Tuesday, June 18, 2019

10 months to go

Can't believe it's already 10months to go, and we're also almost halfway through the calendar year. I think I have gotten used to the routine of full time work, but if I didn't have things to look forward to (not just getting married), but meeting up with friends or events to go to, it would make work life mundane.

I think for 10 months, I have gotten pretty much all the 'big stuff' sorted out. I know I'm gonna stress about the small stuff, probably 2 months before. Mainly timings of things and lack of help from people from set up etc. I just don't have the manpower, and although most people get people from their church to help, well I've never helped anyone's church wedding, and have stopped going to my childhood church for over a year (not that I was close to anyone to begin with even if I have known them from birth), it's just stressing over who can help without feeling guilty asking people for help. I like to organise a lot of stuff myself, but I know I'll need people to help. Even simple things like transporting a flower vase isn't easy when you think about the technicalities like who is taking it and who will drive them, let alone trying to organise food and stuff (or I can do it the easy way and just not have food lol).

There are some bloggers/vloggers who do 'Wedding Wednesday' or post/video every single step of their wedding planning. I guess they get money from it, but here are just some of my thoughts on wedding planning so far:
- Wedding dress is the number one biggest waste of time. From looking online at night, on your daily commute, then searching up websites, to making appointments at multiple places, each place taking around an hour, I could easily say I spent a ridiculous of at least 20 hours (at least 5 try on places-I lost count, then an hour or two every second day looking at websites). It's also the biggest waste of money, hence yolo. I tried to like something online, but couldn't find any and also didn't want to risk it.
- Dress prices also don't include alterations, which cost on average $500, yeah, not cheap. Managed to just stay under my budget though (after increasing my original budget so I guess I didn't really save that much). I'm just glad that's out of the way, cause it also takes a freaking 6 months to make, and you have to factor in alteration time after. So apparently I'm right on time with timings...although not sure how people with short engagements like some optom colleagues who have less than 9mths from engagement to wedding...I guess that's why express dress orders also exist...I also ended up going back to the first dress I tried lol, so all that 20hrs outside of work could've been spent doing something more productive...
- Compared to other things like rings, 1hr at the jewellers, 1hr checking at event spaces, decisions all made after looking at the first places we looked at (these all cost a lot more than a dress). Ironically they also were the easier decisions.

- No such thing as cheap flowers. Even small businesses on social media actually might charge more or about the same as a florist with a shop front. There are actually heaps of florist who work from home without a shop front, but still not cheap. Even if you get a friend to do flowers for you, yes it's a bit cheaper since I guess you don't have to pay for labour hours, but the actual flowers aren't cheap, and it doesn't look quite as nice (unless you're not picky, but apart from my grad, wedding is the only time I'll ever order some nice flowers to celebrate the occasion)

- I actually booked my cake before getting my dress because #priorities. So keen for people to try the flavours. Although still have yet to decide on the size, since I don't want to see leftovers go in the bin...Cake testing portions were pretty generous.
- Again, no such thing as a cheap cake (and I didn't even mention the word wedding at time of quote lol). Even normal occasion cakes cost more. Like my 21st Unbirthday cake, it was $275 with customised colours and details. Now a similar 2 tier cake is $425 without macarons or edible flowers or chocolate gems, includes delivery though, but normal chocolate is cheaper than flowers etc, so that inflation was crazy high since 4 years ago...Pretty much any social media baker or home baker charges similar prices now, not as expensive as cake shops, but a lot more than expected.

Makeup and Hair
- Another over priced section, but just like flowers, only time in my life I'll pay someone to do my MUH (apart from yr 12 formal, but that was a family friend who did it for cheap just for fun). I guess make up itself is expensive, and you pay for their skill (just like flowers).

- Really it's an excuse for a holiday. People have different priorities, some have super fancy weddings and other don't. I guess I could've save money for a house (lol I kid, what house deposit when there's a wedding to be paid for) by having a cheaper honeymoon (like anywhere in Asia), but I value travel, experiences and culture. Decided to have reception at a not fancy city view or fancy food restaurant to save money for honeymoon in Europe. 'Europe? Again?' - Is literally every person's reaction when I tell where we want to go lol.
- Also limited by the fact that I only started work this year, so will be on negative annual leave. Hence, can't go overseas for long anyway. Would've loved a long honeymoon, but that's not the point so it doesn't matter if it's short or long.

- A major aspect in this overpriced industry where they charge a million times more once you mention the word 'wedding.' For this, I didn't even bother asking for quotes. We just went with a friend's friends recommendation. Although not a professional 'wedding photographer,' he's done some weddings for friends, so he should know what to do. We were pretty happy with our engagement shots (again, not cheap, but thanks to Blair for his generosity since that guy's full time work is more purposeful than a proper wedding photographer). I think as long as they can edit photos even from really bad lighting is good enough (our engagement shoot was on the verge of raining/cloudy skies so he did a really good job).
- This is something I originally was a bit picky about getting a 'professional' and even though we don't really save money, at least more comforted that we're funding out photographer's Bible college studies rather than just for profit wedding industry. Again, different people have different priorities/budgets. I think at the end of the day, I'm not going to be sad that the photo didn't turn out as good as I expected to be, since it's the fact that we're getting married and the memories which are more important to me.

Wow, my rambles turned out longer than expected. As per usual on my days off, I have not done any cleaning/throwing away of things. I think I've sort of decided to leave my things are my parents place when I move out, and if they ever sell the house, I'll come back to throw stuff away...

Monday, June 17, 2019

Although our government hasn't been really stable these past few years, I'm still so grateful that my parents moved to Aus all those years ago. The past few weeks/days have been so crazy in HK. Have to acknowledge the persistence of all the protestors. Although I do have to wonder what's going to happen when 2047 comes, and the whole 50 year thing since 1997 comes up...I'm just grateful my family there is safe.

The great thing about Sydney Metro is that it has really freed up traffic jams on the m2, esp leaving the city during peak hour. On my occasionally days off trekking to the city, there's like no traffic, but like in 2013 where there was minimal traffic on the m2 (and back then it was only 2 instead of 3 lanes). The closest station is still a 8min drive from my house, but I realised all the stations except for a few like Castle Hill, Showground, all are situated on the outskirts of the suburb, so hence why they built car parks since you need to drive there. The Cherrybrook station has the smallest carpark, probs cause land is more expensive, and further out North West you go, the car parks are so big. Like Kellyville and Bella Vista car parks are at least 4x bigger than Cherrybrook. Then at Tallawong because there's so much land out there, they just did open space car park instead of multi-storey with no roof over the top. The car park there is so big, it'll probs stake around 10min walk to the station since it's like the size of a couple  football fields. Although I probs won't live in Cherrybrook much longer, I'm glad this side of Sydney finally has some sort of transport. Still have to drive since everyone in this area has around 2-4cars per household, cause you can't survive without a car in the Hills, but better than clogging up roads/increasing traffic.

The current apartment situation around Sydney is so crazy. So many new properties, but then places like the Opal Towers and Mascot Towers with structural defects. If you're living in ti or using it as a investment property, you'll never be able to sell it, and you still need to pay the bank more than what it's worth. Literally your savings go down a drain. Like the Mascot building is not even 10 year old, means pretty much any apartment in the past few years also risk structural defects. You can't even sue the builders because they have either deregistered and changed company names or have already gone broke...Some buildings now have some cladding on it as well which makes things complicated since off the plan apartments won't even tell you what the actual building is made of. Colleague of mine when she inspected her apartment in Epping before settling in, had cracks across the glass door and kitchen bench which they probably just flipped over to hide it on the final inspection. If the apartment inside is already dodgy, then imagine what sort of material or lack of good material the actual building would be...Even though low interest rates atm, you really don't know which apartments are dodgy until way late, esp off the plan you can't even examine what you're buying...Not that I have the money, but current news puts me off investing in apartments cause of dodgy construction only coming up 10 years later...