Sep 13, 2008
I got the engagement ring 1 year after he proposed... haha
It's beautiful nevertheless.
Well if I could have my choice, without a budget concern, I'd go for the following venues:
Disneyland (castle front with Cinderella coach entrance)
Back to reality.....
My rule was simple: no hotels, no Chinese restaurant, no ballrooms (just because they ALL look the same!)
I wanted a place that has gorgeous backdrop for photos, and not costing me $3K to rent.
My original top 3 choices:
1) Sherman Garden - too expensive
2) Queen Mary - ballroom... bleh
3) Huntington Beach Library park - all DIY... too hard
Then I found the perfect venue... garden recemony + reception, great location, almost all-inclusive, at a cheaper-than-average price! Every corner in this Spanish courtyard is a picture-perfect spot. I also love how enclosed it is for an intimate feeling.
I first looked into Costco for invitations, and realized that they cost about $3 per. However the invitations needed to be bilingual and Costco just couldn't do that for me.
I then looked into print-at-home invitations, but there are very limited styles to choose from. They also turn out to be quite expensive and plain since I'd just be using regular printers at home.
So when my mom went to Taiwan, I asked her to shop around for me. We found a company called Paimei. www.paimei.com.tw
They had great prices on the invitations and the customer service was perfect. My mom was in her last week's stay at Taiwan, so they rushed my order in 3 days time! The invitations turned out wonderful, with a nice touch of traditional Chinese element into it. Altogether it costed me about $2USD per set (invitation + envelope + sticker + RSVP card + RSVP envelope)
My modeling instructor referred me to Maxi. Apparently he's worked with a bunch of celebrities including Halle Barry and Madonna. He did airbrush and it turned out so natural and light. He spent about 80% of the trial time on my eyes (which is what I think the way it should be) and they turned out AMAZING. Maxi is also a lot of fun to work with.
I looked like a Hollywood diva at the end of the trial. You can see the drastic difference between his makeup and Elaine Chou's.
I booked him right away. Because I was referred by his good friend, I got the package deal of $500 (trial+travel+wedding day+retouch kit). I think it's worth every penny.
I browsed around a lot before actually going to a makeup artist, mostly because I found them too pricy for an updo and a makeup session.
I found Elaine's website (www.echoumakeup.com) and thought I'd give it a try. I was really disappointed with her work, which took $120 and 2 hours. It looked like a nice updo that I could get at any salon, and makeup that I could probably DIY.
Her wedding day hair+makeup fee was $280. I didn't find this worthy of $280 at all.
I never had the patience to browse thru bridal magazines, because all those dresses looked the same to me, and I didn't have a single clue as of what kind of dress I'd want.
So I was in Taiwan for a visit, and found this place that made bridal gowns for oversea companies. They happened to have a sample sale (and all the samples happened to be my size). I went to their showroom and spent 2 hours there. I ended up buying this gown for less than $200 USD.
It has beautiful peach embroidery and a really pretty tail. I love it for the details and the price.