Cricut Creations

My first attempt with the Cricut machine! Grace helped me create these cute labels for these confetti poppers. Our guests can use the poppers to shower us with love when we walk down the aisle as a newly married couple. The label is comprised of two pieces, which are cut separately, then glued. I actually repurposed the ribbon packaged with the wedding invitation kits I bought (I’m replacing these mesh cream ribbons with ivory satin ones to match our wedding color palette). How’s that for being resourceful?

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Diecut Machines FTW

I mentioned earlier that Grace has a Cricut machine, right? Well she also has a Sizzix. I think if I had known about these tool earlier my brain would have exploded from all the DIY ideas. So in a way it was a blessing I didn’t find out until later this summer.

Fortunately now I’m knee-deep in school work and I don’t have time to think about all the cute flowers, borders and embossing I can do. (Sigh.) One cool thing I did get around to was using up the odd scraps of wrapping paper I’ve kept since the third grade. I tore up a really dog-eared Webster pocket dictionary and a trashy romance novel and cut flowers out of them. I attached the flowers to branches I’ve been collecting basically ever since Tamon proposed to me.

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And I made these really cute bridesmaid and parents-of-the-bride responsibility cards. I actually took some diecuts of an orchid and painted them to look like wedding dresses (I’ve always wanted to be a fashion designer). And I attached sheets of vellum printed with the responsibilities with cute little gold star studs.

I can’t guarantee Tamon’s going to make them so nice for his groomsmen. 😉

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Bridesmaids

This may sound silly but one of the main reasons I agreed to have a ceremony was because I really wanted bridesmaids and groomsmen. Both Tamon and I really care about our friends so it would seem strange not to have them there in that official capacity.

I think if I had insisted on the courthouse route Tamon would have gladly gone along with me (anything to avoid wedding planning). But I figure I’m the kind of girl who doesn’t like to have regrets. I don’t want to look back five years from now and wish that I’d had my wedding cake. Even Mithi’s wedding, as small as it was, had all the elements of a wedding. And that girl planned it in only two weeks!

I admit the bridesmaid’s role is pretty sexist. There’s the word “maid” in there for a reason. Kathy was clever in replacing the word with slave. In retrospect I should have told my bridesmaids they had the option of saying no (just in case they felt guilty about refusing). This was the first time I’ve ever been part of the bridal party so I didn’t know the kind of responsibilities and financial burdens that bridesmaids have to take on. So far I think I’ve tried to be careful — but that’s not to say I didn’t make a lot of mistakes at first. And of course, my sister Melissa is taking her prelims next year. Her appointment as my maid of honor couldn’t have come at a worst time. So we’ll have to go REALLY easy on her.

Despite all obstacles I think I did really well in choosing my bridesmaids though. It was hard of course because of the fact that I wanted Tamon’s sisters, Tamara and Taryn, to be bridesmaids — I had to exclude some dear friends — but in the end I felt like I had done the right thing. (Mimi Bevell and Grace Chu: You are my honorary bridesmaids.) It’s also given me a chance to get closer to my future sisters-in-laws. Bonus: They are super cute and sweet and now I have legitimate excuses to hang out with them. Tamara is a brilliant and hilarious comic artist. One a side note: Tamon made my brother one of his groomsmen. Yay!

My bridal party

Maid of honor: Melissa

Bridesmaids: Kathy, Mithi, Tamara and Taryn

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Hey, cool they actually appear in that order in the pictures! And they all look so cute. I’m excited to walk down the aisle with them. This is them trying out bridesmaid dresses at Nordstroms. I’m letting them pick their own dresses.

Dress color is Pantone Emerald. And they’re going to wear them with these super cute gold headbands and Swarovski crystal and gold jewelry I’ll be designing.

gold headband

Gazebo Ceremony and Rosettes

Early on in the wedding planning process Tamon and I looked for places to have a small Christian ceremony. We considered small churches and parks because we wanted something natural or spiritual rather than grandiose. One of our good friends Dany had an intimate wedding in a Pasadena park that inspired us. Unfortunately the park didn’t take reservations. If we decided to do something like that we wouldn’t be able to set up by ourselves beforehand. We would have to rely on a family member or a good friend to reserve the spot earlier in the day and that just seemed like too much to ask. Also I’m just not someone who is as comfortable with something so impromptu.

Then it occurred to us that we could have the ceremony at our parents’ houses since both his mom and my parents’ have decent-sized yards. We asked Tamon’s mom first because she’d recently had the pool filled and a concrete patio laid down. The landscaping she had chosen was perfect as well — roses, lavender, bourgeovilla and these big frilly yellow desert flowers. And she’d put in a lovely gazebo with great billowy drapes. I had a vision of getting married under that. Fortunately his mom was very generous and said yes! I loved my parents’ backyard and wouldn’t have minded if we did it there as a second choice but we would have had to put in money for landscaping. Another wonderful bonus about Tamon’s mom’s backyard is the fact that she recently was married in it. Tamon gave her away, his sisters were the bridesmaids and her stepson Verne (who is doing my makeup) was a groomsmen. It was sweet ceremony and I think that it’s a good omen for our wedding to come. I may ask for the Pastor Gary (who married her) as well because he was perfect! Very dignified and kind.

I saw this tutorial on Pinterest for paper rosettes. I thought it would be so lovely on the gazebo with the flower garlands I had posted about earlier. I sort of just started putting the pieces together without any certainty of the outcome. I took some leftover paper from the scrapbook I made for our first year anniversary. It was all mismatched but I folded and glued the pieces together. Then I painted the pieces gold, white and butter cream.

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I mounted the pieces onto a piece of cardboard I had salvaged from one of my Amazon shipping boxes! (The one that my moss came in.) I purchased some doily diecuts at Joanns for the centers and created a heart from a silk ribbon rosettes painted red.

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Tada! Actually I found out from Tamon later we can’t even get married under the gazebo because of the way it’s positioned in the yard. So I don’t even know where to put the backdrop anymore. But for now it lives on one of our bedroom walls. Originally I was going to put Tamon and my initials on the backdrop to but since we’re not even going to get married underneath it anymore I painted a gold fan shape.

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We Made a Tree

So one night, I was thinking about the wedding (this was shortly after I finished the nest egg box) and I thought, What if we had a place card tree? I mean a tree with all the place cards (shaped like hearts) pinned on there? And when guests arrive they just look for their names and pluck their card off the tree?

It would look so cute with our little house box.

I figured I would have a really hard time justifying this to Tamon. So I just did it. It wasn’t easy. First of all, I had to design a tree I could actually make and that could actually hold a lot of place cards pinned to it. Okay, so I went with a round topiary type tree in a pot. I figured I just needed: a round Styrofoam, moss, a branch (for the trunk) and a ceramic pot.

FYI Styrofoam balls are ridiculously expensive. Plus they didn’t come in the large size I needed (I figured I needed at least a 2-foot diameter ball). I think I could get like a half sphere for around $60 if I special ordered it. Okay so I nixed the idea of Styrofoam.

Then I came up with the idea to paper maiche. Looked at balloons. Round ones are 36 inches. Too big. So I bought a beach ball. Yes, a beach ball.

The moss was actually the most expensive part of this project. I recommend shopping around. I bought moss sheets off of Amazon. I think they would have been cheaper at Joanns after using a coupon. Also you can always buy brown moss and paint it the shade you want. You can get a huge bag of Spanish moss at a garden and hardware store for around $10 I think and then paint it. Hehe, I guess since this project was really whimsical I wished I hadn’t spent so much money on it.

I looked up some instructions online on how to paper maiche a beach ball. There was a good one for building a Yoshi head. It recommended that you cover the ball in plastic so the paper maiche doesn’t stick to the ball. I concocted a brew of paper maiche glue (out of flour and water) and recruited my childhood friend Grace to help me.

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Four hours later we birthed a ball!

We got a chuckle out of Tamon when he came across it drying next to the front door. It is super bulbous and cute.

This project was the most structurally challenging one thus far (although I haven’t built the bridal bouquet yet or finished my bridal hairpiece). I had to engineer the pieces together. First I had to cut open the paper maiche coating to retrieve the beach ball (which wouldn’t deflate). Then since the paper maiche didn’t make for very strong shape plus it was heavy I couldn’t really use a branch anymore. The branch would make it too top heavy to stay upright. Instead I purchased a poster mailing tube from the FedEx store. I cut the pieces down to size and duck-taped the crap out of it. The base of the tube didn’t fit in the ceramic pot so I had sacrifice one of my mesh trash cans. Then I glued and glued the moss all over the paper maiche. I had to fill in the gaps with Spanish moss. The end result didn’t look too shabby. The proportion of the tree and the house is definitely off though.

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Now I found out Grace owns a Cricut machine. So I can cut out the place cards in the shape of flowers. How cute would that be?

Merry Hello Kitty

This is an example of how cute my future mother-in-law and sisters-in-law are: When Tamon and I visited his family home this is what they had waiting for us in a box of toys in the foyer.

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I don’t know how yet but I will incorporate them somehow in our wedding, Taryn!

Tamon’s mom also said, “I saved all these toys for your children.”

Ah, a warm, fuzzy feeling. I’m excited.

The toys were in great condition too! Tamon takes way better care of his stuff than I do.

Our Little Nest Egg

I hope no one finds this crass. At Asian weddings people traditionally give money. So is it terrible on my part to assume that I’m going to receive red envelopes? I think most Chinese kids say red envelopes are one of the bestest things about being Chinese. They look festive and it feels awesome just to have at them. Whenever I got to weddings for one of my Asian friends I always put cash in a red envelope.

I guess I’m doing a mash-up of the two cultures. I’m DIYing the card box in a Western style but accepting the Asian tradition. Also I just wanted to build a house box. I thought it would be much cuter than a fancy but generic bridal gift card box purchased from a retailer.

Also I wanted to do a box to reference the fact that Tamon and I want to buy a house. I figured if we did get cash that money would probably go toward the house. That’s why I also wrote “nest egg” on the side.

If anyone finds that terribly impolite and tacky, I apologize.

Anyway this was another instance of salvage and reuse. I actually took some shipping boxes and cut, glued and taped it into a house shape (I learned how to make boxes in a high school art class). Then I took some gray-blue suede leftover from the zebra pillow I made for GlamKat and created the shingles. Kathy glued on the white cotton. It got a little wrinkly so I added some ivy later. She also designed the adorable chapel windows. I made a little door from some blush linen, cardboard and a pearl wrapped in white sateen. Pretty nifty, huh?

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