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Archive for April, 2011

Yesterday (which was Friday), I had a phone date with Matt & Leslie — the creators & photographers of Elizabeth Scott Photography. You are probably wondering why they didn’t name it after themselves : Matt Leslie Photography. According to their “About Us” section of their website, it is because Matt Leslie Photography does not have that ring to it…that je na sais quoi. Instead they combined their two middle names — Elizabeth & Scott — to create the name of their studio. In my opinion, Elizabeth Scott Photography does sound a lot better.

They, apparently, are newlyweds as well, so they understand the importance of the planning process. They live in Mooresville, NC (about 30-40 minutes from Charlotte).

I got to listen to the whole ‘speal’ about packages, pricing, & the outline of what the wedding day would look like in reference to pictures. I got to ask my questions, & they were very knowledgeable in answering them. I really do love their style & the images that they produce, but I’m still not ready to make my decision yet.

Here are some of their pictures so you can judge for yourself:

I had to show the baby picture! It was just too darn cute!!

If you want to see more pictures visit www.elizabethscottphotography.com

So many great photographers!! I don’t know how I will choose! But choose I must!!

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You know how cakes use to be so simple & traditional? White icing/fondant with white flowers & white lace & pearls that are white & just white white white white WHITE! Well, not anymore. The sky is the limit! The whole concept of all-white cakes has practically been thrown out the window. People are starting to want more original, unique (which is another word for ‘original’. just wanted to emphasize it twice!), breath-taking cake masterpieces that should be placed in an art gallery inside of digested inside our bellies.

The same goes with the cake toppers. It use to be that everyone got the generic groom in his tux & the bride in a flowy ballgown of a dress. If people decided to go crazy, they might recolor the bouquet of white flowers that she is holding or change the race of the couple from Caucasian to Asian or African American. Standards have changed people. Now-a-days, a bride & groom (but mostly the bride) can pick practically WHATEVER they want to go on top of the cake! Cake toppers are being personalized to tell the story of the couple whom you just watched get married. So when the cake has long been gobbled down by all of the guest, the happily married couple still has the cake topper as a memento.

I have had a fun time looking at all of the different cake toppers that have been invented to adorn a wedding cake, & I’m here to share a few of those pictures with you.

The Chinese characters speak to my roots & background…but it’s something we wouldn’t go with because Ben isn’t Chinese.

I love the simplicity of the birds! They look so delicate & romantic, don’t you think?

In keeping with the bird-themed cake toppers for a bit longer, here are a couple different variation of bird cake toppers by an Etsy seller. [If you are interested, visit www.etsy.com. There are so many great pieces of art & other things that might inspire you to get crafty]

Weren’t those just ADORABLE?? Oh, this seller also made a penguin one!

And an owl!!

I am very much in love with this crafter!!

Here is a different owl cake topper that I found today! *SQUEAL* I have a very big obsession with owls.

I’m sticking with my animal theme for a lil’ bit longer.

I found this peacock one. & that I would put it on here just for Jaja. She has a thing for peacocks right now, but why would she? They are such gorgeous & regal creatures. & I love their colors!

Now, not everyone is an animal person, & I totally understand that. If one is more into electronics & games — iPods, phones, computers, TV, etc — here are some cake toppers that you might enjoy:

That’s what I call geek love!

People have also gotten extremely creative with paper!

[above: Soooo cute!!]

A LOT of detail went into those paper designs, & they turned out AMAZING!! Makes me want to dabble in paper-folding.

If paper is too delicate for your taste, some people make their cake toppers out of wood & fabric:

Here are some more creative ideas that were published in a magazine. They also had a paper & wood style cake topper:

Of course, with technology like it is today, we have the capabilities to customize cake toppers. All you do is give them a picture of you & your fiance/fiancee & they’ll create cake toppers that look like ya’ll!!

Can’t you just picture my face & Ben’s on it?!?! teeheehee.

But if any of these wonderful ideas do not appeal to you, & you want a traditional bride & groom cake topper but with a lil’ twist & humor, these are the toppers you should look into:

Those are some toppers with a lil’ bit of attitude!

For those people who are outrageously funny & don’t mind showing it, these are the ones for you!

We definitely won’t forget who wear the pants in the relationship!

Still too cute not to at least giggle.

I find this oddly funny. I know I’m twisted, but it would be more funny if you knew the bride actually didn’t feel this way.

The last few toppers are for the couples that are soooooo in love with one another that they don’t mind showing it!!

A little squeeze…

…a WHOLE lot of behind!

Pure love.

🙂

I know that was a super long post, but I just had so many good pictures to share. The cake topper might seem like such a tiny detail, but it’s a place where you can let your & your fiance’s personality shine through in order to make people laugh & ‘ahh’ on that big day.

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It’s not just the wedding planning that I’m having to worry about/deal with now. It’s not just like after the wedding day everything just magically & instantly becomes perfect. There are a LOT of things a couple needs to discuss before the wedding day arrives & you look at each other & say, “Now, honey, where are we gonna live?”

Oh no! It does not work that way! Instead there are issues to deal with such as money, health insurance, car insurance, changing last names, family vacations, holidays, where are we going to live, who’s going to do the cooking, the cleaning, the fix-it jobs, & a plethora of other issues Ben & I haven’t even begun to tackle.

Now, after watching an episode of Pregnant in Heels where the married couple — husband was Jewish & wife was Catholic — had huge issues over religion & the new baby, I am soooooooo happy that Ben & I are not going to have that to deal with. Although Ben is United Methodist & I am Baptist, we have yet to find something religion-wise that we disagree on. Of course, we have had to discuss which church we would be attending together after we are married. It was something I had never thought to think about until it was staring me in the face. As you know (& if you didn’t, now you do!), I like to charge ahead & resolve the issue now rather than wait, possibly forget about it, & have a potentially bigger argument later because of it. This discussion lasted about the entire 1 1/2 hour drive up to Elon about a month ago, & by the end we had, more or less, come to a solution.

Ben was very adamant about the fact that I needed to attend/become a member of his church: the First Hmong United Methodist Church. Although I appreciated his bluntness, this idea did not sit too well with me & I didn’t mind voicing my opinion on the subject. This meant that I wouldn’t be seeing my church friends & family pretty much ever! We are all very busy, so when I feel a little guilty for not making time to see them during the week, I am always comforted by the fact that I will at least see them on Sunday. Now that comfort thought has been taken away, I’m left feeling quite…sad & out of sync. I do not take to change very well, much less astronomical changes such as this. I know that I, as the wife of the leader & bread winner & man of the house, am commanded to leave my family & cleave to my husband. Even though this concept is easy to understand, it is not as easy to stomach. Why does the woman have to make all of the sacrifices? Why am I the one being forced to leave my church, friends, & family? Ben knows practically everyone (using the term quite loosely) at my church, whereas I hardly know anybody at his. He is very much a part of CCBC (Charlotte Chinese Baptist Church — the church I grew up in) & well-included, whereas I feel like an oddball & disconnected. I see the way they stare at me, like I don’t already know that I’m different. I couldn’t help but think, Is this how it is going to be for the rest of my life? I have thousands of memories & threads connecting me to CCBC; I have only one thread tying me to FHUMC…granted,though, love & marriage is a pretty major thread.

Eventually, after a lot of back-&-forth & a little bit of angry crying on my end, we compromised. We would attend Ben’s church for the majority of the time but would still find time to attend my church (CCBC). Once we are married, Ben & I will attend his church 3 -4 weeks in the month, depending on how many weeks the month will hold. Then the other 1 week will be spent at CCBC, going back to attend, visit, & catch-up with friends & family. We also discussed holidays & special events. If the dates & times do not coincide, then we will attend the events planned by both churches. If events at FHUMC & CCBC conflict, then it depends on which one holds more importance & the role either of us have to play.

This was something Ben & I could live with. I am so glad we have this settled, we’ll just have to see how it plays out in about 13 months.

This is the reality of love. Ben & I have lived separate lives up until now/the wedding. Blending & melding those two lives does not happen overnight. It’s definitely a long, arduous process. In actuality, the process never stops, but it does get a lot easier with time. I have no doubt in my mind that there will be plenty more “discussions” (talks, arguments, or whatever else you want to call it) during the next year, but I guess that’s all part of the adventure.

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This past Friday, Ben & I had an appointment with Kristin Vining at her studio in downtown Charlotte. It was a dreary Friday morning, but the new & improved layout of the KVP (Kristin Vining Photography) studio was so pure & calming. The environment complimented Kristin’s personality to the “T”. She was not only professional but also warm & welcoming. She answered all of my questions & didn’t make me feel like I was somehow a bother because I wanted issues & details clarified. I felt like we would be able to work very well together.

Ben also found this meeting productive. He liked all of her work, because at a certain point the quality of work starts looking alike; the price is the only thing that changes. I, on the other hand, LOVED her style of photography. I felt like she would be able to capture my entire wedding day & tell the story of our — mine & Ben’s — love.

Of course, Ben & I have not made a decision yet. We are  I am still crunching the numbers & weighing the pros & cons, but when we have come to a decision, ya’ll will be the first to know!

But before that time, here are some pictures from Kristin Vining that I found online that I thought ya’ll might enjoy. Ya’ll should definitely see her work & see why I approve so highly of her.

If you want to see more pictures, you can visit her website at www.kristinvining.com.

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4.24.2009

Two years ago today around 8 p.m., I met the man who would eventually capture my heart. It was so sudden, but we all knew it was meant to be. Ben was so funny, outgoing, & uninhibited. I was intrigued. We got to spend a lot of time together that weekend.

Friday (4.24.2009): bible study, I got to drive his Mini Cooper S, Cookout, & then Cranium at Kevin’s old house.

Saturday (4.25.2009): Hmong wedding, afternoon playing the guitar, & then dinner out with friends.

Sunday (4.26.2009): Afternoon at the park, then left to go back to Elon.

There is the breakdown of the entire weekend. We weren’t apart for very long.

I, of course, had my handy-dandy camera “Bloo” in order to capture those first moment. Our first picture together explains a lot:

Ben decided he liked my shoes (the black strappy sandals) so much that he needed to try them on. He pretty much fit into them & was, surprisingly, able to pull them off quite nicely I just had to snap a picture.

Our second picture together?

Ben wanted us to pose like Hmong people.

Our third?

& then, while Kevin was busy taking pictures with other people, Ben & I got our first “picture” together…just us two:

That’s when I still had blue tips on my hair. Feels like soo long away.

Since it is our 2 year anniversary, I decided to chronicle our lives together through some pictures. So enjoy!

Is it true that the longer you’ve been together, the more you begin to look alike? lol

HAPPY EASTER & also Happy Anniversary to us!!

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I wish life were that simple, but it’s not. I am an individual; there is no one on earth like me. I might have been born of my mother & father, but I am not just my mother or my father. I might look like my mother & I might have inherited her stubbornness, but do not think for any second that my personality is not all my own. I am part of my mother & part of my father, but I am mostly part of my dreams, my trials, my ideas, my disappointments, my lessons learned, my beliefs, my triumphs, my choices, my values, my struggles, my tears, my laughter, my passions, & my lil’ “world” in which I live.

It’s not that hard of a concept to grasp, but today I realized just how hard it is to actually incorporate it into one’s life & decisions. As a parent, it is very easy to assume that your child feels the exact same way that you do about issues such as education, relationships, & finances. What a wake-up call it must be when that parent realizes the little person they brought home from the hospital long ago would grow up into somebody who might not think or feel the same way that parent does about every single issue or choice the world hands down. Parents say they want a child who is intelligent, independent, & unique until this individuality & spirited-ness conflicts with the parents’ own will & ideals.

Then, at that point, it seems like everything implodes. Slight exaggeration, but that’s when parent & child butt heads…vying for the singular victor’s spot. Because we are taught that only one person can win, right? Compromise. That is something I have had to learn a lot of in my relationship with Ben. It’s not about one person getting everything he/she wants, but rather finding the happy medium.

So today I got a harsh dose of reality into what this next year of planning is going to look like. We are not all going to agree on everything, because that would be too easy. But we are going to have to compromise…finding a solution that pleases everybody. That is the challenge.

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Today, I thought I would share a little about us — Mimi & Ben…Ben & Mimi. Without going into too much detail, I realized that although I want to keep everybody up-to-date with the wedding planning, I do not want to lose sight of what really matters: love, happiness, & marriage.

I am beginning to understand how easy it is to get so caught up in the planning process. Where should the wedding be? What music should we have at the ceremony? Should we invite everybody at our church? Can I register for a big, flat screen TV? How about an iPad? How much are we going to spend on the food? Bow tie or tie tie? Limo? What do you think about releasing doves? Can the flower girl be a flower boy instead? & so forth. It can get quite absurd.

But this post is a reminder to me & a lesson to all ya’ll out there who will one day be tying the knot with your own special somebody that it’s not about the how, where, & in what dress will you be getting married but rather the WHO you will be marrying & the WHY.

Just remember that. Spending the rest of your life with the man you love is the dream; the wedding is just fluff.

In these two short years, Ben & I have had soooo many adventures together…big & small. One of the biggest adventures?

Yupp, you guessed it. SKYDIVING!!!

For my 22nd birthday (in 2010), I decided that I had to do something that I have been dreaming about doing for at least 8 years. I wanted to fly. For now, this was as close as I got. Of course when I told Ben, he absolutely wanted to go to, & I wasn’t about to stop him. Besides, I would need a buddy just in case who-knows what might have happened.

We both had so much fun! We were still in the plane when I started talking about the next time we would skydive…SOLO! (that means without an instructor strapped to us). & in the car on the way back to Charlotte, I made plans for my next birthday: a Hot Air Balloon Ride!

I also want to go cliff-diving, bungee jumping, canyon swinging in New Zealand, scuba diving, base jumping, & so many other things that involve lots of adrenaline & dangerous heights. Ben agreed to come & participate in all of those activities with me.

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