Monthly Archives: April 2012

Portraits & Photography

Last Friday, I visited the photographer I had shortlisted — Theme Photography. I’m quite particular about the wedding photographer, and had noted a few photographers I was interested in:

(1) Bliss Photo+Cinema

(2) Chase Hasemi

(3) Theme Photography

(4) Pixareuz

In my opinion, each photographer has their own style. I simply had to choose the photography style I wished for. I decided against Chase Hasemi and Pizareuz (not because they were not any good, but simple because their style was different from what I envisioned).

Between Bliss and Theme Photography however, I was at a complete loss. I simply could not make up my mind. They each had their distinctive style: Bliss photographers choose a more vintage look for their photos while Theme photographers shot in a deeper and darker light. I met up with both Bliss and Theme photographers to see what they each had to offer.

I met with the owner of Theme photography, Abang Yunos with my mother a few weeks ago during their open house. Being professional and polite, he won my mum over in a matter of minutes. By the end of the session, she was insisting I took him. His expensive package held me back and I knew I could not make the decision on my own. I consulted with TF and we agreed on meeting with the Bliss photographers before making a decision.

The advantage about Bliss was that they were a lot cheaper (and let’s face it, when wedding planning, most of us try to save money where we can). The photographer (Syarfique) was younger, but he had a lot of ideas and could relate to us. He also took a lot of candid photos during the actual wedding ceremony, something I really loved. We finally made our decision based on two factors: (1) My mum’s preference for Theme Photography, and (2) that the Bliss photographer, Syarfique was unavailable on our wedding date. This was only a secondary factor as our wedding date was not confirmed as yet, and could still be changed. But in the end, I decided to take my mum’s choice and went with Theme Photography. TF and I went to their offices at Joo Chiat Place last Friday night and made the deposit, so its done.

You can visit the photographers individual Facebook accounts for more detail and to view their photographs. Every photographer has their own style and they will suit different couples.

I find the Martha Stewart’s website useful for couples looking for wedding photographs. She also offers advise on hiring photographers.

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Chic Cinematography

Well, I’ve settled the venue (at least I hope to do so come Saturday). I’m excited to head back to OCC and make the downpayment and sign the contract. While TF (the fiance) is dreading making the payment ($6,000), I’m positively psyched to do so.

Oddly enough, the only thing that I’ve confirmed thus far (as in made an actual booking) is the videographer. My decision was simple as my sister-in-law asked me to check out one of her friend’s works online–needless to say, I was impressed.

We had initially started out thinking of doing away with a videographer. Being on a tight budget, we figured it was something that we could easily skip. But as the weeks went by, I realised I did want a wedding video for several reasons: I wanted to be able to relive the wedding moments in a more realistic manner (as compared to still photography). I wanted to share our wedding video with our future children. And I wanted to be able to see things that I may have missed out on the actual wedding day. It took some convincing, but my fiance relented. I’m grateful he saw how important the wedding video was. TF is a practical guy. His sensibility can get on my nerves on some days (i.e. my PMS days), but on most days, I cherish it. Somehow though, I’ve this strange feeling his practicality is going to become an issue during our wedding plans (haha, doesn’t it always?).

There was certainly no shortage to the list of wedding videographers available. I decided to skip the step of checking out different videographers (I know it’s unprecedented for most brides), but that’s what I did. I met with the videographer 2 wks ago, and made the downpayment to secure his work. My only concern now with regards to the wedding video is the theme/style that I wanted. I still have a year before the wedding so I know I have time to figure out exactly what I would like. There’ll definitely be a future post about the wedding video style once I’ve decided.

Researching wedding videos online (by Google of course), I found some tips from Martha Stewart Weddings and Wedding Solutions. Some points that I took off the websites were:

(1) To discuss the sound (song choices, live chatter etc.)

(2) The length of the wedding video. My videographer offered a range from 20 minutes to about an hour, but I’ll need to inform him that I would prefer a longer video (don’t most brides?)

(3) The type of wedding video: Cinematic or documentary

(4) Photo montage. I know my videographer doesn’t make photo montages so this is something I’ll still need to keep a lookout for.

Here is a list of wedding videographers (I got them off the ladies at Cozy Cot’s forum):

  • 2lives1path
  • smartmat media
  • diziq vidz motion pictures
  • studio dua
  • amir nasir cinematography
  • rolling frames
  • salient facet: I did consider Salient Facet as I saw a wedding video they did, and it was impressive. But out of convenience, I went with my first choice
  • flipside

Oh and lastly, the videographer I took was Rizal Amir Khan from Bliss Photo+Cinema. You can check out his videos at his website. The video below is the one that my sister-in-law showed to me, so I thought I’d share it.

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31st March 2012: Onsite visit

After spending all that time reviewing different locations for the wedding reception, we had more or less decided to hold it at Furama Riverfront. But then, as my sister and I were chatting, she tossed the idea of Orchid Country Club. At this point, I had already wanted to go ahead with Furama and was in the middle of arranging an on-site visit to the ballroom that weekend so I was adamant about new ideas. I’ll be the first to admit I’m not flexible, and once my mind is made up, it is very difficult for anyone to convince me otherwise. I reacted instantly to the Orchid Country Club idea and insisted that it won’t be as nice as Furama, and to prove my point, I googled (the modern way of justifying anything in the world nowadays) OCC. I was led to the Grand Ballroom — and instantly fell in love. I fell for the high ceiling, spacious area and clean cut look.

I became very excited at this point. The prices were comparable to that of Furama Riverfront (they were slightly cheaper but the price difference was not large enough to scream about) so it quickly became a serious consideration. I made an appointment to visit OCC as soon as possible.

And so, on March 31st, my family (my mum and 2 sisters), as well as my fiance, headed down to OCC. It is definitely quite a distance from both of our houses (in Pasir Ris) but since it is quite easy to locate, we dismissed the distance as a disadvantage. I was impressed when I walked into the Grand Ballroom. As the photographs online depicted, the ballroom boasted a high ceiling, spacious areas with a long walkway up to the stage (wonderful for a march in).

We met with Karen who briefly went through the packages, but our minds were made up. The setting was perfect for our wedding reception.

We will hopefully be heading back to OCC this weekend to finalize the details and make the downpayment. Wish us luck!

Btw, you can find their packages listed on their website but they have others that are not featured and will only be provided when requested directly.

Fairmont & Furama

In my last post, I talked about my two choices– Fairmont and Furama.

To clarify matters, Fairmont and Swissotel The Stamford are essentially one hotel. I’m not certain why they have different names etc., all I know was that I loved it! It’s right next to Raffles City Shopping Centre (I know I’m not shopping on my wedding day but somehow this made me excited), making it easily accessible. Also, it exudes the right ambience that I wanted for my wedding.

Furama was the cheaper option–making it the sensible and practical choice. My cousin had hers at the ballroom 2 years ago and my family agreed it was a beautiful ballroom with good food.

Talking things over with my mum, I finally decided on–Furama Riverfront. It was just a lot cheaper and I did not want to be burdened by an expensive wedding (Side note: Furama is still not a cheap venue trust me). The great thing about Furama was that their lunch and dinner packages were identical in terms of pricing, which meant I could have a dinner reception (there is something about having a reception at night that is just lovely).

Furama Riverfront has three ballrooms, and depending on the no. of guests you’re inviting, you could have either the Venus, Mercury, or Jupiter Ballroom. For the buffet lunch/dinner, it costs $76.51 per person for the Jupiter and Mercury Ballrooms; however, the biggest ballroom (Venus) would cost $82.93 per person. Since we had earlier decided on holding separate ceremonies (one for the groom side and another for the bride), we did not have the use for the large ballroom. Trying to cut costs, my mum agreed to try and keep the no. of guests to 200 people (which meant we had to take the Jupiter Ballroom, the smallest of the ballrooms). The downside of this ballroom was its small size. From the images sent by the coordinator, I realized the ballroom was essentially a long rectangular conference room. Below is an image sent by the coordinator. Now, Malay weddings usually incorporate a “bersanding” ceremony, in which the bride and groom is seated on a dias. Upon seeing the image below, I realized I would have to hire an external decorator to help amp up the dias and make the room feel spacious.

When I showed my sister the image, she agreed that we had to do something about the place. So we started talking about other venues…

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