Wedding Packages of LOVEEEEE

Not to toot my ethnicity’s horn or anything…. but Asians are so smart! Who else would realize the huge demand in wedding packages, a way to simplify a bit of the chaos of wedding planning by bundling together some basic elements – photography, videography, and clothing? Maybe it’s not a strictly Asian business, but I haven’t heard of other places that specialize in these packages. It’s just so intuitive!

Maybe part of it is that Asian love of photo-taking. Don’t tell me you haven’t seen Asian girls (and guys!) posing in front of the most random, mundane things, with the big-smile-v-sign combo. Heck, I’ve done it plenty of times, if not 75% of the time when I was younger (Okay, I still do it now…) It was like I had an insane urge to document everything I was doing, with me in the picture so it was proof that I was doing it. Look, I’m going to eat this waffle! Check out me and this okonomiyaki! V-SIGN!!!!

It just isn’t complete without the v-sign.

But anyway, love of photo-ops not withstanding, Asians also love making money. Who doesn’t, really? So what better way to combine the love of photo documentation with money-making but wedding packages! So ingenious, so convenient, so loving it.

So what do these wedding packages include? Well, my friend, I will enlighten you. Most wedding places can do separate packages for engagement photos and wedding day services, or bundle them together for you. Here’s a typical example of a bundle package of engagement photo + wedding day services.

Engagement Photos (1 studio shoot, 1 outdoor shoot)

  • Bride – 2-4 rental dresses/outfits, makeup + hairstyle
  • Groom – rental tuxedo
  • Photographer – usually does around 100-150 “poses”
  • 1-2 Framed Portraits – cuz you need to show your picture in front of your reception!
  • ** Some places will also offer a signing poster – for people to sign when they come into your wedding
Wedding Day Services
  • Bride – 3 rental dresses (usually wedding gown, evening gown, and qi pao), makeup + hairstyle
  • Groom – rental tuxedo
  • 1-4 Bridesmaid dresses, hair + makeup
  • 1-4 Groomsmen tuxedos
  • **Some places will also offer outfits for parents of the bride/groom
  • Photographer – usually for 8-10 hours
  • Videographer – usually for 8-10 hours
  • Limo for 10 people for 6-8 hours
And then afterwards you will receive:
  • Wedding Album (for bride and groom) – typically with both engagement/wedding shots
  • 2 Parents Albums (usually smaller and with fewer pictures)
  • CD with 400-500 high res images
  • 2-3 Edited Wedding DVDs with music
And for all this, the cost can range from $3000 – $6000. Really, pretty decent considering how much it would cost to hire a photographer/cameraman separately. Plus, they provide all the clothing for the wedding party (with some stipulations… the dresses/tuxes have to be in stock or they will charge you to order it; shoes are not included)! AND you get engagement shots, wedding shots, and full rights to your photos. There are some other costs though, like having to provide transportation for the photographer/videographer, paying extra for more bridesmaids/groomsmen, etc. But overall, I don’t know, sounds like a pretty good deal to me. I’m planning on booking my package soon, so I should be able to update later with my actual experience. But right now I have really high hopes!

from true love website!

from true love website!

week 12 picture roundup!

A nice week – my “short” week, meaning I only worked Sun/Wed/Thurs. Of course next week I will be working Mon/Tues/Fri/Sat but I do love having a three day weekend every other week! An especially busy weekend, as I drove down to NYC to check out wedding packages and then drove back up on Sunday. A lot of driving, but now that Cassiopeia is good I know she can handle it!
3/20 – what usually goes on during Sunday night!
3/21 – forgot to take a picture, very remiss of me -___-

3/22 – Tuesday off = blueberry pancakes! 
3/23 – did you know that Peggy is actually a nickname for Margaret?! Except I never ordered this catalogue, so maybe there really was a Margaret Lee here. HMM!

3/24 – pretty dresses for spring… can’t wait!

3/25 – finally finally finally got my car back! Looking shiny and lovely, like new!

3/26 – trying on wedding dresses in chinatown. i like details and flourishes on the bodice because they make my assets seem larger!

Wedding DIY: Bridesmaid Invites

I recently decided on a few amazing friends for my bridesmaids, and although I have already contacted them through phone/email/text, I really wanted to send them something lovely and “official” that would kind of set the tone for the wedding. Plus I do love all things crafty… this might change as more wedding plans crop up, but for now I felt inspired!

the finished invitations

I pretty much used the design on this lovely blog by Elise, down to the labels! I followed pretty closely to the original, with a few minor tweaks. But really, her ideas were so good that it’s hard to improve on them. Love that tutorial! It was so simple to do. The hardest part for me was probably thinking of what to write on the cards, since a lot of my wedding stuff is still up in the air.

First step was picking out the envelopes and paper to line them. I’ve decided that my color scheme for my wedding is going to be aqua/teal, yellow, and white.

Calm, soothing colors I think! It was surprisingly easy to put the envelopes together and line them with the special paper. I ordered way too much of that gold scroll paper too… I might try to use it in other things.

Next thing was to write the informational cards – expectations, attire, etc. I basically riffed off of Elise’s cards as it pertained to my wedding. It was fun trying out different fonts for different effects – I settled on a fancy calligraphy, “Chopin Script” for my titles.
And then all that was left was to put the cards in the envelopes and finish it off with a belly band of satin ribbon in old gold, which I just happened to have lying around (no kidding!). Plus printing out personalized labels for the cards – that was a little tricky, since I had to tweak the templates a little to make them all align correctly.
Since I had to mail them out, I popped them into slightly larger pearlized gold envelopes I got at Michaels, and away we go!
All in all, I’m pretty happy with how they turned out and I hope that they get my ladies excited for the upcoming event! So happy to have them share that special day with me!

week 11 picture roundup!

This week it started feeling more like spring, especially since we had a gorgeous warm day in the 60’s on Thursday! It was amazing! But then, it got cold once again… But spring must be coming, since the vernal equinox was this weekend. It’s a sign!
3/13 – so it BEGINS.

3/14 – my car insurance stuff, they sent me an update since I got into an accident. le sigh.

3/15 – this is kinda how I feel after working a long, busy day.

3/16 – my paper stuff came for my bridesmaid invites! I put the photos together and lined them in the center. I love the color scheme!

3/17 – the insert cards for my bridesmaids. Loving it!

3/18 – pickles and leftover curry and rice. Late night dinner of champions!
3/19 – x_x crap! Forgot to take a picture. Working will do that to you!

Take a Deep Breath…

Wedding planning. These two little words strike terror into my heart, even though it’s for such a joyful occasion. I want to have a lovely and heartfelt wedding, without all of the annoyingly necessary planning and research that goes into it. Why, oh why can’t it be so? Venues. Save the dates. Photographer. Wedding stationery. Flowers. Guest list. All of that delirious minutiae that go into making a wedding personal and memorable. And I’m supposed to figure that out myself?!

Okay fine, I’m sure some of you would say that the future husband should be involved too, to which I heartily agree! But when your fiance is mostly concerned with budgeting and not so much what the wedding colors should be… it’s not much of a help. Which I suppose is partially great, because then I can have everything I want (within budgeting reason)! But then it’s also partially not-so-great, because I’ll end up ripping out my hair.

And then the cost of a wedding in NYC… astronomical! I’m really really hoping to keep it within the 20k range, which is still a huge amount of money for Dong and I, although we’ve been saving since we started working. Originally, when I was young and naive (a few months ago) I thought that I would love to have my wedding in the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, what with the gorgeous surroundings and the lovely glass conservatory-style Palm House-

Isn’t it gorgeous? Unfortunately, it’s also hideously expensive. So hideous, even a mother couldn’t love it. It’s something like $150 a person, not including photography, music, flowers, etc. CRAZY! Which is why I’m currently looking into options on Long Island, which is a lot more reasonable, albeit farther away from the heart of the city. Well, at least there will be ample parking right?
Plus, I have to figure out how to balance the more Western-style wedding I want with what my more traditional parents want… I have a suspicion they want to do the Chinese wedding reception at a Chinese restaurant, which I am not averse to – but I want my style wedding too! I’m thinking that I might compromise by making the rehearsal dinner be the Chinese wedding night – after all, I do love me some cheesy DJs, smoke effects and questionable wedding party games!
my cousin katie’s wedding
Still have a lot to think about it… It’s exciting but overwhelming!

week 10 picture roundup!

First full week of March kicked off with a big snowstorm, but now things seem to be settling down pretty nicely. It’s starting to feel like spring! But some bad news at the end of the week…
3/6 – what happens at home…. goes online!

3/7 – terrible driving to Cortland for work. The 81-S was totally jammed at one point, cars had to turn around and drive north to get off the highway, using an on-ramp. 

3/8 – snowy fire hydrant
3/9 – finally got to try out Tokyo Seoul! Pretty nice place, but also pretty expensive…
3/10 – Going home after work, this is the best thing to see – my bedcovers.
3/11 – Lazy Friday mornings means pancake breakfast! On a grimmer note, the earthquake/tsunami in Japan happened today…..
3/12 – some terrible news….

when the going gets tough…

The tough turn to food! Most notably, a delicious Chipotle fajita bowl brimming with steak and generously slathered with cheese and sour cream. The best remedy for work exhaustion and microwave meals – nom nom nom!

Been a little quiet on the blog front, due to lots of work, feeling sleepy on my days off, and also thinking about everything happening in the world and also in NYC. There have been a lot of sobering events recently and it definitely makes little me feel a little down and quite insignificant – after all, you can’t control what life will bring to you. Bad things happen to good people all the time, but you just have to keep going and living your life as best as you can. がんばろう、日本!

In more mundane, personal news, I dropped my car off at the collision place last Wednesday and I’m hoping it will be fixed by Monday. They gave me a loaner car for free (05 Dodge Stratus), which is nice but I want to get back my lovely Cassiopeia! When it gets back I should give it a nice car wash and hand wax to get it feeling good again. A little TLC for my TLC (tight little car)!

Time to finish off this meal with homemade guac!