Thursday, April 22, 2010

Fish Frenzy

We have always had a thing for fish. My fiance grows his own marine tanks complete with corals and fish. He loves to eat fish (and sometimes I cook sea bass for him!). When growing up, I learned how to fold ribbon fish so I folded a bunch for him one valentine's day. We have decided to decorate our gazebo with lots of fish due to these 4 reasons:

1) Our history of fish
2) Fish means "plentiful" (good fortune) in Chinese cultures
3) The idea of flowers on our gazebo just never fully appealed to me
4) I found a fabulous origami cranes inspiration picture that could be replaced by fish

Here is our inspiration (we would only copy the pink/purple/blue due to our wedding colors):

Here was my original sketch (please ignore the orange!):

which quickly got shot down by mom who replied to my email with 1 word: "Ugly!"

Sadness. I later learned that it was the big fish that she thought were horrendously ugly. So our latest idea is to only hang strands of small fish on 7 panels of the gazebo (basically everything but the front panel).

We bought a TON of ribbons but in the end, decided to eliminate all the dark blues and dark purples. We're going for a more pastel look. Here are some results from folding fish last weekend:

If you blow up the top picture, you'll see some *tiny* fish as well. We bought 3/8" ribbons for the *tiny* fish but then realized they would be way too small. So we went out and bought 6/8" ribbons for the slightly bigger but still *small* fish. We'll still use the *tiny* fish to hang a few on our tall centerpieces. I have my florist to thank for that idea!

Here is what 1 panel of the gazebo might look like:

The panels in our gazebo are 50" high and 53" wide. We still haven't figured out how many strands of fish to hang in each panel yet. The fish above are mostly still missing tails!

Here is a close up of a fish with a tail. :) Though...we haven't decided 100% on the type of tail we want yet either.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


So much to do, so little time! Just a warning that this post may be all over the place as that is my current state of mind. After having 5 consecutive nights of wedding nightmares last week, I'm happy to report that I am temporarily free of nightmares (or at least not any that I remember after waking up). But the work and daytime stress has not subsided. This past week has been a whirlwind of projects and ideas. The following is a list of projects we need to complete (or scratch) by July 10!

1) Finish invitations. It seems like we'll never stop inviting more people! This is a major time sink...I will post about the full invitation suite later.

2) First Dance: We are planning on a Foxtrot dance routine to "Endless Love" by Lionel Richie and Diana Ross. My fiance and I are *not* dancers. We're very close to having 2 left feet. And yet we told our dance instructor to give us fancy moves please! At 4:19 long, we want lots and lots of variety to keep guests entertained. One bit that is really stressing me out though is not only are we having our band play this song, but we're also have 2 friends sing it, and none of us will be able to practice together beforehand! My fiance and I will be practicing to the original soundtrack and crossing our fingers that the band will play it to the dot, that our friends will be able to sing along, and that our feet, bodies, and mind will cooperate and not get thrown off.

3) Program Fans: Not only do I have to finish designing them, but I also need to learn how to use my crop-a-dile to connect the papers and make sure they can fan out! I received some sample eyelets and washers in the mail, and the sweet lady Ann at even included a little trial with 10 sheets of paper to show me the concept!

4) Table menus: We had wanted to go fancy with cutouts using our silhouette machine, but this might be toned down for time's sake.

5) Table pictures: We are ordering transparent crystal picture frames (you can see through the picture, how cool is that?). Going to have all the letters of the alphabet each represent something special in our relationship. 24 letters for 24 tables, and the remaining V and Y (our initials) for our sweetheart table. I've chosen most of the pictures already but need to finalize and order.

6) Table favors: We're giving away Kate Aspen mini photo albums with a cover. We'll put a picture representing the table letter in each album and place them on the napkin linens.

7) Placecard holders: We're using tinkerbells with a holder for a card. Might emboss little cow/fish/leaf to represent each person's meal choice, or might forego the embossing and just print if we run out of time.

8) Personalize my bridesmaids presents! I'm staying hush hush about this for now.

9) Ordering fiance's wedding band. We're thinking the fingerprint ring!

10) Folding a ton of ribbon fish to decorate our gazebo with strands of 3D fish! Details later.

11) I want to copy the photo album idea posted by Miss Buttons. Like this:

12) Finalize wedding schedule

13) Finalize mothers' gifts. This is mostly done. Also staying hush about this for now.

14) Finalize father daughter song lyrics. This is a surprise for my daddy!

15) Custom vows!!

16) 36" long sparklers for grand exit. I've already ordered these, just waiting for them to arrive. We better not forget them!

17) Plaque for table seating showing guests where the A-Z tables are

18) Plaque explaining photobooth and photo albums

19) Sample scrapbook sheets to show guests that we want their photos and messages

20) Wedding slideshow/video! (Fiance probably gets full reign of this one)

21) Table assignments

22) Facials. Went for my first one last weekend and spent $850 for a full package and some more. Need to go every 2 weeks or so.

23) I took my girls for dress alterations. Need to make sure everything works out fine.

24) Need to make jewelry for my girls using Swarovski crystal hearts that I bought. First, need to learn!

25) Dress alterations for myself. Went in for my first appointment this past weekend. Need to go back 3 more times.

26) Apply for marriage license.

I keep re-editing this post and adding more items! Is it normal to feel so overwhelmed less than 3 months before the wedding?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Sigh of relief

My lovely maid of honor came to visit this weekend and we had a blast!! But the downside to all the wedding talk and hype is that I've now had 3 consecutive nights of wedding nightmares. I can't quite recall the first 2 nights anymore, but last night was the worst.

To give you some context, I have been worrying for the past couple weeks that my cousin in Hong Kong may not fit into her dress, because 3 girls were borderline 6 and 8 and I ordered 2 8's and 1 6. The other 2 bridesmaids both tried on the 6 and did not fit in it. That, and I freaked out when comparing my cousin's measurements to the actual dress measurements that I took manually. I was originally going to mail her the dress, but decided to have a relative bring it to HK for me. I thought it would be safer and faster than USPS, but I also had a lingering fear that the baggage carrying it would get lost!

Since my relative was scheduled to fly on April 10, it had actually already arrived last night but my cousin left me a voicemail saying she'd have to try it on when she got home from work (which would be morning here). So I went to bed expecting some sort of answer this morning.

In my nightmare, I was panicking because my cousin could not fit into her dress, and she was quiet but visibly upset at me (I was probably acting like a bridezilla). I woke up in a panic with my heart racing this morning, and I quickly reached over to check my gmail on the phone. No email from her. I was really scared that my nightmare would come true and that I would have to rush order a new dress for her. Not only would it cost me more money, but we run the risk of the dress being in a different shade of lavender. Finally, at 3:34pm this afternoon (6:34am in Hong Kong!), I got the long-awaited email from my cousin. Not only does she fit in it, but it's even a bit loose!

I hope this answer breaks my string of nightmares!

edit: make that *4* consecutive nights of wedding nightmares...wonder what tonight will bring!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The generation gap

Lesson learned: Never assume your elders will just accept everything you plan.

My fiance's parents were actually the first folks who received the invitations back in mid February, about 2 months ago. I was just the slight bit disappointed that they didn't jump-on-chair rave about the invitations, but it was positive feedback nonetheless and that was fine by me.

Fastforward 1.5 months to April 2, exactly 99 days before the big day. I get a call from FMIL while at work asking if I could chitchat. I said sure, and she went from one wedding topic to another, making me wonder if she was just bored and needed company. She chatted about the invitations and how many more I had to make. I told her I had finished almost everything already. And then she asked me the oddest question: Are we going to have a red carpet for our ceremony entrance? I said no, red is not in our wedding colors which are lavender, silver, and white. She asked, will we at least have red flower petals? I said no, for the same reason. And then slowly but surely, she started explaining that my FFIL was borderline shocked when he got our lavender invitations, because the color was so weird and un-wedding. At first, I thought it was due to the white/grayish vellum wrap. But no, it was the lavender.

the offending lavender

Then he jumped on speakerphone as well and they proceeded to tell me that all their relatives in Taiwan pretty much disapproved of this unhappy color. And of course, all my dreams of having white bouquets and centerpieces? Out the window. I understand about Chinese people not liking ALL WHITE bouquets because it represents death. But since when did lavender become a criminal color?!?! They have also told me no black, no yellow. And blue lighting? Too cold and sad. Seriously?!?!

I was absolutely peeved. So peeved that at 6pm in my office, I started raising my voice in frustration, explaining to them that I don't want red, that red clashes with the lavender I've chosen, that even my qi pao (Chinese outfit for tea ceremony) is purple! They said that if not red, then at least a really really dark pink, like magenta. Don't get me wrong. I absolutely LOVE magenta/fuschia and love flowers that come in that color. But I just didn't think it would go well with the current color scheme because both lavender and magneta are strong. Not to mention we hired a ridiculously expensive photographer who is perfect with soft, romantic, pastel colors. I totally freaked and asked them whether they wanted me to change the entire color scheme and to rush order new pink bridesmaids dresses for $1000 more. And to my dismay, my FMIL actually said yes, they would happily pay for the difference.

Suffice to say my weekend absolutely sucked. Imagine trying to plan a whole new wedding 3 months out, after planning EVERYTHING around lavender and silver for 1 whole year already. Good news is that my fiance is on my side and thought his parents were out of line. My parents, also Chinese but apparently a lot more modernized, LOVE my invitations and say all their friends and relatives (including my grandfather) also love them and the color choice. Two of my bridesmaids tried to calm me down and sway me from ordering new pink dresses. The current plan is to compromise and sort of meet in the middle. We'll keep the lavender bridesmaids dresses and the purple lighting and silver/lilac linens. Instead of a white/blush bouquet, mine will be all pink. And instead of white bouquets, the bridesmaids will have white/pink. As for the aisle and reception flowers, I originally was thinking a combination of lavender and white, but since my FFIL seems to hate lavender, we're thinking maybe pink/white. I know they hate white, but I need to put my feet down somewhere.

Is this something that a lot of brides go through?