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Retail Therapy: The Veil

Another bride was kind enough to review a particular eBay seller named venus_veils. I bought my veil (Cathedral length scattered rhinestones and rattail edge) and it is not bad for the price ($26).


The fabric will have no problems flying in the wind. The seller is quick to respond and the veil arrived very quickly.



Size of the comb



The rattail edge is sewn on but there's a little bit of the veil showing on the edge.



The transparency and the rhinestones.



I'm 5'2" and wearing 3" heels.



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WOW! :)

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Makeup + Hair Artists


We (more like I) mulled and chewed over this piece. Makeup and hair are as important as photography. The camera can show a many things that we normally don’t notice. There is a HUGE difference between a pro and doing your own makeup. The makeup products are important as well since you want makeup that is perfect for photos.  And why pay for a great photographer when the subject being photographed is not as shown at his/her best?


I initially fell in love with The Best Moment's work and was planning to book with them. AND THEN CAME THE REALIZATION OF THE DREADED, BLOODY VENDOR FEE!! $250 per vendor~!What~! Surely, the resorts don't get too many Asian brides because knowing our culture, that's almost considered a crime to charge this fee.


I initially emailed The Best Moments on Oct 15 and Martina was quick to reply with general pricing. We conversed a few more times and then I emailed Martina on Jan 3 to see if they have a salon or a location outside of the resort so that I can avoid the vendor fee. I totally forgot that I sent Martina the email for a couple of months. Martina did not reply. I finally remembered my email on March 4 and then resend the email to Martina. She replied the next day that they do not have a location outside of the resort.


I guess it is time to consult other makeup artists to see what is out there.


I consulted:

Norma Zumura – prices are reasonable; no location in PDC

Sara Tamargo – prices are a little higher; have location in PDC

The Styling Trio – prices are at the high end; have location in PDC

MVP Makeup – prices are at the slightly higher end; have location in PDC


Another thing I’m looking for is an artist who has a keen eye on working with mono-lid, yellow toned, Asian brides. Different eye shapes needs different application areas. Because we mono-lid brides mostly do not have a prominent crease, we have to use products to help us create the illusion that we have one.


Here is my take on each artist:


Norma Zumura: She is a nice lady and she has reasonable prices. However, she is based out of Cancun and I was looking for a location in PDC. Not too many pictures on Facebook or website. I believe she offers airbrush makeup.


The Styling Trio: I like the pictures I see on the website. However, I was provided Adrian’s and the Team’s pricing and they are out of my budget range. Airbrush makeup is included.


MVP Makeup: Edgar is very quick and prompt in replying my concerns and questions. I asked for additional pictures of Asian brides that were not shown on their website/Facebook page and Edgar was able to provide me some more. I really like the before and after pictures on their website. Also, there are lots of raving reviews both on Weddingwire and BDW regarding Melissa. Prices are higher. Airbrush makeup is extra.


Sara Tamargo: I didn’t know until later on that Sara is Sol’s sister (Del Sol Photography). Sara is quick to respond to my emails. She has raving reviews as well on BDW. She offers airbrush makeup. Del Sol has worked with her quite a few times for TTD and her work is amazing underwater.


The Best Moments: Martina was quick to respond…initially. After Martina’s reply on Mar 5 (martina_carrino@yahoo.com), I emailed her on April 15 asking about TTD. No reply. I emailed a follow up email on April 17. No reply. I emailed her one last time on April 25 at INFO@.com.mx. No reply. I really wanted to have Martina’s team come for my wedding, but with lack of reply that I am experiencing. I cannot provide a good review or have Martina be part of our wedding.


To set hair for bridesmaids and moms? I just completed a hairstyling program and being the cheapskate that I am, I considered whether I should do the hair for my 2 bridesmaids and 2 moms. My fiancé convinced me that it is likely not a good idea because I will be completely exhausted and I will not enjoy my wedding for saving some money. I agreed with him because I don’t think I want to have that extra added stress on wedding day. So, we just have to bite the bullet and pay for hair.


To pay or not to pay for the vendor fee? PDC is not that far from our resort. I believe it is about a 5 min cab ride. If I travel outside the resort then I can save $250. However, that means we have to somehow get to the salon bright and early and not be in the comfort of the resort. We will mull over this one and talk to our makeup artist later.


We decided to go with MVP for my trial and wedding day makeup because we really valued other brides’ experiences and opinions. Further, Edgar is very quick to respond and willing to provide me more pictures of past brides that were not on FB or their website.




We decided to go with Sara Tamargo for my TTD because she has good reviews and quick to respond to my questions as well.


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If You Like It Then You Should Put a Ring on It


I have been searching for the perfect ring for awhile. I have checked out Shane Co., Tiffany, James Allen, Spence Diamonds, Sharmin, Blue Nile, Ritani, Gabriel & Co., Birks, Peoples, Tacori, Simon G, etc., etc.


I would borrow tons of wedding magazines from the library and specifically look for ring ads and check their collections out. No luck. Some catches my eye, but it just does not feel right.


One day, my fiance and I were walking around our local shopping mall and we saw a sign for sale on watches. We were looking at watches when I wandered over to the rings and then bam! Love at first sight just happened right there. I have never seen another right as intricate as Verragio's rings. I am VERY glad that I hold off on buying my ring until I found the one, and I am VERY glad that we decided to stop in to look at watches. There are only 2 stores in the entire BC province that carry Verragio and we happened on stumbling on 1 of the 2. I'm actually very surprised that Verragio does not heavily invests in tons of ads like Tacori. My guess is they are really proud of their work and is happy that their ad campaign is spread by word of mouth? One thing I know for sure is that I have been wearing it everyday since my engagement and I still can't take my eyes off the ring. 


I don't have the actual pictures of the rings but here are the pictures from Verragio's website:


Engagement ring:

Wedding band:
Fiance did not want a flashy ring, so he picked this one:


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Large Crepe Roses


I saw really pretty crepe paper roses that would look awesome in our pre-wedding photoshoots, since as with most Eastern Asians, we are planning to have a pre-wedding photoshoot.


I studied two blogs' step by step instructions:




Supplies (for 3 roses):

1) Crepe Paper (50cm x 250cm) x 4 (you need 1 roll per rose + one green paper for leaves): I purchased my crepe papers from Aliexpress (http://www.aliexpress.com/snapshot/6094090280.html). Please be aware that the shipping may take a month+ because they slowly ship them from China. It took me about 5 weeks before I got my crepe papers.



2) Long sticks x 3: Instead of using wires as suggested on the blogs, I used these long BBQ skewers I found at the local Dollarama. I'm sure you can also find some sticks in Hobby lobby.



3) Skinny floral wire x 1: From Dollar Tree. These are for the rose bud. You don't have to do this portion if you follow the blog's way of creating the bud, but I want to create a rosebud that looks good so I used this wire for the middle. You will see what I mean later.


4) Thicker floral wire x 1: From Dollarama. These are for the leaves because these wires are stronger.



5) Enlarged printout of petal template: From the blogs. I have attached a copy on here as well. Make sure you remember to enlarge it about 200%



6) Glue: From Dollar Tree. I just bought regular Elmer's school glue. You can also use any glue that you use for scrapbooking. Scotch Quick-Dry Adhesive is better for the job, but more expensive.


7) Scissors





I followed the blog and added a few things that are different from the blog's instructions.


1) Rosebud: As mentioned on supplies #3, I made a rose bud. I didn't like the fact that the rose looks hollow in the middle so I decided to experiment and make my own rose bud. I used the scrap crepe paper I have left from cutting the petals and used it to stuff it and then wrap it around the stick. Once I have a ok looking rose bud I secure it with glue. Because the structure is made out of crepe paper, I used the thin floral wire to wrap it around the rosebud to give it some strength. Yes, the rosebud looks funny at first.




2) Rose petal arrangements: The blog suggested the rose petals be added wherever you want. If you look at a rose, the rose petals open either clock or counterclock-wise. So I wrapped the tear shaped petals accordingly to make it more realistic. If you are planning to follow how I make the rose bud and the petal arrangements, make sure your rose petals follows the same direction as how your rosebud is opening.



3) Rose petals: I didn't use 15 heart shaped petals as mentioned on the blog. I actually used 8 heart shaped petals and then I enlarged the heart shaped petals by about another 10-30% to larger petals. I used about 8 larger petals.


The End Result




Large Roses Template.pdf

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those crepe paper roses are awesome!!! great tutorial. 

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Sneak Peak! Our Pre-Wedding Photos from Abby Photography


We finally got our pre-wedding photos done. What are pre-wedding photos, you ask? Basically, we wear our formal wear to take photos instead of normal, casual outfits.


Here's the story about our photos: we already have our photographers lined up for our wedding and TTD, but we need to find a local photographer that

a) is within our budget (approx. $500-$700)

b ) willing to take photos in odd settings (no gastown, yaletown, Stanley Park, Hycroft Manor, etc. please! Too redundant!)

c) not too "Asian-styled" pre-wedding photos (ie., overtly-posed-turned-awkward bride and groom, over-use of back light, Korean drama look :wacko: )

d) we have to fall in love with them when we see their pictures


Of course, my fiance does not search high and low for a photographer that fits into these criteria. So, this task rests on my shoulders...


I searched through every photographer that has taken pre-wedding photos in the GVRD. I shortlisted a bunch, but we crossed them out one by one because they just simply was not the style that we were looking for. I expanded my search to all the photographers used by our family or friends. Either they are outside of our budget or the photos just doesn't capture our attention enough.I then searched through all the wedding photography award sites (WPJA, BCWedding Awards, ISPWP, WPPI, PWPC) to see if I can find anyone. NOPE. I was ready to throw in the towel and just find some random photographer and be done with it.


And then I remembered seeing our photographers based in Mexico winning the Fearless Awards and I thought maybe there's a slim chance that someone will be listed in BC? I searched for all the photographers in BC and I see two photographers from Abby Photography winning multiple Fearless Awards. AND THEY ARE BASED IN BC!!! What are the odds of that?!? I showed my fiance the photographer's website and we both fell in love.  :wub:


However, there are other hurdles. They are based in Kelowna, which is about 4 hour drive from Vancouver. I joked with my fiance and said, "Since we both love to drink wine, wouldn't it be cool if we have some pictures of the vineyard?" His response was, "Oh, I love that. Let's do it." Another thing is about costs. We can't afford too much since we put a lot down already for our wedding. We emailed Abby Photography to see what their pricing is for engagement photos (we didn't notice any pre-wedding photos on their website). They responded quite quickly. Their prices are a bit higher than what we budgeted, but fiance said he is willing to work overtime to pay for Abby. He is head-over-heels in love with their pictures. We set up a time with Elisha to talk about the photoshoot and pre-wedding photos. We had a great discussion and then we signed the contract and made the payment!


Now, we can't have nice photos without makeup and hair. I contacted 5 different MUA's based in Kelowna, but they are either too busy or out of my price range (I budgeted $150 for hair and makeup). I had no choice but find a MUA based in Vancouver to be able to do it early morning and then drive to Kelowna. After contacting another 5 MUA's in Vancouver, I finally found a MUA, Leah Roberts, that can do both hair and makeup and is within my budget. She was super nice and quick to reply emails.


We decided to stay a couple of nights in Kelowna to tour some wineries in the region. I was searching up vineyards to visit on TripAdvisor when I noticed Kelowna Mountain Bridges & Vineyards. The view took my breath away and I thought it would be sooooo amazing if I can have some pictures there. Abby had plans to take us to Father Pandosy Mission at 5:30pm, but I just really, really, REALLY wanted to have pictures on the mountain...BUT KMBV closes at 5pm. Seems like my dream is not going to come true. My fiance said he doesn't mind Father Pandosy Mission. My brain went on an overdrive to think if there is a way to have photos on KMBV. Just in case I can take photos up there, I emailed Leah the evening before to see if I can have my makeup done earlier so that we can head out earlier. Leah was kind and flexible in agreeing to come earlier.


So, with my hair and makeup done we are off to Kelowna. I still can't stop thinking about KMBV. As we were driving to Kelowna the day of, I contacted KMBV to see if I am allowed to take photos up on the mountain. There's not a lot of cell towers around Hwy 97C, so as I was talking to Nicola at KMBV, I was cut off every 2-3 minutes. Nicola said we just need to pay for the entrance fee and take as many photos as we like. And then cell reception got cut off. I left a message with Abby to see if they are willing take photos up on the mountain around 1:30pm. No cell reception for the next hour. We arrived at our BnB in Kelowna around 2:45pm. Elisha called us back around 3pm. She is interested if we are allowed to take pictures up there. I tried calling KMBV back, but I kept getting the vmail option. We finally got a hold of Ali at KMBV around 4pm. We confirmed that we can take pictures and we can take pictures from 5pm to 5:45pm. We called Elisha back and confirmed location and agreed to meet at 4:45pm. We drove like mad to KMBV. Got lost and then found the entrance. We were sweating buckets already and now we are going to take pictures. Anyways, we trekked around the mountain in our formal wear and took pictures. We were sooooo happy and fortunate that Elisha and Chris are willing to trek around a mountain in 38°C heat to take our pictures. They are funny, patient and super professional. We are also very fortunate that Nicola at KMBV let us stay after hours to take pictures. The mountain is beautiful. Chris and Elisha then took us to a vineyard to take some more photos and then we are done for the photoshoot. We were exhausted from all the last minute coordination, but we were super happy that we can take pictures up on the mountain.


Anyways! I have typed enough! Abby Photography posted some of the sneak peek pictures on their website. We were stunned and super ecstatic to see how beautiful they are!














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