Tag Archives: Wedding

So I’m sitting here…

15 Dec

…in my parents’ house, listening to my dad’s band playing outside (yes, my dad has a band) and thinking, “hm, what can I do?”. Then I realised, “hey, I haven’t written in my blog for a few!”

So here I am.

Not really that exciting, but there you have it. Anyway…

HELLO ALL!

I’ll start off with some exciting news. I recently signed up and was accepted into a blog called “Polka Dot Bride”. It’s not HUGE news, because it’s basically a blog that anyone can sign up for, but it’s been rather successful! My first (and so far, only) post can be found here:

http://www.polkadotbride.com/2012/12/and-we-open-the-door-and-step-inside/

So, yay for me! I know what you’re all thinking, “that’s a HORRIBLE picture of you!” but… it was the only picture I found where I didn’t look: a) horrible, and b) like I had an eternal wedgie. I will write more in Polka Dot, but it’s a minimum 750 words, so I thought I’d wait until I had substantial news which I could waffle on about. (Edit: Was just told that it’s not 750 min. YAY! I can write more without waffling)

I DO, however, have substantial news which I can post into this blog!

The other day, GP and I had a meeting with the fabulous Marlon and Redge of Onsight Films. We’ve seen their work and knew they did SDEs – or Same Day Edits. We loved what they did, and after meeting them, were even more set on having them as videographers for the wedding! GP’s so excited that he spent most of yesterday mulling over music to send the guys to potentially play during the SDE. Needless to say, after the excruciatingly long search to find an awesome, well-priced videographer who did SDEs, we are extremely happy with our choice!

Now all’s we need to do is book both the photographers and videographers in and we’re DONE! (with those components anyway)

In other wedding-related news, we’ve been thinking about a place for a rehearsal dinner. I’m not 100% sure if the Hunter Valley Gardens will let us do a ceremony rehearsal at the location, so I’ll have to check. However, the celebrant we intend on using includes the rehearsal into her fee and GP’s excited to have a rehearsal dinner at a particular place he’s been telling me about since we first went up to the Hunter Valley together. The rehearsal dinner will be vastly smaller than the actual wedding reception, but we’re excited to have one.

I’ve also had a sudden fascination with hydrangeas. They’re beautiful, big flowers and would cheapen bouquets a lot while still looking lush and awesome. I’ve decided I want to use them, though I still don’t even know if I want to give my bridesmaids bouquets. Ah well – I still have a little over a year, so here’s hoping I make up my mind!

I’m going to sign off now!

Ta-ta for now 🙂

– Eileen

Doing what needs to be done

2 Dec

Hello all,

I’m not saying that wedding planning isn’t stressful (because it IS!), but so far I’ve been having (mostly, at least) fun with thinking about ways to plan out what to do for the wedding. I haven’t really needed to fight tooth and nail with stubborn vendors (and I hope I won’t need to) and what we have booked seems to be gliding along smoothly. There are a few things GP and I need to do, and I thought it might make it easier if I wrote these down here.

So without further ado, here’s the to-do list:

  • Return the booking contract to Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley before 7/12
  • Have our Skype meeting with StudioSomething at 1900 tomorrow (3/12)
  • Fill out the booking form for StudioSomething
  • Find some time to see Onsight Films and discuss a suitable package
  • Meet our potential celebrant!
  • Start dancing lessons
  • Buy gifts!
  • Start gathering materials for wedding favours
  • Complete invitations for the wedding

So as you can see, we’re well underway in our wedding planning. We’re both super excited! More updates to come soon hopefully!

-the.eichanist

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

It starts!

7 Nov

Hey guys!

The past week has been very exciting! Wedding planning is underway (finally) and we know what two sites we want for both the ceremony and reception.

We went to the Hunter Valley last Saturday (3 November) for the Matchbox 20 concert and decided to also check out the Sebel Kirkton Park Hotel and have a guided tour around the Hunter Valley Gardens. We were supposed to head up to the Hunter Valley early morning (around 6AM), but after the late night the night before – dinner party with friends followed by my freaking out about my very last assignment – we ended up sleeping at about 1AM. We also lost our second driver because she had work, so we ended up starting the day at 9AM. By the time we got the Hunter Valley, our 10AM meeting with Kelly at Hunter Valley Gardens had passed, though I had told her earlier that we wouldn’t be able to make it. We did, however, make out 1PM meeting with Ruth at the Sebel Kirkton Park Hotel.

Ruth was a lovely girl and she showed us around the Hotel grounds. The hotel is very Colonial and has really nice views of the Brokeback Mountains. It rests on rolling green hills and a lot of the ceremony location onsite sit atop these hills, looking over the view. GP was impressed, even though he went in there just to please me. Ruth showed us both reception rooms, and to our pleasant surprise, both rooms were set up for weddings. The smaller room – the James Busby – is nice, but very small. It fits a maximum of 100 people, so we’d have too many people for the wedding. The bigger room is the Hunter-Rothbury room which fits a maximum of 150. The dancefloor is a moveable parquetry dance floor, with the room covered by carpet. There are a few smaller rooms which offshoot the bigger one which can be use as a children’s play room or a lounge area. Unfortunately, there’s only two access points outside, so you can’t really transition seamlessly from outside to inside. Overall, Sebel Kirkton was a place that we really liked. The rooms are opulent, the ceremony locations are beautiful and you get a discount on accommodation.

After our tour about Sebel Kirkton, we decided that we had time to check out the Hunter Valley Gardens. A phone call later, we were at the HVG meeting Kelly, their Wedding Coordinator. Kelly showed us around the HVG by buggy (a golf cart). We told her what we wanted – two ceremonies, one location – and she was willing to accommodate us! 🙂 We confirmed the booking and just need to put down a deposit and – voila! – ceremony location solved. We’ve decided on two locations: the Waterfall Outlook for the civil ceremony and the Oriental Pagoda for the Chinese tea ceremony. Everything seems to be provided by the HVG for the civil ceremony, but we’re not too sure what will be provided at the Oriental Pagoda. I’ve sent an email requesting this information and am waiting for a reply. Hopefully we get one in the next few days.

After touring about the HVG we decided to venture into Tamburlaine unannounced to see if a wedding was set up. Despite the fact that they were both busy planning a wedding that night, they let us into the Member’s Lodge to have a look around. It. Looked. Beautiful. GP and I have always loved Tamburlaine, but seeing it set up for a wedding was a different perspective entirely. After drilling Lou with a 1000 questions, we decided in the car on the way to the concert that Tamburlaine would be it. I’ve called today, asking for a contract to book the place, and am still waiting for it. I’m hoping we get it by tomorrow. I’m anxious! If we don’t, I’ll have to call up and remind them…

Now, I’m looking up invitations. My dad is worried that we won’t have enough people coming to the wedding, so we were initially thinking of having e-vites to weed those out who won’t be attending. After all the RSVPs from those are in, we can send the paper invites. I’m not sure if we will be doing that. I’ve gotta discuss the logistics with GP.

It also looks like the wedding website is out the window. I will request that we have a wedding email for RSVPs though. It makes it much easier than having to write down both emails on the invitations.

So yes! I am very excited. It’s almost surreal to think that a month ago, we had nothing done. Now, we have two confirmed locations for the wedding!

Yay!

– E

Undecidey!

26 Oct

Hello all,

After the last post, I had a little talk with one of my bridesmaids about wedding-related stuff. She mentioned that, as I’ll be turning 25 before I get married the next year after, they can get me some bridal stuff for my birthday! It’s an awesome idea, I just… have no idea what I want… (granted, my birthday is April 11 of next year – if I don’t know what I want then, I’m in some trouble…).

So after browsing through a bajillion websites, pondering over what I really want, I realised I have no idea what I do want. Which is hilarious!

You see, I was never the little kid who dreamed of getting married. I thought my mother looked stunning in her wedding photos, but was never one to think, “That’ll be me some day”. I was a tomboy – I ran around with my cousins pretending I was a Power Ranger. At another point we played imaginary “Mortal Kombat” (a fighting game, for those who don’t know). I spent most of my childhood daring and doing said dares, getting myself hurt in some of the most hilarious accidents ever (one involved a laundry chute…) and playing chicken with my garage door. At the age of 17, my cousin and I had a punching war at a party in a public restaurant. We punched each other’s fists to see which one backed out first (I think I won that time). I was the jar-opener in the family, the girl most likely to perform a dare if there was enough ‘encouragement’, and who never wore dresses or makeup.

And now, I’m getting married.

So I’m a little out-of-my-depth here. Granted, I’m the first to get married in my group of friends, a fact which all of them were only a little bit surprised about (I found out later they anticipated I would be the second person to get married in our group). I’ve never planned something as big as a wedding before. My 21st was a quiet night out with my friends, having a few drinks, and my graduation was very similar. I hate being in the spotlight, so being the bride is a really daunting, alien experience to me. I see this wedding as mine and GP’s wedding, but I get most of the attention, which is weird for me. I love planning this though, because I get to explore this creative side of me which I didn’t even think existed.

Anyway, getting to the point at hand.

Let’s talk veils. I’m not sure if GP should be reading this or not, so just in case: Mr. GP, IF YOU THINK THIS ISN’T APPROPRIATE FOR YOU TO READ, STOP HERE. IF YOU DON’T REALLY GIVE TWO TURDS ABOUT THE VEIL, KEEP READING! 😀

There we go, warning done.

So my veil. The very thing I’m undecided about. Most people say that, to pick the veil, you first need the dress. Which is true, I guess. A simple veil would suit a complex dress, an intricate veil suits a simple dress. I don’t have my dress yet, but I do like thinking about what kind of veil I’d want (it makes the choice a lot easier when it comes to decision-time). 

You see, I initially wanted a veil, but had a look at some pictures. The ‘poofy’ veil would look hideous on my face, so I was immediately turned off. I know most girls like the look because it gives them a ‘halo’, but my God, it would just make me look horrible. Add to this GP’s nonchalance about the whole veil thing (he doesn’t see the significance), and I was ready to just put the issue to bed.

And then my mum says I have to wear one. Don’t ask me why, she gave me no reason. She just said I had to. It must be an Asian-mum thing, because one of my other friends (who’s getting married in February) had her mother-in-law tell her she also had to wear a veil. Anyway, my mum wants me to wear a veil that goes over my face as I walk down the aisle – very typical wedding thing. But I hated the fullness of a two-tier veil (which are the veils you can wear which have a blusher – the part that goes over your face). Don’t even get me started on a three-tier veil…

And then  I saw the drop and mantilla veil.

The drop veil is basically a veil that has no ‘gather’ – the gather is the thing that gives the veil ‘poof’. As the name states, you simply ‘drop’ it on top of the head. It’s often fastened to the head by a hair pin being weaved between the hair and the veil. One website actually gives you a comb which allows easier fastening (www.occanseydesigns.com). The mantilla is similar, though it has lace edging all along. The drop veil is good for a complex dress. Most of the attention will be on the dress because the drop veil is mostly a sheer layer of tulle. The mantilla can be similar, but the lace edging is also a little more attention-grabbing.

As for length, I wanted it to be elbow or fingertip length. Being 5’0″ (149cm), I’m rather short. I will be wearing heels on the day, but… well… GP is 6’0″ tall. I’d have to wear 12-inch heels to reach his height (noooo thankyou!). So I will still be a lot shorter than him on the day. This also means certain veils (chapel-length – the reaaaaaaaaally long ones, for example) can make me look much shorter. So elbow or fingertip sounds about right. However, I saw some waltz (cascading) veils that looked cute. Basically they taper down to about the bum area, so it doesn’t go straight down the back. That might be an option too…

I bet I’m doing your heads in, talking all technical. I just don’t know what I want! I really should start trying on dresses with different veils when I can. That might narrow down my choices…

The Drop Veil, taken from http://www.weddingbee.com.au

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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? 🙂

Talking venues! and we have a date!

23 Oct

Hello readers,

How long has it been!? Sorry for the long, long absence guys. It’s been a quiet few months ’cause the fiance and I have been waiting and waiting on a date. We FINALLY have one! YAAAAAY! (It only took 6-and-a-bit months…). Now the wedding ride really starts. As the title suggests, I will be talking about different venues we’ve been thinking about (though the title could also suggest that the venues themselves can talk… but seriously, what kind of venue can talk?).

We’ve been looking at different places to have the reception and ceremonies, but we’re pretty sure we’ll be having our reception at Tamburlaine Organic Winery. We haven’t booked anything yet (a fact that completely confuses my parents) but we’re having serious conversations on places to have the ceremonies. We have about four scenarios with which to do the wedding which I’ve got written down in a Word file:

Scenario 1:

Civil Ceremony: Hunter Valley Gardens

Tea Ceremony: Hunter Valley Gardens

Reception: Tamburlaine Organic Winery

Scenario 2:

Civil Ceremony: Hunter Valley Gardens

Tea Ceremony: Tamburlaine Organic Winery

Reception: Tamburlaine Organic Winery

Scenario 3:

Civil Ceremony: Hunter Valley Gardens

Tea Ceremony: Place of accomodation (where we’re staying)

Reception: Tamburlaine Organic Winery

Scenario 4:

Wedding at the Sebel Kirkton Park Hotel

Scenario 5:

Wedding at the Hunter Valley Gardens

As you all may know (if you’ve been following the blog so far), we’ll be having two ceremonies: the ‘Western’ civil ceremony and the ‘Eastern’ tea ceremony. My mother was a little bit confused about the whole thing (even though I’ve been trying to explain it to her over the past six months) but I think we’ve settled that issue. Anyway, we’ve finalised that the civil ceremony needs to be performed between 11AM-12PM because of some cultural thing that states that I (eichanist) have to be handed over by my family to GP’s family between that time (otherwise known as the “Giving Away” portion of the civil ceremony). In Chinese tradition this means the groom drives over to the bride’s house, plucks her out of her family home, and drives to his parents’ house (where the tea ceremony will take place).

Of course, this is impossible if you’re having a mini-destination wedding like GP and me. Not only that, but GP’s parents live in Christchurch, New Zealand, so having the tea ceremony there isn’t really an option. So we figured that we can incorporate this Chinese tradition into the civil ceremony. When my dad ‘gives’ me to GP, I’m being relinquished from my family and being accepted into his. Or something like that. Now the only problem is where do we have the ceremonies?

Enter the five scenarios listed above.

All five scenarios have their pros and cons. We’re trying to keep the wedding within a localised ‘suburb’ of the Hunter Valley called Pokolbin (all locations are within this area) which makes travelling a lot easier for everyone. Tamburlaine and the Hunter Valley Gardens (HVG, for short) are about 5-10 minutes apart from each other. The Sebel Kirkton Park Hotel is located a little further away, but the distance isn’t huge. If we do use the Sebel Kirkton though, we’ll be using the hotel for all of the day’s activities. To make it more transparent, I’ll break down each venue/location and make note of their pros and cons.

The Hunter Valley Gardens (HVG)

The Ceremony:

As far as we can see, when using the HVG for a reception, you get to use the Gardens at a discounted rate for ceremonies. You also get the Gardens for 2 hours for photography (including a buggy to ride around in) and there’s a wet-weather option included (which is the onsite non-denomination Chapel). The photography and the wet-weather option is included regardless of the use of the HVG as the reception, but the discounted rate on the ceremonies is a bonus, especially because we’re keen to have both the civil and the tea ceremony there.

The Garden itself has five ceremony locations:

  1. The European Formal Gardens
  2. The Sunken Garden
  3. The Waterfall Outlook
  4. The Oriental Garden
  5. The Lakes Walk Rotunda

GP and I really liked the look of the Waterfall Outlook for the civil ceremony and the Oriental Garden for the tea ceremony. Because the Oriental Garden only sits a maximum of 70 guests, we’ll only be inviting family and close friends to this one. The Waterfall Outlook is in a shaded area, so guests won’t overheat in the sun (since we’ll be getting married at about the height of January). We’re also trying to think of what to do with the bugs, since there’ll be a lot of mosquitoes and flies about.

The Reception

There are two locations: the Tempus Two Barrel Room and the Garden Terrace. GP and I like the look of the Garden Terrace if we did the wedding at the HVG. It’s basically their restaurant in the morning. We haven’t been inside, but from what I’ve seen there’s a deck with rolling doors which open up completely to create a seamless inside-outside atmosphere. The deck itself overlooks the Oriental Garden, so it’ll be perfect if we have the tea ceremony there (guests could perhaps watch while drinking pre-dinner drinks).

The venue sits approximately 110 guests on round tables and 140 on long tables. Because we’re estimating about 120 people, we’ll have to use the long table option if we use this place. The dance floor itself is outside in an amphitheatre they have there, so a live band could be set up outside. It really is a pretty venue, though there are some flaws.

The HVG doesn’t have much in the way of seafood (which is a big cultural thing during Chinese weddings). I’m not too fussy about having seafood at the wedding ’cause I’m not a big fan of seafood. Another thing about the HVG is the cost per-head. The venue hire isn’t too bad, and on Sunday (which is when we’re planning on having the wedding) there’s a 50% discount. Unfortunately, the price-per-head for HVG for the Premium package (the best one they have) stands at about $20 more than the best packages of all the other venues we’re looking at. The Deluxe package (the next one down) is about the average price of the more expensive packages in other venues. GP also didn’t like the fact that the names of their foods sound too snobbish (e.g. “rabbit ragout on a bed of…”) though they do have more humble (and yummy-sounding!) offerings.

I also have a feeling that centrepieces and decorations are all “taken care of” by the venue, which takes the decisions away from us (the bridal couple). I would like a say on what goes where and how things are presented. I know GP doesn’t really have a head for decorations, but I’m sure he wouldn’t like the control taken away. It is our wedding after all. Need to remember to bring this up when we see them (hopefully I get a reply tomorrow).

Tamburlaine Organic Winery

The Ceremony

Tamburlaine do ceremonies on the lawn just outside the venue. There’s a little seating area with French-style chairs and tables and I’ve seen the pews they use to set up for seating. The setup is simple – 4 pews with satin sashes, rose-lined aisle, a wine barrel for signing of the Marraige certificate, and a garden arch. The lawn is not as pretty as the HVG, mostly just grass and Eucalyptus trees (very Australian). Some couples have gotten married in front of the manmade lake they have there, but that lake is mostly covered by reeds from the lawn (though looks stunning on the verandah at the back of the venue). We’re not too keen to have our ceremony here, but it is an option we should think about.

The Venue

Tamburlaine’s venue is called the ‘Member’s Lodge’ and juts out onto a manmade lake (the verandah I mentioned above) surrounded by reeds. It’s really pretty. Tea lights spatter the inside and outside of the venue and the venue itself is huge. It easily fits 150 people, so fits our guest list criteria. Like the Garden Terrace at HVG, doors can be opened to go out onto the deck outside, causing a seamless inside-outside environment. This is important for GP, as that was his one major ‘want’ in regards to the venue.

Decorated, Tamburlaine looks very pretty. My parents (especially my father) has an issue with the excessive use of white because of its symbolic interpretations to death in Chinese culture, but decorators should be able to change the colours (or spatter coloured tealights throughout). Also something I have to make mention of. The interior of Tamburlaine is a dark blue, so ‘wedding colours’ might be a little difficult to incorporate. Luckily we’ve picked out two major colours: red and yellow. Add blue and what do you get?

Beauty and the Beast colours.

I’m lame, I know…

Which brings me to the next topic, Tamburlaine gives you an enormous amount of flexibility when planning the wedding. They have a ‘make your own package’ deal where you can pick and choose what you like (and don’t like) to alter the per-head cost. This means you can tailor it to your budget. Food is also extremely varied: heaps of seafood, beef, chicken, lamb, duck, etc. The down side to Tamburlaine is the fact that you can only use their wines, but having tasted their wines, it’s not too bad. The sweeter wines are very nice, a fact which you need when tailoring to my side of the family (and my friends).

Sebel Kirkton Park Hotel

The Ceremony

GP and I haven’t been to the Sebel yet, so there’s not much I can say about it. The packages look okay, so do the pictures of the locations, but GP has some reservations against it. We’ll be checking the place out 3 November and I can give a more comprehensive rundown. All’s I can tell you is the Sebel Kirkton Park has three locations to choose from for the ceremony:

  1. The Manor Garden
  2. Between the Urns
  3. Wisteria Walk

Ceremony packages are only available when the reception has been booked with the Sebel.

The Reception

As above, we haven’t checked the place out. But from pictures I’ve seen, both venues – the James Busby room and the Hunter Rothbury room – have a courtyard which you can go out too. I’m not too sure if it’s as seamless as the HVG and Tamburlaine, but the interior (from picture) looks really good. The packages are well-priced too. Unfortunately, the cheapest one is only a ‘cocktail’ function, which forces GP and I into the next package up (we want a dinner-wedding). After our visit here, I’m sure I can give more information about the place.

 

That’s all for the venues. Not much of a segue, I know. In other news, I’ll be going shopping with my bridesmaids in about… a month from now. 😀

Insert witty title here.

18 Sep

I haven’t written anything in a while. It’s been rather hectic here with the mid-semester coming up (which means assignments and exams). GP’s currently in Adelaide, and as is normal, shit has hit the fan here in Sydney. I think I broke the gorramn printer. I blame that on a number of things:

1) I should have gone out and bought printer paper instead of using lined paper out of desperation which subsequently got jammed in the printer feed and is now stuck there until such a time as I can dismantle the gorramn thing and get it out.

2) I should have called my parents over to give me some of their printer paper instead of well… not.

3) I don’t have my stupid fracking full license so I can’t drive GP’s turbo car (I hate the laws)

4) GP couldn’t be bothered taking me to the shops to get said paper (he hadn’t had any sleep… which is what I’m trying to tell myself so I stop seething at him)

There’s nothing I can do now, so I’m trying not to dwell on it. My neuroticism is making me extremely anxious and angry though, so I thought that maybe typing it out and blasting Matchbox 20 out of my new and shiny Spotify program would help. I’ll have to do this week’s reading for my course via pdf viewer. If I can write an entire essay doing that, well, then I should be able to do this…

 

On the wedding front, there hasn’t been any movement since the last post about the potential photographers. It’s almost October, which means we’ll hopefully get a date soon. I don’t know how that’s going to go though, because everytime I ask I get the same response from my mum: “I haven’t called yet.”

*SIGH*

The only thing that’s been progressing are selecting songs for the wedding. I have a list of wedding songs on an Excel file and GP, with his new and shiny Spotify, has made a wedding songlist. He hasn’t put on all the songs, and says I should download Spotify so he can share the playlist. I can then add the songs which are on my list. The only problem with selecting songs for the wedding are:

1) we’re probably going to have a live band, who won’t know half (or more) of the songs on the list

2) if the live band DO know the songs, there’s no guarantee they can learn it in the time between hiring them and the wedding, and

3) my dad refuses to have anything short of a live band (his words: “Using a stereo is cheap.”)

Although I have a feeling that the final product will be a mix of live band and stereo (hey, the band’s gotta eat…). If my dad has problems with that, he can deal…