As most of our loyal readers would know, Howard and I recently did a little thing called… getting married. It’s over a month since the wedding day and despite it not being so long ago, I still find it difficult to recall certain aspects of the wedding. So many things were happening in the one day that some parts of the day is a blur. As promised from our engagement party post, this post will be a run through of our Wedding day.
Just a warning before you go on, it’ll be a long and image heavy post. Just a quick thank you to our magician of a photographer Dan who captured our day and was kind enough to lend us these photos.
I am a self-confessed control freak!
I am the type of person who needs everything to be perfect, to be in line, to be colour coordinated, to be in its place, to be on time, you get the drift. As a result of this condition, I can and tend to obsess over tiny details. Knowing this, my bridesmaids and Howard were really hands on with all aspects of the wedding planning, this I’m sure made the day run as smoothly as possible.
From the get go, I always knew what type of wedding I wanted, it must be an outdoor ceremony. Something that was elegant but also casual. Obviously the day was about us, however we wanted our family and friends to also be involved and enjoy the day.
Howard and I also wanted to pay respect to both our parents, so decided to incorporate certain chinese traditions in to the wedding. Of course with so many family and friends, we had no choice but to have a traditional banquet reception, it wasn’t exactly what I wanted for my dream wedding, but in the end I was grateful that we chose it.
To ensure the ceremony was exactly how I wanted, I spent quite a long time Googling and Pinteresting, just researching ideas and if need be where I could hire certain props to make my dream a reality. This proved to be more difficult than I had anticipated. I contacted a couple of the more popular even stylists and hire companies, however they were quite arrogant, or didn’t reply to my enquiries.
In the end, I nearly gave up. Luckily Howard found a website that contained everything we wanted for our wedding, Lily and Bramwell. Upon speaking to them, they made sure everything we needed was made available for our special day. Mason jars, milk glass jars, beautiful vintage velvet lounge, we wanted everything. Wedding planning in itself is already a stressful occasion, the last thing we need was to deal with conceited vendors.
The day started quite early for myself and the 3 bridesmaids (BM) Judy, Shirphine and Teresa, hair and make up was scheduled to start at 5:30. Joined by her army of 3 assistants, Martha from Dmakeup station was determined to achieve the impossible, remove the bags under our eye which had somehow drooped half way down our cheeks, and tame our stringy hair. Like a magician, she achieved her mission.
After beautifying us, the day was to begin.
Howard made his way from his parents place to my parent’s place to “pickup” the bride, however, before he could gain access to me and to prove his love, he was forced to overcome a couple of obstacles as set out by the bridesmaids.
Firstly, Howard with the assistance of his groomsmen (GM) Evan, Darryn and Michael, had to write me a poem of the top of their head, they passed this challenge with flying colours. Next up was saying “I love you” in 5 different languages, I think this challenge was a little more difficult, resorting to him making up his own language.
The third challenge was to pass a piece of seaweed from one person to another via their mouth, this ensued ruptures of laughter from all the relatives and made for great photo opportunities.
For the fourth challenge each member of the GM party had to eat or drink something which represents certain phases within a marriage: Sour, each person had to drink a shot glass of lime juice, Bitter, a piece of bitter melon, Spicy, a teaspoonful of wasabi paste and finally something Sweet, a piece of liquorice (Howard detests it).
The last challenge before the tea ceremony was a singing one. Howard and the GM had to sing One Directions’s One Thing loud enough so that I (waiting upstairs) could hear them, only then would I be lured to come down and meet him. It sounds lame, but it was quite hilarious to see all the boys singing so enthusiastically, they could probably form a band, No Direction, and just do covers.
Neither Howard nor I are traditional people, to appease the elders (our parents) we did the tea ceremony, first at my parent’s place, then to cap it off at Howard’s parent’s house. This may sound a little vain, but the only thing I was looking forward to during the tea ceremony was wearing my Qipao, the traditional dress. I had ordered my dress online from China and so was quite nervous when it arrived in the mail 2 weeks before the wedding.
Overall I was quite happy with it, however mum had to spend a couple of days modifying the dress as silly me had taken measurements of myself whilst wearing my clothes, which obviously is a no no, as there would absolutely no way that I will be wearing my Qipao over my trackie dacks oh my wedding day.
Tea ceremony had run according to plan and completed at the estimated time of completion. This meant that the BM and I had an hour to relax at Gledswood, soaking up the sun. Howard and the GM however were not as lucky. The day before the wedding, the bridal team had all decided that I was not allowed to decorate my own ceremony venue, I was forced to trust our group of friends who had agreed to help with setting up and the GM.
Surprisingly, during that hour or R&R, I was not worried at all. In the end, I knew that I had done all that I could, briefed each person on their roles at the ceremony, so whatever was to happen, there was absolutely nothing I could do about it.
Half an hour prior to me walking down the aisle, I changed in to my Wedding gown. At this point, the importance and magnitude of the event finally kicked in. I looked around and realised how lucky I was, to be surrounded by the three most attentive and beautiful bridesmaids, and both my Mum and Dad.
At 2pm, we hurried out in to the walkway, all the BM got in to their position. Mum held onto my right hand, and I had my left hand around Dad’s arm. As they were both equally important in my life, I thought it would only feel right if they both walked me down the aisle.
I walked down the aisle to an AMAZING live band, Sounds of Apollo, who also performed at our engagement party, singing Ben E King’s Stand by me. I’m not going to lie, whilst walking down the aisle, I had a quick glimpse around the venue and couldn’t help but be overwhelmed by my surroundings. EVERYTHING looked as I had planned and envisioned.
To think that something that I had been conjuring in my head throughout the last 6 months had been brought to life by a group of dedicated team, it exceeded my expectations.
Howard and I locked eyes as I walked down the aisle, I haven’t told him this yet but at that moment, with Max standing by his side, to me, he was the most handsome man ever =) We exchanged our vows surrounded by our family and friends, with Max playing an integral part of the ceremony, he was the ring bearer.
After the formalities of the ceremony, Evan, Darryn and Shirphine gave a speech. The timing of the speech was the best decision we had made for the day. Knowing how rowdy our reception would be, for us speeches were quite intimate so we chose for the speeches to be done at the ceremony. Upon completion of the speeches, the ceremony concluded with us walking back down the aisle to the band playing U2′s Beautiful Day.
Whilst we walked around mingling with friends, the guests were served canapes, wines and champagne. Life sized games, Chess, Jenga, Connect four and Dominos were spread around the field to entertain our guests. The guests were also invited to write us words of advice and wisdom on tags which they were then asked to attach to a makeshift tree we had erected.
For a little bit of fun, we set up a photo station whereby guests were asked to take Polaroid photos using props provided. These photos were also pegged to the tree branch. These stations would not have been possible without the props that we obtained from Lily and Bramwell, the jars, wooden crates and old books helped create a vintage feel, exactly what I wanted.
Traditional Greensleeves music suddenly starts blaring down the driveway in to the garden. Our surprise for our guest had arrived. We had hired an ice cream van for the afternoon, serving delicious soft serve cones with toppings of the guest’s choice. The van was a big hit, once everyone had made their orders, with their ice cream in tow, guests were congregating in front of the band, watching the performance.
The day could have ended right there and then and I’d be the happiest bride ever. But no, the reception was waiting around the corner.
I know I am sounding like a broken record, but the reception ran smoothly as well. As if you didn’t know already, Howard and I absolutely love food. So much so that our table seatings were organised into different food that goes together, e.g. Bangers and Mash, Fried Chicken and Coleslaw, Pork Roll and Sugar Cane Juice, Gin and Tonic etc.
The guests were treated to a 10 course banquet meal, consisting of the most deliciously crisp BBQ pork with jelly fish salad, steamed abalone with ginger and shallots, deep-fried king prawn, stir fried seafood and snow peas in a crispy noodle nest, lobster with ginger and egg noodles, Peking duck, Salt and pepper mud crab, steamed fish with ginger and shallots, fried rice and to finish it off, fresh fruit platters
As if people didn’t think I was crazy enough, I went and prove them wrong. Dung, a friend, and I made approximately 550 cake pops and arranged it into tiers, which made up the wedding cake, and adorned the top layer with a torched meringue cake from Black Star Pastry in Newtown.
Because this still wasn’t enough, I also made a dessert table for the guests. On offer were Walnut chocolate brownie, Strawberry and cream macaron, Chocolate and passionfruit macaron, White chocolate rocky road, Passionfruit melting moments, Peanut Butter jam heart cookies, Mini raspberry cheesecakes, cousin Johnny helped by baking mini coffee eclairs and Fruit tarts.
Instead of winding down as the night progressed, the party had actually gotten louder and crazier, with everyone dancing away to the music provided by the house DJ.
From 5:30am until 1am the following day, the stress, pain and exhaustion was worth it.
Obviously this would not be possible without the help of our friends and families: Family – Both Mums and Dads, Wendy, Kelwin, Evan, David and Peter; Bridesmaids – Judy, Shirphine and Teresa; Groomsmen – Evan, Darryn and Michael; La Familia – Frank, Warren, Squishies, Cariss, Dung, Noel and Charlotte; Florals – Minh and Christine; Photoghrapher – Daniel K Cheung; Wedding Hire – Lily and Bramwell; Celebrant – Jennifer Cahill; Band – Sounds of Apollo; and Hair and Make up artist – Dmakeup station.
Lastly, I did not have the chance to thank him on the day, my Husband.
Throughout the last 8 years, Howard has been my rock. If ever I doubted myself he’s always there to reassure me, if ever I was stressed or tired, he was always there to alleviate and support me, If ever I was sad or down, he’d be there to console me, my perfect match. I am so honored to call him my husband, and to spend the rest of our lives together. Howard, Linda and Max, the dream team.
Finally, I would like to say a massive thank you to our loyal readers for all the love and support they have shown us throughout the last few years. I know the last couple of months we’ve been pretty quiet and so may have let some of you down, but I promise, we’ll definitely be back with a new chapter of lives to Eat, Show & Tell.
Ceremony venue: Gledswood Homestead & WineryMakeup & hair: Martha Mok from D’MakeupStation (preferred vendor)
Civil Marriage Celebrant: Jennifer Cahill (preferred vendor)
Ice cream truck: Ken’s Cones
Band: Sounds of Apollo also known as EmbassyWedding prop hire: Lily&BramwellPhotographer: Daniel K CheungVideo: Paper CranesHoward’s suit: PJohnson Tailors