Monthly Archives: March 2012

Visions & Venues

When people ask how I envision my wedding to be, you would think I have lots of ideas that have been carefully thought out and organized. But you would be wrong. I knew I wanted close friends and family around me in a simple elegant setting but isn’t that something most brides would say? Deciding I would need to have a venue in mind before settling on a wedding vision (or theme I should say), I starting googling (isn’t that how modern brides do it these days?) possible venues.

(1) Void deck: Since both my fiance and I (families I mean, not us as individuals) lived in a condominium, a void deck wedding was out of the picture. Don’t get me wrong, I love traditional void deck weddings; but it was not something I wanted. Shouldn’t the wedding reflect the bride and groom (or at least their parents? Parents always come into the picture.)? I’m just not the traditional sort. And our families were not the sort who would hang out and relax at the void deck. I love seeing Malay weddings where the families come together and stay up until the wee hours. But at the end of the day, it just wasn’t me.

(2) Community centre: This was definitely a possibility. I drafted a budget based on a community centre wedding. Side note: I have several older siblings who married years ago, which should explain how I’m able to approximate the budgets.

(3) Hotel: Without a doubt, a hotel wedding would be lovely; but we knew we did not have the budget for it. Deciding that having a hotel wedding would mean about 200-300 guests (on my side), I nonetheless searched several hotels I was interested in (What can I say? You never know until you try). A good start was the Singapore Brides website that listed wedding banquet prices. The only problem was that I needed prices for a halal menu, and the website only listed prices for the Chinese menus. Using the e-mail addresses from the website, I individually emailed about 10 hotels to find out their prices for a halal banquet. Some of those I considered were Marina Mandarin, Mandarin Oriental, Amara Sentosa (It is absolutely beautiful!), Changi Village, Grand Hyatt, Hilton, Sheraton etc. After sending the emails, I held my breath and prayed the prices would be magically low and affordable. Most replied saying they did not have a halal menu, and could only offer a “No Pork No Lard” menu. Unfortunately, I knew that would not be possible, and so *poof* went all the hotels.

But there were a list of potential hotel venues that did serve a halal banquet:

  • Royal Plaza on Scotts
  • Fairmont/Swissotel
  • Amara Singapore: which is different from the Sentosa hotel, that shares its name
  • Furama Riverfront/City Centre
  • Grand Mercure Roxy

With these 5 options, I sought to narrow down my list. Unfortunately, most of these hotels had not released their 2013 packages as yet (when I had sent out the first emails), so I could only provide an estimate. I immediately faced problems with each of these hotels:

  • Royal Plaza on Scotts: They allowed a maximum capacity of only 110 people, so naturally I could not hold it there.
  • Fairmont/Swissotel: This was a very exciting option. The lunch option was $868++ per table. I discussed with my mum about the possibility of holding a reception at Swissotel as she had previously mentioned she would be willing to help out with the catering/food, so I was quite excited about this prospect. However, after much deliberation, I realized the amount I would have had to top-up was quite considerable (I could not expect my mum to pay $20,000 for my wedding!). So Swissotel was the next to go.
  • Furama Riverfront/City Centre: There are two hotels by Furama, each in different locations. Preferring the Riverfront, I proceeded to email the personnel. At $76.51 per person, I was quite delighted that it wasn’t too exorbitant (not cheap, mind you, but still something to consider).
  • Grand Mercure Roxy: Their 2012 rates were cheaper than Furama at $68 per person (and this was a course meal reception unlike Furama’s buffet). However, the person I emailed informed me that their 2013 packages were not out yet (it is possible that the package would be out by now seeing as this was more than a month ago).

At the end of things, I had two options to consider–Furama and Grand Mercure Roxy. What I finally decided on will come in another post.

Happy Friday y’all!

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Fiance, Fiancee & Finances

I’ve started several blogs over the years, but this blog is something I will hold close to my heart — a wedding blog.

On 01.01.12, my boyfriend of 4 years proposed.

It was completely surreal and till now, I get light-headed just thinking about it. We had a simple engagement ceremony on Jan 28, 2012 to make it official between our families.

So now, I’m up to my ears with wedding plans. And thus, I figured I’d start writing on all the decisions I (and my fiance) have made and will be making during this process. I should make a note that the fiance has left most decisions and planning to me. However, he is still very much involved in the decision-making process (I think he secretly fears I’ll get carried away and blow the budget).

Our wedding date has yet to be confirmed but we’re hoping for April 2013! So that’s a little more than a year from now.

The first thing we did after the engagement was to draw up a wedding budget. With the budget, we could settle on a wedding date (or at least a time frame). Past brides/grooms will know how daunting it is to budget for a wedding. You spend a lot of time with the calculator and making lists (in my case, an Excel sheet that I had drawn up). Unfortunately, this process cannot be skipped. I started the budget by making a list of the different components of a wedding (Note: My wedding will follow that of Malay traditions and customs):

(1) Duit hantaran

(2) Wedding bands: $4000

(3) Bridal/Makeup: $3000

(4) Photography: $2000

(5) Videography: $2000

(6) Decor: $4000

(7) Caterer

(8) DJ/Entertainment: $500

(9) Studio/outdoor photography: $2000

(10) Marriage course: $300

(11) Henna: $300

(12) Hantaran gifts: NIL (We decided not to have hantaran gifts to save money)

(13) Invitation cards: $500 (about $1 per card)

For items (4)-(7), I emailed a few vendors asking for quotations, and rounded up the figures. Thereafter, I realized that I could not really budget for a caterer since we were not certain of the wedding venue. For the time being, I estimated $10,000 for the caterer (but this will change when the time passes).

Now, there were a lot of arguments as the budget came up to about $19,000. I think we both hyperventilated after coming to that amount–and the budget did not take into account miscellaneous things that would eventually arise. So, Item (14) Miscellaneous: $2000 was added to the list.

And that became our first wedding budget–from single & fabulous to engaged & broke (& happy, of course).

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