Friday, August 20, 2010

Save The Date!

Please Save the Date for our Wedding!

We look forward to celebrating with you
on Saturday, August 21, 2010
in St. Charles, Michigan, USA.

Invitation and Details will follow.

Natalie Pretzer
Edward Lin

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Hey, Hey Mr. Postman...

The invitations are DONE!! They went in the mail yesterday! 
I only needed 57 stamps (plus a few were hand delivered) so it wasn't THAT bad. =)
One more thing we can check off "the list"!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The veil is here!

One of the first things I noticed upon arriving home was a FedEx box from Wisconsin. Inside was my grandmother's bridal veil, which was also worn by my mother. It is a little yellowed, and more than a little wrinkled, but all-in-all seems in very good condition. The veil was purchased in the 1940s for $14.85 (about $300 in today's market - certainly more than I could afford!).

The veil is here!

Mom has been googling about ways to restore and reuse vintage wedding veils, so hopefully I will be the third generation to wear this one down the aisle!

Home again, Home again...

I'm home! After almost 2 days of traveling, I arrived safely back in Michigan, and today I finally feel like I am over my jet-lag. Although, I did wake up at 6:00 AM this morning.

Here are some photos of the hard work Mom and Dad have been putting into the gardens around the house. Looks like we will have a beautiful wedding reception venue, a.k.a. our backyard!

Michigan Gardens

Monday, June 7, 2010


Well, getting our invitations printed in Taiwan wasn't too bad -- but because we only had three weeks to design and print them, it was a bit stressful at times.

The first drafts had lots of room for improvement:
Notice the Taiwanese affiliation for pink! :-S

After various discussions with our designer we came up with this as our final design: 
A good blend of Taiwan and US style, just like us!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Engagement Photos...

Here's a taste
from our engagement
photo session
with Maria Jose!
Engagement Photos

Friday, May 21, 2010

A Productive Week...

So much to do, so little time...

This past week was SUPER BUSY, but we got a lot done. I think we've earned a well-deserved break, but I don't think we'll get one just yet!

Sunday through Tuesday, Edward and I were privileged to spend some time with this year's Roberts Fellows. It was great to see Dr. Hinderer again, and to meet some fellow Cardinals!

Wednesday we had some time to work on our theses. Edward's proposal defense is scheduled for next week, May 28th, and my final defense is on June 9th. We're in the final stretch!!

The weather report for Thursday had looked promising, so we scheduled our engagement photo session with Maria Jose. In addition to being a talented amateur photographer, MJ is Eddie's classmate at NCCU. We had a wonderful time and (hopefully) took some good shots! MJ made us feel very relaxed and we actually had FUN!! :-) By late-afternoon, it was pouring rain, so we didn't make it to the beach for any sunset shots. I can't wait to see the photos~!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Something borrowed...

If my cousins can find it,
I plan to wear my mother's wedding veil!

(Aunt Rosemary and Mom at her wedding :)

It's actually my grandmother's wedding veil, and my mother wore it for her wedding too! I hope that it is still in good condition, it would be the perfect length, and the edging actually matches my dress! I guess it fulfills the something borrowed AND something old! Now for something blue and something NEW!

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Saturday, May 1, 2010

MORE Dress Shopping!

I finally found my dress!!!! YAY!!!
(But I want it to be a 'surprise'... so no pictures online!)

However, here are some of the other dresses that I had to try on...

Finding a wedding dress for sale in Taiwan has been a challenge. After finding a few dresses that I liked, and only being told that I needed to purchase an entire wedding photography package, I decided to try my luck at Olivia's 2nd Hand Wedding Shop. (Near MingQuan West Road MRT Station, #130 ZhongShan North Road) :

Their dresses are all $100 (3,000 NTD) no matter the style, condition, etc. All of the dresses can be altered for each bride (basic alterations are included in the price.) I would like to change the neckline of my gown... so it's going to cost me an extra $10 (300 NTD) Not a bad deal for a wedding dress!!

If you do visit Olivia's be prepared to dive in and get your hands 'dirty'... the shop assistants don't help you much, and they don't hover, but they will offer their comments :-) Bring a friend, dig through the gowns and see if they have anything you like! :-)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wedding Bands...

A long time ago, (ok, a few months ago,) when we were window shopping for engagement rings, one of the store owners told Edward that his wedding band can't be "flashy" or "cool", but needs to be traditional and "reliable"! Needless to say, Edward didn't want to go back to THAT shop!

So Sunday afternoon Eddie surprised me with a trip to the jewelers to pick out our wedding bands. He took me to the same jewelry shop where he bought me my first necklace (five years ago when we were both students at Shih Hsin!)

We picked out some stylish, modern bands, but we're still deciding what to have engraved on the inside.

Here are the pictures:
Unfortunately my camera doesn't like to take close-ups of shiny things, so they are a little blurry. :-( SORRY!

Natalie's Wedding Band
Colors: Silver & Rose Gold) 

Edward's Wedding Band
Colors: Silver & Black

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Backyard Wedding Inspiration...

Lovely inspiration for backyard wedding and receptions:

I Love ...the white globe lanterns! ...being outside with all the flowers!... dancing under the stars!
and ...the sparkler send-off!

FUN! Budget-Conscious! Down-to-Earth! and still BEAUTIFUL!

US couple got married back home, but did all the planning from Korea!

Lot's of details and ideas!

So sweet!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Dress Shopping Taiwan Style!

Wedding dress shopping in Taiwan!

Most Taiwanese brides rent their wedding dresses. Since they are supposed to wear at least three wedding dresses during the traditional Chinese banquet (groom's side), not including those they wear to take fabulous engagement photos, or to their engagement banquet (bride's side), it makes sense to rent instead of buy. But for me, I only want one white dress, and it's probably more cost effective to buy the dress than rent it for the 2+ months I will be back in the states.

Looks like backstage to a Las Vegas show? Right?

So the search for a wedding dress begins...

Natalie being nervous - I was fine after we got going!
Friday afternooon, Sarka and I went dress hunting in Jhongli! We decided to go to Jhongli and not Taipei because 1) a shop there had actually responded to my email about buying a dress and 2) it is closer (and possibly less expensive?).

Pros about dress shopping here: 1) customer service is excellent! (Everyone was friendly, the shops are all elegant and comfortable, offering tea for your friends, while you try on dresses in your own private 'dressing room'), 2) large selection of styles, 3) all the shops are clustered together, when you're done at one place, you just walk next door!

1st dress I tried on, not the one! (Still a little nervous!)

Cons: 1) On average Taiwanese girls are smaller than I am! (Many of the dresses were too small, too short, or made for a different body type etc.) 2) Styles can get a little crazy! (See below!)

We had a great time. Found a few "maybe's", quite a few "no way's", and even a YELLOW dress for Sarka!

A few "maybe's"
No! No! No!
They "made" me try on this dress -- just to see the foreigner in it!
~Sarka's Yellow Dress~
For brides-to-be looking for their dresses here in Taiwan, here is a map of the wedding-shop area in JhongLi. Most of the shops are located at/near the corner of YanPing Road and ZhongYang East/West Road. I didn't have an appointment with any of the shops, and they all welcomed me in to try on dresses. (Even on a Friday afternoon/evening!) They all were willing to work within my budget (>6,000 NT) as well!

One shop that went out of their way was the 101 France Shop
I also recommend Taipei-Paris Wedding Shop and Sophia
Skip visiting Cathleen Wedding Photo (The sales people are PUSHY and the quality of their dresses does not compare to other shops!)

View Larger Map

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


One of the few things we CAN take care of here in Taiwan are wedding invitations!

I am inspired by the invitations and programs from my friends' recent weddings.
I love the idea of using photos! The invites might be less 'formal', but what better way to personalize them!! AND according to my friends they are relatively inexpensive to print here in Taiwan! (Great for students on a budget!!)

Dirk & Angel's Wedding Program:

Here are some ideas I found at :

Since we'll be having an engagement photo session here in Taiwan, (BIG THANK YOU to Maria Jose, our photographer who is also Eddie's classmate at NCCU!) this would be a great way to utilize those photos!!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Spring Break Trip to Alishan...

After taking two weeks to bask in our newly-engaged glow, Eddie and I headed to Alishan for our spring break trip. Besides enjoying the pristine mountain forests and breathtaking sunrise, we needed to get started with some wedding planning! Having decided to get married this summer, we knew that time was going to be a precious resource -- so we used our three-hour train ride to discuss some of our ideas. We even picked out two potential dates and after consulting with our Pastor -- we will be married on Saturday, August 21, 2010! One decision (BIG) down, millions to go!

Stepping off the train, we put wedding planning aside and enjoyed hiking around Ali Mountain and tasting some traditional foods (including Tiger Lily Soup). Even getting up at 4 a.m. to see the sunrise wasn't such a challenge because of the beautiful natural scenery!

I went a little overboard on the pictures -- 150 photos in two days! But surrounded by so much beauty, how could I help it?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Our Proposal Story...

One Sunday in March, we went to our Bible study group at church in Taipei. After Bible class, Edward told me that we had to be at Taipei Train Station at 4:00 p.m. to meet a friend who was going to drop off some English teaching materials for me (I am her English tutor.) We planned to go to the evening church service after meeting this friend.

Since it was such a nice day, I suggested we just walk from church to the train station - it's a good walk, but we had all afternoon and there are some nice parks along the way.

Along the way, just as we happened to get to CKS Memorial Hall with its beautiful surrounding gardens, Eddie got a text message saying the girl was running late. So I said, we could walk around the park, visit the free museum, enjoy the sunshine. (Notice how everything seems to be MY suggestion!)

As the sun was setting, we were just walking along and talking and I was starting to think we were going to either miss meeting this girl AND/OR be late for church. Suddenly, Eddie spun me around and gave me a big hug. (I found out later it was so I didn't see our friends from church who were there to take pictures for us!)

After this surprise hug, he led me over to the place where we had our first kiss (this "just happened to be" the same park) and pulled out a ring box from his pocket. He got down on his knee and proposed! :-D

Our friend took pictures the whole time! It was really sweet ~-~ and I was so surprised that I didn't have time to cry until later! :-D