Tuesday, September 23, 2008

everything about my wedding 婚禮籌備攻略

Wedding day: August 23, 2008
Guests: 160


Color: Yellow, green and white
Mood: Happy, fun and be ourselves!



Pick up the Bride: Radisson Hotel
Ceremony: Swan-e-Set Golf Club, outdoor on the lawn
Reception: Swan-e-Set Golf Club, Banquet room on 3rd floor
Swan-e-Set Golf Club is an excellent venue for wedding ceremony. Our ceremony was stunning and awesome! The funny thing is that they NEVER have ceremony on the lawn before! They only held their outdoor ceremony on the tiny deck that's shadowed by the trees..........what a waste!
I really love the venue, but Swan-e-Set hires the worst event coordinator ever! I have NEVER meet/heard of anyone did such a poor job than our event coordinator...She is a nightmare. If we contact her thru email, she just do not replied until 2 weeks later (only reply if I left voice message on her phone or cc the email to her coworker); Always always answer to something else than what we were exactly asking and mixed up with our situation all the time. Paid ZERO attention to details. Extremely slow respond and you actually have to search for her on the wedding day....awesome. Worst over all the vendors.


Anna's Cake Shop
Mango & coconut mousse with pineapple chunk mini cakes
We are quite satisfied with the service in Anna's. Good quality and lots of choices. They provide cake tasting and you don't need to confirm the order until the week before. To avoid delivery fee, we picked up the cakes at the North Road store, which is just half hour away from our venue.

Jessica Hsia
Jessica or Sara are probably the busiest Chinese makeup artists in Vancouver, both of them feature in making you look nice and natural. Book in advance!

Rick Collins :: http://www.rickcollinsphotography.com

I am disappointed. I am really disappointed. I trusted he takes stunning photography and have high expectation on his work, so I didn't even bother to ask my photographer friends to take photo as backup. I mean, there are some pretty good ones, but snapshots were just bad. A lot of blurry images at night. Come on, he uses D3, I would expect to see good photo under low light situation. I felt the post production is also somewhat careless, there are quite a few photo burnt white, apparently those ones are overexposure. Another thing is, I don't even have a photo with my bridesmaids. No photo of me before the ceremony and very few photo from the reception. Most photo from the reception were blurry. I understood we were moving all the time in the reception, but he knows we are moving from table to table to greet guests and shouldn't he prepared for that? Second worst vendor.


Invitation: DIY

I am a visual designer, of course I made my own invitation!
See my fabulous invitations here:: http://yujai.blogspot.com/2008/06/my-fabulous-invitations.html

Ceremony: Bubbles (theKnot.com)
Table Gifts: mini Ferrero Rocher bouquet (DIY)

Believe it or not, I used to run a business that sells handmade paper flowers with two of my friends back in high school and it was a blast! I had been making these Ferrero Rocher bouquet for years, but I didn't make any of these for the wedding because I was just WAY TOO BUSY! A big big big thank you to my mom, aunties and cousins who helped making these flowers! I won't recommended this as favor if you are not familiar with handcrafts or you do not have friends to help out, it's just way too much work.


Flower: DIY

My craftster mom did all the wedding flowers, she is awesome!

I wish Vancouver has flower market like Hong Kong, or online wholesaler like US, but this is not going to happen. If you are not going to use fresh cut flower for the centerpieces, it's very easy to do all the flower yourself.

We bought flower from Kits Food Market and Costco. Costco has the best price on roses, while at Kits Food Market you can place the ordered on the week of you wedding day (compares to 3 weeks in advance in most florists). If you are on budget, definitely go for in season flowers!

In my case, we just picked from the flowers that available in stores. My mom made 2 sets of bridal flower (a pink one to go with the Chinese wedding dress and a yellow one for the ceremony) with matching boutonnieres/corsages for Groom, Groomsmen, Bridesmaids, Parents, 4 bridesmaid bouquets, 10 sets of flower decoration for the aisle. Guess how about in total? Less than CAD$180! My mom actually placed a wrong order at Costco and bought extra 4 dozens of roses, otherwise it would be even lesser.

Kits Food Market
1575 Yew Street, Vancouver, BC V6K 3E5
Telephone : 604-731-1441
Btw, the lady in Kits Food Market speaks Chinese/English ;)

Centerpieces: DIY

I had decided not to go with fresh cut flowers arrangement for centerpieces to cut cost (which really helps!). At the same time, I was tired with candles (I don't think it's appropriate since we have long day during August and the venue have ceiling to floor windows) or single cut flower with tall glass vase and marbles. I had been using my brain at the very best to come up a solution: hand craft centerpieces!

Car decoration:

I finished this pair of dolls for the car just the day before! I was sooooooooooo tired and exhausted at that time......nightmare!


We have 10 rows of chairs with 8 chairs on each side. I've asked my mom to make 10 sets of flowers and alternated with balloon bouquets. Oh I also bought 3 bags of silk petals to sprinkle the edges of aisle. I recommended silk flower petals because fresh ones would dry out easily during the day and guests are very likely to step on them and kill them all before you walk down the aisle. (That's what I saw from my friend's wedding)


My first ever experience on "natural weight lossing"! Yup, you will definitely loss weight before wedding because of stress! I can totally tell my weight was dropping without stepping on a weight scale. So don't worry about diet, you will need energy. I ate normally, ice cream, chocolate, desserts... except deep fried food. My first to-do list after wedding #1 is to have English afternoon tea, #2 is KFC....hehehe!!
on Me:
Chinese wedding dress: Some store that I forgot the name (China)
Wedding dress: Verna Marina (Hong Kong)
Evening gown: BCBG (eBay)
*I am trying to sell these dresses, contact me at yujaii@gmail.com if you are interested!*

Red heels for 褂: ELLE (Hong Kong)
White heels for wedding dress: Staccato 百麗 (Hong Kong)
Gold heels for evening gown: Le Suanda (Hong Kong)
All my shoes are super comfy, highly recommended for brides with fat feet like me! I bought red heels instead of the traditional beads shoes because I can still wear it afterward and honestly, it's just HK$100 more. (In a way, this is more eco-friendly ;p)

on Mr. T:
White Tuxedo: custom made (Hong Kong)
Black suit: custom made (Hong Kong)
Cuff Link: Wing On dept. store (Hong Kong)
Tuxedo shirt: Dunhill (Hong Kong)
Shoes: Aldo (US)

Long story short, in the beginning we thought we will have reception in both Vancouver and Hong Kong, so it's logical for me to go with the option of buying my own wedding dress. I know I am very picky on design, so custom made is the way to go.

It will takes at least 2 months for making a dress(something very simple that does not involve lots of details or beads embroidery), this does not include the time you spent visiting stores for comparison shopping, so I would say 3 weeks at least. You have to be in Hong Kong during that time for fitting (unless you are willing to fly to Hong Kong at least 3 times in 3 months). Be aware that it will take much longer if you are going back just before holidays, esp Chinese New Year. Prices can be vary depends on which kind of dresses are you looking into. Price range can be divided into 3 groups: bargain(less than HKD$2,000), budget(HKD$3,000~9,000) and by designer(more than HKD$10,000).

Bargain is buying off-the-rack at wholesale price. So it's a matter of being there at the right timing. Remember to check magazine or newspaper everyday.

For budget, I recommended to custom make a dress with their existing designs. A lot of time the stores do not have enough knowledge to create a brand new design even thought they said they can do it, unless you can provide all the details and measurements.

If you have a design in mind and can afford a little bit more, definitely go for designer ones. I especially think girls like me, who are infused with western cultural, would probably don't like Disney Enchanted like fancy styles that most stores carry in Hong Kong.

I will just write the rest in Chinese, since it's pretty useless for non Hong Kong ppl:


基本上可以分為三類:bargain, budget and designer。婚紗款式大多大同小異,如果你要特別一點的就得去找designer造了。普遍來說,香港女仔喜歡爆閃令令,實在非我這類北美燦能理解的能力之內(我成日有個疑問,香港女子個個都弱質纖纖,如何穿那些訂滿珠的裙呢?會否太重而弄至寒背呢?)我那個讀時裝的朋友說得對,如果你是外國回去買婚紗你大慨可以直接找designer造,香港那些fancy款式你都不會喜歡的。訂造最起碼要2個月,其間會試起碼2次身~

個人認為婚紗還是不宜放太多閃令令,點到即止便可,don't let the dress wear you out。尤其是個子小的新娘,更不適合太複雜的款式,放太多東西上身只會令你看來個子更小。

一開始可以先在這邊去bridal store試不同類型的婚紗,看哪一種最適給你的身型,你喜歡的不代表穿起上來會好看(除非你有模得兒身材啦!);另外也因為香港有些婚紗店有試裙費,試都要俾錢!這邊的bridal store服務始終好得多,任你試之餘地方比香港的寬敞得多。除非是樓上舖,香港的婚紗店地少人多,轉身都困難,更不可能讓你扮香港小姐繞場一週。試裙時最好自備無帶brabra(香港流行用girdle)和鞋子,反正帶齊你當日會穿上身的東西就對了。

Bargain | less than HKD$2000


詩韻婚紗晚裝有限公司 Vincci Wedding Gown Limited
23147310 | 尖沙咀金巴利道45-47號金巴利廣場1003室

Budget | HK$5000~10000

紅磡淺草婚紗公司 | http://www.asakusa.hk
23659952 | 九龍紅磡蕪湖街70-74號潤達商業大廈二樓B室(近紅磡觀音廟前)

Full Rich
21578868 | 利源東街9-12號利東大廈6A

Elisa Bridal Workshop 依莉莎婚紗設計工作坊
31711978 | 山林道20號錦興大廈1202室

Peony Bridal|http://www.peonybridal.com
28824688 | 銅鑼灣百德新街42-48號銅鑼灣大廈2樓A

27800113|九龍旺角通菜街1A-1L 威達商業大廈612A室

Commix Workshop|http://www.commixworkshop.com

Scent of Bride | http://www.scentofbride.com
61124002 | 銅鑼灣耀華街21號華耀商業大廈23樓2307室

Designers | HKD$10,000 and above
其實你在香港也可以找到出式的設計。手工及款式實非以上可比,service就更不在話下了。本土設計師的婚紗約HKD$10,000~HKD$20,000,top designer頂籠HKD$80,000(如果你要訂滿鑽石就另計啦)。如果你afford得到又想要好一點的,可以考慮以下這些:

Walter Ma
23656095 | Rm 308, Tower 2, Harbour Centre, Hok Cheung Street, Hunghom

Verna Marina | http://www.vernamarina.com
25691080 | 2/F, 23 Connaught Rd Central, Heung Lam Building, Central
我的婚紗出至阿designer姐姐Cara Kara之手~連同一件小外套和頭紗。裙子裡面內有日本特製的魚骨,較平常的粗,乘托力特強,所以不用來穿其他undie打底。裡面還有一條橡根固定在胸下,任我怎跳都不怕走位喔!結婚前那個月壓力超大瘦了很多,幸好有那條救命橡根0者!

Noel Chu Wedding gallery | http://www.noelchuwedding.com
23806381 | 1102 Wellingtom Place, 2-8 Wellington Street, Central


ESD Life :: http://wedding.esdlife.com

Wedding Bee :: http://www.weddingbee.com
The Knot :: http://www.theknot.com
Brides :: http://www.theknot.com
Style Me Pretty :: http://www.stylemepretty.com
Snippet and Ink :: http://snippetandink.blogspot.com
Offbeat Bride :: http://offbeatbride.com
Elizabeth Anne Designs :: http://www.elizabethannedesigns.com
Once Wed :: http://www.oncewed.com
A Practical Wedding :: http://www.apracticalwedding.com
Brooklyn Bride :: http://www.bklynbride.blogspot.com

Where to shop
Etsy :: http://www.esty.com
Craigslist :: http://www.craigslist.org

Mints Flower :: http://www.mintsflower.com

comment | 11 comments:
ami @ elizabeth anne designs said...

your centerpieces are so beautiful! would you want to put together a how-to guide for the EAD readers?

JTang said...

I can't read the the chinese and would love to know which vendors you used in HK. I'm thinking of getting my tuxedos, bridesmaid dress, etc all made in china just because I'm just very particular.

Also how much did it cost and how long did it take?


Venus ~ Vi said...

Hi dear,

The color combo is so brilliant and fresh! I adore your invitations and I think you shall look into this market and I am sure you'll bank in $$$$ =)Also the venue is gorgeous! This is one tasteful and well put together wedding!


Yujai said...

Ami: Thanks for dropping by! I am trying to see if I can sell them, if things go well, sure I will put together a how-to guide.

Judy: Just wondering...you are a bride or a groom? It's in North Point. I don't have the name or the address of the tailor, it's a very small shop so I doubt you can find the contact online either.
Tux/suits take at least 1 month, longer if near holiday seasons (esp. Xmas and Chinese New Year). Costs are vary, you can get one for HKD$2000~$10,000, depends on what kind of material and the tailor. Try the small shops, they are usually cheaper.

It's always risky to work with tailor in Shengzhen. Even if you place the order and paid the deposit, it is still possible that you will not get what you want. I wouldn't recommend this route if you are not going with someone who is familiar with area.

Vi: hehe Guess what!? Now with my gocco and die cut machine, I am quite ready to get into the business ;)

Bindu said...

Hi! Your wedding looks like it was so fun! I want to use ferrero rocher's as a favor for my guests and I loved the DIY flowers you made. How did you make them, if you don't mind me asking!

email me at: annbindu.thomas*at*gmail.com

Dana said...

我也要在swan-e-set辦婚宴呢, I am so excited to have found your website, since I don't know anyone who's been married, let along someone who got married at swaneset.你們好多DIY阿, 真是佩服. 看到妳的網址也讓我決定要在草地上面辦ceremony.
我注意到你們場地的玻璃窗上有放遮光的廉子, 我想請問你們是從哪裡租的呢? 是你們自己setup的嗎? (自己裝是否需要ladder?)
還有我想請問你們的蛋糕價錢是怎麼算的呢? Yummy. 我第一次看到會讓我流口水的non-traditional wedding cake.

Susanna said...

I am so glad that I found your blog. I am going to HK next month to purchase my gown so these information are very useful. Thank you.
Your invitation is very pretty. Did u print those in HK? If you did can u pls recommend a vendor/printer in HK cos I am planning to design my own invite too. Thx!

Wendy said...

Hi, I'm planning on getting a dress and some other wedding things in HK also. I was wondering if I could ask you a few questions over email? Mine is wendy.y.jin@gmail.com.

I'll be heading to HK in 1 week so I'm really glad I found your post before I left! I feel like I have no clue what I'm doing!

heavenly_p said...

Your wedding gown is beautiful! I will rent instead of buy 因爲我會響香港擺酒. Do you think that shop have this type of styles for rental?

Which BCBG evening gown did you get ?

Anonymous said...

Just want to thank you so much for your very helpful post! I am thinking of purchasing my gown in HK too... but I guess not a good idea since i will only be in HK for 3 weeks... do you know a place that allow you to buy good quality sample gown at reasonable price? I am going to HK from SF. Thanks ltos!!

Kelly said...

You may want to check out www.weddingforum.hk as well

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