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Thursday, April 09, 2015Anna Thao

The past couple of months has been extremely busy for me, due to planning my own wedding! I got engaged in August of last year (click here to read all about "The Proposal" as well as our engagement pictures) and will finally be tying the knot this June!

Planning a wedding is definitely not something that you can throw together over night let alone a couple of days - and there will be a few road blocks along the way. Also, it's actually not as glamorous as everyone makes it seem, but so far it's been such a wonderful experience and I know it will totally be worth it! So, let me share with you my ideas and what I have done and plan to do for my wedding day!


My fiancé and I are Hmong and both of our families are very traditional - so we knew right away that opting for an all American wedding was out of the question. And we weren't about to drop $20,000+ just like that for a conventional, one-day event. It just wasn't us. Our families will be hosting and coordinating our Hmong wedding and we couldn't be more blessed to have their support and love as we take on this new chapter of our lives. We could definitely just leave it at that and be happy with only the Hmong wedding, however, we still wanted to be able to incorporate our own ideas and inspirations into our wedding. (If you're Hmong or know of the culture, you would know how hard it is to interfere the wedding process with "American" ideas.) So, after examining our finances and considering our spending priorities, we also settled on having an intimate backyard tent reception at my parents home (on the same day as the Hmong wedding) - where my fiancé and I can have complete control over and do whatever our heart desires.

Having the reception at my parents house has already alone saved us thousands of dollars, which we are so grateful for. Not to mention, my dad just built an amazing deck! We are committed to staying on a budget and will be doing a lot of DIY projects for our reception. And we are so fortunate to have parents, siblings & relatives who are amazing cooks! They will be helping us with our wedding food and desserts!


Deciding on a theme was one of the easiest things for me since I knew exactly what would make us happy and what would really express our love for one another.

"Classic Romance" is the theme and our colors are Sangria, Blush, Gold, and Ivory. I want the look of our reception to be very effortless and simple, with lots and lots of roses! I believe that it's not about how mind-blowing the decorations are or how big the venue is; it's about the beautiful toasts and speeches, and the love from everyone that is present. That's what I want my family and friends to remember about my wedding day.


Being organized is key to pulling off a successful wedding. Not only will this save you time and stress when you need to find things quickly, but it will also help keep your budget on track.

Tools I am using:

Binder: I created this binder right after I got engaged with EVERYTHING wedding related.

Wedding Email: Create a completely new email address with your last names and wedding date, or just something that represents the both of you. This is a great way to stay organized on all of those vendor emails that you get. So much better than using your personal email, where you will have to sort out what is wedding material and what is not. Too much work, and it will definitely stress you out overtime.

Wedding Inbox: Designate an office drawer or a bin for anything wedding related that comes in the mail so that it doesn't get lost in the house.


Before I went out and bought everything, I put all of the ideas in my head on to paper. This really gave me a chance to see what I needed and what I didn't, so that there is no excessive spending. Once I figured all of that out, I went ahead and dedicated a couple of days to shop for everything!

And of course, I kept every receipt to make sure I know exactly how much I spent for the entire wedding. 

Like I said earlier, planning a wedding is hard work and it's not as glamorous as every one makes it seem...but it's definitely an experience that I will remember for the rest of my life! I can't wait to see everything unfold! 

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