Friday, August 31, 2012

Wedding Sweets

I'm so excited about this post! I really love our wedding dessert table and couldn't wait to share it with you :) As you know, I love sweets and a dessert table was a must for our wedding. We got our wedding cake from Cakes to Remember. Ellen's cakes look and taste amazing. James and I fell in love with the Strawberry Orange Blossom Cake at the tasting. It is an "orange Grand Marnier cake filled with a summery fresh strawberry buttercream and frosted with an orange blossom buttercream". It was exactly what I was looking for; fresh and light and perfect for a summer wedding. I gave Ellen my sketch of the cake and she did a wonderful job with it. I couldn't have been happier! (Thank you so much Ellen!) As for the rest, I made the raspberry and jasmine macarons, mini red velvet cupcakes, and pink meringue kisses. Costco has really good madeleines so I bought those from there to save me some time. Our guests loved the sweet treats. They were gone in a flash! I'm really happy that everyone enjoyed it.

(left) My raspberry & jasmine macarons. I brushed each macaron with a layer of pearl dust to give them a pretty shimmer :)
(right) Ellen's beautiful handmade sugar orchid. Many of our guests thought it was real!

I love these forks. They're perfect for a dessert-loving couple like us :) They've gotten pretty popular. I bought mine from etsy and they're also available at BHLDN. I can't wait to use them for all our special celebrations!

This was the sketch that I gave to Ellen. I wanted a simple and elegant cake. I drew my favorite Asian motifs on each layer and accented the cake with a single cymbidium orchid. I really love how it came out. I can't thank Ellen enough for the amazing job she did for our cake.

(left) Our wedding date on the "Mr. & Mrs." forks; (right) My mini red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Fancy Pants

Moochi and Brownie were ready to celebrate our wedding too! 
Don't they look dashing and oh-so sophisticated? :)

I searched the internet for ways to make a simple bow tie for them and was so happy when I stumbled upon Nicole's blog. The bow tie she made was perfect. I ended up making a replica of it. Thank you so much for your wonderful design Nicole!

Btw, you can see more of Moochi and Brownie here, here, and here :)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Wedding Dress Tradition

James look so handsome. I'm sure he was glad he didn't have to change outfits. He loved his tux! lol
When I was little, I loved seeing all the dresses that my aunts wore for their weddings. Vietnamese/Chinese brides usually change into three different outfits during their wedding day. This was a tradition that I really looked forward to for my own wedding. I love each of my dresses so much. You've already seen my American wedding dress here.  I wore that one for the church ceremony and the beginning of the reception. The dress above is my traditional Vietnamese wedding "áo dài". The colors are so rich and vibrant. I felt so royal wearing it. It was a favorite among many of my relatives and friends. I wore this dress for the morning tea ceremony and also when we walked around to each table to thank our guests during the reception.

The third dress is the party dress. This is the dress you change into so you can party and dance until the end of the night. I wanted something fun and I was so happy when I found this dress. I love the fuschia color and all the beading details. 

It's hard for me to pick a favorite out of the three. I love them all! They each had a special meaning to me. Which one is your favorite? :)

Friday, August 24, 2012

All You Need is Love

Here are some of the amazing photos Ned took for us. I've gushed about Ned before and I'm so thankful that he was there to capture our wedding. He loves what he does. He always captures the true emotions of the day. I don't even know how he managed to get so many great moments because they happened so quickly. He's like a ninja! Above all, Ned is a wonderful person. He makes us feel comfortable and at ease. We can relax and be ourselves. He really took care of us and our wedding photos and we will always be extremely grateful for that. The photographer is a big part of the wedding day and I'm so happy that ours was Ned. (I highly recommend him if you are looking for a photographer!) I hope you enjoy these photos!

Although it rained for most of the day, there was just something so sweet about it. The sound of the rain was very soothing as I was getting ready in the morning. The weather became cooler and more comfortable. At the ceremony, I felt like we were in our own little world with the people we love; protected from the rain in an intimate church. The rain also kept the usual tourist crowds away as we were walking around the city to take pictures. I was told by many relatives that rain on your wedding day means good luck and I would have to agree. I couldn't have asked for a better celebration of our love. We had so much fun. We are very fortunate to have such great family and friends in our lives ♥

The rain gave us the perfect opportunity to use my fun MoMA umbrellas :)
We took pictures at the Public Garden, one of my favorite places in Boston. The heavy rain stopped while we were out there (how lucky is that?). We were able to get fun pictures with our umbrellas when it did drizzle for a little bit. I really love the pictures we have with the umbrellas. They are so cute! :)

How did my sister manage to jump so high in those heels? lol

I'm so happy that Ned took this photo! We saw a mother duck with eight of her ducklings in the garden...just like the statues of Make Way for Ducklings! That was a perfect Boston wedding moment for me :)

One of the many great photos Ned took of us walking around the city.

Entering the reception

Our first dance as husband and wife :)

Listening to the speeches and shedding a tear or two :*)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Getting Ready

I'm so lucky to have such a wonderful talented sister.  Btw, how cool are her nails and jewelry? 

I'm so excited to start sharing photos of our wedding. I'll start off with these two photos of us getting ready. I love the quiet moments that were captured here. It is exactly how I remembered that morning. It was raining outside and everything was calm and peaceful. I can feel the love and happiness all around me and couldn't have felt any happier :)

My handsome husband :)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Small World

I want to share more of my uncle's work today. My uncle lives in Holland with his family and these pictures were taken back in 2007 when I paid them a visit. He makes all sorts of beautiful crafts out of wood but his passion is making miniature items. You already know I love cute little things so it was such a pleasure to take these photos. I can take pictures of his works all day! He is so talented. I will have to let the photos speak for themselves. You can see more on his website here :)

The details are so amazing. The giraffes' legs are so thin...can't believe they can all stand up too :)

Super tiny guitars in their own display case. My uncle also has a crazy cool signature (upper right corner) that he cut out for the case.

These were set on 10 cent Euro coins. I love the middle one! I set a tiny teddy bear on a chair with a guitar and a rocking horse on the side :)
 (left) Another look at the cuteness!; (right) My uncle working on a chair

It's tiny!
I love the display of the different stages of completion for the carousel horse.

They are all so small but I love the baby elephant.

 (left) This bear has movable arms and legs; (right) Tiny pair of Dutch clogs

And yes, the clogs fit hehe

This picture makes me feel like I was in Santa's workshop :)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Double Happiness

These are pictures of my wedding "guestbook". I wanted something that we can hang up as an art piece after the wedding and this was what I came up with. I am so fortunate to have an extremely talented uncle who is a woodworker and he was able to make this for me. He listened to my idea and made it even better than what I had imagined. I choose this symbol because it means double happiness. It signifies the happiness that is shared on the wedding day. Seeing all the signatures always makes me smile. It reminds me of all the fun and love we had with our family and friends that day :)

Thank you so much Cau Phuoc!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

3 Little Figs

After visiting Taza Chocolate, we stopped by 3 Little Figs for a bite to eat. I love the name of the shop! It's so cute. The decor is clean and simple. We tried (clockwise from top left) the Lil Figgy (almond butter, banana, and honey on 7-grain bread), Toast & Jam (fig jam on thick country sourdough), and the cinnamon donut muffin. Everything was delicious and so satisfying. James said that the coffee was good as well. If I'm ever in the area again, I would love to try their other baked goods too :)

I love their stenciled pretty with the little gold figs

So cute :)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Taza Chocolate

Plenty of chocolate to sample in their shop :) These are their Chocolate Mexicano Discs. Some of my favorite flavors are salted almond, cinnamon, and salt and pepper.

James and I had so much fun taking our family around Boston after our wedding. Diana and Brian came all the way from Vancouver and are big-time foodies so I thought it would be fun to go to the Taza Chocolate Factory Tour. Taza Chocolate is one of the few places in the country that makes their chocolate from bean to bar. I've seen their Chocolate Mexicano Discs in Whole Foods and local coffee shops and was very excited when I found out that they're made right in Somerville, MA.

Small version of the hand-carved granite millstones used to grind the cacao.
The tour is approximately 45 minutes and is only $5 per person. We get to see the various stages of chocolate making and taste many samples along the way.

The warm and welcoming shop

At first, I wasn't use to the gritty texture of their chocolate because it's stone-ground but I really love it now.  I also think it's wonderful that their chocolate only contains 3 to 4 ingredients! It's usually just organic roasted cacao beans, organic cane sugar, and a flavoring like organic cinnamon, organic salted almonds, etc. There is absolutely no artificial flavors, colors, or sweeteners. I can really taste the difference. The chocolate has a bold flavor and I can taste every single ingredient that is in there.

 (left) Tasting roasted cacao nibs; (right) Hairnets are required for the tour hehe

James found a new job
Huge bags of cacao beans

Their packaging room. Everything is wrapped and packed by hand!

 (left) Grinding machines; (right) Catching the deposited chocolate into the disc molds

I think James is serious about working here lol

Taza's founder, Alex Whitmore, hand-carved these granite millstones himself after learning the craft from an authentic Oaxacan ‘molinero’

A real cacao pod

I love their store sign

I really enjoyed the tour. It was very informative. I appreciate the chocolate that Taza makes so much more because I get to see all the love that goes into making the product. I highly recommend a visit there if you love chocolate and is interested in seeing how it's made. You can also visit their website to learn more about the company :)