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Our 8/7/10 Fun Fusion Fête at Vanderbilt Mansion!!!
Gerbera Posted: Aug 11, 2010 12:05 PM+
Gerbera MEMBER SINCE: 5/09 TOTAL POSTS : 840 WEDDING DATE: Aug 07, 2010
Posted: Aug 11, 2010 12:05 PM bride-minus.png

Our 8/7/10 Fun Fusion Fête at Vanderbilt Mansion!!!

August 7, 2010
Vanderbilt Mansion at Dowling College

Lessing’s - Vanderbilt Mansion
, Oakdale, NY [A+++++++++++++++++++]

My husband (!!!) and I currently live Upstate (about 8 hours away) and the choice to have the wedding in NYC area was largely due to the fact that his family is scattered all over while mine is predominantly in NYC. Finding a venue was definitely one of the hardest wedding tasks for us. Time home was limited and there were many disappoints of venues that did not live up to our expectations. When we visited Vanderbilt we fell in love with the Great Lawn, the river off the lawn, the big oak trees. We knew that’s where we would have our ceremony.
From start to finish the staff of Lessing’s has been wonderful to deal with. I’m Chinese and my husband is German/Irish so we knew we wanted to honor both cultures. Because of that we needed to know the venue and caterer can accommodate the many traditions we wanted to incorporate into our day. The menu was very important to us because we wanted to serve good food to our guests and it was important to have a continuous 5 hour full open bar. We opted to go with a Stations style because then we felt all our guests can definitely find something they will like. There are people on his side who would not eat Chinese and people on my side that will not eat American. So a plated sit down would not work for us. We added a few customized items to our Asian Station menu because even though their items would have been fine for the average us they were too Chinese Fast Food Take out -esque. I wanted something a little better. And I wanted some items that were good luck food in my culture. I presented all these options to Jen and they were approved with no hesitation.
We needed to have a tea ceremony during the reception and although Lessing’s has never really done that before they were able to accommodate us with no problems at all.
These are just some examples of how Jen and Lessing’s went above and beyond.
On the day of Jason the maître d' and Paola the bridal assistant were AH-mazing beyond words. They made the day run smoothly. Again, we did many things that were foreign to them and they accommodated everything without a blink. They came up to us during the day many many times to make sure we had a drink, to see if we needed food or anything at all. Before every scheduled event they came up to double check with us. Everyone complimented us on how smoothly the event went without a hitch. Without Jason and Paola the day would definitely not have run as smoothly.
The food. Oh the food. Everyone loved the food. People are still telling us how good the food was, how they cannot believe how much food there was! They said they’ve never been to a wedding where there was that much food!!
I highly recommend Lessing’s to everyone. Every single member of their staff were so professional and everyone was just genuinely happy for us.

Erica Lyn Photography, Queens, NY [A++++++++++++++++++++++++++++]
Our photographer. Good Lord I can write a novel about how amazing Erica is. She is by far neck in neck with our venue as our favorite wedding vendor. I keep telling everyone I would have gladly paid double for Erica. Her style is so unique and completely hers. Her fashion photography background gives her a edge like no other wedding photographer. Although I researched for MONTHS for the ideal photographer we only met with two and it was no question at all to my husband or I that she’s the one we wanted.
We are both pretty camera shy and felt it was really important that we are at ease with our photographer...because she will be “in your face” all day long! The day of Erica definitely made us feel very comfortable. She gave us direction without making the shots too posey.
Up until our wedding day every time I saw a wedding teaser she posted of other weddings I would get so happy that she’s our photographer. On the days leading up to the wedding we kept in contact because we ended up tacking some hours onto her contract. She was so accommodating to all the changes and working a 12 hour day. All our guests mentioned that she must have taken []thousands of pictures because she was always snapping away. I love that she was unobtrusive because we never really noticed her until those key moments or scheduled sessions throughout the day.
Just one day after our wedding she had already posted up some teasers, what more can you ask for??!?! We’ve seen about 3 teasers to date and love ever single one of them.

Neil with Premier Touch Photography, New Jersey [A+++]
Neil was our second shooter via Erica and although we didn’t meet him until the day of he was definitely very professional and the teasers we have seen thus far are great as well!

DJ - Phil via DJ Gaza, Brooklyn, NY [B+]
When looking for a DJ we wanted someone who was not cheesy. Who would not play the chicken dance. Who would play a few of our must plays. Who would get the dance floor moving even though we’re not huge dancers. I heard a lot of good things about DJ Gaza on many of the different boards so we decided to meet with him. Unfortunately he was already booked on our wedding date so we opted to work with him and one of the other DJs in his group. DJ Gaza aka Gary took care of all the coordinating leading up to the day of the wedding. Dealing with him was a great experience, however, I felt that perhaps because of that Phil felt it was not necessary to completely pay attention? The day of he never played the 3 wedding songs we requested that he play which were the IL’s wedding song and my two brothers wedding songs. He got the songs right for processional, recessional, grand entrance, etc. But the cake song was about 15 seconds late.

Cake - Audrey’s Bakery, Sayville, NY [A-]
Our wedding cake came with our catering package and we had picked up a trial. They gave us a good amount to taste and I loved all the flavors so we went with them. The - comes from the fact that I felt because we got the cake with our package they were trying to rip us off on all the decorating. I wanted some gum paste flowers cascading down our wedding cake and they wanted to charge what I thought was an obscene amount. They day of we went with a very simple white butter cream design because I had purchased gum paste flowers elsewhere and plan to decorate it myself. From the little bit I tasted the day of it was very moist and delish! I’m sad because Paola (the bridal assistant) saved me the whole top tier and we left it in the car overnight. We had a 3 tier for 140 guests and there were TONS of cake leftover. But it might had to do with the fact that we also had a ice cream sundae bar.

{picture by family}

Hair & Makeup - VickyC5, Bayside, NY [A]
Being Chinese I knew that I would not be able to just hire any makeup artist because you have to be familiar with working with Asian faces. I researched around and heard great things about the VickyC5 team. Their rates might be a bit more than the average makeup artist but I thought it was worth it because they did a great job with my hair and makeup. Although make up in real life was heavier than I usually like I knew it had to be heavier to show up well in pictures and it did! On pictures I thought it looked natural.

Officiant - Minister Lee [A++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++]
We opted to ask a friend of ours to marry us because really why wouldn’t you want that? She’s known both of us as long as we have known each other and we both felt she will rock the ceremony. The ceremony was so beautiful and more personalized than any $700 officiant can give us because it came from her heart. She shared personal stories of us as a couple and her. She picked readings that she felt reflected us as a couple. Everyone commented on how beautiful the ceremony was. The only issue was no one heard our vows ... we should’ve flipped the mike around for that part. Oops!

Videographer - Chinatown, NY [B-]
Videographer was something that happened 2 weeks before the wedding because my family really wanted one. If we had the money for it I would’ve wanted a cinematographer. But yea. Anyway, our videographer I thought had no personality. He was just kinda there.

Limo - Chinatown, NY [C]
Limo was another thing that happened last minute. We initially didn’t want to have a limo but at the end of the day I’m kinda glad we did. It was nice to relax on the 40 minute drive to the venue and all the flower girls and ring bearers really enjoyed it! The only part that pissed me off about the limo is that we wanted them to stay 30 minutes extra so we can take some pictures. The limo driver had called the office and told us it was OK. Then 5 minutes later said her boss said it wasn’t OK but if I wanted her to stay 30 minutes I would have to tip her an extra $100. Um no. So then as she was leaving she told my husband that we had a balance of $100 that we did NOT. So basically she scammed a $100 tip out of us. NOT happy.

Wedding Dress - Casablanca B002 from MA Carr
, Orchard Park, NY [A+++++++++++++++++++++++++++]
I love my wedding dress. The girls at the salon I went to were so fantastic and just genuinely happy for us! If it wasn’t for the salon I would never have pulled this dress off for myself. The seamstress did a fantastic job on the slight alterations and bustling. The quality of the dress is really great as well.

Veil - Belaire V7012 from Bridal Savvy [A]
I never thought I would be a veil girl. But I tried a bunch on because hey what do I have to lose? I ended up loving how this veil looked with my dress. The price at the salon was a lot more than I wanted to pay for a veil I would wear for 1 hour max. So of course I looked online for a better deal. Bridal savvy gave me the best price and just by paying for rush shipping which was only like $10 more than regular shipping I had my veil with more than enough time till my wedding. If you don’t see a veil you want on their site don’t be afraid to email them and ask for it because mine wasn’t listed on their site either.

{picture by family}

Shoes - Paris Hilton Senoritas from [A]
I loved my shoes!!!! They were so fun and sexy and the perfect shade of red I wanted. I had allll the intention in the world to break them before the wedding...but yeah. So my foot hurt like a b!tch at the end of the night but it was so worth it!
They’re knock offs of Valentinos which are $700+++ and retail for just under $100. I found them on for like $56! Score!


Day of Earrings - LRichardsDesign on Etsy [A+]
I kinda decided last minute I wanted some fancier earrings on my wedding day. If found something simple with just a tad of bling maybe 5 days before my wedding? She was able to ship them out in 1 business day and I had them super quick!

{image by LRichardsDesign}

Bridesmaid Dress - Mori Lee 831 from Manhattan Bridal, New York, NY [A+]
We ended up ordering bridesmaid dresses from Manhattan Bridal like 2 months before the wedding. They ate the rush charge for us and the dresses came in exactly when they said they would. The dresses looked a little pinkier in person but in pictures they showed up red like I wanted. Very satisfied with the quality of the dress especially considering the price.
I also rented my QiPao from them.

{picture by family}

Custom Bridesmaid Clutches - ItsSoClutch on Etsy [A+++++++++++++++++++++++]
I don’t feel like rehashing the whole clutch debacle so go HERE if you’re interested.
The long and short of it is Rena from ItsSoClutch came through like a godsend and saved my a$$ when it came to the bridesmaid clutches. She had a week to make 4 clutches and ship them to me. She was able to recreate the look I wanted for the clutches. Husband and I were amazed at the quality of her work especially given the short time frame she had. Rena definitely came through and I absolutely love her clutches!

{image by ItsSoClutch}

Flower Girl Dress - custom from Weddingcollaborator on Etsy [A-]
I fell in love with a Watters Flower Girl dress but no way in h3ll I was paying $124 each for a flower girl dress. So I went the Etsy Alchemy route and found a seamstress to make them within a price point I wanted. She was able to recreate the dress almost exactly and using most of the same materials. She was willing to make one first as a sample then make the other ones. The quality of the dresses were not perfect. But considering I am paying a 1/3 of the price of the original I’m not complaining.

Ring Bearer Suits - Burlington Coat Factory [A]
Can’t go wrong! Great suits for $45!
Their ties were from

Wedding Bands - The Facets Collection, New York, NY [A+]
We tried on bands at local jewelry stores then I went online to look at reputable jewelers via Price Scope. Looked at ton of places online and local and found the best price for our bands on The Facets Collections. They were able to make some slight changes to my bands with no additional charge. They offer a 10% military discount and were able to ship our bands out of state so that we did not get taxed. Overall I’m very happy with them because the bands are beautiful and they were done in the time promised and the price was great.

Flowers - Potomac Wholesale Florist, Washington D.C. [B-]
I decided to go with them because a friend used them for her cousin’s wedding last year. I was quite disappointed with the flowers. I felt like they forced way too many flowers into one shipping box. I was there to receive the box and immediately took all the flowers out. Everything was so smushed. We had to immediately throw a couple stems out because the stems were rotted. I had to throw the whole bunch of Germinis (that I was using for my husbands bout) out because they did not make it. The begonia leaves I was planning to use on my bouquet were rotted because they put them in a plastic bag with no breathing holes.
When we took all the flowers out we immediately snipped all the stems at an angle, put them in water. Continually on the hour spritzed them with water and nutrients. Were able to save enough to make bouquets and centerpieces.
I just thought for a wholesaler who ships flowers everywhere they should have packaged everything better.

Custom Gum Paste Flowers - Sweet Petal Bakery on Etsy [A+++++++++++++++++++]
Anna was so super fantastic to work with!! She had never made gum paste Gerbera Daisies before but she made it work and within my budget. She packaged everything super well and they were so beautiful!! I can’t believe she made them out of gum paste and how little she charged!! When I asked her how to put the flowers onto the cake she patiently explained to me and even put together a short tutorial for me on her blog. I would highly recommend her if you want gum paste flowers on your cake!!!

{image by Sweet Petal Bakery}

Paper and More, California [A+]
Paper Presentation, New York, NY [A]
We DIYed all our paper good primarily to save money but also because our style is more modern and simple. We got all our paper goods between Paper and More and Paper Presentation. I LOVED Paper and More, their shipping is so super fast and cheap. Most orders took 3 business days to cross the entire US! Paper Presentation was fast as well but I thought they were pricier than Paper and More. But Paper Presentation had the type of envelopes I wanted to use.

Other Activities
Bridal Shower - Public
, New York, NY [A+]
My girls threw me such a wonderful bridal shower! the staff at Public was personal, professional and attentive.
Go HERE for more info and pictures of my shower.

Welcome Dinner - Erawan Steak and Seafood, Bayside, NY [A+]
We wanted to keep the dinner just our two families because we don’t get much chances to get everyone together. I wanted to find a fusion restaurant because I wanted Asian food for my family but it had to be fusion because Father In Law eats pretty much steak and only steak.
The staff at Erawan were really great! They were attentive but didn’t make you feel like they wanted you to leave. All the food was great and everyone found something they liked. The bill for 22 people was a lot less than we were planning on!

Our wedding was such a perfect day! Not everything went perfect but they were so minor it was not important all. Most importantly we are married, we had fun and so did everyone else!
If you have any questions about any of the vendors we used feel free to FM me!

I’ll definitely be adding more pictures in the coming weeks!

{all pictures by Erica Lyn Photography and Premeir Touch Photography unless otherwise noted}
wo0shply Posted: Aug 11, 2010 12:29 PM+
wo0shply MEMBER SINCE: 6/07 TOTAL POSTS : 3837 WEDDING DATE: Oct 12, 2008
Posted: Aug 11, 2010 12:29 PM bride-minus.png

Re: Our 8/7/10 Fun Fusion Fête at Vanderbilt Mansion!!!

YAY congrats! Loved your wedding!!!!!! Cant wait to see more pictures
chrisandjeanne Posted: Aug 11, 2010 02:48 PM+
chrisandjeanne MEMBER SINCE: 1/10 TOTAL POSTS : 2024 WEDDING DATE: Jan 15, 2012
Posted: Aug 11, 2010 02:48 PM bride-minus.png

Re: Our 8/7/10 Fun Fusion Fête at Vanderbilt Mansion!!!

OMG your wedding looked beautiful! Congrats on becoming a MRS.
cynn81 Posted: Aug 11, 2010 10:37 PM+
cynn81 MEMBER SINCE: 9/09 TOTAL POSTS : 618 WEDDING DATE: Oct 09, 2011
Posted: Aug 11, 2010 10:37 PM bride-minus.png

Re: Our 8/7/10 Fun Fusion Fête at Vanderbilt Mansion!!!

Congrats! You are a beautiful bride!
Tromsugar2b Posted: Aug 12, 2010 01:35 AM+
Tromsugar2b MEMBER SINCE: 3/09 TOTAL POSTS : 1915 WEDDING DATE: May 15, 2011
Posted: Aug 12, 2010 01:35 AM bride-minus.png

Re: Our 8/7/10 Fun Fusion Fête at Vanderbilt Mansion!!!

your dress looked amazing on you, happy to hear everything went great with lessings (I'm getting married there too) congrats!!!
Gerbera Posted: Aug 12, 2010 08:10 AM+
Gerbera MEMBER SINCE: 5/09 TOTAL POSTS : 840 WEDDING DATE: Aug 07, 2010
Posted: Aug 12, 2010 08:10 AM bride-minus.png

Re: Our 8/7/10 Fun Fusion Fête at Vanderbilt Mansion!!!

More pics!

Our DIY Fan Programs

In use!

Tea Ceremony

Our homebrew favors!

{all images by a friend}
mybabylovesmoi Posted: Aug 23, 2010 07:07 PM+
mybabylovesmoi MEMBER SINCE: 12/09 TOTAL POSTS : 9394 WEDDING DATE: Jun 05, 2011
Posted: Aug 23, 2010 07:07 PM bride-minus.png

Re: Our 8/7/10 Fun Fusion Fête at Vanderbilt Mansion!!!

gorgeous pics, congrats! Great review

I love Erawan in bayside!
stx29kls Posted: Aug 24, 2010 04:01 PM+
stx29kls MEMBER SINCE: 11/07 TOTAL POSTS : 359 WEDDING DATE: Jul 03, 2011
Posted: Aug 24, 2010 04:01 PM bride-minus.png

Re: Our 8/7/10 Fun Fusion Fête at Vanderbilt Mansion!!!

Love the review!!!
Nina1010 Posted: Aug 24, 2010 10:38 PM+
Nina1010 MEMBER SINCE: 3/09 TOTAL POSTS : 5940 WEDDING DATE: May 01, 2010
Posted: Aug 24, 2010 10:38 PM bride-minus.png

Re: Our 8/7/10 Fun Fusion Fête at Vanderbilt Mansion!!!

Congratulations! I LOVE your dress and you're right about Erica... her work is unreal.
RFutureBegins2day Posted: Sep 11, 2010 12:48 PM+
RFutureBegins2day MEMBER SINCE: 9/10 TOTAL POSTS : 1294 WEDDING DATE: Jul 03, 2011
Posted: Sep 11, 2010 12:48 PM bride-minus.png

Re: Our 8/7/10 Fun Fusion Fête at Vanderbilt Mansion!!!

Amazing!!! Thanks for sharing.
merelynn10 Posted: Sep 12, 2010 12:39 AM+
merelynn10 MEMBER SINCE: 3/10 TOTAL POSTS : 5545 WEDDING DATE: Jul 09, 2011
Posted: Sep 12, 2010 12:39 AM bride-minus.png

Re: Our 8/7/10 Fun Fusion Fête at Vanderbilt Mansion!!!

Congrats on your wedding! Thanks for the review!
Gerbera Posted: Oct 19, 2010 04:38 PM+
Gerbera MEMBER SINCE: 5/09 TOTAL POSTS : 840 WEDDING DATE: Aug 07, 2010
Posted: Oct 19, 2010 04:38 PM bride-minus.png

Re: Our 8/7/10 Fun Fusion Fête at Vanderbilt Mansion!!!

Thank you all!!!

I wrote a different thread for our DIY Projects!
Moonmist09 Posted: Oct 22, 2010 02:21 PM+
Moonmist09 MEMBER SINCE: 1/10 TOTAL POSTS : 10598 WEDDING DATE: Jun 12, 2011
Posted: Oct 22, 2010 02:21 PM bride-minus.png

Re: Our 8/7/10 Fun Fusion Fête at Vanderbilt Mansion!!!

Mrs soon to be ALLEYNE Posted: Nov 18, 2010 07:53 AM+
Mrs soon to be ALLEYNE MEMBER SINCE: 11/10 TOTAL POSTS : 201 WEDDING DATE: Jun 10, 2012
Posted: Nov 18, 2010 07:53 AM bride-minus.png

Re: Our 8/7/10 Fun Fusion Fête at Vanderbilt Mansion!!!

Very Beautiful!!! Congrats
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