Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Wedding Week

"Details create the big picture."
(Sanford I. Weill)

Rewind to before the wedding: Things were under control and I was not feeling stressed, but there was a lot that needed to get done in the final days before the big day. Even though we had a special event for work, my colleagues talked me into taking the week off and I'm so glad I did.

During that time, my then-fianc√© and I met with some vendors; put together the favors and escort cards, welcome bags for out of town hotel guests, and gifts for our wedding party and parents; and printed the ceremony programs, menus and reception programs, among other tasks.

Favors and Escort Cards

 I knew that I wanted edible favors. My favorite candies are gummies and sour gummies, and I almost always buy Sour Patch Watermelons at movie theaters, so those seemed like the perfect option to kick-off Memorial Day Weekend's unofficial start of summer. I ordered several 5-pound bulk bags online, and filled clear boxes purchased at Paper Presentation, one of my favorite stores in NYC.
We still have 1.5 bulk bags of Sour Patch Watermelons left, so we sneak in
ziplock baggies to the movies!

I also knew that I wanted favors to double as escort cards, so I printed and affixed labels with guest names, and instead of standard table numbers, titles of movies we have seen together in the theater or on DVD, which seemed to fit with the idea behind the Sour Patch Watermelons.

Front and back of candy boxes
Escort card table (Image: Don Hwang Photography)
One of our personalized reception table cards (Image: Don Hwang Photography)

Welcome Bags

For out of town guests staying at the hotel where we had reserved rooms, I ordered customized tote bags from the Wedding Chicks, and filled them with a plethora of Korean candies, cookies, crackers, pastries, clementines, and water bottles. It was our first and only time so far at the new H Mart in Hartsdale, but I know it won't be the last!

Korean snacks, water, and clementines
Customized tote bags to hold goodies
Gifts for Wedding Party and Parents

For our youngest bridal attendants, I made personalized Precious Moments coloring books and bound them with leftover ribbon I had cut and heat-sealed for our invitation suite. I also gave our ring bearers -- my nephew, Peter and Sam's nephew, Isaiah -- little bus tote bags with their names on them, and black gingham bow ties by Wee Little Bee to wear for their walk down the aisle.
Ring bearers' coloring books, personalized totes, and gingham bow ties

I gave our flower girls -- Sam's niece, Christina and his cousin's daughter, Abigail -- personalized hankies to keep as their own "something old" in the future, and ivory silk floral head wreaths with organza and satin ribbons from Sooty's Dress-Up Friends.

Flower girls' coloring books, "something old" hankies, and
floral head wreaths

I gave our mothers ivory lace handkerchiefs that were each embroidered with the words, "To our mother for our wedding, with love from Sharon and Sam, May 26, 2012." For my father, it was a handkerchief simply embroidered with "Father," which he used as a pocket square for the wedding. There was nothing I could buy for my parents or Sam's mother to adequately express our gratitude for a lifetime of sacrifice and support.

Parents' embroidered handkerchiefs

I wanted to give my bridesmaids pretty yet practical gifts as a small token of my appreciation. I decided to go with simple pearl pendants on sterling silver chains to wear on the wedding day, placed inside colorful Korean fabric pouches, as well as oval silver jewelry boxes inscribed with their first names.

I don't have a separate photo of the groomsmen gifts, but they were black ties and silver tie clips worn for the wedding. And there are still a few other gifts we had not accounted for originally.
Bridesmaids' pearl and sterling necklaces, and silver engraved
jewelry boxes

Ceremony Programs

I bought the paper for our ceremony programs (and menus and reception programs, further below) from Paper Presentation. I used pre-scored trifold cardstock, each panel with dimensions of 4 ¼” x 5 ½”. Using a photo I had taken of our church that I transformed into a sketch for the cover, I designed and laid out the panels and text as I wanted them to appear, and Sam formatted our hymn, Great Is Thy Faithfulness, which I dropped into the program.

This was done months in advance, but I had to wait until a day or so before the wedding to print the programs after finalizing everything with our pastor, and in case of any changes. I wanted our programs to contain every detail while being very simple and portable, and not require effort to put together. After the very time-consuming task of printing them -- which was the hardest part -- they just needed to be folded.

I'll have to take clearer photos of our program pages
I'm glad they turned out the way I had envisioned (Image: Don Hwang Photography)

Menus and Reception Programs

Another file I created and saved in advance was for a double-sided length of cardstock for our dinner menus and reception programs. Again, formatting these to print correctly, manually feeding them little by little through the printer tray, and waiting for them all to print a couple of days before the wedding was the difficult part of this project, but with my sister's help and printer, I was able to see it through.

For sentimental value, I loved having a printed menu and the order of events at our reception, including the songs that I had mostly chosen; I handled reception music while Sam had free reign with ceremony music. Like the favors and escort cards, our menus and reception programs performed double-duty being on a single card.

Double-sided card for each place setting
Menu side at reception (Image: Don Hwang Photography)
Reception program side (Image: Don Hwang Photography)

We received our professional digital wedding proofs over the weekend, and I hope you don't mind if I share a few more in upcoming posts. Thank you for reading and commenting!


  1. That was so well done. I teared up when I saw the "something old" handkerchief for Abigail. Grace predicted that would happen.

    1. Aww, Hannah~ I think it was your crying I heard during the ceremony that started getting me choked up during the vows but I powered through!

  2. haha, i think it was abigail's tears you heard! but maybe it was hannah's too... she's quite the crier :)

    1. It sounded like an adult but I didn't turn to see who it was, so at first I actually thought it was you! Later when I told Sam, he said it was probably Hannah, haha.


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