Friday, November 6, 2015

Wedding Mini-series Part I: From Ms to Mrs - I'm Married!!

Okay, I know this post is more than a month overdue but better late than never, right? If you've been following my blog then you're probably aware that I've been engaged for a while. C proposed back in March 2014 and for a long time we were just too dang lazy to plan a huge shindig. After months had passed we finally agreed to tie the knot on September 19.

And at last the planning began. Since we didn't hire a planner or coordinator I found out firsthand how hard it is to plan your own wedding, and now I have this urge to share what I learned with the entire world - especially with you daring readers who are looking to plan your own wedding as well. That's why I decided to make a little wedding mini-series to document the big day (because what credibility would I have without proof that I actually got married?), the planning that went into the big day, and the process of changing your name after your wedding if you choose to do so. Personally, I feel like nobody focuses enough on that last happy headache so I'm more than happy to share my experience! So. Part One: THE BIG DAY!

C and I are laid back kids who like to have fun. Our wedding wasn't extravagant but it was still fun - we had fun, the guests had fun, even our photographers had fun shooting the photos. Since we're casual people we wanted our venue and the ambiance to reflect that so we chose to celebrate at a restaurant instead of a ritzy hotel (also because we haven't won the Megabucks yet).

As every bride will tell you, not everything turned out exactly the way I pictured it to be. I woke up with a pounding headache that didn't go away, the check-in table decor wasn't set up correctly, the centerpieces were something worthy of a Nailed It! meme, and I got makeup all over my white dress before the reception even started, to name a few.
BUT I just told myself that no matter what happens, I can't do anything about it so why stress? Besides, all of my married friends told me that years down the line the only thing people will remember is the food and whether they had fun. The venue we chose is known for their scrumptious buffet so we knew the food would be yummy. We just needed to make it fun. Piece of cake (pun intended).

We had a tight budget so I didn't really have what you'd call a bridal was more like a bridal buddy. Brides here traditionally pay for their bridal party's dresses, makeup, mani/pedis, etc, so I only had a Matron of Honor and that was it. And that saved me a lot of $$$. We stayed at a modest 2-star hotel in the middle of town so that even if we were running late we'd still be able to book it to the wedding venue a couple of miles away. We got ready at the hotel, and because I didn't want to spend money on a limo and couldn't find someone to take us, I drove to my own wedding, dolled up and all.
At least it was air conditioned
As luck would have it, we were running late and by the time I parked the car about half the guests were already there. There was no back entrance so we ran right past the crowd and into the waiting room until the ceremony started.

The ceremony itself was short and sweet. C and I had originally planned to write our own vows but conveniently "forgot" to so we ended up going with the traditional version.
Yes it was emotional, but not as much as I had expected. We like to laugh and we did a lot of that, especially when C put the wrong ring on my finger. Yup, for a few seconds I was the man in the relationship.

After the ceremony, rather than do a Wedding March recessional we followed in the footsteps of Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Literally. Have you ever seen the movie 500 Days of Summer? Remember that dance he did to the Hall & Oates song "You Make My Dreams Come True"? We did a segment of that but with a few tweaks:
I think people liked it. I hope they did. I have yet to see the video footage. Our family forgot to bring their camcorders and it turns out all of our friends were too busy laughing to bring out their phones. We didn't have video in our photo package either so we'll just have to assume the choreography wasn't too terrible. Oh, we also knuckle bumped instead of kissed. Unpredictability ftw, yo.
Next up, the reception. In Hawaii, especially at Japanese weddings, you'll often see a 1000-crane piece of artwork on display. This tradition became popular after Sadako Sasaki's story and it's believed that the recipients will receive 1,000 years of happiness. A thousand happy years sounds pretty awesome to me so this was my one must-have for the wedding. The catch? You have to fold a thousand origami cranes. C doesn't know how to fold cranes; he took five tries to make that one blue groom's crane in the bottom corner. Better than nothing at least. We went with a swan design and had it professionally mounted. I love it!
Even the cherry blossoms are made from cranes!
Close up of the mounted cranes
If you've read some of my previous posts then you know that I'm kind of obsessed with my dogs. Since they couldn't be at our wedding we had to find ways to incorporate them into it. So we made frosted glass centerpieces with dog designs, a corgi-themed guestbook, and a Pebbles-themed cardbox.
C made a Pebbles cardbox topper :)
We even custom designed a Macho- and Pebbles-themed wedding cake through my friend's cake business.
I don't splurge, but if I do I make sure it's because of dogs
But what you may not know about me is that I'm also kind of obsessed with Legos. I've long since run out of space to store the ones I already built, but I keep buying and building new ones. We even received three new Lego sets from our wedding alone. Whooooo! Anyway, I'm sharing this tidbit because it has everything to do with our reception entrance:
Everything is awesome!!
The food was yummy as always and the company was even better. Everything flowed so smoothly (or if it didn't, everyone did a great job covering it up). My cousin even prepared a wonderful slideshow of C's and my childhood years leading up to the wedding. 

Sooner or later we knew people were going to tap their glasses to get us to kiss. Being the unpredictable people we are (*snickerrr*) we decided to turn the tables. The first time, we chose an unsuspecting couple to demonstrate a kiss and we copied them:
Hmm, clever...
The next time, we upped the ante. In order for us to kiss, the entire table had to get up and do a dance with us. That's right, if you're going to interrupt our meal, we're going to interrupt yours. The best ones were the tables drinking the booze.
We put the PSY in tipsy
You get the idea. Then we had our first dance followed by a money dance (it's not like we had a choice; the aunties started lining up before we even got through our song!). We cut the cake and I'm pretty sure everyone thought that was that. But not so fast...

We love games. Every time we throw a party we try to incorporate at least one fun game or activity and our wedding was no exception. This time we chose three couples to play "Man, I Feel Like A Woman." Never heard of it? It's simple. Each girl has 3 minutes to collect whatever she needs from the guests in order to make her man look like a woman. After time is up, each guy has to come up with a stage name and strut his stuff on the catwalk. It doesn't have anything to do with getting married, but it sounded like a crazy good time. And it was. Lipstick and accessories came flying out from all corners of the room and the girls got right to work.
The crowd chose a winner and the guys went back to their seats feeling a bit emasculated (but they got manly gift cards so hopefully that helped some). The girls sat back down wearing the pants so really in the end it was totally okay ;)

And what fun is a wedding reception with the bouquet and garter toss? Well actually, based on the weddings that I've attended, people tend to roll their eyes and just tolerate the tradition. The single ladies never want to go up to catch the bouquet and the guys find it a bit awkward to catch a garter that just came off of his buddy's wife's thigh five seconds ago. That's why we decided to put a spin on it. Instead of tossing the bouquet, I presented it to the longest married woman (52 years!!) and we added money to the garter. Oh yeah, and it wasn't a garter at all:
That's right, C did a switcheroo and tossed a pair of underwear. With Papi printed across it. Bahahhaa! If you look through the racks at Ross hard enough you'll always find something great. It was perfect. We got the entire room rolling with laughter :D
The day flew by so quickly and before I knew it we were doing our thank you speech. Nine months of planning and 50MB of spreadsheets, and it was over in the blink of an eye. After all was said and done we went home feeling confident that everybody had a blast. Yup. Home. No honeymoon, we definitely couldn't afford that. We even got texts from friends saying that it was the most fun they've had at a wedding. Plus we saved on wedding planner costs. Mission accomplished. :)
Wedding dress and slippers? #onlyinhawaii

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