Personal development

Six Items That Should Never Be On Your To-Do List

Six Items That Should Never Be On Your To-Do List – Stephanie Vozza (Fast Company)

Walking down the aisle

Save the date(s)

Hi! Yes I’ve been dormant, but I will try to be better this year!

My wedding is less than 6 months away, and pretty much 85% things are taken care of. We have booked our honeymoon (separate posting coming up), 4 out of my 6 bridesmaids have found their dresses, we have decided on our wedding favours, and I’m having a meeting this weekend with my friend who will be making our wedding cake! So technically I could get married right next month 🙂

Anyways, back to the topic for today – SAVE THE DATEs. We don’t have the biggest budget for our wedding, so we decided to save a bit of money by going with e-version of Save the dates, rather than mailing them out. We’ve already sent one out exactly 1 year before the wedding, since ours is during the peak of wedding season and wanted to give people plenty of heads up! And now that we are less than half a year away, we will be sending a second round of Save the dates hopefully this weekend.

I’ve designed all our stationaries – from Save the dates to our invitation cards and RSVP cards, and also our website – and this certainly helped us with saving money here and there. So if you have the skills, this is the time to use it!

First thing I had to keep in mind before designing all these stationaries, was the THEME. I love peonies, and our wedding colours are blush, lavender, and gold, so I had to work these into all of them. Each with their own ‘oomph’, but with a common melody. I looked up and researched a lot of other available designs online for reference, since this was my first time designing anything of this sort.


As you can see – there are lots of pink & lavender-coloured flowers (although no peonies :(), I kept it simple enough with a touch of gold. And our round 2 Save the dates looks like this:


This one is a bit more ‘personal’, as now we have a bunch of pictures from our engagement session. But the colour gold stayed, as well as my lavender skirt.

What do you think? I think e-Save the dates are a great alternative to traditional snail-mail ones, as:

  • It’s cost-effective
  • You know it won’t get lost
  • Everyone is on their phones anyways, checking their emails constantly
  • And you’re saving trees!

Ahnyoung for now 🙂

Walking down the aisle

Bling Boutique Bridal Show

Yesterday I went to the very first bridal show – Bling Boutique Bridal Show – of my life with my mom. They had tickets on sale for awhile for $35, but I couldn’t justify the ticket price since I already booked most of my vendours. Nonetheless, admin girl from my work got me this brochure that had promotion code for free admission, so I thought what the heck, why not! Also, my other concern for this event was that it’s at the new Trump hotel. Obviously I’m not the biggest fan of Trump, AND the building wasn’t even done with its construction works yet. So this morning on my way to church, I asked the concierge that was standing outside the building if the event is actually happening. Apparently the building connects to Fortis building, and he confirmed that it is still on. I was quite surprised that people were already lined up in front of the building 20 minutes before the doors were open!!


After having brunch at Tableau with my parents, my mom and I went straight to Trump hotel to see what’s up. There were about 50 vendours, ranging from florists and makeup artists, to DJs and wedding dress shops. There were quite a few interesting vendours too, including Archimallows (homemade marshmallows!), Hugo’s Churros, and Jack Coffee which would’ve been great options to explore if I went ahead with my farm wedding idea! Anyhow it was just as great to try their samples at the event.



At 3pm, Blush bridal put on a fashion show with dresses by Vera Wang, Hayley Paige, and Berta (I think there was one more brand, but I don’t remember…). Vera Wang is not my favourite(GASP), although I love HP and Berta. My actual dress is actually by HP!



As I’ve mentioned, I pretty much have all vendours figured out, but my fiancĂ© and I have been talking about maybe setting up a photo booth as well. And I am very glad I found Pixstar at this event, as they were offering a special promo price. Plus, I got to try out the photo booth with my mom 🙂


I think we were there for about 2 hours. If you ask me if it was worth the ticket price of $40, my honest answer would be a hard maybe.. but for free? I’ll definitely be back if I get a chance. At the end of the day, we got a little swag bag with magazines, chocolates and coffee from vendours, and tons of business cards.


It was a great Sunday for this bride and the mother of the bride ❀

Walking down the aisle


I don’t know about you, but I absolutely LOVE watching TLC’s Say Yes To the Dress. I have watched entire season 1 through 14, every single episode. I watched it since it first came out in my first year in university. I watch it over and over again on Youtube.

Ok, I think that’s enough on how much I love this show. Anyways, I always had this image of myself, wearing A-line to a princess gown dress, with layers of tulle/chiffon/organza, and just looking like a princess. No surprise, one of my favourite designers is Lazaro and he’s known for that kind of romantic va-va-voom. But as I got older, I could see that my taste in wedding dress has changed. I was falling in love with more body-hugging silhouettes, and sexy low backs. So it’s not that surprising that one of the first things I did when I got engaged, was to look up on wedding dresses.

It was quite interesting to see how different it was when I started looking for dresses for myself to actually wear. I created a new pinterest board with dresses that I wanted to try on. I went to total of 6 bridal shops, and tried on probably around 50 to 60 gowns. I always had a favourite from every single store, and all of those dresses are SO different, which made it really hard for me to decide on the silhouette that I really liked. 3 of the 4 dress shop in Vancouver didn’t allow me to take pictures of the dresses, but here are the pictures of some of the dresses that I actually liked:

From The Bridal Gallery: They are the biggest bridal shop in Vancouver, located in New Westminster. Right by the New West skytrain station the whole street is full of bridal shops, and most of them require brides to book appointments. This was the first shop that I went to, and I fell in love with this dress:


This Miela dress by Maggie Sottero is gorgeous – blinged out with delicate beadwork, and beautiful low back. Since I’m petite (barely 5’0) I thought this style would not suit me at all. But it was such a pleasant surprise! This is exactly the reason why you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, and a dress on its hanger.


Lisa’s Bridal: This is just half a block up from The Bridal Gallery. A little smaller, but still with a good stock list. My mom loved this dress by Essence of Australia, with gorgeous illusion neckline. You also need to make an appointment.



Next was Frocks on Fraser street. This probably was the smallest shops out of the ones that I went in Vancouver, and dresses are rather on the simpler, cleaner side than the others. Here I found this awesome sexy, slinky body-hugging lace dress by Watters Willowby that I also really liked.



My last stop in Vancouver was Blush Bridal. This store is literally in front of my office in Yaletown, but from their stock list it felt like their dresses are extremely out of budget (i.e. Vera Wang). So I was not really set on going, but oh well, it’s not going to hurt! And they were the only store who carries Hayley Paige, a wedding dress designer that I really wanted to try on as well. At Blush, I actually fell in love with TWO dresses, again completely different. They are the only shop that allowed me to take pictures, so here I have some pictures of the dresses on me!

The first dress was Paris by Ti Adora, which is a affordable line by Alvina Valenta. The lace work is impeccable, and it actually looked so much high quality than Watter Willowby’s lace dress even though it was only $200 more expensive. For under $2000, it is a beautiful dress I really liked it.


The second one, of course, is by Hayley Paige and is a big ball gown. She’s called Londyn, and it is layers and layers of light and delicate tulle skirt. I tried it on with a belt by Vera Wang. This one was the most expensive out of all the dresses I tried on, in stores both in US & Canada.



Don’t worry, my dress is not in this list! I went down to Seattle to try on the dress that I’ve been dreaming of since I got engaged, and I stopped by 2 stores – David’s bridal and BHLDN by Anthropologie. It seems like that is going to be a part 2 for this ‘I said yes to my dress’ posting!

Hope you had/have a great day 🙂


Walking down the aisle

Will you be my bridesmaid?

It’s been a month since I got engaged, and a lot has happened! It’s been a busy month with finding a venue, wedding photographer, day-of coordinator, and asking my girlfriends to be my bridesmaids!


A few days after we came back from Sparkling Hill, we had an early Canada Day/Engagement celebration bbq at my rooftop, with a few of my out-of-town friends that came back home for a few weeks. It was great to see everyone, share our engagement story, although it took me the entire night to prepare food for 15 people. My fiancĂ©’s aunt brought the cutest cake ever, with our face on top of it! (I did end up eating his face off the cake a few days later). And that night I asked my close girlfriends to be my bridesmaids, with little cards that I found from Topshop. It was pretty hard to find these ‘will you be my bridesmaid’ cards for some reason.. So I have one Matron of Honour (my best friend, who’s getting married 2 weeks before me), then one Maid of Honour, and 4 bridesmaids.


Then I moved onto creating the guest list, and our wedding website. We always used to say that we don’t want a huge wedding, so we said 100 guests is our maximum. So far we are doing a good job of sticking to that number, as we are now at 96 guests including the wedding party. And since our wedding is during a peak wedding season we decided to send out Save the Date card a bit early, and of course we wanted to save money as much as we can. So a few weeks ago, exactly a year before our wedding date, we sent out an email blast to all our guests with the Save the Date card (which I have designed myself) – which saved us at least a couple of hundred bucks!

Now onto the venue – we were pretty set on having our wedding at my fiancĂ©’s parents’ farm up in Pemberton, which is about 40 min drive up from Whistler. They have a beautiful farm, with Mount Currie in the backdrop, and since I always dreamt of having an outdoor wedding we always used to say that it’d be beautiful to get married there. But due to unexpected circumstances (long story), we had to hustle on finding a venue for our July wedding. As everyone knows, summer is the prime wedding season, and some of the more affordable venues were already booked out until the end of September 2017. SERIOUSLY!!! Or venues that were still available, were just so expensive. We initially had our wedding budget at 20k, but I was flabbergasted to find most of the venues that go 15k and higher. We didn’t even look into hotels, and I was emailing at least 15 different venues around Vancouver. And finally after some digging around, we decided to have our wedding at the Altitude Bistro up at the peak of Grouse mountain. This venue is great – it still has that outdoor element as we will have our ceremony on the deck of the restaurant, and will step inside for the dinner, and we can use the deck again for dancing after. And since I have a number of out-of-town guests that are coming to Vancouver for the first time, it’s killing two birds with one stone, as the gondola tickets are included in the price!

Again, since our wedding is during the peak wedding season, we had to move fast to find a photographer as well. I emailed at least 10 different photographers, got their prices, was dumbfounded again by how ridiculously expensive these wedding photographers are, but at the end I had a meeting with one of those photographers and we picked him as our photographer! He’s super nice, has lots of experience in photography in both fashion shoots as well as weddings, and our personalities just clicked (at least for me 😛 ). His price also was reasonable for 12 hours coverage with two photographers, so no reason to say no.

As for the officiant of the wedding, the fiancĂ© has a good friend from high school who’s a pastor now, so we asked him if he would be able to officiate our wedding – and he said yes! This truly was a great news as I am a Christian, and my fiancĂ© gets to be married by his good friend!

So far I have:

wedding party✓  
guest list✓  
Save the date cards✓  

I would say I did pretty well given that it’s only been a month since we got engaged, wouldn’t you? And now I just started wedding dress shopping, so that will follow as my next blog post, can’t wait to share that with you all!