Planning your own wedding has to be one of the most stressful things a couple can go through, but it’s also extremely rewarding and exciting too. I’ve always loved to decorate and throw parties, so I figured it couldn’t be that difficult right? Boy, was I ever wrong! No matter how early you start or how organized you are, there will always be something that pops up that is completely out of your control. We ran into quite a few of those hurdles; from our venue pulling out 4 months before the wedding date to the extremely hot weather conditions (95 degrees in October) & our coordinator getting stuck in the bathroom for an hour on our big day! Even through all of that, we had an amazing wedding and I couldn’t be happier with how it all turned out.
After we had issues with our original venue, we ended up finding this amazing private estate called Villa Mara in Malibu. We fell completely in love with it the first time we toured it and knew it was meant to be!
Our ceremony and reception were both held at the same venue and it had the perfect view of palm trees & the Pacific Ocean. I decided not to use an alter or add any extra flowers for the ceremony because the background was already so breathtaking.
After we got engaged, I jumped right into wedding planning mode! I knew I wanted to create and DIY just about everything I could. I would spend countless hours researching on the internet and comparing prices of everything. It was very time consuming, but I loved every second of it. I made sure that the invitations, programs, menus, signs, favors, etc. had the same font and colors so they matched up nicely when put together.
Since both of us have a love for travel, I knew I wanted to incorporate that into our wedding. So for the escort chart, I used a world map and listed each table as one of our favorite cities we traveled to. Then on each table, you would find the corresponding city with “our story” on the back of each one.
I also created this bucket list activity for our guests to do during cocktail hour and while we took our couple photos. We got a lot of great suggestions and we can’t wait to travel to all the places our guests listed.
Our entry/welcome table was also very personalized and customized. Being from different cultures, he’s from Holland and my family originated from Laos I thought it would be a great idea to display pictures of us wearing the traditional wedding outfits from each culture. Also, displayed is a photo of us both at the age of 3 and coincidentally doing the same thing in the photo, licking a lollipop. Who knew we were so much alike? Even at the tender age of 3, we were perfect for each other!
Every angle of our venue was so beautiful, from the infinity pool to the cabana lounge area, it truly was paradise! I especially loved how our sweetheart table turned out with reusing my bridesmaids bouquets in our monogram cups and you can’t beat that amazing background as well.
Our first dance was quite magical, but nothing beat our mother/son-father/daughter dances. We started off slow dancing to “over the rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole and then surprised everyone with a quick dance to “gangnam style” by PSY. Everyone was completely shocked & thought it was the best surprise ever, especially to how amazing our parents dance moves were! It was by far one of my favorite memories of the night.
Nothing gets the party started better then a few suggestive signs at the bar and fun party favors. Our guests loved the glow sticks and were partying all night long with them.
After a crazy year of planning our wedding and having to go through so many obstacles, the only thing that matters at the end of the day is our love for each other. Remember your wedding is one night only, but your marriage is forever! So if things don’t go as planned, don’t worry because they always work out in the end. Also, if there’s one tip I can give to future brides out there: make sure you hire an amazing photographer & cinematographer because the photos and video will last you a lifetime and trust me, you will appreciate it when you look back on them and only remember the happy parts of your wedding! We used Handlebar Studios & Motivity Films and not only were they amazing, but they have also become our close friends as well!
**Rental items used**