Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Wedding aka my Californian trip

*EDIT on September 14, 2012: Due to storage issues on Picasa, I had to delete some of the pictures*

So my trip to California :D Bear with me, this post might be quite long, but at least, there's pictures :D

The purpose of this trip was primarily to attend my cousin's - Katie - wedding. My father has 6 siblings and over the years, many have moved from Vietnam to California. However, Katie's family is the one that has been in the States for the longest and the one we're the closest to. She's the 2nd kid out of 4 (2 girls, 2 boys) and the 3rd to get married... but you have to know her... She's outgoing, very sociable and bigger than life... and her wedding mirrored her personality :)

We left on Thursday's afternoon. We wanted to leave earlier, but my sister had school, so we had to work around her schedule. Unfortunately, it was not a direct flight ^_^; Seriously, if I can help it, I'll never have connections ever anymore! It's not just the waiting time, but the possible delays :( The worst was that the seats from Chicago to Los Angeles were very uncomfortable :( Ugh, my poor butt. We arrived late to Los Angeles where our oldest cousin picked us up. She then drove us out to eat... where we were picked up by Katie and Chap (the groom) and drove home in Westminster.

Friday was spent running last minute errands - buying decorations, tulle, garter... and decorating the house. A little shopping and oh, we got new haircuts :)


That day, I crashed early because I was exhausted. Let just say, I've been running on very little sleep. I had a headache and didn't want it to get worst. Also, we had to wake up extremely early on Saturday to prepare hors-d'oeuvres.

See, in some Asian cultures, instead of a church ceremony, there's the "groom goes to pick up the bride" ceremony that takes place in the morning. In this case, the "good" time that day turned out to be 9.30am!!! So that meant, guests on the bride side had to be present at 8.30-9am!! That's quite early... so we had to wake up even earlier to get the house and hors-d'oeuvres ready ^_^; We were running behind too, you should have seen the rush!

LOL and instead of a little ring boy, we need two little boys to open the limo door :) It was quite funny because 1) the driver was going to open the door and everyone was like: "No! No! Don't open the door!!" and 2) the boys were just so shy!! LOL, they didn't want to do it... I guess because everyone were looking at them. On the bride side, our nephew, Alexander, had to open the door. His father had to help LOL and afterwards, he hugged his father's leg so tight that my cousin-in-law couldn't walk :P In Alexander's defense, the doorboy on the groom side was as shy and his mother had to help... He was on the verge of crying ^_^;

The groom and bride received all the gifts from the bride's side of the family and then, hop, the groom drove his new bride to his house where his parents awaited. That's when the fun for us started - because now, it was their turn to run around and we could relax and enjoy the food. Not so much the bride, though, who had to kneel and pray for 10 minutes LOL :P The next day, we asked Katie what she prayed for... "For the 10 minutes to go by fast!" LOL. Then, the groom and bride received all the gifts from the groom side. And that was it, the end of the morning ceremony... Time to get ready for the reception :D

Oh, did I mention that my cousin likes to do things BIG? That she was expecting 550 guests?!? Yes, 550... In her defense, she couldn't help it... See, Chinese weddings - we usually count tables... 10 persons per table. 22 tables went to the groom's dad guests, 16 to the bride's dad guests and the rest for the groom and bride. Oh and she likes to go all out too :D

Gorgeous, isn't it? Also, as it is common tradition in Chinese weddings, the bride had three dresses: wedding dress, Chinese dress and cake-cutting dress.

By the way, if you want to see what I look in the dress, you can see below :)

All in all, we had a great time at the wedding :D It's been ages since I've seen my parents dance (1st pic) !! My dad says 30 years LOL :) My cousins brought their kids on the dance floor as well :D and LOL, father of the bride and my father were quite happy :D

Everything went smoothly and on time and so, the wedding actually wrapped up quite early - around 11.30pm. We were home by 12pm... and you'd think we would call it a night... but of course not LOL. Not my uncle and dad. Guess what? They started drinking cognac! Yes, cognac!!! They were 4 of them, my dad, uncle, cousin and a family friend. Women sat around, keeping an eye on them. It was quite hilarious!! and you could have seen them... They were determined to drink through a bottle of Cordon Bleu and they almost did!! My sister and I had to sneak the bottle away and empty it so they would finally go to sleep LMAO. It's been a while since I laughed as much LOL :) You know my uncle and dad are tipsy when they start talking in English... the funniest moment was when my uncle said: "I want to go to sleep!" It was 1.30am already, so we were all happy... and my mom stood up. My uncle then went: "Auntie, why did you stand up so quickly? Why are you so eager? Let sit down and keep drinking then!" LOL :P and so, they did... till 2.30am ^_^;

The next day, I woke up quite early and and very excited... because it was the SoCal bloggers meet!! Wendy was coming to pick me up and we were meeting at 11.30am at Costa Mesa Borders. We were early, but not as early as Tracy who was already browsing the aisle. Then, Lori and Renee showed up, followed by Rosie and a copy of Indiscreet by Carolyn Jewel :D Daphne, Holly and MM were last to join. It was funny, because I immediately recognized Holly and MM, but not Carmina - she cut her hair. When I saw them, I was like: "Oh, Holly brought her daughter... Wait a minute, The Girl doesn't have black hair!" and then, I recognized Daphne LOL :P Poor Holly, she had to rush to the restroom before greeting us ^_^;

So we browsed and bought books :D Borders customers and employees were probably wondering who were all those women, laughing and talking loudly LOL :P Then, we went to Yard House to get lunch where we talked even more... and ate of course LOL :) I wrapped it up by taking pictures with everyone :D

In the bottom picture, from left to right: Renee, Lori, Wendy, Holly, Daphne, Rosie and Tracy... and I'm standing in front. I didn't realize I was standing in front of Wendy and didn't have to flex my knees, LOL :) And then, the SoCal bloggers meet came to an end :( Booo! Way to quick! Lucky though, some of us were meeting the next day for an outing to the UBS :D

That evening, another one of my cousins took us out (my family and some family's friends) out for dinner. He has a baby, 3 months old, and she is the most adorable baby!!! She looks like a doll!!

The next day, Wendy, Renee, Tracy and I met again to go to a UBS - New and Recycled Romance. If you're in the neighborhood of Costa Mesa, you have to make it to that UBS!! All romance and simply heaven!! Imagine Kristie's book room x 2.5... Floor to ceiling romance novels!! It was simply wow!!! Great place! I'll be sure to go back the next time I visit my relatives :D

Then, my sister and I went to an outlet mall and did some quick shopping... before going home where we were invited for another dinner... That was Monday... and we were flying on Tuesday morning, at 8.35am... which meant we had to be at the airport in the neighborhood of 6am and had to leave home at 5.30am. So guess till what time we stayed there? Yep, 1am and we were not done packing ^_^; Everytime someone told my dad to go home to pack, he would say: "I have a good wife and two daughters to take care of it" and so, we stayed LOL :) At the end, we cleared the table and fold the chairs - even the one on which my dad was sitting. Not subtle, LOL. I missed most of that dinner though, because I crashed on the couch... Simply too tired.

So that's pretty much it, my trip to California! I had a great time with family and friends... It's unfortunate it went by so fast :(

But LOL, that's not what you want to know right? What you want to know is what books I got? Well that's another post :D


  1. We didn't get to hear much about the wedding, other than "It was fun!" So I'm so glad to see the pictures and hear all about it. It was so great to see you again :)

  2. Lovely pictures! Of course, I had to take a closer look at the hors-d'oeuvres. Yumm. Can you tell that I like to eat? *g* And oh my, what a big wedding. *g*

    I'm glad you enjoyed your trip and your time with your family and friends so much. It sure looks like you all had a good time. :)

  3. WOW Nath. What a remarkable trip--no wonder you're tired, LOL! Sounds and looks so beautiful, I'm glad you had a great time. What's next? :-)

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  5. The wedding looks beautiful. Holy crap though, 550 people!

  6. Wow, that was a long post. So much to comment on, LOL. I like your before and after hair cut pictures. Cute cut!

    The wedding was absolutely gorgeous. The decorations and her dress, just stunning. She has lovely taste.

    So glad you got to have fun with the SoCal bloggers. I will have to schedule a trip to both California and Canada at some point to meet up with everyone!

  7. Now everyone is going to want to visit So. Cal. just to hit that UBS :) It really is divine. I can't recommend it enough.

    I oohed and ahhhed over the wedding cake and then I saw your cousin's three dresses! OMG! All of them - gorgeous!

  8. Lori - Well, we didn't have much time :D Talking about books was much more fun LOL :P

    But yes, the wedding was fun... and huge LOL :P

    Taja - Thanks Taja :D Well I love to eat as well. It's just too bad the crackers and bread ended up a bit soggy ^_^; Ah well.

    And this trip was great :D

    Jennifer B - Yeah LOL :P It wasn't a real vacation... not one of those relax vacation with a lot of down time... Here, it was all: go, go, go :P

    Next? Hmmm, reading :P and then, I'll probably take some time off in February to watch the Olympics LOL :P

    Zeek - You're welcome Zeek :D and yes, Holly does have a baby bump! :D

    Isabel - I know!! I mean, seriously, 550?!? But they all showed up!! and probably more ^_^;

    Jill - Yeah, it was a long post ^_^; but it was better for me to write it all out than to split it up ^_^; If I splitted the post up, you might never hear about the end of the trip ^_^;

    The wedding was great. She invested a lot of money into it and it shows :D

    You definitively have to come to Canada :D or perhaps, we'll have to go to Disney World :D

    Wendy - LOL, isn't that a good thing? Meeting new bloggers and having an excuse to hang out with each other :D

    Yeah, the dresses were gorgeous :D And she scored big when she bought them (oh, she had an engagement party dress and one for picture shoot at the beach)... Apparently, she only tried that wedding dress.. She went to shop on her own, wasn't planning to buy a wedding dress... but saw it and tried it on and the rest was history :D

    Notice on the cake, the flower decorations... Do the shapes seem familiar? Well, they're the flowers from LV pattern. Yep, just her LOL :P

  9. Hey Nath! So much to comment on!

    Your haircut looks good on you! Love it! Do you have to style it to have it look that way? If not, I hate you! haha. My hair doesn't do anything even if I want to style it.

    I hear you on waking up early for weddings. In my culture, the bride and her party would wake up at 5am to get her hair and makeup done and the family and helpers would also wake up at that time to help with the cooking and last minute prep. Our "good" time meet isn't until 9am which really translate to 9:30 or 10am. *roll eyes*

    That's a nice limo, and I love her dresses. For our weddings, the bride gets to change into about 6-8 cultural outfits not including the American dress. They're really pretty. Picture Thai/Cambodian royalty clothing! I only wanted to get married to wear the clothing, hehe!

    Wow, that's a lot of books! Was this the first time you met the bloggers? I would be so shy to meet anyone. I'm not much of a talker. :)

    And yeah, 550 guests are alot. My family are renowned for big weddings. My sisters only had 350+ guests and that was considered small. One of my cousin got married a few years ago, had planned only 45 tables and ended up adding 10 more during the night. Ridiculous...

  10. Love all the pictures! You look so pretty nath! And the wedding - WOW. I love all the traditions that go with weddings. Thank you for sharing and explaining them. And the story of your dad and uncle with the cognac - LOL That sounds like my mom and my aunt except they would be drinking wine. :)

    Those SoCal bloggers look like such a fun group. Isn't it great to talk to other book lovers in person? The UBS sounds like a bit of heaven. You sure did pack a lot of fun in a short time.

  11. Tabitha - LOL, I know, very long post :)

    Actually, the groom is Chinese, but born in Cambodia :) So it made me think of you :)

    Hmmm, in that pic I posted, the haidresser blow-dried my hair and straightened it out. So no, most days, it doesn't look that nice :P On most days, it looks like in the last pic - very round ^_^; But I'm too lazy to blow-dry... and I don't own a straightener... So no need to hate me LOL :)

    Well that's pretty much what happened to us - waking early, putting the finishing touches, cooking. LOL, my aunt and uncle were lucky my parents and my uncle's friends were there... They're the ones who did everything... All my uncle and aunt had to do was wake up and get dress... I mean, at 9am, everyone was looking for the bride's brother - he was still asleep ^_^;

    Her dresses were very pretty :D She definitively scored :) The bride's outfits must be very, very pretty :D It's a shame they don't wear it for long...

    LOL about your cousin adding 10 tables during the night. Seriously, I don't get people who show up uninvited ^_^; and how on earth did they have enough food for 100 extra ppl?!?

    And yes, lots of books... What can I say? They were calling to me :P And no, it's not the first time I meet the bloggers. Last year, I've already met Lori, Rosie, Wendy, Daphne and Holly.

    Leslie - Glad you enjoy the pics :D Very nice wedding :)

    The SoCal bloggers are definitively a fun group. We should try doing a blogger convention or something LOL :)

    And yes, lots of fun, but very tiring :D

  12. Nice pictures nath! Thanks for sharing. :P

    I like your hair cut.

  13. Loved reading about the wedding and the blogger meetup! Sounds like it was a great weekend.

    And that UBS sounds amazing...

  14. Wow, it's impressive you got your whole trip chronicled!

    Our visit is always so short and the time seems to whiz by doesn't it?

    Glad you liked Toni's place. It's a paradise for romance readers.

  15. Wow Nath! Sorry I missed this beautiful post :( What a gorgeous wedding and I love everything! The traditional wedding is just beautiful and I love those dresses... so glad you had such a wonderful time. (Your hair looked great!)

    Lucky girl! You got to meet those wonderful SoCal bloggers and of course you went UBS shopping too... (going to check out your book post now).:)

  16. I can't believe I'm so behind on my blog hopping that I haven't commented on this! Forgive me!

    That was a great post Nath! I loved all the pictures of the wedding and your family. You took some great pictures of the bloggers too. I'd love it if you could send the one you have of just you and me...if it turned out.

    So glad you could come and visit - it was great fun!

  17. Lol about the bride's brother still asleep when they were looking for him!

    I don't know how they do it but at most every wedding I've attended, there is always a reserve of tables because it is expected that there will be wedding crashers (between 5-10 tables reserve). It is expected and actually gives a "good show" to the community that so many people want to attend the wedding. Personally, I find it ridiculous that some guests would bring their children's friends or even neighbors!

  18. Ames - No problem sharing pics :D and thanks, I have to say I really like the haircut... It's different without being drastic... and it still looks okay even if I don't blow-dry my hair LOL :P

    Li - Glad people enjoyed my post :D It was a great trip, just too short...

    the UBS = heaven :D

    Rosie - I usually try my best to sum up my vacation :D It's fun to keep a record :D

    And yes, every visit always goes by so fast :D That's what happens when you're in good company :D

    Paradise indeed :D

    Hilcia - It's fine, no worries :D I know you've been busy :D

    It was a very gorgeous wedding indeed :D

    Tracy - LOL, I was wondering where you were :D it's okay, no worries. I'll send you the pic very soon :D it turned out great :D

    Tabitha - I think my cousin only had one or two reserve tables... but yes, it's very ridiculous to bring children's friend and neighbors! At least, do they dress nice?

  19. I started reading this post sometime yesterday and finally finished! LOL! Oh wait... not because it was too long, but because of constant interruptions at my end. And I did have to click on every picture to see everything up close and bigger!

    What a fun post to read! Love your new cut--it's very flattering. And huge kudos for all those appetizers! :)

    Your cousin's wedding was very beautiful and sounds like it was a really fantastic celebration! I enjoyed all of the photos. The wedding cake looked too beautiful to eat!

    My best friend from college is Chinese and had a big wedding as well with three dresses, too! ... but I don't think she anywhere near 550 guests! Wow! Amazing! My oldest daughter was about 3 1/2 at the time and was a lucky little flower girl. I was also in the wedding party and so got to help my friend change her dresses--and hair styles--and jewelry--and when my little girl saw my friend in her traditional Chinese wedding dress, she was mesmerized and said something like, "Wow, Mommy! Aunt Helena looks more beautiful than a Barbie doll!" LOLOL! I don't think a 3 1/2 year old girl can give a compliment much bigger than that, do you? Thanks for reminding me of that with your post. :)

    Of course, I adore the photos from the So Cal blogger get together and would be soooo happy to be a part of a gathering like that someday. Very nice.

    I'm so glad you had such a wonderful, memorable trip to California. Thank you so much for sharing. :)

  20. What a beautiful big wedding Nath and you looked lovely in your dress. :)

    Awesome that you were able to meet up with the So Cal bloggers as well!

    Thank you for sharing.


  21. Christine - LOL, yes, I know, it was a long post :D

    I like my new cut too :D and yeah, those appetizers, that's my specialty LOL :P

    Definitively the best compliment a 3 1/2 y.o. girl can give :D LOL :P

    By the way, Christine, where do you live?

    Lea - Thanks Lea :D I'm very happy with the dress I got :D I mean, it was not expensive and I can definitively wear it again :D

  22. I live in New Jersey about 16 miles southwest of Manhattan as the crow flies. I.e., in a straight line. Lucky crows. It's about a 45-60 minute commute by car. Sometimes more, sometimes less depending on traffic. By train it takes me about 30-45 minutes to get to Penn Station. :)