When people ask me if I’m almost done with wedding planning, I usually reply with a tentative yes. But in reality there are wedding things that you can’t really do until six months, one month or even on the day of the wedding. So if I’m going to be honest with myself, I’m less than halfway through wedding planning. Or, to put it in perspective, Tamon and I have only spent 13 percent of our budget for the wedding.

In that light … I’ve probably one finished about 20 percent of the things I need to do for the wedding.

Waaaaah — I’m starting to feel woozy. And I don’t think it’s due to the food poisoning again.

Room darkens and starts spinning. Kat falls off her chair and curls up into fetal position.

Okay, I’ll be serious now. As much as I would like be done with this wedding thing in two months (I’m sure Tamon would not mind), it is kind of nice to take my sweet time with it and change my mind about 20 times.

Even though I know it isn’t good for me, I’m still reading wedding blogs and pinning things on my wedding boards. Recently I read on a board about Chinese banquet weddings this catastrophic truth bomb — they take the centerpieces off the table (to make way for the six-course meal).

So that means I get to spend a little less than $1,000 on flowers that the waiters are just going to PUT ON THE FLOOR. Or move to a side table. For the rest of the reception.

I’m dumbfounded.

The practical person in me thinks then why am I spending hundreds of dollars on flowers that will only make the table look pretty for 30 minutes? I rather spend the money on more liquor or dessert for my guests.

So I decided — no flowers!

But there aren’t a ton of non-floral centerpiece ideas online. I’ve seen dried flowers or fruits or candles but all of these seem less pretty than flowers and just as nonfunctional. Someone even suggested goldfish which seems so inhumane it just makes me cringe (I don’t even like the fact that carnivals give away goldfish as prizes).

Then I came across this Bridal Guide article  that suggests activities to keep guests entertained during the reception. One way was creating an activity book with Mad Libs and questions like, “What should the newly wed couple name their firstborn child? and “Where should they go on date nights?”


I loved this idea. And how cute would it be if I made accordion books with some pretty paper from Paper Source?

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I am leaning toward the last one, which is actually not from Paper Source but the Art Supply Warehouse, because the pattern is rose-themed and it looks like the icing our wedding baker Kit is going to do for the cake. I found some adorable book-making tutorials and

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Ah, but now it seems so lonely to have these books by themselves on the table. So I began thinking about how I can include maybe a very small flower arrangement. That’s when I started thinking about the theme of the wedding. I brainstormed a bit about the chuppah, which I will talk about in the next post, and decided I’m definitely going in the direction of a vintage-y wedding — so far with my dress, my makeup and my hair. Then Verne, Tamon’s stepbrother, even suggested that the guests dress up in a vintage style! What do you guys think? I just saw Wong Kar Wai’s lusciously filmed The Grandmaster. The fashion and decor of the Golden Pavilion, suffuse with reds, golds and greens, inspires my imagination. Tamon and I are having a Chinese banquet after all… One can dream.


In light of this theme, I thought of gold mercury glass vases filled with white peonies, wide-lipped red roses, blue irises and tangled ivy. How wild and lovely would that be? It would be sweet, easy to DIY and shouldn’t cost half as much as outsourcing the bouquets. See how quickly I’ve changed my mind about the flowers?!

I found some samples online and some excellent tutorials on how to DIY mercury glass and

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The ideas can extend to other decorations as well.


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.


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.


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.