Tag Archives: linda hoang

Wedding Playlist: Pachelbel – Canon in C


I have always loved Pachelbel’s Canon. Years ago when I was in my Korean music/movie-loving phase (lol, believe me, it’s a phase that many people go through!), I watched a movie called “My Sassy Girl.” In it, the main girl of which the main guy falls in love with, plays Pachelbel’s Canon in C in her piano class as he delivers her a rose and they kiss on the stage. Very beautiful moment! The song has stuck with me ever since that moment. Mike has also made me a CD in the past featuring various versions of Pachelbel’s Canon as well. It’s very Wedding Playlist-worthy!

Consider it added to Mike & Linda’s Royal Wedding Playlist!

– Linda

Wedding Playlist: John Michael Montgomery – I Swear

“I Swear” by John Michael Montgomery has been one of Mike’s favourite songs for as long as he can remember. He has serenaded it to me before (many times) and it’s definitely a song that will be played at our wedding! It’s a beautiful song and almost makes me tear up listening and thinking about my love!! :) Listen below – (excuse the Chinese subtitles lol).

Consider it added to Mike & Linda’s Royal Wedding Playlist!

– Linda

Wedding Venue Options

Ah, wedding venues.
I have been thinking a lot about Edmonton (and area) wedding venue possibilities.

What venue should we choose for the wedding ceremony? What venue should we choose for the wedding reception? Should we choose a venue where we can have both ceremony and reception at the same place for convenience (and would this also be a money saver)? If we choose a venue for the reception, should we look for one where we have the option of providing our own caterer (would that be cheaper?) Does the reception venue allow for an open bar where we can provide the alcohol and don’t have to purchase it through the venue (because that would be way more expensive).  Should we choose a reception venue where we do have the ability to provide our own caterer and open bar but then we also will have to provide chairs and tables and all those other miscellaneous “rentals” that would start adding up (ie. if we chose a hall). If we choose an outdoor ceremony venue – what if the weather is bad that day? What will our backup be? How far away should the ceremony venue be from the reception venue? If we choose a venue that’s outside of Edmonton, is that making it too hard for certain guests to get to and from? Do my parents like or approve of the venue? How much of my parents’ opinion am I to take into account?! (That’s a whole other blog post in itself though, really). Those are the kind of thoughts that have been processing through my brain!

Did reading through it make your head hurt too? lol.

These are a couple options we’ve narrowed it down to, though this first one is pretty much not happening though I still wanted to include it in the list:

Eagle Rock Golf Resort

Photo courtesy: Eagle Rock Resort

I think this is a gorgeous venue for a ceremony and subsequent Wedding Day photos location. The rental cost for both ceremony and reception being held here is pretty reasonable I would say ($1,600). Whereas ceremony alone is a little ridiculous ($1,800). Plus you can only have your ceremony from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. if you just choose to do the ceremony there. That wouldn’t work for us given that we’re going to be having a Vietnamese wedding tea ceremony the morning of our wedding. So ideally if we chose this location we would do both ceremony and reception here which I am fine with, their food selection + price is reasonable, I think. Under $40 a person? Remember this is all new to me so I’m only starting to get an idea on how cheap or how expensive things can get.

However (and unfortunately) there are downsides to Eagle Rock (pouty face). Those downsides include:  it’s 45 minutes from Edmonton. It’s literally out in the country, away from anything else, so there would be no nearby hotels for people to stay in. Since it’s so far out, if people are drinking at our wedding (which I would assume the majority are) then it would be an extremely expensive cab ride back home and/or everyone would need to make designated driver plans. My parent’s don’t like the venue at all because of all those reasons. Eagle Rock also only allow you to have an open bar if you buy from them so that ups the alcohol costs up by a lot. And I’m sure there would be other costs that would arise if/when Mike and I went to meet with them and check out the site.  We are basing all of this current information from their online wedding information booklet.

So Eagle Rock was originally my #1 preferred location for both ceremony and reception but I’m all iffy on it because of the downsides and my parents are completely not okay with it being so far out in the country, which brings us to option two (and the one that we will most likely end up choosing):

Mayfield Inn

Photo Courtesy: bride.ca

 I really do want an outdoor wedding but we really like the Mayfield Inn option for an outdoor-feeling/looking wedding, but held in indoors. If we book the Mayfield for both ceremony and reception then the ceremony rental of the Mayfield Garden Courtyard with Thai Pagoda is only $500. I am still checking with Mayfield to see how much renting the reception ballroom space would be, but I’m assuming it would equal out to about the same as – if not cheaper than – Eagle Rock. There are a bunch of benefits that go with booking at the Mayfield including the fact that we’d get cheaper rates for our out-of-town guests, we’d get a complimentary suite to stay in, inclusion of microphone and sound system equipment, we’re able to provide our own alcohol/open bar, and the food pricing is not to bad (under $50 a person, which is what we were expecting to pay had we decided to go with a reception at a Chinese restaurant). Plus it’s within the city – which would appease the parentals.

Photo Courtesy: bride.ca

The reception ballroom is also huge and gorgeous – and they have various sizes that could accommodate however many guests we end up having. That’s important because a lot of venues aren’t available to us because we expect to have quite a big wedding (200-250 people). We are meeting with someone with the Mayfield Inn later this month to check out everything in person and hopefully answer any other questions that we have so we’ll have a better idea towards the end of the month whether or not this is where we’d like our wedding to take place, but so far it’s looking like the top option at this point. Then there’s the next option:

Snow Valley (The Lodge)

Photo courtesy: snowvalley.ca

 Did you know you can get married at Snow Valley? When I first saw this option during my Internet searches, I was a bit skeptical because the first thing I think of when I hear Snow Valley is – obviously – snow, snowboarding, skiing – not exactly the kind of weather I want for my wedding. But when I checked out the site I saw that it looks to be a really cute venue for having both ceremony and reception! (Or just ceremony, which would cost about $450 to rent for three hours). Their food selection and prices look decent as well (about $35-$45 a person, depending). Some possible downsides is that the reception area can only hold 225 people, which should in theory be enough if we invite 250 people there’s a good chance 25 of them will RSVP that they can’t come. But that’s something to think about in the event that everyone we invite actually does want to come. I’m also not too sure what their policy is on open bar/us providing the alcohol is, but I have been in touch with them and am awaiting a reply on those answers and hopefully a chance to check out the site in person as well.

Photo courtesy: snowvalley.ca

But the lodge reception area itself (based on pictures) looks great, and the outside ceremony looks really cute too. Again we will need to meet with Snow Valley to see if this is where we’d like to have either ceremony or reception or both. At this point it is in second place, after the Mayfield.

Other possibilities

I’ve got a few emails in with independent caterers who have given me pretty decent quotes for catering if we were to hold the wedding reception at a hall (hall to be determined). Mike and I are also considering the Edmonton Police Association’s “Blue Meadows” hall/site. It apparently is only rentable through an EPS member (and Mike’s grandpa is a former cop and his cousin is a current cop so this would work). I just don’t know much about it/can’t find much information about it online (there’s only a teeny blurb about it on the police website) so that’s also tentative. But it looks like it would be so beautiful…

Blue Meadows. Photo courtesy: Instant Memories Wedding Photography

It may be too out-of-the-city for my parents though. Sigh. I didn’t realize this was going to be such a problem for my parents but it apparently is :(

I checked out some City of Edmonton park spaces where the ceremony could be held but a lot of places either don’t have enough capacity, can’t be closed to the public, or is too expensive if we did want it closed to the public. There’s a few other hotel wedding booklets I’ve downloaded as well but am not extremely attached or in love with any of them (and some of them are expensive, wow!) The Devonian Botanical Garden is also a beautiful, beautiful setting for a wedding ceremony – but forget about it as soon as you look at how much it costs. I was looking at Shalom Park as well, which is kind of like Eagle Rock-esque,  so it’s probably a no-go. If we go Chinese restaurant for the reception then it will likely be at Cha for Tea Palace.

Backyard Wedding

Photo courtesy: joannagoddard.blogspot.com

The above-listed venues aside, I really wouldn’t mind having just a lovely backyard wedding. I just really don’t know what backyard could house 200-250 people. :( Sad face. (If you know of a backyard that big that could be given to me for several hours on my wedding day, feel free to let me know!)

But anyway, these are some of the options and some of the thoughts that are rolling around in my mind that I wanted to jot down for this engagement adventure. Our budget is hopefully going to be around $20,000 because we’ve come to terms with the fact that food alone is likely going to be $10,000. There’s a lot of Do-it-Yourself stuff that I plan or hope to do (invitations, centre pieces, etc. That will be another blog post, lol), but wedding ceremony and reception venue-wise, I would like to choose somewhere that requires little labour on our end – so places like hotels are ideal for that. Also ideal for being in the city.

This will probably be one of the longest wedding blog posts I do because this is a big back and forth thinker. What are your thoughts? What do you think looks or sounds good? Have you been to any wedding ceremonies or receptions at any of the above mentioned places? And how much should I be taking my parent’s preferences into consideration? HM.

I think the next blog post will be far more light-hearted.
I’m thinking another wedding playlist post, lol.

– Linda

My Wedding Pinterest!

I have been sitting on my Pinterest account for awhile now (while it gains popularity, which it has, lol. It’s a fairly new social network where you “pin” your interests on boards, fyi!) I wasn’t really into it at first but then I realized today that there is an entire Wedding Section!!

So I started a Wedding Ideas Pinterest Board and I think it’s given me a lot of great ideas and will be (along with this blog) a great wedding reference as this engagement progresses! I can see myself becoming very addicted to “pinning” :)

Are you on Pinterest? Add me! ;)

– Linda

Wedding Playlist: Plain White T’s – 1, 2, 3, 4

My Wedding Playlist post about Hedley’s new song also reminded me that the Plain White T’s “1, 2, 3, 4” is definitely going to be played at our wedding!

This song has special meaning for Mike & I because it was playing on our first date and it was playing when we first said our “I love you’s”

:) ♥

Consider it added to Mike & Linda’s Royal Wedding Playlist!

So cute!

– Linda

Wedding Playlist: Hedley – Sweater Song

I heard this new song from Hedley called the “Sweater Song” today and could completely picture it being played at our wedding!!

Consider it added to Mike & Linda’s Royal Wedding Playlist!

So cute!

– Linda

Renting a Wedding Photobooth!

We don’t know where we want the venue of our wedding. We don’t know what themes or colours we want. We’re not sure what kind of food at the reception we should have. But what we do know (and have known, for a long time even prior to the engagement) is that we want a wedding photobooth!

This is mostly because of me. I love photos and photobooths. I think they’re becoming more common at weddings (and other events) these days, but a few years ago they were (to me) a pretty cool and different thing to have at a wedding. Mike agrees!

My wedding photobooth search in the past year (Mike and I have known we’ve wanted to get married for a long time, it was just never official until now but that didn’t stop me from looking wedding-related stuff up, lol) has led to about five Edmonton photobooth companies.

At this point we’ve narrowed it down to two local companies that could provide us with a photobooth on our special day:

Flashworks Photobooth

or

BMP Photobooth

We’ve actually had photobooth pictures taken from both of them – Flashworks while we attended the Bridal Show a couple months ago and BMP when we were at Capital Ex during the summer.

No decisions made on which to go with yet – and we won’t likely decide till a lot closer to the wedding date (which at this point is still an undetermined date in 2013), but it’s definitely something we’ll be budgeting for – and that I think would be a great addition to the reception.

Each guest/group of guests using the photobooth gets two copies. One copy they’ll be able to take home with them and the other copy we want guests to put in our wedding guestbook along with whatever message they end up writing! Something like this:

Photo Courtesy: Kelley Finnegan Blog/Sometimes Sweet Blog

There’s also this really cute Photobooth/Chalkboard idea
(thanks Angie for pointing it out to me!)

Photo Courtesy: welovelaughkiss blog + Love & Lavender

So we may include a chalkboard as one of the photobooth props available to our guests that day as well. :)

The way Flashworks/BMP’s rates look right now (before we try to haggle prices of course, lol) – is it’ll be about $700 for the lowest-end package. Both of those include unlimited number of photos for about 2-3 hours of booth rental time, digital copies, photobooth attendant, customized photo graphic/photo strip layout choice, choice of black and white or colour photos (colour of course!) and of course delivery, set up and tear-down.

I think these are all great features. The only thing I could see us wanting more of is how long the rental lasts and of course seeing if we can somehow get it for any cheaper, lol.

This is definitely something that I would prefer investing money into over say a fancy wedding cake. In fact I think we hardly care about the cake and at a lot of weddings I’ve been to, the cake has really just been an afterthought. Plus I’m not really big into sweets anyway. Mike had even suggested we can do wedding cupcakes instead of a cake – which I am also okay with!

Point is – I’d rather allocate more money towards the photobooth/photographer than on a really nice wedding cake. It’s far more important to me! :)

So have you been to a wedding where there was a photobooth? Was it a guaranteed hit? Have you had a wedding that featured a photobooth? Was it a great investment?

What do you think of having it weddings in general? Are there any other tweaks or ideas you’d suggest?

Feel free to leave a comment!! :)

– Linda

How we became engaged!

I thought it was funny after Mike and I got engaged, when everyone asked for “all of the details” of how he proposed because it’s not like it’s a long story!

It was quick, it was simple, but it was perfect.

On Christmas Eve, Mike and I were headed out of the city to spend Christmas weekend with his family. (Note: We had already celebrated Christmas with my family earlier in the week). We had to stop in Spruce Grove to pick up some bread for Mike’s Aunt’s spinach dip. I wasn’t really paying attention to the drive so it was a surprise when the car stopped, I looked up, and there were lit-up Christmas trees and people ice skating in front of me!

It was very cute! We hadn’t gotten a chance to check out the lights at Candy Cane Lane yet so Mike said this was to make up for that. We walked around the park, talking and taking pictures with the pretty trees, including this one:

There was one part that actually felt like it was out of a Christmas Tim Hortons commercial. People were skating and some were crowded around a bonfire. Then there was another group who were standing and sitting around a bench, pouring hot chocolate out of a big thermos with a Tim Hortons logo on it, lol!

More walking and then we started to head back to the car (didn’t want to be late for the family dinner!) and the next thing you know Mike’s poking my shoulder and I turn around and he’s bending down on a knee with the ring out!! I screamed “Oh my god!” and something like “are you serious” or “are you kidding” – I can’t remember, and Mike can’t either – he says he was so nervous he can’t really remember much about the proposal so he is absolutely no help in the creation of this blog page, lol.

Anyway, he said “Linda, will you marry me?” and I said “Yes!!!!!!!!!”

He put the ring on my finger, we hugged, we kissed, we became engaged!

The ring is pretty styling if I do say so myself. Mike’s got nice taste! Hehe. Unfortunately it was too big. (The above pictured is it in its non-resized form). I have very teeny fingers. Mike knows my size because I also have a promise ring from him (my ring size is 3 and a quarter apparently, while the average woman’s ring size is about 6 or 7!). But the Peoples Jewellers lady who sold him the ring told him they’d rather wait for me to come in and get it properly sized once instead of doing it and then maybe it’s not perfect (because too many re-sizings is bad for the ring!).

I called my family immediately – they already knew because Mike had gone and asked my parents for permission earlier that very same day! He didn’t want to wait around too long after asking them for permission either because he didn’t think that my parent’s could keep a secret for very long, haha! I texted my friends and as is the age we live in – I tweeted and announced the engagement on Facebook. Everyone was extremely supportive and very excited for us!!

Mike and I have been talking about getting married for a long time but didn’t really know when the engagement was actually going to happen. He had been saving money in his “super secret savings fund” for a long time so happy to say that the ring was paid for in full and he is in no debt because of it! (Smart guy!) So while I knew it was eventually going to happen, I absolutely had no idea it was going to happen on Christmas Eve!

Here’s a shot of the ring with the wedding band (below). I like it more than the ring alone but the band will get soldered on separately after our wedding.

So that is how Michael Brown proposed to me on Christmas Eve 2011!

– Linda

Welcome to Mike & Linda’s Wedding Blog!

Welcome to Mike & Linda’s Wedding Blog!!!

This is where we (well, mostly me, Linda) will be documenting the process (adventure!) leading up to our wedding! I will be posting about anything and everything related to weddings and things that would be applicable to our wedding.

Please visit often (I love website hits! lol) and celebrate our engagement and marriage with us online!

– Linda