Recently my older daughter was married. She married a man who was born in Hong Kong so we tried to honor his heritage by combining our American Heritage (with Irish leanings) and his Chinese heritage. To begin with the wedding was a traditional Chinese Wedding Banquet. Course upon course of food. We did switch out the traditional soup and replaced it with the chef's perfect shrimp wonton soup. But other than that we ate everything offered us from seaweed to pork to chicken to abalone to lobster to wedding cake with chocolate covere strawberries.
My daughter started the parade of weddings this summer. We know someone's child getting married in June, August, and September. While we had a relatively small wedding (55 people) we still worked hard to keep the cost down and the quality up. Everything we did was to honor the cultures that were being blended, the ceremony, and my daughter and her now husband.
Save the date: Hand stamped and embossed with the Chinese symbol for Double Happiness, red chopsticks with the symbol for double happiness, a tag tied around the chopsticks with the words "save the date" and the funny smartphone thingy on the back that took you to the restaurant. The words..."Once in a while right in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives you a fairytale...please be part of our happily ever after" then the information...bride and groom ...the date of the wedding...their website (made by the bride's sister).
The seating ....Home Goods and Michael's and ACMoore and Joanne's and Dollar Tree and PetCo and The Paper Store were huge in this wedding. The key is to know your theme, your idea and then keep your eyes open.
This is a gold framed cork board (gold and red were the colors...for Chinese good luck!) I printed the table lists on gold glittery paper, it is backed by a piece of scrap book paper, the flower was a clearance scrapbook page decoration, the heart pins are scrapbook brads. The sister of the bride (who studied Madarin Chinese in college) drew the characters for the table names (love, harmony, eternity, family, friends) as we did not number the tables.
One of the favors was a gold Chinese "food container" fill with red and gold foil coverd chocolate hearts. The tags are printed in gold and just say the names of the bride and groom and the date. Tied with a red ribbon.
The beginnning of the centerpiece happened at home, of course. Gold frames (from Home Goods), all different. Inside the seating for the table with the name in English and the Chinese symbol. All the printing was done using Word on my computer. The character was done by the maid-of honor.
The flower was a beautiful silk LONG stemmed peony from Joanne's. The stem made the flower too "tippy" for the table so I cut it down. The glass vase is from Dollar Tree. I glued a small piece of styrofoam into the center of the vase, stuck in the flower, and filled the vase with red aquarium rocks from PetCo. I then wrapped a strip of paper that was used in the Save the Date and which lined the envelopes of the invitations and sealed it with a gold sticker with hearts that came from Michael's
As it turned out the gold charger plates ($1 each) didn't really work for the restaurant because they took up too much room. So we opted for these cloth red peony placemats that we picked up at Home Goods. As you see there was a glass lazy Susan on the table. The food was served on that. Tables of ten...family style.
This is what a place looked like. This happens to be the Maid-of-Honor's place. The flowers to the left are her bouquet. There is a vase to hold them so they don't get ruined lying on the table. Dollar Tree carries these and so should your florist. You can see the place card and the gold favor box. Along with the favor box of chocolate our guests were given a CD of the indie artist who wrote and sings the song the bride and groom choose as their song. I contacted him and he autographed a box full so that everyone heard the song at the beginning of the ceremony and got to hear it again (if they wanted to) on the ride home. And you may notice the champagne flute...those also went home with the guests...there is a charm (made by the maid of honor) that consists of the Chinese symbol for dragon (2012 is the year of the dragon!), a red gem, and a shamrock that is hearts.
The seating board was put up front next to the cake with the wedding programs spread out in front...and more of those candies! In this photo you also see a try of chocolate dipped strawberries. I found a young girl with a home-based candy business and bought 60 chocolate dipped strawberries because I had the wedding cake (which was chocolate fudge cake with buttercream icing) decorated with chocolate dipped strawberries...and I knew there weren't going to be enough for everyone and I knew everyone was going to want one! So with the slice of wedding cake came a chocolate dipped strawberry sprinkled with gold sugar dust. A big hit!
The bride bought a clear acrylic heart (less than $30) with their names and the date as her cake topper. And then the bride's grandfather, my father, gave us the bride and groom from his wedding cake (in 1950). Together they were beautiful and very meaningful.
You can do a wedding for a reasonable amount of money...plan...get what you want...have a great wedding!