Since I live in Japan and we decided to get married in San Jose, California, wedding planning has been a bit of a challenge. First of all, let me say that I cannot believe how many of our family members and friends have generously offered to help and the things they would do for us is really amazing. It has made wedding planning so much easier and getting different ideas and advice has been really helpful. There are certain things that, as a bride, you still want to do yourself or you want to figure out for yourself before assigning it to someone to do for you. And the weddings, decorations, invitations, even the dresses, are all different here in Japan. So as much as we tried to do by ourselves in Japan, it definitely helped to visit California at the end of April/beginning of May to do some wedding “errands”. It was a very productive trip and made the wedding feel more real, but it turned out to be pretty tiring! Without all the help I received that week I don’t think I could’ve finished everything! I am so grateful for everyone’s help and enthusiasm about our wedding—it really means a lot to us!
Anyway, here is a look at what planning a wedding in only ten days looks like (for the records)!
Day one: Arrive at SFO, eat lunch, head to Haute Bride for my dress fitting. OMG so expensive—alterations ended up being more than half of what the dress cost! That's what you get if your bust, waist, and hips are not the same size! :/ Head to Valley Fair to get Seisuke’s wedding band (our guy was not there so we had to go back a different day), check out bridesmaids dresses at Jessica McClintok, Macys, Nordstroms (but no luck).
Day two: More bridesmaids dress shopping—found the winner at David’s Bridal! But there was trouble getting the sizes and colors for everyone so I definitely recommend ordering the dresses more than three months in advance. Then went to Michaels and the flea market to look for fake flowers—no luck at the flea market but I was curious to see what’s out there. Drove Brianna back to her dorm at USF, ate dinner, dropped Taylor off at her house, went to Grandma’s.
Day three: Visit Sunnyvale Community Center and Kona Kai for site visits with Dad. Visit Nisa who is helping me with the ceremony and reception & talk to Dirk, who is officiating our wedding, about the speeches and vows. Visit my friend, Marina, and her family.
Day four: Jazzercise in the morning, shopping at Hobby Lobby & Target in Morgan Hill in the afternoon and starting work on craft projects. Let me tell you, Hobby Lobby takes like half a day. I don’t know if it’s because it was a weekday or if it’s always like that but it was so clean and organized but you just had to check every aisle. It is definitely a crafter’s paradise!!!!
Day five: Craft projects in the morning, meet with DJ to discuss music and timeline, head to rehearsal dinner restaurant for a tasting and to decide the menu. Head to Costco with Dad to check out food platters and desserts. Pick out envelopes at Paper Source and visit my friends in Palo Alto and teach them how to make okonomiyaki for dinner. :) Label and prep the invitations to be sent out!
Day six: Jazzercise, meeting with florist, ring shopping, make up trial in the morning, tasting in the afternoon (all while still in Jazzercise clothes), babysitting in the evening (including Boy Scout BBQ at the park—omg all-boy parties are wild! I forgot how much energy boys have!!!!).
Day seven: Babysitting, pedicure, Target in the morning, more babysitting with slime making in the afternoon, research other florists, head to neighbor’s house for ceremony music rehearsal. The music sounds sooooooooo good! The rehearsal was a good way to figure out the timing and simplify the songs for the ceremony. I’m so impressed by our musicians and cannot wait to hear them again! ;)
Day eight: Oh my god, by then I was pooped! Like it all hit me at once that I needed sleep and rest because I was waking up early every day and just kept going and going until midnight. Little things started to feel overwhelming, like the craft projects not turning out right, not being able to decide what kind of flowers to use and not being able to envision what the bouquets would look like with the different flower choices, feeling sunburned and my body just started to shut down….so I took a break until the cake tasting at 2pm and then went back home to take another nap before heading over to Z’s bday party. I’m bummed I was late to it, but glad I got to see one of my favorite families again before I left.
Day nine: Why am I still here?? I thought! I was ready to go back to Japan!!!! Order veil, shop at Michael’s again (and picked up some really cute frames), buy fabric at JoAnn’s for the ring bearer pillows and then head back to Grandma’s for more crafts. Ate dinner with Mom and Grandma and Mom started helping me paint stuff.
Day ten: Dad took me to CVS bc I broke out into a rash/sunburn, picked up Seisuke’s ring, power-shopping at Trader Joes. Ate lunch at Grandma’s, packed my bags, pick up dress/second fitting, visit ANOTHER florist, ate dinner at Grandma’s with Mom, went home, packed some more, went to bed.
Day eleven: Back to Japan!
I felt a huge sense of relief after I left and like a lot was accomplished. I was also comforted knowing so many people were willing to help, so again, THANK YOU! We are so grateful and appreciate everything! I am glad I am only getting married once, because planning a wedding is a lot of work—especially from abroad, on a budget, and without a wedding planner! And one more thing, there is this amazing craze called Pinterest and tons of wedding blogs out there that give all kinds of great DIY inspiration that will make you want to go out and buy a bunch of stuff and try to replicate it yourself or make you think, "$100?! I could totally make that myself!" but then there gets to be a point where you will HATE Pinterest and looking at wedding stuff because it is just so gosh darn impossible to doooo!! So I am happy to say that I have retired from Pinterest-planning and will just stick with the inspiration I have collected so far and leave some things to the professionals (although I first thought I could save money doing it myself) because there is just not enough time and it is not easy doing things from abroad. I hope everything will turn out okay but if not, hey! I still get to get married that day so I think that's more than enough to make me happy! :)
Here are a couple pictures from my ten-day wedding planning trip!
|Cake tasting at Margaret's French Bakery|
|Facepainting with flower girl and ring bearer--I felt like I had face paint on, too, after the make up trial!|
|Menu tasting at Boulder Ridge|
|Tasting at Boulder Ridge|
|Make up trial after shot: a little too Lady Gaga, don't you think???|
|Fake flowers at Hobby Lobby--not the color I was going for though|
|Hobby Lobby--stimulation overload|
|Dress shopping with my youngest bridesmaid ;)|