Sunday, March 7, 2010

Where have I been?

Where have I been? That is a good question! I have  been gone for a little under two months! Yet, it feels like forever.  Although, I have thought about this blog often, I had to stop.

I guess if I don't share, I leave you confused.  If I do share, I need to open up and give you more information about me than I ever thought I'd share in a blog.  In the end, I've decided to share because I think it will do me good to better understand where I was before and where I am now.

It all began with Weddingbee.  It is a beautiful, wonderful wedding community made of brides that share their wedding planning experiences.  I really wanted to become one of those brides known as a "bee".  It is the reason I started this blog, in hopes that I'd apply to become one of their bloggers and that they'd accept me.  I can admit now that I became a little obsessed with Weddingbee.  I was on it every day and commenting all the time.  When you're planning a wedding it is so easy to turn everything into a "me" world,  "my" wedding, and what "I" want! It's what happened to me.

The truth is....I lost track for a short bit about what a wedding really is about. A union- a decision to love- a promise before God.  I started taking God out of my planning and investing too much time on wedding stuff.  It didn't take me long to realize my mistake but it was a lot harder to quite than I thought.  

When I realized I was focusing on our wedding too much, for the wrong reasons, I began to pray.  I asked that God would help me understand what I should do. I actually asked him to help me find a way to fit blogging into my life.  I was trying to convince myself that I could keep my wedding focused on God AND blog about wedding details. But ... He didn't answer those prayers.  Right around this time, though something interesting happened with my account on Weddingbee.  It didn't allow my comments to show on the blog.  So, I would read something, would write a comment, and click send but my comment never showed on the blog site.  Other girls had the same problem, but they were able to fix it.  I honestly saw it as help, but ignored it a little bit longer.

In February, two things happened on Weddingbee that helped me get over my obsession.  One, one of the brides that blogs quit.  She admitted to everyone that it was taking away from her life.  It was taking too much of her time to write posts and kept her from her priorities in life.  After reading it, I was able to admit to myself that while I still wanted to be a Weddingbee writer, I cared about my other priorities more: my fiance, my family, my job, my church group.  The second thing that happened was the closure I needed.  Someone took the name and avatar that I had wanted to apply for: Miss Lace.  Miss Lace's avatar was a beautiful purple lace swatch that was dainty and sweet and elegant.  I felt crushed the day I found out but a little relieved.   This was the final sign I needed, the answer to my prayers.  I was finally able to let go of my Weddingbee craze.

I bet you think I quite Weddingbee, but that is not true.  The truth is I still love that website, it really is a great community of brides and I have received a lot of help and advice from the girls there.  I have learned it is all about moderation though.  I no longer read every post, and I have accepted that I won't be blogging for them.  I am grateful that I was able to refocus my attention for our wedding - and I am grateful that I still have a few months to enjoy being engaged without the stress of needing to blog almost daily. 

The funniest thing is that the girl that took the name, Miss Lace, lives in Southern California and is a teacher!  Not that big a deal, but since I'm from Southern Cali and a teacher too, I really feel like I could just live vicariously through her posts. Ha!

So now you know why I couldn't blog for almost two months. I first had to stop, think, and redefine my purpose for blogging.  And now I know - I am not doing it to look good on an application, I am doing it for me!  My posts won't be every day or even every week.  But I will blog and when I do, I know it's because it's what I need to write about.

I will be writing again, soon!

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Hunt for Bridesmaid Dresses Begins

The only bridesmaid picture that I saved early on was of this floral dress from Nordstroms.  It has a casual, gardeny feel and would be great for an outdoor wedding.   When I showed it to one of my bridesmaids she wasn't too excited about it. So I let it go.  I didn't really push it because maybe... (in a whisper voice) I can use it on the night of the rehearsal dinner.

Even though I didn't really have an idea of what I was looking for,  I set out on Saturday with three of my bridesmaids to hunt for dresses.  The first place we walked into had walls and walls covered with bridesmaid dresses.  Long ones, short ones, red, black, silk, satin ones! It was a little overwhelming, but we quickly learned that the dresses were sorted by designer and by length.  We only looked at knee length dresses since my wedding is in the summer, and after about 20 minutes of pulling dresses, we headed to the dressing rooms. I apologize for not having any pictures to show but, this is mostly due to the fact that after trying on  about 10 dresses we didn't like any of them.  They weren't even maybe's.  We decided to leave and hoped for better luck at the next store.

The second place we went to was much more helpful.  To begin with, we had an appointment and a gal was assigned to just my party.  She listened to what we were looking for and started making suggestions.  We had a lot more dresses to try on at this place so our hopes were high. Again, some dresses were a quick NO!  but others got maybe's.  Two dresses did catch our attention, though. 

The first one is a Melissa Sweet strapless bridesmaid dress but we liked how the skirt looked. It fit nice and seemed dressy and casual at the same time.  Best of all the material wasn't too thick, which is important to consider since we are getting married in the summer.

Taken on my camera.

The second dress, we liked from the Vineyard collection, had only one strap.   The first thing my bridesmaid said when she opened the dressing room door was, "You know, I wouldn't normally pick an asymmetrical dress but I really like the way this one looks!"

We all agreed that it wouldn't be a dress we normally would pick but we all did like it. It looked stunning on her.  It complimented her figure and it was also a light weight material.  The best comment one of the girls said was, "You know, I think this is a dress that I really could wear again!" Which made me giggle and made me think of 27 Dresses.

I would consider our hunting trip a success but I still want to go to some more bridal stores and see what's out there.  I am not too worried about the timeline but I am worried I might end up with too many choices and then I won't be able to decide. 

How did you decide on your bridesmaid dresses? Did you go to several places before deciding? 

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

200 Days from Now...

200 days from now, I will get to wear the prettiest dress I've ever owned and will have my dad walk me down the aisle.

200 days from now,  we will stand before God and our families and declare our love for each other.

200 days from now, we will say, "I do!"
And when the priest says, "You may kiss the bride." He will and I'll be elated!

So much that I still have to do, so much to plan, but the best part of the day has already been decided! I play this out in my head and it just makes me smile! I can't wait to be married! 

The best part: 
200 days from now, I will be Mrs. Vuong!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Time to make Resolutions

I guess a common cliche for January is to make some resolutions. I think most people are sincere when they make resolutions because, after all, they are improvements we'd like to make in our lives.  Resolutions like: "I'm going to work out everyday", "I will get to work on time" or "I will make more home cooked meals." No joke, those really have been past resolutions that I've made.  And you know what conclusion I've come to about resolutions: they only last for about a month! Maybe two! So a few years ago, I resolved to have no more resolutions.

But since 2010 is going to be such an important year, I thought why not? I'll make some resolutions.  Some that I can actually stick to or try and stick to! So here we go:
  1. Do not become a bridezilla - no matter how stressed I am!  I don't want to take my stress out on anyone, especially Hanam.  If I feel stressed, I will find different ways to relieve the stress. So far, I haven't felt too much stress and I want to keep it that way.
  2. Make up my mind and stick with it!  I procrastinate.  Guilty...very guilty!!!  I procrastinate on wedding stuff 'cause I can't make up my mind. I see one thing and think "Oooh, I like that." then I see something else "Ohhh, I like that too." Can you see where this is going. It's fine to have several ideas but I can't sit on it and wait. Once, I have sevral ideas, I need to choose one and do it.
  3. Don't leave things to the last minute! It is my goal that the last week before we get married will be project free! I know that there are going to be some last minute things but I don't want any of them to be DIY projects or things that could have been done in advance.   Picking someone up from the airport is okay, making 200 napkins rings...not okay!
  4. Enjoy every minute of our wedding day! On that day, I don't want to worry about flowers, food, DJ etc. No thoughts will start with: "I should have...." or  " I wish we would have....". None of it! It's our wedding day and we are going to have a blast. Period.
  5. Last and the most important: Amongst all the planning, running around, and DIY projects .... I don't want to lose sight of what July 24th really means: It's our wedding day, the day we receive the sacrament of marriage and all of it's graces. Before God, we will give ourselves definitively and totally to one another. 

I'd like to note #2 and #3 seem to go hand in hand. If I can do #2 then #3 shouldn't be a problem but I'm going to leave #3 because a little reinforcement will work for me!  Also, it seems that #1 and #4 are tied to #5.  If I can constantly keep the reason for our wedding on the forefront of my mind, then I won't become a crazy bride and I won't worry about what happened or didn't happen on our wedding day.  At the end of the day, if Hanam and I get to say "I do" before God then I will consider my day a success. 

So, I've made some resolutions which is a good thing because it will help keep me sane and calm and ready to enjoy our amazing day!

Are you making any personal or  wedding resolutions this year?



Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Michael's FAIL, sort of

On Monday, I was able to convince Hanam to go with me to Michael's so that we can get started on our wedding signs for our chairs.  I have the wood but need to buy the paint to make it have an antique crackled look.  I was proud of myself because I remembered to print a 50% coupon off the internet.  We drive over and walk in.  

As we're walking in, I instantly get excited! Hanam looked over at me curiously and made a great analogy.  Michael's is to me what Bass Pro Shop is to him! I like crafts, he likes fishing -can't argue there. 

We had to ask for help on which aisle to even find this crackle paint that I needed. Once we are in the right area, I know that I'm doomed.  I thought it would be easy to just grab a jar and go, but not so.  There were all kinds of jars and different colors too.  What kind did I need? Good question.  I didn't know! Oh, well. No crackle DIY project for me. It's a fail. Boo.

Since we had the coupons though, we walked around to see what else we could find. Guess what we found? Potential wedding invitations! They match our colors and we liked the design.  With the 50% coupon, each invite would cost us less than a dollar.  Who can beat that? Hanam kept saying, "If we spend less on invites, we can invite more people." Which is a good point.  Anyway, I'm still not 100% sure. I want to open the box and check the quality of the paper before I make up my mind.

In the end, our Michael's visit wasn't a complete failure!  

Has that ever happened to you where you walk in to a craft store to get one thing but walk out with something else? 

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Our Photographer

One of the first things we picked after the venue was our photographer.  I had read that photographers get booked quickly, so I wanted to make sure we shopped around and had a chance to pick from the best.  We looked at several photographers and we really did find one of the best.

I am so excited that we get to work with April Smith as our photographer! She is an amazing artist and really loves her job.  Hanam and I both got to meet with her in her home office.  She did a great job of helping us feel comfortable by asking questions about how we met and how he proposed.  Because she wanted to create a feeling of being comfortable with her, I know that she will also do that on the wedding day.  

Aside from feeling comfortable with her, the reason we hired her was because of her work. She doesn't just take pictures she finds one-of-kind shots to show off the couple.  Sometimes, she does this editing technique that makes a picture look antique, like this picture.

Or she plays up the colors and makes them really vivid, like this pic.

Her blog and website are covered with great pics but this is one of my favorites! It just captures such a sweet moment.

Early in the planning, Hanam and I decided that good, quality pictures were a priority for us.  We wanted to hire someone that would capture us and our wedding with great pictures.  I know that April is going to do just that for us.

All pictures are from April Smith's website or blog.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Inspiration Board: A Romantic Night

I am a sucker for candles at night.  Their glow just seems to add a touch of romance.  That is the basis for the inspiration board I created.  It's not all candles, as you can see, but the lighting in all the photos create a warm romantic feel. (source)
Since we our venue is outdoor, I  will be incorporating candles into our decor.  I also want candles with the centerpieces and maybe throughout the reception area.  There is also a fireplace that will need decorating and I am leaning towards candles.  I think the candles will just create a great mood for the night.  I savvy thing to also remember is that candles can be an inexpensive way to decorate but still make it look elegant.