Great Etsy Finds: Wedding Accessories

(Photos taken from Twigs and Honey Esty page)

If you’re looking for one-of-a-kind accessories for the wedding, look no further than Etsy. Etsy is a website that specializes in handmade items. The site allows everyone from recreational crafters to professional artists to showcase their talents with their unique creations. It’s amazing what kind of magical and quality handmade things that you can discover here.

Silk Flowers:

One purchase that I was particularly happy with was Bridal silk flowers from Twigs and Honey, a shop that specializes in beautiful bridal hair accessories. These flowers were $80 plus shipping. It was a great deal for such delicate and breathtaking flowers. Owner Myra Callan has such great eye for style. Just check out her website, Twings and Honey, and you’ll know why brides-to-be everywhere fight to wear Myra’s hair accessories on their special day.

Shawl Wrap:

(Photos taken from Alex Bridal Esty page)

Another Etsy find that made the big day special was the shrug stole shawl wrap that I purchased from Alex Bridal for $50. After I saw my (and everyone’s) style Goddess Kate Middleton wore that Alexander McQueen dress with sleeves, I knew that I wanted to cover my shoulders for my own wedding, so I was ecstatic when I found this lovely shawl to wear over my strapless dress.

I wasn’t sure how it would look at first, but I was delighted to learn that the shawl matched the dress perfectly. I received a lot of compliments on the lace dress and faux fur combination, and a few even said that it was very Kate-esque! I love that it fit comfortably and I was able to move my arms freely in them.

I heart Etsy!


Hair and Makeup: Susie Chhour Studio

I got my first ever makeover during my senior year in high school. It was prom night and my friends and I went over to the then-unknown MAC cosmetic counter at Nordstrom to get our makeup done. We learned that we could get a free makeover if we purchased something there, so we each bought a tube of lipstick (one thing that we could afford) and let the skilled artists turn us girls into a Cinderella for the night.

Well, not so fast.

I don’t know if it was because this was back in the early 90s and not too many makeup artists knew how to do Asian faces (or I just got incredibly unlucky), but my MAC lady ended up turning me looking like a $2 hooker.eekI looked awful … just awful. I wanted to cry and wipe my face clean but we had no time, so I ended up going to the biggest event of my adolescent years looking like a streetwalker with awful raccoon eyes.

So you can probably understand my hesitation when it came to deciding weather I should have my makeup done professionally for the wedding. A part of me just wanted to do my own to avoid any unpleasant surprises, but the optimist inside me was willing to take a chance to see if it will be different this time around.

I found Susie Chhour Hair and Makeup Studio while researching on Yelp. I couldn’t resist contacting the studio because this place had almost 100 reviews with virtually all five stars. I saw the before-and-after photos on its website and I was pleased to see many Asian brides looking absolutely stunning!  This gave me a glimpse of hope!

I sent them an email and received an immediate response from Nicole from the studio, who, by the way, was amazing and kept me informed every step of the way. I was so happy when she told me that Sunny and her team were available on our wedding day because I’d read so many wonderful reviews on Sunny.

Trial Session

I went in for a consultation / dry run with Sunny on an Easter weekend. Shannon came with me, and we drove to an apartment-turned-studio in Culver City at 7:00 in the morning for the hair and makeup test runs. I liked Sunny immediately when I met her. There was something so special about her, like I wanted to be her friend and go out for coffee or something!

I was initially thinking about putting my hair up in a bun but she recommended putting it on the side very loosely for a very natural feel. I couldn’t visualize it at first but fell absolutely in love when I saw the finished style! And she gave me an idea to put a silk flower on it.

Oh, and the makeup? I think Shannon put it best when she said that Sunny turned me into the best version of me. I still looked like myself, but with the volume turned up a bit. I absolutely loved it.

The Wedding Day

On the wedding day, Sunny and her team came to SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills, where Kevin and I were staying for the weekend. They came right on time, at 5:00 in the morning (yes, it was early) and they brought all the tools and even turned the wheeled cosmetic bags into chairs! They were precise, efficient, and incredibly professional, and turned us girls into princesses one by one.

My maid of Honor Saori and two of my Bridesmaid Maya and Tiffany all got their hair and makeup done by one artist (I feel awful that I forgot her name because she was absolutely amazing … a part of me thinks her name was Julie … ), and I got all mine done by Sunny. She replicated the looks we agreed on from the trial session and once again made me feel like the best version of myself.

She sent me off with an emergency kit with sample-size lipstick, foundation, and few pieces of blotting paper!

Getting hair and makeup done can be costly, but I think that’s one area that no bride should scrimp on.  Invest the money in great makeup artist even if you have to cut a few friends from the guest list twisted because it’s worth every penny.  And call Susie Chhour and ask for Sunny!

Susie Chhour Professional Hair and Makeup Studio

Wedding Dress Alterations

The wedding dress Serj perfected!

We are almost at a two-month mark since Kevin and I said our “I do’s” in front of the Stanley Cup winning Los Angeles Kings mascot, Baily (LOVE the sound fo that), and 100 of our dear friends and family. Excuse my cliché but it truly is amazing how quickly time flies. It seems like it was just yesterday that I walked down the aisle … yet, on the other hand, it feels like forever (in a blissful way) that we’ve been married. I seriously don’t remember my life before Kevin.

Many people ask me if things have changed since I went from being single to the other half of the amazing twosome … and I have only one answer for them: it’s been the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I’m not sure if I can say the same for my husband, however. It seems like he has more work to do now – cooking, cleaning, and, of course, going on wine purchasing runs for this needy wife!

I’ve been meaning to write reviews for vendors who helped make our dreams into reality, but life got in the way … but now, I’m determined to give credit where credit is due. So, for the next few weeks, I’ll write reviews for each of the vendor who did a magical job. I’ve heard horror stories about how vendors ripped the couples off, or didn’t do the job that they promised. We got incredibly lucky because every single one of our vendors turned out to be incredible … not just incredible but simply the best in their chosen field.

The first hero that I’d like to showcase is my wedding dress alteration guru, Serj, from Serj Costumes and Tailoring in Burbank.

I was happy with my dress purchasing experience but when the dress arrived, it come way too big. I guess that’s a pleasant surprise for a soon-to-be bride but still, the dress needed some major tweaking to make it fit my body properly. I found Serj on Yelp and decided to go with him because 1. he had amazing reviews, and 2. his shop was just a hop and a skip from my place, and boy, am I glad I did. Because of my work schedule, I had to reschedule our meetings a several times but he was so kind and flexible about it. He was incredibly accommodating and never made me feel guilty for pulling a bridezilla on him.

His shop is clean, calming, and serene. There are no fabric pieces or threads on the floor anywhere, and I appreciated that. Serj is soft spoken and a real gentleman … very attentive and listened very closely to my needs. He explained exactly what he was going to do with the dress and the reasons behind the alternation cost. I never felt like I was being ripped off – at all. I have to admit that wedding alternations are not cheap but with Serj and his mad skills, I would have happily paid a million bucks.

I worked with Serj and another seamstress lady. Although I had no idea what there were saying when they were talking in Armenian, I felt comfortable. She and I didn’t have a real conversation, I ended up liking her very much!

On my third and final fitting, I was asked to bring a pair of shoes that I would wear to the wedding, so that they can get a proper hem measurement. I didn’t have the chance to go buy a new pair so I brought a pair of pretty, but not so special black heels. When Serj saw the shoes, he said this to me: “The shoes are nice, but they look like you’re going to someone else’s wedding, and not your own.”

I don’t think I’ve ever been so impressed with the way someone phrased an advice in such a non-judgmental way. He could have easily said that the pair is not appropriate for the occasion, but he selected well-chosen words that got the point across, without hurting my feelings! That’s when I knew that I’ve hit the jackpot with Serj.

I ended up with this pair of Basgley and Mischka shoes, thanks for Serj!

I know that I made a short story long, but in conclusion, the dress came out to perfection. I couldn’t have been more happy with the way it fit. It truly made me feel like a princess! I highly recommend Serj Costumes and Tailoring for anyone looking to transform the wedding dress into one of a kind. Serj worked in the entertainment industry before opening his own shop so you can see pictures of celebrity clienteles that he’d dressed on the wall.

Thank you, Serj, for making me feel like a princess at the wedding!

Serj Costumes and Tailoring
1707 W Magnolia Blvd, Burbank, CA 91506

The Getty Villa

After the wedding, Kevin and I took a week off to recover from the sleepless nights that lead up to the big day. We decided to hold off on our honeymoon until later in the year and take the week to do the cliché touristy things around our Los Angeles backyard. We figured there’s a good reason why so many newlyweds make a pilgrimage to LA for their honeymoon every year.  It was time to let our true Japanese tourist spirits go to work! lol  And we can save travel costs this way since we don’t have to worry about flights and lodging.

Both Kevin and I have lived in the LA area pretty much all our lives, but there are so many things in this city that we have not done or experienced. Getty Villa in Malibu was one of those places that we’ve always been interested but never made an effort to visit. After experiencing its beautify, I wondered why we waited for so long!

Although they are both very different in the types of artwork they exhibit, I might like the Villa better than The Getty Center.

It  felt more intimidate and serene, and the gardens are  amazing here.  It reminded me of the many museums that I had the opportunity to visit in Florence.

The entrance to the Villa is free but you have to call in advance to reserve a parking space for $15.

When you visit, make sure to come hungry and check up the cafe.  The food is pretty delicious!  Here’s our Bruschetta Mista with olive tapenade, prosciutto, brie and apricot, and tomato and basil.

My favorite sculpture … it’s called, “Young Satyr with a Theater Mask (Roman A.D. 100-200).”  It looks like a little kid put on the huge theater mask over his head.  You can see his mischievous smile from the opening.  So surreal but humorous.

Totally reminds me of Monet‘s water lilies!

Just being silly by the fountain!

After spending three, blissful hours at Getty Villa, we headed over to the Universal City Walk for a movie (The Avengers) and dinner.  It can’t get more touristy than this!  We stopped by a place called Zen Zone and took a 20-minute water massage (you go inside this capsule bed and the pressure of the water massages your entire body — strange, I know).  We also enjoyed the complimentary oxygen bar, even though we had no idea if it had any positive affect in our bodies.

We ate dinner at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.  The only reason we decided on this place was because of its hush puppies but they were all out by the time we got there.  I was so bummed.  We ended up still staying and we had shrimps, mussels, and mac and cheese.

I love cheesy LA!

The Game Day!

All photos courtesy of Sara Jordan Photography.

Kevin and I were an anti-wedding couple. In fact, we were planning to get hitched at a local Court House, the painless way. I was never one of those girls who dreamed of a perfect wedding growing up. Just between you and me, I actually disliked weddings because I found, not all, but most of them to be unbearably corny.

Then, on Thanksgiving Day last year over turkey dinner, we got trapped by our families into having a formal ceremony and reception (Japanese mothers can be very convincing, I tell you). We fought the idea for a while, but we soon realized that the wedding is not just for us, but for our parents as well, who have perhaps dreamed of this day for many, many years.

We decided to give them the gift of appreciation by granting their wish.

We agreed to have the wedding but Kevin and I figured that if we are going to have it, we were going to do it our way, on our own terms. This meant no traditional things like cake cutting, first dance, garter and bouquet tosses, slide shows, speeches, chicken dance … none of those cheesy stuff.

Instead, we decide to incorporate everything that we love – good friends, good food, good drinks, good dessert, and of course, our beloved Los Angeles Kings  – into the theme, and make it as less wedding-like as possible. For a long time, we didn’t call this event a wedding (the evil “W” word) and referred to it simply as dignified luncheon with friends and

Now looking back (even though it’s only been a few days), having the wedding was the best decision we’ve ever made. The day was perfect … just perfect.  The moral of this story?  Listen to your mothers.  They know what they’re talking about.

Our friend Gabriel officiated the ceremony and delivered the most heart-warming vows.

Bailey, the Los Angeles Kings mascot, made an appearance at the wedding.  I think Kevin and I were more excited to see Bailey than the actual wedding! lol We LOVE him so much!

Instead of the traditional grand entrance, ours was the players introduction like the one at a hockey game.  The wedding party entered the room with a hockey stick in hand!

Never mind the first dance! This is our first faceoff!

Here’s to best friends anyone can ever have!  Lots of love to Winston, Daichi, Liwei, Saori, Maya, and Tiffany, for making this an amazing day for me and Kevin!

I will post about amazing vendors (photographer, florist, DJ, the venue, alternation, makeup artists, photo booth, etc.) in separate posts!


Speaking of LA Kings, how about those boys!  We are the Western Conference Champions!  WOOT WOOT!  I’m so excited about the Stanley Cup playoffs that’s about to kick off next week.  I’ve waited many years for this moment. Winning the Cup this will be the ULTIMATE wedding gift! Go Kings go!

Bachelorette Party, Rated PG

My Maid of Honor and sister Saori planned a wonderful day for me and bridesmaids Maya and Tiffany on Friday.  This was our version of the Bachelorette Party, but a PG version, compared to the crazy ones that usually involve naked men. Call me square, but my definition of uber fun does not involve certain male strippers from Down Under, so what she planned for me couldn’t be more perfect.

The day started out with a massage at Korean Spa. I guess you can say the day involved naked bodies, but this definitely wasn’t that kind of We got our bodies scrubbed and polished there, before heading over to Little Next Door for delicious lunch and dessert. We initially planned to have a light lunch and save room from the Rehearsal Dinner that night but we ended up going all out with food and desserts!

We shared Leek and Gruyere Tart to start (pictured above) and I had …

Ahi Tuna and Avocado Tartare

Soufflé au Chocolat

Mille Feuilles

Opera Cake

Assorted Macarons

Afterward, Saori and I went to a nail salon in West Hollywood for a mani / pedi session. My nails must have been so neglected because the guy brought out surgical devices to conquer my cuticles!eek It took a while but we got back just in time for our rehearsal dinner in Pasadena.

It was busy but incredibly fun day with the girls. Thank you, Saori, for the wonderful Bachelorette Party and treating me to such blissful afternoon!

Wedding Favor: Custom Hockey Puck

To go with our hockey themed wedding, we decided to give away custom wedding pucks as a favor!

Kevin found this online shop called Official Game Puck (OGP) in Canada that makes amazing custom pucks.  For about $2.00 a puck, it was the best gift idea ever. And the pucks came out perfect, with our names and the wedding date on it!

Post Wedding Update:

We placed the puck on every table, on top of the napkin.biggrin

Photo courtesy of Sara Jordan Photography

Photo courtesy of Sara Jordan Photography

OGP Enterprises, Inc
Price: ★★★★★
Service: ★★★★★