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Letting your husband-to-be see the dress before the wedding: Yes or no?



So I’ve just gone for a gown fitting for my wedding dress recently. It’s going to be spectacular :) I remember the first time we actually got into hunting for the perfect dress; from the beginning, I made it a point to never have my fiance coming along with us. Just my WO, my mom, my bridesmaid, and myself. My mom (and his mom) thought I’m weird, since they claimed they always see the women in Chinese dramas dragging their fiances along from one vendor to another, asking their men how she can look best for him as his future bride.

First of all, I thought first look traditions span across every culture. I was wrong – turns out it’s a Western tradition. No wonder our Asian parents didn’t get it, because my fiance agrees to save the moment – “seeing you in the white dress” – for the big day. Even if I did drag him along to see dresses upon dresses, he’ll say “it’s nice” for everything, as he likes it best when I wear white. He even beamed when I was “forced”1 to try on a random, unflattering, overly adorned ball gown during our visit to a local wedding expo. So yeah … we’ll just save the best for when the time comes (likewise, I appreciate his complete trust2 on my aesthetic judgment :) ).

According to Bridal Guide, the myth claims that betrothed couples weren’t supposed to see each other before the wedding to avoid bad luck in the marriage. Well, not exactly bad luck. This whole not-seeing-the-bride-until-wedding idea sprang from the days when arranged marriages were the norm – the father of the bride was afraid the groom would call off the wedding if he’s already seen her, found her unattractive, and back out while he still can. Even in today’s weddings, if your long-time boyfriend decided turns into a runaway groom, it’ll cast a shame on you and your family. The original purpose of the bridal veil was also to cover up the bride so the groom won’t find out what she looks like until the very last minute.

My purpose for semi-continuing the tradition? Simple: To make his “wow” first look moment even more “wow” than I think it’s going to be. He’s been “wow”-ed a couple of times before by some of my wardrobe’s prettiest dresses, but the next few times of seeing me wearing them wasn’t anything close to their first looks. So yes, simple as that. To maximize the pleasant in his surprise, and by pleasing him it pleases me . Just look at the heartfelt reactions of these grooms:

Some of my biggest inspirations:

First Look… [Karly Borgholthaus]

75 Reasons to Have A First Look [Bridal Guide]

The First Look: Groom’s Perspective [Jasmine Star]

24 Grooms Blown Away By Their Beautiful Brides [BuzzFeed]

Wedding First Look: What The Groom Is Thinking When He Sees His Bride For The First Time [HuffPost]


What do you think? When you got married, did you let him go wedding dress shopping with you, or did you surprise him on the big day? And all you single ladies, would you let your future husband know what to expect before the wedding, or would you “wow” him to the max? Share your thoughts on the comments section below~~


Groom's First Look
Do you let him see you wear the wedding dress before the big day?


P.S. See #46 and #48 on BuzzFeed’s 50 most romantic things that ever happened.



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via Karly Borgholthaus on Pinterest


  1. … to keep the salespeople quiet. []
  2. Proverbs 31:11 []
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21 confessions of a clueless bride-to-be


© tinylittletea

1. I don’t have a dream wedding.1 I didn’t dream up a fantasy since I was 10 or anything like that.

2. The closest thing I’ve imagined about the supposedly “happiest day of my life” is that it’s going to be a small, intimate one.

3. This gives my wedding organizer (WO) a lot of flexibility to work with, yet far, far too many options for me.

4. Peonies or carnations? Camellias or Davin Austin roses? Can I have all of them? Can I have just a couple of them? What are the other options? I mean, I’m good with anything as long as it stays within the concept.

5. Umm, what’s my theme/concept again? Whenever people ask me this, I have no idea what to say. It’s like trying to come up with an elevator pitch, but you can’t put yourself into the metaphorical elevator.

6. Today’s wedding industry: One bride, a million decisions, infinite vendors.

7. Wow, before I got engaged I had no idea a dress alone can cost as much as USD 55,000, which you only get for rent. A lot of times I thought of spending the money on getting a down payment for properties we like instead. At least that we can sell for rent.

8. I really, really don’t want to think too much about the dress. But I have to, because it appears that most brides do, and that my mom and my in-laws and everybody else cares more about it than I do.

9. Turns out, bridal expos are nothing but a waste of time, especially when you already have an excellent WO at your disposal.

10. Hassles are the worst. As much as I wanted cascading flowers on my cake, I’m agreeing with whatever you say is more doable.

11. I really hate waking up early just to have a discussion on cakes. And flowers. And lights and everything else. The idea of having my makeup done early on D-Day always have me grunting.

12. And no, I’m positive I don’t need a USD 9,750 vellum paper-wrapped, double-board. custom-designed, premium paper-printed wedding invitation card that everybody’s going to toss except me and my future husband.


13. My secret wish is to have the whole family assigned as a team to plan the whole wedding for me, and then I’ll just have to attend.

14. That’s right. Most of the time, I wish there’s somebody else who can make all the decisions for me. Heck, one time I even fantasized about some other girl that would fill the position of a bride on the wedding day. She will be my face for the day, and then later on I’ll take it from there to live with my husband forever after.

15. I really miss having face-time with my fiance where it doesn’t concern the wedding.

16. The thought of elopement has passed through my head at least a million times.

17. Most of the time I wonder, why do people make such a big fuss about weddings? I’m fully aware it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but the whole definition of “special” in this special day is exactly what makes each weddings unique and therefore, different. There are simple weddings and there are elaborate weddings. I just wish the spotlight on me is a little smaller.

18. If there’s one thing I’d want my guests to remember, it’s not the food, not the lanterns, not the lighting, not the centerpieces, and not even the dress – it’s the love that my fiance and I share and how it overflows the entire garden like the first golden rays of sunrise.

19. As the months drew near, I just can’t wait till the day is over. The pressure of all the attention, the pressure of wedding expectations, the pressure of having to be perfect for a full day. Pressure pressure pressure.

20. Heck with hair and makeup already. I’m up for any artist as long as it’s not too thick, not too different and just not not me.

21. I mean, for Pete’s sake I’m going to be someone’s wife. Like, for real. For good. For eternity. I don’t know how everything will turn out on D-Day, and by now you know I don’t give 2 cents on whether it’ll be a dream wedding or not, but this is not a dream and I’m so nervous, yet so excited for the ever after. Never have I imagined I would meet my soul mate, one that didn’t exist before he came to life, almost as if I conjured him up, and you know what … nothing else matters, because I am going to marry the man of my dreams.



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  1. Very well. I’m going to dream up a wedding on the spot: One that’s studded with candles and Christmas lights, a garden-by-the-ocean venue, a less-than-100 guests, an all-over blue-green theme with a rustic touch, a Vera dress that’s exactly like Hilary Duff‘s, Jimmy Choo’s Cinderella perfection, a Taylor Swift Love Story ‘do, lots of succulents and white roses, a free flow of white tea for everyone, vintage books and teapots everywhere, acoustics playing in the background, Taylor Swift surprising us at the wedding, and last but not least, a mini-pig donning a pearl necklace and a fancy headpiece as the ring bearer. Due to parents’ involvement, budgeting, and the unlikeliness of celebrities attending  and time, not everything on this immediate dream is possible. Some, however, are. And they’re really going to happen at the wedding. []
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He gets me.


© tinylittletea
© tinylittletea

Different people don’t always get along, much less opposites (at least, if we’re in it for the long haul). But differences aside, I think one of the reasons why people constantly argue is because we tend to want people to look into our circumstances more than we do assert our own perspective on the matter. We think that others get it from our viewpoint, but truth is, no two individuals see things the same way. We especially expect or assume this level of understanding from the people we believe know us best, and sometimes, these “Why don’t you get it?!” kind of arguments can leave a permanent scar.

If we stop for a minute and pull back to see things from the omniscient perspective, we’ll see how puny our own ego really is. It begs for your constant attention, its desires are fleeting. You can’t endow your full and complete trust into something so volatile. It’s so tiny and so vulnerable that it knows, it has to present itself as one ginormous vessel of pride. It pushes others around it to attend to its needs immediately, and while it’s capable, it’s not in its nature to become the first to shimmy out of its pride. It would go lengths to prevent others from seeing its small nature in all its nakedness1.

Now the billion-dollar question is, why not you be the first? Contrary to logic, breaking out of your giant vessel reduces neither you nor your existence. You’re just laying yourself bare – fully your small self and completely with your fragile thoughts and porcelain feelings. This way, people can see right through your soul. And this way, you don’t have to put the pressure on those who know you best to empathize with you. Stripped off your armors, it’s easier for you to get to the heart of one another2 without leaving scars, and that’s a good thing in His eyes3.


  1. Hebrews 4:13 []
  2. because of the begotten Son, who covers for you []
  3. Colossians 1:22 []
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Nota Bene




Hazel is different. She walks lightly, old man. She walks lightly upon the earth. Hazel knows the truth: We’re as likely to hurt the universe as we are to help it, and we’re not likely to do either.

People will say it’s sad that she leaves a lesser scare, that fewer remember her, that she was loved deeply but not widely. But it’s not sad, Van Houten. It’s triumphant. It’s heroic.

(Gus’ letter to Peter Van Houten, The Fault in Our Stars)




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38 signs you’re with the man you’ll marry


© tinylittletea

1. He brings you porridge/soup when you’re ill.

2. He gets you to go see the doctor, even when you don’t want to.

3. Of all the people in the world, he’s the only one who knows “I’m fine” means the total opposite.

4. In fact, he remembers your prescriptions more than you do.

5. His plans always involve you.

6. When dining out, he prefers sitting beside you than across you (you’d be physically closer side by side than you would face to face).

7. He shares his food.

8. He lets you vent. Through the courses and all the way home.

9. Despite all your complaints, he likes to show you off.

10. His family and friends adore you.

11. He’s generally more open about his shortcomings than he does flaunting his riches.

12. He’s told you you’re beautiful when you’re sick and disgusting and haven’t showered in days.

13. After all this time, he still performs the customary “gentleman”-ly gestures (opening doors, helping you to your chair, offering his hand, etc), even when especially when you told him to stop.

14. It’s his chivalry and his quirky charms that get your heart beating faster.

15. You feel safe around him.

16. At the same time, you’re more adventurous when you’re with him.

17. He’s not embarrassed to give you a piggyback ride in public.

18. He teases you, like, a lot.

19. He doesn’t get uptight about leaving you alone or hang out with your friends.

20. He can make you laugh till you cry, even if it’s at yourself.

21. You have fights about the littlest things. The two of you disagree on so many things, yet he cares to fight all night.

22. He’s committed, a.k.a. he doesn’t run away from conflicts.

23. He’s capable of leaving his pride and ego at the door.

24. He pulls you in to his chest (near his heart) and gives you that much-needed hug whenever you start crying.

25. “Hate” is the code word for “I love you so much there’s no other word that’s equally strong or stronger than love itself”.

26. He puts your needs before his own.


27. You survived a long-distance relationship together. *

28. You have fun with him even in silence.

29. You’ll never run out of things to say. Though you feel like you’ve known each other all too well inside out, there are still moments when you surprise each other with your thoughts, decisions, and/or actions.

30. Up to this day, he still showers you with flowers, chocolates, and piggy toys when you least expect them. As time goes by, these gifts are getting lavisher than ever.

31. That said, he wasn’t expecting anything out of being with you other than your presence and company.

32. While you know can go on without him in your life, you can’t imagine ever going to be as happy and/or fulfilled.

33. He makes you feel (so much more than) enough.

34. You like who you are when you’re with him.

35. In fact, he inspires you to become your best.

36. You value the same things and trust in the same God.

37. He willingly accepts every inch of you, flaws and all.

38. Deep down, your gut is already telling you he’s the one.


* : A major bonus.



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Of soul mates and choices



Soul mates. The term often carries romantic implications in it, although it’s not always the case. I’ve spent at least half of my life finding mine1, only to find myself embracing a larger conception of the term now.

I used to believe in the notion that one person was supposed to complete us, somehow predetermined to be the only one to fulfill our lives. If you think about it, it’s a ridiculous and potentially dangerous concept to hold on to. What if said “The One” lives in another continent and you’ve never had a chance to travel abroad? What if you’re Peggy Carter and your Captain America lives in another century? And what if one day, you become so possessed by this idea that it eats you up, obscures your conscience, and drives you away from those loved ones other than this mystical “The One”?

Continue reading Of soul mates and choices


  1. as I revealed in response to one of the prompts during February 2013’s NaBloPoMo []
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Nota Bene




I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.
I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he or she handles these three things: A rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.
I’ve learned that regardless of your relationships with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life.
I’ve learned that making a living is not the same thing as making a life.
I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.
I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw some things back.
I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, i usually make the right decision
I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one.
I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.
I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn.
I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

(Maya Angelou)



This is one of the many wisdoms of Maya that I found particularly expansive to our casual definition of love – forget dating, forget romance, forget diamond rings and fresh hydrangeas – love is everywhere, and it is seated gently on the little things in life.



Make someone feel loved today. Happy Valentine’s Day!

P.S. 7 ways pandas taught me to say ‘I love you


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via Chinasa Abiakam on Pinterest