The Tea Party: Face, meet Cake

Previously: 1. Prelude , 2. Tea Ceremony , 3. Getting Ready, 4. The Kids, 5. Wedding Party, 6. Down the Aisle, 7. Ceremony, 8. Group Shots , 9. Couple Shots, 10. Jump Shots, , 11. House Shots, 12. Cocktails & Dinner, 13. First Dance, 14. Parents Dance, 15. toasts

This is the story told in photos about a boy who tested his limits, and a girl rolling her neck saying 'no you di'-ent!' when said boy crossed that limit:
Everyone thought this was spontaneous, but the truth is we discussed the cake feeding beforehand and agreed that cake smashing would add to the fun atmosphere we were going for. Da hubs knew it's not worth ruining my makeup so I only got a small hit, though I think he wasn't expecting to be smashed more than once :P

I'd say we played our roles rather well, and I think my pouty face pointing at the cake crumb on my fab looking (stuffed) boobs should win me best actress in a wedding role.

We got exactly the reaction we wanted from our audience - surprise, a big 'OHHH!!' in unison, and laughter amongst our guests.

Of course none of our guests would believe that this was agreed upon, so we just keep playing along. In fact, my MIL once said she (seriously) couldn't believe I smashed all that cake on her sweet son's face when he barely nicked me. I replied 'Yup, and I'd do it again in a second!'

I believe it is right around the time this picture was taken when I thought for the first time, 'd@mn! my husband is awesome!'

Images by Travis Hoehne except for the second one by guest


The Tea Party: Peanuts Teacher Toasts

Previously: 1. Prelude , 2. Tea Ceremony , 3. Getting Ready, 4. The Kids, 5. Wedding Party, 6. Down the Aisle, 7. Ceremony, 8. Group Shots , 9. Couple Shots, 10. Jump Shots, , 11. House Shots, 12. Cocktails & Dinner, 13. First Dance, 14. Parents Dance

Came toast time, all I heard was 'wonka wonk wonk wonka wonk'...
Who doesn't wish for a fantabulous toast on their wedding day? But the truth is, only few of us are blessed with close friends who's got great speech writing or public speaking talent, let alone the combination!

Knowing that neither the Best Man nor MOH-Ho enjoyed speech giving, I did not expect to be swept off my feet by their words. There I was, still feeling high from the dances, words came in one ear and out the other leaving traces of what sounded like your standard run-of-the-mill wedding toast. I can't remember a word MOH-Ho uttered but I distinctively recall this face:

I was looking straight into her teary eyes, hearing 'wonka wonk wonk...', and thinking to myself at first 'wth is she crying 'bout?!' It took a second to register but it hit me that she probably put a lot of thought into the wonka wonk, maybe stood infront of a mirror at home practicing to wonka wonk, perhaps suffered from anxiety for weeks because of wonka wonk, and she definitely sincerely meant every single wonka she was wonking at me.

And oh man, we couldn't even get a run-of-the-mill speech outta this guy: (and apparently I was thirsty!?)
I guess the speech started with a joke, but 10 seconds into the thing... it turned into something like: (sob sob) "I... I... I love you, man! I love you guys, man! I think you guys are great, man!" (repeat)
Who needs the best man to deliver a good speech when he gives you THIS to rub in his face for the rest of your lives?
I once thought couples who receive amazing toasts were lucky and loved. I mean, you must have done something right to deserve the effort behind one that is elaborate and well thought out! But standing there in front of our nearest and dearest with champagne in my hand, listening to our closest friends go 'wonka wonk wonk', I realized that I am no less lucky or loved to be in such great company. These people obviously couldn't have been happier to share this day with us, and neither could we with them.

Perfection comes in many different forms, and it often depends on your point of view. From where we were standing, the toasts were flawless.

Cheers to friendship and good times!

Images #3, 4, 8 by my friend Rob, the rest by Travis Hoehne


DIY Fortune Cookie Tea Sachet

Even though I planned ahead to reuse / recycle as much wedding stuff as I could, inevitably there were leftovers. So here I am, with a friggin' couple life time supplies of various teas in my pantry (mostly from the tea buffet, which I knew I had purchased too much tea for but I needed variety!), I figured I better get creative.

I love the scent of tea, pleasant and subtle. I decided to make a little tea sachet for my dear friend to include in the package returning my borrowed veil. She was unfortunately not able to attend the main event, even though she was the most involved female in my planning. I really wanted to thank her with a piece of the wedding.

I have nearly no sewing skillz*, so this project had to be simple and forgiving. I decided to make a little fortune cookie shaped sachet:
I don't know how useful this tutorial is but I took pictures dammit, so you're getting instructions whether you like it or not. Here it goes:

1. Draw a circle on a piece of muslin, I used a glass as template, approx 4" diameter.
2. Cut out circle, it needs not be perfect. (I doubled up because I was figuring this out as I went and knew I'd mess up at least one, which I did).
3. Fold in half as pictured.
4. Sew a little 'T' along the straight edge, centered, as pictured (approx. 1" wide x 1/2" tall). I used red so it'd show up well in pics, it's probably better if you use thread with colors close to the fabric.

5. Crease and fold along the perpendicular diameter (along short stitches) of circle as pictured:

6. Match up the edges and pin to secure.
7. Sew the edges together, leaving an opening at one end (approx. 1").
8. Turn the whole thing inside out through the opening. Fluff to attain fortune cookie shape.
9. Stuff tea (or filler of your choice) inside the 'cookie'.
10. Tuck edges of opening inside and sew it shut (use thread that matches the fabric now!). Add ribbon (mine is another wedding leftover, of course) as pictured if desired.

*To those with real sewing powers - please forgive my crappy job and lack of correct sewing terms, for I know no better (though I'd love to be enlightened in comments).

If nothing else, I hope this get you thinking about creative ways to use your wedding stuff after the fact, instead of just tossing them away :)


The Tea Party: Whose Wedding Is It Anyway?

Previously: 1. Prelude , 2. Tea Ceremony , 3. Getting Ready, 4. The Kids, 5. Wedding Party, 6. Down the Aisle, 7. Ceremony, 8. Group Shots , 9. Couple Shots, 10. Jump Shots, , 11. House Shots, 12. Cocktails & Dinner, 13. First Dance

Even though we planned and hosted a wedding undeniably our own, with our personal stamp of quirkiness everywhere, the event was never for us. This wedding would have never happened if not for two very special reasons, and it is truly for them that we celebrated the way we did.

Here I am with the radiant reason number one, my new Mama:

And here's da hubs with the proud reason #2, his new Pop:

I'd say they split 50/50 on being responsible for the wedding taking place, but it is definitely because of my MIL that we had the whole wedding and reception shebang rather than just a dinner or a party at home. I remember distinctively the look on her face when we first mentioned our eloping considerations, it was much like that look of disappointment she had on when we delivered the baby news.

With her married son who did it painlessly right simply and quickly, and her youngest with no interest in a 'regular' wedding, we were her only hope of giving her that official mother-of-the-groom experience. I admit that I was guilt ridden, and neither da hubs nor I could deprive them of yet another very important thing we're capable of giving the parents.

So after all the hard work of planning the wedding, we finally got to the point where these two are put in the spotlight - the parents dance. You may have noticed that we've left the sap out of most parts of our wedding, and this dance would appear to outsiders as no different. I picked my daddy's favorite Beatles song, Here Comes The Sun, to dance to. It's a happy song with lyrics that's subtle and fitting. He is your typical old school conservative Chinese father, but from that demure and rare smile of his I could tell that he happily understood all I wanted him to know as his daughter on her wedding day.

We combined the father-daughter and mother-son dance, which was a great decision:
MIL was cuttin' a rug and my dad refused to be showed up, so he got into his own little groove. I laughed and said to him something like 'Dad, it's not a competition!'This is how I remember MIL on that whole day, beaming like a sun ray: Besides having had so many love ones gather to have such a great time, we are most glad for being able to give this to our parents. They still talk about how wonderful it was! We know a happy memory like this will never fade in their minds, and that is truly priceless.
Would your wedding decisions have been different if not for your parents?

The 1st, 5th, and 6th images are by Travis Hoehne, the rest are guests photos. Special shout out to my friend Rob who captured most of these key parents dance shots which are so important to us! Thanks, bro!


DIY Digital Silhouette (Facial Profiling)

I wanted a simple address label and decided to try making our own silhouettes to use as motifs, here's how it turned out:

I am a photography & graphic art dummy, and of course my cheap@$$ wanted to DIY this within my usual budget of zero dollars. The following is my ghetto instructions on creating the digi-silhouettes:

1. Set up the 'studio' by a bright window on a sunny day:
  • Tape a big piece of white tissue paper to cover the window (this becomes the backdrop)
  • Minimize the rest of the light coming in the room (see how I closed the curtains except for the opening I needed)
  • Set a chair in front of the window and adjust seat height (I used pillows) so subject's profile fits within the framed area
2. Get your camera ready:
  • Fancy camera not necessary, I just used my 5 years old point and shoot here
  • A tripod is helpful, but also not necessary if someone can take the picture
  • Turn OFF the flash
  • Zoom in to fit only what you need

3. Sit your subject down and snap away (here's the original pic of da hubs):

4. Then we edit - I chose Picnik to show you since it's available freely to everyone, but most photo editing software can do these steps. First, crop and resize the photo as desired under the 'Edit' tab (make sure you crop out all areas not covered by the tissue paper):

5. Convert the image using the black and white effect under the 'Create' tab:

6. Return to the 'Edit' tab and adjust the exposure. Turn down the exposure and up the contrast until you get a clearly defined silhouette and the background becomes white with indistinguishable edges:
7. Save the photo and you've got your very own digi-silhouette!

Additional tips:
  • SMILE! We looked like the fighting GTs living on Grumpy Ln. on the first trial
  • Minimize flyaways by wetting/gelling your hair
  • The window should provide bright light that can be diffused by the tissue paper (you don't want the sun to be IN the picture and create a concentrated glow)
  • Minimize light shining on the side of the subject that faces the camera
  • You can further touch up the bright spots (like the back of his collar) in simple programs like Paint, simply paint grey spots black
  • To make address label, I just plopped the images into PowerPoint, then added text and autoshapes to use as frames