Tuesday, January 05, 2010

A Big Leap In Life

A BIG step into the brand new journey in our life ~ The WEDDING

Randy and I have a rather short engagement (it lasted for slightly more than 24 hours) ^.*

Before we could fully enjoyed our engagement, we have had to put in full force to planning our New Year Civil Wedding Ceremony (more commonly known as Registration of Marriage, ROM, in our home country - Malaysia) at our host parents' new home in Ankeny, IA.

Fortunately, we have a bunch of good friends and a lovely host family who were there to lend us their hands to bring all elements of the wedding together beautifully. In whatever thing we want and whenever we need it, Randy and I heard them saying "It's your big day and you are the boss, just let us know what you need and we will help you to get it done!" {Our dear
friends, do you know how much it mean to us? Honestly, very much, your presence made a difference to us!}


BEFORE the big day - 12.30.09 - New Year Eve


We have no time to rest nor to "gulp down" the reality that we are engaged and getting married in the next day! (Yes, I am still living in my dream, haven't get used to the new title yet =p)


After the crazy engagement party the night before, we met up with our crew at Fuddruckers for burger brunch. Worth the try if there is any Fuddruckers restaurant near you (they serve ostrich meat burger too)!


Let's the Costco shopping begin!

We wanted a simple (sort of) afternoon cocktail party, therefore, we decided to prepare some finger foods, dessert, champagne and fruit punch for our 40 guests. Menu of the day was
planned by my dearest husband; guys are always good at this! So then we had...

Appetizer:
1. Spinach + Strawberries Salad
(Brought in by Jenn Ho's host mom, Amie)

2. Spinach + Tomatoes + Bell Peppers Salad
(Prepared by our host mom, Sonya)

3. Pasta Mayo Salad (Prepared by Sonya)

4. Deer Meat + Cheese + Crackers

(Prepared by my host dad, Dustin, and my husband, Randy)

Main Course:

1. Pulled Pork Sandwiches

2. Stewed Chicken Meatballs
3. Bagel Bites
4. Dinner Rolls


Fruit Platter:
Cantaloupe + Pineapple + Strawberries + Oranges

Dessert:
1. Our White Wedding Cake (yellow cake filled with chocolate mousse)
2. Mini Brownie Bites

3. Mini Cinnamon Rolls


Beverages:

1. Champagne for toasting
(This is really good! Thanks Fred for getting them from Wal-Mart.)

2. Apple Cider Sparkling Juice (for the kids!)

3. Fruit Punch (Specially prepared by Sonya)

4. Beers

5. Soda


As soon as we arrived at our host parents' house, the preparation began. Most of the food presentation were prepared by Dustin, Sonya, Randy, Jenn Ho, Tony, Freddy, Chia Wen, Sheryl, and Fred.


On the other hand, the decoration was done by the girls! They are Sonya, Adeline, Phaik Lyn, Corrinne, and Rachel. Initially I thought of having some birch trees, strings of paper snowflakes (see conceptual pictures below)


...In the end, I minimized the decors as much as I could because my host parents' house is already come with a beautiful setting and a breathe-taking outdoor view from the windows (I will show you the pictures when we receive from our photographer, Christi, by end of the month).

We began with the ceremony altar area...I bought a bunch of light blue hydrangea (can't find green or white one) and some garden flowers in blush color. The altar was lined with flowers-and-colorful pebbles-filled glasses by the window, along with two clear candlesticks at each side (thanks to Sue who lent us the beautiful crystal clear candlesticks).


In the middle of the room, we had a wooden folding small table covered with red cloth and gold tulle for our Unity Sand Ceremony. The ceremony is simple and yet it is a meaningful way to symbolize the unity of two different people into one after the marriage.

Ta-da...we're done with decor and food!
It's time to go home and try out the many different hairdos and makeup for the wedding ceremony.

Thanks to my dear girl friends...Adeline, Sheryl, Phaik Lyn, and Corrinne
They patiently tied and untied my hair, tried different make-ups, and being accommodating to the picky bride-to-be like me (who kept on telling them I want my face to look thinner...). From 9pm till midnight, we have tried as many as five different hairdos and two makeups. Their efforts are worthwhile because we finally found the right combination that we all loved! (Lastly, not forget to mention that we did not even realize it was new year eve and we missed the countdown! =p)

Besides the bride-to-be, it is going to be an important day for the groom-to-be too! He wants to look good on his special day too. The boys group...Jenn Ho, Tony, Christi, Fred, and Freddy were there to choose the perfect outfit for his wedding ceremony! Thank you so much for preparing the man of my life for the important moment! You guys are so sweet!


ti...tak...ti...tak...ti...tak...(sound of the clock)...1.1.2010...12pm drawing nearer...



The BIG DAY - 1.1.10 - New Year Day


8:15am

The most quiet moment I have ever been, throughout the journey from our apartment to our host parents' house. Both Randy and I were so nervous that we could hardly talk and everyone else seemed to be in their dreams (sleeping)...silent moment. LOL...


8:45am

As soon as we reached the venue, everyone switched to active position and started putting out their very best to get things done before the ceremony (set up the videocam, laptop for the live streaming, put out the food trays, etc...).

We had a very special idea for the traditional guestbook. We initially wanted to have a big oval ceramic tray as the signing board...but we couldn't found it in Wal-Mart and we came out with a new idea - using the Cutting Board instead! We had Tony and Chia Wen (the great artists) to add some drawings onto the board (sort of customized it for us). They did a great job! I will show you the picture when I have it by the end of the month.


10:00am

While the crew busy preparing the day-of tasks, the girls joined me in my host sisters' joint bathroom for the bridal makeover. It took us two hours to complete the look - I enjoyed the special treatment given by my dear girl friends very much. So many talented persons around me, you girls rock!


12:00pm

The moment finally here...(music playing - Westlife - We Are One).
Guests are seated, City Judge standing tall, Music on - Let the wedding procession begins!

Randy walking down the aisle with the companion of our host sisters, Olivia and Sophia. Nervous...nervous...nervous...Luckily I had both my host parents to walking down the aisle with me (miss my parents, family and friends in Malaysia very much!).


Our Ceremony:
1. Speech given by the Judge

2. Vow Exchange
3. Ring Exchange

(Opps...Rachel was too nervous and she put the ring on Randy's right finger instead!)
4. Unity Sand Ceremony
5. Signing of Marriage Certificate

6. Kiss the Bride

7. Announcement of Husband and Wife

8. Blessings (Done by our host dad, Dustin)

Once the ceremony is done, everyone walked over to the kitchen area where we had our cocktail hours. We gave a short speech as a newlywed to thank everyone for joining us for the ceremony, did the toasting, had the cake cutting ceremony, food, and hung out with our guests.


Pheww~

We are so happy that everything turned out well and everything came together harmoniously! Great thanks to everyone who took time off to attend our wedding ceremony on New Year Day, by far or near. We appreciate it very much and hope to see you all again in the near future!


P/S: Our Chinese Traditional Tea Ceremony and Wedding Receptions in both US and Malaysia to be announced later on ^.* Will keep our family and friends posted!



Love,

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