Life is beautiful when you find the one person you want to spend the rest of your life with. Growing up, I knew what it was like to be surrounded by love, but I didn’t know what it mean to be in love with someone until I met Ken. We actually met at a wedding in 2004, ironically, but I never imagined that three years later our paths would cross again and that he would one day ask me to marry him (proposal story). After a year long engagement and many months of planning our perfect wedding day, we tied the knot a year ago today at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Anaheim, CA.
The Cabo San Lucas Ballroom at the Crowne Plaza Hotel was the perfect venue for our vintage-themed wedding. We fell in love immediately with the Spanish-inspired architecture and decor of the ballroom, especially the champagne colored walls and caste iron chandeliers that made the room feel warm, welcoming and intimate. This picture of the hotel lobby says it all (courtesy of the Crowne Plaza)!
Ken and I were very blessed to have an amazing team of vendors who coordinated the details of our wedding for us, just the way we had planned and envisioned it be…down to the little itty bitty details. Anyone who has ever worked with me (or knows me) will vouch that I am extremely crazy about logistics, details and having things done the way that I wanted them to be done. Once my mind was made up, there is very little wiggle room for negotiation. Call it the Bride-zilla, call it type A personality, call it the control freak in me…however which way you put it, I am an artist and definitely a girl who knows what she wants. In the end, it was all worth it though because everything was beautiful beyond my imagination!
With close to 450 guests from four different generations in the room, one of the things that we struggled with during the planning process was on how to integrate our culture and traditions with a modern twist of romance. With the help of our vendors, however, we were able blend and “modernize” a traditional Vietnamese wedding to honor our parents while celebrating our marriage in a way that reflected our personalities and styles. We found Stacy, the catering manager/coordinator at Furiwa Seafood Restaurant, who helped us plan and organize details for each part of the wedding. We had contacted and met with several other catering managers prior to meeting with Stacy and to be honest, she charmed us from the get go. Stacy was not only professional, she was honest and upfront about what the venue could offer…and, she was even more organized than I was! Imagine that! She didn’t give us any sales pitch or pressure us into making any decision. As a bride, she made me feel comfortable and was never offended by my straight forwardness (nor did I mind hers). After meeting Stacy, we knew we’d come to the right place (plus, the food was delicious).
The first step in incorporating a traditional Vietnamese wedding with a modern twist was obviously to pick the right catering menu. Furiwa Seafood Restaurant catered a tradition 8-course dinner to our guests. Who could possibly turn down house special fried rice, lobster and tons of seafood, right?!? Plus, we figured that if all else fails, at least the guests will leave full and happy! We also had to consider entertainment for our guests as well. With four generations filling the room and friends from all different backgrounds, it was important to find the right MC/DJ for our wedding. We were introduced to Michael Ming at the 2010 Lifetime Weddings & Events Debut. He got us laughing from the very beginning and from the pictures of that night though, there was no doubt that our guests were having a great time with Michael’s jokes on our wedding day. Michael did such a fantastic job keeping the crowd entertained and engaged all night long switching between Vietnamese and English (and once in a while Cantonese). In all of the weddings that I’ve attended, I’d never laughed so hard during a ceremony as I did at my own! All in all, Michael did a great job keep the guests entertained, in the loop about what to expect and kept the program agenda flowing with ease. He definitely did a great job bridging the cultural and generational gaps to cohesively bring everyone together for a good time.
And, of course special thanks to my make-up artist, Katie B, who arrived bright and early that day to work her magic! Choosing the right make-up artist and hair stylist is quite important and I hadn’t had too much luck with the previous stylists I’ve worked with on other special occasions. With Katie B though, I knew I didn’t have to worry about looking beautiful on my wedding day and lucky for me, she just happened to be available on November 5th! I loved working with her from beginning to end. She made me not only look beautiful on my wedding day, she made me glow from the inside out! Here’s a snippet from the review that I wrote for Katie B on Wedding Wire to express how she made me feel on my wedding day and how much I love her work:
Every bride wants to look beautiful on her wedding day, even for a plain Jane like myself. Unlike many girls who’d dreamed about their wedding day since they were little girls, my planning took place while I waited with my mom at the doctor’s office. For nearly 4.5 years, my mom would talk about my wedding day, how beautiful I’d look, what dress I’d wear, how my hair and make-up would be done…When I read Katie’s profile and portfolio, I knew that if anyone could unlock the bride my mom knew I had the potential to be…it would be Katie B. When Katie B asked me how I’d like to look on my wedding day, I simply said, “like a beautiful bride.” Looking down from heaven, I know that Mom was smiling on Nov. 5th, 2011 because Katie made me look exactly how Mom had imagined I’d look on my wedding day. more..