Sunday, June 25, 2006

A tisket, a tasket

I was thinking of using a birdcage to hold the gifts and cards that ppl bring to the reception so I urged fiance to find one while we were at a rummage sale in NJ back in May (I was busy pillaging the jewelry section in hopes of finding something for the wedding, to no avail). Not knowing what kind of birdcage to get, he radioed me that there were only huge ones, mostly ugly. I later learned that he was looking at real, functional birdcages, like the rectangular ones used in pet stores, not anywhere near decorative. Thank goodness he didn't get one of those. Instead, he bought this cute wicker basket for $3. Today I finally decided to cut a slot into the top and finish it off with a few sprigs of the leftover silk hydrangeas and a leaf or two.
All that remains is to secure it shut at the closures by either using plastic ties or some kind of wire.

Note, if you ever want to do this, I recommend using some sort of serrated blade to cut through the wicker. At first I used a box cutter, jig saw, and then some all-purpose serrated knife that my brother once bought on a whim. I thought that the weave of the basket would be compromised once I removed a few of the slats but it seems like they glued it at each intersection so it's still stable.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Paper progress

I am babysitting the printer as our 250 RSVP envelopes go through. I have to refill the bypass tray every 25. It is surprisingly unboring (evidenced by the fact that I am blogging while fiance is unable to entertain me!). The hardest part is stuffing the envelopes back into the boxes that they came in (we need to sorta flatten them out b/c running through the printer curls them up a bit). I've already messed up one envelope by stuffing it incorrectly. Oh well, that one will go to someone I don't like. :P

Today has been a somewhat productive day. I finished cutting all the invites, started to glue them to the pocket folds and experimented with gluing the ribbon and creating the pendant for the front, which will (hopefully) be stamped and embossed. This mumble-jumble may not make sense to many ppl, but you'll soon see. I have to tout my achievements somehow. And now, all the RSVP envelopes are printed!


It is freakishly dark outside -- what a perfect environment to explain the recent goings-on. Unfortunately, at the last wedding that I attended, a whole bunch of ppl got really sick (not me, fiance, or my BM though). Supposedly the ppl were visiting the porcelain goddess for days, for things coming out both ends. At first, everyone thought it was food poisoning but that theory stopped making sense when family members of those who got sick (who were not at the wedding) got sick also. So I think it was something viral passed on by some unscrupulous individual (perhaps waitstaff?). Then, fiance's grandmother got sick too. We don't know if it's related or not (a few of his aunts and uncles were inflicted too and they visit her weekly) but her doctor said that something is going around b/c there have been a lot of cases recently. Then FMIL (more on her later) told us that there have been reports in the Chinese newspaper (but how reliable is that?!) of outbreaks throughout the Ctown area, supposedly b/c of a bad distributor of food. Whatever the reason, the Department of Health was contacted and started calling everyone who was at the wedding. I was completely caught off guard b/c they called me on a Sunday and I hadn't given anyone my contact information. I wonder if they've come to any significant conclusion yet b/c I'd really like to know what happened, especially since I ate everything on the menu (and it was good!). Other than this minor incident, the wedding was fabulous!

So, because our banquet is at the same place that this wedding took place at, ppl (mostly FMIL and a few random ppl who are lucky to even be invited b/c if I had my way, they wouldn't be) were trying to convince us to change the location. These insane ppl think that we can just drop everything and find a new place in three months?! Never mind that I printed all the friggin' invitations already!! And I really don't think this was something isolated to the restaurant so any other place that we choose could have the same consequences. Besides, the restaurant is supposed to undergo renovations in August (please fix the bathrooms, I beg!!) and if there is something wrong w/ the restaurant, hopefully the health department will have taken care of it by then. There's nothing we can do and this extra stress I can really do without. But one thing I will do is provide hand-sanitizer in the bathrooms (maybe at each table? maybe as the favor?). Maybe Lysol too. haha(?)

Congratulations J & S!

As I blogged about before, I went to a friend's wedding 2 weeks ago. I was supposedly an usher but I really was useless most of the time b/c the other usher (my BM, I'm so thinking of elevating her to MOH which I had always intended but not sure how that would work w/ no best man) did EVERYTHING. She gave the limo driver exact directions from the church to the restaurant as we hit traffic or construction at every turn, she picked out almost everyone's escort card b/c none of us could read Chinese, she got there way early to prepare for the ceremony, she helped me fix my Slutsky McSlut dress, she guarded the gifts, she reminded everyone to sign in on both the cloth and to write a message on the little origami squares (and she did it in both English and Chinese). So I was just standing next to her like her b*tch :D, without much stress.

Anyway, the bride was gorgeous in a custom designed strapless gown with ruched details on the skirt and this very unique champagne-colored detail with beads going diagonally across the bodice. During the banquet, she changed into a maroon-colored velvety qipao during the table toasting and a gold halter dress during the cake cutting. Each time, her hair decorations were slightly changed to match the new dress.

The bride, a graphic/web designer by profession, designed really nice ceremony programs with cherry blossoms. She also totally outdid herself by tying ribbons and miniature silk roses onto each bubble container. And the last detail that I enjoyed were the fortune cookie favors. Each customized cookie was dipped in chocolate and decorated with a heart in the corner. The cookies were packaged in mini plastic takeout boxes, tied with a ribbon, and closed with a personalized sticker with their names and wedding date. I'm not usually a fan of fortune cookies, but these were surprisingly good (probably b/c of the chocolate!).

The banquet food was also surprisingly good -- the fish was not overcooked as it usually is, the chicken was cooked perfectly juicy and with very crispy skin, the shark fin soup had good chunky pieces, the vegetarian noodles that I usually find mushy and bland were not, and my favorite course, the cold cut appetizer had a very good and unique tiny octopus. There was also a bottle of Veuve Clicquot champagne on every table, which we didn't touch, but I'm sure was good.

Here's a pic of the happy couple framed by a BM's flowers and someone's shoulder (I'm just too short to get a good view!) with the best man standing by their side.
Congratulations again J & S! (I don't exactly have their permission to post their pic but I will gladly take it down if anyone wants me to.)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Wedding rings

I came across a picture of a Niwaka ring and I had to investigate their site. I like how their rings are different from the ordinary plain bands out there (I still feel like diamonds would be too much bling) but I wonder how the curves would look next to the e-ring. I also wonder if a jeweler can replicate a similar look. These are some that I liked.

Gotta love the Japanese!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Very Vera

This past Saturday I went to the Vera Wang sample sale again. No, I do not enjoy putting myself through this kind of torture, but for a myriad of complicated reasons, I had to go. This time it was not as bad as the one in December, probably b/c there was less hype about it (not mentioned anywhere -- I had to call them to find out) and probably b/c by this time, most weddings have already happened for the year or it's too late to find a dress unless you're getting married towards the very end of the year. For whatever reason, it was great b/c when we got there at 5:40 or so, there were only a few (maybe 20) ppl in front of us. Last time we showed up at 6:30 and the line had already snaked past half the room. This time, 7:00 rolled around and the line barely reached the same point we were waiting at last time at 9:30 (doors open at 8 and they incrementally let groups of 20-30 ppl in so you move along very slowly). We made the time go by faster by creating our version of Scattergories using the paper that they hand out listing the rules. We also brought breakfast to stave off the hunger. If not for the hard floor, it'd be quite enjoyable hanging out with friends and playing games.

We were the second group to be let in and with less ppl rushing around, it was a better shopping experience too. I think a lot of the gowns were in a lot better shape also. I was so tempted to try on more dresses (there were so many pretty ones). My friend, after trying on 3 dresses, decided to buy this gorgeous one with spaghetti straps and delicate flowers and silver embroidery. (She didn't want beads or anything complicated and tried on this one dress on a whim and this was her first gown shopping experience.) It was her size and in pristine condition -- a perfect find! My shopping experience was alright too. I found the last BM's dress and my mother also found a strapless brown dress (the cloth is a bit shimmery).

Despite the full page of rules that they give out (only 3 dresses per party, only 20 minutes in the dressing area, etc.), they are quite accomodating. They provide chairs by the door for "the men" who wait as the women look, they allow you to bring food and drinks in as long as you clean up and empty out the liquids by 9am, you can bring your folding chairs and towels to sit on, and you can have one person wait and the rest of the group join you in the same place on line. And best of all, my mother was 10 minutes late (she works nearby and gets off work at 8:30) and they let her come in and join me (I was already inside by then).

And we were done by 10:30am or so, when stores were just starting to open for the day. It was very surreal b/c it felt like it should be noon already -- I was so tired (still am)!!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Wedding websites

There are definite pros and cons to the free wedding websites out there (if only they could combine to have the good of all of them). After countless hours of trying out a few of them, I think I'm ready to publicize the use of's. The direct link is myNameandfirst3lettersofFiance' What I liked about WeddingChannel's sites is their connection to charitable giving -- every gift bought through their site results in a donation to a charity, in our case, Habitat for Humanity International (they didn't have the American Lung Association available). This is similar to the I Do Foundation's site which we also have an account for but IDF is not very user-friendly (even more so than WC). So I put a little note on our WeddingChannel site about our IDF site b/c they do donate to the Lung Association. Unfortunately, WC must've realized that ppl are using that space to publicize another site so some of the information is cut off. grrr...

I had also tried out the Knot's free websites, which is probably most user-friendly of all but I didn't like the
limitations for the registry information (there's no space to put information about the charitable stuff). And WC's sites also provide a friendly URL redirect so that it's easier to remember.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

DIY flowers

I think it's a sign -- in the past two days I've unintentionally come across 2 separate sources of information about DIY wedding flowers. On the HGTV website, there is a video on making boutonnieres, corsages, hand-tied bouquets, and a round bouquet (using a foam holder). The boutonnieres look very manageable and I will definitely try to DIY those. The hand-tied bouqet of callas also looks very elegant and manageable and the Pick a Petal site gives me even more hope. I should probably practice beforehand though.

According to
HGTV, you can make the arrangements a day, to day and a half in advance. You just have to keep the flowers in a cool place (no need to refrigerate) so this is definitely do-able. I just wonder whether I should get the flowers from the Flower District or order them online....

Project-managing the wedding

I attended a project management seminar today at work and instead of thinking about how it would apply to my job, I thought of ways to apply it for my wedding. :) I learned to set realistic daily/weekly goals so that you don't feel overwhelmed (if you don't accomplish a task it will stay in your subconscious, stressing you out; so it's best to set goals you can reach). In order to start anew without the lingering undone tasks is to do a 'data dump' where you make a gigantic master to-do list and then break that down. One practical way that the speaker gave to carry this out is to write out every task you can think of on Post-Its. Then you arrange them on a board or wall; the beauty of the Post-Its is that it can be rearranged multiple times so that you can really figure out what needs to be done first, whether things can be done simulataneously, which tasks rely on others to be done first, etc. Then when you accomplish something, you can put it on a separate board to tout your achievements (which should motivate you). I also learned about prioritizing goals ("A" being must be done, "B" should be done, "C" nice to be done). So, I used up a whole pad of Post-Its to put down all the stuff that needs to be done, highlighting them according to priority, and stuck them in some semblance of organization on my wall. Of course, after I snapped the picture, more tasks popped into my head so the wall is even more crowded now. (And this picture doesn't include the bottom part of the list, which was cut off b/c it just didn't fit.)

Another important point I learned is that perfection can actually be detrimental -- it causes you to hold up processes trying to fix minutiae or fear starting things b/c it's so daunting. The huge point that hit me was "It's better done than perfect" b/c perfection is impossible. It was discussed how you can achieve excellence but not perfection but it's a difficult thing to digest b/c we're brought up to try to be perfect (especially Asian children). So, in regards to wedding planning -- don't try to be perfect, especially with all those details, it's just gotta get done!

Unfortunately, I think one of the ways I waste time from the project at hand is blogging... but perhaps I will use it as a reward for when I accomplish tasks?

Wednesday, June 7, 2006

The old toilet flusher

I'm going to a friend's wedding this Saturday and I'm going to be an usher! This is probably the biggest role I've ever played in a wedding before (never been a BM nor a flower girl, though I've always wanted to do both). Over the years, I've mainly been a guest, which I have to say, is quite enjoyable. A few times I helped out setting up/serving at the casual reception after the ceremony and even such a minor role was stressful. But besides being able to help out a friend and to being close to the 'frontlines', I'm pretty psyched to do this. I'm so excited and happy for this friend and to see her get married. I think our relationships/lives have taken somewhat parallel paths: she started dating her fiance about a year before I started dating mine, our fiances have the same first name, all four of us used to work in the same area (my friend and I worked in the same building while our fiances work about ten blocks away, within a block of each other), our birthdays are within days of each other, we got engaged in the same year, and now we're getting married in the same year. The other day when I thought about her upcoming wedding, I got really nervous -- for her (it's just a few days away!) and for myself (it's getting really close and in just a few months I'll be feeling the same butterflies, but for me -- gulp!). And as those emails from the WeddingChannel and the Knot keep pointing out, I only have a few months left! And yet so much to do!! More things to do:

In the immediate future (next 2 weeks):
  • Finish map/directions & print them out
  • Make veil
  • Finalize cake design/flavors
  • Assemble invites
Farther down the line:
  • Makeup
  • Decide on flowers
  • Decide on decorations
  • Decide on honeymoon
  • Make/decide on favors
  • Scout photo locations
  • List must-take photos
  • Compile songs to be played at ceremony and throughout banquet
  • Make menu holder/table numbers?
  • Get shoes for qi pao
  • Get alcohol

Sunday, June 4, 2006

The making of a veil, part I

This past Friday, I trekked through torrential downpours and drizzly mists, splashing through the streams and puddles of the Fashion District in search of some tulle and veil supplies. I got so wet, even with my umbrella shielding me from above. I'm not sure if it was wise to wear my platform flip flops that day b/c the lack of traction on the bottom led to some pretty scary slips (interesting how some of NYC's sidewalks are a lot more slick than others) but I think if I had been wearing sneakers, my shoes, socks, and feet would've been soaked, leading to many hours of discomfort after the first drenching (as opposed to the constant wet and dry cycle, which is a pretty gross feeling too).

I decided to take the train to 34th Street-Herald Square and walk up and across to end somewhere around 40th and 8th. My first stop was Toho Sohji, a Japanese place that sells all kinds of stuff to make jewelry, from beads to charms to feathers. I was looking for a 3" metal hair comb b/c I've heard those hold in your hair better than the plastic ones. Toho had various sizes and they also had the plain metal bands that are used to make tiaras, inspiring me to create one, if I can find the perfect design. I foolishly decided not to buy the haircomb, thinking that I'd comparison shop. When the rain let up a little, I walked up the block to M&J Trimming. They have nice lace, flowers, and ribbon all neatly displayed (as I blogged about before) but no 3" hair combs. The person helping me even told me to try Toho, but I had one other place to try so I didn't go back.

The next closest stop was B&J Fabrics, which is located in an office building, on the second floor. It's a huge, brightly lit space with lots of ppl milling about. I stopped at the front to put my umbrella in a bag and asked whether or not they had natural sparkle tulle. The guy had no idea what I meant by "natural" and I explained that I wanted something that wasn't white, not ivory, but something in between. He said it'd be best if I had a sample but all I could offer was the sample I pictured in my brain (note: not helpful to anyone). He did point me to the general area of the tulle, where I found large swatches of fancy embroidered selections (in various colors) hanging on rods, like the clearance section in the back of Old Navy. Then I saw a bin of bolts of tulle, ranging from whites to bright colors like yellow, pink, and teal. I picked up a small roll of dirty-looking tulle wrapped in brown paper (not really dirty, but that's what off-white looks like compared to bright white -- the color of my dress). I had no idea how much this was and when I walked towards the middle, a person at one of the wide tables told me the price and cut me 4 yards of the stuff. He wrote out the 'bill', rolled up the tulle and put it into a clear plastic bag. All this happened so fast, I felt quite idiotic that: 1) I forgot to look up how much material to buy for a floor-length veil and ended up asking the guy, who I think, misled me by saying 4 yards was good (I think I need less), 2) I forgot to ask whether this really was sparkle tulle or regular tulle (I have no idea what the difference is but I was told to get the sparkle variety by an acquaintance who has experience in such matters), and 3) I forgot that I had one other fabric place to check out before making a decision. And I could've sworn that the guy quoted me $1.95 a yard but when I went up front to pay, it turned out to be $2.95 a yard. Oh well. At least I was able to pay with cc and there was no tax.

My final stop was to be Daytona Trimmings, 251 W. 39th St., between 7th and 8th. Despite the good reviews that I've read of this place, I was a bit disappointed. Not only did they not have any hair combs but they were less than helpful (2 workers stood around chatting while I tried to ask them a question). The store is a bit dingy-looking too but the reviews of it are good enough that I would go back if I ever needed some trim. And if I hadn't found the tulle at B&J, I would've gone to Rosen and Chadick on 40th St., by 7th.

Today I unwrapped my tulle and hung it up in my closet so that gravity could take care of some of the wrinkles (hopefully). When the tulle is laid out and fluffed, it looks so nice and dreamy. :) Anyway, I just have to get the hair comb from Toho and then I can begin construction. Hopefully these sites will be helpful:
And some general veil info (can someone please do a Knot Bio on tiaras/headpieces?!):
I also came across these sites for craft resources in NYC (fabrics, yarn, etc.) which will be useful once I'm done w/ this wedding stuff and can do other crafts:
And just a mini-aside/update from all this veil talk.... After a crazy commute to Brooklyn after the already crazy and wet day (a lot of trains had issues b/c of the heavy and sudden downpours so the buses were packed and I ended up walking in the rain from Wall Street to Ctown, where fiance had parked his car), we checked out an apartment. Not sure if we like it enough to put in a bid but it is definitely coming down to the wire and we need a place to live!