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Chaaaaaaaaaanges!

12 Dec

For some reason that brings to mind a song which my dad likes… I can’t remember the name of the song…

Anywho…

Hello all! 🙂

What’s been going on with you guys? Me? I’ve been trying to work on invitations while writing applications for different jobs. I’ve been in Adelaide for a little bit and I’ll be going back to Sydney tonight. If anyone is ever in Adelaide, try the coffee at a little place called Piazza 99 – BEST.WHITECHOCMOCHA.EVER. Also other cafes/restaurants I recommend are: The Loose Caboose (for brunch or “linner”), The Pancake House (cheap, delicious food), BTS cafe for cupcakes, and a pop-up coffee cart (whose name escapes me) who has organic, delicious coffee.

But I digress.

Wedding invitations are coming along nicely. The theme has changed so much in the past month it’s mind-blowing. GP and I originally wanted the colours red and gold (which is just… very Chinese) but because of conflicting opinions on bridesmaid dresses, we added blue to the colour scheme. From there, the invitations introduced pink and the ‘gold’ in our theme became a distant memory…

Which isn’t an issue, because I realise we actually don’t have a theme. That’s right folks.

We have no theme.

There will be a lot of cherry blossoms (because GP and I both agreed that it was a nice Oriental flower) but there really isn’t any other seamless theme. The bridesmaids will have blue dresses, my dress will have red on it (GP knows this, so it’s no issue if he reads this – I’m looking at you GP!), the groom and groomsmen will wear shades of grey (not fifty… just two), and we’ll probably grab a few pocket squares to match groomsmen to bridesmaids. Bridesmaids will probably carry parasols with hydrangea corsages (have you SEEN hydrangeas – they’re abso-fracking-beautiful!). As for centrepieces, we’ll be having cherry blossoms, weeping willows and we’re thinking of transforming wine bottles into something useful. We want candles because GP and I are suckers for candles. Red and gold will still play a major role in the Chinese tea ceremony and I’ll probably be wearing something red over my wedding dress. We’re having geeky elements into our wedding (zombie cake topper, ASCII heart love, a photo booth with Xbox-related props) but we’ll balance these out with more elegant settings.

So as you can see – there’s been a lot of change and we have no specific theme!

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!

Enough about the rings!

31 Jul

So, I’ve been yapping on about the rings for way too long. It’s becoming sorta repetitive. I promise I’ll finish the saga soon, but for the meantime, let’s talk ceremony.

After a recent trip attempting (and maybe succeeding?) to get my rings resized (I know I said I wouldn’t talk about them, but there’s a link!), my ma and I decided that it was high time we grab fresh juice and get some dinner for tonight. I was feeling downtrodden and wanted to sulk in the car, but my ma told me that there was a shop which sold nice-looking, authentic tea sets for a relatively good price. She knew I wanted one for the tea ceremony that would be conducted at GP and my wedding (more on that later). So, dragging myself out of the car, I made my way with her to the shop and entered.

It was a little shop – so little, I had to hold my bag to my chest because I didn’t want to accidentally knock anything over. With bare white walls and a lack of shelves, the shop was littered with customary Chinese statues, scrolls and other knickknacks. There were pai shu (Chinese ‘dogs’ which serve to bring good luck), statues of good luck animals (the horse and koi), and even the Chinese good luck cabbage. In a heap, piled on top of each other, were tea sets of all different shapes and sizes. When we perused through them, we found a pamphlet with traditional clay teapots.

“Do you have this?” asked my mum.

“None left,” came the disheartening reply.

Balls.

Well, I thought, the ceramic ones were pretty and colourful. Not very traditional, but still very pretty! Maybe a blue one? No, didn’t match the theme I was going for. Black looked nice. Too plain though, and the cups were huge. There was a white one, but it was pricier. How about the red? It was red and gold, pretty patterns, cups weren’t too big. And the icing on the cake?

They were $30.00.

Do you know what the cherry on top of the icing was?

My mum managed to get them for $25.00.

Chinese tea set? CHECK and MATE.

Now what is the Chinese tea set for, I hear you asking. Well, let me explain.

As a Chinese girl, tradition has long been connected to how I’ve grown up. I’m Buddhist, and though I’m not a huge practitioner of my faith, I still believe in the gods and pray during special occasions. I believe in most of the customs and beliefs that are attached to my religion and culture. For example, I believe in karma, I believe that there is a place on the other side once a person passes, and I believe that to get good things in life, you must treat others with a similar respect and kindness. However, I am not a vegetarian, and I don’t necessarily wish to be so.

My parents are a lot more superstitious than I am, but I want to make them happy while I plan my wedding, and so I’m allowing them to choose the date of the wedding based on the Chinese calender, GP’s birthday and my own. From these, the Chinese soothsayer (or ‘oracle’, as my friend calls them) will be able to choose a date which is ‘auspicious’ – in other words, one that promises a good future. GP, an atheist, is a little bit iffy on the whole belief system, but he knows this will make me (and his in-laws) happy, so he’s being good about it. The date alone has been an uphill struggle for GP and I, but that’s another story for another time.

Another part of my culture is the “Chinese tea ceremony”.

The Chinese tea ceremony, for those who don’t know, is a lot like the traditional ceremony in the more ‘western’ parts. It’s basically a joining of two people and their families. However, instead of a celebrant/officiant/priest ‘making it official’ with vows (or prayers), the soon-to-be husband and wife kneel before their elders and serve them tea, respecting those who came before. As with the traditional wedding ceremony, there are particular things that need to happen during the Chinese tea ceremony. You can read all about it here:http://www.chinese-wedding-guide.com/tea-ceremony.html.

I want to incorporate the Chinese tea ceremony into my wedding as I believe it’s a beautiful tradition. You pay your respects to your elders, you get to drink warm hot green tea, and you get gifts at the very end (hey, I’m a modern girl!). I also get to wear a beautiful cheongsam, the traditional Chinese dress. Some brides choose to wear the white wedding dress, but I want to feel connected to my culture. GP has decided that he wants to wear the silk brocade jacket he bought in China when we were over there.

I’m excited to have this as a part of my wedding. And even more excited that I now have a beautiful tea set for it!

The Wedding Theme: Geek Chic?

24 Jul

Hello all!

It suddenly occured to me today that I don’t have a coherent theme to the wedding (notice the use of the ‘the’ – it’s not just my wedding after all!). This little factoid didn’t make me panic, because well – after you’ve gone through the hell I have trying to secure a date, get both rings, talk to all your bridesmaids without turning into a screaming raging Bridezilla, and attempting to keep your parents happy at the same time – well, you learn to kind of ride the wave…

Anyway.

The wedding theme.

Though it’s not exactly important (weddings do not need themes. I’m just anal-retentive), my fiance and I have been trying to think of ways to incorporate the traditions from my culture (Chinese tea ceremony), from his culture (white wedding dress, toasts, etc) and our love of all things geek. We’ve thought of little things here and there like: the colours red and gold being our wedding colours, a photo booth with geeky photo booth props, badges as wedding favours with names of each guests and witty remarks on who they are (or who we know them as), and there was even talk of a zombie-theme cake topper with us FIGHTING THE HORDE!!

Now all that is well and good, but I want to unify the theme. I am not just a gamer geek, I also love board games, anime, sci-fi and supernatural tv shows and movies, and I’m also a total Disnerd (a Disney nerd). My fiance is a TOTAL gamer geek, loves tech, has a HUGE collection of tv shows from all genre walks (sci-fi, fantasy, supernatural), loves board games and is also something of a Disnerd. Our love for all things geeky, nerdy and dorky is only as big as our love for music.

I want very much to have an underlying Beauty and the Beast feel (that is both his and my favourite Disney Princess film – I know. How the eff did I get this guy!?), while also adding in geeky elements and giving a nice, solid nod towards the cultural and traditional. I will be wearing a white dress, we’ll be performing the Chinese Tea Ceremony (actually something I REALLY WANT TO DO), and we’re going to have a night-time reception. That’s pretty much all I have. Our guest book will be photo-booth’d so we don’t have to worry too much about it. I want to make the props on my own but I’m not too sure how that little project will go (I’m not the craftiest person, you see). Our cake will be a cupcake stand with a nice cake on top. As for other details? Well, hm, what do we do?

How does a couple like us have a classy wedding while adding in elements that define us? Apparently the term the Internets has coined it is: Geek Chic.

The term ‘geek chic’ is a combination of all things chic and all things geek. It means you can have those elegant and delicious wedding cupcakes and the zombie-fighting cake toppers. You can have gorgeous floral arrangements in conical flasks (for those science nerds), cute heart-shaped USBs as wedding favours, and a banner with an ASCII heart to the man of my dreams (this = <3, for those who don’t know). And it also means I have an excuse to shop on Etsy to make sure I find just the right amount of chic and just the right amount of geek (alas, window shopping. But it’s better than nothing!).

I think I might be on to a winner…