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Thursday Tips: Let Your Personalities Shine


I love weddings where the bride and groom let their personalities shine through. Like at Nikki & Blake’s wedding. And Charlene & Ron’s wedding. And Liz & Ryan’s wedding. Whether it’s cultural heritage, favorite things, or items that speak to your relationship, anything that shares pieces of you are perfect complements to your wedding day.

So I thought I’d share photos from our wedding to show what I mean. I guess you could say I’m putting my money where my mouth is. Is that how it goes? I’m TERRIBLE with American idioms. But that’s a subject for a whole other post!

Cent and I met at Disneyworld, so after we were engaged, on a trip to Disneyland, I picked up these bride and groom Mickey hats.


And had our names embroidered. A pair of Mickey ears is incomplete without your name on the back!


I DIY-ed our programs and used the monogram of sorts from our invitations on the front of our program.


In addition to honoring my heritage and doing the Filipino traditions of Cord, Veil, and Coins, we also jumped the broom.


I have a feeling that Jumping the Broom will become even more popular with the movie coming out this weekend. Back when we were planning the online resources were few and far between!


Our bridal party was awesome. Enough said.


So the groom’s cake was a surprise for Cent. We had talked about it, but never really set it in stone. I had casually asked him what his favorite video game and system was…and this was brought to life:


Yes, we had a blue cake. I encourage brides to think outside of the white cake box and be bold! When Nikki told me her cake was going to be orange I was so excited. I told her mine had been blue! I totally get brides who love thinking outside the box.


Each of our tables were marked with Disney Movies instead of numbers. The head table was Lilo & Stitch. Other tables included The Lion King, Dumbo, Aladdin, and The Little Mermaid.


And below you’ll see at every place setting a Martha Stewart paper pom pom. I must have made at least 200, and at the time I didn’t know how I wanted to use them. I just gave bags full to our coordinator. I love that they became napkin rings. Later, the girls put them in their hair! See my tutorial here.


I’m a huge believer that your wedding should be about YOU, the bride and groom. I think that your personalities and relationship should be reflected through and through. With hints of who you were, who you are, and who you will become as a couple. There are so many way that this can be done – from the invitations to the ceremony to the favors and all the elements of the reception. And this doesn’t mean that your wedding has to be grandiose, I’ve totally seen weddings where most of the items were DIY projects that turned out beautifully. Having DIY’ed some of the items for our wedding, I will say that DIY-ing is not for the faint of heart – it’s A LOT of work! But when done right, definitely worth the effort.

So let your personalities shine!

Happy Thursday!

[All photos by Travis Hoehne]

A new series I’m participating in: Thursday Tips! Check out these posts for photography advice and be sure to visit Lauren at Every Last Detail, Jenna & Elizabeth at Little Bit Heart, Becky at Bowties and Bliss, Lauren at Love Milk and Honey, Mel at The Oceanside Bride, Colleen at Soundtrack To I DoShay Cochrane Photography, and Stremel Photography for more great wedding planning tips + more.


what next?

  1. Share this with brides you know!
  2. Subscribe to our new monthly e-zine: tips from the best in the industry on creating a stress-free wedding that honors your relationship and, most importantly, building a lasting wonderful marriage.  Leave a comment below or click here to sign up.
  3. See more inside scoop with other posts on wedding advice for brides & grooms here.

Contact Dallas wedding photographer Catie Ronquillo

Read the blog of Fort Worth Photographer Catie Ronquillo


For Brides: Online inspiration for your wedding


Now I love me some magazines, but I’m also a big fan of online wedding inspiration. When I was envisioning the look of our wedding, I would totally scour for photos, ideas, and traditions online…while at work. It was a way less obvious way of browsing for wedding inspiration than flipping through a wedding magazine. I used to work in a cubicle, staring at a computer screen all day, so a little respite into the blogosphere was very welcome.

Are you looking for online inspiration for your wedding beyond The Knot?

Well good news! A brand spanking new online wedding magazine launched today! Introducing Nonpareil Magazine:

Nonpareil Online Wedding Magazine
It has tons of DIY goodness, affordable, yet stylish centerpieces, and tutorials!

Another online wedding magazine that I’m a big fan of is Utterly Engaged. Having launched last year, they are now in their seventh issue:

And of course, it wouldn’t be a blog post of mine if I didn’t offer a few more blogs to peruse for inspiration and entertainment galore!

Happy Tuesday!

what next?

  1. Share this with brides you know!
  2. Subscribe to our new monthly e-zine: tips from the best in the industry on creating a stress-free wedding that honors your relationship and, most importantly, building a lasting wonderful marriage.  Leave a comment below or click here to sign up.
  3. See more inside scoop with other posts on wedding advice for brides & grooms here.


Getting lost on the Internet…


I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again, I’m a blog-a-holic. I read far too many blogs for anyone to keep straight, and yet I still keep my Google Reader jam packed. I’ve had the (1000+) post notice from Google before. Er, several times. This is when Google Reader gives up counting. Sometimes, I’ve had to just hit “Mark all as read.” But if I can get away with it, I’ll try to skim through and/or read all the good stuff.

Believe it or not, I still spend time reading wedding blogs. Why? Market research, of course. I love seeing what trends are in style, going out of style, and simply timeless. And no, I’m not longing to plan another wedding. Trust me, I’ll leave that to the wedding planners. But with a handful of friends springing up engaged, I thought I’d share my favorite wedding blogs.

So where do I spend my time in blog land when it’s not related to weddings? It’s a mix between business and fun.


  • Sage Wedding Pros – Michelle and Kelly are business dynamos teaching wedding pros how to rock their business.
  • Think Splendid – Liene is a social media maven and offers great advice for how to leverage it.
  • Lara Casey – She is Making Things Happen. all. the. time.
  • Brand Camp Blog – Advice on beefing up your brand.


So, there are more, but this is what is currently living in my Google Reader. I try not to subscribe to everything, otherwise I’d inevitably be glued to my laptop. All. the. time. And Cent enjoys interacting with me every now and then.

What are your favorite blog picks?

And because a picture will spice this post up, here’s my sister’s bouquet from the wedding.



My 365 Project


What is a 365 Project you ask? Well, it’s a personal project I’m taking on in 2010 to improve my photography and get me exercising my photographer muscles on new and varied subjects. I was inspired by Tasra Dawson who started her 365 project in September after a challenge by Scott Bourne of Photo Focus. I was intrigued by the project, but at the time I knew I wouldn’t be able to commit to it. So I put it off until January.

Welcome to January. And welcome to my 365 project which you can find at!

And for a little preview of today’s post, here’s the alternate shot I took:

Say goodbye to my last piece of Red Velvet cake for the time being, to be explained in a later post this week. Enjoy!

If you’re interested in starting your own 365 project or checking out all the folks who have started a project, visit Tasra’s site at

Happy Tuesday!



This Year, I Will…


Every end of the year I find myself writing out resolutions for things to do and not do in the upcoming year. But over time, I’ve found that resolutions are much like rules. Meant to be broken. Expected to be broken. Carrying out resolutions from January 1 through December 31 are few and far between, especially in my book.

So, I like the idea of intentions. An intention is a determination to do something act in a certain way.

In 2010, here are my intentions…

  • Personal intention: GIVE – Spend quality time with my hubby (laptop closed/phone aside!), give back to my community through our church. Give back to myself through healthy eating (Hello veggies!) and exercise 4 times a week.
  • Business intention: FOCUS & DEVELOP – Work on my business, not in it. Focus on following up and following through. Develop relationships with local wedding vendors.
  • Relationship intention: CONNECTION – Check in with my parents, sister once a week to see how they are doing. Check in with extended family and friends monthly. “Do it now” instead of the “I’ll do it later” (and forget) mentality.

I’m also going to be SMART. I’ve found that writing out goals have been far more successful, especially when written in a S(pecific), M(easurable), A(ttainable), R(ealistic), T(imely) way. For an easy way to write out your goals for 2010, you can download a SMART Goal Planning Exercise PDF from Sage Wedding Pros, one of my favorite resources for wedding businesses. They also blogged their intentions for 2010, love it!

I also found a set of Goal Setting Questions for 2010 from Simple Mom. It provides a great overview of all personal life aspects.

Another great tool for setting up goals for about 3 years is out is writing a 101 in 1001 list. I reviewed my list a couple of weeks ago and it was fun to see how much progress I made and how far I’ve come since 2007. I still have a little less than a year to go, and goals to cross off the list.

What are your goals for 2010?

And for a little fun to ring in the new year, here’s a Mash Up of Billboard Top 25 Pop Hits.



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