Things no one tells you about wedding planning

FYI, this is from my perspective and the things I’ve been going through with this wedding planning the past year. I won’t talk about how weddings are expensive to fund because they are and I won’t talk about how choosing the right font and colors. So far I’ve learned (in particular order):

1. Everyone wants to know how the wedding planning is going – STFU! We picked our vendors in the first three months of being engaged and from January to June we did not doing anything major major regarding the wedding planning–there was the engagement photo shoot in March. Between the months from January to June, I had a root canal and I trained for my half marathon. But yeah…a lot of people like to ask how the wedding planning is going and you tell them “I’ve been training for this half-marathon, I’ve been running 3 times per week” or “I had a root canal and it put a huge dent on my bills; I haven’t really put too much thought on wedding planning, sorry.”  I think they were honest answers. But in the end their ears are hearing wedding, wedding, wedding. I understand they’re excited but I feel terrible that I didn’t have anything worth talking about since we did most of the work in the very beginning of the engagement. I guess I just got sick of talking about the same thing over and over again.

2. There’s this expectation that you’re suppose a certain way…. – I wasn’t sure how to word this. But people are very surprised to see I do not have the pre-wedding jitters or becoming bridezilla and the wedding is in 5 weeks. Well…I don’t know how to explain it. I’ve got plenty of things to be distracted. I don’t know how to explain it, but I don’t like being told that I’m not acting a certain way.

3. It can get political even though you tried to mitigate EVERYTHING! - We already made it clear that we were going to fund the wedding and do WHATEVER we want. My future FIL and MIL has asked us to invite more people to our wedding because they want to get some money from it. Well, we’re not a business transaction. You see, my fiance has been giving money to people’s wedding on their behalf because his parents asked him for money so it’s really not their money. They’re not funding our wedding so they don’t have any control of the guestlist.

4. Pick up some creative skills - I’m glad I took a few Paint Nite classes to get in touch with my creative side because some of the DIY projects I decided to take on from Pinterest take a lot of time and patience. From Paint Nite, I learned whatever I was going to be painting was not going to be perfect. When I attempt DIYs from Pinterest, I don’t try too hard to make it the exact replica but I do put a lot of effort into what I do.

5. You don’t need to plan your wedding at every waking moment of your life - If you plan correctly, you don’t need to plan it everyday. Besides, why do you want to plan it at every waking moment? When the wedding is over, what is there left really? If your engagement is 12 months or more, you have a lot more lull time than you think.

6. Still pursue your hobbies – I think plenty of people forget that I (and other bride-to-bes’) do have a life beyond planning a wedding like working out, reading books and music, blogging, and having a social life. During my time as a engaged woman, I also learned new things where I wanted to get better at something such as becoming a better writer at work, getting more confident in public speaking, and practicing better communication skills overall.

7. Exercise (and other good habits) AFTER the wedding is over – For those who have never exercised before planning the wedding, maybe your plan to exercise AFTER the wedding. You may not have a dress to fit in anymore, but didn’t you feel great losing all that weight and picking up healthier habits?

For myself, I’ve always exercised before getting engaged because I like going to the gym. When my half-marathon was coming up, I really had to up my exercise regiment. I usually do a lot of cardio classes like dance and spin but I also needed to pick up more strength training such as doing more squats to get stronger legs. I did lose weight and people did notice. I really didn’t like it when people said my weight loss was for the wedding. I’ve always exercised before, it was just those months I had to amp it up more than usual.

8. DIY within your abilities - Otherwise, it might become a glue-mess disaster. There are exceptions though, if you have extra time start your way slow. When I first got engaged, I DIY’ed a lot until I figured out which skills I was good at (painting) and which ones I wasn’t (making yarn balls).

9. Delete your Pinterest board…or delete some of the pins – I’ll admit it’s very hard to do. I love collecting ideas on Pinterest but once you do decide on what you like delete the rest of the pins that you didn’t chose. For examples, I pinned a lot of high heeled shoes on my board but now I decided to go with flat shoes, so I deleted all the high heeled shoes. I also pinned a lot of dresses I really admired from afar. Once I decided on the dress, I deleted all the dresses too on the board too. It just makes things less cloudy and makes me less indecisive.

Exception is that I am keeping a few items on my board because my wedding coordinator/florist does look at my Pinterest board.

10. The younger the bride-to-be, the more “stressful” situations she’ll encounter – Maybe they’re relatively stressful because the are things she never thought she had to deal with. For myself, I’m the first of my friends to get married and plan a wedding and I never thought I would have to deal with my future MIL becoming Momzilla because we couldn’t invite her friends.

My friend’s sister is a few years younger than me and she’s on the same boat too but for a different reason–bridesmaids drama. She has A LOT of bridesmaids.

One of my coworker’s daughter is engaged and she’s also a few years younger than me too. Recently, I told my coworker about all the things that stressed me about about the wedding like…in-law drama. My co-worker loves weddings and the planning process of being around pretty things, but she realized she forgot the things her daughter is going through like her own in-law drama. Yeah…it’s not all about the pretty things.

Sorry about my cynicism but I’ve been meaning to post the things I’ve encountered throughout my wedding planing process. I do enjoy it but I’m not sure if I would ever want to plan another wedding again. I learned I do like to DIY such as creating money boxes and altar arrangements, and I would do that for someone else’s wedding. But other than that…with the in-law drama and the guestlist craziness is enough for me not ever want to plan a wedding again (I’ll write more about that in detail another time).

Bachelorette Party 8/3

I know this was long overdue. My bridesmaids got a limo and we did a wine tour around Temecula.

On the event details, one of my bridesmaid kept emphasizing to wear comfortable clothes and shoes — I still thought about wear a dress. On the day of when I read the weather forecast, it said “humid” and I decided to wear a dress…but I’ll pack myself a pair of pants just in case.

When I arrived, my bridesmaids were shocked to find I was wearing a dress because they were meaning to surprise me with a shirt, a crown, and sash :-P. That’s why I had to wear pants that day.

Surprise giftboxes created by my bridesmaids. My bachelorette attendees all get a box with a wine glass, a shirt that says “team bride”, and other goodies.

Food in the limo.

From one of the wineries — Leoness.

From Danza del Sol. I should’ve bought the Gerwurstraminer from there :-P.

Of all days, I forgot to bring my phone that day :-(. But I am grateful that I’ve got plenty of photos from my friends!

Stitch Fix August 2014

For this request, I asked for no pants just to see what I would get and I ended with 4 dresses and earrings. I’m glad I got to try on a bunch of dresses to find what works and doesn’t work, but I wish I got a skirt and a top as well in this fix.

1. CASSY CLOVER CHANDELIER EARRINGS

I thought they looked cute but they felt really cheap to me.

Verdict: Pass.

2. CALLAFIA PRINT WRAP DRESS


I’ve always wanted a wrap dress. I loved full skirt and the way the material felt, but I didn’t like how it was so low cut I had to wear a tank underneath. I felt if I wore this dress throughout the day, I would have fallen out of this dress.

Verdict: Return

3. LORRENA LACE DETAIL BELTED FIT & FLARE DRESS

The price tag is pretty high at $148 dollars. I initially did not want to try it but I’m glad I did later on tonight. I love the fit and I love how I felt in this dress. I wish I had better photos of it in our room (lazy fiance was sitting at his office so he took a photo at the living room). The skinny belt makes me look taller but it also looks good with a thicker belt as well.

Verdict: KEEP!

4. NIKI ABSTRACT FLORAL ELASTIC WAIST DRESS

This dress was ok. I love the fabric but I am not a big fan of the elastic waistlines on dresses. They don’t really sit well on my waist and I feel I have to constantly adjust throughout the day.

Verdict: Returned.

5. MURIEL COWL NECK SHEATH DRESS

I like the way the dress photographs but I didn’t like the way I feel in the dress. I think there is a lot going on–it’s two-toned and there’s a sash too.The grey and navy colors are beautiful but I did not like the sash at all. I think I would have preferred two-toned and no sash or single color and sash.

Verdict: on the fence   Returned!

 

 

She suspects we don’t eat…

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Crazy to think I use to eat a large portion of food back in San Diego. I also exercised like crazy. I did pilates and hot yoga just to burn off the food.

Well…I couldn’t even finish this bowl of bun bo hue from my last visit to SD. My fiancé’s mom does serve my us large portions every time we’re here (I’ll talk more about this another time…I suspect helicopter mom-in-law/momzilla). Before I would make myself finish my food,  but that day I couldn’t force myself if I could.

When we moved to LA I lost 20 pounds without doing anything crazy. I now think going to the gym two times per week is an accomplishment versus the times I use to give myself a hard time for only doing two times in a week. My gym routine would consist of spin class and some other fun class such as yoga or dance.

I guess the point of my post is portion control is the key to losing and/or maintaining weight. When I just couldn’t finish this large bowl of bun bo hue, I had to accept it. I know in Asian cultures it’s disrespectful to not finish the food. But I just had to let my future mother-in-law know I couldn’t finish what she served and maybe next time she’ll serve me smaller portions or maybe let myself serve.

Ceremony Decorations – Altar Part 1

My fiance wanted cherry blossoms for a fall wedding and I thought Manzanita branches would be a better alternative. I spoke with my wedding coordinator and she does have a cherry blossom tree to rent. It had pink silk flowers and it costs 350 dollars PER TREE!

PER TREE?

This wedding planning thing is making me sick to my stomach. 350 dollars for silk flowers? I’m sure they’re high grade silk flowers and I wasn’t interested in pink cherry blossoms — I was more interested in white.

Then came in this DIY project. It was worth waking up at 5 AM to go to downtown LA. I got two manzanita branches, silk white flowers, and silk orchids (which is really great quality) from the Flower District. Later that same day, I got two foam blocks from Michaels. Here is phase 1:

2014-07-13 12.43.24I got these manzanita branches for 4 dollars each and it had so many twigs. This required some trimming to create a more clean look. I still thought the one on the left needed more trimming. I didn’t like the little white flowers I got from the flower district because it was already covered in glue and I had to QA each and every little white flower to make sure there was no purple glue residue.

I went back to Michael’s again to get another silk flower to help cover some of the eye sores such as purple glue residue and gaps on the branches. I know Michaels is pricier than going to downtown LA, but Michaels is down the street from my place so it’s the most convenient.

Anyways, I’m done gluing all the flowers on the branch!

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2014-07-13 20.45.082014-07-13 20.45.34Part two of this project is creating a box and filling the base with…flowers? Or maybe moss.

 

 

July 2014 Stitch Fix

I am so happy I got Windy again this month! Even though I did not get an A-Line Skirt as requested I enjoyed July’s Stitch Fix. I needed more casual tops that don’t look like I am on my way to the gym.

This Fix is slightly overdue so I will try to remember as much as I can. I blame the 4th of July festivities and wedding planning for my overdue writings. I am still playing catch-up with the food blog as well.

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1. Zad – Alva Tiered Beaded Collar Necklace – I’ve never really liked the jewelry in the previous fixes. I am however very pleased with this one. This necklace goes well with a lot of the tops with the fix and the top I wore to work that day. I am definitely wearing this necklace for my friend’s wedding next weekend and maybe the bridal shower next month.

Verdict: KEPT!

2. Ezra Alejandro Printed Double Spaghetti Strap Tank – I think I can wear this top to work on casual Friday if I wore a shrug or cardigan. Since this is a slightly overdue review, I wore this top for the 4th of July festivities.

Verdict: Kept

3. Under Skies Reba Floral Print Spaghetti Strap Tank – The pattern and colors are really pretty but I did not like the straps because I felt they might break easily.

Verdict: Returned

4. 41Hawthorn Dita Sleeveless Ponte Dress – It took me a while to decide whether or not to keep this dress because I’ve been looking for another dress for work that’s not black. In the previous fix, I kept a coral dress and I’ve been wearing it pretty often. I love the shape and the fit of this dress but I would’ve kept it if it was a different color like a turquoise or grey.

Verdict: Returned

5. Kensie Jeans Kaleigh Ankle Biter Skinny Jeans

I do not have a picture of myself wearing this jeans. I love the jeans Stitch Fix has sent me and have purchased jeans for every fix but I wasn’t looking to buy another pair.

Verdict: Return`

Post-wedding plans

I think it was very smart of us to plan early and got all the big things needed early in the engagement so we can enjoy a big chunk of our engagement period. But also on the way, I got a root canal and I needed to replace my car battery. We’re glad we’ve been able to have a debt free wedding and be able to pay this out of pocket on our own.

Anyways, recently we’ve noticed we’ve done more post-wedding planning than the wedding itself. Here are things we are doing after October 2014.

1. Got tickets ourselves to the Russell Peters show 

2. Khoi’s college graduation – He gradutates in June 2015. He needs to power through another year more to finish then!

3.  Khoi’s graduation gift - a trip to Italy.

4. Keeping up our food blog, j+k eat [blank] - We’ve got plenty of photos to share!

5. Continuing this blog for my rants and insight. I think I should carry around a written book more often. I’ve been carrying a lot of inspiration around lately that when I go on WordPress I forget.

We also have done non-wedding things during our engagement too such as:

1. Paint Nite and other artsy things- I attended a Paint Nite class and I will be attending more in the future. After 7 years of living nomad, I think our wall deserves something nice.

 
2014-06-17 21.05.182. Doing well at my job – I have witnessed that wedding planning is very distracting. So distracting it prevents people from doing their job at all. It’s EXTREMELY counter productive and I knew I needed to prevent this mistake. I remembered reading Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In,she said that the time before you have kids/get married/get engaged is the perfect time to lean into your job. It’s probably the best advice I’ve ever received and I’m happy to say it’s paying off. Which ties in my next point…

3. Self-improvement - This applies to any part of my life.

4. Saving money – Enough said

5. Write, write, write (and read) – I don’t think I am writing enough. I feel if I spent less time browsing on Pinterest and Youtube, I could write and read more. Got plenty of Yelp reviews to go through :-p.

6. Buying flowers - I always wanted to be the person who is able to afford flowers every week. Well…I’m almost on my way. I’ve been able to buy flowers for the apartment every other week and it definitely brightens up the room. I like how change where the vases are. One week I’ll leave some on my fiance’s desk and another week I’ll leave it along the bar area. I recently purchased a pot of mini peach roses. Hopefully I’ll get more soon.

 

 

Stitch Fix June 2014

This month’s Stitch Fix has been the best so far (I’m definitely requesting this stylist again for next month and maybe all the way to fall :-P). This month the pieces are more spring/summer pieces which is a nice break from the typical dark gray, black, and dark green colors I’ve been receiving from previous fixes.

1. SOPHIA DISTRESSED SKINNY JEAN (not pictured)

I have bought every jeans and pants from Stitch Fix but this time, I am returning these jeans. I think I am done with my distressed jeans phase.

Verdict: Returned

2. CRANSTON PAISLEY CROSS-FRONT RACERBACK BLOUSE

I love this shirt. In fact, I wore it to work today. Actually I had to pin the straps to make the neckline higher. I also needed to wear a cardigan in my cold office — it makes it more office appropriate.

Verdict: KEEPING!

3. TAYLOR V-NECK GRAPHIC PRINT TANK

This top was ok. I do like the light material and the color but I’m still not sure if I’m going to keep it. I guess I just can’t come up with 3 occasions I would wear this shirt other than going to the beach (which I don’t go very often.

Verdict: Thinking about it.

4. HARRIET IKAT PRINT FIT & FLARE DRESS

I didn’t really like a lot of the dresses from Stitch Fix because it made me look really short or I just didn’t like the way I feel in the dresses. For this dress, I love the fitted top and the full skirt silhouette and the pattern. I think I would like to pair this with a white collar t-shirt.

Verdict: KEEP!

5. EMILIA GEO PRINT PENCIL SKIRT

No outfit picture for this skirt. I couldn’t even fit in this skirt :-(. This skirt reminds me of another skirt I saw from Anthropologie last fall. If I was able to fit in this skirt, I would’ve kept it.

Verdict: Returned

 

 

I’ve learned that no matter what happens,

“I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life. I’ve learned that making a “living” is not the same thing as making a “life.” I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back. I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one. I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn. I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

- Maya Angelou