Archive | Uncategorized RSS feed for this section

Break it down now!

6 Jan

RSVP breakdowns are always fun!

I love it when Bees give the Hive an idea on the demographics of their guests – where they’re from, how many people are attending, how many declined, who will be coming from out-of-town, etcetera, etcetera. It’s such a good way to get a snapshot of the wedding and definitely does give some awesome insights into the guests and the wedding itself.

Unfortunately, that means using programs like Excel. And guys, I am really bad at Excel. Mr Big is a pro at it, thankfully, so when I got this post under way, I turned to him for help. After some fiddling around, I managed to break down the RSVP list.

So without further ado, here’s the RSVP breakdown!

The Bighorns invited approximately 187 people to the wedding. Of the 187 people we invited, 43 of them declined, which means that our guest list sits at exactly 142 people (77% acceptance rate!). This means that approximately 23% of the people invited to our wedding declined to come.

RSVP breakdown_acceptance

Woohoo! People like us Mr Big!

Of the 142 people who accepted the invitation to the wedding, 98 will be attending the ceremony (69.0%), 58 will be attending the Chinese tea ceremony (40.8%), 26 will be going on the wine tour (18.3%), and 140 will be attending the reception (98.6%).

A total of 116 guests will be staying at the appointed guest accommodation, Crowne Plaza (81.7%), with 11 staying at other accommodation (7.7%) and 14 guests driving back home from the reception (9.9%).

accommodation rates

The Crowne – the place to stay (statistically, anyway).

Guests will be a mixture of out-of-town International guests, out-of-town domestic guests, and local residents. One-hundred and thirteen (113) guests are Australian (79.6%), 22 guests are from New Zealand (15.5%), 6 guests will be flying in from Bandung, West Java, Indonesia (4.2%), and  finally, 1 guest will be flying in from London, United Kingdom (0.7%).

geographical area

Our multicultural wedding! Sorta.

Now let’s get specific. I broke down the areas from which our Australian and New Zealand guests would be coming from and got the following.

Of the 113 Australian guests coming to the wedding:

  • 97 will be driving up from the Greater Sydney Region (85.8%)
  • 4 will be driving from a local Central Coast suburb (3.5%), and
  • 2 will be driving down from the North Coast (1.8%)
  • 8 guests will be flying down to New South Wales from Queensland (7.1%)
  • 1 will be flying up from Melbourne, Victoria (0.9%), and
  • 1 will be flying in from Perth, Western Australia (0.9%)

australia stats

As for our Kiwi folks, of the 22 New Zealand guests:

  • 13 will be flying in from Christchurch (59.1%)
  • 4 will be flying in from Auckland (18.2%)
  • 3 will be flying in from Nelson (13.6%)
  • 1 will be flying in from Greymouth (4.5%), and
  • 1 will be flying in from Dunedin (4.5%)

nz stats

When looking at how the guest list is split according to whether they are on the “groom’s side”, “bride’s side”, or miscellaneous, it was found that:

  • 41 guests are mutual friends of Mr and Miss Big (28.9%)
  • 5 guests are “just” friends with Miss Big (3.5%)
  • 17 guests are “just” friends with Mr Big (12.0%)
  • 39 guests are from Miss Big’s family (27.5%)
  • 7 guests are from Mr Big’s family (I know…) (4.9%)
  • 4 guests are family friends of Mr Big’s family (2.8%), and
  • 29 guests are family friends of Miss Big’s family (20.4%)

guest list portions

I know guys, those statistics seem loaded, but it’s true. I have a rather large family and Mr Big’s family is small. So a majority of the guests at our wedding will be on “my” side, although a lot of our mutual friends are making up the bulk of the guest list too. 🙂

In terms of guest transportation, approximately 60 guests will be taking transport from the Crowne to the ceremony (42.3%) and approximately 68 guests will be taking transport from the Crowne to the reception (47.9%). From this, we can infer that approximately 50% of our guests are probably going to party and drink at our wedding (yay!).

And that’s it guys! The Bighorn RSVP Breakdown!

Who else feels that, statistically, your “portion” of the guest outweighs your partner’s? (I feel pretty awful about it, honestly.) Who else is going to have a 50% party rate!? (And is it sad that I’m actually quite happy about that?)

Happy Easter!

1 Apr

My god I am a horrible blogger.

I don’t think I could ever do this for a living. Actually – I take that back. I probably could if this was the thing giving me financial stability…

Anyway! Happy Easter everyone!

It’s just ending here in Australia, and we (GP and I) have had an awesome time! On Good Friday we drove up to Newcastle with some friends and bade another of our friends a farewell. Lucky guy is leaving on a long secondment in America. We spent some time boozing, eating, laughing and chatting. I even got some wedding talk in because one of our friends is our MC! 🙂 He wanted to get the general layout of the room and talk about personalities so he can get a better feel of his audience.

We’ll be taking him up the Hunter Valley to see the hall this month 🙂 (hopefully…)

On Saturday, my family, GP and I went to Cockatoo Island (my first time there!). It’s a stunning island in the middle of the Harbour. There’s views of the Harbour Bridge and the city, and the island itself is full of so much history! It used to be an island to house convicts, then became an orphanage and reformatory for orphan and delinquent girls and boys. It was later changed to a naval dock where some of the first Australian warships were built for WWII. It’s honestly a photog’s paradise, with a mixture of industrial, raw and gritty scenarios and old decaying buildings and structures of convict Australia against the modern sky scape of Sydney! We strolled around the island, had a picnic lunch and then enjoyed a coffee and some drinks while soaking in the sun. After a brief mishap with the ferry (wrong ferry, whoops!) we ate at a Mexican restaurant – Had to Happen – that had all-you-eat fajitas. SO very bad for the diet, but so very good to eat. GP and I made sure not to eat too much sour cream or cheese. All-in-all, it was an awesome day!!

On Sunday, we went trekking with another group of friends. After a painfully long drive to the Blue Mountains (and more specifically, Wentworth Falls), we headed out on a hour-and-a-half trek through Australian bushland and to the waterfalls. The views were stunning and even GP admitted that the Australian wilds were a “different kind of beautiful to New Zealand”. We took heaps of pictures in front of the waterfalls and through the bushland. I got soaked by one particular waterfall, which was just awesome. It was such an awesome day and hopefully we make it a “thing” to do it every month or fortnight. GP and I’s legs were so sore afterwards, but it was worth every sore muscle.

And finally, Monday was a day to completely relax. We did nothing all day (and that includes exercise too, I know, we’re bad!). We’re still eating well, so hopefully today hasn’t set me back…

I know this wasn’t really wedding-related, but I thought I’d document the awesomeness that was the long weekend. 🙂 My next post, I promise, will be about the wedding!

For now, I shall go~

E x

Apologies.

1 Mar

Hey guys,

I apologise for the post last night. I had actually typed out an ENTIRE post, but WordPress decided it didn’t like that idea. Hence it posted only three words and hadn’t saved ANYTHING I had previously typed. I swear if it does it again, I will KILL it.

Moving on, last night I couldn’t sleep and typed up an entire post explaining why.

Basically, GP and I had met our soon-to-be celebrant, Jenny Egan. She was awesome, and so super friendly! She gave us a lowdown of what we would expect leading up to the wedding in terms of legal papers and stuff, and also gave us a HUGE book for us to look through so we could tailor package our own ceremony. She also got to know us more as a couple and two individuals, which was just so nice of her.

My excitement on finding a celebrant for our wedding was also coupled with the fact that I had DIY ideas for the wedding. I’m not too sure if I’ve mentioned it before, but we have a couple of DIY ideas in mind. These are:

a) Making a wooden (less-than-three) [<3] stand for the front to sit between the letters G and E (or E and G, depending on where we’re sitting). This project has somewhat stalled and, once we’ve moved in with my parents, might get a little bit harder to do because they don’t have a shed to work in.

2) Making our own wine bottle candleholders for the wedding. We’ve tried it using just a glass cutter with no clamping attachment for the bottle and we found it rolled. A lot. So we’re thinking of getting a professional wine-bottle cutter (which is only about $AU40). We intend on cutting about 70 (that’s right, 70) bottles. They’ll be relatively smooth so we won’t need to sand them down. To make sure there’s no burn hazard from hot glass, we’ll be using LED tealight candles for the ambient lighting

d) DIY coathangers. This project is all mine, because GP has no interest on making special coathangers for his guys. I’ve got three ideas in mind regarding this project which are:

(i) binding ribbon of certain colours to the top of the hanger depending on the role the owner of said hanger plays (i.e. white for the bride, blue for the bridesmaids, darker blue for the maid-of-honour, red for my ma, and pink for my [future] ma-in-law)
(ii) putting initials on the surface of the hanger with hot glue and pretty fabric/paper/something-which-will-stick-to-wood
(iii) covering the hangers in ribbon ala http://www.ehow.com/how_2177593_padded-ribbon-coat-hangers.html

SO… those are the DIY projects. We haven’t really started on any of them. The only DIY project we’ve completed are the invitations, and that was more a half-DIY project. I’ll talk more on the invitations soon 🙂

For now, I go!

E

Vendors!

1 Dec

Hello folks!

Since I’m here, I thought I’d write a little something-something on our vendors, because lists are fun, writing helps me forget about this infernal heat, and my fiance isn’t here for cuddles (and I can’t be bothered getting up to go to him!).

SO!

Vendors are (in no particular order):

  • Ceremony Location: Hunter Valley Gardens (both civil and tea ceremonies)
  • Reception Location: Tamburlaine Organic Wines
  • Hair & Makeup: Doubletake Makeup Artistry
  • Pre-Wedding Beauty (manicure, pedicure, facials, etc): Still searching…
  • Flowers: Nothing yet – though have a few in mind
  • Event Hire and Decorating: Affections (haven’t booked)
  • Wedding Dress: Mandy Heng Designs
  • Bridesmaid Dresses: LightintheBox.com
  • Suits: To be decided by fiance – Ron Bennett or Hallenstein Bros.
  • Car Hire: Morpeth Limousines (haven’t booked)
  • Accommodation: Crowne Plaza Resort Hunter Valley (haven’t booked)
  • Celebrant: Jennifer Egan (haven’t booked)
  • Photography: Studiosomething (need to book!)
  • Videography: Onsight Films (haven’t booked)
  • Entertainment: Two live bands in mind

And I think that’s it… If I can think of more, I will! 🙂

– the.eichanist

Let’s talk…

21 Nov

Wedding stuff.

Bet you didn’t see that coming.

GP and I have been getting more active with the wedding thing (and the domestic thing – the garden is looking MUCH better). We’ve been going through the early wedding things: invitation, guest number and information, etc., and it’s going pretty good. So in this post, I’ma mass-list all the things we’ve talked about/started 🙂

Let’s talk…

Invitations:

Through the help of a friend, let’s call her Miss S, we have our invitations designed and all pretty. We’ve gotta wait until we have addresses from all of our guests before sending them out, but they’re looking marvellous. Most might think it’s too early to be sending out invitations this far out from the wedding (more than a year) but since we’re having it in the Hunter Valley, we want out guests as much time as they can to decide on whether they want to attend and book accommodation. We’ve also got a tonne of other things we want to do for the guests which means specific numbers, so early invitations are a good thing.

The invitations turned out beautiful and I can’t wait to print them out and start assembling them (with the help of my bridesmaids!). Our invites will have inserts/enclosure cards with more information (accommodation, the ‘treasure chest’, etc) and we’re juggling on whether or not to seal it with a sticker-like wax-imitation seal. All good things to ponder.

Photography:

There was a post before where I was agonising over this little tidbit. Photography is something that ALL brides and grooms need on their wedding, but the prices are usually very hefty (and for good reason – who would want to lug around equipment for a measly fee?). We have, however, found the perfect photographers. They’re Sydney-based and go by the name of StudioSomething (www.studiosomething.com). They’re a quirky, awesome bunch of easygoing, friendly people who’re just so easy to talk to (which is important, because I am socially awkward). We’re getting them for (what I think) a really good price. We’re in talks with them now, but GP and I are certain we’ll be using these guys.

Videography/Cinematography:

Ah, cinematography… the elusive one. GP and I are STILL trying to find a reasonably-priced, but awesome, videographer. We had four in mind: 1) Paper Cranes, 2) Memory Road Media, 3) White Designs, and 4) MMG Photo+Cinema. We’ve ruled out MMG simply because we have to use both photo and cinema and it blew out budget into smithereens. They’re so, so very good at their jobs (seriously, look at their Facebook page), but my gosh we just didn’t have that sort of money. Paper Cranes is another major expense and puts a huge dent in our savings accounts, though their cinematography is just MIND-BLOWING. Memory Road Media is more within our price range, and Dave (the owner) has even said he would waive the travel fee to the Hunter if we were to use his all-day packages. I just found out about White Designs and have contacted them. Hopefully I get a response tomorrow.

Makeup, Hair & Beauty

Just as an FYI, makeup and hair will be done on 7 people – my momma, myself, and my 5 bridesmaids.

Now to begin – I am stunned at the fact that some of the people I’ve contacted are already booked out on our date. It’s more than a year and they’re fully booked. I was shocked! I’ve so far got three others who’re on my option-list, but one of them is taking the lead due to the fact that her services are so inexpensive and she comes highly recommended by former Hunter brides. She’s also SO accommodating to the fact that I have sensitive skin and is giving me the option to have a touch-up service between the ceremony and reception to freshen my face, which is just fantastic for my stupid-ass skin.

I also have to start thinking about facials, manicures and pedicures. I’m thinking manis and pedis get done a few days before the wedding, so that shouldn’t be a problem. A facial, however, is best done as early as possible to make sure my skin doesn’t react badly to it. I just have NO IDEA where to go! Seriously, where do you go for one of these? I’ve NEVER had it done before! I know I want to get a facial at least 6 months before the wedding as a sort of trial run. That way, come wedding day, I’ll know whether or not to have one. I’m not too sure about the cost of these things either, so I guess I should start looking around…

Flowers

There were a few basic flowers I wanted:

– Roses (duh!)

– Tulips

– Orchids

– Flox

I’ve now added the Lotus onto the list, but I don’t know what to do. I guess the first thing to do is contact a florist, but it’s still pretty early in the game. I’ve read that orchids are pretty expensive flowers, so I might not be able to use it. The good thing about flowers is we’ll only need it for a few things, since GP’s not going to have any button-holes. I’m thinking of giving two of my bridesmaids parasols too, but this is still up in the air.

And finally,

Cakes

I haven’t got much to say about this but that the cake shop we were hoping to use might not be making wedding cakes any more! 😦 No matter, there are heaps of other places we can look at. We just hope that they can make cookies and cream flavoured goodies.

And that’s it kiddoes. I’m sleepy.

Night all!

— .the eichanist

So I’ve been thinking…

25 Oct

Hello there!

As you all may know from my last post, we only recently got a date for our wedding. Which is awesome. We have more than a year to plan and hopefully by early November, we’ll have both reception and ceremony receptions booked. From my constant emails, I’ve pretty much smoothed out who we can have our wedding with. The three options are:

  1. Tamburlaine Organic Winery
  2. HVG (Hunter Valley Garden)
  3. Sebel Kirkton Park Hotel

We can’t do it at the Audrey Wilkinson vineyard because – even though they told us they did when we we’re there – they don’t do wedding ceremonies. 😦 They do have accommodation though, and I’m sure we can ask to have wedding photos there. Though the last time we were there, one of my bridesmaids got bitten so many times by bugs it wasn’t funny. So there will be a bug issue…

Anyway, the HVG came back to us with a reply staying that two ceremonies wasn’t an issue and they could accommodate for it. This made me extremely happy because I really want both ceremonies there. Unfortunately, I’m not sure if this means we have 1 hour to do both ceremonies, or we get to choose two time slots… hopefully it’s the latter, because 1 hour for two ceremonies (especially the Chinese tea ceremony) will be hard to squeeze into that sort of time.

As for Tamburlaine and Sebel Kirkton, it’ll all depend on which one ‘captures’ us more with the venue. The Member’s Lodge is a beautiful venue – one we’ve seen 2-3 times. The Hunter-Rothbury room (the reception venue at Sebel that we’re likely to use) looks good in photographs, but we’ll see once we’re there in person.

Anyway – with the venues almost settled, my mind has turned to other things, mainly the “dress” and its accessories…

WARNING: MR. GP – THIS POST IS VERY WEDDING ACCESSORIES AND DRESS-CENTRIC. DO NOT READ IT UNLESS YOU WANT TO RUIN THE SURPRISE.

Did that work?

Is he gone?

Okay, so… I will be wearing a white dress and I won’t be changing three times during the wedding ceremony (that’s mostly a Hong Kong thing… my family are Indonesian Chinese). There’s (apparently) a cultural taboo with Chinese people and wedding dresses though – “if you take off the white dress, you can NEVER PUT IT ON AGAIN“. A fact which my mum has metaphorically PUMMELLED into my head. In fact, every argument stems from that one tradition, even though half the time, I don’t bring it up (She does, so she can pummel it into my head s’more…). I love my mum, but… that is the one tradition that pisses me off.

Anyway.

Because of said tradition, I can’t re-wear my dress if I take it off during the day of the wedding (Shouldn’t there be some clause stating: “Unless it’s your wedding day – take it off or on as you please!”?). This means that, for the Chinese tea ceremony, I won’t be able to wear a full-length traditional red Chinese dress because we’ll be having it after the civil ceremony (when GP sees me in my dress for the first time). My mum really wanted me to wear the cheongsam, so she got quite annoyed when I was ‘fine’ with just not wearing one. So we compromised. Now, I will be wearing something akin to this over my wedding dress:

Chinese bridal jacket, taken from http://www.efushop.com (yes… I know the name of the shop sounds strange)

For a better picture (because this one is tiny) go here: http://www.efushop.com/product_pages/WDH/wdh20.html.

Basically, I’ll be ‘wearing’ the traditional Chinese ‘dress’ over my wedding gown. This makes my mother happy (I’m wearing the red dress), my father happy (I’m not all in white for the tea ceremony) and, kinda me happy too (I get to wear the red dress). Because it’ll be the height of summer, I want the sleeves shorter. Also, the ‘arrow’ thing in the middle of the jacket looks strange, so that’ll go too. I’m not too sure how I’m going to get the jacket (I probably won’t buy it off the shop I’ve directed you guys to), but my mum was talking about getting it custom-made. I’ve had suggestions from others to go to Hong Kong to get things made for the wedding, but… well… even though the ‘labour’ is cheap, the flights aren’t…

On a cuter note, GP wants to wear his Mandarin silk jacket he bought in China for the Chinese tea ceremony. He’ll look awesome 😀

Apart from the wedding dress/Chinese dress debacle, other things I’ve been musing about are the veil, to glove or not to glove, and various other accessories. The veil, I’ve already mentioned (I’m sure) will be a drop or mantilla veil. I love lace, so the mantilla veil is beautiful. I’d be wearing it like a drop veil though (pulled over the face). It’ll need to be fastened with something, so I was thinking of getting a pretty brooch, but I need to find one that’s not too mega-expensive (bridal = expensive…).

My mum has been suggesting that I put my hair up, but I’m more partial to the half-up do. I like a little bit of hair around my shoulders and face (and I don’t look very good with my hair up anyway). To make the half-up do more ‘bridal’ though, I was thinking of getting a hair accessory. I’ve found some relatively inexpensive ones (and pretty to boot), but maybe what I should do is get a bridal accessory that can act as a brooch and hair piece in one. That way when I take off my veil (which I’ll most likely do at the reception), I can just wear the brooch as a hair piece (also, it cuts down the cost of buying a brooch and a hair piece). I’ll be wearing jewellery I already own. Our colours are yellow, red, with hints of blue, and I’ve got heaps of yellow gold and red-coloured jewellery. I’m in no rush to buy any more than what I have and I should be able to pull something off with the jewellery I do have. My shoes are already bought, but not yet broken into. I have to ask one of my bridesmaids if they’ll lend me their shoe-stretchers (it’s a little tight in the toe, but perfect overall).

As for the gloves argument, I saw this:

Delicate lace  gloves cream lace cuffs

They’re stunning! I was a glove-lover when I was younger (and still do love them) but I haven’t worn some in so long. The look of these gloves though are sooo pretty. I am enamoured by them. I want them, but I don’t know if I should be using them. It’ll be the height of summer when we have our wedding, but these are delicate lace gloves, breathable and dainty. AND SO PRETTY. So… yes. Should I or should I not wear gloves? Tricky question…

What do you guys think? Any suggestions, tips, tricks or advice? 🙂

All cold on the wedding front…

25 Sep

Hello gentle-readers!

I haven’t really been able to plan or do much wedding-related things. It’s been kind of slow on that front. Once we get an actual date, I’m sure things will speed up significantly.

The past Sunday, GP and I went to a local wedding expo at the Liverpool Catholic Centre 🙂 I was a little iffy on the going, but GP convinced me (with the promise of potential free prizes and other free stuff) to go. I think it was a successful day! 🙂 I couldn’t invite others because I only really found out about the expo a couple of days before. Hopefully another free expo comes up (with free entry!) and I can invite others to come along with me 🙂

They had an awesome baker there. SHE MADE RED VELVET CAKE OMG.

They also had a website where you could make your own wedding albums, as well as a plethora of others (decorators, make-up artists, engravers, even those willing to help with house loans!). I haven’t had a peruse through our goodie bag, but hopefully when GP and I get the time we can have a looksee at the goodies. I’ve been trying to sort out university stuff over the midsemester break and have three more assignments to go before this semester ends. Then hopefully I get an email back regarding a possible jaunt into Honours 🙂

No other wedding news yet. But I’ll make sure to post it once I do! 🙂

Peace out y’all!

.the eichanist.

I to the D to the E, A, S

23 Aug

Hello readers!

Before you delve into this post, I should let you know that it’s a very long post. So only read if you either: a) have time, or b) are interested and have time.

Anyway, last night was one of those “oh God, planning a wedding is so stressful, AAAAAAAAARRRGHHHHHH *insert garbled dying noises here*”. There’s the overall planning – getting a date (I’ve mentioned this a few times before, but this has been an impossible endeavour for GP and I due to cultural purposes), finding a venue, finding a place for both ceremonies – and then there are the details – cake, flowers, the wedding apparel, the wedding favours, etc. You also have to contend with conflicting ideas and natures from all walks of life: parents, parents-in-laws, friends, family friends, even the fiance and I have differing opinions and ideas on things.

So after a discussion with him (Mr. GP), I’m going to list as many of the ideas I have for this wedding and put them into three categories: We Do, We Might, and We Don’t.

We Do – Things we are doing, and have settled on doing them.

We Might – Things we want to do but it’s all a matter of cost and time.

We Don’t – Ideas he and I want to do but can’t afford.

So without further ado, here are our ideas:

The Photobooth:

The photobooth is a current ‘wedding fad’, but it’s a wedding fad that GP and I definitely want. In fact, we want it so bad that it’s immediately been placed into the ‘We Do’ column. We’ll definitely be having a photobooth because:

a) it’s so totally quirky, geeky and vintage-y,

b) it’s an awesome ice-breaker, and

c) we can use the photos as both wedding favours and a guest book (win-win)!

We haven’t pinpointed who we’ll be using for the Photobooth, but GP and I aren’t ‘artsy’ enough to DIY this venture. I’ve found dozens of them, so yay! It’s just a matter of getting the most cost-effective for our budget. If we hire a photobooth business that charges extra for ‘photobooth props’, I’ll be getting my DIY on and making these myself (hopefully with help from le bridesmaids)!

Category: We Do.

Pre-Wedding Photography Session AKA Engagament Session Photography (or E-Session!)

I really do want to do an e-session photo shoot, but that might cost a little extra. Some photographers do this as part of their package if you use them as your photographer, but because we’re doing the wedding at the Hunter Valley (hence, a two-and-a-half hour drive from Sydney), it might be difficult to hire a Hunter photographer and ask them to drive up to Sydney just to do an engagement shoot (and pricey, did I mention pricey?). An idea I’ve had was to hire a photographer in Sydney who has experience in the Hunter Valley and get them to do the wedding and the engagement shoot. It all depends on how much the photographer charges for travel on top of the wedding photography package.

Category: We Might.

Post-Wedding Photography Session AKA Trash the Dress Shoot

For those of you don’t know what this is, go here: http://www.cheslerphoto.com/wedtrash.htm! Some brides (and people, in general) are probably looking at me in horror right now. I know what you’re thinking: “WHY ON EARTH WOULD YOU TRASH THAT BAJILLION DOLLAR DRESS!?!?!?!” I hear you crying. Well, readers, because of this:

       

  

(All photos (c) their respectful owners.)

In other words, they. Look. Beautiful. Unfortunately, like the e-session shoots, the Trash the Dress shoot means extra money. It also means the dress I’m wearing on the day will get soiled, or wet, or torn, or either or all of the aforementioned. This doesn’t worry me as much however, as dirt and grass stains can be washed away, a wet dress can be dried, and a torn dress can be sewn. The shoot will take place the day after (or a few, depending). I’ve talked to the fiance about the Trash the Dress photo shoot and he really likes it. He’s worried about the dough, as am I, so we’re tentatively putting this into the “We Might” category. Also, my ma doesn’t want me to re-wear the white dress (try saying that ten times fast). It’s a cultural thing. So I’ll either have to disobey her marching orders or buy a cheaper white dress if this photo shoot is happening.

Category: We Might.

The Unity Sand Ceremony

For those of who don’t know what the ‘unity sand ceremony’ is, fear not, I didn’t know what it was either. GP’s heard of it (his friends are all mostly married and he went to most of their weddings), but he never gave it much thought until I brought it up. He likes the idea of the ceremony because it looks pretty and it’s something that lasts forever. His Auckland friends (and a married couple) did a sand ceremony at their wedding, so GP was worried it would look too similar. And then I mentioned the heart-shaped vase:

from http://www.pinkfrosting.com.au.
The Heart-Shaped Unity Sand Ceremony.

After a discussion with GP on other ceremonial options, we’ve decided that the heart-shaped unity sand ceremony is a go! It’s just a matter of getting a date before we can order these babies in. Sand and engraving cost extra, and there are two websites which sell these (as far as I know): www.pinkfrosting.com.au and www.weddingstar.com.au.

Category: We Do.

A Live Band

GP’s assessment on this item is: “Yes, we should have one.” Ideally, we want something that is very folk, rock band like Mumford & Sons. Or at the very least, have a similar sound to them. We’re thinking raw vocals, acoustic guitars and, yes, even a banjo. We’ve formed an Excel spreadsheet of songs we want to play at our wedding. We’re not sure that a live band can learn and play all those songs, but we’re hoping it’s possible for them to play some and let us use their equipment to play the rest through a mp3 or CD player. The only problem with a live band is the cost (some can be pretty dear) and the space we need to provide for them. We also need to pay for crew meals for each band member.

Category: We Do.

A Wedding Website

This is in definitely in the ‘We Do’ category. There are heaps and heaps of wedding websites with templates and tips on setting up, but as GP knows how to work HTML, we’re going to build ours from scratch. Because we don’t have a wedding date yet, not having a website right now isn’t an issue, but we really should get our butts in gear soon (concerted effort, hint hint GP. Remember the sandwiches!). Two things we need to get are the domain name and a host for said domain name  That’ll cost a few dollars, but the planning, execution and personalisation of the website will be worth it! 🙂

Category: We Do.

E-vites (Invitations via Email Address)

This decision derives more from time-constraints and the context of the wedding than us actually wanting to do it. E-vites are relatively cheap, easy to make, and quick. Because GP and I haven’t got our wedding date (and won’t get one until possibly October), we want to make sure that our invites can be sent out as quickly as possible, and get replies from people just as quickly. This allows us to calculate numbers for the venue early on (a plus, especially because we’ll be having a destination wedding). After that, the standard ‘paper invites’ will be sent out (all DIY, and hopefully with the help of le bridesmaids).

Category: We Do.

The ASCII Heart (Less than Three)

For those of you who don’t know what the ASCII heart is, it’s basically this:

Metal Geek Heart Emoticon Wedding Decor

ASCII Heart wedding decor. From Etsy seller Knob Creek Metal Arts. Click on image to go to the page! 🙂

Yes, folks, the infamous less-than-three, heart symbol of the geeks. I want this sucker displayed on the bridal table or on the cake table with a G and E on either side. Unfortunately, the only less-than-three heart I could find that was relatively useful for display purposes is the one you see above.

And it is 20 US bucks, without postage and handling.

GP has said that we could try and make it on our own. Heck, I might even get my daddy to make it for me (he knows how to do metalcrafting).

Category: We Might.

The Quirky Cake Toppers

For ages, GP and I have been discussing the option of having strange, obscure cake toppers. We’re not ones for the traditional bride and groom, sitting atop their cake, all proper. We wanted something that was more ‘us’. Here’s a few I found that I thought were cute, but not ‘us’ enough:

High Five Groom Cake Topper

Legen-wait for it!-DARY!

The Mischievous Pair- Wedding Cake Topper-Dessert Table Centerpiece

From Etsy seller, WeddingsandWire. They do custom-made cake toppers do. All made out of enamel and wire!

Here’s something I thought GP might (not) appreciate…

And then we found a website called: Garden Ninja Painting Studio. I’m not too sure if I’ve mentioned this guy on a previous post, but he makes custom-made cake toppers, including features of the bride and groom. He’s done some steampunk toppers, but the one GP and I are interested in are ‘horde-fighting cake toppers’. Now for those who are going, ‘huh?’, it’s basically something akin to this:

DOUBLE TAP!!!

That’s right folks. Zombie-fighting cake toppers!!! Eff yeah!

Unfortunately for us, he’s based in America, makes all of the cake toppers from scratch (moulding, paint, etc), and charges a pretty penny for his toppers. And so, we’ve decided to try and make these babies on our own with model soldiers and model paint. Wish us luck, because neither of us are very artsy or DIY…y.

Category: We Do… somehow.

Using Etsy.com or other such means for my Bridesmaid Dresses

As I am now paying for my bridesmaid dresses, I’m trying to find a cost-effective, unique and good place to get their dresses from. I was originally thinking of using Lightinthebox.com, a Chinese online retailer who sells dresses at warehouse prices. Unfortunately, the news I’ve gotten from searching for reviews and such has yielded mixed results. Many have said that the construction of the dress is well done. Unfortunately, there have also been reviews which have said they are difficult to contact. Others have stated that their orders were either late or they never arrived. I even had one saying they received their dress two sizes too small. With all the mixed reviews, I don’t know who to believe and whether I should give LITB a shot. The dresses on the website look beautiful, and though the fabric isn’t the best quality (it’s polyester fabrics), I’m sure my bridesmaids wouldn’t really care about that. What does worry me is the fact that the dresses arrive in sizes that are too small, or worst, none at all.

So another idea that I’ve been thinking of is to look to another online store: etsy.com. For those of you who don’t know what Etsy is, it’s basically an online community where artists can sell their pieces online. You can find heaps of things on Etsy, from wedding dresses to ties, cuff link to earrings, works of art to shoes. Some of the sellers on Etsy have beautiful dresses with just the right amount of mix on it. For example:

Individual Final Payments for Alison Giacinto's Custom Bridesmaids Dresses

From Etsy seller ArmoursansAnguish. She makes her dresses out of recycled materials 🙂

mismatched bridesmaid dresses  / Romantic /  sage / mint    / dresses /Fairy / Dreamy / Bridesmaid / Party / wedding / Bride /

From Etsy seller AtelierSignature. She custom makes her dresses and can make them any colour the customer so desires!

Now I have to decide whether or not to use Etsy or LightintheBox.com. GP has suggested asking one of my good friends if she can offer some bridesmaid dresses at mates rates since she own a boutique clothing store. I’ll also ask about that when I see her on Saturday!

Category: We Might.

And… I can’t think of any more ideas…

Feel free to comment readers, if there’s anything else you guys have thought of that my very tired brain could not. Also, if any of my bridesmaids are reading this, feel free to comment too! 😀 Because I would like your opinions on the final matter!

The Chinese Tea Ceremony and the Civil Ceremony

22 Aug

Another post!? I hear you exclaim. Why yes, dear readers, here is another post. What is this one about? you ask. Well, I got to thinking. Being that the relationship between GP and I are interracial, we’re having both a Chinese Tea Ceremony and a Civil Ceremony. So to sum up, we’re having two ceremonies! 🙂 Unfortunately, that complicates matters when it comes to planning the wedding due to location of ceremony. What we’ve decided so far is to have the tea ceremony in the morning, followed by the civil ceremony and the reception. But before that, let’s pinpoint a few crucial points about both the Chinese Tea Ceremony and the Civil Ceremony.

The Chinese Tea Ceremony

This will be held in the morning, probably at the same place we’ll be having the civil ceremony. Below I’ll explain the basic ins and outs of this quintessential and time-honoured Chinese tradition, taking information from this website here: http://chinese.weddings.com/articles/chinese-wedding-tea-ceremony.aspx.

First off – Why are you having a Chinese Tea Ceremony?

In Chinese tradition, the tea ceremony was essentially the ‘civil ceremony’. Elders would be served tea by the soon-to-be husband and wife to honour and respect the family. Because Chinese society was very patriarchal, the ‘true’ tea ceremony only included the groom’s family being served tea, as the bride needed to please her future husband’s family in order to be accepted. She would serve tea to her family in the privacy of her own home, as a ‘thankyou’ for raising her. Luckily, society has changed a lot, ’cause I’m excited at the prospect of including both mine and GP’s families! To me, the Chinese Tea Ceremony is about respecting my elders and honouring the families on both sides. I get to show some of GP’s family my culture and they get to experience something new and exciting!

The Order of Service

Because we’re having an ‘all-inclusive’ Chinese tea ceremony, the groom’s family (GP’s) will be served first. After this, the bride’s family are served (mine!). The order of serving is as follows: parents, paternal grandparents, maternal grandparents, paternal aunts and uncles in order of seniority (eldest to youngest), maternal aunts and uncles in order of seniority, and then eldest siblings and cousins. The order is, of course, dependent on who you want to include in the tea ceremony and who is actually available (for example, grandparents may be deceased or unable to travel, some family members are unable to attend the wedding, etc). After each elder receives their tea, they hand the soon-to-be husband and wife a lucky red envelope, which either contains gifts of money or jewellery. These red envelopes are placed on a serving tray  which holds the tea cups. Often times, the gifts of jewellery received by the elders are adorned on the bride.

How to Serve Tea

Just like in a civil ceremony, the groom stands on the right and the bride on the left. When serving tea, the bride and groom kneel in front of their elders and offer the tea cups with two hands, a sign of respect. The elders sit in chairs facing the couple, and when receiving the tea, take the tea cup with both hands to reciprocate that respect. They then drink the tea, and hand over their red envelope.

What’s Needed and What Just Looks Cool

The Chinese tea ceremony  has a few bare essentials: the chinese tea set (if you didn’t see it already, I recommend seeing the awesome one we bought!) and an altar or table to display photos or candles in recognition of the two families. This recognition can come in the form of family photos (GP and I were thinking of displaying wedding portraits of our parents) or a ‘unity candle’. Other things that can be placed on the altar are: white flowers, fruit and wine offerings, and burning incense. The tea served can be either sweet (longan tea, for example) or standard (traditional green or jasmine). Other things that can be used to decorate the Chinese tea ceremony are the ‘double happiness’ symbol, the dragon and phoenix motif, decorative firecrackers, and lots of red and gold – the two colours symbolising luck and happiness (and two of our wedding colours!).

The “double happiness” symbol.

What to Wear

Traditionall the bride wears a qi-pao or a cheongsam, a traditional Chinese dress. Oftentimes these are decorated with embroidery of the dragon and phoenix or flowers. However, in this modern age, some brides have taken to wearing the white dress to the tea ceremony. I’ll probably be going for the red dress. Many grooms nowadays have taken to wearing the tuxedo or suit that they’ll be in all day.

A cheongsam with dragon and phoenix motif.

The Civil Ceremony

For our wedding, this will take place in the afternoon. The reason GP and I are having a civil ceremony is due to its non-religious nature. Having celebrated my culture at the Tea Ceremony, the Civil Ceremony is a chance to celebrate the love between GP and I. It also means we can have a garden ceremony due to there being no restrictions. A civil ceremony is lead by a celebrant or officiant who guides the bride and groom through the ceremony and can take as little as 10-15 minutes upwards to about half an hour. As with the Tea Ceremony there is an order, which I will list below. The information was taken from here: http://www.i-do.com.au/wedding-tips/the-wedding-ceremony/order-of-ceremony-civil-ceremony/947/

The Processional

This is better known as the “Bridal March”. This is the most well-known part of a ceremony. The bridesmaids make their entrance, walking down the aisle, followed by the bride. Usually done to Wagner’s “Bridal March”, more and more couples are taking a contemporary route with the music. I’ve read of someone walking down the aisle to Hans Zimmer’s “Time” from the Inception Soundtrack or Sigur Ros’ “Hopipolla”. GP and I have reached a tentative decision on the song we’re using, but I won’t post it up just yet!

The Welcome

This is self-explanatory. The celebrant or officiant introduces themselves to the families and welcomes them to the wedding.

Giving Away

This is, literally, the handing over of the bride to the groom by the father, as is most common. However, in today’s day and age with family differences and all, this can also include:

  • Giving away of the bride by her father, brother(s), mother, sister, family friend or even a friend
  • Giving away of the bride and groom by their respective parents
  • Giving away of the bride by both of her parents
  • Giving yourselves (bride and groom) to each other

Introduction

The introduction consists of the celebrant explaining to the gathering the ideals and beliefs the couple has of marraige. Other things can include what marraige means to them or what the aspirations of the future hold together. The celebrant usually helps the couple out during this part, giving examples of what types of things can be said from past examples.

Reading(s)

Some weddings (I’ve been to two) have a reading which is selected by the celebrant or couple. Usually a close family friend or a member of the family reads this out. I’m not too sure GP and I will have this since we’re trying to make this short and sweet, and if we do, we’re more than likely going to have something quirky or non-traditional, like lyrics from a rock song or something.

Monitum

This is from the Marriage Act and is said by the celebrant. This is an essential and compulsory part of the ceremony.

Declaration of Intention to Marry

A public declaration of the couple’s intent to marry each other. Also known as the ‘Declaration to Marry’.

Vows

The couple say their vows. This can either be from a template given by the Celebrant or the couple can make their own vows. I’m not exactly sure what we have planned for this, but I think we’re going to write our own vows.

Ring Ceremony

The giving of rings to each other, symbolic of the union. We’ve already got our rings! (That reminds me, I still have to continue that Ring Saga, hmmm).

Conclusion

The celebrant conclude the ceremony.

The Declaration of Marriage

The celebrant pronounces the couple Husband and Wire. (“You may now change your Facebook statuses!”)

The Signing of the Marriage Registrar

The couple and their two witnesses (with us, it’ll be our Maid of Honour and our Best Man) sign the Marriage Registrar, Certificate of Marriage, and Marriage Certificate. The photographer usually takes pictures of this ‘signing’.

Congratulations & Presentation to Family and Friends

The celebrant congratulates the bride and groom and presents them as a married couple to their family and friends.

The Recessional

The couple, now husband and wife, leave the ceremony grounds, usually followed by the bridal party and generally to music. We don’t have a music piece for this yet, but we have a few options in mind. It’s also the time to say good bye to the celebrant. It is usually at this time that confetti is thrown to celebrate the newlyweds’ union, usually of rose petals, paper confetti, sugared almonds or rice. I’ve also seen paper airplanes, yellow ballons being released and bubbles.

Other Little Things

The civil ceremony can also include other things – releasing of dove, releasing of butterflies, releasing of balloons, ‘love locks’, ring warming and well-wishing, a unity candle, unity sand ceremony, a remembrance ceremony, handfasting ceremony, sharing of wine, a rose ceremony – you name it. These things are often additional to the aforementioned order of service and depends upon whether the couple want to add a special something to the ceremony.

 

After discussing the above two ceremonies with GP, he’s told me that he’s more excited about the tea ceremony than the civil ceremony! We’ll have to make sure we have everything in order and know what is important to us to include in the civil ceremony. We already know that we’re going to make this wedding as ‘us’ as possible. 🙂

Facebook dilemma!

24 Jul

After my last three posts I decided to browse through my Facebook, only to realise that, “Hey, wtf, my blog posts aren’t appearing”. Now this can be a good thing and a bad thing. Good because, yay! Readers. Bad because, boo! Readers. I will admit to being the girl who is all, “social life? what is that?” (now before you judge me, I have friends! So what if a majority of them are online…)

Anywho!

I think I fixed it. This is my ‘checking’ post.