Tuesday, February 28, 2006


Score one for connections! My friend, despite her own recent engagement, has agreed to tape our wedding. She is a video editor by trade so once she's done shooting, she can make it into a fantabulous DVD like she did for another friend. I won't want quite as much editing but I am
imagining full coverage of the ceremony, maybe some coverage of us taking pictures around the city, and then just a portion of the banquet (like when we're introduced in the beginning, a quick pan of the place full of people, and maybe a few shots of the scrumptious food). I think it'd be really cool to have a "Director's Cut" version of it all but have us talk instead of a 'director' or maybe a 'Pop-Up Video' rendition if there are enough interesting things to pop up. And I would want those bookmarks that DVDs have placemarking the different parts of the day, like processional, officiant's message, vows, recessional, etc. just for ease of viewing the final video.

And I'm excited about meeting a friend of a friend who bakes wedding cakes this Saturday!! I've seen a pic of the cake that she made for one of her friends' wedding and it was pretty nice (not perfect but you know me, I have to pick out at least a flaw or two). I'm willing to give her a chance though, to start up her business and also b/c I think that this is an area we can scrimp a little (though I'm not sure how much she would charge) b/c in my eyes, the cake is not that important (I know, with my sweet tooth, how can I say such a thing?). Well the cake is the last thing you eat and after 10 courses, including a sweet soup at the end, you hardly have enough stomach space for it. (Though I've heard the cake she made was delicious!) So it's been fun looking for designs and thinking of flavors.

Now if we can just find a connection to do the flowers!

We've been leaning more and more towards going to Spain for the honeymoon. I've been reading Rick Steves' site (we also watched one of his specials on PBS about Sevilla and some other coastal region) and he's got some great information. I also talked to my co-worker, who spent a year there for study abroad and it sounds so much fun.

On another note, I'm wondering if we need a day-of coordinator to keep things running. Maybe I can pull a connection in that court too.

Friday, February 24, 2006

The inspiration

So let me just solidify the theme idea: fall. My inspiration is this leaf (can I take any non-fuzzy pics?), one of the many that we gathered last fall up at Bear Mountain and went home and pressed. The red of the leaf is about the shade of the BM dresses, which also, incidentally is a 'lucky' Chinese color, and so, is the main color scheme. I am hoping that the excess fabric from the dresses can be made into bowties for the GMs or at least can help them find something similar in shade. To distinguish fiance from the rest of them, he will also have a vest in that shade? (I can't decide whether or not that would look nice). Maybe boutonnieres can have a leaf in the back as well, kinda like this picture on the right. We happen to have a bunch of acorns too, though a lot of the double ones broke apart.

The 'inspiration leaf' also has patches of yellow and orange, even brown, which I can try to tie in secondarily, through other aspects, like favors, bouquets (I'm leaning towards orange-shaded flowers for the BMs, like orange callas, poppies, dahlias, or maybe even roses), perhaps invites. The leaves, I'm hoping, will make an appearance in mini wreaths at the end of pews (scroll down), and also as the escort cards at the banquet.

And I want to create this flower monogram (yes, I threw that image together in Photoshop using images of the flowers). I think the monogram will be made out of silk gerbera daisies (silk b/c I won't have time to arrange this using real flowers on the day of) and it will hang on the church doors (if they allow us, or somewhere else, if not). I'm thinking this creation will be on a white piece of fabric so that the colors pop out and it can be hung like a banner, with rods inserted into a flap sewn onto the top and bottom to keep it from flapping about. If not a piece of fabric, then maybe put into a big frame?

If I were to have centerpieces (still not sure if that is possible, given the massive amount of table space needed for the food), I'd like to do a pyramid of stacked, upside-down Gala apples, which are yellow with a red blush (or a similar apple with red striations). Apples fit the fall theme too and there's the added benefit of being able to eat them afterwards. Those old Chinese women will love that -- instead of stealing the flower centerpieces, they can eat away!

And I was thinking of using wreaths to mark off the pews instead of flowers and bows. I especially like this one made with the berries as it's not screaming "look, more leaves to get the fall idea across!" like the one below.
But I like the colors of the leaves all together. I'm pretty sure we don't have enough leaves for all this.

There are also a lot of red and orange drinks to use to create a signature drink, if we indeed go that route. Or we could do something with apples or cider.

And lastly, I'm trying to come up with ideas for the design of the cake topper. I think it'd be a nice touch if FMIL made a stained glass one since she makes that stuff all the time. I just need to convince her and come up the design. I guess coming up with a cake and baker would be important too.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Words of wisdom

This weekend an older couple dispensed some helpful wedding advice (they married a few years back). She said that it is important to delegate responsibilities b/c you have enough to worry about on the big day. My aim, as she did, is to not know about every little thing (hence, not worrying) but to just have it fixed. She also advised setting limits on the budget -- first decide how much you'd be willing to spend on each item, then do the research to see if that's possible. Obviously there will have to be adjustments, some lower and some higher than you expected but at least that's where you begin. Very interestingly, she said that there will be one BIG fight when there are about 2 months or so left. I had heard about the normalcy of fights during the planning (we've fulfilled that part already) but I hadn't heard about there being a big one. I guess it makes sense b/c you'd be increasingly stressed as the date approaches and as she said, by that time all the big stuff should already be planned. Of course there was talk of the guest list (they had 50 tables!) and dealing with family and the types of gifts you get (this is the second couple that said some ppl surprisingly give very little but in the end she thinks they broke even all around). It also made me feel a little better that we're not the only ones crazy enough to look for a place to buy while planning. In the end, they settled for the house that they're living in now b/c they really needed a place to live and at the time, the housing boom was just beginning and they were outbid on everything.
I'm getting concerned that we don't really have a theme (perhaps that's the cause of our disorganization?).

On a related note, we went to the Crate and Barrel Sunday Morning Engagement today. We showed up at the Madison Avenue store at the early hour of 9am. It was so cold and I saw some crazy ppl waiting outside before they opened their doors. When we went in, we were greeted by not very chipper ppl who checked off my name (I don't know why they keep it so exclusive -- if someone wants to start a registry there but didn't RSVP, what's the harm in signing up at that moment?), gave us a map of the store, a pencil, and a list of essential items to add to the registry. They said there was a coat check in the back, refreshments upstairs, and a place to pick up your scanner in the middle. They actually took my ID as a deposit for the scanner (is there a huge run on these things?) and they described how to use it. We definitely know that we need pots and pans but on our way there, we got distracted by the electrics (food processer, etc.). And the defining moment: our very first scan. We pushed and pushed the button on the side but it refused to scan!! So much for this being a 'much easier' to use scanner than other registries (as the woman described). We even tried sliding the paper out of the sleeve to no avail. Finally we just punched in the code. A woman nearby making juices out of this huge, powerful juicer explained that those codes didn't scan but needed to be manually entered (sheesh, why bother putting that tiny bar code below the letters and numbers then? Other stuff [those w/ SKUs] were eventually scanned in.). We tried some pear juice that this woman made (it was pretty good!) but later on fiance said she didn't remove the sticker from the pear before juicing it (yummy!, I write with much sarcasm). By the pots and pans, there was also a pancake station but I didn't try any of it. Upstairs, there were mimosas (not very much champagne, so it was tasty, yet it still made me flush though it finally circulated my blood so that my hands were no longer cold) and muffins (which I didn't try). After checking out furniture, which is hard to do without a place to furnish, we went back downstairs. A somewhat helpful woman saw us checking out their flatware and suggested we pick some china first, then we can bring it over and see whether it matches. So we did that. She walked us through bone china, porcelain and all that jazz. There was also a very sweet lady who stopped us around the ovenwares and told us about their completion program (10% off stuff that's still on the registry for 6 months after our wedding). After we were finally done, we went to the booth and created the registry. This involved typing in a whole bunch of info, inserting the scanner into a slot (which is kinda cool -- I guess the info is transferred [pretty quickly] over through infared), and then printing off our list. Then we returned the scanner, got our gift (still haven't opened it but it's supposed to be a pair of their heart-shaped champagne flutes), took a bunch of those papers that you can include in invites about registry info, and we were on our way.
Overall, I have to say that I was a bit disappointed. There is some cookware that we still need/want which they don't carry but I guess they aren't a mecca for serious cooks (like us, haha!) so their selection is limited. Their china is somewhat limited too, as expected.
Surprisingly, they had some cast iron stuff (I think that it is finally catching on and Mark Bittman's praise of it in a recent NY Times article could only have helped) but fiance already has a whole bunch of it thanks to Walmart. I also didn't think that the staff were that knowledgeable. More than one person hesitated when I asked them questions, giving a sort of runaround answer while they read the product description (I guess I should've read it myself before asking). I think they also pointed us towards 'popular' stuff, not necessarily stuff that would perform well. But it was cool that they closed the store to everyone else until noon (they turned quite a few ppl away who just wanted to shop). I expected the staff to also be very friendly but only a few were and I think that's b/c it was so early. And where was the advice? The ad said that there would be some (I imagined that they would sort of guide us along, have ppl talk to us about the essentials like the Target event) but I think there was just (limited) help with the products themselves. Anyway, quite a few couples showed up (it was pretty crowded in some areas towards the end) despite the cold. One of the guys mentioned that 17 couples showed up last week, even during that blizzard! I can't imagine setting up a registry as that important, but to each his own.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Officiant where art thou

I recently checked my account on the Knot and I saw that we are behind on so many things! Top of mind is getting an officiant. Normally this would be a simple task for ppl who belong to a church but not for the retarded folks at our church. It is already a difficult situation to not have a pastor but it's that much harder (and extremely frustrating!) when there are politics involved, preventing pastors that we would like to officiate. The easiest thing may be to get a judge that we have no connection to at all. :( (or to elope!)

We've also got to book a florist (if using), book musicians/DJ, finalize guest list
And upcoming (but not yet overdue): book wedding cake baker


OK these images are NOT from my recent web surfing but from the book To Have & to Hold by David Stark and Avi Adler (the book I got from Target's Club Wed). Sorry these images are not very crisp (I don't have a scanner and I kinda like how they came out a little grainy). Like I mentioned previously, I wanted to incorporate my Bible with my flowers. The problem is figuring out what flowers go well with it. I think it has to be a pretty small nosegay b/c it will be too difficult to hold otherwise. Flowers that I'm considering: hydrangea, peony (so pretty, but out of season), zinnia, anemone, calla lilies (not sure if these are feasible b/c you would need a whole bunch to make an impact).

Obviously the one on the left is a boutonniere.

Or just a bunch of callas like this picture (I was watching a rerun of "Friends" recently and had to look up some images). I like this pic also b/c Monica's dress is similar to mine and I'm thinking of copying her w/ her hairstyle -- it is simply pulled back at the top with a fancy barrette (but I think I would curl mine more) and then a floor-length veil. She also lets her hair down completely at the reception.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Web compilation

I found this site and have been addicted to it: www.weddingbee.com. From that, I found a whole bunch of links that have kept me busy all day (urgh--info overload again!!). One of them is a listing of bios on the Knot. It is like crack to go through these bios and learn from everyone's ideas (some aren't that good, so I've been going through what's labelled the "Best Bios"). Some ppl even use these bios as info pages (I guess it's a quick and easy way to put up a webpage) and I've found the "Specialty Bios" page helpful. Two ppl have created odes to Martha and I found these (gotta remember to buy WATERPROOF calligraphy pens):

So upcoming posts will have a trove of ideas that I've found and like (and those posts will be updated with more stuff as I find them, like an idea attic, if you will).

And I found this quote that I like: “We cannot really love anybody with whom we never laugh.” --Agnes Repplier

I have no idea who Kepplier is so I have to check to see if she really said this. There is also all those quotes from Rilke that I came across while reading his Letters to a Young Poet and ever since college I've been trying to find the poem that I thought was very romantic back in 17th century poetry (it was either Donne or Jonson, or was it someone else?).

Anyway, we finally went to the photographer and dropped off the grand. Finally, another thing can be crossed off the list!


To save on postage and to be a little different, I've always liked the idea of postcards for RSVPs. Taken off that Weddingbee site, I found this example. I especially like the wording: "__ of # will be attending." In the same vein, I think I've also seen something like "Two seats have been reserved for you." And then the usual lines of will/not attend.
I know that we are using the pocketfold invites but I've been struggling with how to close them. I like this idea of the ribbon going across and under the seal on one end and then ending inside the pocket (you also hide the gluing of the ends).

And I like this fall color scheme (from Inventations):
I think it's very similar to the red with cream-colored cardstock that I had imagined and it just may be close enough to do the switch to get both the fall theme and the Chinese red across.

I like this idea for placecards but we probably won't use them b/c we've got those leaves we gathered (which still need to be waxed or polished).

This is an interesting idea for table numbers.
Though I've also got the idea from Martha with the radio wire (at right). I think the red wire makes it almost look Asian-ish, very much like those closures on the Chinese dress. Maybe I'll use one idea for the menu and the other for the numbers. I am hoping to get someone to do the calligraphy for the numbers in Chinese and then on another side will be the English.


I've been obsessed with the veil lately, mainly b/c I want to make mine and I don't know if I can get it right (it is ridiculous that they cost about $100 when you can make it for much less).

I found a great site that walks through the DIY process: www.wegotgame.net/jen/veils.html.

I definitely want a double-layer, raw-edge (unfinished end b/c I like that wispy look) veil but I can't decide if I want a fingertip one or a floor-length one.

- find a place that sells those plain combs
- buy the tulle (I should ask around where's the best place to get it -- Fashion District? online?)
- figure out whether I can pull off diamond white tulle or bridal illusion with my light ivory gown
- decide on fingertip or floor-length

Related to veils is hair, and the only style that I've found online that I like is this (but I think not as curly at the crown): [I got this from some Knottie's site]

The only other hairstyle that I like is what I saw on Queer Eye: a very simple twist up (in the hair trial they tied her hair into a ponytail and swept it up) without a lot of hairspray or other product. At the reception, the bride took off her veil and let her hair down (though she looked kinda messy) for a second hairstyle. That gave me the idea of having multiple hairstyles throughout the day to match the multiple dresses that I will be wearing. I can also (easily, I hope!) change makeup accordingly by making it more dramatic at night. I think Sonia Kashuk's advice was to "glam it up" with false eyelashes (gotta learn how to do that if I want to do my own makeup) and more makeup (by going lighter during the day and using a heavier hand at night?).

Wednesday, February 8, 2006


The shoe dilemma: finding nice shoes that would go with the wedding dress and the evening gown (asking for it to match the red Chinese dress too would be asking too much) and hopefully would go with other things so that I wouldn't wear it just once. I had been surfing on the shoe sites (zappos.com, myglassslipper.com -- they have an 'Under $100' section that I had read about, shoebuy.com) for silver shoes, staying away from the bridal shoes b/c I find most of them ugly and not very comfy-looking (not to mention they don't fit the criteria of being able to be worn more than once). I was also pretty sure that I'd want a wedge heel (more comfy) and a T-strap (slims wide feet like mine). I ordered 2 shoes from Zappos mainly b/c they received pretty good reviews but when I tried them on I realized that I have very difficult feet to work with (they were uncomfortable and one pair didn't fit at all). The shoes were also extremely poorly made. I can't believe that they cost over $50 b/c if they were in one of those ghetto stores that sell cheap clothes, I'd guess that they were $20 at most. One of them had a tacky clear plastic strap with beads glued on it and the other one had dried beads of glue oozing out of the undersole. Thank goodness Zappos has that free shipping free returns thing (maybe that's why the shoes were so expensive). I am impressed by how nicely wrapped up everything was (everything was tightly wrapped in tissue paper and taped) though.

Then I went to Macy's this past Sunday (b/c it was tax-free week and to check out BM dresses). I saw a pair of silver T-strap sandals that looked kinda nice (even on my feet), with big jewels down the T-strap. While they were on sale for $60, I wasn't sure if I should get them since they didn't look too comfortable with the 3 (2.5?) inch heel and narrow front, which squeezed my toes together (the only thing keeping my feet from sliding down was the bone above my pinky toe so you can imagine the pain that would result from the rubbing as I walk). They weren't that uncomfortable for the minute or so that I had them on though. I left empty-handed. Throughout the week, I pondered whether or not I should go back and get them. I even went to the Nine West by work but they only had it in the bronze color. So I went back today determined to try on the shoes again and try to break them in and return them if they weren't comfy. This time, after wearing heels all day at work, the transition to the sandals wasn't as weird so it didn't feel unstable. But after walking a little and standing in them, I felt the balls of my feet hurt. Plus the back of the shoe was loose and looked weird no matter how tight I closed it. After much thought I decided to let these shoes go (even though they were the closest thing that I liked so far). I thought that I'd have to resign myself to wearing flats or sneakers on my wedding day (I still may do the sneaker thing at the banquet) and cursed my f'ug
ly feet for always giving me so much pain (3/4 of all shoes that I like I end up not buying or wearing b/c they are unbearably uncomfortable). Then I walked around a little and I saw a silver, pointy-toed shoe on the clearance rack. When I scanned it, it said $38 or so. After trying them on (they were pretty comfy compared to the boots I was wearing and the shoe that I had just tried on), I decided to buy them. The saleswoman was pretty nice (NOT the norm at Macy's shoe department, in my opinion) and noticed that the price was wrong b/c they should be 75% off. And instead of being $38, they were just $20! Woo hoo!!
I wonder, am I supposed to wear hosiery with these shoes? They still need breaking-in, I'm sure. But at least I can go get my dress fitted for the right length now.

Speaking of which, a friend recently asked her friend who used to be in the wedding gown business whether or not he'd be interested in helping me fix mine. He said yes! I don't mind going to Pinpoint and getting it all fixed up for about $450 (I even made an appointment for this Saturday) but if he can beat it and do a good job, I'd be even happier!

This Friday I'm hoping to go to a tailor in Chinatown to see whether or not she can downsize the evening gown from a size 20 to a 4 for a good price (I've heard anecdotally that she charged only $7 to hem a four-layered dress). And Saturday we're supposed to meet with the photographer to work out last minute contract details and give him a deposit to secure him for the day. We've already turned down two photographers that we met with so this one better work out! Finally, progress!