The BIG day!

It has almost been 5 months since the big day!

I thought that I would just finish this blog off with the best send off – The BIG day.

Our day started with – well, actually the day before started with this:

Yum cha with my family, took my cousins around Auckland, buying flowers for our parents, going to Spotlight to get some helium balloons, back to my friends house to drop-off the flowers and balloons, dropped off our decorations at Hammerheads… and after dinner went to the apartments with my bridesmaids…got there at 11pm..settled down.. and we decided to… EAT KFC.

Like my sister said on facebook “You know you have the best bridal party when you all decide to go drive-thru KFC instead of getting beauty sleep the night before the wedding :)”

I managed to get a lot of sleep – then we woke up, had breakfast and watched Batman (the cartoon) until our Make-up and hair people arrived.

I really enjoyed the morning – it was really stress free until we got a call from our Alarm company saying that it has been set off – luckily that got sorted..I was a bit stressed but thought no – I’m not going to worry about it.

And then my husband-to-be texted me to say his car won’t start…

For some reason, I still wasn’t stressed… Maybe I knew that there was no point and so we continued on getting ready.

 

Something different..

This is not a wedding post but I thought that since I had an awesome weekend, I would like to share it.

This year was the first time I volunteered as crew. I was thankful I had my fiancé, and two of my friends to help out as well. We ended up with the glam job of looking after the rubbish in the village area. It was such an amazing experience. At the time, it was really hard work especially in the sun. I got a nice tan – manage to still get tan marks (lighter this year) even though I was wearing a t-shirt most of the time. Saturday was our 8 hour day and probably the busiest day of the festival. Our team aim was “to be one of the cleanest festivals in the world” and to “recycle at least 40% of the rubbish”. I hope we have met that. Artists have mentioned that they are surprised at how clean the place is – all thanks to the volunteers!

I think I surprised myself at how many bins we managed to sort and empty. Some were really heavy but once your mind is on the job and knowing why you are doing it, you forget about everything else. All the coffee, chocolate, half eaten food falls on you but at that time you just want to get the bin out so people don’t throw rubbish everywhere.

I have met so many new people and I think they are amazing. On our team was two boys (Aidan and Dan) and they worked so hard. Even when it wasn’t their shift, they would be cleaning. I also saw all the energy and efforts of the main crew – they were there setting up since last Saturday! They worked so hard just so that the 30,000 punters can enjoy the ‘3 day’ festival.

I felt really bad how year after year, I was relatively comfy going to the festival, enjoying what it offered but then so much is happening behind the scenes. The crew can’t go to see what they want to see. They have given up their whole weekend – some for 10+ years.

AND I’ve decided to test out this new theme to see how it goes!

Trends and traditions..

Just over 2 months to go!!

Here are some things that I have learnt and discovered so far about weddings..and have been questioned about or questioned

1. Pre-wedding photos..
Most of the non-Asian people I’ve spoken to have no idea what they are and what they are for. I too have questioned about that. So far the best explanation is that Asian weddings don’t normally have the long hours in between the ceremony and reception to take photos so they do it beforehand. Fair enough I think! For me, I’ve been lucky enough to have two pre-wedding photo shoots done. One lot done in China and one here. So what do you think?

2. The 1 million dress changes..
If you have been to an Asian wedding, you would have noticed that the bride changes into a lot of different dresses all in the one night. Until today, I thought it was an Asian thing but after watching Rachel Ray, it seems like the trend is picking up in America too! I am still looking for another dress but I have also bought the traditional Chinese “Qi Pao” (dress).

3. To gift or not to gift..
So, this came up when we had to do our invites. What do we write on it? We don’t want to be rude but we also have a house that we’ve inherited or ‘adopted’ as one of my friends would say, a bunch of wedding gifts from other people’s weddings. I decided to google search for nice wording and realised that it is such a heated topic! You pretty much have people on two camps. Yes it’s rude to not accept gifts and yes it’s rude to ask for gifts i.e a wedding registry.  Gifting of money is another debate – should we should we not? Again from the people I’ve spoken to, some think it’s ok and some not. The way we’ve approached it is to not ask for any – and if people do ask we tell them we prefer cash unless they really want to give us a gift, then we will tell them our limited list of gifts.. which we are very grateful for (I have just received my first wedding gift!)  🙂

4. Most importantly..

It sounds selfish but the wedding is yours. I think that has been the best advice and reminder that I have been given. People have so many different opinions but amongst traditions and trends, you do need to choose something that reflects you and your partner. We have gone for the “simple” and relaxed wedding (or I hope it will be!)  – as little stress as possible. Thankfully, we can get rid of a lot of traditions..especially some of the Chinese ones. It’s not that it’s bad or anything, but I can’t imagine myself waking up at 5am in the morning to get my make-up and hair done in order to play games (that involves that boys paying the girls a lot of money to get to the bride) for a few hours. I would be exhausted by the time the ceremony starts. Not to mention everyone else who would be involved. If you don’t talk to your partner about what both of you want, you would pretty much go crazy reading all the blogs and getting advice from everyone. 🙂

 

Cakes!!

So for the past month I have been part of a cake competition. Was quite exciting and at times like this you really appreciate the people around you. The competition involved getting the most number of “LIKES” on our photo and also Miss Melicious‘ page. I have heard really good things about her cupcakes (still need to get round to ordering some myself!). The competition has now ended and unfortunately we didn’t win BUT to our surprise, Miss Melicious offered to all contestant a wedding cake/cupcakes up to $300!! It is so amazing how some people can be so generous.  I am also really touched by this whole experience where everyone had adopted it as their own competition as well. They always used the words “WE” / “OURS” rather than your competition. So now I have to look for a cake that I want!

And this is going towards my goal of having a wedding on a budget and not having to slave labour my kind friends! 🙂
Flavours:

I am thinking something chocolate? Could possibly experiment a bit since Miss Melicious is good at that!

Design:

Something like our competition photo. Nice and simple.

So after my final assessment (YAY!) I will go on to more cake research!!

Nervous??

Slight change of topic. A question I have been asked a lot is..”are you nervous?”. My answer has always been no. Why they ask all surprised. Partly because I have most things organised but partly because I am sure about what I am doing. Perhaps the better question is “are you excited?” because I definitely am.

I think one important thing to remember is that this YOUR wedding and know that things will probably go wrong on the day or at least not quite to plan. Having been to many weddings with stressed out brides and a whole army of helpers (I love the people from my church!) I think it’s important for brides to be realistic. I think it’s sad that most people are tired by the end of the day that they can’t even enjoy the special day. If you are quite particular about decorations for example, save up for the professionals or choose something easier. For one you won’t be as nervous because you know it’s in good hands and two others can enjoy the wedding. And there are things that are uncontrollable like the weather so that’s why we chose March and to have an indoor wedding, although we would have loved a beach wedding. We live in the famous Auckland where we can get all four seasons in one day, sometimes it would be rain to your left and sunshine to your right. We would be putting extra stress on ourselves because comfort for our guests is very important and I would be thinking about the weather all the time.

Having an awesome wedding planner who is super dooper organise helps too! So I volunteered my eldest sister for this task! 🙂

The only thing I am nervous about is the change. I still can’t imagine what it would be like when I move out. Scary thoughts! What would my life be like without being so close to my sister and parents??

My dream dress..

Jane Yeh Nadia Wedding Dress

Photo: Jane Yeh Bridal Gowns

So to start off the blog I will talk about the most important thing in planning a wedding…well for the bride anyway.

Finding the “Perfect Dress”.

This is my dream dress from Jane Yeh. Unfortunately, as much as I would love to spend money on this – reality set in. Do I want to spend $4000 on this for a few hours?

I was tempted – until I went to Guangzhou. Yes the plane ticket cost $2000 but it was part of my trip to China and I was fortunate enough to go to Guangzhou. They  have an area dedicated to wedding dresses (and a few for the groom)! The place is easy to find – Jiangnan Dadao Road. Literally just of the MTR and you are there. There you can find shops on the main street selling traditional Chinese dresses, wedding dresses, bridesmaid dresses, flower girl dresses. You name it. There are also other shops behind the main street shops that are worth looking at too. If you are looking for a bargain go to those – you can find similar styles as the main street shops but for a cheaper price. They also work round the clock to help tailor your dress to fit for no extra cost – so the only thing is you either need to buy it close to your wedding date or in my case, buy it a year early  and hope that I will fit into it in a years time!

So after a few hours of going around, dragging my poor fiancé around trying on dresses (as you can see, I’m not the most traditional bride – but 1. I can’t speak Mandarin, 2. I’m not a good bargainer and 3. We both wanted to visit Guangzhou – he had to come along)  I managed to find two dresses all for the price of NZ$300 TOTAL.

It’s not my dream dress but it does have the components of what I like – the belt/ribbon is really important. In all honesty – you might think the material is not as nice as what you might hope for (i.e. silk, crystals etc) but I found the dress that fits me very well, is a style that is quite unique and reflected me. I love wearing it.

Just a word of warning – if you do want to visit Guangzhou keep in mind there is a bit of  “Chinese styling” in each dress. Make sure that if there any additions that you can alter it if you want.

And ultimately “the perfect dress” is the one you feel comfortable and a million bucks in and not necessarily the one that is the most expensive or convenient! Spend time shopping around – organise a shopping trip with your bridesmaids/girlfriends – it will be fun!

Unfortunately for my readers, you will need to wait 10 months and 2 weeks to see the dress(es). 🙂

Welcome..

So, it’s going to be my wedding soon and my colleagues suggested that I start a blog. I’m not much of a blogger so I will try to keep up and this blog may end up evolving into something else – my other love for baking. Hopefully this blog will bring some fun and excitement to the world of wedding planning!

From the bride to be.
PS. Thanks to my colleagues for the name!