The most cost-cutting thing we did was incorporate old maps into our decor. Lisa was going to go down to the local AAA office but she found tons of maps in her mom's garage. This is the great thing about most Asian parents: They always have old luggage that they used to visit relatives in China or Hong Kong and they save every map they ever bought or received.
Lisa cut letters out of some map and then glued them to the doilies. She also outlined the letters with a black marker so they would stand out more. She and my mom tied string around each doily and then tied them to a string draped across the window. We also added a bunch of tchotchkes that Lisa and I had that represented other countries i.e. a ukele and a mini Eiffel Tower.
We made paper airplanes out of the maps (or rather our guy cousins did) and clipped them to the laundry line.
Lisa found her old world map (Remember the USSR and when Germany had that whole East side/West side thing?) and pinned that to the fence along with more paper airplanes. We also put out luggage. They functioned as props along with a container for a shower game.
|Our deck "decked" out with a world map, luggage. A borrowed patio table is decorated with flowers and framed photo of the bride.|
|Lisa really enjoyed telling people to go to "baggage claim" to get their favors.|
For the table, we had foods that represented different countries Jennifer visited _ sushi for Japan, chicken satay for Thailand, a pavlova for New Zealand and some tropical fruit for Hawaii for example. Major kudos to my brother Gary for cooking almost all the food and my cousin Suzie for making the pavlova.
And of all the weird coincidences, the day before I went to the Maker Faire in San Mateo. There's a section called the Bizarre Bazaar where local DIY artists sell stuff _ everything from jewelry to soap to silkscreen T-shirts. Well, a woman who runs her own design business on Etsy, (http://www.etsy.com/shop/GrannyPantyDesigns) where she upcycles maps of all things into gift tags, flower bulbs, etc. She actually sold garlands of mini paper airplanes for $15. Since we already went to the trouble of making our own paper airplanes, I couldn't justify buying anything. But I found it impossible to resist these cupcake toppers.
|Lemon-vanilla cupcakes with Earl Grey tea frosting _ one of the few things I made on this table.|
|Sorry, but those paper airplanes are effing cute.|
We also adapted a game of "How well do you know each other" by making the bride to be wear ugly clothes that were packed in the luggage every time she got an answer that didn't match with her fiance's. Overall, I think everything looked pretty close to how I pictured. I liked putting little touches too like the globe and the travel books on the tables. We also labeled the beverage area as "in-flight beverages" and the gifts table "gift shop." Except for wondering how my life came down to rummaging in seat pockets with a Southwest flight attendant, I had fun doing it. That's partly because I had the BEST party-planning partner in the world in my cousin Lisa. She wasn't too anal, she wasn't lazy. She was just right. She did all the signage, put up most of the decorations and oversaw the games and ice breaker activities. And her husband, Nelson, a longtime family friend, was a gift from party-planning heaven _ patiently helping and not complaining once. I'm lucky a lot of my family also makes for the best team.