Wedding Day, Part 2: The First Look

There seems to be a lot of debate among brides when it comes to the First Look/No First Look debate. Some couples want to save that moment for when the bride walks down the aisle. Others want to allow more time for pictures. It's totally a personal decision and I don't think that one way is necessarily better than the other.
We opted for a first look for several reasons: 1. Plenty of time for pictures 2. Plenty of daylight for pictures 3. A chance to spend time together and really enjoy the exciting lead-up to the ceremony 4. No need to feel rushed 5. We wouldn't keep our friends and family waiting post-ceremony 5. Opportunity to hang out at Union Station and grab some rad pictures... etc. etc. Clearly, we were very committed to getting lots of great pictures and for us that was the primary reason for doing a first look. In any case, we're both so glad we ended up going this route! I feel like it gave us the chance to really absorb the wide range of emotions we felt that day, and to have some fun and laugh off any remaining jitters.

Did you/will you take any pictures before your ceremony?

*all images by the amazing Sarah K. Chen


Wedding Day, Part 1: Getting Ready

Waking up on the morning of my wedding was kind of surreal. I was feeling so many intense emotions, but mostly I was just so ready to finally marry Curt. And that feeling kept me grounded (and surprisingly relaxed) up until the moment I started walking down the aisle. But that's for another post...

After the rehearsal brunch on Saturday morning, I packed up my car full of stuff for the wedding and drove up to our apartment in L.A. Curt and I spent the rest of the afternoon making sangria and organizing last minute details. Oh, and I baked a carrot cake. And some brownie pops. For the dessert bar. Yeah I'm kind of crazy. But baking is like my zen thing... so it was all good.

That night, we gathered everyone who was in town for an impromptu pizza party at the Standard's outdoor fire pit. It was the perfect chance for everyone to relax. And at that point I was like eff eating healthy because come on it wasn't going to make any difference. So I ate my pizza and it was delicious. Everyone hung out in our hotel room for a few hours and then parted ways. Once I realized my grandma (who, bless her heart, sounds like an engine revving when she snores) was going to be sharing our room, I decided to crash with my in-laws at their hotel across the street. I need my sleep, yo! Thankfully, Corrie is the best sister-in-law ever and she shared her bed with me. Thanks, Corrie :) Surprisingly, I slept like a log. Probably just the result of sheer exhaustion, but I was grateful for it. Even though I didn't have to be ready until noon, I ended up waking up around 8:00 because (eeep!) I still hadn't quite finished writing my vows. But I woke up feeling so refreshed and clearheaded that I perfected them in about 20 minutes.

After that, it was just a matter of relaxing and killing time until I had to start getting ready. Eventually, the girls started arriving and Jesi stopped by the hotel to drop off the bouquets. Before we knew it, Sarah and her team were there with their cameras ready!

My lovely maid of honor Sarina did a fabulous job with my hair. Why pay someone $100+ when your best friend can do it for free? My sister/matron of honor Heather let me borrow her "bride" robe to get ready in. It's not usually my style to wear anything bedazzled, but I have to admit it made changing into my dress super easy.

Our room at the Standard had this huge window which was the perfect place for doing my make-up. It was already shaping up to be a nice sunny day so the light was perfect!

Sarina did Heather's hair, too, and it was gorgeous! That girl's got skills, I tell ya.

Ok, this one requires a little explanation. No, my mom is not crying because her baby girl is all grown up and getting married. Nope. She's crying because she almost lost my engagement ring. See, while I was busy applying my makeup I handed her my ring and a little toothbrush I use for cleaning it. I wanted to make sure it was nice and sparkly. Well, there she was, scrubbing my ring to a shine when --oops!-- right down the drain it goes. She's panicking, crying, freaking out... I'm completely oblivious. My brother-in-law Michael was able to get it out in a matter of seconds, so it really wasn't that big of a deal, but my mom apparently didn't stop crying for about 10 minutes. Speaking of Michael...

...best brother-in-law ever! Throughout the day he was there making sure I was ok, seeing if I needed anything or if there was anything he could help with.

Ok, can we talk about these bouquets for a minute? Jesi is a GENIUS, y'all. I can't believe she convinced me that she could turn kale into a gorgeous bouquet, but I'm so glad I trusted her because they were amazing! A few days before the wedding, my mom and I met her at the flower district in downtown L.A. and we were like kids in a candy store picking everything out. It was so much fun, not to mention a huge savings! Total cost of ALL the florals, minus the succulents, was about $200. And when I post all the detail shots you'll see that we got copious amounts of flowers. If you're having a SoCal wedding I'd definitely recommend going this route. By the way, how cool are those leaves? They're actually eucalyptus leaves that happened to be dyed the perfect shade of plum. Those were a very lucky find.

When I told Jesi I wanted to incorporate succulents in my bouquet, she totally ran with it. I love that she added the peacock feather and baby's breath too! My mom carried baby's breath when she married my dad so it was a really meaningful touch. The pearls are my dad's mother's, who passed away when I was pretty young. I don't remember her very well but I've always loved the classic simplicity of her pearls, and they were the perfect "something old."

And the perfect "something new"... my shoes. LOVE them.

The girls picked their own dresses from Melissa Sweet/Priscilla of Boston. A word of advice: don't be a dress Nazi when it comes to your bridesmaids. Nobody likes looking like a clone. Just sayin'.

Mom zipping me up. Super-freckle-y back. But my arms are toned! woo-hoo! Thanks Jillian!

Finishing touches...

Oh la la! This one was just for fun... sorry if I blinded anyone with my thighs.

I love this shot that Sarah captured. Aren't my sister's sandals cute?

Ready to go! This picture pretty much sums up how I felt the whole day. I couldn't stop smiling!