Saturday, March 28, 2009

Table Decorations

(from Ikea)

We're leaning away from centerpieces at the reception, or at least, no main floral arrangement the center of the table. Instead, maybe just have a couple blooms (I'm thinking carnations or gerber daisies or maybe zinnias?) in these spice jars from Ikea at each place setting. We're considering serving a family-style dinner so the middle of the table would be freed up this way. Maybe we'd just put a small bowl of fruit (apples, cherries, oranges, pears, grapes) in the middle so that it wouldn't look so bare. Or dessert stands with fruits. An arrangement of candlesticks. An apothecary jar full of cinnamon sticks. Moss-filled fishbowl vases. Tree branches with glass ornaments. We're not looking for a uniform table look, though I am wondering if we should pick a color to hold it together.

Anyway I've been browsing the Michael's and the Save-on-Crafts website and getting inspired. I'm starting to think that we may save a lot of time, money and headache by foregoing fresh flowers. There seems to be a lot of ways to decorate without those fickle creatures.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Speaking of spending money well

White Aisle teamed up with Daughters Cambodia to help survivors of the sex trafficking industry. These girls and women are forced into prostitution at a young age, sometimes by their own families, and they have an incredibly hard time transitioning back to society. White Aisle decided to help by selling crafts handmade by these women to provide them with an income and a way to step out of poverty. They talked about their trip to Cambodia and their decision to get involved here.

As you can see, these women make beautiful things: silk flowers, ring pillows, and sashes (not pictured). The fabric is local hand-loomed Cambodian silk, and they've kept their design simple so that it really goes with any wedding. We've decided to purchase our ring pillow from them. My favorites are the first two pillows. What do you think?

Turning the Tables

Well, I thought I had it all figured out. We had two great spots to decide on. We talked to caterers. We talked more concretely about our budget. And we finally have committed to a total cost. This is great progress.

FP and I have been very adamant that we have no dream budget in mind. A wedding can cost any amount of money, so our budget needed to be determined by the generosity of our parents. We have a little bit to put in, and our parents have agreed to pitch in the rest. We are very lucky.

Anyway as we've been mulling over the country club vs. the historic library dilemma, I've started to think that we're spending money in the wrong place. While neither of these places is extravagant, they both limit in our ability to fete our guests. We can't afford the good stuff in one, and we can't have everyone we want in the other.

A wedding is not about the setting. Getting married on the Potomac River goes along better with a Great-Gatsby theme, but that isn't what matters. We've said from the beginning that we only care that the people we love are there and that they enjoy themselves (and us too!).

So I've looked into renting a hall from a fire and rescue squad. I know that we will create our own ambience wherever we end up, and it just might be worth it if it means that we have room to use our money to create a better overall celebration for everyone.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

We are officially engaged.

One of the first things my mother asked me when she found out that FP had proposed was when are you free to do a traditional engagement ceremony. This was very important to my parents. They are extremely involved in their local Cambodian community, and they needed us to have this ceremony that basically announces our engagement to everyone, including the all-important Ancestors.

Anyway I was sort of dreading it because 1. the guest list was out of control, 2. I had no idea what I was supposed to be doing, and 3. I don't like ceremony, in general.

When we arrived the night before to pretty much a hot mess, I thought I might lose it. It's strange how things are reasonable to one person, and absolutely insane to another. One person might think it's okay to move couches from their normal, not-in-the-path-of-traffic location to one where it creates a bottleneck and inconveniences everyone. Another person might think that it looks ugly and hates it.

Why is this necessary? I asked continually.
Because we need to make the living room look like an auditorium, that's why. And did I think this day was for me and my fiance? Listen, that's your wedding day. This day belongs to your mother.

Fine. And everything turned out fine. People had a good time. Even the ones who could not understand the language. The food was great, and sure, people were constantly in the way because of those d--m couches. But it wasn't a big deal. Good practice for the wedding.

The groom and the guests have a procession to the bride's house. Everyone carries a platter of goodies. The groom is supposed to be covered by the umbrella at all times. Sometimes this worked. We definitely had some neighbors peeking from their driveways.

FP tries to convince the crowd that he's serious about marrying me. Apparently his first answer wasn't good enough so he had to recite his resume. He's such a good sport. One of the many reasons I'm happy that I am marrying this man.

Eventually I was summoned. We went through a number of little ceremonies. Here's the jewelry exchange. I got my ring back, and he got a blingin' gold cross. We also presented flowers to my parents and his parents. We made an offering to the ancestors. We got blessed.

We're engaged!

Nice duds, huh? When my mom told me that she had hired a wedding dresser for this ceremony, I was miffed. Uh, is this an engagement or a wedding? Who knows? But I'm actually happy that she did. The woman and her daughter were so kind. They did my hair and makeup. Two things I hadn't thought about. It made my parents happy, and we looked great.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Table numbers

These are from Anthropologie. You can buy them here. I love that store. In my dream world we would register there and at Pearl River Mart.

Imagine how cute these would be as table numbers with a flower in them.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Love in Coney Island

Last weekend we met up with Tim Wong and his wife for a little camera-loving. Tim wanted to bulk up his portfolio and put up an ad on weddingbee, and I responded. The rest is history, as you can see.

We had a lot of fun, despite the cold. It was a good excuse to get close and cuddle. Anyway here are some of our favorites from the session.

(All images by Tim Wong of Please do not repost without permission.)

Check out Tim's gallery at! He has a great eye for details, color, and location. He was very easy-going and made sure we were feeling comfortable. The pictures turned out great. If you're in need of a photographer in the NYC-area, I would definitely recommend him.