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adventures of a half-chinese yalie in hollywood

Getting Married … in GIFs!

Getting Married … in GIFs!

Hello! We’re nearly at the 2-year anniversary of my publication of the most popular entry in my entire blog: Getting Engaged During the Holiday Season … in GIFs!

That feature was, of course, spurred by the joyous occasion of my engagement to Deepak. We are married now! So it’s time for a follow-up!

We recently received our wedding video. I am so happy that we commissioned a video. Yes, we are a very cost-conscious couple, and yes, I took on many ambitious projects in the DIY spirit for our wedding. But being a film studies major, a resident of the global epicenter of TV & movies, a self-styled early adopter … and most of all, a vain person — videography was a must.

We found our key vendors in many different ways; one thing we did not rely on was word-of-mouth recommendation and online reviews. I tend to think both of them are highly biased and un-rigorous, much like when Deepak & I went engagement ring shopping and pulled up Yelp reviews for jewelers in the downtown LA jewelry district, and, amazingly … nearly every shop had a perfect 5 stars. Come on now, people. You’re allowed to give an honest assessment of a business transaction without conflating it with the highly emotional event that went into finding the shop.

(This is reminiscent of when, in 4th grade, we had an assignment to make posters for our moms for Mothers’ Day. I looked around the room during the activity and literally EVERY KID had done a variation on the theme: “To Mom — You’re the Best Mom in the World!” I definitely feel that about my own mom, and obviously the sentiment is point of most child-to-parent gifts. But does nobody feel a cheapening pang while watering down the meaning of superlatives / slotting into hackneyed and unsurprising words and ideas? This is how words and ideas come to mean absolutely nothing!)

Long story short, before I attack mercilessly attack my quondam classmates at Summitview Elementary School any further. We used a company called AirWedding for our wedding video, and they were wonderful. Their responsiveness and service was impeccable, which is both very important to me and sadly not guaranteed in the high-emotion, high-ego wedding business. We found them because Deepak and I were brainstorming one day and became obsessed with the idea of 4K drone videography for our wedding. So we Googled “4K drone wedding video” and found a few possibilities. I contacted all of them; AirWedding was the most responsive and most impressive.

When I watched our highlight video — yes, I’ll admit! — I felt like Justin Bieber after he completed his medley of “Where Are Ü Now?” and “What Do U Mean?” at this year’s VMAs. Which is to say: I brought myself to tears in a ridiculous way that surely seems completely self-indulgent and out of touch.

But never mind — please enjoy some GIFs from our wedding day video documentation. I hope they make you cry like Bieber … and not that they make you laugh, like everyone watching Bieber cry.

As Isak Dinesen said: "The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or a career-rejuvenating collaboration with Diplo and Skrillex."
As Isak Dinesen said: “The cure for anything is salt water — sweat, tears or a collaboration with Diplo and Skrillex.”

 

My precious, Part I! Lovingly fluffing my Chinese-made wedding dress ... while wearing my Chinese-made wedding cap veil and Chinese-made kimono-style robe.
My Precious, Part I: Lovingly fluffing my Chinese-made wedding dress … while wearing my Chinese-made wedding cap veil and Chinese-made kimono-style robe.

 

We are either bowing our heads reverently to each other in a loving moment before our ceremony ... or each furtively testing how flattering our silhouetted profiles would look if they put us on a "48 Hours Mystery" and garbled our voice/kept our identity in shadow because we were confidential informants in a highly deadly murder case.
We are either bowing our heads reverently to each other in a loving moment before our ceremony … or furtively testing how flattering our silhouetted profiles would look if they put us on a “48 Hours Mystery” and garbled our voice/kept our identity in shadow because we were confidential informants in a deadly murder plot.

 

Spotlight on our flowers! As I may have mentioned (800 times), I did these myself. Got the flowers wholesale from Sam's Club, direct-to-door FedEx delivery on Wednesday before our Saturday wedding. Kept them in water with plant food and cool temps before the wedding day. We used dendrobium orchids, roses, spray roses, baby's breath, Queen Anne's lace, trachelium and lilies. I made my cascade-style bouquet (far left) with an Oasis floral foam Wedding Belle bouquet holder, size grande.
Spotlight on our flowers! As I may have mentioned (400 times), I did these myself. Got the flowers wholesale from Sam’s Club, direct-to-door FedEx delivery on Wednesday before our Saturday wedding. Kept them in water with plant food and cool temps before the wedding day. We used dendrobium orchids, roses, spray roses, baby’s breath, Queen Anne’s lace, trachelium and lilies. I made my cascade-style bouquet (far left) with an Oasis floral foam Wedding Belle bouquet holder, size grande.

 

Aw, here's my dashing hus' getting ready at the Hyatt Place El Segundo. Featuring the double happiness cuff links he sweetly ordered as a nod to my Chinese heritage the night before the wedding! (Thanks, Amazon Prime same-day free delivery!)
Aw, here’s my dashing hus’ getting ready at the Hyatt Place El Segundo. Featuring the double happiness cuff links he sweetly impulse-ordered as a nod to my Chinese heritage the night before the wedding! (Thanks, Amazon Prime free same-day delivery!)

 

Inspect my second wedding dress! This is the dress I changed into for the reception. Chinese-made, by the same lovely seamstresses who made my ceremony dress. It's "modeled after" the Marine dress from the St. Tropez collection by Israeli designer Galia Lahav. See it here. I thought it was a fabulous replica. Fit very well, and only cost $200. What's more -- the Galia Lahav original retails for $11,000. I can't live that kind of life!
Inspect my second wedding dress! This is the dress I changed into for the reception. Chinese-made, by the same lovely seamstresses who made my ceremony dress. It’s “modeled after” the Marine dress from the St. Tropez collection by Israeli designer Galia Lahav. See it here. I thought it was a fabulous replica. Fit very well, and only cost $200. What’s more — the Galia Lahav original retails for $11,000. I can’t live that kind of life!

 

My beautiful bridesmaids! And a bizarrely braying bride! I think we did all take the "Make like you're sharing a touching and hilarious inside joke!" editorial direction very well.
My beautiful bridesmaids! And a bizarrely braying bride! I think we did all take the “Make like you’re sharing a touching and hilarious inside joke!” editorial direction well.

 

Suspense! This is as I stood atop our venue's beautifully picturesque balustrade in preparation for our first look photos. Watching it even now, I wonder: "How will Deepak react?" And also: "Will I figure out how to not-awkwardly navigate the layers of my Juliet cap veil?"
Suspense! This is as I stood atop our venue’s beautifully picturesque balustrade in preparation for our first look photos. Watching it even now, I wonder: “How will Deepak react?” And also: “Will I figure out how to not-awkwardly navigate the layers of my Juliet cap veil?”

 

And ... he likes it! Side note: A coworker at my new job kindly asked to see a picture of my husband. Upon being shown an image similar to this video she hilariously exclaimed: "Damn! He smiles big as f**k!"
And … he likes it! Side note: A coworker at my new job kindly asked to see a picture of my husband. Upon being shown an image similar to this video she hilariously exclaimed: “Damn! He smiles big as f**k!”

 

He approves! I guess we'll exchange these conveniently matching rings, then.
He approves! I guess we’ll exchange these conveniently matching rings, then.

 

Potentially my favorite! Our very fun and highly skilled photographers, Myke & Teri, had the wonderful idea that we do some jumping shots. I love how athletic and game our whole wedding party looks here! I think Deepak may have split his pants on that hurkey. And of course -- I didn't even try to leave the ground, because my dress had a 15-foot train. We didn't want that broken-neck bride!
Potentially my favorite! Our very fun and highly skilled photographers, Myke & Teri, had the wonderful idea that we do some jumping shots. I love how athletic and game our whole wedding party looks here! I think Deepak may have split his pants on that herkie. And of course — I didn’t even try to leave the ground, because my dress had a 15-foot train. You wouldn’t want a broken-neck bride!

 

So much more to come — I have 5 hours of video to play with!

What a whirlwind. Deepak and I were married 5 weeks ago. We haven’t gone on a honeymoon, to the readily apparent dismay and concern of everyone who asked! But I have started a new job and have been busily sourcing adorable nutcrackers of all sizes from China to decorate our home and tree. (The job and the Chinese nutcracker sourcing are not related … yet!)

I feel fine about our decision not to take a honeymoon yet. We both felt frazzled and fried after the rush of finishing the wedding operation. We have traveled a lot together already, and also I’m now hot on the idea of racking up signup bonuses from airline- and hotel-affiliated credit cards in order to pad out and improve our international travel experience. And finally — we say this to friends as a joke, but it’s somewhat true: Deepak and I attended our dear friends’ all-expenses-paid three-day wedding in the Maldives a few years back, and it’s tempting just to cross-apply (policy debate lingo!) the memories/experience of that trip-of-a-lifetime to our honeymoon slot.

I certainly use the photos from that event often — the azure of the Indian Ocean and the genuine grins on our feasted and fêted faces can scarcely be duplicated, even through the flattering filter of Juno on Instagram. Also, I always remember an overheard moment in the midst of that 3-day Maldivian nuptial weekend. On day 2, we got to witness a beautiful wedding ceremony on a sandbar in the middle of the Indian Ocean. The sandbar was only exposed during one hour each day during low tide, and so the proprietors of the resort had timed the transport and setup of a full bar, wedding cake, lavish hors d’oeuvres and a beautiful floral display for the exact moment of a gorgeous sunset wedding. After the sand bar wedding ceremony concluded, and as we were boarding chartered speed boats back to the main island from the now-sinking sand bar, another guest turned to his companion solemnly and commented: “Well, that was the highlight.” His companion: “Of the 3 days?” His response: “No, of my life.”

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