Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad! I didn't get a chance to post this yesterday because I spent the whole day with my parents. But they just celebrated their 31st wedding anniversary! You could say that my obsession with weddings began at a young age as I was inspired by the pretty pink images in their wedding album. When they talk about their wedding day they both light up and remember almost every detail. Considering they were married in the early 80s, their wedding style still remains classic to this day. Whites, soft pinks, and grey suits which have definitely made a come back (okay, so maaaaybe not as powdery as they were in the 80s).

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I have yet to meet a bride who had as many guests as my parents did at their Chinese banquet... 700! The thing about my parents is that they are both extremely kind, friendly and thoughtful people. So it's no surprise that every single extended family member as well as co-worker and friend wanted to attend their wedding. My parents are still so sweet to each other. When they part for the day they always kiss. They still hold hands down the street. My dad will make Chinese soup for her ailments at even the slightest cough. And they tease each other like little kids. It's great. 

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She also made her own dress and veil, which came out to a total of about $200! I'm proud to say my mom had the forethought to wear minimal, neutral make-up and had just a soft wave to her hair (done by her bestie, my Auntie Alice who was a bridesmaid). She saved her peep-toe wedding shoes and let me wear them at my college graduation. She is amazing.

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She gifted me a bracelet on my wedding day, one that she received at her wedding. It is customary for Chinese moms to give jewelry, but she thought this particular bracelet would be funny to pass on as it reads, "Good Luck"! 
I hope my marriage is as lucky and long lasting as my parents!
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Our Wedding: Part III

Ceremony and decor.

Happy New Year! The holidays breezed on by and we we were quite busy. We even hosted our families at our new home for Christmas. It was awesome having our living room filled with people and mountains of wrapping paper. 

Remember in my previous post I said that I cried a lot? Well, one of the reasons was the view. Our ceremony and reception took place at the San Francisco Art Institute. The first time we saw the venue we knew we had to have out wedding there. Simply breathtaking, and since San Francisco means so much to the two of us (both of our moms grew up there, we spent many weekends there as kids, and it's where we had many of our first dates) we knew it was the perfect place to bring our families together.


From one side, you can see Alcatraz and from the other, Coit Tower, and the many beautiful homes throughout the city. 

There were quite a few challenges in using this space. Cons: we had to bring in all of our own furniture, the venue shuts down at 10pm, and an outdoor wedding in the unpredictable weather of San Francisco had us scrambling for solutions. Pros: because the space was so airy and open, we didn't feel the need to overcompensate on decorations. There were distinctive areas for the ceremony, cocktail hour and dinner, so guests just flowed from space to space. Because the space is so empty, it's like starting with a blank palette and making the experience all your own. 

There were so many picture perfect spots including the courtyard where we did our family portraits, the art gallery and even the neighborhood. We decided to tent the reception to make sure everyone was comfortable, but boy did we get lucky. Not a cloud in the sky (and rain the NEXT day)!


You can see that blue played a big part in the decorations. I wanted sparkle to catch the light so I used scrapbooking paper for the big letters on the tables, menu, and hearts. I used Arial font for the invitations and signage to keep it easy to read and graphic, and incorporated an ombre paint design to tie in the fact that we were at an art school. The process was pretty organic as I started with many other ideas (rustic, lacey, antique, bronze, mint, lavender), but eventually it evolved into a very graphic wedding, much more modern than my original plan. I liked that everything turned out really whimsical and fun! 


With the help of our amazing family and friends, we hosted a potluck dessert table, opting out of the traditional cake. We had a cream puff tower, coconut mochi, giant cola bottle gummies, Nutella and chocolate chip cookies, Oreo cupcakes, and strawberry lemon cupcakes. Kevin's sister even made us our very own coconut cream cutting cake topped with Domo-kuns! We were very lucky (and it saved a ton of money!). 


So that's it! Thanks for reading and checking out all of our pictures. And a huge thanks to Nirav for capturing our day. 

Our Wedding: Part II

Hair and makeup.

When I told people I would not only be doing my own makeup but also the makeup of all the ladies in my wedding party, including my mom, they all said I was crazy. Having worked on many, many weddings now, I knew the pacing of the day could only go smoothly IF I was organized and everyone played their parts by showing up on time. Luckily, our party was a very responsible group of people and things went very well. 

Part of my decision was because I firmly believe in not paying for something you can do yourself. I also thought it would be a wonderful opportunity to spend some one on one time with each lovely lady. I think it was the best decision I made because the rest of the day went by like a blur! 

We started around 8am and finished around 2:30pm. I set about 45 minutes for each person, and was able to do my own makeup while the amazing Jenn worked on my hair. I also built in about a 30 minute cushion, as every wedding I have ever worked on ran a little late. By the time Kevin and I had our first look, we were right on time! And arriving at the venue to take portraits with everyone was a relaxing and fun experience. I'm really happy with how everything turned out, especially since Nirav took our photos in so many different types of lighting. 


I wanted all the ladies to look fresh, bright, but still classic. The main focus was a clean, winged eyeliner and soft but thick lashes. Flawless skin was a must, with extra powder through the forehead and nose, but a dewy look on the cheeks. I stayed in the peach tones for the blush to compliment their dresses. I chose coral based lips for each of them, but my favorite is on my sister - Bobbi Brown's Creamy Matte Lip Color in Pink Lily. My mom requested the least amount of makeup possible, so we just made sure her brows were well groomed, evened out her skin and applied very thin Caviar eyeliner. I asked Jenn to keep their hair soft and fun, but to also reflect each of their individual styles. I even put a little sparkle eyeshadow and gifted clear lipgloss to our flower girl, just to give her a little special attention too. She loved it and I know it is something she'll always remember! 

I cried A LOT through the ceremony, not knowing how emotional I would be. Thank goodness for waterproof mascara! I used Shu Uemura Luxe Lashes and Precise Volume Mascara, the same mascara I use every day to prevent any smudging. 

Everyone knows just how much I love blush, and I told the bridesmaids to get whatever dress they wanted in blush tone as well as any shoe. I was shocked when the majority of them chose blue, and the rest followed suit! I decided to run with the colors, included them in our invitation design, and there were pops of blue throughout the venue. I loved the colors and thought they were an unexpected choice for a fall wedding. My mom was even inspired to sew her own beautiful blue silk dress. Since we didn't want the overall look to be too feminine, the blue kept it modern and graphic too. 

Hope you enjoyed the photos of the pretty ladies in my life, as well as our first look (which I highly recommend doing before the ceremony!). 

Next up, ceremony and decor! 

Our Wedding: Part I

The morning. 

We just got our photos back from Nirav and they are wonderful. His images captured the day perfectly and they tell the story of our family and friends.... and all of the moments in between. 


It was a wonderful experience being surrounded by my closest people, including my dad who was a great sport watching all of the girls go through their beauty routines. And of course, doing the makeup for all of my bridesmaids, my mom, and yes - even myself. Next up: makeup and hair.