Event management was part of my old job so I love planning parties.
One of the best events I planned and organized is my wedding even though it was a bit stressful having to organize two wedding dinners in two different cities!
First, I made a checklist of what I’d need to achieve my dream wedding.
I’d envisioned a garden wedding but since we lived in a tropical country, that definitely wasn’t possible even though we’d found the PERFECT church with the PERFECT grounds for it. In the end, we settled for a little chapel, which was nice and cosy
Also, I wanted a silver and blue wedding theme.
With the dream wedding and checklist in mind, I estimated an overall budget.
We probably spent the most on the wedding dinner, which would probably cost less if we’d found catering equipment suppliers since we have a lot of good cooks who can cook restaurant-style dishes in our family.
The next big ticket item were the wedding photos, which I’d regretted listening to someone’s advice to take BIG photo albums. Sizeable portraits would have sufficed and so too a small coffee table book. Now, we have trouble storing our wedding album!
As much as I wanted to own my wedding gown to be able to hand it down to my daughter, we couldn’t afford it. I was really, really lucky to find a blue-and-white wedding gown, which fit beautifully into my silver-and-blue theme. The wedding gown was quite unique and everyone was surprised it wasn’t custom made.
Best of all, I loved my dinner gown, which was a Chinese qipao. I’d be trying on gown after gown in every colour of the rainbow – somehow, none of them looked right. Finally, I spied the golden qipao in the wedding shop window and asked if I could try it.
Ha! The qipao fit me like a glove! And all the girls in the wedding shop went “Ooh! Ahh!”. The best (or worst) compliment: “You know…you’re actually quite pretty.” Hahaha…
Many of my colleagues and friends asked if I’d custom-made the qipao
The bridal shoes were the tricky part because I needed heels that I could wear with both my wedding gown and the qipao. Thankfully, my dearest, dearest friend went shoe shopping with me the whole day long in KL. Finally, we found the perfect pair in Isetan or Tangs!
Third, I took up anyone’s and everyone’s offer to help.
My student translated my wedding invitation into Chinese.
My sister made the ring cushion.
An uncle offered his Mercedes and I think he (or his wife) helped with my bridal bouquet and flowers for the car i.e. lilies silver-and-blue ribbons. An auntie offered to do bridal make-up and recommended her friend for the bridal hairdo.
Another uncle offered to take the wedding video, which was quite hilarious because he tailed me from beginning till end. The whole family had a good laugh watching the video he’d made and now, I wonder: “WHERE is the video???”
Fourth, I had an “OK if I can do it”, “OK if I can’t get it” approach.
What’s important is that we were getting married. We were starting a new life together. We were joining two families.
I’ve often advised anyone who’s getting married to “enjoy” the journey and not get too caught up with getting the perfect dress and the perfect shoes.
I found that if I just let go and let God take over, everything turned out well.
For example, we had to hunt for a wedding photographer and since I didn’t know anyone in that city, we went to the first photo shop and hired one!
That was quite a gamble because we found out later that it’s the photographer’s FIRST EVER Christian wedding photo shoot. He’d only been doing Chinese weddings previously.
However, he was SOOOOO NERVOUS about getting it right and probably terrified of Bridezilla i.e. me, he brought TWO of his best cameras and shot almost EVERYTHING.
After the wedding, we had fun looking through the photos with the photographer because we laughed at him taking many shots of something, which isn’t that significant. He was a jolly guy that photographer and he also learned a bit about the Christian faith.
Finally, we decided that we wanted a wedding party where everyone enjoyed themselves.
We were getting married and we wanted everyone to have a happy memory of that special day.
I was really touched because one of my uncles who had NEVER attended any of his nieces’ weddings volunteered to drive my aunties over for our wedding.
Besides family, we have beautiful memories of former colleagues, current colleagues, college mates and school mates having a nice time at the wedding dinner.
Looking back at the happy faces in our wedding photos, we feel truly blessed to have a beautiful wedding.
So, remember, enjoy yourselves and don’t sweat the small stuff!
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