September 15th blew by so fast, I barely had time to breathe. The entire day was like a dream - so surreal because it’s completely different from all the other days in my life so far.

I didn’t sleep well the night before, despite making an effort to go to bed at 10:30 pm. I got maybe 5 hours of nervous shut-eye, with tons of tossing and turning. I woke up at 7 a.m. and I couldn’t wait to just get married already.

My dad dropped my mom and me off at Blo Dry Bar on Granville Street in Vancouver and my lovely maid of honour Maya and bridesmaids Diana and Tina were already there with smiles, mini cupcakes, and an offer to get me a double shot latte from the nearest Starbucks. This is just one of the many moments that day that made me feel like the luckiest girl in the whole world.

My stylist Sam who did my consultation was there to blow my tresses into waves of perfection, and within the hour, I was ready to go. Then we all went back to my parents’ house, my bridesmaid and talented friend Tina Lee of Paeonia Makeup worked her magic and made sure I had that bridal glow (and on schedule too). We sipped champagne and orange juice (out of teacups, because my parents don’t drink!) and devised evil door game challenges for the boys to complete when they show up.

The morning started to really become a whirlwind when my wedding coordinator Mandy Wong of The Sweetest Day, my photographers from Viv’s Photography, my uncle, aunt, cousins, my cousin’s kid, the groom and groomsmen showed up for the door games and tea ceremony, as per Chinese tradition. I remember sitting and waiting while the bridesmaids asked them to dance to Backstreet Boys’ “As Long As You Love Me” and punished them with pungent foreign foods (like jelly fish) when they got an answer to a question wrong (like “What does Stephen do that annoys Vinnie most?”)

When I was finally allowed to come out and meet my groom in my red dress, I was so excited to see Stephen in his tux. We served my parents and my relatives tea, and wrapped up the morning portion of our wedding day! We all went to Stephen’s parents’ house for a quick bite and so I could change into my white wedding dress.

I remember not being able to eat for most of the day because I was so nervous! When I tried to eat this yummy sandwich, I didn’t feel so good. My stomach was doing back flips.

Stephen and the groomsmen were sent up to Simon Fraser University, where our venue was located, while I changed and prepared to sneak up behind Stephen for our first look photos. I remember walking up to him on the pond, tapping him on the shoulder, and just smiling from ear to ear while he saw me in my white wedding gown for the first time. He said the dress was almost exactly like he pictured it!

The ceremony went by so fast. We said our own vows and our officiant was amazing at incorporating anecdotes about how we met and how we got engaged. Everyone told us that they loved how personal our ceremony was and several told us we made them cry! Of course, Stephen and I were teary eyed through most of it too.

At one point between the ceremony and reception, Stephen and I sat side by side and reflected on how fast the day was going, and the fact that we were finally married.

“Everyone tells you it’ll go by fast and you know it will,” he said. “You try to take in as much as you can, but you can’t do anything to stop it from flying by.”

We were both a little sad that the ceremony was over so fast, but the good news was that we got our appetites back. We sat at our sweetheart’s table together (a great decision, because it let us spend at least a little bit of time together without requests for photos and etc) and our day of coordinators Mandy and Corwin served us the food from our buffet.

At so many moments throughout the night, Stephen and I were incredibly glad we hired our day of coordinators Mandy Wong and Corwin Kwan from The Sweetest Day. Without them, we would be running around, trying to instruct our vendors, missing out on eating, and asking all our good friends and family to put up all our decor. We agreed that it was the best investment we had made for the wedding. I remember our photobooth arriving and the vendor asked me where to set up. I was on my way to the bathroom and I just said, “Oh, please talk to Mandy! She’ll let you know.” And then I was on my way.

My maid of honour Maya and Stephen’s best man (and brother) Kurt gave the most wonderful speeches, and so did our parents. Our own speeches weren’t very good because we honestly did not rehearse at all amidst the craziness of wedding planning. I was again struck by how lucky we both are, to not only have each other but an entire room of people who deeply care about us.

The reception turned out to be such a blast. I didn’t think any of my Chinese relatives would enjoy dancing (and I was right) but they had a ball in the photobooth. I saw them grabbing props and hilariously posing.

By 10 pm, we were wrapping up the party (as we intended because it was a Sunday night). Our superstar day of coordinators cleaned up without me even noticing and we were on our way home soon.

I can’t wait to get our professional photos in 2 weeks so I can relive the whole day again! For now, I just have to get used to being called “my wife” and referring to Stephen as “my husband”.

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Comments

Congrats Vinnie! Glad to hear your day went well. How did the drink tickets work out? Did all the handmade/DIY goodies last for the day? Enjoy being a newleywed!

Charlene on October 14, 2013

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