Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Teiko & Frank's Wedding

Hi Everyone!
Sorry for my blogging hiatus! This year has just gone by way too quick. Since I last blogged, I've squeeze in quiet a few weddings (including the wedding of very serious redhead FBI agent from the show '24!!!!'), vacationed in Spain, and now we're days before Christmas and the end of 2009! What a year it's been!

I seriously didn't think I'll be blogging till Jan (you know, New Year resolution and all that...) but this sweet couple had me coming out of hiding early. :P

Teiko and Frank are amazing. When it was predicted 70% rain on their wedding day, at a venue where everything was planned for the outdoors, they embrace the unexpected and their wedding turned out to be one of my favorite of all time. How amazing is it with the wet and cold winter storm brewing outside and the wedding took place in the toasty Villa del Sol d'Oro? The whole indoor space was decked out in beautiful lighting and hundreds & hundreds of romantic candles engulfing the whole villa with delicious smells of figs, citrus, jasmine, and roses. You know how rain heighten certain smells? Well the rain really 'heightened' the emotions of the day. It was a beautiful and very sentimental wedding and I felt honor to witness these two amazing people tying the knot.

The following are video stills I 'stole' from their wonderful cinematographer Daniel Boswell. Head over to see the amazing cinema reale clip on his blog!

What spectacular light...Teiko looked so soft and glowing!

Classic picture captured as the couple looked out into the rainy forest


A very touching moment, seconds before father and daughter walk down the aisle, Teiko's dad lower her veil...


Teiko's adorable 90+ year old grandma travelled all the way from Asia to be present for the wedding!

One of my favorite snapshot of the day. Teiko's expressions is so sweet, so full of love...

I can't wait to see more from their photographer of the day, Jonathan Moore. I was able to have a few sneak peeks from their hilarious and fun loving 2nd photog Susanica Tam. Take a look at the wedding through her lens!

I hope you enjoy the eye candy. Wishing everyone out there a very MERRY CHRISTMAS and a healthy and prosperous 2010!!!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Monique Lhuillier Sample Sale!

HIYEE! So sorry for the long time no post...but I've just been extremely busy! Hopefully in a week or two things will die down and I can play catch up! :)



But for now...I want to make sure all my lovely brides are aware of the following:

Sample Sale!!

ONE DAY ONLY

Sunday, July 19th, 2009 10 am - 4:30 pm

Bridal & Ready to Wear from 40% to 90% off
Merchandise is “as is” and all sales are final

No alterations provided. No appointments are taken

1201 S. Grand Avenue, 2nd FloorLos Angeles, CA 90015

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

In case you're wondering...



The Knot Unveils 2008 Real Weddings Survey Results

2008 WEDDING BUDGET SURVEY RESULTS
How much do brides spend on their cake? Caterer? Venue? In 2008, $29,334 was the average wedding budget in the US (not including the honeymoon) reflecting a 5.2% increase year-over-year.


Category Average Spend 2008 vs. 2007
Wedding (Overall) $29,334 +5.2%
Reception Venue $13,667 +7.4%
Reception Band $3,633 -11.5%
Reception DJ $943 +0.3%
Photographer $2,655 +0.2%
Videographer $1,591 +1.2%
Wedding/Event Planner $1,907 +8.6%
Wedding Gown $1,032 -22%
Florist/D├ęcor $1,924 -2.4%
Invitations $538 n/a
Wedding Cake $555 -19.7%
Ceremony Musicians $414 -12.0%
Catering (Cost per Head) $73 +6.9%
Wedding Day Transportation $725 +6.7%
Favors $352 n/a
Rehearsal Dinner $1,640 n/a


GENERAL WEDDING STATISTICS
Number of guests: 148 (nearly the same as 2007)
Number of bridesmaids: 5 (up over 2007, when average was 4)
Number of groomsmen: 5 (up over 2007, when average was 4)
Length of Engagement: 15.7 months (a 26.6% increase over 2007)
Most Popular Month to Get Engaged: December (17%)

NATIONAL 2008 WEDDING TRENDS

TOP PRIORITIES: Venue, Band, and Photography: The bulk of the average wedding budget is dedicated to the reception venue ($13,667, a 7% increase over 2007); followed by the reception band ($3,633 on average); and photography ($2,655 on average).

BUDGETS: Budgets Are Bigger and Everyone’s Contributing: The bride’s parents (44%) and the bride and groom (43%) are paying for the majority of weddings. Grooms’ parents also contributed (12%) in 2008.

ENGAGEMENTS: Couples Are Engaged Longer: Couples marrying in 2008 were engaged for an average of 15.7 months, more than 25% longer than those married in 2007. A majority of couples (71%) lived together prior to getting married.

VENUES: Brides are Looking for More Unique Locations: Traditional venues, like reception halls and restaurants, dropped off slightly (10% and 11% respectively) as couples chose inventive sites, such as historical buildings, vineyards, and beaches. In 2008, 35% of ceremonies took place outdoors.

FORMALITY: Weddings Are Casual: Only 20% of weddings in 2008 were characterized as “formal/black tie”.

PLANNERS: More Brides Hire Planners, Particularly Day-of Coordinators: Nearly half (41%) of couples employed full wedding-planning services in 2008, while “day-of” services jumped 14% in popularity.

PHOTOGRAPHY: Photography Is Editorial and Digital: Almost all (93%) brides chose “documentary” style photographers, and 90% of photographers shot in digital.

CAKES: Most Brides Choose Designer Cakes: Over 51% of couples chose an independent cake baker to design their wedding cake.

WAYS TO SAVE: Brides Are Hot on Do-It-Yourself: More than half (55%) of brides made their own favors and ceremony programs. Other top DIY categories were escort cards, save-the-dates, invitations, and decorations.

MUSIC: Four Times More Brides Choose a DJ over a Band: The most popular style of band was Rock-and-roll/Motown (40%) the second most popular was Jazz/Big Band (18%) in 2008.

FIRST DANCE SONGS: Brides Love Classics: The top three first dance songs were: “At Last,” by Etta James; “Bless the Broken Road,” by Rascal Flatts; and “Everything,” by Michael Buble.

LOCATION: Many Couples Are Marrying Far Away: In 2008, 1 in 5 couples planned an out of town wedding, with 1 in 10 couples hosting a full-fledged destination wedding, characterized as “200 or more miles away from where the bride and groom live (including non-US locations).”

GROOMS: Guys Are Involved Whether They Like It or Not: Many (36%) of grooms were “very involved” and 58% of grooms were “somewhat involved.”

REHEARSAL DINNERS: Side Parties Are Serious: The average rehearsal dinner spend in 2008 was $1,640, reflecting larger parties and pricier menus; the morning-after brunch cost, on average, $827.



INTERESTING REGIONAL DIFFERENCES
With the large sample size, results of the 2008 Real Weddings Survey can be broken down on a region-by-region basis. Some interesting regional differences are:

  • New York City has the oldest brides and grooms, with average ages of 31 and 33. Respectively, Utah has the youngest, with average ages of 25 (bride) and 27 (groom).

  • Iowa and Nebraska couples have the largest weddings, with more than 200 guests.

  • Hawaii, Maine, and North Carolina have the most casual weddings. Connecticut, South Florida, Chicago, Detroit, and New York City (and surrounding areas) have the most formal (black tie).

  • Central Pennsylvania has the lowest average wedding budget ($20,653), reflecting an 18% drop over 2007. Long Island, NY has the highest average wedding budget ($56,823), followed by New York City which rang in at $52,904 (an intriguing 5% drop-off compared to 2007). Las Vegas, Nevada, weddings experienced the highest jump in overall bridal spend at 19%.

  • The top 10 “most expensive” places to get married are: Long Island, New York; New York City; Northern New Jersey; Hudson Valley, New York; Chicago; Connecticut; Los Angeles; South Florida; Rhode Island; and Orange County.
Article found on Business Wire 4/08/09.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Dave & Nancy's Wedding!

A few weeks back we attended the wedding of our good friends Dave & Nancy. They've known each other since college and we always guessed they would end up together. :) Their beautiful wedding was held at the Four Season Beverly Hills and coordinated by the ever fabulous Angel from Events of Love and Splendor ~ I told them they would be in good hands!

Sneak peak courtesy of the second shooter Andrew Lin Photography.






I love the ruby red bouquets against the silvery BM dresses created by florist Kate Baker.


Love the shot of the ceremony with the palm trees in back


Here Dave looked so happy with his new bride!




The night was kept pumping by the amazing Brady from Props Productions!
A picture of the grand entrance on the left, and a game they played during the reception on the right. The guests all had a few laughs as secrets of the couples were revealed!

The couple's main photographer was Josef Isayo who shot our wedding. Can't wait to see some of his work! It was a wonderful wedding filled with friends and family. Dave and Nancy have a very bright future ahead of them! Congratulations again and FINALLY! :D

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Bottega Louie Downtown LA

I was lured into Bottega Louie because of their coffee. For a buck, you can enjoy this new eatery in downtown LA. But as I sat there enjoying the coffee with a few macaroons ($1.75/per), I realize this could be a potential wedding venue!


The location comes with a full bar


Impressively large windows


Amazingly high ceiling (can you imagine what could be accomplish with lighting?!)


Full kitchen

It would be for a fairly small wedding (100-150) and I'm not sure if you can bring in your own caterer. But the location is the epitome of trendy downtown living.
And I leave you with a couple fuzzy pictures of the dessert...
Macaroons


Cupcakes


Sunday, April 12, 2009

Vacation Recap Part 2 ~ Santorini, Greece

Warning ~ long post!

Leaving Crete in the FlyCat 4 ~ smaller than the ferries and takes half the time.

After a STEEP drive from the harbor, we arrived at our apartment. We stayed in Firastefani which is quieter than the main town of Fira.


Walkway behind our apartment ~ one short walk from Fira.


Santorini's famous caldera view (cable cars down to the old harbor)


Old paddle boat left on the roof but look at the view ~it really is breathtaking!

A short bus trip to Oia we arrived at the main church square.


Santorini's famous blue domed churches


Ammoundi Bay in Oia - I read on a travel book that there's a little path on the bottom that lead to a swimming hole where you can swing to an island with a church


So after hiking down 200+ steps (which I told hubby was better than the 600 steps from Fira down to the old harbor)


We sat down and had lunch - grilled fish, fried tomatoes, Greek salad, and of course, white wine


I found the path and there's the 'island' - there was a scene from Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 shot here! And since I was 'planning' on swimming to the island, I was so glad there were other people about. I know if the area was empty, no way the hubs would let me.

So the story goes, I swam to the island (the water was cold but comfortable). Not being familiar with swimming against waves, I was pretty tired. I couldn't pull myself over the edge of the embankment. After struggling for what felt like forever, another adventurous soul came by and pulled me up (so embarrassing!). I took a quick look around the church (and noticed too late if I had just swam a little further, there were steps leading up) and dive back into the water. Being tired as I was, I swam pretty close to the island, which was a HUGE mistake. I scrapped my knee against rocks and was jabbed by a sea urchin. I climbed atop a flat rock bed and proceed to pulled the sea urchin 'needles' out. My rescuer from earlier even called out as he swam by if I was okay! I was mortified!

And as I'm battling my way back, here's hubs sitting nice and relax dipping his feet. :P


Finally, we enjoyed the famous Oia sunset that keeps the tourists flocking.


We dined at Vanilia (amazing fish soup) and took a picture of the church next door


Kamari (black sand) Beach

The weather was amazing! You rent a umbrella and a couple chairs for 5EU. There were also travelling masseuse on hand!


Love the different color and architecture of the houses! So cute and quaint!








We also visited a few wineries - Santos and Domaine Sigalas. I'm not one for white wine but Santorini wines are unique. The island is covered with lava and pumice stone from the devastating volcanic explosion (1650BC). This catastrophe (and limited water supply) created the foundation for perfect soil conditions which produced the very distinctive Santorini wines.

The vines are cultivated in low basket shaped crowns, close to the ground for protection from the strong winds.

Domaine Sigalas

One of our most memorable meals was at Selene ~ great food with a beautiful view and an attentive staff, we couldn't have ask for more.

Hubs in the glowing light

Final morning we bused back to Oia to drink in its beauty one last time...



Next stop - Paros, the poor man's Mykonos!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Flower Trial

Last week I visited Flower Allie at her new studio in Fullerton to view a sample centerpiece for the sweetest bride to be. And we were ecstatic to be greeted with something more beautiful then what we could have imagine.

To give proper credit, the following picture was what was sent to Allison to recreate ~ something whimsical, soft, and girly.


I'll have to apologize this isn't a great picture taken with the iPhone. The fresh curly willows were very flexible thus easily bent into desired shape. Allison spray painted them to the dark brown color seen below.



Close up of the floral arrangement on the bottom ~ shades of pink from light to dark ~ roses, orchids, peonies, and hydrangea


Allison feeling there should be 'something something' to brighten the willows attached the delicate stephanotis to the branches ~ the perfect touch.


And for cocktail, we didn't want to go with the usual floating flower and Allison came up with this ingenious idea ~ peonies on curly willows!


I'm excited to see all the beautiful flowers come together day of! Only a month left to go!