Speedy Snapshots

TF and I attended a wedding last year (his uncle’s) where they had a roaming photographer taking instant photographs. From that moment on, he kept telling me he loved the idea since he noticed that people were queuing up to ask the photographer to take photographs of them. It became an activity throughout the dinner that occupied the guests without disrupting the program. The company they took up was LiveStudios–and the instant photographs were really amazing. It was retouched nicely in a short amount of time so the people did not appear stark against the crowded background of other guests. And so, when I started planning the wedding, I sought out different companies that offered “Instant Photography”. It entails a roaming photographer (separate from your event photographer) going around taking photographs of the guests. Every guest in the photograph will receive a printed copy of the photograph (usually 2R) within a few minutes. The prices are different (higher) if you’d prefer a 4R photograph size. I emailed all of them for quotations and (of course), made up a simple Excel sheet spread. Here it is:  Instant photography

I can immediately tell you that Live Studios produced the best photographs. I so badly wanted to have them for the wedding but their packages were the most expensive (starting from $1588). We debated hiring them but after some discussion, we knew we could not afford to part with that amount of money just as a side photography.

At the wedding we attended, they also had a live projection of the images taken at the wedding–another feature TF liked. What it means basically is that photographs that were taken will immediately be shown on the projector screen. And so guests will be entertained as they eat, watching the different photographs appearing on screen. Who am I to disagree when TF hardly asks for anything right? So I made sure that to find packages that incorporated the live projection feature. Note that some companies charge extra should you need to rent their projectors. Luckily for us, OCC offers complimentary use of their projectors (I’m pretty certain most hotels and country clubs offer the same) so we did not need to include those costs.

After much discussion, we met with Push Media Labs 2 weeks ago at Junction 8. I’m an East person so can I just say that there is not much to do in Junction 8? Haha. I had reached earlier and TF had called to say he had to work late and may not be able to make it (he did manage to come in the end but he was half an hour late). Walking around Junction 8 made me miss Tampines. I’m a creature of habit and grew up in Tampines (I moved to Pasir Ris 2 years ago), and so I didn’t enjoy exploring this new part of Singapore. Haha. Anyway, we met with Ben Lim who ran through the package with us, and showed us some samples of his work. It’s a straightforward package that includes a photographer, digital print artist and an assistant. Other features can be found in the pdf above. The only doubt I had with them was the lack of information on their website. They did not have any samples of their photographs on their website (and their facebook account was nonexistent). He assured me that he did not like putting the photographs up online. I was a little nervous (especially after reading all the articles about companies scamming people) but brushed the feeling away. TF and I discussed further after the meet up (the great thing about Ben was that he wasn’t pressuring us to make a confirmation and fork out the deposit); and so, a few days ago we decided to place a deposit to secure the date. =) I’m still a little worried but hey, I’m stressed about several other things so I’ll deal with it.

Comparing all the packages, Push Media Labs was undoubtedly the most affordable and they did have 3 printing stations compared to some which only offered 2–adding an extra printer would cost about $250 (if I’m not mistaken). Having more printers would mean the guests did not have to wait to receive a copy of the photograph. Also, Ben mentioned that with our 400 guests, it may be difficult to find all the guests in the photographs so we should advise guests to go to the printer table (that will located in the cocktail reception area) to collect their photographs. If possible however, I would prefer if their assistant could distribute the photographs to the individual guests but we understood that may be difficult with a large no. of guests. Live Studios offers different packages for larger groups of people which will employ more assistants to assist in the distribution. However, since I’m way too cheap to have that, I’m fine with this option. He also asked that we have one person accompany the photographer on the floor to invite guests to take photographs as there were other weddings he did where the guests were shy and hesitant to approach the photographer. I’ll have one of my friends who is friendly and outgoing (basically a chatterbox) accompany the photographer, especially since there may be a communication barrier with the older folks.

So we decided to go ahead with Push Media Labs simply because it was the cheapest and offered many of the same things the other companies did. Let’s hope the chance pays off on the wedding day!

I had considered the option of having a photo booth but I brushed that aside quickly since most of the guests would be the old aunts and uncles who would not enjoy the booth. I had to be realistic. Haha. I could imagine them looking at the booth and shaking their heads. Haha. But anyway, Kahwin Khronicles covered photobooths a month ago here very comprehensively. If you have young guests, may be a dinner reception involving only your friends and colleagues, a photo booth would certainly be a great idea and tons of fun!

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Shoes for my Sweet

Shoes for my Sweet

Flown in all the way from Ireland–my wedding shoes.
I’ve not even picked out a wedding dress but I already have the shoes. I could not help myself. It’s a little extravagant but I’ve been wanting a pair for ages. And I thought my first (perhaps only) pair should be worn on the most important day–my wedding day.
My first pair of Louboutins arrived on 20 June 2012–a date I want to always remember.

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First Wedding Jitters

Last Saturday, TF and I visited our wedding venue to see it in all its glory–Orchid Country Club’s Grand Ballroom. There was a wedding dinner on Saturday evening so we arrived at about 5pm while the crew was setting up. The couple had also chosen an all-white decor so this helped us envision how our own wedding will look like. However, they had taken a more expensive decor package (I’m sure it was more than $8,000 for their setup), and TF and I have agreed not to fork out more than $4000 on decor. We kept this in mind looked around so we won’t be eventually disappointed or surprised with our own decor.

Upon entering the ballroom, my breath caught in my chest–I could hardly believe that this would be where my wedding reception will be in less than 10 months.

by Sentimentals

by Sentimentals

by Sentimentals

by Sentimentals

Now, keep in mind that to have the decor as such, the package would cost $8000. I’m trying to negotiate the finer details with the person in charge–Juliana. Side note: She has excellent taste in flowers and her flower arrangements are amazing!

My dias probably won’t be as majestic as that in the photo. To add a gazebo, I’d have to immediately fork out an additional $2000 (on top of the $4000)–and that thought just makes me cringe. Also, to have fresh floral centerpieces for every table, would cost another $800. Haha, I keep shuddering when I hear the costs. But I need to keep a clear head. And so, I made the following decisions:

(1)  I’m probably doing a simple dias without a gazebo. It may result in the stage looking a little empty but Juliana will no doubt try her utmost to make the setting as beautiful as possible.

(2) I may try to find alternatives to using fresh flowers as centerpieces–I find it  a little wasteful to buy fresh flowers and have them thrown away at the end of the ceremony so perhaps a non-floral centerpiece would be better (and cheaper).

(3) I may do without the wedding arch as seen in the 3rd photograph. The fiance wasn’t too excited about having a wedding arch but standing beneath it was simply wonderful. Haha.

(4) I may not have a bridal table as in the last photograph. I figured I would prefer to enter from the front rather than the sides so I wasn’t too upset by this.

Despite all these financial worries at the back of my mind, I was so excited when I saw the ballroom all decked out with flowers and hanging candles. At the end of the day, I’m certain I won’t be disappointed even if our decor wasn’t as fabulous and extravagant. It’s still going to be one of the most important days of our lives, and nothing (not even gazebos and floral centerpieces) was going to change that.

TF and I looked at each other when we entered and I’m sure we shared the same experience–our first wedding jitters. It was surreal to stand in the ballroom amidst all the white tulle and satin, knowing that in 10 months, you’ll be back there getting married with 400 guests in attendance–a little nerve wrecking but amazing at the same time. TF kept pestering me to ensure they increased the temperature on our wedding day since he felt cold when he entered the hall and he did not want to feel any more nervous that he already would. I had to keep reassuring him that I will ensure a comfortable temperature. Haha. But anyway, the trip gave us a little jolt–reminding us that our wedding date will arrive soon enough and we will soon be standing in that ballroom, finally married. And I cannot wait!

P.S. All the photographs were taken from Sentimentals facebook account. In my excitement, I took only a few measly photographs on that day–this is why I need a photographer on the go with me if I want to take photographs of anything.

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Will you be my Bridesmaid?

When I was researching wedding cards online a few weeks ago, I discovered something new (well, new to me at least)–Will you be my Bridesmaid cards!

Bridesmaid card by Etsy.com

Isn’t that just sweet? I quickly looked up more to find ideas to craft my own cards for my darling bridesmaids! Here are some of my favorites:

Another from Etsy.com

A cutesy card

The linked website also provides some poems you can use inside the card!

I had wanted to do something like the blue card above but I had difficulty finding cloth in Singapore. Isn’t that the oddest thing? Well, technically it is difficult to find cloth in City Hall and Tampines; and I could not be bothered to venture to Arab St. since it was cumbersome. So I had to make do and improvise with the materials I had on hand. I usually wait for TF at Raffles Shopping Centre on Fridays (he works at Raffles Place but hey, that place is a snore compared to City Hall) so I went to my usual hangout place (no, not Starbucks)–Papermarket. Yes, I am a member of Papermarket. It’s so easy to spend tons of money in that store. I went absolutely crazy last year so this year I’m cutting back my purchases there.

But I went in with a purpose–to buy materials to make the card. I bought a couple of embossed white cardstock, decorative paper, as well as silver glitter and gold overlay sheets (I forgot alphabet stickers!). I had an idea of what I wanted so it wasn’t too difficult. I already had items like craft glue at home (yes, I scrapbook) so that was pretty much all I needed to purchase. I think it cost less than $20 overall.

I worked on them for about an hour–mine was a simplified version since I realized I became tired very quickly. I used a 12″ by 12″ cardstock, and cut it in half to make 2 cards. I have 4 bridesmaids so I only bought 2 pieces of cardstock. The silver glitter sheets I used to cut into different forms of bridesmaid dresses (of course these are not models of the actual dresses–they’re not exactly the most conservative of dresses) and glued it to the front. Here are the final cards:

Personalized “Will you be my bridesmaid” cards

I wanted them to match my white winter wedding theme so I used mostly white and silver materials. The front simply has the names of my individual bridesmaids. I forgot to snap a photograph of the inside of the card but it simply says “Will you be my Bridesmaid?” (except for my maid-of-honor which had a card saying “Will you be my Maid-of-Honor?”) spelt in stickers. I used the gold overlay inside to line the cards so that the card did not look so empty on the inside. There was no sweet messages or poems inside as I’m not really that sort of girl (sounds a little weird but it’s the truth).

I did accompany the card with a little something else, but that is for a different post. And no, it wasn’t a piece of jewelry or anything of that sort–hey, I’m trying to save up for a wedding here.

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Organization Obsession: Cosmetics

Two weeks ago, I reorganized my makeup stash. I needed to come up with a system that does not take up a lot of space so that TF will have space for his own items when he eventually moves in. Also, I did not want to buy a new dresser since I’m still not sure how my future home is going to look like.

Our future home is a 4-room flat and I’m trying to convince TF to convert one of the rooms into a closet but I’m not getting very far in that discussion. He needs an office since he works a lot when he returns home (I swear he works 20 hours a day) so I forsee that being a priority. I did try to suggest an office cum closet but I have no idea how that will work out in reality. I don’t want him working in a cluttered environment, surrounded by all my clothes.

Anyway, since I did not want to buy any major furniture, I had to settle with small organizational items. My previous makeup system was basically having most of my makeup stored in a drawer in my dresser (now I know I have a lot of makeup–I went through a phase 1-2 years ago when I shopped only for makeup and nothing else). The dresser was my older sisters and I won’t be taking it with me when I move (since hello, it’s not mine).

Makeup Mess

So this was my old system–pink & clear containers from Daiso and the clear acrylic tray (on the right) from Ikea. I kept most of my blushes in their boxes so I could read the names and pick out the ones I wanted. My palettes were stored in my cupboard so I tend not to use them when getting dressed since they were not easily reached.

I spent a lot of time on youtube trying to figure out the best possible way to reorganize my makeup such that everything will be in one place. And finally, I found these 5-drawer acrylic cases from Muji:

Muji 5-drawer Acrylic Case

These were simply perfect–they cost $39 each. I can use them in my new house eventually to store makeup or jewellery or even stationery.

Initially I bought 2 sets of these drawers and a 1-drawer set but I ended up returning the 1-drawer set and purchased another of the 5-drawer set so I now have 3. They sit perfectly on my dresser.

New dresser tabletop

I placed my makeup brushes, and some Disney items from Disneyworld on top of one set. Atop the center set, has all my perfumes (some are actually empty but I still keep them). And lastly, on the right side are all my lotions, creams etc. In front, I just place a diary and notepad–I’ve not figured out what to do with those yet–which I bought from Kikki K last week during the sale.

These drawers will eventually–in my new house– house my makeup and will sit atop my future dresser. And since they’re clear, I don’t have to worry about how they will look with the rest of the furniture. They were certainly not cheap but according to reviews online, they last a long time–they’re made from strong acrylic.

Blushes & Bronzers

Mac (Eyeshadows & Blushes/MSFs)

Lipsticks & Lipglosses

This new system allows me to see all the colors of my eyeshadows, blushes and lipglosses–it prevents me from leaving some makeup unused and forgotten since I can see everything. The rest of the items are stored in my drawer but they now also store all my palettes, nail polishes, hair accessories and bracelets. I managed to free up 2 drawers in my cupboard as a result.

Palettes, nail polishes, hair accessories and more

When TF moves in, I’ll throw the empty perfume bottles and let him put his everyday body/facial products on top of the acrylic drawers (he doesn’t have many). I still have to reorganize my closet but I like the progress thus far. Even though the wedding (and his moving in) is still more than 9 months away, I prefer to reorganize my room slowly. This way I get to be more meticulous and the smaller details are taken care of. I’m also weeding out items that can be stored in my storeroom to make way for TF’s arrival next year.

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McConaughey Wedding

Matthew McConaughey (gosh, this man is simple gorgeous) married Camila Alves last weekend. All the photos are so tightly wrapped (and I’m not buying People magazine just to see them) that I’m struggling to find nice photos (if any) of her wedding gown. Finally, StyleNews posted the one below:

Matthew McConaughey & Camila Alves

I love how its conservative, making it so different from other Hollywood gowns that you see all the time. Crafted by a Brazilian designer (whose name I can’t recall), I love the intricate white lace fitted in a mermaid dress. If you have an amazing body like hers, a mermaid dress is ever so flattering. I’m not a huge fan of the boat neckline (I may be a tat prejudiced here since I know I cannot pull them off with my manly shoulders). But the long, beaded veil looks simply lovely with the form-fitting dress. I think it makes the look appear more wholesome and traditional (to oppose the fitted modern dress). She is also wearing a headpiece comprising a string of diamonds and pearls, by popular celebrity jeweler Neil Lane to match her 10-carat diamond earrings by the same. Haha, I shudder to think of how much that will cost but I’m sure you can find something from Chomel for a fraction of the price. Or more than likely, your makeup artist may have one so you don’t have to fork out the thousands (though let’s face it, I’m sure those were either a gift or on loan for the wedding). But anyway, I certainly do love the overall look–classy and chic. It’s certainly something I can consider without having my mum come after me on my wedding day. Hah.

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Twilight Toddler

Twilight Toddler

Is anyone else psyched for the new upcoming movie? I think they picked a good actress for Renesmee since she does look a little like both Edward and Bella.

Difficulties of a Bride

Difficult bride

While it’s not easy being a bride-to-be, it’s more difficult to find your husband.

Properties & Proposals

More young couples taking up flats before saying ‘I do’

I was reading this article (I don’t read property news everyday but this caught my eye) from Yahoo news, and I wondered why such mundane news are reported. It seems pretty obvious that with the lack of housing (affordable housing), the only (easier) way to purchase a flat would be to get a BTO—these don’t just pop up overnight. We do not have the choice of marrying and subsequently applying for such a flat since the interim period without a proper house would be too long (not to mention, taxing on the parents who have to house the newlyweds).

The thing that bugs me about such a system is that proposals are no longer a surprise (I may sound like a simple-minded bimbo but that’s what crossed my mind, so I’ll be honest); the application of a flat, in fact, becomes a proposal of sorts. And since it takes about 3-4 years for a flat to be built, chances are, the proposal/engagement will only take place 1-2 years after the application (or you’re left with the choice of a long engagement). I’m not generalizing this to every young Singaporean but it’s what I observe from my friends and acquaintances—not to mention, myself.

TF and I applied for a BTO last June/July 2011. I had to convince myself not to get too excited since the couples I knew complained of the low odds of getting a flat on your first try. However, we were lucky enough that our queue no. was small enough (only in Singapore will such a phrase make sense) for us to select a flat. Our queue no. was not very small; I recall it was about 10 flats short of the no. of flats available in the area, so it was cut really close. At the same time, we knew the flats were stratified racially; as a result, if the no. of Malays/”Others” (I fall under the “Others” racial profile and was listed as the first applicant) who selected the flats reached the quota, we would not get a chance to select a flat. We waited (impatiently) all the way until the end of September and finally received the notice to head to HDB for our flat selection. Sure, by then, all the high floors were taken but I was not too disappointed—I was ecstatic we managed to snag a flat in an area close to both our parents.

And it was only in late April 2012 did we get a call to sign the actual agreements (agreement for lease). HDB took such a long time to process our applications between our flat selection and the signing of the agreement. I’m pretty certain I called them every week in March and April to get them to hasten the process as our HLE (Housing Loan Eligibility) forms were expiring in May. It takes a lot of perseverance to go through the entire process, I’ll tell you that. But you come out feeling oddly accomplished.

So anyway, TF proposed in Jan 2012, so it was not really too much of a surprise. I mean we did apply and select a flat together so it’s not like, “OMG, you can see a future with me?” You know in movies where the girl gasps in shock when the guys gets on bended knee? Yeah, that did not happen. Nonetheless, I appreciate everything he did to make the proposal special, but that story is for another time.

The main point of this rant was simply to say that the “system” takes the romance and surprise out of proposals. Everything needs to be planned ahead of time and everything needs to be structured. Don’t Singaporean women deserve a little spontaneity and surprise in their lives? Hah, I guess I’ll stop this rant now.

From CartoonStock.com

The beat of the drums

One of the things I’m still undecided is the kompang. Simply put, it’s a traditional Malay instrument that is played during social occasions, most commonly in Malay weddings. TF has told me he is not insistent on having a kompang accompaniment during our 1st march in. Without a kompang procession, we will likely only make a simple entrance with a music accompaniment (i.e. from a CD) whereas the traditional way would be to have the bride entering first and to sit on the dais while the groom arrives awhile later with his own procession. His arrival is marked by the sound of the kompang as he is led down the aisle to the dais where the bride is seated.

Kompang Procession

Truthfully, I would like to have that bit of culture in the wedding. But I found out they average at about $500-700 for that one performance! It’s something that we can choose to do away with should our parents be fine. I’ll need to ask my parents (or my mum at least) and his as well. I’m lucky in that his family is easy going and they’re not insisting on anything in particular. If both sets of parents are fine, I’ll just proceed with a simple music accompaniment.

Now, if they do insist, I’m in a bit of a pickle. The two vendors I approached (Sri Mahligai and Sri Wana) have already been booked on my wedding date so they are not available. I’ve compiled a list of other vendors I found on the internet, but I have no idea if most are still even active.

  1. Kompang Melayu Bintang Timur
  2. Kumpulan Kompang Syabab
  3. Kumpulan Kompang Nurul Ihsan
  4. Sri Warisan
  5. Team Eva-Luna
None have reverted to me thus far so I have no choice but to wait. With mine being a combined lunch reception, I’ll only need a one-time kompang performance, with perhaps some silat thereafter. If I’m able to find a decent group under $500, I’ll consider having it; otherwise, it’s a no-go.


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