Ji-Lan & Wallace | Strawberry Farms Golf Course

A thoroughly modern love story…..

“They met on an online dating site and she made the first move.”  Ji-Lan will forever be grateful for that first message she sent to Wallace on OK Cupid.  In her words, “I was attracted to his profile for two reasons.  First, the computer program suggested that we were 95% compatible.  For a consistent high achiever like me, I thought 95%=A!  To this day, our nerdy joke is that “we were brought together by a computer algorithm.”  Second, Wallace actually started off his profile with a limerick…and it was a good limerick!  I thought, “hey, if this works out, I can expect lots lots of romantic poetry!” (which turned out to be a false expectation, by the way :).  Wallace’s profile picture had a giraffe in the background (he had just returned from a trip to Africa).  So I used that as a conversation starter.  I messaged him that I could use a giraffe these days. He messaged me back, and asked me why I need a giraffe.  I told him that I live in a loft, and I’d appreciate a giraffe to help me reach the very high windows.  After another couple of exchanges, Wallace asked me out on our first date, at the LA Zoo, to see the newborn baby giraffe, Sophie.  Over a year later, Wallace is now living with me in our loft, though those high windows are still in desperate need of some cleaning! :)”  Romantic poetry or not, Wallace definitely won Ji-Lan over for good.

These two celebrated their love at the beautiful Strawberry Farms Golf Course on a warm June day.  Their vows conveyed the love and history between them, that is sure to last a lifetime.  They honored their family heritage by performing the Chinese bowing ceremony in which they bow to the earth, their family and each other.  Planning their wedding was a real labor of love for them as well.  Ji-Lan made all the directional signs, place cards and table numbers.  She even surprised Wallace with a cake topper in tribute to his favorite show, the Simpsons.  Being a video game designer, Wallace made their own video game for he and Ji-Lan to play the night of the wedding.  The game took them through their first few dates, engagement and of course a beautiful wedding with the Strawberry Farms barn in the background.

Take a look!

Venue: Strawberry Farms Golf Club
Photographer: David Crane Photography
Florist: Linda Lo Studios
DJ: Carlos Zavala with LB Entertainment
Makeup: Sally Lee of Sally Hair ‘n Makeup
Cake: Layer Cake Bakery
Photo Booth: Sterling Photo Booth

Sarah & Doug | Planes of Fame Air Museum

Sarah and Doug’s awesome day was one for the books!   These two had a stunning wedding overlooking Chino Hills at the Yorba-Slaughter Adobe.  Next they moved onto the Planes of Fame Air Museum, which had plenty of choices of backgrounds!  Here are a few stills from their beautiful day!  I can’t wait to put their film together!

Cheers to the newlyweds!

Chino Hills Planes of Fame Wedding VideographyChino Hills Planes of Fame Wedding VideographyChino Hills Planes of Fame Wedding VideographyChino Hills Planes of Fame Wedding VideographyChino Hills Planes of Fame Wedding VideographyChino Hills Planes of Fame Wedding VideographyChino Hills Planes of Fame Wedding VideographyChino Hills Planes of Fame Wedding VideographyChino Hills Planes of Fame Wedding VideographyChino Hills Planes of Fame Wedding Videography

The Kidney Donor’s Wife

It’s been just over 4 weeks since my husband, Kevin, donated his kidney.  I wanted to try to remember everything we went through so of course, what better way than writing it all here.  The goal of this is mainly to share our experiences in case anyone else is going through the same thing.

This whole process started about 6 months ago for us, and 18 months ago for Kevin’s dad.  Shortly after we got married, Kevin’s dad, Kyle, was told he was in severe kidney failure, due to years of Type 1 diabetes.  They started him on dialysis around October 2012.  While helpful, dialysis isn’t a permanent fix.  The only real fix is a kidney transplant.

We checked with a few family members but the best match turned out to be Kevin.  After months of testing, Kevin was the healthiest living donor possible for Kyle.  I don’t think it really hit me that “this was happening” until surgery was scheduled.  It was definitely happening in a big way!  Surgery was scheduled for July 14th, 2014.  Here we go!

Kidney donor

A quick photo before heading to the hospital!

Getting checked into the hospital.  No turning back! :)

Getting checked into the hospital. No turning back! :)

A hug and thanks from dad.

A hug and thanks from dad.

We got into the hospital Monday morning (7/14/2014) at 5am. Kevin got called to go upstairs by 5:15 and Kyle had to get a potassium test to check his levels.  Before they can do anything, they have to make sure Kyle is good to go.  No sense in cutting Kevin open if they can’t put the kidney anywhere!  haha.  Also Kyle had to show up at the hospital when we did because they don’t want him getting held up somewhere, or worst case, getting into an accident as Kevin’s on the operating table.  We were all in pretty good spirits until it was time to say goodbye.  Then I just lost it!  I “knew” everything would be okay but of course I still couldn’t help but think of the worst case scenario.  I couldn’t imagine life without him 😢 after that I went downstairs to the lobby, cried a little more with Kevin’s parents, then basically sat around for the next 8 hours.

We had quite the posse in the waiting room!  Kristi, Kelsie, Taylor, Mark, Kelly, and Margaret all came to sit with us.  It definitely helped get my mind off things!  Kidney Donor, Living Donor, Kidney Transplant

The Craft Corner!
IMG_3178 IMG_3177IMG_3176Kevin’s Aunt Kelly even brought us a little friend for comfort (turns out it was more for my comfort), but we named him Sydney the Kidney!  One of the many awesome plush organs from I Heart Guts.  Check it out!


Kevin’s surgery started at 8:02am.  The hospital sent progress updates via text which was awesome, and had an electronic status board in the waiting room.  He finished right around 12pm.  The surgeon came out to talk to us and basically said everything went as planned.  Kyle got called up at 10am but his surgery didn’t start until 1:45pm.  He got done around 5pm but Dana didn’t get to see him until 8pm.  In total, Kevin’s surgery was about 4 hours, while Kyle’s was 3 hours.

Kidney donor, living donor, kidney transplant


Kidney donor, living donor, kidney transplant

By coincidence….

I finally got the text saying I could see Kevin by 2:30pm.  He was awake and pretty “with it” when I saw him.  First thing he said was “see I’m strong like bull!”  Which pretty much melted my heart.  He later got moved to a room where we were able to sit and visit with him more.  His pain was moderate with a high of 7 out of 10.

Kidney transplant

Donor and recipient right after surgery!

Kidney donor

“See, strong like BULL!”

By 10:30pm he sat out of bed and took his first walk around the nurses station.  It didn’t seem like it was going to happen at first since the whole afternoon it hurt just to turn sideways or sit up even a tiny bit.  But he did it!  It’s crazy to think about how far along he got within just a few hours!
kidney donor, kidney transplant, living donor

The doctors said Kevin’s kidney “woke up” in Kyle before surgery even ended.  He was making a ton of urine on his own and everything looked great.

The next day (Tuesday), both guys looked really good.  Kevin even sent me a selfie in the morning!  He would kill me if I posted it though haha.  He took a few more walks and even walked all the way to his dads room on the 4th floor (we were on the 8th).


Homer & Homer


Already racing each other around the nurse's station

Already racing each other around the nurse’s station

In order for Kyle to receive the kidney, the doctors had to severely reduce his immunity system so his body wouldn’t reject the new organ (thus why Kevin is wearing a mask).  He had a lot more requirements as far as who he could be around and for 4 weeks after surgery, couldn’t see anyone besides his wife.  Just for safety.  If he caught a cold it would have been devastating to his body.

We had heard that the donor has a harder time post-surgery than the recipient…and it was definitely true!  Both Kevin and Kyle felt pretty good one day after surgery, they even asked Kevin if he wanted to go home on Tuesday!  But after that, things got a lot harder for Kevin.  His body had to adjust to not having one of his kidney’s.  On Wednesday, he basically felt like he had been hit by a truck.  Nauseous from some of the pain medication and just sick feeling all over.  Meanwhile Kyle was feeling like this!

Happy guy!

Happy guy!

Kevin was feeling the worst of it now so we really just had to wait it out.

kidney transplant, kidney donor
kidney transplant

Ice cream helps!

Ice cream helps!

Wednesday morning the doctors had a little ceremony for Kevin and Kyle.  They both got an award from the American Kidney Association and a few other gifts, like t-shirts and pins.  The whole point was to celebrate Kevin for giving such a generous gift.
kidney transplant
One thing no one tells you is how hard it is to sleep in a hospital.  It’s nearly impossible!  Someone was coming to check him for something at least every 2 hours.  I tried catching a few zzz’s in the chair by his bed but of course that wasn’t easy.  We were ready to get out of there!  By Wednesday, the doctors were very pleased with all of Kevin’s results and said he could go home when he felt like he was ready to.  Finally around 8pm, we got the all clear sign!  After 3 full days in the hospital, it was time to head home!  Adios Loma Linda!

Loma Linda University Transplant Unit

The bumpy ride home!  He could feel every nook and cranny in the road…kidney transplantHis first request… but by the time we got it for him, he was passed out.

kidney transplant

Mac Dough

Finally able to rest!
kidney transplantHe was pretty much knocked out all day Thursday.  A combination of not sleeping in the hospital and just being physically exhausted.  I was surprised by how much I slept too!  Also his diet wasn’t really limited once he was ready to eat again.  We started slow with soups but by dinner time Thursday, he wanted a Del Taco Bean & Cheese Burrito :) I pretty much gave him whatever food he wanted for the next few weeks haha.

In case anyone’s curious, here’s what his incisions looked like!  They made the cuts laparoscopically, then made a big incision by his belly button to take the kidney out.
kidney donor, kidney surgery, kidney transplantOn Friday he felt ready to travel so we headed back to our apartment!
kidney transplantHe made a few trips outside to walk.  He made a new goal each day for how far he wanted to walk.  Plus it felt good to get outside!
kidney donor
After a few weeks, we went back to visit Kyle.  He was doing really well!  He spent 5 days in the hospital (mostly because he was on IV’s and other medicine).  They’ve definitely bonded over the whole experience though! kidney transplant
kidney transplantI had 3 weeks off work, which was awesome!  We got to spend a lot of time together and make sure Kevin was feeling well.  Here was one of our last breakfast dates!  kidney transplantToday Kevin is feeling great.  His daily routine is almost back to normal and this week (4 weeks post-surgery) he was cleared to return to work the upcoming Monday, with light restrictions.  I’m thankful this whole process is nearly over.  Well at least the worst is behind us….hopefully! :P It was a huge gift that his dad will forever be grateful and I’m so proud of Kevin for doing it.

Camila & Elliot | San Juan Island

A couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to travel up to San Juan Island!  It was definitely a TREK to get there (more on that later) but I had such a great time once I arrived!  Camila and Elliot’s wedding was simply stunning!  Their wedding and reception was held at the home of Elliot’s parents, where he grew up.  Set in the woods near Friday Harbor, Washington on San Juan Island.  As a California city girl, I was definitely blown away.

Their film will be coming soon, but for now here are a few still photos and of course, check out their awesome first dance!

San Juan Island Wedding VideographySan Juan Island Wedding VideographySan Juan Island Wedding VideographySan Juan Island Wedding VideographySan Juan Island Wedding VideographySan Juan Island Wedding VideographySan Juan Island Wedding VideographySan Juan Island Wedding VideographySan Juan Island Wedding VideographySan Juan Island Wedding VideographySan Juan Island Wedding VideographySan Juan Island Wedding Videography


After looking through all these photos, I couldn’t help but notice how awesome this pairing would be!  Check out this post from Wedding Paper Divas for some other great woodsy ideas! Wedding Paper Divas Woodland Wedding

Daisy & David | Coto de Caza Golf & Racquet Club

Daisy and David are married!  Check out their awesome and unique first kiss!

Coto de Caza Golf & Racquet Club

First the “high five”

Coto de Caza Golf & Racquet Club

Then that kiss!

Coto de Caza Golf & Racquet Club

Mr. and Mrs.

And a few other favorite still shots from the day! <3

Coto de Caza Golf & Racquet Club

Coto de Caza Golf & Racquet ClubCoto de Caza Golf & Racquet Club

Camila & Elliot | You’re the One that I Want!

Months ago Camila told me she and Elliot wanted to plan an awesome first dance to surprise their guests with.  Well sure enough they pulled it off!  No one knew except the DJ and myself!  It turned out sooo cute!  Enjoy! :)

New Client Gifts!

This year I decided to do a little something special for my amazing brides!  I hate that I book couples usually 6 months to maybe a full year in advance and I don’t get to have much interaction with them!  To say a big thank you, I sent these little fun gifts to my brides!Bridal Hanger

Honestly it’s a bit self-serving since I hate filming a stunning dress with an ugly plastic hanger….sooooo shhhh don’t tell :) So far I have LOVED the reaction I’ve received from my brides.  Nothing like a simple gift to put a smile on someone’s face!  Okay cheesy plug over :)

I ordered these from the awesome Brianna with Whiskey & Wedding Bells on Etsy!  She did a fantastic job at the customization of each hanger and got them sent out insanely fast.  Thank you Brianna!

Can’t wait for the big weddings coming up this year!


“Who Has the Groom?” A Bridal Shower Game

For my friend Dianna’s bridal shower, we wanted to come up with a funny way to incorporate the groom and groomsmen!  This is where I got the original idea from (http://www.linenlaceandlove.com/2012/04/bridal-shower-ideas-part-1.html) but then decided a little step further :)

I started by finding a generic photo of a guy in a tux (I think this one was for Men’s Warehouse).  A quick google search and you’ll have plenty to pick from.  Then I found LOTS of celebrities photos.  Whoever I could think of.  I copied and pasted them into a word document and tried to make them all roughly the same size.  The original post used photos from magazines but I didn’t feel like getting a bunch of magazines.  Plus I wanted to make a LOT :) Just start trimming and glue the celebrities faces to the body of the “tux model.”

Lisa Hadley Studios

It felt like I had my own little “bachelorette” show going on once they were all put together!  Haha.
Lisa Hadley Studios

You of course need the groom in there :)  I created the heart in word with a text box that said “I LOVE DIANNA!”  A perfect touch.

Last but not least I also included the groomsmen on a few of the tuxes!  Just stalk their Facebook photos for a little while and I’m sure you’ll find something.  We also snuck these into the groomsmen gift boxes on the wedding day :)  They were quite confused by them.  hah.

Lisa Hadley Studios bridal shower game

When it was time for the shower, I put each “man” in an envelope and passed them out.  Whoever happened to get the groom won a prize!  It was a simple game that didn’t require a ton of “forced interaction.”  Some games get old after a while :)

Rachel + AJ | Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club

Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club

Rachel met AJ in high school and they started dating just before she graduated.  They dated long distance for the next 4 years while Rachel went on to college at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and AJ went to UCLA.  … Continue reading