullerton Arboretum.  Minhee and Truman chose that location not only because of its beauty but also because they had once taken a field trip there when they were in school.  Normally in Southern California, the weather is gorgeous in April but this particular year, it rained the day before and the morning of the wedding!  We were praying that it would clear up in time and thankfully it did!  The ground at the arboretum dried up enough that it wasn't too much of a nuisance for guests.  
In keeping with the school theme, the reception hall was set up like a school cafeteria with rows of tables.
The green lunch trays were used to trace the name plates for each place setting.  The bride purchased these vintage lunch trays for their cafeteria-style lunch from eBay!  The wooden utensils were hot stamped with the bride and groom's names and each napkin was rubber stamped with the wedding date. 
The dessert table was set up like a "bake sale."  Scrumptious desserts from Beverly's Best, dduk (Korean rice cakes), and home-baked goods adorned the table.
Guests could also indulge themselves in some ice cream which were served with wooden scoops.  The scoops were hot stamped with the couple's name.
Beverage bar of sangria and limeade set up outside for guests to quench their thirst.
Since I am an in the education field, we were able to borrow teacher desks from a local school district's warehouse which was used as the seating card table.  A nameplate with Minhee and Truman's fourth grade teacher's name, Mrs. Cogan, was placed on one of the desks to pay homage to her.  Guests picked up their seating cards which were written on vintage paper.  The table number was indicated by the sticker on the apple.

The sister of the bride was able to get this chalkboard from another nearby school.  The chalkboard was painted with black chalkboard paint so that guests could write messages to the bride and groom for the polaroid scrapbook.
Guests placed their polaroids in the vintage accounting book from Hakkas Enterprises which served as the scrapbook.  Self-adhesive photo corners were attached to pages in advance so the photos could be placed quickly and easily.

At each table, guests could also complete a pop quiz about Minhee and Truman which were dropped off in boxes that were covered with paper.  Minhee and Truman "graded" each one and send back the results with their thank you cards!  (And yes, they really did grade all of them!!)
Even the party favors followed the school theme.  A brown paper bag contained custom made part favors-- a vintage journal, hot stamped eraser of the wedding date, and two pencils with the couple's names. 
The kids had their own special party favors filled with toys and candy.  These paper-mache picnic baskets were purchased at Michaels and painted with chalkboard paint.  Each child's name was written in chalk and grosgrain ribbons were glued along the rim of the top.
Minhee and Truman's wedding was one of the most beautiful and detailed weddings!  They were able to incorporate their story into each aspect of the wedding and personalized it to who they are.  It was a pleasure and honor to help them plan their wedding and bring their plans to life.  
I can't believe that this wedding was back in 2006!  It just seems like yesterday we were planning and dreaming up the details of the big day.  The ideas are still so inspiring and fresh that I'm sure we can use some of their inspirations in 2011! 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Published on Serendipity Magazine & Giveaway!

Hello Readers!
I know it's been a while since my last update...I told myself that I'd blog again when I lose the 15 pounds and guess what?! As of this week, I have shed a little over 15 pounds and now have 10 more pounds to go. Well..weight loss isn't too important as long as I can comfortably fit into my old jeans and maintain a healthier lifestyle. In case you missed my personal entry, click here before you read further. 

It feels like it's been a long journey of self discipline, healthy eating (not dieting) and exercising almost everyday, but I feel so much lighter & I definitely have more energy throughout the day. Seriously, all I think about these days is trying out different healthy recipes to cook at home, testing different work out routines (I joined a women's bootcamp last month and I have a love/hate relationship with the program. lol!) and think about how I can continue to build a healthy lifestyle for life. Once I lose all the pregnancy weight, I'm planning to do a full blog post about what has worked for me, which I'm hoping will be by the end of May or June. Losing the 15 pounds doesn't look too dramatic, but there is one behavioral difference my husband has noticed and it's that I spend so much more time exercising than browsing online! :)

As I was watching what I was feeding my body, I've also come to realize that I needed to make a conscious effort in what I was feeding my brain as well. I came to realize that too much information about various weddings & resources sometimes cause me to envy other people's work (we begin by coveting what we see every day)  or just 'copy' someone else's idea other than really listening to our clients' ideas and bring about fresh, innovative design concepts. If you were following me on Twitter & Facebook, I stopped tweeting  because I was being way too distracted by all the beautiful weddings out there that are constantly being updated through social media. Although I do think that Twitter is a great social media tool to stay connected with the industry and other event professionals, I'm a one track minded person and I really needed to take a break from social media in general to focus on myself & least for now.

Anyway, to celebrate my weight loss & the ongoing journey, I decided to give away one copy of the latest winter/spring issue of  Serendipity Magazine! I was honored to see Lydia and Ricardo's wedding published on their latest issue. So simply leave a comment with your email address by March 27th and I'll pick a random winner! This issue is packed with so much eye candy real weddings and great articles!

Good Luck everyone! You have until next Sunday!

Blow Out Bridal Shower: Behind the Scenes

When Lucia from Utterly Engaged contacted me to do a shoot for their upcoming issue, I was beyond thrilled! I heart their online magazine, packed with so much inspirations and I heart Lucia. Whoever spends just 30 min with her will know what I'm talking about. Her giggles and laughs make everyone smile and her positive spirit is always so refreshing and inspiring so it was quite an honor to collaborate ideas back and forth with her.
Finally, I'm sharing all the behind the scenes of our fun 'Blow Out Bridal Shower' we put together for their issue and the amazing team of vendors we collaborated.
The concept of the shoot was very simple: to get the girls pampered & polished while they sip, nibble and laugh! 
Super cute invitation design by the talented Vanessa of Alchemy Events

The shoot took place at the DryBar in West Hollywood location on Monday, Jan 10th from 5AM-9AM. Yes, I woke up at 3:30am, got ready and took off at 4am!
Here's the quick storyline: 5 girls (one being the bride) will arrive at the Drybar and be greeted by silk robes and martinis. Their hair will be styled while noshing on snacks, salad and sandwiches. Afterwards, there will be an area to choose their nail color and they can also make their own floral hair accessory. The shower will close up with gift opening and cake cutting. 

Here's our overall vision of different stations drawn by the talented ladies over at Fleuretica 

The girls were greeted at the front by pink silk robes and pink grapefruit martini with lemon zest accent. Handheld miorrors had each girl's name printed on it which were tied to each chair and on the counter, we had shadow boxes of flower. Let the blow out begin!
 Hors d'ouevres on mini martini cups, panini and salad were served on a white tray. A paper flower was also served as a napkin ring as well as a corsage bracelet that the girls can wear on her wrists afterwards.

Presents wrapped in different shadow of yellow, white, gray with brighter pink accents were stacked on a chair. Three yellow side tables were pushed together for the mini cakes for the girls & main cake for the bride.

Here's the nail hair accessories bar! Nail polish in varying shades of pink and red were labeled a different type of adjective like 'sassy', 'sexy', 'flirty' and etc which were lined up on an upholstered frame. Glassware in varying shapes held 'make & take' hair kits, headbands and other fun items for creating their own hair flowers. Instead of playing typical bridal shower games, why not have craft sessions with your guests so they can take them home as favors? :) This is one bridal shower I would LOVE to attend to!

Here's our little behind the scenes clip from our shoot! It's a MUST WATCH!

'Blow Out Bridal Shower' Photoshoot Utterly Engaged Issue #14-The White Issue: Behind the Scenes from Utterly Engaged on Vimeo.

Again, huge cheers to the dream team for all their hard work! 
Concept Design: Lucia Dinh of Utterly Engaged
Event Design & Styling: Esther Kim of My Bride Story
Floral Design & Styling: Fleuretica
Food Styling: Kristine Shin Designs
Model Styling: Ruche
Photography: Ja Tecson
Videography: Cloud 9 Cinematography
Cake Design: Erica O'brien
Stationery Design: Alchemy Events
Make Up: 10.11 Make Up
Hair: The Dry Bar
Hair Accessories: Petit Plume