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 April 20, 2009 at 8:35 am
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Creating the Chinese portion of my invitation proved to be a huge pain in the butt. Neither my DH or I can read Chinese so we had to rely on my MIL to make sure that all of the information was correct. It was a long and tedious process, but we were really happy with the end result. I hope this info will be helpful to future brides facing a similar dilemma.

Chinese Text for your Invitations photo 1

It reads top to bottom & right to left in a traditional and very formal writing style. This is what I was told about the Chinese characters and what they say:

1. Date of the wedding, both gregorian/solar and Chinese/lunar calendar form.
2. Names of the bride and groom with their birth order listed first.  For example: This one says: Oldest Daughter & Only Son.  The names themselves can be written in English if desired. I've seen it done both ways.
3. Ceremony location, the bottom portion describes this particular location as a park.
4. Reception or banquet location. The name of the site can be written in English if desired. The text also describes a 10-course Chinese banquet at a seafood restaurant.
5. Names of the bride & groom’s parents. The bottom characters say something along the lines of "hosted by."
6. “Welcome” characters should be larger than the rest.

I know that the start time of the ceremony is in there somewhere, I'm just not sure where. :-)

If you do not have the ability to type in Chinese, there are a couple of options for you. One option is to visit www.njstar.com and download their software. They also have software for writing in Japanese. You will need to have someone who can read the characters to be able to type in the information that is specific to your wedding.

Another option (this is what we ended up doing) is to talk to your friends and family and see if anyone has a Chinese word processing program like MS Word in Chinese. My DH's Uncle was able to type all of the information we needed and send me the text as a PDF file. I was then able to upload it into Adobe Illustrator where I was creating my invitations. I have also been able to simply copy and paste Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korean characters directly from a Word .doc into Illustrator, as long as the font I'm using supports the characters. Many of the standard fonts do... like Times New Roman, Trajan Pro, Garamond, etc.

I'm sure there are plenty of places online who will create Chinese text for you for a fee. I didn't want to pay anyone for info I could get from my family, so I haven't done any research there. If anyone has any additional info to add, I'm happy to hear it and add it to this post.



  • Last updated on March 30, 2009 at 9:07 am
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It figures that the week we start talking about making babies... we make one. In spite of the not-so-subtle hints from our friends and family, we had decided to forego a long vacation this year and start TTC instead. "Sure, let's start trying this summer." "It would be awesome to tell our family and friends at Christmas." Well my body had a different plan and we got pregnant right away.

I'm dealing with day-long nausea, fatigue, and a crappy appetite. DH thinks my fuller bustline is the "coolest thing ever!"

Our Next Adventure photo 1

This is from my 9 week ultrasound last week. The little blob is approximately 2.5 cm long and about the size of a grape.

We're due October 27th and we both think it will be a girl. We will definitely find out the sex when we can, neither of us would be able to handle waiting. ;-D  Either way, we're both excited and terrified all at the same time.


  • Last updated on December 24, 2008 at 7:27 am
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This is the script from our ceremony... pieced together from a bunch of scripts I found online and altered to suit us. Our officiant was reading a little fast, but not too bad. A friend clocked the ceremony from when he first started talking to when we kissed... 8 minutes! Awesome! :-D


Hello and welcome!

It is with great pleasure that we are gathered together in the presence of God, to celebrate the love which Alexandra and William have for each other, to give social recognition to their decision to commit their lives and accept each other completely, to learn how to help and understand each other, to build a family, and together, to travel through life.

If any of you has anything to say that might change their minds… they… don’t want to hear it. However, they do want to hear from you, that you are their village, that you will always be their family, and will always support and encourage them as they discover the commitment and dedication needed to make marriage work. And that is why you are here today.

Since the dawn of man, people have been united in marriage in all lands, all cultures, and all religions.  In marriages everywhere, this is a time for two individuals to leave the families that raised them, to begin a new family.  At this time, we ask the parents of the Bride and Groom to come forth to bless this marriage.

Do you, Dick and Sandy, Mark and Laikwan, who have lovingly raised and nurtured these two individuals, offer your blessing for their marriage, promising to support them, guide them, understand them, and encourage them in their solemn endeavor, in the years ahead?  If you agree, please say, "We do".  (Parent's respond.)

And to the witnesses and honored guests here today, I ask the same question.  Do you offer your blessing for their marriage, promising to support them, guide them, understand them, and encourage them in their solemn endeavor, in the years ahead?  If you agree, please say, "We do". (guests respond)

So Alex and Bill, please focus your attention on one another and also answer my questions:

Alex, "Do you take Bill to be your wedded husband, to share your life openly, standing with him, in sickness and in health, in joy and in sorrow, in hardship and in ease, to cherish and to love, so long as you both shall live?" (bride responds)

Bill, "Do you take Alex to be your wedded wife, to share your life openly, standing with her, in sickness and in health, in joy and in sorrow, in hardship and in ease, to cherish and to love, so long as you both shall live?" (groom responds)

Before you exchange rings and vows, I’d like to remind you what the Bible has to say about love:

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

May we have the rings please? (he holds the rings for a bit)

The metal in these rings has little real value,
Except in its use today.
These words are gone as I say them
But as I say them, your lives are changed forever.
You are man and woman, born to trouble and to joy;
And this is your greatest triumph —

That the greatest of gifts are yours for the risk of asking.
We are to witness now the sealing of this promise with these rings
Signs and tokens before the world
Of the world you will create —
single, whole, and quiet —
Within the world outside.
Together you are one; as one you are a world.

Bill as you place this ring on Alex’s hand, please repeat after me:

I take you Alex to be my wedded wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death parts us.

Alex as you place this ring on Bill’s hand, please repeat after me:

I take you Bill to be my wedded husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death parts us.


Bill and Alex,

Now you will feel no rain,
for each of you will be shelter for the other.

Now you will feel no cold,
for each of you will be warmth to the other.

Now there will be no loneliness,
for each of you will be companion to the other.

Now you are two persons,
but there is only one life before you.

May beauty surround you both in the
journey ahead and through all the years.

May happiness be your companion and your days
together be good and long upon the earth.

With the support of your families and friends,
by the vows you have made to one another,
by the strength of your covenant,
and in the presence of God,
it is my pleasure to pronounce you “Husband and Wife.”

I am honored to present to you for the first time, William and Alexandra Wong.

  • Last updated on December 23, 2008 at 9:32 am
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We didn't have the money or vacation time to be able to have our honeymoon right after our wedding. So we went almost a year afterwards and spent a wonderful week on Maui.

We bought a hotel/airfare package through Travelocity.com and found it was about $400 cheaper to fly to Maui from Seattle instead of LAX. (We were able to fly to Seattle for free.) So we first spent a full day in Seattle first being driven around by a close friend.

Our Honeymoon photo 1


Next we boarded our Hawaiian Airlines Boeing 767 with comfy exit row seats and made our way, non-stop, to Maui. We picked up our car rental and drove to our hotel: Sheraton Maui Resort in Ka'anapali.

This book really what made our trip fun. It's written by a local and it gave us tips on exploring out-of-the-way places and restaurants. What places weren't worth the inflated prices, and hidden waterfalls and beaches. I highy recommend it to anyone who's planning to travel to Maui. (He's written books for Oahu, Kauai and the Big Island too)

Maui Revealed

This is an aerial shot of our hotel. The arrow points to where our room was.
Our Honeymoon photo 2

The view from our room of Ka'anapali Beach:

Our Honeymoon photo 3

We spent the entire week exploring the island and experiencing the food.

Our Honeymoon photo 4

Our Honeymoon photo 5

Our Honeymoon photo 6

Big Beach, south of Wailea.

Our Honeymoon photo 7

Picking pineapples with the Maui Pineapple Company. This was one of the most touristy things we've ever done, but it was still really fun. We learned way more about pineapple than we will ever need.

Our Honeymoon photo 8

Our Honeymoon photo 9

The view from pineapple field #64.

Our Honeymoon photo 10

The luau at our hotel. It was fun, but pricey. About $100 per person. Probably something we won't do again if we can make it back to Maui.

Our Honeymoon photo 11


On the drive to Hana:

Our Honeymoon photo 12

Wai'anapanapa Park

Our Honeymoon photo 13

Our Honeymoon photo 14 Our Honeymoon photo 15

Our Honeymoon photo 16 Our Honeymoon photo 17

Our Honeymoon photo 18

Wailua Falls

Our Honeymoon photo 19

Ching's Pond

Our Honeymoon photo 20  Our Honeymoon photo 21


Sunset shots from Pu'u Ola'i Beach (aka Little Beach):

Our Honeymoon photo 22

Our Honeymoon photo 23

It was a wonderful trip and we both want to go back... badly.



  • Last updated on December 3, 2008 at 11:44 am
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Photos of the b-pic book I ordered for DH for his 1st anniversary gift:

Boudoir Photobook photo 1

Sorry, the photo isn't great, the cover is shiny and reflecting the windows.

I opted for the dust jacket option and wrote "To my darling husband on our 1st anniversary. From your loving wife" on the inside flap. It was meant to be a loving message with cheesiness. ;-) I really like the dust jacket and the ability to customize the flaps. The back flap says, "come and kiss me now".

Boudoir Photobook photo 2

The first page. Thanks to HMM for the idea to use the "for Bill's eyes only" line. The next page has a "girl next door" style photo and a short love note reminding DH how much I love him.

Boudoir Photobook photo 3

A couple of inside pages.

Boudoir Photobook photo 4

I opted to have the background black on all the pages and I left the back cover blank. The spine says "Boudoir - 2008" in a red script font. The book is 8.5x11 and about 50 pages, it cost $37 on Blurb with a coupon for free shipping. I'm currently working on our wedding album with Blurb and will post photos when it arrives.


  • Last updated on October 22, 2008 at 7:17 am
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My younger brother was getting married August 1, 2009. But they have decided to postpone until 2011. My bro's employer drastically cut his hours and both of them are still finishing college. So there was no way they could afford to live together. So, they decided to postpone with hopes that the economy might improve and they'll be in a better situation financially.  Either way, I'm having a great time helping them with their plans.

My brother, Michael, proposed to Sara at Snow White's Wishing Well at Disneyland. DH and I were lucky enough to be there snapping photos. We'll probably use a couple of the photos in their STD.

My brother s wedding photo 1

That's me holding the ring box while we talk about "making a wish..."

My brother s wedding photo 2

My brother s wedding photo 3   My brother s wedding photo 4 Yay!


They have booked the Purple Orchid Inn in Livermore for the whole weekend, including their 10 guest rooms. It's a beautiful bed & breakfast in the Livermore Wine Valley. It has its own oilve orchard with beautiful Tuscany-like views. I kinda wish I'd known about this place for my wedding...   Despite the postponement, they still plan to get married here.


The bride's favorite color is purple and she is leaning towards this Jim Hjelm gown for her 7 bridesmaids. I will be one of them along with my sister. Her younger sister with be MOH.

My brother s wedding photo 5 My brother s wedding photo 6

She's chosen the Eggplant color, it's not a loud royal purple, it's quite lovely. I wonder if I'll be able to use it as a normal cocktail dress after the wedding if I shorten it to knee length?


As the designer in the family, I'm working on designs for their STDs and invitations. Here are some works in progres


My brother s wedding photo 7

My brother s wedding photo 8

My brother s wedding photo 9

I'm looking forward to finishing the design with them and then moving on to invitations. :-D