Archive | February, 2014

A Layer of Tulle

17 Feb

Hi hive! In my last post, I recounted the different options available for veils. So with so much to know and to think about, what did I end up choosing?

As I researched my options, I drew some conclusions:

  • I preferred raw, beaded, or lace edgings – beaded and lace were pretty, but expensive, so I was leaning more toward raw.
  • I looooved a long veil, but the train on my dress was already very long, so that meant an elbow-length veil would work best for me. Elbow lengths fall down in a way that don’t make me look short on my already-petite frame but still gave that flowing look I fancied. Also, elbow lengths were significantly cheaper.
  • I preferred a veil that didn’t go over my face, like the single-tier. Mr Big didn’t like the idea of having my face covered during the ceremony (“But then I can’t really see you face!” – he’s so cute <3) and the one time I was made to wear a two-tier veil, it kept brushing up against parts of my face and itching. Blugh.
  • If I absolutely, categorically had to wear the veil over my face, I preferred either the circular/cascading or square styles because, more-than-one-tier-veils = poufy.

And so, with these criteria, I searched around for some veils that caught my fancy. I remember coming across this and gasping audibly:

alisa brides veil

Perfection. / Veil and image from Alisa Brides.

It had everything I wanted in a veil: raw edge, lace appliques, single-tier, and elbow-length. However, I just wasn’t comfortable with the price. Alisa does beautiful veils, has great customer service, and will go out of her way to make any bride happy, but I just couldn’t pull the trigger. And so I kept searching.

I then came across this beauty:

juliet cap_sibo designs

Veil and image from Sibo Designs.

Again, this had everything I wanted. But again, the price was just much too high.

So what’s a girl to do? Well, this girl turned to Mandy.

When I suggested the veil idea to Mandy, we brainstormed. Initially, she was going to make me a Grace Kelly-esque veil – a drop veil with lace trim – but then she came across this:


Veil and image taken from Lilli Marcs.

Upon seeing this beauty, and knowing my dress as well as she does, she sent me a message, stating that it would suit my dress. I was smitten. It had the lace, the drape, and the simplicity of the raw edge. And most of all, it wouldn’t be going over my face. After my dress got underway, Mandy then helped me design my veil:

veil_preparing the lace

Preparing the lace on my veil. Wow, ignore the creeper expression in that third photo guys… / Images taken by BM Cupcakes.

During the third fitting, Mandy draped lace over my head, measured, trimmed and overlaid the lace. After asking me a few questions, she told me that it’d be prepared for the next time I came in.

When I came in next, Mandy placed the veil on me.


Close up of the lace on my veil and my veil from behind. / Photos via BM Superhero.


“Don’t mind me… just admiring myself in the mirror.” / Photo via BM Superhero.

I remember twirling around in it and just being an overall dillweed. It was safe to say that I absolutely loved my veil. In the end, I was so happy that Mama Bighorn convinced me to have a veil at the wedding. She was a little bit peeved that I wasn’t having a blusher at first, but on the day, she was so full of joy (much like I was).

And fact? I’m still in love with my veil.

Who else got talked into using something which they were initially against? Who ended up loving it to bits, and bits, and bits?


“Veiling” It Up

14 Feb

Warning: Some serious veil porn ahead! Also, this post is super long!

There was one thing I was pretty damn sure about after Mr Big and I were engaged: no veil for me. I asked Mr Big if he had any particular feelings about it. He didn’t. I didn’t either. So it was settled – I wouldn’t be wearing a veil.

I never really dreamt of ‘my dream veil’, and seeing the veil-flying-in-the-wind photographs didn’t really do anything for me. So, I thought it was settled.

Enter everyone else.

I was told by everyone and their grandmother that a veil was just what you did. Other words that go thrown in there: ‘once in a lifetime’, ‘your wedding’, ‘never get a chance to’. The most outspoken individual was Mama Bighorn. According to her, I had to wear a veil.

I asked her why. No reason. I just had to wear a veil.

I was a little bit grumpy about this. To me, the veil was an outdated notion. To me, the veil represented inequality in a relationship. Mr Big and my relationship is pretty equal – we’re intellectually, mentally and emotionally compatible in many ways. No inequality here!

Plus, Mr Big and I had been cohabitating for a year before we were engaged. You could even say that we “moved quickly” in our relationship. So why did I need to wear a veil when saying “I do”?

However, after many a (loud, weepy) argument, I begrudgingly conceded to her on one condition: No. Poofy. Veils.

poofy veil

Pretty on some. Not on me. / Veil and image from Svitlana Bridal Veils.

I also didn’t really like tulle up all over my face, but apparently Mama Bighorn didn’t agree with me. I debated on the sort of veil I could wear on the day for a while, and then I saw this picture:

i try to be like grace kelly ohhh

“I try to be like Grace Kelly, ohhhh~” – the ever-elegant Grace Kelly. / Image via The Ethereal Bride.

Suddenly, veils were looking more and more attractive. I found out after some research that this veil was called a ‘drop veil’ and was literally just a circular piece of tulle that’s ‘dropped’ over the head (hence, ‘drop veil’). Although, some sources mentioned it was a ‘mantilla veil’, a veil originating from Spain that’s usually lace-trimmed and worn in a similar manner.

After looking up the difference between the mantilla and the drop veil, I came to one final conclusion: “Man, there are a LOT of veils out there.”

So hive, before I launch into the story on how I found my veil, let’s talk wedding veils.

If you go to most websites selling veils, they’ll split it up into a few categories: colour, length, style, fullness, edge, and embellishments. I was pretty. darn. overwhelmed when I saw just how much thought you have to put into a veil. Couldn’t I just pick one and be done with it? Undeterred though, I soldiered on.

First things first, colour. This is basically like choosing the ‘type of white’ on a dress. Most veils have, at minimum, three colours: white, silk white (or ‘off white’), and ivory. I’ve also seen the colour ecru (more creamy than ivory) being used, as well as ‘shimmer’ options (basically, glittery tulle).


Swatches from Wedding Veils Australia. From bottom to top: white, silk white, ivory, ecru, white glimmer, diamond white glimmer, and ivory glimmer.

Some websites, like the one above and this one, let you choose custom swatches too (blush, champagne, latte, etc.). According to my research:

  • White – matches pure white dresses (duh)
  • Silk White – matches diamond white dresses
  • Ivory – matches ivory dresses (double duh)
  • Ecru – goes well with champagne dresses

Next up we have length. Length varies from seller to seller, but the typical lengths available to brides are:

  • Shoulder – This is also known as a blusher. It’s a short veil (like the first picture in this post), and is usually about 30”/60cm in length.

Photo and veil from Etsy shop, Olive White Wedding.

  • Elbow – A more conservative and traditional choice, this veil customarily falls straight to the bride’s elbow (hence, ‘elbow’ length). It’s usually about 33”/70cm in length.

Photo and veil from Etsy shop, Simply Blue Bridal.

  • Fingertip – The fingertip veil is another traditional choice. Longer than the elbow-length, it falls to about the bride’s fingertips (they’re very original with these names, aren’t they?). It’s customarily 38”-40”/100cm in length and is a popular choice because it allows others to see the back of the wedding dress through the tulle.

Veil and photo from Etsy shop, myrakim.

  • Waltz – A waltz veil comes to about the mid-calf of a bride, so allows the bride to wear her veil all day if she wanted to. It runs to about 60”/165cm in length.

Photo and veil from Etsy shop, Urban Veil Couture.

  • Floor – The floor veil is just that: it sweeps on down to the floor, just grazing it, and is customarily the length of the bride’s dress. It’s about 72”/180cm in length. Or in my case, it would be 150cm, because I’m short.

Photo and veil from Etsy shop, Ellie Lane Designs.

  • Chapel – A chapel length veil flows to the floor and then extends beyond the bride’s gown. It can act as a train to brides with little to none in their dress and runs to about 90”/240cm.

Image from Hive member moderndaisy. Photography by Cliff Mautner Photography.

  • And Cathedral – a cathedral veil was worn by the famous Princess Diana when she got married to Prince Charles. This veil is loooooooong, or at least, can be super long. Princess Diana’s was about 24ft! They can come in a variety of lengths, but typically range from 108”-120”/275cm long.

Style is broken down into whether you want the veil tiered or not. Brides who want tiered veils typically like the ‘poofy’ look. Tiered veils consist of more than one piece of tulle, depending, of course, on the type of tier you want. You can also vary the length of the tier according to the lengths listed above.

If you want to learn more about specific styles, go to this website. They have a breakdown of the types of tiers you can have combined with different veil lengths. But in the interest of time (and my sanity), I’ll use the KISS rule (Keep it Simple [Stupid]):

  • The Single Tier is just that – one layer of tulle, cut with either a rounded edge or a pointed edge, and then gathered at the top.
single-tier veil

A single tier, fingertip-length veil with Alencon lace edging. Photo and veil from Teri Huang.

  • The Two Tier consists of two layers of tulle, sewn together and gathered at the top.
two-tier veil

A two-tier, pencil-edged veil, with one tier at fingertip length, and the other at waltz. Photo and veil from Shirley Renee Designs.

  • The Three Tier consists of three layers of tulle, sewn together and gathered at the top.
three-tier veil

From Hive member mille.3, wearing a three-tiered veil consisting of a two-tier elbow length veil, and a 200cm cathedral.

For those of us who don’t really like the poofy, tiered look (like me), the options are:

  • Circular, or Cascading, which consists of one piece of tulle cut in a circular fashion, folded in half to create 2 layers, and gathered in the centre.  When fastened with either a hair pin or a hat pin (and therefore, no gathers in sight), it’s more commonly known as the Drop Veil, such as the one worn by Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton.
  • And Square, which is also one piece of tulle, however, cut into a square. It’s folded to create 2 layers and four corners, and is also centre-gathered.
square cut veil

Image taken from Wedding Veils Australia.

The fullness of the veil refers to the width of the veil material (most commonly, tulle). The basic idea of fullness is this: the wider the material, the more full the veil is due to an increase in the number of folds. There are typically three types of fullness:

  • No gathers, or sheer fullness, which basically means that there are little to no gathers in the veil. This type of style is available with circular/cascading and square veils. For a veil with ‘no gathers’, the tulle is cut from material that is 54”/137cm wide. The drop veil as worn by Kate Middleton, and the veil worn by Grace Kelly, is examples of this type of veil.
  • Normal gathers, or standard fullness, are available in tiered, circular and square veils, with the top tier (in tiered veils) typically worn over the face. This is your standard, run-of-the-mill veil, which is cut from material 72”/183cm wide.
  • Full gather, or extra fullness, is cut from material 108”/274cm wide. This type of veil has more ‘poof’ to it, and therefore, more folds. It can be worn with tiered, circular/cascade, and square veils.
veil fullness

From left to right, sheer fullness/very little gathers, standard fullness/normal gathers, and extra fullness/full gather. / Image from Occansey Designs.

Edges are just that – the edge of the veil. There are a number of things brides can do to the edge of their veils, and these seem to be the most popular:

  • Cut/Plain/Raw Edge – Like the title implies, there’s no edging to the cut/plain/raw edge. Because of this, it suits most dresses – think of it as a one-size-fits-most.
  • Pencil Edge – The pencil edge is the universal edge on most veils. It’s thin (approximately 0.0625”/0.16cm) and softly ruffled.
  • Satin Cord – The satin cord edging is rounded and sits at approximately 0.125”/0.32cm and is also known as a ratstail edging. Another term for it is “piping”.
veil edges_1

From left to right: raw/plain edge veil from Simply Blue Bridal; pencil edge veil from clager6; and satin cord veil from Marisol Aparicio.

  • Russia Braid Trim – This edging is made from a satin cord with a centre dip. The braid trim lies flat and is approximately 0.118”/0.3cm.
  • Ribbon – Ribbon is, by far, the most varied edging next to lace and beaded. It can come in a variety of widths and colours to suit the bride’s dress and style.
  • Filigree or Rippled Edging – Filigree or ripped edging is thin like the pencil edge; however, has a “ripple” which creates a wave-like effect on the veil.
veil edges_2

From left to right: Russia braid edging from Elizabeth Dickens Studios; ribbon edge veil from La Bargain Boutique; and filigree/rippled edging from Wedding Veils Australia.

  • Beaded – Like the ribbon, a beaded edge comes in a variety of, well, varieties! Some elements used in veils include rhinestones, crystals, glass pearls, and diamantes.
  • Lace – Again, another popular choice. Lace edges are typically used in types of veils such as the Juliet Cap Veil (or simply, the Cap Veil) and Mantilla Veils.
veil edges_3

On the left, a beaded edge veil from harsuccthing; and on the right, a lace-edged mantilla veil from Smitha Menon Bridal.

And finally, there are embellishments. Embellishments do just that – they embellish the veil. Normally, embellishments are scattered about the veil. This is especially true with crystals or rhinestones which catch the light, therefore creating the affect that the bride is ‘glimmering’. However, veils can also be embellished with scatters of lace, or even silk flowers.

Instead of me yammering on about it, how about I just show you pictures:

rhinstone embellished veil

Shoulder-length veil with Swarovski rhinestone embellishments. / Veil from Etsy shop, sibo designs.

flower-crystal embellished veil

Elbow-length veil with flower and crystal embellishments. / Veil from Etsy shop, pureblooms.

lace applique veil

Royal Cathedral-length veil with lace applique. / Veil from Alisa Brides.

Let’s also not forget to mention the fan-favourites – the birdcage veil and the cap veil:

veil_fan faves

Left, birdcage veil by Etsy seller, The Honeycomb; and right, cap veil by Nerida Mason.

So, with all these options now laid out in front of me, I now had to choose what I wanted. But I’ll leave that for a next post!

What’s your favourite style? Are you a poofy-veil fan, a not-so-poofy veil fan, or anti-veil?

Evolution of The Dress: The Obligatory Dress Post

5 Feb

First off guys, I’m sorry for my week-long absence. I’m still waiting for my pro photos to come back, but I’ve been seeing guest photos coming out in the past week (and it’s getting me all nostalgic, aww). Anyway, I can’t promise to write as “regularly” as I normally would, simply because I haven’t got an awful lot of wedding-related things talk about (unless of course you want me to just gush on about my husband – hus-band – I like that word). But I’ll endeavour to write when I can!

So, moving on from all that.

Hi Hive! I recall writing to you about my search for a dress and my ultimate decision to go with a dress designer who creates dresses from scratch.

Well, here it is: The Quintessential Dress Post.

Mr Big has already seen her so Lilu will let him pass:

Fifth Element Multipass

Image via DailyPop.In.

Because my dress was constructed from scratch, she obviously didn’t have a name. However, on the day, the most common word I got from guests was ‘radiant’. And henceforth, she shall be called Radiant.

Radiant first came to me after that eventful day shopping in Cabramatta’s True Love Couture. I wanted a flowing dress, lace, some bling but not too much, but most of all, I wanted to feel like a stunner (I mean, who doesn’t want to feel like a million bucks on their wedding day?).

When I saw Mandy again, we designed Radiant on a piece of paper, talked about what I wanted, what would look nice, and what would, and sadly wouldn’t, work. By the time we had her all drawn out, Mandy asked whether we should get started sooner rather than later. Because I was in the process of shedding kilos, I told her later would be better, so the construction of the dress didn’t get underway until September.

To be honest guys, I yo-yo’ed many times on her design: did the bodice work? What about the sleeves? Could I dance in her? Would I overheat? What about the train, is it too long? What if people hate her? What if I hate her? WHAT IF MR BIG HATES HER?

Mandy (bless her) put up with my paranoia and was able to guide me the.entire.way through the process. Now before I continue…

Soap box time: If you have doubts about your dress choice (dress regret, two words a bride hates), don’t let them fester. I let my opinions be known to Mandy (politely, of course) and she was able to either talk me down or help me improve the design. I know not every bride can get their dress designed from scratch, but even a store bought dress can be altered to suit your needs if you but request for those changes. Heck, I found most of my anxiety was unfounded. All I needed was to just talk about it. 🙂 So for those suffering the dreaded dress regret, keep your chin up!

Getting back on track: after losing about 10 or so kilograms, I went in for my first fitting in about September.


I know guys. I know. I look odd. / Photo taken by Mandy.

As you can see, it doesn’t really look like much. This was the basic construction, but even then, I felt pretty darn good about myself. I went back home and sent these super secretive photos off to my bridesmaids and was met with positive responses. My bridesmaids were eager to come along during the next fitting.

The next time I came to Mandy was about early December and I was met with this:

dress fitting 2

Sleeves – Check; Lace – Check! Also, I’m slouching horribly. / Photos taken by Usher/Friend Bee.

During this fitting, Mandy added things as I stood in front of the mirror. I literally saw the dress transform as she worked. It was amazing:

dress fitting 2_transformation

Lace on sleeves and bodice – Check! Skeleton of corset back – Check! (Sorry about the icky skin guys…) / Photos by Usher/Friend Bee.

My friend, Bee, took photos as we went, including close-ups of Mandy’s work.


My friend, Bee, taking this photo. She’s awesome like that! Also in this picture from left to right, me, BM Proper, MoH M&Ms, and BM Superhero. If you’re reading this BM Superhero, HI! / Photo taken by Friend/Usher Bee.

She and all the other bridesmaids fawned over my dress for a good hour. I have honestly never felt prettier in my life (well, except for when I got married, hahaha!). When Mandy was satisfied with what she had done, we made another appointment and then parted ways.

Next time I saw her was in late December, about three weeks before the wedding. I was getting pretty darn nervous at this point – would the dress get done on time? My nerves were calmed when I saw what Radiant looked like now:


Photo by BM Cupcakes. Friend Bee couldn’t make this trip unfortunately. And can you spot the designer in the background?

My nerves then gave way to excitement as, again, Mandy added more and more to her design as my bridesmaids and myself watched on:

dress fitting 3_transformation

In these photos: more detail to the bodice and sleeves; and peppering of lace flowers on the skirt (I know, it’s hard to see, sorry guys). / Photo by BM Cupcakes.

It’s odd being the ‘mannequin’ from whom the designer works on, especially as I’m not exactly “model size”, but it was fun. Although apparently half the time I was either very rigid-backed or slouching like a mofo because I didn’t want to get in Mandy’s way.

After she was satisfied with her work for that session, we made the fourth and final appointment, but not before getting a group photo!


From left to right: BM Superhero, Mama Bighorn, myself, MoH M&Ms, BM Cupcakes (in red), and BM Proper. / Photo taken by Mandy.

I’d be picking up Radiant in about a week!

When the day came, unfortunately, Mandy had a rush order from a bride. We postponed to the next day, and double unfortunately for me, most of my bridesmaids couldn’t make it. Luckily, BM Superhero was there to save the day! (As usual.)

When BM Superhero and I got to Mandy, she looked pretty damn tired. And yet she still managed to get this beauty ready for me:


Yes, that is a posed shot. And yes, she also made my veil, but that’s for a different post! / Photo via BM Superhero.

From the back, the dress was a real stunner:

corset back

I loooooove this part of my dress the most. / Photo via BM Superhero.

Mandy also did a simply bustle, which you can kind of see when you look at the close up of the corset back. It was a one-point over bustle, according to Miss Filly (thanks for posting that Miss F!).

During the fitting, I also hammed it up for the camera:


Showing off mah bling! / Photo via BM Superhero.

And we got some close-up shots of some of my accessories to make sure it all fit together:


After thanking Mandy profusely for her tireless work, hugging her, and getting a picture with BM Superhero:


We parted ways for the final time, lugging Radiant back home. Mr Big, who was on a business trip in Melbourne at the time, wasn’t around to see her coming back home (thankfully!).

And so, with that, I had a dress!

Who else got nervous about their dress? Anyone else suffer the dreaded dress regret? How did you get past it?

I Programmed (and Signed)

3 Feb

You may recall in a last post I was whining inquiring on whether or not I should do a program for the ceremony. Well, after some mulling, talks with Mr Big, and a quick assemblage of text types in Photoshop, I decided that the program was a goer.

So what did I choose?

Well, I’ll let the photos speak for themselves:

censored_ceremony sign

Personal image. Names blurred to protect the innocent.


Personal image.

That’s right, guys.

We chose the program poster in canvas. Initially I was unsure about using canvas due to the expense. A typical 20”x30” canvas poster runs to about $100 in Australia. It was then that I realised I had another friendor in my life who owned his own camera shop.

After I called Friend T, he agreed to do the canvas printouts at a far cheaper rate than normal. He printed them out, giving me proofs on the way, and then had Usher/Friend Cap drop them off at my house.

I’m happy to say they were perfect.

The actual design of the programs was done in conjunction with me and MoH M&Ms, who’s a whiz on Photoshop. She designed the cherry blossoms around the edges and it looked stunning on canvas.

Finally, Papa Bighorn came up with the idea of using different music stands to sit the signs on at the ceremony. The big signs (top) would sit on an altered guitar stand and the little signs (bottom) would sit on a music book stand.

As you can see, I was so excited I took pictures.

All up we had four signs – two big and two little – at the wedding; two of them were programs, and the other two were signs. They worked effectively, looked beautiful, and I love how they turned out. And most of all, when Mr Big and I finally get a house, we can display these somewhere as a keepsake from the wedding!

Did anyone else use canvas program/signs at their wedding?

Post-Wedding Feels

1 Feb

First off, I’d like to wish the Hive a Happy Chinese New Year. May the Year of the Horse bring each and every one of you good luck, joy, prosperity, and good fortune. 🙂

stupid fox_CNY

Yay, Stupid Fox! / Image via the StupidFox Facebook page.

Now, I thought I’d post this before recaps.

Most couples get to ride off into their honeymoon after the wedding, but Mr Big and I went straight back into life. Our honeymoon won’t be until April 2014 (more on that later!), so that meant after one week of rushing around getting everything sorted for the wedding, we spent another week catching up with out-of-town and in-town guests.

The week after the wedding was fabulous, but crazy. Mr Big and I both agreed though that every second of our time spent was worth it (even though we were so tired by the end of every single day). I won’t go through everything we did – I’ll just let the pictures speak for themselves:


A caricature with some awesome friends in Chinatown. / Photo via Friend Car (the one on the bottom right), caricature by an awesome artist in Chinatown.


Mr Big getting his caricature on. / Personal photo.


Skyping with family in Indonesia. You can’t really see, but the person in the little inset is my grandmother, who couldn’t make it to the wedding. / Image by Cousin Fray, who took this on the other side of the Skype screen.


Saying farewell and good luck to BM Superhero, who moved to SF a few days after the wedding. 😦 She stayed for a little bit longer in Australia to attend the wedding. I have awesome friends. We got her the Despicable Me PoP! Vinyls (top right). / Photo by BM Superhero.

nz fish and chips

Making creepy faces at the camera while eating Kiwi-Style fish and chips. In this photo, from bottom to top, Friend Hocks, Friend Car, Mr Big, and me (with the creepy eyes). / Photo by Mr Big.

WP_20140125_13_48_49_Pro (2)

Taking pictures with Bighorn Sheep relatives in Taronga Zoo, while hanging out with awesome friends GM Xbox and Good Luck Lady Lucky and their ADORBS two kids. Mr Big unfortunately had the sun in his eyes (it’s good being short sometimes). Also, notice the ring! / Personal photo.

After a whirlwind week of eating, drinking, socialising, and eating (I kid you not, I must have gained at least 5kgs that week), we had to go back to work/university in the coming week.

Fortunately, Mr Big’s work flew him out to Melbourne for a week and he took me along with. Because Monday was a public holiday (Australia Day!), we spent the day shopping up a storm in Melbourne Central (discounts, ftw!) and watching movies (we watched 2 in one day, it was awesome). And then commenced the work!

I’ve basically been sorting out my university work before university officially begins in March. Mr Big has been at work and has been smashing it (he’s a genius, he is).

I did however get a post-wedding chop:


I called myself psychotic in this photo. BM Cupcakes agreed. And yes, I’m wearing a Batman tee. / Personal photo.

And just to cap this post off, our first meal as a married couple was KFC.


It was then I realised how much I hated it.

Who else had a whirlwind first week as a married couple? Does my hair look ok guys?