Saturday, August 22, 2009

Save the Dates Phase 3

One of the biggest problems with destination weddings is, of course, "getting there". Hawaii airfare, even from our ideal spot on the West coast, is still pretty expensive. So we were fair game for anything that will help our guests. Hawaiian Airlines, in particular, has a program called Wedding Wings, where they offer a small discount for your guests! Sign-up was simple, and now anyone that wants to fly Hawaiian can get 5% off!

I drew up a small notice to Xyron onto the back of the save the dates. This way we can selectively place it on the cards for people that don't already live in Hawaii. Size is about 1" x 4".
What kind of information did you give your out-of-town guests? Did you get any wedding-related discounts?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Dress Mock-Up Stage 2

We finished hemming up the bottom, and then got to the fun part, the pick-ups! Here's the skirt, in a variety of different angles...hope you enjoy as much as I do!

and my personal favorite...

One interesting thing is - Sak has not only seen me in my dress, he helped make it. A big breach of tradition? Sure, but I think it's totally worth it. When I walk down the aisle, it'll be in something we both made. Together. Like a baby, but not. Weird? Okay, I'll stop.

My family, though a little unsure of whether we could pull it off or not, has now pledged their full support and excitement after seeing we could at least finish the bottom!

My maternal grandmother (Paw Paw, as we call her in Chinese), has been my inspiration, as she made her own wedding dress back in the day!

Hopefully her talent runs in the family!

Do you have a bridal inspiration?

Exclusive Reclusives

It's safe to assume that Sak and I are not overly social people. Since meeting each other, we've pretty much become hermits, caught up in our own little world with little regard to what's going on outside. Young love? Severe introverted behavior? Who knows. That's just how we are.

So how puzzling is it that we'd both like a large wedding?

Large it because we're falling for the wedding hype? The idea that bigger is better? A Cinderella dream? For me, it's somewhat just that. The idea of dressing up fancy with flowers and a beautiful place like's downright magical. And the thought of seeing all my friends and family, dressed up and enjoying themselves, it's pretty exciting.

So yes, we aren't social people. But we will be for one day only. This really is what we want. For as many guests to show up as possible! And to have a good time, of course!

A co-worker I had once summed it up like this -

"There's two types of people: those that get energized by socializing with others, and those that use up energy by socializing with others. It's not that either one dislike socializing, just that the one that uses energy has to go home and recharge in solitude later."

I agree with that. We'll save our energy to pass on to everyone, it'll be great. And then we'll be spending three weeks in Japan to recoup the energy a wedding day takes. And I, for sure, won't be able to socialize there. Gomen!

Which are you - an energy gainer or an energy spender? Or are you one of those new sustainable models, that don't use people-energy at all?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Save the Dates Phase 2

Since last we spoke, I worked to finish the save the date magnets. We did, and I sent them off to the printer. We're expecting 200 of the little guys in about 7 days.

Next, we needed some sort of backing for them. We shopped around San Mateo for red card stock, thinking it would be an easy task. It wasn't. For some reason Office Depot only carries "re-entry red", which is the equivalent of neon red. Not what we had in mind.

Then I realized (through a ton of advertisements now sitting in my inbox), that I could get 100 free post cards from the same company (Vistaprint), and that I wouldn't need to find the red card stock. Of course, if I'm going to have it printed for me, I might as well go all out with the design. So I went a little crazy with the card mounting. And it took all night. But I prevailed, somehow, and even made it to work the next morning. I ordered 100 postcards (yes, I know I got 200 magnets..the math is not right..but I can always use the extra magnets for something, I hope?) and 100 size A2 red envelopes to put them in. And I cannot wait for it all to come in the mail! This, for some reason, is more exciting to me than booking our venues was. I can't imagine why...

Anyway, here it is!

Here without anything on the mounting postcard...

...And then again modeled with the magnet taped to the middle!

A little bit of good ol' manga (Japanese graphic novels) flair. There will be some cutoff on the edges of the final product, so I hope I accounted for that. It would really suck if all the words got cut off. I also hope I circled the right island! HA! Sak would kill me otherwise. I'd be an embarrassment to the family name! But I think I got it right..

Creation of this save the date was made possible thanks to this awesome website with screen tones. (For further credit, I should say that I modeled the hand-holding part of the picture from a page in a manga.)

Any manga fans out there? :)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Anela Garden

Sak and I were ready, credit card in hand, to book our ceremony location at Haiku Gardens.

Receptionist: "Oh, we're sorry, but unless you are also booking your reception through us, we cannot give you our Saturday evening time spot."

Wait, what?

And with that, it was back to the drawing board. We couldn't change our reception location since their restaurant is not big enough for 150 guests.

Now what did we need regarding our ceremony venue, again? If you recall, Sak specifically said, "No beaches". So that left gardens, churches and chapels.

There are some beautiful, beautiful gardens in Hawaii. But come on, it's Hawaii. We could get married in a parking lot and it would probably still be gorgeous.

Mom-Penga chimed in with an important note, however:

"You know, I don't think we'll be able to handle being outside in hot Hawaii weather! We'll probably all pass out or something!" Mom worried. That's what happens when you live in a fog-bank your whole life.

So next was churches. I found out quickly that most churches will not marry people outside their church, or outside their denomination. Not to mention let a non-denominational pastor in to do the officiating! Our pastor from my hometown church is coming with us, so we'd need a place that would let him do the marrying.

So chapels, right?

We looked around, and found this place. Anela Garden Chapel.

A little history on Anela Garden - apparently they originally catered only to Japanese couples looking to get married, but to increase business they decided to open the place up to the locals and mainlanders. It's a wedding Disneyland, in my opinion. Brightly colored, with every traditional wedding photo-op imaginable. The chapel with stained glass window, a gazebo, a water fountain, a balcony, a staircase, a garden. DISNEYLAND!

Now, normally I might be a little put-off by the pre-fabrication of it all. But I'll tell you why I'm not.

1. Sak likes it.
2. They don't have those outrageous "mandatory" package deals. I can bring my own Pastor, etc.
3. The guy was really nice on the phone. Customer service is realllly important to me, and it's no fun to call someone only to have them sound demeaning or sour.
4. When all said and done, I will have great traditional photos.
5. It's not 4,000 dollars expensive.
6. It's only 9 miles away from our reception ballroom.

Now, the downside would be that I only get an hour in this place. But no worries, it's right across the street from a park (and the Honolulu zoo!) so we can just jog on over for more pictures if need be.

All and all, seemed like a solid deal. So I called and sent in my deposit. I got my confirmation quickly, so it looks like we should be all set this time!

Was booking your ceremony location "smooth sailing", or did you have any "rough turbulence" along the way?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Yudu? Yes!

Remember how I plan on print-screening our wedding favors? Well now I've got the tool to make it happen!

We bought the YUDU from Michael's for $250, and we'll get a $50 gift card for Michael's in the mail soon as a 'rebate'..
And now we'll be able to proudly sport the free messenger bag that we got earlier this year from the Maker Faire! Yay!

Did you have any big-ticket, somewhat-impulse buys? Or are you being good, and sticking to a strict budget?

Monday, August 10, 2009


Like many couples, Sak and I have "our song". We'll have to decide whether we want to include it in our wedding, right? Well, here it is in all it's bum-shaking glory:

We're both big Franz Ferdinand fans, and we even got to see them in concert last March (and would see them again ANY day, they were great!). Of course we had heard the ever-famous "Take me Out" song from the Ipod commercials, but it was the Paradise Kiss ending trailer that really got us hooked.

Unfortunately, this isn't really 'first dance' material. So I don't think we'll be using this as the "our song"-representative at the wedding. Instead we'll be going with another favorite of ours:

"Lucky" Official Video With Colbie Caillat

Jason Mraz MySpace Video

I know the song is about two people that can't be together due to distance, but even though we no longer have that issue, we originally came from far distances. And summers were brutal! (Especially the one that Sak stayed in summer school! I nearly went crazy!) Plus, I really am in love with my best friend, and we sing this in the car all the time (Note: only in the car). Though Sak doesn't like switching sides and singing Colbie's part (He's no fun).

Now of course, somehow we must learn to dance..otherwise we will seriously just break out in the bum-shaking. Or worse! Head bobs! Or the point and clap!

Is "your song" un-dance-able (or even unappropriate *gasp!*)? Are you dancing to it anyway, or do you have an alternate song in mind?

Friday, August 7, 2009

Double Happiness

So while Sak and I twiddled our thumbs and wondered what to make of an impending ceremony venue issue (more to come..), Mom-Penga was out doing some planning of her own:

They're 6x9" glass tealight candle holders bought from Ross, with the Chinese double-happiness character on the front (commonly used for weddings). Aren't they pretty? She thought they'd be perfect accents to our tablescapes, and I agree.

The only problem is that they are super fragile, so we may not be able to ship them to Hawaii.

However, in the case where we can't ship them, we can still use them for our second, at-home reception in my hometown of Salinas.

Destination wedding planners, did you ever find yourself limited by what you could reasonably ship to your location?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Venue Variations

Now that we have a reception location, the next question to ask is - where to have the ceremony? Without the two building blocks of a wedding (ceremony and reception venue) it's a bit hard to move onto the rest of the details.

We've looked (online) through a lot of places. The criteria we want? Something scenic for pictures, something not too blasting hot, something not too "touristy".

Here's the first place I liked: Wai'oli Chapel

The problem? It only seats 30-40 people. Even if a lot of Sak's relatives don't come to the ceremony (as his mom predicts), we'll probably still be over since our guest list is at about 150.

So our second (and more realistic choice)?

Haiku Gardens

This place is seriously beautiful. And located North enough (Kaneohe) to not have crazy hot weather like Honolulu.

The downside is that it's a little higher than our projected budget. But I guess it's okay. You're paying for the privacy you can't get from a beach or state botanical garden. And the chapel seats up to 150, so no space limitations. Parking is free as well.

So unless something miraculous comes up between now and tomorrow, we will probably book this place. We called and they confirmed our date availability.

Did you fall in love with a venue too large or too small for your guest size? Did you move on with a wistful sigh, or modify your guest list instead?