Esther & Silas’ Vancouver Wedding

My cousin Esther got married this past spring, and I was happily recruited to help with all the decorations, flowers, and event design for the joyous occasion! Esther is like a big sister to me, especially since we share the exact same genes (I’m not sure how scientific this is, but my dad is her dad’s brother and my mom is her mom’s mother). We have all the same relatives and call them all the exact same titles in Chinese, and if you know Chinese extended relative titles, you know there are always too many to remember on your own! My sister and I were blessed to be able to see Esther and her brother Jere twice as much during our childhood and even now, as our family gatherings can be few and far between.

Esther’s wedding was definitely a reason for our families to gather and celebrate! And, oh my, it was a blast. :) We feasted, we wedding-prepped, we stayed up late, and we walked around and lounged around doing nothing in particular, but loved every minute of togetherness.

Here are some photos from Esther and Silas’ wedding day, captured by her talented photographer Jaime Delaine. More pictures can be found on her blog.

Westwood-Plateau-Wedding-Photos-45

Westwood-Plateau-Wedding-Photos-46

You might remember that when I got married (5 years ago just last week :)), I put together my own wedding bouquets and flower arrangements (and Esther actually helped out SO much too!). This time, I think I was better prepared for the daunting task — I did a lot of research, made “recipes” and sketches for my helpers and knew a little bit more in general about flower care and aesthetics.

Esther wanted a romantic, lush bouquet with lots of white, pink, and peonies. We also worked in some ranunculus, roses, pink spray roses, silver brunia berries, and dusty miller. I love the texture and color that the silver berries and dusty miller leaves add to the bouquet.

Westwood-Plateau-Wedding-Photos-24Westwood-Plateau-Wedding-Photos-27

Esther also requested silk boutonnieres since Silas is highly allergic to many flowers. I put these together before we even put in the flower order, but it was a happy coincidence that we ended up using a lot of the same flowers! We even had pussy willows incorporated into the altar decorations up front.

Westwood-Plateau-Wedding-Photos-44

Oh, and we can’t forget to mention the cutest little ring bearer and flower girl (aka my nephew and my cousin’s daughter)!

Westwood-Plateau-Wedding-Photos-28

The venue was a beautiful light-filled church in Vancouver. It had a gorgeous, exposed-beam ceiling and little twinkle lights strung up all over. We didn’t have to do too much to the space, since it was decorated in purple for Easter already. We decided to keep the purple up and just added some pink in there. You can also see the large arrangements up front that one of Esther’s bridesmaids helped me put together.

Westwood-Plateau-Wedding-Photos-31

Over at the reception site (Westwood Plateau), I had another team of people who helped me set up everything for the dinner. What a lifesaver they all were! Here are some shot of the reception area. I love that we included fresh flowers on the seating chart and the banner (flowers can be surprisingly resilient; we used hot glue!)

esthersilas487photo by Becca

For the table centerpieces, we decided to pair some rustic touches to match the reception room with some softer, romantic florals. Each table centerpiece consisted of a twine-wrapped wine bottle, a lace-covered mason jar with soft florals, a white pillar candle, and a framed table number. All the elements sat on top of a wooden tree slice, which rested on top of a linen table runner.

esthersilas476

Westwood-Plateau-Wedding-Photos-47

Westwood-Plateau-Wedding-Photos-48

As favors, we decided to set up a tea buffet for guests to help themselves to various flavors of tea. My sister hand-carried all of this tea to Vancouver from China! She spoke to the tea vendors she purchased the tea from and made brewing and tasting notes for each different type of tea. We typed those up and made little cards for guests to take home with them along with their teas.

Westwood-Plateau-Wedding-Photos-51

Westwood-Plateau-Wedding-Photos-49photo by Becca

esthersilas481

Here are a couple of photos of my (and Esther’s) grandparents from the photo garland behind the tea table. The black and white one in the middle top is a photo of my dad’s parents, and the one to the right of that is a photo of my mom’s parents.

Westwood-Plateau-Wedding-Photos-52

For the head table, I wanted to keep it pretty simple with just one main element that draws your attention. I enlisted the help of my cousin Janet to help me create a banner with Esther and Silas’ names in calligraphy. She did a fabulous job, and it looked beautiful with fresh flowers and hung up in front of the white drapery and twinkle lights (that Esther’s architect/pastor friend Jon put up for us!).

Westwood-Plateau-Wedding-Photos-53

photo by Becca

The wedding ceremony was so beautiful, and the reception was filled with AMAZING food (Hello king crab legs, raw oysters, mussels, cocktail shrimp, and smoked salmon. And that’s just what was on my first plate.), corny MC jokes courtesy of Esther’s brother Jere, and plenty of heartfelt speeches. It was so markedly evident that Esther and SIlas are dearly loved! Love you, Es! Welcome to the family, Silas. :)

Easter Printable Giveaway + Feature on Growing Weisser

Lavender's Blue Designs_Easter Printable_1

I’m so delighted to be featured on the lifestyle blog Growing Weisser this week! Growing Weisser is a lifestyle blog written by a mom and her four daughters. One of the daughters, Bekah, became a good friend of mine during my time in Grenada, and I also had the pleasure of getting to meet her lovely mother Kerry when she visited! I love the name they came up with for their blog — Weisser is the last of each of the girls (maiden names for all the daughters who’ve now all married and changed their names) and makes a perfect name for a blog that shares wisdom about topics like cooking, parenting, organization, crafts, and faith.

They kindly asked me to be a part of their Passion Perspective series on their blog this week, and I was happy and honored to be a part of it! Check out the complete interview over there every day this week. Read a little about my education and background, the journey of starting Lavender’s Blue, challenges I faced along the way, and some products and reviews.

Lavender's Blue Designs_Easter Printable_2

Also, be sure to enter the giveaway for a chance to win a free Easter Printable party pack!

Lavender's Blue Designs_Easter Printable_3 Lavender's Blue Designs_Easter Printable_4 Lavender's Blue Designs_Easter Printable_5 Lavender's Blue Designs_Easter Printable_6 Lavender's Blue Designs_Easter Printable_7 Lavender's Blue Designs_Easter Printable_8

Baby Audrey’s French Baby Shower

Lavender's Blue Designs | Yunah's Baby Shower_3

Lavender's Blue Designs | Yunah's Baby Shower_1 Lavender's Blue Designs | Yunah's Baby Shower_2

There must be something in Grenada water because it’s baby season for (practically) all my Grenada friends! Grenada’s become a very special place for Yunah and Jin because not only did they get married there, but they’ll soon be bringing back their baby girl Audrey to her new home in Grenada.

Some friends and I thought it would be fun to throw Yunah a French themed baby shower since Jin and Yunah just had their honeymoon in Paris this past summer. We went with a simple pink and black theme and threw in some polka dots and stripes for some extra Parisian flair. :)

Lavender's Blue Designs | Yunah's Baby Shower_4 Lavender's Blue Designs | Yunah's Baby Shower_5

We kept the menu simple with French foods like cheese and grapes, croissants, lavender lemonade, and vegetable crudites.

Lavender's Blue Designs | Yunah's Baby Shower_6 Lavender's Blue Designs | Yunah's Baby Shower_7 Lavender's Blue Designs | Yunah's Baby Shower_8 Lavender's Blue Designs | Yunah's Baby Shower_9

And for dessert, we had creme brulee cupcakes! So yummy.

Lavender's Blue Designs | Yunah's Baby Shower_10 Lavender's Blue Designs | Yunah's Baby Shower_11 Lavender's Blue Designs | Yunah's Baby Shower_12

We played a fun memory game and had a friendship flag activity to help decorate baby Audrey’s nursery.

Lavender's Blue Designs | Yunah's Baby Shower_13 Lavender's Blue Designs | Yunah's Baby Shower_14 Lavender's Blue Designs | Yunah's Baby Shower_15The party planners with the mommy-to-be.

Lavender's Blue Designs | Yunah's Baby Shower_16

Congrats on your baby girl, Yunah! We can’t wait to meet sweet Audrey.

Daniel & Gabriella’s Vintage Mod Wedding Invitations

Lavenders Blue Designs | Dan and Gabs_2

Growing up, I was blessed to have lived close to so many of my cousins. We’d stay for weeks at each other’s houses over the summers, where we’d spend the summer watching movies, making up our own games, producing and acting out our own versions of our favorite musicals (The Sound of Music!), and going swimming everyday. Now that we’re all grown up, with families of our own, it’s been a little harder to see each other quite so often. But I think those summer days cemented our cousin bond, and there will always be one special spot in my heart that only they can fill!

Of course, I was delighted when my dear cousin Gabby and her fiance Dan asked me to design their wedding suite for their OC wedding in Laguna Beach. They were inspired by the works of Taiwanese artist Michael Lin and wanted their invitation suite to have that same juxtaposition of vintage florals and modern typefaces and layouts. Here’s what we came up with:

Lavenders Blue Designs | Dan and Gabs_1Lavenders Blue Designs | Dan and Gabs_3 Lavenders Blue Designs | Dan and Gabs_4 Lavenders Blue Designs | Dan and Gabs_5 Lavenders Blue Designs | Dan and Gabs_6Gabs and Dan had an absolutely gorgeous wedding in Laguna Beach (that I sadly wasn’t able to attend :( ), and they did such a great job with all the vintage details and personal touches.

I wish so much I could have been there to celebrate with you both, but thank you for letting me share in your big day, nonetheless!

This is Grenada: Belmont Estate (Grenada Chocolate Factory)

LB_Belmont Estate_1

Belmont Estate is one of my very favorite places in Grenada; I could easily spend hours and hours there wandering through the gardens, petting goats, sampling chocolate, tasting goat cheese, and chatting with the talking parrot, Rainbow. The Estate is actually a fully functioning 17th-century plantation that houses a cocoa processing plant (which is why many on the island refer to it as the Chocolate Factory), organic vegetable garden, goat dairy farm, restaurant, petting zoo, museum, and arts & crafts collective. It’s located at the northern end of the island in the town of St. Patrick, which is just about two hours away from where we live in Grand Anse. Belmont is perfect for a day trip, and I’d recommend getting there just in time for their lunchtime buffet. :)

LB_Belmont Estate_2 LB_Belmont Estate_3

A buffet meal with all the local faire: salad with nutmeg dressing, sauteed provisions (root vegetables), chicken, local fish, beef, and mashed pumpkin.

LB_Belmont Estate_4

Local fruits and spices: jackfruit, papaya, coconut, turmeric, cashew fruit & nuts, tamarind, ginger, wax apples, cocoa beans, and many more that I can’t name. Belmont Estate comes down once every two weeks to the local farmer’s market in Grand Anse, and I’ve had the chance to get to know some of the people who work there. The plantation is one of the few places in Grenada where they grow jackfruit, and I’ve been lucky enough to buy jackfruit from them several times at the farmer’s market. Apparently, it’s not widely known or eaten in Grenada, so I often have Grenadians asking me how to eat it!

LB_Belmont Estate_5

A tour guide explains to us the process of making cocoa: cocoa pods are picked from the trees, their pulp is thrown into a bin where it is fermented for several days, and then the beans are laid out in the sun to dry on racks.

LB_Belmont Estate_7

At Belmont Estate, they have both traditional racks, which are rolled out when it is sunny and quickly rolled in when it rains or in the evening, and also newer structures that allow the sun to penetrate while protecting from rain.

LB_Belmont Estate_8 LB_Belmont Estate_9 LB_Belmont Estate_10

After the beans have dried completely, they are roasted and packed up to go to the Grenada Chocolate Company, where the chocolate is actually made. If you ever get a chance to try their chocolate, you’ll know that it’s about the closest to pure chocolate that you’ll ever taste. It’s also 100% organic and sustainably produced and exported (by sailboat!). They produce bars ranging from 60% pure chocolate to 100% pure chocolate (with a couple of specialty bars in between that contain things like Caribbean sea salt or cocoa nibs – yum!). I’ve only tried them in Grenada, but I’ve heard they’re available at Whole Foods too.

LB_Belmont Estate_11

LB_Belmont Estate_12 LB_Belmont Estate_13

Belmont is also home to The Goat Dairy, a non-profit organization dedicated to sustainable agriculture production, education, and empowerment among Grenada’s low-income families and youth. They provide training for local farmers and set up an educational program with the local elementary schools to teach students about agriculture, animal care, and home economics. They use the dairy farm as the centerpiece for teaching cross-curricular study, making it a teaching tool for teaching math, science, language, business, ethics, and art. Talk about project-based learning! There’s a really nice article here that describes the school project in more detail. Oh, and did I mention that they also make really great cheese?!

LB_Belmont Estate_14 LB_Belmont Estate_15 LB_Belmont Estate_16 LB_Belmont Estate_17

Some animals in the “petting zoo” and some photos from the organic garden.

LB_Belmont Estate_18 LB_Belmont Estate_19 LB_Belmont Estate_20 LB_Belmont Estate_21

And finally, a stop at the museum to learn all about the history of the plantation and to view some of the artwork of the local craftsmen.

LB_Belmont Estate_22 LB_Belmont Estate_23 LB_Belmont Estate_24 LB_Belmont Estate_25

A Rain-Themed Baby Shower for Baby Hallie

LavendersBlueDesigns_RainShower_1I had the chance to throw a baby shower for my dear friends Hoi and Nick this past summer (with the much-needed help of Valine and Christina too!). What a treat it was to love on them and to shower them with blessings and encouragement! Baby Hallie has since arrived, and she is every bit as darling as I imagined (those kissable cheeks!!). :)

LavendersBlueDesigns_RainShower_2 LavendersBlueDesigns_RainShower_3

LavendersBlueDesigns_RainShower_4 LavendersBlueDesigns_RainShower_5

_MG_0371 copy

LavendersBlueDesigns_RainShower_6 LavendersBlueDesigns_RainShower_7 LavendersBlueDesigns_RainShower_8

Congratulations on your new little bundle of sunshine, Hoi and Nick!

This is Grenada: Grand Anse Spice & Craft Market

1Crystal-clear water, long stretches of fine, white sand, easy access, and tons of shade-offering trees make Grand Anse Beach a favorite for locals and tourists alike. It’s also the perfect spot for a spice & craft market, and you’ll often find vendors walking the beach selling their handmade jewelry and “spice necklaces.” My friends and I spent the afternoon wandering through the open stalls, sniffing spices, chatting with local artists, and admiring all the handmade crafts and jewelry that the market had to offer.

LBDesigns_Craft Market1 LBDesigns_Craft Market2 LBDesigns_Craft Market3 LBDesigns_Craft Market4

This is a turtle shell/skin(underbelly?) that can be cut, smoothed, and shaped into a beautiful bracelet. Some of the other bracelets are made of coral or calabash shells.

LBDesigns_Craft Market5 LBDesigns_Craft Market6

Hand-carved and painted animals – perfect for a nursery!

LBDesigns_Craft Market7 LBDesigns_Craft Market8

Weathered hands work skillfully on a piece of jewelry.

LBDesigns_Craft Market9 LBDesigns_Craft Market10

A little bling-bling.

LBDesigns_Craft Market11

Photo on right by Kat Fung.

LBDesigns_Craft Market12 LBDesigns_Craft Market13 LBDesigns_Craft Market14 LBDesigns_Craft Market15 LBDesigns_Craft Market16

 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...