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Classic Romance at Serra Plaza

There’s no denying this affair is dotted with pin-worthy details. But what I love most is the infusion of unexpected treasures that put smiles on guests faces and love in their hearts. My favorite? Old school CD favors with the Bride & Groom’s most-loved songs. So 90′s and sooo fun. And their approach to DIY, or rather, DIWF (do it with friends) is the best idea ever. WINK! coordinated the entire day to perfection and our friends at onelove photography made sure no moment went un-captured.


From the beautiful Bride…Creating a wedding celebration that was fun and personal was our guiding principle throughout the planning process. It’s pretty easy to get caught up in what everyone is doing on Pinterest and the like, but we frequently tried to remind ourselves that what we really wanted was for our guests to have a great time at a celebration that paid homage to the people, places, and life experiences that got us where are today.

First and foremost was the music. We’re pretty big music people, probably a result of the families we come from. There’s always something playing in our household – and usually more than one genre depending on which room you’re in. Naturally our DJ choice was critical and we loved ours. We worked with them to curate the majority of the night’s soundtrack including the 15 minute reprieve of traditional Cambodian dance music that got all the aunties and uncles out on the dance floor.

Then as parting gifts, we gave all of our guests CDs (old school right?) with some of our favorite songs. In the days following the wedding it was so awesome to receive messages from friends saying how much they loved this track or that track. See, who says CDs are obsolete?

Instead of a traditional wedding sign-in book that would probably get shelved away, we thought we’d change it up a little bit and have guests sign a poster frame we could mount on our wall. Vi is an optometrist so we created a Snellen eye chart that read, “And they lived happily ever after.” Now whenever we’re walking down the hallway we can glance through great words of advice from friends including, “Happy wife, happy life.” :)

Last but not least was our tribute to the city that really transformed our relationship from boyfriend-girlfirend status to marriage material. Over the course of three years, Philadelphia became our second home. There, in our little one bedroom apartment on Ben Franklin Parkway, we squabbled over dishwashing duty and cooked our first grownup meals. In honor of Philly and the wonderful friends we made there who were flying cross country to celebrate with us, we had a cheesesteak station during happy hour, complete with an instructional “How To Order” sign a la Pat’s King of Steaks. We also topped off our cake with a mini version of Robert Indiana’s LOVE sculpture, a replica of which stands in the center of Philly’s Love Park, located only minutes from our old apartment.

All of the decorations were DIWF (DO IT WITH FRIENDS). I had the best bridesmaids a girl could have ever hoped for, truly. They flew into town from all over and showed up at my doorstep with glue, scissors, double-sided tape, etc. in hand and got to work. There were separate stations set up all over my house and I floated through each of them, never ceasing to be amazed at their artistic eye and craftsmanship. These ladies are tax accountants, doctors, marketing and business consultants by day, and Martha Stewart by night! Everything actually turned out even more amazing than I had envisioned. That night doing crafts and drinking boba with my girlfriends was definitely one of my favorite memories from our wedding weekend.

Photography: Onelove Photography | Videography: Mellow Entertainment | Cake: Jay's Catering | Catering: Jay's Catering | Hair And Makeup: Susie Chhuor | DJ: DJ Puffs | Ceremony And Reception: Serra Plaza | Coordination: WINK! | Florals: Elegant Thorn

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Vintage-Inspired Garden Wedding in San Juan Capistrano

Truth be told, San Juan Capistrano churns out some seriously pretty soirees. And one lovely gem that we’ve come to adore whole-heartedly is The Villa. It’s a quintessential locale for love stories and garden-loving duos, just ask The Youngrens who were behind every sweet moment of this pink-splashed day. Get your romance on in the gallery!


From the beautiful Bride? The moment we walked into the Villa San Juan Capistrano, we knew that we had to get married there. The venue was so serene, with its enclosed courtyard and sweet chapel. The perfect place for a peony-infused garden party.

As we thought about planning our wedding, we wanted the day to be a celebration of love. Not just our love, but the love and support of the family and friends who would celebrate with us. As such, we tried to incorporate personal touches. Jeff’s dad officiated the ceremony and his mom hand stitched the pillows that were laid around the venue. My family helped to make much of the decor, including the seating chart and chalkboard-like drink menus. A piece of my grandmother’s wedding dress was wrapped around my bouquet, and on the inside of the cottage we displayed our family members’ wedding photos.

One of our favorite memories occurred just as dinner was winding down. Jeff and I sat at a sweetheart table in the corner of the courtyard, and we looked out at our guests, then at each other, and took a moment to take it all in. We were married! We were so grateful for these wonderful people who chose to celebrate with us. It was such a feeling of joy!

Thank you to all the lovely vendors for your kindness and talent. You were a dream to work with. And a special thanks to the Youngrens for capturing the day so well!

Photography: The Youngrens | Videography: Paperback Weddings | Floral Design: Primary Petals | Wedding Dress: Pronovias | Invitations: August Press | Stationery: August Press | Ceremony Venue: The Villa San Juan Capistrano | Reception Venue: The Villa San Juan Capistrano | Bridesmaid Dresses: Priscilla Of Boston | Caterer: The Villa San Juan Capistrano | DJ: Fedora DJ

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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Romantic Inspiration Shoot in San Juan Capistrano

Fashion might be one of our top pinned, most favorited, always talked about parts of a wedding post. And for good reason – who doesn’t love the thrill of a gorgeous wedding dress? And this inspiration has three totally drop dead looks to fawn over along with images by Brian LaBrada Photography, design by  Isaura, styling by Nina Fleurina and florals by Enchanted Fine Florals  that showcase elegance paired with a soft muted palette and, of course, lots of great fashion. See even more right here.

After having met Melina Ruiz, the MUA, a few months earlier on another styled shoot, she and I decided to work together – brainstorming and assembling a team for our own styled shoot. The look we were going for was elegant, timeless, and sophisticated. We approached the shoot with the end of Summer and Fall in mind. We wanted a soft, muted palette and aimed to create something beautiful that any bride could see herself doing. The whole team had am amazing time working together and we plan on doing it again very soon.

The flowers are my favorite, we wanted a late summer/early fall bouquet and Floral Halo. Starla Bork from Enchanted Fine Florals had this to say about them,

“The bridal bouquet was classic and timeless using romantic garden roses. To pull in the beauty of the season I just love how the silver tones of the tillandsias and brazilia berries contrast with the dark begonia foliage. A floral halo is a must for a bohemian bride. It was created to mirror her bouquet using begonia blooms, garden spray roses, chocolate lace and dark ivy.”

The Dresses for each look were custom-made specifically for this shoot by Isaura. Here is what she said,

“We wanted three very different looks for our bride. For our first look I created a mermaid cut, modern elegant style dress using Jaguar Silk Chiffon. The second look was more of a Bohemian style, so I made a slightly loose-fitting, straight-line dress with belled sleeves, a signature look of mine. I made the dress from knitted lace. For the third look, I hand died silk chiffon using terra-cotta to get the perfect soft blush hue and created a very romantic A-line dress.”

The furniture, tables, and pillows were provided by Heather from Storied Rentals. She, along with our stylist Ebony from Nina Fleurina, styled and dressed the set.

The makeup was provided by Melina Ruiz and the Hair Styling was done by Brenda Barron. We had discussed the looks we were after and they could not have been a more perfect team. They worked so fast and so well together – after we finished a look, within 5-7 minutes, the next look was ready to go. I couldn’t believe it. It was important to have them on the same page so we could get a completely different look every time instead of just changing the dress. Their collaboration definitely tied the entire shoot together.

Photography: Brian LaBrada Photography | Hair Stylist: Brenda Barron | Designer: Isaura | Florals: Enchanted Fine Florals | MUA: Melina Ruiz | Stylist: Nina Fleurina | Vintage Furniture Rentals: Storied Rentals