Oct 06, 2007

Got hitched in 2007 in Walnut Creek, CA, spent less than $20k for a wedding with 160 people! Had a kid in 2009. Had another one in 2014. I'm a freelance graphic designer specializing in invitations, paper goods, etc, check me out: www.alextebow.com
  • Last updated on August 14, 2007 at 9:39 am
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We hadn't planned to do engagement photos. Neither of us wanted to spend the money and we both dislike having our picture taken unless it's candid. In the ten years we've been together, there is only one professional photo of us, and it's from a random holiday party a couple of years ago.

Since both sets of parents hinted that they'd like some photos, we traipsed around Newark and Fremont last weekend snapping photos with my brother acting as photographer with my 7MP Canon PowerShot. While I love the photos I've seen of couples walking hand in hand down Baker Beach or at the Palace of Fine Arts, those locations aren't what brought FI and I together. We both wanted to choose locations that meant something to both of us.

So we ended up taking photos at our high school...even though we didn't know each other in high school. We went to Ohlone College where there are some areas gorgeous for taking photos. Next was the Central Park Sportsfield in Fremont where FI and I both played and refereed youth soccer. We also snapped photos at the playground at the Newark Community Center where we both attended preschool.

It wasn't formal and there are a lot of goofy shots.

At Newark Memorial High School:
Engagement photos photo 1

At Ohlone College:
Engagement photos photo 2 Engagement photos photo 3

Engagement photos photo 4

At Central Park:
Engagement photos photo 5 Engagement photos photo 6

Engagement photos photo 7

FI was pretty tired at the end...I hope he can last through all the picture taking on our wedding day!

  • Last updated on August 9, 2007 at 5:59 am
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It's odd that with less than 2 months left, October still feels really far away.

I'm quite proud of the label I finished yesterday. This cheesyness will adorn our take-out boxes that will be filled with custom fortune cookies. I had originally planned to do the traditional take-out box art with the red pagoda and fake restaurant name. But I thought I was a little boring and lacked the goofiness that FI and I have. I then thought that cartoons of FI and I on the box would be funny. So I used the Itchy & Scratchy Catroon logo as inspiration and went to work. This is the finished product (photoshoped onto a photo. We haven't begun assembling them yet):

Here's the label up close:

All the invitations have gone out. We'll be taking e-pics this weekend and I'll order the guest book next week. Soon I'll design the centerpieces and programs. The next few weekends will be busy with finalizing music, finalizing the menu and alcohol, decorations, shopping for wedding bands, visiting the sites with the DJ and photographer and videographer, trial runs of my hair and makeup, getting my gowns altered, and much more that I can't think of.

I'm really excited to be getting married to the man I've spent the last ten years with, but I'd really like to get it over with now. I'm done being preoccupied with details and waking up in the morning thinking about what needs to be done. I'm also thankful that we are only having a ten month engagement. Those of you ladies engaged for more than a year, 2 years, I salute you.
  • Last updated on June 22, 2007 at 11:40 am
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I wanted a pocketfold invitation but, after making a fabulous prototype I was informed that I needed to make a Chinese version. I didn't like the idea of making two invitations, so I modified my prototype to have two panels instead of one. After a variety of modifications and changes in sizes to avoid paying extra postage or having to order custom envelopes, this was the end result:

The RSVP card: Created in Illustrator and printed on ivory cardstock.

The map: Created in Illustrator and printed on ivory paper.

The finished product fits into a standard A6 sized envelope and only needs a $.58 stamp. Yay! The burgundy cardstock, ivory linen paper and A6 ivory linen envelopes were purchased from www.thepapermillstore.com. The patterned paper was created by me in Adobe Illustrator from scanning a piece of Chinese brocaded fabric. RSVP cards were printed on ivory cardstock that my mom pilfered from her work along with clear address labels that I used for our return address.

After hand delivering a few invitations to guests, I noticed that I totally created the invitations left-handed. Every person who opened it, opened it upside down! I even stuffed them into the envelopes backwards. My mind is subconsiously trying to make the right handed people in the world conform to my ways. (evil laugh)
  • Last updated on June 12, 2007 at 8:57 am
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The ceremony will be at Shadelands Ranch Museum in Walnut Creek, CA.

These photos were takin in winter, the trees will have leaves on them in the summer... hopefully ;-)

Wedding Planning photo 1

Wedding Planning photo 2

Wedding Planning photo 3
Everything is much prettier when there are leaves on the trees.

After the ceremony we'll have a small reception with dim sum and beverages. We'll take photos while the guests mingle and we'll take a large group photo. FI and I are looking to have some Chinese lion dancers perform as a surprise. And we'll have the tea ceremony in this time too.

The banquet reception will be at Tin's Tea House Lounge in Walnut Creek. We're having a traditional ten-course Chinese banquet. We will actually have our tables look like this. Red tablecloths, ivory napkins, ivory plates with bright yellow chargers. I like how colorful it looks, but still sophisticated.

Wedding Planning photo 4

My gown:

Wedding Planning photo 5  Wedding Planning photo 6
$250 on sale from JCrew.com. It's incredibly comfortable and exactly the kind of gown I wanted. Simple, elegant and a little sexy.

Wedding Planning photo 7

My shoes. $64 from Nordstrom. I wasn't thrilled with most of the flats I found... and to be honest, I'm not thrilled with these. I dislike that they're patent leather and they make my size 10 feet look pretty darned long. But they're the most comfortable flats I had tried on. Being 5'9", I have to wear flats because I can't make my gown any longer. It totally sucks some of the really adorable flats I've seen since after my wedding.

Wedding Planning photo 8

I'll have my hair done similar to this with burgundy orchids here and there. My chapel length veil will be tucked under my hair. I've ordered it custom so it's not too poofy at the comb and very sheer.

Photo reference for my Chinese gown (cheongsam):

Wedding Planning photo 9

I wanted the burgundy gown on the left with the embroidery and buttons from the red gown on the right. East Store did was wonderful job and the gown was custom made to my curvy measurements. My only issue with the gown was my own darned fault... I didn't wear a slip and the static elecrticity made the gown stick to my legs. It kind of made me walk funny... thank goodness I didn't dance in this dress. ;-P

There's a long story about a beautiful gown that my MIL had made for me while she was in China... I ended up not wearing that gown and ordering this one two weeks before the wedding. It arrived in four days!


These are the flats I wore with this gown:

Wedding Planning photo 10

$50 from Zappos. I totally lucked out that they are a very close match to the gown's color. I had actually been thinking about buying dyables before I found these. They've quite comfy. A contrasting color would have looked awful and drawn way too much attention to my feet.

  • Last updated on June 11, 2007 at 8:21 am
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About Us photo 1

This is me, my husband Bill and our son Thomas.


I have always been a graphic artist, but my recent escape from the confines of a 9-5 job is giving me the freedom to expand my freelance business. Please visit my blog and my Etsy shop to see my offerings and recent work. I love working on a variety of projects; company logos, paper goods for weddings, parties and showers, wine labels, packaging design, traditional illustration and I even dabble in photo editing and restoration.

My Etsy Shop

My Website



Now on to the details of our wedding...

We were married on October 6, 2007 after dating for nearly 10 years.

About Us photo 4

We planned a wedding for 160 people in Walnut Creek, CA. Since, DH is Chinese and I'm white, we incorporated a lot of Chinese traditions as well and American traditions.

We met, technically, when we were both soccer referees for our local soccer club. We became great friends as we began traveling to referee high level youth games and semi-pro adult games. I say "technically" because we went to the same high school two years apart and I knew who he was. He didn't know me specifically, but he knew my family through the soccer club. His translation is that I was stalking him. So not true.

We've been dating since 1998 and got engaged officially while on a mini-vacation in Las Vegas. He proposed by slipping the ring on my finger while I was still asleep. I woke up and, though it took me a minute to figure out what was going on, he popped the question. It was a proposal perfectly suited to us and very personal. I'm so lucky to have such a great guy.

DH and I are both Bay Area born and raised, but we currently live in the Long Beach area; we moved a few years ago for DH's work, bought a house and are learning about all of the frusrations that come with home ownership. I'm a graphic artist and illustrator and DH is an IT Manager for a major airline. Both of our families still live in the East Bay and we try to visit a couple weekends every month.

some tidbits about me:
- i am the oldest of four kids
- i grew up down the street from DH and vaguely knew who he was in jr high & high school
- i hate eggplant and broccoli
- my last meal would be Mom's meatloaf with mashed potatoes & corn on the cob
- i love watching What Not to Wear
- i'm good at sleeping with earplugs
- i taught DH how to relax around kids
- i am not easily embarassed, I can laugh at myself pretty well
- i still aspire to go back to work as a camp counselor one day, even if it's as a volunteer

some tidbits about him:
- he is an only child
- he grew up down the street from me, but didn't know who I was until high school
- he hates orange creamsicles
- his last meal would be sticky rice with diced mushrooms & pork
- he loves watching Cops
- he snores
- he taught me how to be more decisive
- he is warm and goes out of his way to help others, and doesn't like getting recognized for it
- he still aspires to work in law enforcement one day, even if it's as a volunteer


Origin of my screen name:

It has nothing to do with my life anymore other than a screen name and an email address, but I created it back when the words summarized my life. ;-)

a - the first initial of my first name, Alex

batty - back in the day I was a Girl Scout camp counselor and, at camp, we didn't go by our real names. Mine was Batty. Not because I like bats, but because I had (still have) a ridiculous ability to remember the words and tunes to hundreds of Girl Scout songs... even songs I learned as a Brownie. A fellow counselor said it was "batty" of me, and the name stuck.

ref - back in the day I was a youth soccer referee. It's how DH and I met.