Monday, June 27, 2011

Creating A Blog Book

Now that my first anniversary has come and gone, I’m thinking about expanding to a second blog where I can not only share my ongoing passion for all things wedding-related, but also my love for fashion, fitness, food, travel and so much more.

But before I get started, I need to focus on something I’ve been planning to do for a long time -- turning this blog into a book, using a service my friend Hannah at Gator Tales wrote about while she was planning her own wedding.

Designed especially to be compatible with Blogger, this service allows you to choose date ranges, photos, a cover and more to see your blog converted into an awesome keepsake book! A 20-page hardcover book starts at $25, with a cost of 35 cents for each additional page.

I love everything about this idea, though I know it will surely cost quite a bit to create a book featuring the more than 400 posts I’ve written since starting this blog! But even so, it will be well worth it to know that all of the stories, experiences, advice and interviews that I’ve shared here on Bicoastal Bride throughout the past two years will be preserved for my children, family and myself, since we all know that digital formats constantly change.

I’ll let you know how things go once I actually place the order, and will also be sure to keep everyone posted about my progress on creating the new blog. Do you have any ideas about topics or themes you’d like to see included? Any fun names you think I should use? Let me know!

Would you consider making your blog into a keepsake book?

(Graphic Credit:

Friday, June 24, 2011

Vietnamese Engagement Ceremony

One of my favorite things about weddings is without a doubt the chance to learn about and share in traditions from other cultures. The wedding I’ll be coordinating in August for my friend Kim will include both Vietnamese and Western traditions, and just a couple weeks ago, I got to be a part of her formal Vietnamese engagement ceremony, a cultural tradition that she’ll also observe on her wedding day.

The day began with the bride’s family and friends gathering at her home to wait for the groom and his family to arrive. As the arrival time approached, she went upstairs to “hide,” while eight young women dressed in the traditional Vietnamese Áo dài, including her bridesmaids, me and a couple other friends, waited to accept the gifts that would be delivered by the groom and his own eight male attendants. In the photo above, you can see me second to last, wearing a beautiful pink and gold dress loaned to me by one of Kim's bridesmaids. 

When the groom and his family arrived, the eight of us proceeded outside, lined up across from one another and accepted the gifts – mostly traditional food items in boxes draped with red cloth – one by one. We then processed back into the house, where family members took the gifts and placed them on a special altar arranged for the ceremony.

Once the gifts were all in place and the groom’s family was also inside, Kim was escorted into the room by her mother. Prayers and song followed, and her fiancé then presented her with the ring. At the conclusion, we took more pictures -- check out her super cute dog in his tux -- and all got to enjoy a delicious Vietnamese feast!

I loved being a part of the celebration and can’t wait to share Kim’s wedding day with she and her wonderful fiance! 

Have you ever taken part in a wedding tradition from another culture? 

(Photo Credits: Personal Library) 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Happy Days

It’s a great day for me, with another publishing class done for the semester and a very successful wedding this past Saturday for two wonderful clients!

I can’t even begin to tell you what an honor and a joy it was for me to share their day. While wedding coordination is certainly a huge responsibility, it’s one that I love, and it was truly a magical feeling to share in my clients' excitement throughout the day and in the months prior, knowing that I played a part in making sure things ran smoothly and that they had the day they’d dreamed about. Here, just a few pictures of the lovely ballroom, along with me taking things in from the sidelines during a quiet moment before springing back into action. 

Plus, now that my crazy busy marketing class is out of the way at last, I’m looking forward to getting back to blogging, working on my next wedding coming up in August and actually having some time to spend with my husband, family and friends!

Before I dive back in, I want to first share a quick feature from, where the wonderful Sharon Naylor, author of more than 30 fabulous wedding books and one of the kindest people I’ve met in the industry, asked me to weigh in about one of my favorite wedding trends – late-night snacks!

Check out the article, written a couple weeks before I moved on from Weddzilla, and stay tuned for more new blog posts soon! 

(Photo Credits: Personal Library & 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Fresh Start

Hello to all my friends here in blog land! Long time no see! Hmm, where do I even begin? The past couple weeks have been filled with decisions and some changes for me, but the good news is that as I write this, I feel incredibly happy, relieved and excited about the future.

As many of you know, life has been pretty crazy for me throughout the past year. In a nutshell, here are just some of the big changes the past year has brought for me:

* Getting married
* Starting grad school
* Becoming a founding board member for Wish Upon a Wedding DC
* Seeing my Capitol Hill career all but vanish in the wake of an election
* Earning my wedding coordination certificate and taking steps toward building a business
* Taking on the substantial role of Weddzilla Blog editor

This is not to mention the personal family issues, financial issues, and other day-to-day challenges that we all face in our lives and that I have faced, as well. In the end, after months of dealing with the most intense stress and pressure I’ve ever felt in my life, I knew that something simply had to give.

That’s why after a great deal of personal consideration, I decided to move on from my position as editor in chief at the Weddzilla Blog, which I officially announced last Friday. As you can imagine, this wasn’t an easy choice for me, since I was truly passionate about the blog and loved every minute of my experience living out what has long been a dream of mine. But in light of internal changes taking place, the fact that the amount of time I was putting in wasn’t compatible with the financial benefit I was getting, and everything else I have on my plate, I knew it was without a doubt the right choice.

In the end, I am incredibly proud that thanks to the amazing contributions of our bloggers and the work we have done together throughout the past six months, the blog has now grown to include a team of more than 60 fabulous writers, has gained a widespread readership and has gotten a great deal of positive recognition. 

As for me, I plan to spend the next few weeks refocusing and regrouping. I need to reassess my long-term goals as I continue earning my master's degree and working with my awesome wedding coordination clients, one of whom is getting married this Saturday!

Of course, I plan to stay very active in the wedding blog world, am open to any other freelance blogging/writing opportunities that come my way and am planning to reevaluate this blog, as well, now that my first anniversary has come and gone. Chances are, I’ll have a couple more posts to share here and will then start to work on launching a new blog, as many of you have.

Ideas? Suggestions? Let me know! Fresh start, here I come! :)  

(Photo Credit: 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Rest in Peace, Erwin

It is with a heavy heart that I share the news that Erwin, Wish Upon a Wedding DC's first wish recipient, has passed away.

Erwin was kind, humble and genuine. I feel honored to have met him and to play even a small role in making his wish come true. He was so deserving and so positive in light of what he was facing.

My heart is with Ed and the couple's children.

(Photo Credit: Three Lights Photography, LLC) 

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Happy First Anniversary!

I love you more today than yesterday, and I will love you even more tomorrow. Happy anniversary, Stephen! One year down, the rest of our lives to go...

(Photo Credits: Alex Neumann Photography) 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

One Year Ago…

One year ago today, Stephen and I were out in California, finalizing things, greeting guests and feeling more excited than ever before about our wedding on June 4, 2010. Now, nearly a full year has gone by, and I can’t believe how much my life has changed.

Back then, I was a bride blogger and congressional aide dreaming about the future. Today, I’ve already been married a year to my best friend, and am living my new dreams of coordinating weddings, being a wedding blog editor, and earning my master’s degree.

Things change, but one thing that never will is how happy I felt on that day and in the days leading up to it – a feeling I’ve never experienced at any other time in my life and probably never will again, at least not in the exact same way.

This weekend, Stephen’s planning a special surprise for me, which I can’t wait to blog about next week! In the meantime, here’s a short recap of reception highlights from our wedding video, which some of you may have seen already, but which still make me smile every time.

(Photo Credit: Alex Neumann Photography; Video Credit: Max MacIver Videography)