Events

We’re Meowied!

Clint and I just hit our one-year wedding anniversary on November 12th, so I thought this would be a great time to walk down memory lane! Though we got engaged in 2013, we were still living in Japan and trying to plan a wedding that would take place in Dallas, TX – difficult is an understatement. I’d never been one to think about a wedding, so I had to start plans from scratch. It took many nights of Pinterest boarding and inspirations from friends and family to get to the final day!

We at least had a theme (astronomy) and colors (midnight blue, blush and hints of gold).

Venues

Wedding

I’d been eyeing the Marty Leonard Chapel for a long time. They were booked for our original date, but worked out for the new one. Glass walls are my dreams come true.

Reception

Although the original plan was to host a fairly large wedding (well, large for Caucasian families and average for Vietnamese families, I learned) for 200 guests, we learned Clint was going to deploy in January 2018; so we had to push it up and scale it down to 75. We may have lost some friends through this down-scaling.

We were lucky to find Fearing’s at the Ritz Carlton was available, but they’d only be able to host 60. It was going to be a tight squeeze!

 

Sweets

The Wedding Cake

As an amateur baker, cakes are almost an obsession for me. I knew the wedding cake had to taste good and meet the two design criteria: astronomy-inspired and understatedly dramatic florals. We went for the requisite tasting and Butch, the baker from Delicious Cakes, drew up a plan: a three-layer cake, each with its own flavor (orange marmalade, fresh strawberry and raspberry liqueur). What do you think of the final product?

Galaxy Donuts

It wouldn’t be a Kim Do wedding without some DOnuts, would it? The moment I saw Sweet Daze‘s galaxy donuts on Instagram, I knew we’d have to feature them at our wedding. I mean, look at how fun they are!

Graphic Design

You can’t hand a graphic designer a wedding and not expect some custom prints! I had a lot of fun designing different pieces: from invitations, signage and even our very own Snapchat geo-filter!

Other Details

Though this wedding was small, I wanted the various aspects to captivate the imagination. When Clint’s dad commented on how he loved all the details in the wedding, it was the best compliment I could’ve received. All the hard work paid off!

Pre-Wedding Festivities

Bridal Shower

My younger sister, Jane Do, was the maid of honor; which meant one of her biggest tasks was to plan a bridal shower. And though I’d fired and rehired her (in jest) as the MoH many times throughout the pre-wedding period, she really came through with a magnificent tea party at the Four Seasons Resort in Las Colinas. It was truly a sweet day with my Bà Ngoại (grandma), mom, sisters and closest gal pals.

Pre-Wedding Photos

So many of the photos you’re seeing on this post is thanks to the uber-talented Thanin Viriyaki. On top of capturing our wedding day, he also threw in a pre-wedding shoot. Here are a few fun ones from that day:

Rehearsal Dinner

To commemorate our years in Japan, we wanted our family to get together for sushi. Sushi Axiom was a great spot, and delivered tasty dishes that catered to both the Asian and American palate. We discovered a few family members from Clint’s side had never had sushi before, and ended up liking it. Win!

Pampering

My gracious older siblings offered an afternoon of pampering by way of manicures and pedicures – even Clint got a treatment! Look how cute my older sister, Tyty, was with her constellation toes. Even cuter is my brother taking his time to perfect my nails.

I also elected to get lash extensions for the first time. They’re sooooo pretty, but takes a lot of effort to maintain. Still glad I didn’t have to deal with the glue-on ones though.

 

The Big Day

Photography: Thanin Viriyaki Photography

Videography: Petit Four Films

Make-Up & Hair: AKP Artistry

Flowers: The Orchid-Luxury Flower Design

Getting Ready

Lucky me, a great childhood friend has a side bridal makeup and hair business. She offered her hair services to me and the bridal team gratis! She also recruited her partner to do our makeup.

My dress was the Essence of Australia Gatsby-inspired Illusion Back  from Circle Park Bridal Boutique. Only for this occasion, I spoiled myself with a pair of gold Jimmy Choo Romy heels. The bridal party all wore varying shades of blush, while the MoH opted for a navy.

And here are shots of the guys getting ready.

First Look

One of the best things about Clint is how he always makes me feel like I’m the prettiest girl in the room. It was no different during our First Look. Even when I’m critical of details, he was blown away and you can see it all in his face.

Wedding Ceremony

The Marty Leonard Chapel was such a perfect space for an intimate ceremony. The high ceilings and glass panels allowed for a natural illumination that lends itself delicately to the romance of the day. The pianist played, “Clair de Lune” as Poppa Do walked me down the aisle. Clint’s earnest vows made everyone cry – so much so that no one heard mine, but it didn’t matter. (Mostly because I made my entire family sit down and listen to me recite them again at a later date. Haha.)

Reception

Everyone’s right, your wedding day goes by so quickly! The reception zoomed by especially fast. We introduced the wedding party to various Chromeo songs. My dad gave a bilingual speech that was adorable! Jane and Minh Thu gave endearing speeches with tears and laughter. There were even games! So much love all around, it’s hard to come down from that high.

One Year Later

We made it through our first year of REAL marriage unscathed!

Advertisements

Tanabata Matsuri in Fussa

It’s our last Tanabata Festival in our beloved town of Fussa. We had to leave with a big bang! We prepared our yukatas and enlisted friends to do the same. It was so much fun to immerse into the spirit of the “Star Festival.” Originally, the celebration commemorates the annual meeting of a pair of star-crossed lovers. But for us, it’s a chance to revel in the local foods and enjoy some traditional performances.

It was hot, but the snow cones made it bearable. This year, crazy fries (long fries drizzled with your choice of cheeses, mentaiko or chocolate syrup) were a big hit. The guys were wild for the steak yakitori. They’d get a couple, walk three steps and return for five more.

But my absolute favorite thing was watching the kids in their tiny human yukatas enjoying the games and cotton candy. They were so cute!

FSS Christmas Party 2014

My first squadron holiday party! Every year, we attend Clint’s LRS holiday parties; but this year, I have my own. Our illustrious party-planners decided on an ’80s theme. I was skeptical at first, but it turned out to be a lot of fun. They put in so much work to make sure there was always something going on. It was neat seeing members of leadership let loose and have a good time. The “Shake it Out” routine was the best!

Welcome Home, Clint!

After five and a half months of anxiety, lonely holiday celebrations, loooots of time with the cats and daily I-miss-yous, Clint has finally made it home!

I prepared a sign, took a two-hour shuttle to the airport and surprised him. He was thinner, a stranger almost. But underneath all the gruff and grime of war and travel, it was still the sweet man I love. And he’s home.

American Haunted House in Fussa

This past Halloween, some guys from LRS put their wits together and created a terrifying haunted house for the denizens of Fussa. I got to participate by being the Special Effects Make-up Artist. (Self-imposed title.) It was fun gori-fying the actors, but I immediately felt bad for the small children going through. It brought back memories of being unwittingly led through a haunted house in Texas as a youngin’. Why would anyone put a child through that – killer of dreams and innocence!

See images below and give me your thoughts!

 

Halloween MMXIV

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. Costumery and make up are taken to whole new levels. This year, I had a few opportunities to dress up.


We had a Fall Festival at work earlier in the month, so I dressed up as the counterpart to our mascot, Samurai Fox.


Marketing had a party, so I put on a black dress and a fun headpiece. I inadvertently dressed up as Kiki’s Delivery Service! Yoko-san lent me a broom, and the costume was complete.

For Hallow’s Eve, I went as an R2-D2-inspired fembot. The wig made the costume so much more fun! Don Quijote will be my go-to for wigs from now on.

For our Halloween party, I was the enchanting Cleopatra. The costume I ordered turned out to be a dud, so I shortened it and added my own cape. I felt positively regal!

 

Trey Songz Comes to Yokota

One of the benefits of living on an overseas base is the influx of entertainment “for the troops.” Tonight, Hip Hop/R&B artist Trey Songz performed at Yokota and all the ladies lost their minds. The show was slated to commence at 6:30 p.m., but fans were already lined up before 3:00 p.m. As soon as the doors open, a floodgate of hormones rushed through. Those poor poor security guys standing between Trey and his admirers!

Despite the pubescent fangirl-ing, it was rather nice to see the folks on this base get such a kick out of a live concert.



 

Blood Moon

I’d been reading all about October’s imminent blood moon, but had no hopes of seeing it. And yet, by happenstance, I looked up last night and there it was! The lunar orb in all its vermillion glory. I ran for my telescope, but couldn’t set it up in time. The Nikon would have to suffice.

By the time I got my telescope act together, I was only able to capture the partial lunar eclipse. See below. But not to fret, there will be two more opportunities next year: 4 April and 28 September 2015.

FullSizeRender

Flower Festival at Showa Kinen Park

Cherry blossoms are gone, but spring has only begun. This past weekend, we drove to Tachikawa to see the Flowers Festival (which really ought to be the Tulips Festival) at Showa Kinen Park. The park itself is quite expansive! It took us three hours to walk around the entire thing. Since we entered the opposite side of the tulips gardens, I thought we were being tricked. But after a long stroll, breaks for ice cream, a kebab sandwich picnic and playing in the pools, we finally reached the elusive Flower Festival. It was radiant! I didn’t realize how many types of tulips there were – we are especially curious about the questionable nomenclature of the “Uncle Tom” tulips. There were some that looked more like peonies and poppies – quite the chameleons of the flower world!