Taiwan is a part of me. It’s where I lived as a young child, and it’s the place to which I returned as an adult. Soon, it will be my first home with Charles as we begin our married life together. I love the culture, the art, the beauty, the language, the food, the people–I love Taiwan!
Because of our connection with this beautiful country, Charles and I want to bring a bit of Taiwan into our wedding. So far, we’ve decided on two touches of Taiwan that we’ll definitely incorporate: fans for the bridesmaids and umbrellas for the table centerpieces at the reception. Here’s a sneak peek of what we’ve chosen:
Planning a Wedding from Across the Globe
Living overseas has made wedding planning a unique experience. I’m thankful for my parents who have done most of the legwork for finding venues, securing a caterer, making favors, etc. I’ve spent a lot of time searching the web for photographers, honeymoon locations, decoration ideas, and more myself. Of course, Charles has been in on the planning as well, and my bridesmaids (a.k.a. my best friend, Sarah, and my two sisters) have helped with decisions and choices along the way. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to do much of the planning with Charles, Mom and Dad, or Sarah except via Skype or Google Hangout, and my sisters can’t do much more than I can since they’re way over here in Taiwan with me.
However, Mom is in Taiwan right now, and she, my sisters, and I did get to go on the hunt for my Taiwanese wedding decor together. It was a very special day because I was able to share it with family, because of the Taiwanese connection we made, and because we actually accomplished something on the long wedding to-do list!
In Search of Something Beautiful
We went to Meinong (美濃), a little village about 30 minutes from our home. They specialize in making hand-painted paper umbrellas in the traditional style (I’ve mentioned them before on this blog). There are two shops that we usually visit, and they are right next to each other on the country road. At one of the shops, we can communicate with the owners because there is a girl about my age there who speaks English very well. Her grandmother is the main artist, but her mother also works there (and other family members do as well). We’ve been going there for several years.
This time, we looked around and found the fans that we want to use for the bridesmaids (in lieu of flowers). We decided to go with fans for the bridesmaids because we love the unique Asian look, and we also can save some money on flower arrangements this way. Our wedding colors are turquoise with purple and yellow as accent colors. We found some fans that were already made that had the right colors to stand out beautifully against the bridesmaid dresses.
Then we began thinking about using some of the smaller paper umbrellas as centerpieces for the tables at the reception. We didn’t see anything that we loved in color, so we asked the shop owners if we could choose the colors and have something custom-made. They said, “absolutely!” so we chose purple for the flowers with turquoise and yellow accents. They also said that the grandmother could paint one of the fans right there for us in about 15 minutes, so we gladly accepted, and I got the whole thing on video. It was so special to watch her paint something for me, something unique that will be used in my wedding.
Of course, the umbrellas won’t be standing alone on the tables, but they are the main aspect of our centerpieces. Oh! And lest you think that I’m spending an exorbitant amount of money on hand-crafted items for my wedding decor, I’ll add that each umbrella costs about $5.00 USD, and that is including the custom design. Did I mention that I love Taiwan?!
A Good Day
Overall, our day was quite a success. We walked away with two major aspects of the wedding/reception planned and purchased. More importantly, I got to do it all with my mom and sisters, and that will be a special memory. Finally, we were able to get a true touch of traditional Taiwan to incorporate into the wedding, and we deepened a relationship with local Taiwanese friends in the process. I can’t wait until it all comes together on June 29, 2013 and I can share the finished product with you!