Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Wedding Preparations - Vendor Research

So.... We've decided on our wedding date and venue. Yay! Now that we got the big things done, it's time to start on vendor research!

Looking for recommendations to narrow down our choices...

Grooming:
- Makeup Artist
- Hair Stylist
- Gowns and Suits
- Bridesmaids/Groomsmen Outfits

Services:
- Florist
- Styling / Decorator / Props Rental
- Wedding Car Rental
- Photobooth
- Dessert Table / Candy Table
- Wedding Favours
- Printing Company for Invitations
- Emcee
- Wedding Singer

Prewedding:
- Photoshoot (All settled! We are going to have it done in Korea later this year. Air tickets and accommodation booked last month. Very efficient hor? Hahaha.)
- Videography (This is to replace the childhood montage clip and I'm still not sure what we should do... Can't do the typical concept video because we don't have a very exciting "How we met" story... What else can we do?)

Actual Day:
- Photography
- Videography

Honeymoon:
- We want to have our honeymoon out of Asia, but haven't decide where. Suggestions?

Others:
- JP (When do I start booking?)
- Jeweler/ Wedding Rings

Did I miss anything? Need to factor in all our potential costs so need to know right from the start what we need to pay for and set aside for them!

Please leave a comment here or email me at the-ice-angel@hotmail.com if you have anyone to recommend, or advice to give, like what questions to ask vendors and details to look out for. Will appreciate it very much! We are also open to collaborations with wedding sponsors if suitable :)

Very excited!!! I'd share more soon!

Related entries:

The Proposal
Parents Meet Parents Session
Selecting Our Wedding Date
Wedding Venue

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Japan: Kobe

Blue blue skies at Kobe.


Thursday, June 23, 2016

Unveiling NDP 2016 Funpack

Unveiling this year's NDP Funpack!

I really like the design for this year's bag, though at first I wish I got the white one instead, which looks more trendy. Haha. But I've grown to like this red one too. (The two colours are representative of our flag!)


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Wedding Preparations - Shortlisting Venues

Dream Wedding Venues













Unlike most of the friends my age, I'm one of the rare few that have always wanted to have a wedding banquet. Western style dinners are nice but I could always do that for birthdays, with friends who would better appreciate such settings. Luckily for me, bf was on the same page. I read so many stories about brides reluctantly doing the banquet just to make their parents happy, but in my case, it was for myself! I was more scared about whether they will ask me to keep it simple and save cost. Hahaha.

I was willing to splurge most of my wedding budget on a good banquet with good food. Money can always earn back but wedding is only once in a lifetime! That being said, I'm not the kind that care much about details such as expensive exotic flowers, designer gowns, customized stuff, so I guess I can put the money saved from all these stuff into what matters more to me! But of course must spend within means lah. It's still scary to think about how much money we are putting into a single day.

Our Venue Search

1. Estimate Guestlist
First, we did up a estimated guestlist and ran through it with our parents so that we know the approximate size of wedding.

2. Choose a Fixed Component from either date/ guestlist size/ hotel.
For us, we were flexible with the guestlist and we did not have an ideal hotel in mind, so we went with the date as the fixed component.

3. Filter venues based on fixed component
I started by emailing some of the 5-star hotels I fancy most. I intended to first check their date availability and if all cannot, then I move on to the next batch of hotels. Actually I liked some of the hotels in Sentosa but bf said no to Sentosa because it's too far :(

Everybody told me that they had difficulty securing a hotel even though they started more than one year before their wedding. Surprisingly, there were still a number of available hotels on our first list of selections!

This method was an easy way to simplify my selection process cos as long as the ballroom was unavailable on my date, I will delete them from my list no matter how nice the hotel is (Four Seasons ballroom is really gorgeous but taken already). I know of some couples who will change date for the perfect ballroom but then I feel it will complicate the process and widen the options instead of narrowing it down!

I also checked the minimum and maximum capacity and deleted those that are not suitable. For example, Mandarin Orchard had two ballroom but one was minimum 40 and another one was maximum 22. We had around 30-35 tables so we knew we had to give this one up.

Imagine my happiness when Shangri-La Hotel replied that the ballroom was available on my date! However, bf's friends and family commented about the food and bf decide he don't want Shangri-La already :(

Oh well, there were still afew others on my list!

At first we considered Marina Bay Sands because the price is very attractive but I didn't think I would like it more than the other hotels available on our date so I didn't bother to make any viewing appointment. For the rest, I made arrangements to view them back to back... Very important point to note! If you can, try to view all the shortlisted hotels within afew days to reduce the risk of another couple taking up your slot while you are waiting for the next viewing. Some hotels allow soft booking, others do not.

We visited Regent Hotel first. I really liked the grand feeling when I entered the hotel, and the wedding theme is really chio. I fell in love with this one at first sight. Most hotels have super boring decor, so this was unique.

(Photo credit: Steph Tan Photography)

We almost confirmed it but I didn't want to end my venue search with just one visit so we decide to wait. Also, they had no outdoor solemnization so I was quite disappointed. Really don't want to sign my papers in a function room if I can... I've always liked garden weddings but due to hot weather in Singapore, it's not really feasible. So if we can do it at least for solemnization it'd be great.

Next, we visited Pan Pacific Hotel as we thought it would be quite meaningful since it was where he proposed to me. There is a nice outdoor solemnization venue which is also sheltered, so I don't have to be afraid of bad weather. Our coordinator was especially nice, but the bigger ballroom wasn't available and I didn't like the alternative ballroom which was long and narrow. Also, after being wow-ed over by Regent's beautiful lobby, I wasn't too impressed by Pan Pacific. Overall we still like Regent Hotel more.

So we visited another shortlisted venue, Marriott Hotel. At this point we were very sure we wanted Regent Hotel already, go Marriott Hotel is to see see look look only because I saw their ballroom photos online and didn't have much feeling for it. Haha.

As expected, the ballroom looked quite plain and decor is minimal. Chatted with Ben and Isaac about Regent VS Marriott the previous night and they both prefer Marriott for its simplicity. True, Marriott is definitely more modern but have to say, Regent is still more grand and exclusive.

Then we saw the poolside pavilion and to know I could have my outdoor solemnization as wished, my heart went to Marriott immediately. After comparing the perks, we decided that Marriott is a better option. Also, it's right in the middle of Orchard Road so it's quite accessible for our guests too. Although Regent Hotel is also in Orchard, it's at a quieter end.

The next day, we went ahead with our schedule to visit Sheraton Towers. Perks are similar to Marriott, price is lower, and the coordinator was friendly. The ballroom is also more grand, but the downside is that it's L-shape, unless we can reduce our guestlist. In the end, we decide to forgo this hotel as well.

Supposed to also visit Fullerton Hotel and Grand Hyatt few days later but we were already quite fixed on Marriott hence we cancelled the appointment. I think we were just afraid that we end up liking them too, then jialat already lor. Hahaha. Up till today I still wonder if I should have just went ahead to view these two hotels, maybe better perks leh?

Aiya every place got their own good points and bad points. I wanted good location, outdoor solemnization, generous perks, pretty wedding decor theme, grand and beautiful ballroom/hotel - all of these, without the exorbitant price tag. Impossible to find a hotel in Singapore that can fulfill everything lor. Unless I got alot of money lah, then 'affordable price' no need to be in the equation already, can even fly all my guests out via first class for a destination wedding. Hahaha. Dream only.

Our venue search damn fast. Less than a week settle already! When I had my staycation at Marriott Hotel last year, didn't expect that it would end up being my wedding venue too!

We were highly encouraged by our friends to visit more wedding showcases but we didn't, because none of the events happening during our search were on the list of hotels that we were interested in. Am going to Marriott's showcase in end June though! Just to have a feel of the decorated ballroom and see if we need to top up more to make the venue prettier!

Glad my parents are quite pleased about me holding my wedding at Marriott Hotel too!

Related Entries:

The Proposal
Parents Meet Parents Session
Selecting Our Wedding Date
Wedding Venue
Vendor Research

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Happy Father's Day with Oral B

Every year when Mother's Day comes around, there'd be many commercials and hype around the occasion. Father's Day, however, never had the same treatment. I guess the reason for this is because traditionally, fathers are supposed to be the stern and serious one. However, in my family, we always celebrate both occasions with the same importance! We are not the type that shows our affection openly, but I'd say my family is quite close knitted. I always share my thoughts with my dad and sometimes we'd have long talks over dinner. However, it's always not easy to get gifts for my dad unless he specifically request for something!

He's a gadget type of man so we usually give him tech-related items. We just got him a sound bar as his advanced Father's Day gift, but when I got to know about Oral-B's electric toothbrush, I thought, "Oh ya? it's also a type of gadget right? Why haven't I thought about gifting this before?!!" So yep, he gets a new electric toothbrush this year. Hehe.



A special gift to show my appreciation for him! The shirt he's wearing here was a shirt that me and my sister gave him for Father's Day many years back. Behind This Shirt Is The Best Dad in The World! Haha I told him our pose machiam I give him a prize for being the Best Dad in The World.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Meal Replacements

One fine day while looking for dinner, I saw these at the Xndo shop and decided to purchased some to try! My pre-wedding shoot is 3 months later so I need to watch my food intake. But food is like the highlight of my everyday so if I'm asked to skip my meals, it's a definite no-go. Hence, I thought this kind of meal replacement is awesome - I get to eat real food, and at the same time eat lesser without feeling like I ate less? Haha.

Each box comes with two pouch inside - rice and meat separate. Pour out both contents into a bowl, microwave for 2 minutes, then can eat already! Even if not dieting also quite convenient ya?




Sunday, June 5, 2016

Japan - Osaka

Earlier this year, my family went on a trip to Japan because after a series of summer vacations, we wanted to visit a cold country for a change!



It was a midnight flight and I was initially very pleased because I thought I could just sleep the entire journey and sleeping makes flight time pass faster right? Well, FML because I couldn't sleep at all throughout the night!!!! And our itinerary starts right upon reaching Japan so I had no rest at all for a full day ahead!

I don't usually find airline meals tasty, but this time I ordered "Japanese Breakfast" and it is quite nice! The combination of salmon, veggies and rice was an appetizing start to the day.


We arrived at Osaka! Here are the highlights of our time in Osaka!