5 Tips on How To Have a Successful Long Distance Relationship

She’s a marketer in Singapore; he’s an animator in Vancouver. More than 12,000 kilometers in between them, approximately 120 pages of WhatsApp messages, and 730 virtual “I love you’s”-it’s amazing how both survived the challenging setup of a long distance relationship or LDR.

Now married to her husband, Shannan, my friend Yvonne shares with us a few pieces of advice on how to keep a healthy LDR…

how to keep a healthy LDR

Shannan & Yvonne on their wedding day

Hi, I’m Yvonne Chow. I’m a former beauty blogger, product marketing specialist, and had been in 3 long-distance relationships. I uprooted myself from Asia to migrate to North America after a two-year long-distance relationship to join Shannan who’s based in Vancouver.

Late last year, I quit from being head of Product Marketing in a global tech company; carefully squashed most of my belongings into three rolling suitcases; heaved tearful goodbyes to my family and friends; and got on that one-way trip to another continent. All to begin a new life with my husband, with whom I was in an LDR since February of 2016.

It was not easy, but these 5 things I’ll talk about helped us nurture and improve our relationship, which led to a happy marriage! I hope these insights will help you in your own LDR, too!

1. Schedule a time to talk.
Technology has made communication faster and easier, but it makes us complacent. How many times have we deferred replying to WhatsApp messages or responded to them in a cursory manner?

In an LDR, it’s crucial to set aside time to talk to each other because we lose the “immediacy effect”. Communicating verbally in-person elicits more natural responses, but because we couldn’t afford that, my husband and I decided to dedicate a fixed time each weekend to talk to each other over FaceTime – without distractions!

2. Practice honest, constructive conversations.
It shouldn’t just be mere updates or how-are-you’s. My husband and I treated each other like a journal and practiced articulating our feelings in an open manner.

You may find it easier to say, “I had a terrible day today-that’s it,” and expect your partner to understand. You’re not with your partner physically and it’s going to be difficult for them to read your body language and show encouragement without the nuances of physical presence.

Instead, try sharing, “I had a terrible day because this happened, and it made me feel this way, and I’m wondering what to do,” to be more constructive. Being specific opens up a natural path for deeper conversations and helps your partner support you better.

3. Listen to each other.
Many people search for articles that can help them articulate complex ideas better, but most do not search about how to listen. Communication is a two-way street – talking and listening. Remember to ask your partner about themselves too, and listen to know how their day went, what their struggles are, and what will make them happy.

4. Take advantage of the difference in time zones.
Although we couldn’t always communicate in real time due to different time zones, we used the delay to think about crafting meaningful conversations. This proved to be useful, especially when we were having disagreements. The difference in time zones enabled us to be creative and to carefully choose the words we write to each other.

5. Define your end goals.
That is both your own as individuals and together as a couple. This advice was given to me almost a decade ago by people who were in LDR’s and ended up getting married  (still are so far!) as well.

The reality is there’s no point being in an LDR if you’re not sure how you’re going to move forward. Distance does make the heart grow fonder but it does little for physical intimacy (and it’s not always about sex).

Simple gestures like a hug, a pat on the shoulder, and holding hands help form and strengthen the bond you have with your partner. I don’t think it’s healthy to be in a perpetual LDR without some form of commitment, because an LDR feels like a limbo state. So commit to a future when you will finally be together physically.

These tips really just boil down to having intentional communication. We need to fill the space between with our constant effort to communicate and listen to each other. Love is sure to grow stronger in spite of the distance.

xx,
Yvonne

You may read more about Yvonne, her married life, and adventures in Vancouver here.

1000 Sales on Etsy! 🎈

Please celebrate with me as I hit my first 1000 sales on Etsy! 😊

1000 sales on Etsy

When I opened my shop in the summer of 2016, I had a lot of fears and doubts. I thought I was not cut out for sales since my background is in corporate communications. I would always question myself. Would the North American market like my work? How could I compete with the pros? Would I be able to profit from my investment?

The past two years were a steep learning curve. I learned about customer service, inventory management, and a little bit of accounting. I had a lot of mistakes and wasted so much resource, but by God’s grace, I was able to power through after each setback.

I’m so grateful to my family for the support; to my husband, my angel investor; and to all my customers who put their complete trust in me. Happy 1K to us! 🎉💃

Sale on Etsy

To express our deep gratitude, the entire shop is on sale @ 10% off on all items so start shopping!

 

Things to Do After He Proposed

Congratulations and welcome to the hitched club!

Go on and pop the bubbly, because the first thing you should do is to bask in the joy of being promoted from mere girlfriend to THE ONE and only fiancée.

fiancee shirt

Photo from Etsy

When your heartbeat has finally gone down to its normal rate, here is a list of things to do to after you got engaged.

1. Set a wedding date.

This is very important to do before anything else, because it allows you to determine necessary details for the rest of the items on your to-do list.

Some things to think about:

  • Do you want a summer, winter, autumn or a spring wedding?
  • Do you want a longer or shorter engagement?
  • Do you want the date to be easily remembered? (i.e. 8-18-18)
  • Is your wedding officiant available on that date?

Set your chosen date but also be open to the possibility that you may need to move it depending on certain factors later on.

 2. Inform family and close friends and prepare for forever.

Take this opportunity to show off the bling to your babes! Share your happiness to everyone close to you and have an open ear for their tips and pieces of advice. It may also be a good idea to seek pre-marital counsel from older married couples or from professionals. Keep in mind that your wedding is a one-day affair but marriage is a life-time commitment. So don’t just prepare for the wedding day but prepare for forever.

 

wedding rings photography

Photo by Macy Yap

3. Plan a budget and stick to it.

Or not. =D Budgeting for a wedding is such a tricky matter to discuss and things can get out of hand pretty fast. Make sure you take time to sit down with your partner to set priorities and manage expectations.

Some things to consider:

  • What do you want to happen on your wedding day?
  • What are the major elements that should be allocated more funds into?
  • How many people do you want to invite?
  • Do you want to hire a coordinator or do you prefer DIY?

Most often than not, there will be unexpected expenses along the way so it’s better to save some funds for those things, too.

Wedding Saving Funds

4. Book the venue.

After you have (more or less) finalized the budget, it’s time to scout for a place to celebrate. The location can be anywhere – at a hotel, on a yacht, in your backyard or at the community church. Any place can be dressed up to be as dandy, as romantic, and as elegant as a wedding should be.

Some things to consider:

  • Do you want to be indoor or outdoor?
  • What theme or look are you after?
  • Are there ample spaces for a photo shoot after the ceremony?
  • Is it accessible to all your guests?
rustic wedding theme

Photo from Union Hill

5. Finalize the entourage list.

Now that you said yes to your man, it’s time for another proposal- not to another bride but to your future bridesmaids and groomsmen! Go on and ask the question “Will you be my…?” Say it with gifts or organize a pamper session with your besties.

groomsmen gifts

Personalized Bridesmaid and Groomsmen Gifts from Etsy

6. Go hunting for the dress.

Now ladies, do not make this a stressful occasion. It can be a fun moment you and your mom, sisters, and/or bridesmaids can bond over with. Look for inspiration in magazines, on social media, and even your mom’s closet. Not all body shapes are the same though, so it’s important to try every cut you’re eyeing on before saying yes to that dress.

Some things to ask yourself:

  • Are you into classic or avant-garde?
  • Will you dance with it or change into something else?
  • Will it look good with a long veil or a headdress?
  • Do you have time and budget for major alterations?

7. Send e-invites and save the dates.

Once all the major items on your wedding list have been ticked off, it’s time to tell everybody else. There are so many ways you can inform your guests about your upcoming wedding. You can create a Facebook page or send e-invites or even a video clip if you want to save trees and cost.

Some things to note:

  • Send save the dates as soon as you locked in your wedding date and booked the venue.
  • This is not a formal invite so make sure you put a note that the real invitation will follow.
  • Not everyone gets a save the date; 1 household = 1 save the date (and invitation).
Wedding Save the Date

Save the Date Cards from the Roche Shop

Yes, there are still more things to do after this list but you can then breathe and relax a bit, for you have already accomplished the major tasks. Don’t do everything on your own; remember to ask help and get input from your future groom as well.

May the road be smooth and beautiful to your happy ever after!
Xx

What to Put in Your Wedding Day Emergency Kits

The season of wedding has begun! And since summertime is fast approaching, a lot of couples prefer to get married overseas, near the beach, or just somewhere far and unfamiliar. Most brides and grooms take care of their out-of-town guests by providing a welcome bag that will refresh and help them get through a day of traveling and recover from a jet lag.

Here are some ideas on what to include in your wedding survival kit from Jules & Joy.

Welcome Gift Basket/Bridesmaid’s Tote
Pack a drink, some small snacks like protein bars, and candy for your entourage and guests who are visiting from overseas. Include a small handwritten thank-you or welcome note to show how you appreciate their effort of traveling just to be at your wedding.

wedding welcome gift

bridesmaids survival kit

Relax & Recover Hangover Kit
Treat your groomsmen and bridesmaids extra special by giving them emergency/hangover kits. Weddings always come with plenty of food and booze. Get your squad to celebrate without all the hassle and well prepared for possible next-day hangover. Include antacid and headache pills, mints, wet wipes, and safety pins to ease all uncomfortable situations.

bridesmaids hangover kit
groomsmen hangover kit

Jules & Joy can put together your guests or bridesmaids and groomsmen’s hangover kits, which include personalized labels based on your wedding colours and theme.

Contact us for more information.

groomsmen hangover kit favours

personalized emergency kit bridesmaids favors

 

 

Wedding Calligraphy and Hand Lettering

What make weddings even more beautiful, aside from the love and memories shared, are the details and personal touches added into each visual setting. The bride and groom are obviously the center of attention but the family and guests are always treated extra special. For intimate weddings, welcoming your guests into the dinner table with their very own name cards will take their breath away. Jules and Joy is now offering personalized lettering and calligraphy services, as well as paper products that can be personalized according to your wedding theme.

Wedding Envelopes

wedding black envelopes with names

Wedding Invitation Envelopes Black with White Calligraphy for Names and Address

kraft envelopes wedding

Personalized Hand-lettered Kraft Envelopes for Wedding Invites

Escort and Place Cards

Table Place Cards / Wedding Escort Cards

Gift Tags

calligraphy gift tags

Personalized Gift Tags with Calligraphy

wedding calligraphy tags

Personalized Kraft Gift Tags with Calligraphy

Personalized Coasters

personalied marble coasters

Personalized Favors / Marble Coasters

 

 

Wedding Inspiration: Once A Classic Bride

Looking back, my wedding day seemed like a big blur-one magical blur filled with fragrant flowers, camera flashes, nervous giggles, happy tears, and lots of kisses. The whole experience left me with so much gratitude and respect for the people who served me and made every moment of it beautiful and memorable.

bridal buoquet
wedding inspiration brideclassing wedding bride
As a traditional bride, I chose soft colors and classic styling. Our wedding was held in Sofitel Manila, a luxury hotel known for its stunning interior, subdued lighting and ballrooms decked with crystal chandeliers, the perfect venue for a classic bride like me.

bride and groom first dancegroomsmen bride tribebridal bouquetfather of the bridewedding inspiration groommother of the groombride's shoeswedding bandsVera Wang bridewedding-bridesmaidswedding inspiration details aislewedding inspiration cakewedding inspiration bride tribewedding inspiration detailsbride walking down the aislewedding inspiration details Biblewedding details rose in domesbride and groom wedding-inspiration-walkwedding inspiration bride and groom

Vendors
Photography:J Lucas Reyes
Planning:The Best-Case Scenario
Venue:Sofitel Manila
Styling:Dave Sandoval
Wedding Gown:Vera Wang
Bridesmaids’ Dresses:Jamie Go
Bride’s Boyfriend Shirt:Plum Pretty Sugar
Bridal Shoes:Salvatore Ferragamo
Groom’s Suit:Zara Man
Groom’s Shirt:Brooks’ Brothers
Invites:Kenneth Tan
Calligraphy & Gifts:Jules & Joy Gifts
Jewelry: Swarovski
Makeup:Bea Almeda
Bride’s Hair:RJ dela Cruz
Wedding Video:Mayad Studios

Printed Wedding Essentials

Now you’re engaged; the exciting times are up ahead! To add fun to our wedding planning, we’ve compiled a few must-haves and good-to-haves for our bride tribe and groom squad.

Wedding Milestone Cards
Celebrate each of your milestone as an engaged couple with these elegant wedding flash cards!

Personalized Wedding Milestone Cards

Honeymoon Wedding Milestone
Great as props for photo shoots so you can share your important milestones with your friends. Also a perfect gift for our bride and groom-to-be friends.

Wedding Milestone Honeymoon Card

Save the Dates
Announce your wedding date the classy way by sending save the date cards to your guests and family. Use a favorite song or quote as a design concept.
save-the-date calendar invite

 

Proposal Cards
Propose to your best man or groomsmen with these cool printed cards that can go well with any gift or as a standalone.

proposal-cards will you be my best man gift

 

Vow Cards
Write your heartfelt messages and wedding vows in these personalized vows card. Exchange this with your partner on your wedding day and treasure forever.

Wedding Vows Notebook
personalized vows notebook

 

Favour and Gift Labels
Let’s not forget our wedding gifts and souvenirs for our guests. Simple favours and gifts may be jazzed up to suit your theme with personalized tags and labels.

wedding favours labels
wedding gift tags

Personalize Your Gifts with Labels

Personalizing gifts simply causes the giver to exercise an extra ounce of thoughtfulness and creativity.  And no matter how big or how small a gift is, seeing your name on it makes it extra special.

We’ve made a list of our best-selling wedding gifts that were personalized. May these give you some ideas on how you can personalize your own.

Proposal Gifts
Gather some of the favorite things of your soon to be best man or maid of honour and pop the question!

will you be my maid of honour gift

Maid of Honour pretty in pink Gift Basket

Will you be my best man gift

Will you be my Best Man Gift Basket of Whiskey, Cuban Cigar, and Shot Glass

Whisky and Champagne
One of the most popular gifts for your bride tribe or groom squad is the bubbly. What is better than celebrating with a good ole Jack Daniel’s whisky or a French champagne?

Personalized Moet label

Bridesmaid’s Personalized Champagne

personalized whisky labels

Personalize your whisky bottles.

Hangover Kit
Of course, whenever there’s alcohol, there will always be a not-so-pleasant-feeling the next day (to some, at least). For out of town weddings, be the hostess with the mostest by providing your wedding guests and entourage with emergency and hangover kits.

groomsmen hangover kit

Groomsmen’s Hangover Kit

bridesmaids emergency kit

Personalized Emergency Kits for Bridesmaids

Groomsmen Socks
Funky, identical socks make for a fun photo shoot!

wedding socks

Photo by Millie Holloman

Groomsmen sock labels

Funky Socks with personalized labels

For more ideas on personalized gifts, check out our Etsy store. Xx

 

 

Audrey Hepburn Inspired Wedding Feature on Wedluxe

I came back from our Europe trip feeling a bit sad that summer is almost over here on this side of the globe, but my mood instantly shifted as I was informed of another feature by no less than Wedluxe, a sought-after guide on luxury weddings and stylish events. I’m grateful to Teresa Tran for giving me the opportunity to collaborate with her at the last moment. I am truly in awe of her talent and dedication to her craft. Kudos to the rest of the vendors who put together all the elements needed to create this amazing, Audrey Hepburn-inspired styled shoot.

Without further talk, here are the dreamy, beyond-beautiful photos captured by Ken Tan and featured in Wedluxe website.

Hope you get more inspired!

bride with wedding welcome gift pink gift boxAn Ode to Audrey

There’s no denying that Audrey Hepburn’s iconic style has served as inspiration for countless generations and will continue to inspire. Her glamour and elegance is translated into this styled shoot through a soft colour palette, gold tableware, and delicate pearl accents. Feminine, romantic, and oh-so-chic.

pink and gold wedding theme cake

Head on to Wedluxe blog for more ideas and inspiration on how to create that elegant and iconic wedding theme.

Source it:

Photography • Ken Tan Photo, Planning • Teresa Tran Events, Floral Design • Angela & Gabriel’s Flowers Inc., Venue • Stanley Park Pavilion, Makeup Artist • Makeup by Vivian Jun; Makeup by Tianna Tran, Hair Stylist • Hair by Clara Leung; Hair by Candace Deanna, Stationery Design • Made by Michelle Mark, Decor Rentals • Bespoke Decor Rentals, Gowns • Bisou Bridal, Jewellery • Jeweliette Jewellery, Cake Design – Soirette Macarons & Tea, Marshmallows • Butter Baked Goods, Cookies • Cookievonster Customer Cookies
Cake Stands and Dessert Platters • Chic Fête, Pearl Beads • Proline Trading, Chargers and Dinnerware • Atkinson’s, Gold Flatware • A&B Partytime Rentals, Chairs and Tables • Past Pieces, Linens • Paradise Events, Paper Flowers • Mur De Fleurs, Pink Gift Box • Jules & Joy Gifts, Ballons • Fun Fiestas by Ili

Tips on How To Give Meaningful Gifts

When you find yourself not knowing how and what to give, just remember these simple pieces of advice.

Wedding welcome gifts

1. Gift what you love.
Get something you would love to receive yourself. In almost all cases, whatever you value yourself is what others would find worthy, too.

Groomsmen wedding gift

2. Make it personal.
There are so many ways to personalize – by engraving gifts with names or monograms & customizing labels and prints.

Groomsmen socks with personalized labelsJack Daniel whiskey custom labels

3. Hand write messages. 
Nothing beats good old handwritten letters that come from the heart.

Personalized gift tags calligraphy