Monday, June 30, 2008

Happy Monday...and Happy Marriage!!

After a post on 'Rules for Happy Marriage', here you go for something more to read on and keep a healthy marriage. :)

New Rules for a Good Marriage
Surprising new marriage rules to help you get closer — or even fall in love again.
By Sarah Mahoney

By the time we reach our 15th wedding anniversaries, most of us know how to handle the ups and downs of marriage. Sure, the wedding china may have a few chips, and perhaps we've had one too many spats about who forgot to bring home the milk. But we've also learned to negotiate holidays with the in-laws, wrangle tantrum-throwing kids, and talk each other through blown transmissions and career crossroads.

Now, instead of having our accomplishment acknowledged, it looks like we're in for a whole new set of marital challenges. Friends, family, movies, and talk show hosts warn us of midlife marriage dangers like husbands ditching their wives for younger women or empty-nest syndrome catapulting couples into divorce court. If getting the kids into college didn't force us apart, it seems, then a 20-something blond will.

Well, maybe not. At last count, America's divorce rate had fallen to 36 percent, its lowest level since 1970. That's because, on the whole, most of us like being married, and so do our spouses. And while there are certain challenges inherent in waking up next to the same guy for 5,379 mornings in a row, many so-called "inevitable" marriage pitfalls are really just unexamined old wives' tales. On closer inspection, two facts become clear: There's only a trace of truth in each fable — but there's also the potential to retool them to make your relationship even closer. Here are five of the most enduring myths, plus new rules to replace them.

Myth: Never go to bed angry. If you don't hash through every conflict right away, it'll lead to resentment and ultimately blowups.

As marriage folklore goes, the idea that it's imperative to settle every disagreement before day's end is pretty well entrenched. (After all, that's the way some people read that "Do not let the sun go down on your wrath" line from the Bible, as well as how others interpret the pop-psychology dictum "voicing grievances clears the air.") And many of us have accepted the premise that if we don't address disputes at once, all that unresolved conflict just festers inside us and we'll wake up angrier each day, until someone finally explodes over an uncapped tube of toothpaste.

Ideally, of course, we would all be able to truly forgive every slight and make up before bedtime. But guess what? No one is that perfect. And, in reality, most spouses don't solve problems well when they're mad. In fact, "the idea that it's helpful for couples to air their grievances in the heat of the moment is probably one of the most dangerous marriage myths out there," says John Gottman, Ph.D., professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Washington and author of The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work. "Often, nothing gets resolved — the partners just get more and more furious." When people are overwhelmed by emotions like anger, they experience what psychologists call "flooding," a physiological response that leaves their hearts pounding and their concentration shot, to say nothing of their ability to resolve arguments fairly or amicably.

New rule: Sleep on it. Conflicts are best dealt with when you have calmed down and are well rested.
Rather than stay up to debate the disagreement du jour, Gottman suggests that couples set aside a moment every night to focus on what's good about their marriage. Then, "no matter what — if you're angry, if he's angry, or if you're both exhausted — kiss good night for six seconds," he advises. "Sure, sometimes you'll be so mad or tired that the kiss will last for six nanoseconds. But it will remind you of your enduring affection, and besides — long kisses often lead to something even better than conversation."

That's not to say that conflicts don't have to be dealt with. To make sure disputes don't get swept under the bedsheets, Gottman recommends having a standing, short "State of Our Union" meeting each week (just not at bedtime). "Take turns telling each other something about your marriage or your partner that you appreciated that week, and then afterward each of you gets to bring up one issue."

Myth: One day the two of you will just realize you've grown apart and fallen out of love.
The fable is that some couples just drift apart as their personalities change or their interests diverge. But experts say if you look closely at most happy twosomes, you'll be amazed at how little they actually have in common. She could spend every spare hour crafting, and he might be the world's most ardent sports fan. Yet they've discovered ways to be themselves and together at the same time: That means sometimes she knits on the sofa to keep him company while he watches the Reds battle the Mets. In fact, experts say, shared interests or even similar temperaments are no assurance of marital longevity. "If these factors were truly important," Gottman says, "couples who meet through matchmaking services, which frequently try to pair singles according to hundreds of points of compatibility, would have a better chance of staying married than those who meet randomly. They don't."

New rule: A marriage doesn't run on feelings — it thrives because both spouses work hard on it.
"We need to give long-term partners credit for their marriages," says Diane Sollee, M.S.W., director of "These couples have probably worked their way through hundreds of disagreements, illnesses, financial problems, kids' issues, maybe even an affair. They survive because they understand that they are a team, and they work to find ways to come together, whether in a crisis or in good times."

The truth is, we all change constantly, and that's a blessing. "If you sprayed fixative on people during their wedding ceremony," says Sollee, "life would just be too boring." But make sure you and your husband are checking in regularly with each other, and that all the little marital compromises and negotiations are making you both feel happy and involved in each other's evolving lives. That way, you can grow together, rather than apart, and, if anything, feel more in love than ever.

The complete article would be little bit long to post it all here. If you want to ready more on the myths and new rules, click on the link above. No matter if you are planning your wedding, thinking of renewing your vows, or if you know some married couples, I'm sure this will benefit to all.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Melt In Your Mouth

I came across on the M&M's site today and thought I should do a post today on this. :)

I love M&M's...well, not a big big fans but I love it. I remember I used to have one or two bags per week when I was in high school (oh..oh... of course share with my friends!!) There's no specific color that I like but as long as they are the milk chocolate ones, I'm good. what about today post?

Often time I will have brides ask me what to pick for wedding favors. My first respond, don't pick anything that is useless! Why? 2 main reasons: your guests will either put it aside because they don't know what to do with it, or if it's really that bad, they will throw it away. Make the money you spend worthiness! Usually I would suggest my clients to pick something useful like cardholder, a mug, or USB drive (if you see my previous posts), or even something eatable...etc.!

So this morning, I came across with the custom M&M's website, and since chocolate is so popular as the wedding favor, why not share with those of you don't know you can do it. It's easy. Click on the link above and it will direct to their custom page. From there, you can pick the color you want on the M&M's, have it customize by the message you want to say, and pack it with their creative packages. And here, you have your personalize wedding favor to make your giveaway more meaningful!

And below is a recipe I found from the main website. If you are a mocha or java-chips lover, this is for you. (however, if you are not, may be it's worth to try~)

1 11-oz. bad M&M's Brand Chocolate Candies
Sugar bowl

Fill your sugar bowl with M&M's Brand Chocolate Candies. Add a spoonful or two to your coffee instead of sugar of a choloclaty-flavored cup of java!

The weekend is coming up! Have an awesome one!! :)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Simply and Unique

Happy Monday!! I hope everyone has a great HOT weekend and ready for the new week!!

Today's topic, 'simply and unique'. So glad I can finally do this post after received the photos from the pro! heh~ Thank you Gene Higa from Gene Higa Photography, the 'Top 10 Wedding Photographers In The World', provided all the photos for today's post. I had a great fun time working with him and his day of 2nd photographer (aka a popular wedding photographer in the city), Ann Hamilton from Ann Hamilton Photographer.

Color is always the most first thing I will ask my brides during the initial consultation. Through knowing their color, I can then visualize how the wedding will look like and their style. Everyone has different taste and style. Some may have cheerful colors and some may only have 1 or 2 to play with. Overall, pick your favorite color because it's your wedding! :)

And the photos I want to show you today is from my May wedding. The color scheme is based on: navy blue, white, and a little bit of green. Not too loud of the color pick, and I love it's way of simplicity yet unique and elegant.

Real Wedding: May 3rd, 2008

Ceremony: Presido Main Post Chapel
Let's start with a fresh greeny look at the Chapel and the bride's elegant bouquet.

Reception: Legion of Honor

This is something I got to show!! Their yummy wedding favors wrapped in the beautiful Japanese gift paper. (small little thing to touch up the tone)

And here we go! A cake that showed the color scheme very well. Who said the cake has to be fully decorate?? One of my favorite parts throughout the day! This is really a great example of simplicity with an unique touch to make this cake so outstanding. Great work from Carolyn at Carolyn Wong Cakes and gorgeous flowers of the day provided by Michael Daigian.

From the front close-up

A stunning shot from Ann to end the special day!!
Outside of the Legion of Honor

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Meet the Venue: Stanford Faculty Club

Did you know you can get married on the Stanford campus? I'm guessing most of us know about the Stanford Memorial Church, and you have to be either a full time student, an alumnus/alumna, a current faculty or staff member of the Stanford University, a present member of the Catholic Community at Stanford and so forth... But you can actually get married on the Stanford campus without being a student or any member at the Stanford Faculty Club!

I had a pleasure to meet Diane Elcan, the Catering Sales Manager at the Stanford Faculty Club yesterday. I was surprise to know that this club is open to public when Diane first mentioned. It's such a great and flexible location where you can have ceremony and reception or reception only at this club. There are two sizes of rooms that can accommodate you rather it's a big party with 250 guests max. or an intimate event for 80 guests max. The rental fee is very affordable. They have on-site caterer that will serve you and your guests, and dance floor is included. They offer different wedding package, if you are interested, give Diane a call. Tell her I sent you. :)

Stanford Faculty Club
Diane Elcan (Catering Sales Manager)
439 Lagunita Drive, Stanford, CA 94305

Photo time...(I didn't take any photos during my visit, but I hope these give you ideas from their past event)

Ceremony can be held at the outdoor patio

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Rules for a Happy Marriage

I made a trip to the Fisherman Wharf for business meeting yesterday. On my way to pick up my car, I found the following poster on one of the souvenir stores' window display. Very true and for sure, this should be something to keep in mind all time!

I want you all, not only have happy planning...but also happy marriage! :)

Just in case if it's not clear from the photo, here you go for the list:
1. Never both be angry at the same time.
2. Never yell at each other unless the house is on fire.
3. If one of you has to win an argument, let it be your mate.
4. If you have to criticize, do it lovingly.
5. Never bring up mistakes of the past.
6. Neglect the whole world rather than each other.
7. Never go to sleep with an argument unsettled.
8. At least once every day try to say one kind of complementary thing to your life''s partner.
9. When you have done something wrong, be ready to admit it and ask for forgiveness.
10. It takes two to make a quarrel, and the one in the wrong is the one who does the most talking.

And of course, a trip to Fisherman Wharf, this is a must have!!!
Yummm Fresh Oysters!!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Happy Monday...

Well, first of all, Happy 'belated' Father's Day to all the Dad!! Thought I had a post on Mom's day, I should as well do a dad's day post. hm...yes, but we don't have any gift for dad beside taking him out for lunch and dinner. So I guess you might get bored seeing us eat, eat, and eat...heh~

Anyway...Happy Monday to you all. I decided to post a clip here from a song that I've been hearing at weddings. Ha, I didn't pay attention when it first show on TV but thought it's a good song with good rhythm. But now that I hear it more and more often, I wanted to share with you all on this beautiful Monday.

Enjoy...I'm sure you all know about this song... Have a wonderful week!!

The Way I Am - Ingrid Michaelson

Friday, June 13, 2008

Vases for the Centerpieces

Above centerpiece - Plan Decor

When it comes to calculating the budget for flowers, the number of arrangements, of course, is always the number one thing to be consider. After working toward to the budget, you will then think of ways to make your money spend wisely on items you want. Sometime, bride will ask, should I purchase or rent the vases for the centerpieces. It seems like renting vases may cause a bit less; however, I would suggest purchasing the vases (if it's in your budget) in order to avoid any unnecessary confusion and show your kindness to guests.

Here are things to consider if you decided to rent and have it return back to the florist:
1) You will need to go after your guests whoever took the centerpieces so that you can have the right number of vases to return.
2) Time consuming - pack it correctly and deliver back to the florist by a certain time.
3) Or in worse cause, vases might be damaged. You are reliable on any broken vase and end up buying it anyway.

Often time, the centerpiece is serve as a gift by the end of the night and guests love to take it home. Although you won't have enough for everyone, at least you can have a designated person to take it. Or you can do a 'Centerpieces giveaway game'! This way, everyone will have fun playing the game, and how much they love the centerpieces you picked!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Sending Out Invitation

I was assisting my client to send out invitation these days and a question popped up. I thought it would be good to share with you all so when it's your turn, you'll know what to do. :)

Q: How should I address the mailing label if I'm inviting the whole family?
A: For example, if you want to invite your Uncle and his family, simply put, Mr. and Mrs. John Smith and family. List clearly if you are inviting the whole family (meaning children are invited), only the parent, or only that particular person in that family is invited. If you are inviting a family and one of the parent is deceased, you may want to put, for example, if only your aunt and family, it would be Mrs. Mary Smith and family.

It's much easy nowadays that we can stick a label or write the name on the envelope. I still remember when I was little kid, I saw my parent's name was handwriting inside the invitation. And you can see people back then will need to write on each of the invitation and match with the right envelope.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Get In Shape and Look Perfect!

It was a pleasure meeting Carrie Burr, the Certified Personal Trainer, Nutritionist and Health and Wellness coach at Creating Wellness yesterday. After talking to her, we found out, both of us have passion of seeing our bride look healthy, stunning and prefect in her dress on the special day. From her training, you will see a different style of personal training then the one you see in gym. At her studio, she provides a comfort room for you while exercising and a personal attention to keep you on track. She also gives you guideline to eat right so that you can meet your goal. You may think going to a gym could be a bit boring. But for Carrie, I would say she makes the work out fun, and time will flies for each session before you realized. Overall, Create Your Wellness Now.

Carrie offers different type of trainings. So no matter you are bride-to-be, mommy-to-be, or just want to keep it healthy, you know who to call. Tell Carrie I sent you. :)

Creating Wellness
413 Monterey Ave., Suite B, Los Gatos, CA 95030
Phone: 408-375-8850

Stay confident and pretty all time~

Monday, June 9, 2008

Real Wedding: Jennifer & Devin...6.7.2008

Congratulation to my newly wed couple: Jennifer and Devin Jung!!

I met Jennifer and Devin back in last September. During the first meeting, Jennifer has well prepared her ideas of dress, wedding favors, cake, flower, etc. I knew she is an organize bride and knowing what she wants for her wedding by then. We kind of walk together on her planning step and now I can say we really become friend. We used to chat on email pretty often to talk about her wedding, and not until 3 weeks before her wedding, we found out that we both use MSN and facebook. Next thing you know, we picked up very quickly and chat whenever we are online. Although I'll be missing her emails, I'm sure we will chat more after her honeymoon to Hawaii!!!

At her wedding, I got to meet her lovely families and friends!! I felt like I was working on a best friend wedding instead of a client (and this is what I'm really happy to experience with each and every bride and groom from my work). Their wedding was the past Saturday with gorgeous weather at the beautiful Vine Hill House at Sebastopol. Pictures tell it all. Below you will see their wonderful ideas of the wedding. Truly, a fun couple to be around with! :)

Let's start with a jumping one with the bridal party

A gorgeous dress I mentioned from my previous post

The popular "Wedding Cupcake"!! Everyone been asking before the ceremony...'can I take one now??' (I guess I will need to hire a security guard stand next to it next time...j/k)

The cutest wedding favors!!

I tried to get a better shoot...but you can see the back drop of the reception location is a 100% full vineyard view with all the green and blue sky!!

Finally...a picture with my lovely bride!!

Meet the team:
Venue: Vine Hill House
Caterer: Larry Vito Catering Company
Photographer and Videographer: Invision Production
Florist: Viola Flowers
Ceremony and Cocktail Music: BBG Jazz Trio
DJ at Reception: AMS Entrainment
Cupcake: Sift Cupcakery
Makeup and Hair: Joanna

Monday, June 2, 2008

Bridal fashion for dogs

Once in awhile you will see dog is included as a member of the bridal party such as ring bearer. It's more often now since more venues are not pet friendly, you can include your beloved dog on your special day but not leaving he/she alone at home or with friends. Since they are allowed to the venue and included on your special day, you may want to get them an outfit as well. Again, reading on the MSN, it has an article about the bridal fashion for dogs...Read on~ :)

Bridal fashion has gone to the dogs
How to tastefully and stylishly incorporate pets into your wedding party
By Lara Alameddine
Creator, Little Lily

So you’ve gone for your final dress fitting at Vera Wang, picked the perfect shade of pink for your bridesmaid dresses, convinced the groom — with all your charm — that the groomsmen ties will need to match that perfect shade of pink, and finally figured out where to seat the crazy third cousin who always manages to embarrass himself at every family function. Now all you need to do is find an outfit for your canine baby. Where do you start?

Get your pup’s measurements (neck, neck to tail, girth). The key to looking good, as we all know, is wearing the right size. Also, understand your pup’s body type. Now I know you are asking yourselves, what do you mean by body type? Well, dogs, just like us humans, come in all shapes and sizes, and to look their best they need to dress appropriately. Everyone hates Chihuahuas because they are the fashion models of the dog world — perfectly proportionate and they can wear anything and rock it! On the other hand, when you have a full-figured breed like a pug, you have to be more considerate about how you dress them in order to show off the right assets.

As a designer to Hollywood’s "A-list" dogs, I am constantly keeping my client in mind while I am designing. You want the dog to wear the clothes and not the clothes to wear the dog. Otherwise they look like they are wearing a costume.
Interesting right? So if you are thinking to have your dog included in your bridal party, make sure you ask the venue if they are dog friendly, if there any policy if you decided to bring your dog, if there's a time that your dog will need to leave the venue, and if there's location on the venue that do not allow pet. If your dog is allowed only for certain time, it's best to have your friend who is not in the bridal party to take care your dog afterward.

Click here for more photos of the dogs bridal outfit.