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Saturday, March 17, 2012Y
~*my wedding: pre-wedding photoshoots*~

the whole wedding posts that i'll be posting over the next few weeks or months are actually overdue posts of my wedding. i didn't actually wanna blog about it but i guess it's good to hav my wedding posts so that i can still read it when i turn old. i will be skipping the ROM (save it for days when i don hav anything to blog) and jump to the more interesting bit which is the pre-wedding photoshoots.

this is actually quite a difficult bit to decide about where to take our wedding photoshoot...singapore? hongkong? taiwan? taiwan has always been a preferred choice for me because they hav better scenaries as compared to hong kong and singapore. but then it can be a hassle for us to book it through the internet as our chinese vocabulary is quite limited. thus we made a trip to singapore and see wat other options which are available. there are tons and tons of bridal studios along the streets of tanjung pagar, singapore. couldn't even make up our mind as to which one we will be choosing. this is when being tall is an advantage, my hb saw a signage which says 'photoshoot in taiwan available'. exactly wat we wan. CANGAI wedding studio was the named displayed. the name sounded weird but it's worth to give it a try since we don hav to pay anything if we don like it. well apparently, the small little shop is actually jus a branch from its main headquarters in taiwan. the headquarters which is about 4 storeys tall is located within walking distance from Taipei 101. the best thing is that we don hav to fly to singapore and choose the dresses and bring it to taipei ourself for the photoshoot. we can jus choose the dresses there. sounds good enough.

we hav to keep our options open so we tried another studio called 'my dream wedding'. this studio offers pictures to be take in places lik paris, venice, hongkong, as well as taiwan. but one disadvantage will be, we will hav to fly to singapore and choose the dresses and then bring it to the destination ourself. which i think it's a tedious thing to do. so we void the idea. thus cangai it is. it was quite a fast decision. paid the deposit and then off we fly to taipei in april.
*time travels to taipei* poof *

Anyways, back to the Taipei Trip. I couldn't remember everything in chronological order, i'll jus have to do by places we visited. We had to transit in KK before we could fly to Taipei via Airasia so we stayed overnite at 'Time Hotel' in KK. nothing great at the hotel cause we jus wanted to find some place which is near the airport and decent cause we had to wake up at 4am to catch our damn early flight to Taipei. The hotel tat we stayed was GREAT. *double thumbs up* location was fabulous, it's jus 3 mins walk to the nearest MRT station and walking distance to ximending. See You Hotel in Taipei is jus great. the rooms are nicely lit and i super love the ceiling when you turn off the lights at nite. makes you feel like you are in another galaxy.

*the bed is really comfy and the toilet is spotlessly clean and wat's best is that it has free wifi*
*the lovely ceilings with the balloon i got from ximending*
I can't remember the price of the hotel but it's definitely cheaper than B$150 per nite at their executive floor. couldn't ask for more. will definitely stay at this hotel if i'm going back to Taipei again.

Taipei 101
The most visited places in our whole Taipei Trip. Practically we were there almost everyday except the first day because the Cangai Studio is within walking distance from Taipei 101 so sometimes we will go there to loiter till the time of our appointment of course we did get some shopping done. Dear bought the engagement ring for me from Tiffany & Co. The design is simple but i really loved it.
i know it's a touristy thing that we had to go up to the observatory at Level 89 in Taipei 101 to hav a look but then we decided wat's a better way to capture the whole scenery than to hav a great lunch in one of the restaurants at level 86. We opt for something chinese in a Chinese Restaurant called ShinYeh 101. We ordered the Connoisseur Lunch Set. Looking at the pictures really make me drool!
*Quartet of Cold Appetizers:
Jelly Fish
Prawn on top of mashed sweet potato
Salt and pepper with oyster mushroom
Baby Abalone*

*Taiwanese signature soup with taro, pork sparerib, shark's fin and chicken*

*Steamed fillet of cod fish with pickled mustard green*

*Braised pork knuckle with oyster sauce and oyster mushroom*

*Woked seasonal greens*

*Mullet roe fried rice*

*Shin-yeh soft spring roll*

*Seasonal fresh fruits and sweets*

*Breath-taking view from the restaurant*

Shinkong Mitsukoshi
We also had our high-tea at Pauls because our legs could not carry our body d. so we need to find some place to rest. luckily there's Pauls. But then my hb said that it's not as nice as the one in UK but then it's Taipei so we expect something different.

We also tried the savory crepe in one of those foodstalls. i donno wat it is called but then the great thing about the crepe is tat it has braised egg in it. yummy.
SOGOs in Taipei
You won't believe how many SOGOs there are in jus a road in Taipei. 3! Wat's best is i managed to get a swarovski bear from each of the SOGOs which i went to. Swarvoskis are so cheap in Taipei which reminds me tat i really should book a ticket to Taipei next year to get some bears. It's at least 15% cheaper than wat they are selling in Singapore.

Hello Kitty Cafe
Believed it or not, we went there 4 times! i super love the desserts there. not only it's nice to see but taste great too. on the first nite, we wanted to hav dinner there but then it was fulled booked! so we only get to buy some cakes for dessert.
*look how nicely decorated*

obviously we are smart enough this time to prebook our dinner for the next day and managed to get place. OMG, the whole restaurant its like hello kitty overload. everything inside is basically hello kitty. not only the food and the furniture are hello kitty themed. even the toilets are hello kitty as well.
*this way please*
*so many things to order...so hard to choose*

*such cute glasses*
*the imprinted buns*

*even the faucet is hello kitty as well!*
*how can anyone not fall in love with the desserts there?*

*how i wish i can try them all!*

*how i wished these cakes are sold in brunei*

*too cute to be eaten*
honestly, Taiwan is a place to get urself Hello Kitty overload. i think the people there love hello kitty as much as the Japanese. Even the telephone booth in Taipei airport is hello kitty as well.
*ring ring...HELLO...is ms kitty in??*

*hello kitty MASKS*

*hello kitty anti-mosquito guard and hello kitty bread cutter*

*hello kitty tshirt i got from some random shop underground*
I think we don hav much fate with this place. we went on the first day we arrived and the last day at Taipei but it was always raining when we were there so we didn't actually get to shop much around tat area. Only managed to try this restaurants which sells risotto. They serve different types of risotto.
*the risotto was way too peppery...didn't enjoy it tat much*

Shilin Night Market
Shiling Night Market is one of the most notable night markets in Taipei. It is famous for the wide range of authentic Taiwanese eateries and fashionable clothings. it's so packed with people and i can only move a mere inch at a time.
*to Shilin night market*

*'people mountain people sea'*

*the famous chicken chop, very crispy indeed. worth the wait*

Wedding Photoshoot

we spent nearly a week there as the photoshoot will take roughly 3 days.
Day 1: choosing the dresses and alterations made. to discuss with the photographer.
Day 2: photoshoot
Day 3: choosing pictures
Day 1
the studio was really within walking distance from Taipei 101. looks great from the outside, totally different from the small shoplot in singapore.
they hav like 2 storeys of wedding dresses to choose from. well i always knew wat i wanted before i went there so it's good to hav something in mind cause u will go crazy if you choose it on the spot because there are jus too many different dresses. the package which was given to me allowed me to choose 5 different dresses so i wanted something pure white, a short dress, something flowy, a night gown and whichever i see is nice there.
the hardest to choose was the pure white wedding dress, i think it took the same amount of time like how i chose the rest of the 4. the saleslady there were really helpful. i told them tat i wanted something with ribbons and poof they came up with dresses with ribbons on it and when i told them i wanted more ribbons, they asked their tailor to sew some extras for me. hehe. so customizable. after both me and my hb chose our clothings, it's sent for alterations which was done in a jiffy. next we had to discuss with the photographer on wat we wan. we had to fill up a checklist on the preferences on wat type of photos or scenaries we wan. they even asked which type of profile shots we wan like side profiles or close-up ones. all the clothings were already stored in the computer so that the photographer could see and adjust to which dress will fit which scenary. so dedicated. we told him we wanted flowers, swings, piano, night scenary of taipei 101, etc and so he chose the venues for us and which route to take. after tat we went back to the hotel to get a nice sleep.
we arrived around 8.30 at the studio on the day of the photoshoot, there were already 4 couples there when we arrived. our hubbies were the first to get their makeup done, then it's our turn. gonna be taking the indoor shot first and the outdoor ones later. luckily i sign up for a private makeup artist to follow us on the trip so we don hav to go back and forth to get our makeup and hairdo done else it will be a significant waste of time. after the indoor shoots are done.

*my hb got his makeup done first*

*then it was me with my big-bow dress*

*US-all set for our first venue...indoor*

*the 2nd hairstyle to be done before we depart for our first outdoor shoot*

*my hb knows how to camwhore too d*

*our 'brunch'. we were each given a box. i was so hungry tat after finishing my own i had to steal another bun from my hb*

*in the car...prepare for take-off*

1st stop:
first outdoor shoot was at some park. there were so many patches of different flowers for us to take pictures. very lovely flowers like lavender but too bad they didn't hav tulips which i truly love. though the flowers looked really lovely but then the soil is awfully dirty. and we had to lay on them to take picture. and the sun was really soarching hot! really kinda hard to open ur eyes big enough.

2nd stop:
i didn't know how long it took to arrive there cause i was oozing away in the car. the 2nd destination was more like an outdoor studio. there were many 'scenaries' like the swing which we wanted, the piano, patches of flowers, etc. there were so many couples there, i'm talking about more than 30 couples. most of the time, we had to queue to take pictures. it's like a park waiting for rides. kinda crazy but ya.

3rd stop:
went to some church like place, nothing really special but the photographer said he wanna take a few shots before we head to the beach before sunset. we wanna get a romantic feel at the beach. well it didn't turn out to be romantic because it was freakingly cold. the sea breeze was really really cold and with the minimal clothings that i was wearing, i was freezing myself up. i had to wear a sweater and pose and when the photographer is ready then only i take my sweater off. i didn't even wore heels cause it's impossible to walk on the sandy beach. my dress was all dirty with sand and water. jus gross...luckily the photo turned out alot better than we expected.

4th stop:
finally!!! the last stop, the nite shoot of Taipei 101. i hav to wear the very very heavy dress which i think the skirt itself weights like 10kg.
what's worst is that the buckle broke not cause i'm fat but cause the skirt is jus so heavy. so hard to move about with it. i told the photographer that we wanted the 'fire-sticks' (donno wat it's actually called). so he bought some for us as props for the photoshoot. shooting at nite was super cold too. the only warm part of me was my legs which was covered by the 10kg of fabric. we got everything wrapped up at around 9.30pm. A total of 13 hours to finish the photoshoot! I really salute those models who hav to face the camera whole day. I can't even smile anymore when I got back to the hotel. We were both so terribly tired and washing hair was another tiring task! The hair sprays were so hard to wash off. I had to use three tubes of the hotel's free conditioner in order to make my hair soft enough to wash! After Tat we jus dropped dead on the bed.

Day 3: we had to return to the studio to choose the photos for our wedding albums as well as a big portrait for the wall. We actually took about 600++ pictures and had to only choose 82 pictures outta it. We arrived there at 1pm. We thought we can finish at around 4pm but by the time we finished choosing it was already 7pm! Conclusion: please respect all models because their job is not easy as all. No matter how pretty they looked on magazines and on posters. It's not an easy task. *clap clap* anyways here are some edited photos from our wedding shoot in Taiwan.

Great experience. Good food. Lovely weather. Oh and one more important event which happened was i managed to meet up with my cousin, Kuan from Vancouver who so happened came to Taipei for holidays as well. Haven't met him for nearly 20 years since he migrated to Vancouver.

*the Ho reunion*

*taipei, with love*

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muahz & hugz
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