Sunday, May 31, 2009

Asian Wedding
Chinese Wedding Rituals

As a Malaysian-born Chinese, I am always interested to know more about our Chinese wedding culture. It might be complicated, but it worth the effort to find out the interesting customs and rituals to be performed in a Chinese Wedding.

Before we kick start our traditional Chinese wedding planning, let's talk about the basic rituals included in the wedding ceremony - Three Letters and Six Etiquettes. Isn't it sound like the Western wedding culture - Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, and a Silver Sixpence in Her Shoe?

Not really...Chinese wedding ritual is far more complicated than this Western wedding tradition. The ritual of Three letters and Six Etiquettes is like a summary of the whole Chinese wedding planning process. It explains the formal proposal, gifts exchange, to the wedding itself. The Three Letters are Request Letter, Gift Letter, and the Wedding Letter. On the other hand, the Six Etiquettes consist of formal proposal, birth dates assessment, betrothal gifts presentation, acceptance of betrothal gifts, wedding date selection, and lastly, the wedding ceremony.

Three Letters and Six Etiquettes (三书六礼)

For Chinese people, a marriage begins with a series of three letters. The first letter is known as Request Letter (Pin Shu 聘书). It is a formal request for a marriage arrangement sent by the groom's family to bride's family. The Request Letter must be accepted by the bride's parents before the groom is allowed to marry their daughter. Once the letter is approved, the groom's family will send formal gifts to the bride's family along with the second letter which is known as the Gift Letter (Li Shu 礼书). The letter is like a record and it lists down the value of the gifts. Last but not least, the Wedding Letter (Ying Qin Shu 迎亲书). This letter will be given to the bride's family on actual wedding day. It confirms the act of bringing the bride into the groom's family and it officiates the union of the two families. (Having the same meaning as Unity Candle in Western culture.)

The Six Etiquettes begins with formal proposal (Na Cai 纳采). The groom's family will hire a matchmaker as middleman between the two unknown families when discussing the possibility of marriage. Once the bride's family accepted the proposal, the process is usually followed by the request of the bride's birth date (Wen Ming 问名). The matchmaker collects and compares the couple's birth dates whether or not their Chinese astrology compatible to each other. As soon as the couple's birth dates are confirmed compatible ^, the groom's family will have the matchmaker to present betrothal gifts (Na Ji 纳吉, the process of presenting the betrothal gifts) along with the Gift Letter (Li Shu 礼书) to the bride's family. The procedure of accepting betrothal gifts by the bride's family is known as Na Zheng 纳征. This procedure is equivalent to the Engagement in Western culture. After the betrothal gifts presentation/engagement announcement is done, an astrologist will be consulted to select an auspicious wedding date based on the Chinese Lunar Calendar to perform the wedding ceremony. This process is known as Qing Qi 请期. And finally, the last step of the marriage arrangement is the wedding ceremony itself, commonly known as Ying Qin 迎亲.

^ In modern days, most couples and their families no longer concern about the sign of astrological conflict. As long as the couple is deeply in love with each other and they are ready to build their future family together (they have grown up and ready to take care of the other responsibilities in life), their families will be happy for them.

To know more about Betrothal Gifts, we will discuss more in details at our next posting.

Stay tune,

Chinese Marriage, Wikipedia,
Three Letters & Six Etiquettes,
Chinese Wedding Customs,
Chinese Wedding Traditions,
Malaysia Wedding Handbook, 2007, Sky Publisher

Old letter image,

Friday, May 22, 2009

Look Great on Wedding Day for Under $1,500!!

Here are four sets of wedding outfits under $1500 each (which also include the four traditions; Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, and Something Blue).

Shopping list:

Group USA,
Jessica McClintock,


Nelle Handbags,
Vanessa Handbags


Doyle & Doyle Jewelry,

Roberta Chiarella,

Sarah Perlis,


Tani NYC,

Unforgettable Moments by Lela Rose,

Photo Credit: and vendors listed above.

1. Something OLD

Beige cap-sleeved dress with embroidered bodice and chiffon skirt, $275, Jessica McClintock

Kristy - Wedding Shoes, $55.95, Coloriffics

Nola - Satin Sandals with 2 1/2" Heel, $73.95, Coloriffics

Heart, Initial & Diamond Bezel Necklace (20K Gold on 16" 18K Chain), $595, Sarah Perlis
Opal Heart Earrings, $425, Doyle & Doyle Jewelry

Small Bezel Necklace (3 pointer stone set in 18K bezel on 15" 18K Gold Chain), $285, Sarah Perlis
Bezel Diamond Stud Earrings, $95, Doyle & Doyle Jewelry

Square Opal Pendant (090560N), $385, Doyle & Doyle Jewelry
Square Opal 14K Gold Stud Earrings, $95, Doyle & Doyle Jewelry

2. Something NEW

Ivory Pleated Single-shoulder Dress, $320, Shoshanna

Silver Open-toe Pumps, $225, Butter (Tani NYC)

Ada Rhinestone Ring, $5.80, Forever21
Classic Envelope Style Clutch, $65, Nelle Handbags

Mystic Jewel Ring, $4.80, Forever21
Perfectly Petersham Envelope Style Clutch, $195, Nelle Handbags

Jewel Trim Stone Ring, $5.80, Forever21
Rectangular Stud Earrings, $3.80, Forever21

3. Something BORROWED

Satin Mermaid Gown with Fan Folded Bodice & Bow (Style no. 41792/2058W), $399.99, Group USA

Pura Lopez N601 Peep Toe Satin Pump with 4 1/4" Heel, $354.95,

Be Baubled Evening Bag, $145, Nelle Handbags

Classic Chic Pearl Earrings, $3.80, Forever21

4. Something BLUE

White Charmeuse Halter Dress, $278, Jessica McClintock

Claudia Satin Dress Sandals with 3 1/2" Heel, $49.99, Unforgettable Moments by Lela Rose

Satin Evening Bag, $50, Vanessa Handbags

Platinum-plated Swarovski Crystal Bracelet, $300, Roberta Chiarella

Alexis Rhinestone Earrings, $3.80, Forever21

Painted Laser Cut Earrings, $3.80, Forever21

Happy Planning!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Something OLD, Something NEW
Something BORROWED, Something BLUE
And a silver sixpence in her shoe

Have you ever heard of this poem? It sounds like a tradition for the ancient time? Yes, it is. This is a good luck charm for brides which dated back to the Victorian Era.

This is very meaningful. Each carries a very special meaning and represent good luck for the bride. Therefore, many brides will ensure they have something of each on their wedding outfits and believed that they will have a happy marriage life =)

Let's start with "Something OLD".
It symbolizes the continuity with the bride's family and the past. It represents the link with the bride's family and the past, particularly her mother or grandmother or distant relations. To carry out this tradition, bride may choose to wear a piece of jewelry which belonged to the family. Alternatively, she may choose to wear her mother's or grandmother's wedding gown. Others may include a piece of lace, a handkerchief, a scarf, or an antique watch.

"Something NEW"
It symbolizes optimism and hope for the bride's new marriage life ahead. It represents good luck and success for a bright future in her new married life. Getting a new item (such as new gown, wedding rings, house furniture, etc.) on her wedding day conveys the message that she and her husband are going to create their own family that will be everlasting.

"Something BORROWED"
It represents the value of sharing and as a reminder for the bride that her family and friends will always be there for her, not only on her special day but in the future as well. "Something borrowed" is usually item borrowed from a happily married family member or friend; it symbolized as lending the bride some of her own marital happiness. (That's sweet...showing off the good friendship between two human beings.) To incorporate this tradition into her wedding day, she may borrow a piece of jewelry from a close family member or friend who has worn the same jewelry since she met her girl friend.

"Something BLUE"
It symbolizes love, faithfulness, modesty and loyalty. Favorite quote from 19th century, "Marry in blue, lover be true." To include blue item into the wedding day, the bride may choose to put a blue sash on her wedding gown. Whereas, the groom may choose to wear a blue vest in order to pair up with his bride. Other ways to put on something blue may include a blue bouquet, blue boutonniere, or even a blue wedding theme!

Last but not least, "A silver sixpence in her shoe".
It symbolizes wealth and financial guarantee for the bride. This tradition dates back to Scottish custom by having the groom to put a silver coin in his left shoe for good luck. In modern times, a dime or a penny has been used as a substitute to the sixpence.

Source:, Ask Yahoo!

Happy Planning!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Wanna look GREAT for LESS on Your Wedding Day?

I personally will not give up to looking great and gorgeous on my own big day! It is once in a lifetime moment and I truly believed that every girl wants to be a princess for that very moment in her life. So...what's the best way to dress pretty and party like a fairy-tale princess? Of course, the most exquisite bridal gown!

Depending on your personal style, you wedding gown can be as formal as the ball gown or as simple as the sheath silhouette gown. Too many choices with very little amount to splurge on your wedding gown? That is not one of the wedding planning elements that you should be worried of because there are so many bridal gowns in the markets for brides at different budgets! You just need to do some homework and do some research online, check out the trunk show at your favorite designer's gallery, and be ready to save a fortune while looking gorgeous! Big savings is just a click away! And you are able to dress like a celebrity at an affordable price (sometimes 50% to 75% off the original price).

Take a look at some of the "steals" I found from, Lily Wedding, and ^.^

Peridress is located at Shanghai, China and started its business in 1997. Peridress is created to design and produce wedding dresses, bridesmaid dresses, flower girl dresses, mother-of-the-bride dresses, bridal headpieces and accessories, making them as a one-stop wedding shop. They are pride over their seamstresses of more than 20 years of wedding-dresses-producing experience, as well as their vast selection, competitive factory price, and excellent customer service.

Accepted payment: Pay Pal (No sales tax + Free shipping)

For more information about, please contact them at 86.133.8199.9071 or visit their website at

Here are some of the wedding gowns selling at their website. Please note that there are some designers' collections at affordable prices.

Peridress 2009, Style 20139047
PD Price: $153.99

Peridress 2009, Style 20139052*
PD Price: $153.99

*Similar to Demetrios Style Sensualle GR150, Spring 2009 Collection
Selling at $1001-1500, according to

Peridress Spring 2009, Style 20314008
PD Price: $109.99

Peridress Spring 2009, Style 20314001
PD Price: $109.99

Alyce Spring 2009, Style 7127
PD Price: $149.99

Lily Wedding is an online service which provides the lowest prices wedding gowns with high quality craftsmanship, top quality material, and prompt customer service. They well wedding gowns directly from Shanghai, China, where it is the biggest exporter of wedding dresses to USA and Europe countries. All dresses are tailored to your measurement, highly customized fitting, at NO EXTRA COST. Every order is custom-made according to customer's measurement for FREE.

Another feature offered by Lilywedding design and production team: "Design your own style". This is a special service where you can enjoy your favorite design with low cost and luxurious fabric. Here is how it works:
Step 1
Find the pictures of your favorite wedding dress.
Step 2
Send them in .jpg format to with subject line "To Request for designing wedding gown".
Step 3
Staff at will then review those pictures and quote you a reasonable price.

Accepted payment: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and Pay Pal
(*No sales tax on all orders)

For more information about Lily Wedding, please visit their website at

Here are some of the wedding gowns selling at their website. Please note that there are some designers' collections at affordable prices.

Sweetheart Strapless Satin Ballgown
LW Price: $268

A-line Strapless Chapel Train Satin Gown
LW Price: $208

A-line Square Neckline Chapel Train Satin Gown
LW Price: $208

Strapless Mermaid Silk Satin Gown
LW Price: $178

Princess Strapless Chapel Train Satin Gown*
LW Price: $188

*Similar to Tara Keely Style 2650, Fall 2006 Collection
Selling at $1501-3001, according to

Strapless Sweetheart Neckline Trumpet Lace Gown*
LW Price: $428

*Similar to Emerald Bride Style 9134, Spring 2009 Collection
Selling at $501-1000, according to

A-line V-neck Chapel Train Satin Lace Organza Gown*
LW Price: $338

*Similar to Justin Alexander Style 8357
Selling at $1001-1500, according to

Light In The Box started its business in 2006 (Beijing, China). You will be able to find thousands of products (not limited to bridal gowns) at incredible wholesale prices at their website. The reason why they are able to pass on big savings to their customers (wholesalers, retailers, and individual buyers) is because they buy products directly from Chinese wholesale manufacturers. Although they are dealing with wholesalers (who usually required a minimum order), requires no minimum order quantity from their customers. So you do not have to worry about keeping dozen of the same dresses in your closet! To make a payment to, you may do so via Pay Pal, Google Checkout, and Bank Transfer. Like many other online businesses, there will be no sales tax charged to your account.

For more information, please visit their website at or contact their sales team at

Here are some of the wedding gowns selling at their website. Please note that there are some designers' collections at affordable prices.

Princess Sweetheart Chapel Train Satin Lace Gown*
LITB Price: $219.99

*Originally by Jasmine Couture Style T180, Fall 2008 collection
Selling at $1001-1500, according to

Trumpet Sweep Satin Lace Gown
LITB Price: 299.99

Princess Empire V-neck Chapel Train Satin Organza Gown*
LITB Price: $129.99

*Similar to Amsale Style COCO, Spring 2009 Collection (On the left)

A-line Strapless Satin Gown*
LITB Price: $169.99

*Originally by Vera Wang Fall 2009 Collection
Selling price upon request (Do not surprised by a higher designer price!)

A-line Spaghetti Straps Satin Gown*
LITB Price: $169.99

*Originally by Vera Wang Fall 2009 Collection
Selling price upon request (Do expect a high designer price!)

Empire Strapless Satin Organza Gown
LITB Price: $149.99

A-line Off-the-shoulder Satin Gown*
LITB Price: $189.99

*Originally by Vineyard Style MOLLY
Selling at $2001-3000, according to

A-line Strapless Pleated Bodice Taffeta Gown*
LITB Price: $139.99

*Originally by Priscilla of Boston Style 4216
Selling at $3001-5000, according to

A-line Train Chiffon Dress
LITB Price: $169.99

A-line Strapless Knee-Length Silk-like Satin Dress
LITB Price: $139.99

Sweetheart Neckline Short Satin Dress
LITB Price: $89.99

Photo credit:,,,

Happy Planning!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Looking for Your Dream Wedding Dress For LESS?
Sharing Yours With Another Happy Bride?

Half way through to planning your dream wedding? And getting ready to scout your wedding dresses? Besides traditional bridal galleries door-to-door visiting, shop the designer gowns at home is becoming a HOT TREND now! Why? Because you get to enjoy your dream gown at half the list price! So why paying more when you can save that amount of money to indulge in your honeymoon or buying some lovely gifts for your wedding party?

Take a look at the following websites - - - >

Designer dresses at 1/2 the price:


Leslie DeAngelo and her husband established VOWS Bridal Outlet over 16 years ago.
It is the brick and mortar home to
They began their wedding business by selling high-end designer gown samples and overstock.
Today, they even have launched their own bridal line called Liv Harris Designs in house!
You have probably seen their name on local bridal magazines such as,
InStyle Weddings, Modern Bride, Boston Magazine, Boston Weddings, and Bridal Bargains.

2. Bride Couture (

Bride Couture offers high-end designer bridal gowns up to 50-75% off the retail price.
All gowns are bought straight from the designers and high-end retailers!
Enjoy browsing their collections here ~

Also, if you are interested to sell your gowns online, you may do so through the listing services provided by the following websites! After all, what is more satisfying than making another happy bride like you did?

Places first come into mind? Ebay & Craigslist

Any other options?
Yes, here you go!

Listing services:

1. Once Wed (

Emily created Once Wed by having a vision
> to simplify the process for bride-to-be to search the perfect used gown and
> to provide great ideas for wedding planning

What's great about Once Wed listing service?
> Your listing will remain on Once Wed for 12 months and it is free!
You will only pay for an escrow fee (around $70)
for having them to create a secure transaction for both buyer and seller.

2. (

It is a listing service designed to bring buyers and sellers together in one place to exchange their sample, new, and used designer wedding gowns.

To list your wedding gowns, you will pay $25 and your listing will not expire for 12 months, or until it is sold (whichever comes first).

It is easy to navigate and search for your dream wedding dresses. Lets get started!

Wedding dress is sized smaller than the normal street clothes sizes. Usually wedding dresses are one size up from the normal street clothes sizes.


Sunday, May 03, 2009

WEDDING HATS for a Victorian Tea Party

Captivated by Kentucky Derby Fashion^ and Victorian-style tea party?

Interesting and fun way to dress up your party? Lets have all your ladies to dress like English ladies with DERBY HATS! Everyone gets to enjoy dressing up, isn't it fun?

Here are some wedding hats from Lady Diane Hats:

Sonora, 350 USD

Calera, 585 USD

Madrid, 195 USD

Sedona, 195 USD

Fantasy, 295 USD

Sheffield, 485 USD

Special Hat Vendors:

Lady Diane Hats
2208 S. Greens Ferry
Couer d'Alene, ID 83814
Phone: 1.800.989.8705 (7am to 8pm, Pacific Time)

Emily Way Hats
P.O. Box 1372
Sutter Creek, CA 95685
Phone: 1.209.304.1846
Contact person: Marion Anderson

^Besides horse-racing and Mint Julep drinks, decorated over-sized hat (Derby hat) is another essential element for Derby Day.

photo courtesy:

Party with styles, ladies!