Archive for March, 2010

Wedding Budgeting 101

 Wedding budgeting is probably the first financial project in which a couple needs to face together and it can be hectic.  No matter how much you will be spending for your big day, without detail planning it can lead a couple to unhappiness and even arguments.

To tackle this project, the first thing a couple needs to do is to figure out who is responsible for what cost in the wedding.  Listing out the various components of a wedding might help.  Then the next step would be to look in detail the financial status of both persons and prioritize the items of a wedding to see what are affordable and how your savings should be distributed. Then each person should talk to their parents and families and find out what are the expectations and if they can help out financially for some of the items.  Remember to keep cultural background as well as family traditions into consideration, especially when you are marrying someone who is from a different background to yourself.  Upon discussions with the parents / families, the couple should present ideas and comments from their side to each other.  Lastly, go through all information gathered in deep thoughts and come up with the initial financial plan.  I said “initial” because usually when you get going to confirm vendors, couples tend to under estimated how much they need to spend. 

For reference, below is a rough idea of money distribution for a wedding:

Wedding Banquet  40-50%

Ceremony Venue  Usage  3%

Wedding Attire  8%

Venue Decoration  15-20%

Make-up & Hair  8-10%

Photo & Video  10-15%

Invitations  3%

Miscellaneous  5%

Of course the percentage distribution will be different according to a couple’s  priority towards things.  Two very important remarks are: 1) always add an extra 5-10% “emergency fund” for back up and 2) never get a loan somewhere just to have your dream wedding.

 

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♥ H A P P Y W H I T E D A Y ♥

Following the 14 Feb, there is another celebration of LOVE.  It’s the White Day (ホワイトデー, Howaito dē) which is celebrated in Japan, South Korea as well as Taiwan.  

White Day was actually “created” by the National Confectionery Industry Association (全国飴菓子工業協同組合) in Japan back in 1978.  It’s some marketing plan of the company for boosting sales.  The original purpose is to act as an “echo” to Valentine’s Day where men would return gift to the women who gave them chocolate and other gifts on Valentine’s Day (in Japan, women are the ones to give chocolate to men which might be a bit different from other cultures).  Since then, confectionery companies started to market white cholocate as the “return gift of choice”.  But nowaways the return gifts can be edible and non-edible items such as jewelry or objects of sentimental value, or white-coloured clothing.

In my opinion, if you love someone any day can be Valentine’s Day or White Day =)

Celebration of Women

Today is 8th March and it is an important date for women around the world – International Women’s Day (IWD). 

IWD is on the 8th of March every year and it is a day of global celebration of women.  Throughout the years, women  of different countries struggled for equality, justice, peace and development.   IWD is the day where women in different regions enjoy general celebration of respect, appreciation and love towards women, to a celebration for women’s economic, political and social achievements. 

On this day it is customary for men to give the women in their lives – mothers, wives, girlfriends, daughters, colleagues, etc – flowers and small gifts.  In some countries, it is also observed as an equivalent of Mother’s Day, where children also give small presents to their mothers and grandmothers.

Show your love and respect to the women in your lives!

Photo source: www.theage.com.au

Is Marriage Fattening?

A while ago I read an interesting article:

Seems that old adage about people “letting themselves go” after marriage is true.

Research out of the University of noth Carolina recently published in the journal, Obesity followed 6,949 U.S. adolescents into young adulthood and found that those who married were more than twice as likely to become obese than those who just kept dating.

It isn’t surprising that people put on weight once married. Instead of scarfing down a frozen lean cuisine before rushing out to meet your Monday night Singles’ Rock Cimbing club, once married, you’re more likely to sit down to a full meal together followed by a night infront of the TV, scarfing down a bag of potato chips while the svelte couple in your wedding portrait mocks you from the mantle piece.

Obviously this isn’t an issue for many couples – just more to love right? But, as wonderful as it is to love and accept each other no matter what. It seems to me many people use this as an excuse to stop loving themselves. And before you get on my case and think I’m implying that you can’t love yourself if you’re heavy or that you can’t love and accept someone else who’s heavy. I’m speaking more specifically about people who doen’t start marriage that way.

According to this study, controlling your weight in a relationship can be tough and even cause strain in the relationship. For example, if your partner is constantly brining home junk food when he or she knows you’re struggling with your weight it can make you feel resentful and upsupported. Or, in some cases, if one partner manages to lose weight and get in shape, the heavier partner can sometimes feel threatened and insecure. Asking a partner to lose weight will only make them feel defensive and ultimately less motivated anyway.

So what do you do? Simply accept it as part of married life? Obviously, we fall in love with a person, not their size but to deny tha part of what drew you to your partner was their physical appearance is naive. If their looks change significantly during your relationship or marriage, isn’t it also naive to think this won’t have an effect on your relationship?

I find this weight gain issue quite true because it happened to some people around me.  Some of my friends have put on some weight since dating a new partner (of course those with a successful relationship).  In Chinese culture, we say because the couple is filled with joy that’s why the weight comes along.  If this happens to you or your partner, what will you do? 

No body can keep in good shape forever.  Years pass, people age and the faces grow old.  So love the way your partner is and if the weight issue does happen, why not start a healthy diet and work-out plan together?!

“The Perfect Wife”

What kind of qualities do you think “The Perfect Wife” should have?  I just finished reading an interesting article on newspaper regarding this topic.  This article is not some made-up point of views but some research group in Geneva actually done a research to conclude with these proven factors. 

The research group collected information from 1074 pairs of couple whose ages between 19-75 years old and found out that “The Perfect Wife” should be of age 5 years younger than the husband, with similar background and smarter than the husband.  They concluded that if a gentleman married a wife with the mentioned qualities, the chances of this couple having a very successful marriage would be 20% higher.  Having said the above, they have given Queen Elizebeth II and her husband as an example of such case. 

So, what kind of qualities do you think “The Perfect Husband” should have?

What’s Your Dream Wedding Like?

A lot of people, especially ladies, have a vision of their wedding. 

Well, many people might think that since I am a wedding planner, I probably have high expectation of a very grand wedding.  Everything needs to be very pretty and to the point of perfection.  But it’s actually exactly the opposite.

Personally I long for a very “cosy” wedding with just close family and friends.  Everyone should be happy and enjoying themselves just like a little bigger version of a normal family gathering.  The ceremony will take place by the seaside on a sunny day with breeze following by a relax dinner with lots of laughters and happy tears under the sunset.  Of course, there needs to be great food and wine (maybe food specially prepared by my brother).  The venue will be highlighted with nice flowers and star-twinkling lights.   At dinner, live band will play a mix of bossa nova, latino, salsa type of music and guests can just dance and have fun.

So what’s your dream wedding like?

Back in A Year

Time flies!  Counting the days, it will be one year anniversary of Vivian & Roger’s Wedding in 5 days.  Thinking back to being part of their wedding, brought along many great memories.  Vivian and I known each other since university years but due to our busy work schedule we rarely meet up for gatherings.  I should catch up with her soon.

Thinking back about a year ago, after long lost contact with her, we finally met up for lunch and coffee to catch up one time.  During our date, Vivian told me about her great news of engagement.  I was really happy for her and we talked a bit about the status of her wedding arrangements.

A while after our date, Vivian contacted me and invited me to be her wedding coordinator.  I was super honoured to take this role of course.  Since then, I attended a few meetings with the bridal parties to finalize the details of the two wedding days.

I was very lucky actually since most of the arrangements have been done by Vivian’s lovely husband Roger.  I need to give a round of applause to Roger for all the great jobs he has done on their 2 days of wedding.  From venue sourcing, to details of the two different designs on each wedding day, to tiny details such as bouquet.  I seriously think he has done a super job! 

First day of wedding started off at 4:45am (yes, “am” not “pm”).  I knew I couldn’t wake up the bridesmaids from distance so I called the hotel a day before to set morning call for them.  But apparently the bridesmaids were probably too excited and were wild awake before the morning call.  I also called up the make-up artists as usual just to make sure they were on their way to the hotel for the bridesmaids’ make-up and hair.  Just as I thought all things are checked and I could get myself ready for meeting up the gals at the hotel, the make-up artists phoned and said “how come there is no one answering the door?”  Aw O, I know this would happen. They went to the wrong hotel!!  But at the end, we ended up ready at Vivian’s house on time for the guy’s pick-up-bride mission.  The games got carried on a bit longer than we expected.  However, if we didn’t play all the games, the same-day video wouldn’t be as great as it is now. 

After going from Fortress Hill to Deer Hill Bay, we ended up at Garden Suite of Peninsula. The ceremony was very pretty. I love that the March-In as it was different from most ceremony of my pasted clients.  Roger marched in with his mom first, followed by the super cute flower children, then the maid of honour and last but not least Vivian marched-in with both her parents. Very sweet.

After the ceremony, we rushed next door to get the wedding banquet ready at InterContinental.   The decor was great.  Little flowers but the design works made it all united. After running around for about 3 hours from arrival at the hotel, things were pretty settled.  The rundown on the first day was quite a challenge but with the whole bridal party’s cooperation, I would say we had a very successful evening. There were no boring moments at all.

The second day of wedding at Kowloon Shangri-la was a lot easier as everyone had a “rehearsal” the day before. Everything went well and people seemed like they had a great time.  Vivian and Roger kept thanking people and made people cry!  Even the photographer let out his tears.  But at least all were happy tears!

I am so glad that I get to meet a great bunch of people because of Vivian & Roger’s wedding. The bridesmaids and groomsmen were the greatest and most fun-to-hang-out-with bridal party bunch that I have worked with.  The work crew was also great.  I want to once again thank Vivian & Roger because they allowed me to be part of probably the most important memories in their lives.  Too bad that I didn’t really get to take a lot of photos with the couple and the bridal party as I was busy ensuring a smooth operation of wedding days.

Happy 1 Year Anniversary to Mr. & Mrs. Chau in advance! 

  The happy couple and me back in a year ago