#DALoveKnot Chapter 8: The Bridal Studio – Pre-Wedding Shoot

The long awaited PWS day! Probably one of the post that I do not need to edit my complexion!

My appointment was at 10am for makeup! We arrived early and Joann was already there! without further delay, we started doing our makeup after I got changed into my button shirt!

Ampoule – $25

Lashes – $15

Friendship – Priceless!

Prior to our PWS, I actually gave Joann a lil thank you gift and she felt the appreciation and in return upgraded my makeup to airbrush makeup! Woohoo!! Who says studio are all about making money.

Airbrush makeup are light weight and moisturizing! By the look of below image, i guess it’s not hard to tell which is before which is after ya?

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Word of advice: Top up to bring your MUA out! the weather is not going to do justice to your glamorous face!!

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I have 4 looks to compliment the gown and to be honest, letting down my hair is still my favourite.

Looking back all this photo, I have to say, hairdo might not be joann’s strength. Nonethless, it’s not that bad too la. Just don’t expect super wow look.

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Very soon we started our indoor shoot and spent about 4 hrs doing that..

Smile~ Look down~ Hold your dress~ Shoulders down~ Chest up~ Chin down~

If you ask me, I did not feel that the PG was able to lighten up the mood and made us feel natural. In fact, by the end of the day, I still didn’t feel very into the shoot.

In case you didn’t read my previous post (HERE), pls note that I was still pretty upset by the fact that the studio changed our PG without informing us and showed us NOTHING on our new PG’s work..

All they had had been showing us during our appointments were their existing PG’s work and it’s not like the original PG they assigned to us left/resign.. But they just changed it. Totally affected my mood for the shoot..

DISCLAIMER: I’m not pissed or dissatisfied with my PG but just the shit they do is like misrepresentation! Promise not delivered!

For now I can only pray hard that the photos by the PG will turn out unexpectedly HIGH. Because everything that’s just of OK/So-So standard will be consider and marked as BAD.

ON THE BRIGHT SIDE! I’m so glad I had my maid of honor (MOH) with us throughout the shoot. She drove, she gave me water, bring me fan, help me everywhere we went..

She help us took candid shots .. which turns out pretty NICE!! Since I don’t have the real photos by the PG yet, let me show u some sneak preview by *proud* my MOH!!

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First outdoor location: Seletar North Link

The whole road was pretty nice and in fact I would highly recommend couple to take their outdoor shoot here! There’s pretty “lake”, foresty, burnt “jungle”, lalang field.. Seriously, I love this place!

Now for the piece of bad news, rumour has it that this place will be gone in another few years.. Maybe 2-3 years, maybe 4-5 years, I don’t know. So heard over there while it’s still around.

PS: Lots of lalang there for those brides who’s really into taking lalang field! A big field of lalang and not like just a small area.. Look really beautiful in my mind!

We almost missed shooting at the lalng field because the PG didn’t direct us there and asked us to leave for next location when he think he’s done.. I had to request again (already asked for lalang field prior our shoot) then we managed to take a few shots there..  sigh~

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Second outdoor location: Fort Canning Park

The Groom choose this place as it doesn’t seems like a very popular destination for shoot. We were pretty late already by the time we reach here. Hence i did feel that the PG did not really explore the place but instead only ask us “where else you wana shoot? where else?”

Seriously?? if you ask me, I would think that PG should do the homework and recommend the place to shoot (like what he did for Seletar North Link)..

Now a tip for The Bride – BRING lotsa mosquito repellent!! Damn! less than 5 min there I was already feeding 5-6 mosquitoes! 2 on each side of the arm, above my brow and my ring finger! T_T

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And above 2 photos are indoor shoot within the studio. They have quite a few indoor scene.. Those backdrop poster kind, real cafe kitchen, bedroom, garden, staircase. The whole 5 stories high shophouse, everywhere, can be a scene..

We had our casual shoot done outdoor but because my MOH needs to look after the car, hence, we did not have any candid casual wear shoot.

The whole shoot ends at about 830pm and by the time we send the MUA and PG back to shop, it’s about 9pm already.. Mad tiring but mad happy too (minus those hiccups that I’ve been bugging about)

MORE TIPS:

Bring a friend/sister along! She will be a great helper – like my MOH!

Bring along drinking straw – Bride will need a straw to drink so as not to ruin the beautiful makeup.

Bring a portable fan – The weather will kill the mood!

Bring a powerbank – In case phone battery went dead for taking too much candid shoot! (BTW, I understand some PG don’t like people to take candid shoot, so pls do it discreetly in case you were asked to keep you phone!)

Bring ice cold water – Freeze some ice in the bottle prior the shoot and then fill in ice water and keep them in a cooler bag! My ice water became useful when we were at Fort canning Park (which was already almost like 6-7pm?) Yes, cooler bag very important!

LOTS OF TISSUE (DRY/WET) – You will be perspiring like a dog! So good to have more..! I’m so glad I had both my MUA and MOH around.. They took care of me so well.. Touch up make up! Dap on my (endless) perspiration!! Fan me! Hold on to me!

Plaster/Tiger Balm Oil/Light food or snack – These are good to have! we did not use the plaster nor tiger balm (heng ah!) but the ham & cheese sandwich were pretty handy when we were doing our indoor shoot halfway! The Bride became very hungry!

All in all, I think it’s the companion that day that made the exhausting day less frustrating. 🙂 Just before I end this post, sharing one more thing with you – TIME LINE.

Everyone might not have the same timeline but it can serve as a guide for those couple who signed up BS package at least 1 year prior wedding!

TIMELINE:

Contract signed + Deposit payment

1st appointment (May 2016): Gown selection

2nd appointment (Jul 2016): Gown selection + 2nd payment (not needed if you found what you like during the first session)

3rd appointment (Oct 2016): Makeup trial + Fitting for PWS (usually 2-3 days bef pre-wedding shoot)

3rd appointment (Oct 2016): Pre-wedding shoot

4th appointment (Nov 2016): Bridesmaid dress selection

5th appointment (Nov 2016): Photos selection

6th appointment: (Dec 2016): See Layout

7th appointment (Jan 2016): Collect Album (before CNY) – clear balance payment

8th appointment (Feb 2016): Final fitting/Gown collection – pay cash deposit for the gown

9th appointment (Feb 2016): Return gown and take back deposit

 

#DALoveKnot Chapter 7: The Solemnizer a.k.a. JP

The actual period for you to get a JP is 3 months prior your wedding (ROM) date.

However, it seems that popular JP are always fully booked prior that dateline. Hence I decided to start early!! I already did a shortlist of my preferred JP at least 9 months prior my wedding!

  • Dr. Phua Tan Tee (licence expiring 30 Jun 2016) Very fatherly and well recommended JP! Tends to give long speech but according to review, his speech are well loved by elderly..
  • Mr. Tan Yan Boon Alex (licence expiring 31 Dec 2016) A jovial gentleman
  • Mr. Chiang Heng Liang (licence expiring 31 Dec 2016) In case you want to know, he’s the JP for Christopher Lee & Fann Wong..
  • Mr. Lee Ka But (licence expiring 31 Dec 2020) From what I read online, seems like he will usually donate the angbao money from couple to charity (under couple’s name)
  • Dr Ho Lai Yun (licence expiring 31 Dec 2018)

On the 6th month, I had approached the first 2 JP and was indirectly rejected as their license are expiring. They couldn’t advice any further as license renewal wasn’t up to them to decide. It’s ROM decision whether to renew them or not. Hence outta courtesy, they actually advice me to look for someone else in case their license wasn’t renew.

Knowing that I’m a kiasu bride, I decided to go ahead to look for alternative! I asked a few married friends / visited forums to see if they have any recommendation! My main concern is that i do not want a JP who’s too serious (which will makes me more stress) nor i want a JP who doesn’t seems to take things seriously (comes late / not pro-active / rushing things through)..

Finally, I shortlisted next 3 names and decided to email to Dr Ho first since my friend highly recommended him.. I did not approached Mr Chiang due to personal reason but according to my friend who engaged him, they really enjoyed their ROM with him. He basically stayed throughout the session even though he’s role was done. Very 尽责!

Waited for few weeks, no respond from Dr Ho.. (SAD again!!) Decided to resend the email to follow up and to my HORROR!  I SEND TO THE WRONG EMAIL! OH-EM-GEEEE (OMG)!! HAHAHAHA

I quickly copy and paste the context and send to the correct email and he responded within a day! *whistle* HAPPY GIRL NOW.. Not just because I found my mistake and corrected but because he replied.. with a POSITIVE ANSWER!!! Yey!!!

He had blocked his calendar for our wedding date and we even talked about meeting to get some documents sign and filing for marriage!! Pls note that this was about 6.5 months to our wedding!

For now.. I guess i have nothing else to update! So stay tune for next week’s post for more wedding preparation post!!

Some links that might be useful in finding your JP:

Registry of Marriage

Reviews

#DALoveKnot Chapter 6: The Wedding Band

Apparently, after the day you said “I Do”, more decision making follows.. After deciding on the venue, the bridal studio, AD PG/VG.. now comes the wedding band! Wedding ain’t a cheap game uh. -__-

So we started our research once again.. check out the design, set out budget, check out retail store..

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The Groom prefer something simple and The Bride loves bling bling! So that’s the kinda design we’ll zoom into. With a tight budget, I guess it’s pretty obvious that we’re not going to Tiffany & Co nor Cartier~

House of Hung.. We planned to dropped by House of Hung to check out their collection since they have pretty much positive review! Design ain’t that bad and one of my friend who just got married highly recommend them too!

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HOUSE OF HUNG

Address: 545 Orchard Rd, Far East Shopping Center, 238882

Tel: 6887 4248

So here we are at House of Hung. Wow, seems like a popular place for couple to get engagement ring and/or wedding bands! Not forgetting to mention, it’s a pretty big shop they have!

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We were greeted by a gentlemen and later refer to Nancy who can give better advise for wedding band!

We shared with her our budget, the kinda ring we like and don’t like.. After looking at a few couple ring, (hmm), we decided to go SOLO! We each chose the ring we like and put them together..

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And so here it is, #DALOVEKNOT Wedding Band (that’s within our budget)! In case u thought that’s it, check out the details of my ring..

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See those lil hearts under my ring?? It’s the small details that makes it unique  isn’t it.. 🙂

#DALoveKnot Chapter 5: The Bridal Studio – Fitting Session

For those who have not read about my previous post on The Bridal Studio, pls click HERE!

I’m really excited for this first appointment since it’s my first time having a fitting session – I’m like a princess!! LOL!!

Shortly after we signed the packaged, our coordinator (Yean) helped us arranged for our first gown selection session whereby I get to choose/try the gowns!

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From lace to organza to satin.. Although they don’t have A LOT of plus size gown but, well, not too bad.. at least I still managed to try 10 over gowns in total! Throughout the fitting session, Yean Yean (the co-ordinator) & the lady who helped me get changed were both very patient and jovial! They show no sign of impatient and they allow us to have our private time for discussion!

During the first fitting session, we did not chose any gown since there were nothing that really caught my eye. Yean Yean suggested that we come another day when other gowns returned to them.

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During our second fitting appointment, We tried a few more new gowns and woohoo.. we found something that we like and will not be utilizing the MTM service! Amber was around to help look at the gown and point out the area that we need to alter and make TIGHTER! Now that the bride has picked her gown, it’s the groom turn to pick his suit! Guess what, he’s done in 15 mins. (-___-)

With the gown and suit selection (above image are just sneak preview, bear with it!!) done, our next step is to pick a date for the fitting + shoot! Yean was pretty helpful to arrange a date whereby both our assigned makeup artist (Joann) & photographer (Baofu) are available! This way, we can fit the gown looking beautiful after doing the trial makeup! The meeting with our photographer prior the shoot can also allow us to know each other better and discuss about our expectation!

Our pre-shoot fitting session was arranged 3 days prior the shoot. I went down with my maid-of-honur and her mom (impromptu). We started of meeting our assigned MUA (Joann) and did our trial make up. The makeup we did was only 30% (I thought most places will trial at least 90% without lashes and ampoule only) but it’s okie, since there were good review about Joann and we manage to find some of her work on the bridal forum, I’m quite comfortable with having her..

After the makeup done, Yean brought up the 4 gowns which we had previous selected helped me put them on.. and guess what! I think i lost some inches? All the gowns became a lil loose – wonder did they alter it before I come by?? LOL!! Since they were loose, Yean quickly re-take the measurement and gave it to the alteration lady to change them on the spot. While waiting, Yean also brought up some new arrival (white + evening gown) for me to try! I will not share the image with you for now, hang in there – pre-wedding shoot is happening soon!!!

Oops did u catch the leak? YA, I CHANGED MY GOWNS! Not 1 but 3 outta 4!! LOL!! The new arrivals were much nicer and more complimenting! HAHAHAHA!!! We have such struggle deciding which gown to get for the 2nd march in!!! Yean probably see me in such tortured state, she offered me an idea. stick with the 2 evening gowns that I had selected and the 3rd one, keep it for actual day! WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THAT!??

Well, now we have had 2 things covered! Time to meet the PG!

This is the heart sank part. He wasn’t the PG which Memoire initially assigned to us and they did not informed us about the change prior this meeting. I wasn’t mad with the PG but I was disappointed with the arrangement.. We spent time looking through the previous PG portfolio and they also showed us only Baofu/Sky’s work. Suddenly 3 days before shoot come Jacky? What makes it worst, he wasn’t aware about the levitation shoot that I was keen in replicating.. It seems like whatever that was communicated before signing the contract was dropped somewhere. Whatever Alan assured us about the shoot seems not valid anymore.

At this point, I can only hope that the shoot will turn out well… 😦

On a side note track: we’re still grateful that the team had really helped us a lot and we appreciate the NO HARD SELL attitude up till date. For these, I had prepared lil gift for them to show our appreciation.. Hopefully they’ll be more mindful about our shoot and other things!

Stay tune for next week’s post ladies!!

 

#DALoveKnot Chapter 4: The Banquet Venue – Paying the Bill

In my previous post, remember I mentioned about making use of credit card promotion fo earn rebates? So here’s how we do it!

From the day we signed our contract, we started saving even more and make trips to hotel to pay partial amount. Why do we trouble ourselves to do that? Because it’s also a way to save $$!

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We applied for UOB One credit card and started paying $2,000 each months until our wedding month! UOB One card gives you 5% rebate on EVERYTHING if you spend as long as you spend $2,000 per month every quarter (min 3 transaction)! What’s the best time to earn these rebate? Pay for your banquet of course!!

There are a few other credit cards that offer good rebates too! AMEX True Cashback 3% rebate for first $5,000 spend within 6 months – thereafter 1.5%! It’s not bad too but the reason we didn’t apply is because I don’t wana hold so many credit card and this rebate is probably a ONE time only thingy, no point. ANZ Optiumum also have good rebates!

So if both of you are earning decent wage, both of you can consider to apply two card (one each) and start making payment! With 2 paying parties, the bill will be reduced greatly! and you earn twice of what i mention since you applied 2 card..

A lil Mathematic

Mister – 1 UOB One Card (spend $2K per month for 3 months)

Missus – 1 UOB One Card (spend $2K per month for 3 months)

Total spent = $12,000 per quarter, meaning you’ll earn $400 rebate each quarter instead of $200! and in just a quarter you already paid easily 1/3 of your banquet bill! Let’s say if your banquet is $36000, that means you will earn $1200 rebate in 9 months!

Talking about savings! This $1200 you had “saved”, can allow you to have your makeup artist follow you to outdoor shoot or even stayed for your 2nd march in already! Enough to let you do taobao purchases (wedding decorations) too!

Nonetheless, you should not be lazy! Do some homework and always check out credit card site for the most updated promotion they have. What I enjoy now may not be the best deal already!

#DALoveKnot Chapter 3 The Actual Day Photography/Videography

Ever since the Fe**** Bridal AD shoot saga, all the more I am sure I am not going to engage BS’s AD service! I wouldn’t want to let any chance of unhappiness happen on this big day!

I started to look out for AD PG/VG service more diligently!! There are sooo many nice and awesome team out there doing AD service! Who doesn’t want to engage the best team but working within your budget and the level of comfort communicating with your PG/VG are important!

If it’s over your budget, your will tend to sting on other stuff and end of the day, the product might not be what you wanted. If your PG/VG is unhappy working with you, most likely it will affect (mood) how they shoot your AD picture.. NO, I don’t want this to happen!

Worst case if you don’t have the same communication frequency with your PG/VG, laggi jialat (worst), any message send across will be misread in a wrong tone. -___-|| NO NO! I can’t get angry on my AD!!

PG/VG’s work are very individual, what I like might not be what you like. There’s some PG’s work that’s overly edited but couple may like it because it looks like a piece of art. Some may look soo plain but couple like simplicity.. It’s so hard to define a “good” PG/VG.. No harm asking for recommendation but always follow your heart! Go with the one you think is good and not others telling you it’s good!

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Proudly introducing my AD PG/VG *drumroll* DrinkTea Artwork! I found them in some bride forum and decided to check out the portfolio!

Not bad.. They can capture emotions, photos are clear (clear as in you know what’s the focus in the pic, and not anyhow shoot) and color edits are what I like.. Most importantly, PG (Ronald) is a very humble man and anyone can click w him in just a few seconds! Even mama find him humorous! As for VG, we have yet to met him but since Ronald works him him for so long, I’m sure they’ll have a certain level of mutual understanding!!

Showed The Groom their artwork and and he’s ok too (we finally had something we both like – secretly oh yes!) and I went ahead to arrange for meet up to understand more. We arranged a Friday evening meetup and i allocated an hour for this meeting.. Just getting to know more and paying deposit if confirm. Who knows, We spent almost 3 hours talking and laughing away! Of course we signed the deal!

We signed with them way in advance prior our wedding hence got a lil more discount (early bird $100 off and another $100 off when we sign on the spot during first meet)!! All in all, we paid less than $3K for both 10 hrs PG/VG service!! Great deal or not, depends on individual I guess! Since i like their style, of course I would think it’s reasonable! Especially after the Fe**** case, I don’t wanna get monkeys for paying peanuts!

Anyway, my only headache now is how to complete the “assignment” which Ronald gave! This assignment should supposingly aid in the shoot (storyline)… *scratch head* I’m really bad in story writing!

This is (thinking) the third post I’m sharing with regards to my wedding vendor and since we haven’t put anything into action yet, pardon the not-much-picture posts for these few weeks! It will only get better!!! 🙂

Stay tune for the next post!!

 

#DALoveKnot Chapter 2: The Bridal Studio

I have to admit, the bridal studio I signed with wasn’t my first choice.. In fact it wasn’t even in my shortlist! Many bridal studio offers very competitive package! So what really matters now is are probably left with the gowns selection, the service and be mindful of any hidden cost.

Being a plus size bride, gown selections are really important! Imagine signing up a package and later realise they dun cater for plus size!? Or even have to pay up to thousands for MTM (made to measure) gowns that you can bring bring home!? SAD CASE!

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I recall ever calling this BS to check if they carry plus size gown (I really love the photos they took/post) however, the sales cor-ordinator gave me a str8 no. I’m like ok, so how much will it cost to do a MTM? I nearly dropped my phone when she told me the cost!!

Not 500, nor 1K.. it’s minimumly $2,000! and the gown still belongs to them after everything end! OMG.. paying $2000 (and more) and yet the gown doesn’t belongs to u??? KILL Me~ No point mention the name of the BS anyway, not like I will get another free BS packaging as recovery service! LOL..

But anyway that aside, I was shopping at Causeway Point the other day and saw Memoire and Co having Roadshow. Since it’s a roadshow, go see lor, nothing to lose anyway..

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I was served by this auntie (sorry, I forgot her name).. and later the designer (Amber) came and we talked and through conversation she understand that my concern is getting a plus size gown. Being the in-house design she assured me that they do have plus size gown and even if they don’t, she will MTM for me! Red alert, MTM? wow, it means paying another $2,000 or more?? OMG.

Well, apparently, that’s not the case, shortly after the discussion, the boss (Alan) joined in the conversation (like 3 against 1 >_<), Alan was kind enough to offer me free MTM gown! Not 1 but 2 MTM!! In fact, if I like anything that’s already available, he will give me discount on the packages that we already signed! So no matter how, it’s a win-win situation! But again, I didn’t sign on the spot. I wanted to view the gowns and discuss with my fiance before I sign my life away!! Alan agreed and allow me to snapped pictures of the quotation (wasn’t allowed to bring the quotation home).. 🙂

We later make arrangement to visit the studio – an impressive 3-storey high studio with many gowns and indoor shoot backdrop. Fiance let me decide on the BS since gown is one of the many important factor brides would look at!

During negotiation, we managed to asked for more pose for our album and also gowns for our mothers and sisters. Amber was kind enough to let me have the flexibility of changing my trial makeup to ROM makeup! She also include a short dress for my ROM!!

Up to this point, I’m still a happy bride-to-be! Good customer service, flexibility, helpful! They don’t focus on hard sell but helping customer solve their problem! That’s one thing important.. Let your customer feel that you’re helping them and not selling them a service!

Well, I will share more with you soon about my fitting session in the next post! So stay tune then!!!

#DALoveKnot Chapter 1: The Banquet Venue

After we decided that we’ll do a banquet dinner, we started to keep a lookout on hotel roadshow and/or restaurant promo!

ROADSHOW! Wedding roadshow is very important!! It’s the time you can bargain all you want and get the best deal!! Trust me!!

Singapore Bride forum is one very useful site that I always visit to check out banquet dinner rate! We kinda jot down what we want, what’s good to have and what’s not necessary, compare against the quotation we’ve got and finally a site visit!

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Site visit allow you to have a visual of how your wedding would be like (march in, reception, album booth, guest tables)! We only went to 2 hotels (Amara Singapore & The Regent) for site visit and both are kinda within our budget!

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Yes, after the site visit at both hotel, we decided to lock our banquet venue with Amara Hotel (Tanjong Pagar)! Service was one of the thing we’re looking apart from all the perks we wanted!

Although it’s a roadshow, but Amara sales person are all very professional in promoting their packages. No hard sell! Friendly! They try to answer all your question on the spot, even if they can’t, they will go get they answer for you while you’re still around – no long waiting for answer that you’re eager to know! Best part, the lady who serve us, even prompt us to ask for some things that might be useful (Probably she she can’t be the one to initiate the offer hence we got the hint and ask for it)..!

I remember we even told the sales person that we’re going for lunch and discus about it before coming back (actually we might not come back if the next visit at The Regent is good..) Well, apparently it did not turn well and we’re back at Amara.

The Regent (a Four Season Hotel), why would it not turn well? I guess the sales person plays a big part. She’s playing hard to get! We tried requesting for a few things and all she could tell us is, “I will need to check” / “I’m afraid we’re not able to” / “We’re a Four Season Group hence price is very attractive already”

Seriously? I don’t care if you’re Four Season or Five Season, you’re still a FOUR star (only) hotel! What’s the big deal? Your hotel location is not even convenient! If you’re so arrogant then be it – lose the deal! End of story! Don’t even tell me they’re 5-stars!

So, we head back to Amara Singapore and the sales person still remember us and greeted us by name! We actually had a great time negotiating the package and the sales person even “hint” us some things that we can get more (oh i think i mentioned that earlier! LOL).. End of the day, we got most of the things we wanted and pleasant experience!

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For our package, we negotiated for below:

  • Free flow beer; extra bottles of wine
  • Corkage waiver (this is a killer if it’s not waived!)
  • Extra bridal room night (2 nights instead of 1 – breakfast inclusive too)
  • Day room / standard rooms for helper
  • Negotiate room rate for family
  • Increase carpark coupon/invitation card

After the contract is signed, the follow up service is prompt too! Although our contract has been then passed to another banquet manager, we don’t feel at all that our wedding has been pass around like nobody’s business. There is no double standard in treatment!

I must also give my co-ordinator (Simin) a thumbs up! Back then when my wedding is at least 12 months away but she answered to all (i really mean ALL) my inquiries timely! I asked for the list of hotel music, banquet theme, table arrangement, etc etc, she gave it all to me and gave me gentle reminder that these lists will change from time to time and I can only use them as reference to aid my planning. This is service-orientate! She even suggested that we use whatsapp to connect as I can get response faster (versus email) – yes, she replied as soon as she sees my message! I really really appreciate her quick response!

Like most other hotels, you can also opt to make installment to the hotel prior the AD. This will greatly reduce your burden! Plus you can earn credit card rebates over the time.. I will share with you guys again in another post..!!

For now, we’ll just have to wait for the day to go for our food tasting! Food tasting usually happens 1-2 months before AD.. So for now, we’ll just wait i guess..

Tatta for now!