Thursday, April 21, 2016

Wedding Banquet

Vanda Ballroom
Source: Marina Mandarin Website

After securing the wedding date, the next immediate task was to look at wedding venues for a wedding lunch. I was extremely bent on having a lunch because I didnt want to torture myself for the whole day, and also because it is cheaper too.

We had much earlier discussed about what was important when choosing a wedding venue. While I initially wanted places where I could have a garden solemnisation, I realised (after attending several weddings) what was really the most important.

 
#1 Food, food, food

It has sadly become somewhat a practice where the guests will google the Wedding Angpao rate and to follow accordingly. And it is no small amount - in fact, I feel very heart pain for them (and also myself when attending weddings). There are other more genuine ways to deliver our blessings to the couple.

In any case, it has become a norm in which we cannot break so easily. The small comfort we can give these guests would be to provide good food. That's probably the main thing the guests will remember anyway.


#2: Location matters

The vicinity to public transport, the central location...I think these all matters to the guests. Think about the last time you receive a Sentosa wedding invitation and you go...huh so inconvenient! Or at some eastern or western corners of Singapore. Unless most of your guests are in that area.


#3: Price

I believe in spending within my means. By that I mean that even if we don't receive any red packets, we will still be able to foot for the entire wedding bill on our own. The red packets will treated like a bonus instead.

I have heard of couples who ended up getting a loan just to fund their dream wedding. Is this worth it? While the wedding is a once in a lifetime event, but it is merely one occasion. There is still the marriage to think of.


Source: Marina Mandarin Website

Summing up all these factors, with a huge weightage on food, I was really bias towards Marina Mandarin. I had previously attended 2 wedding dinners there, and the food was really good! In fact, it is a typical reaction that one responds to "Marina Mandarin" with "Oh, the food is good!" I thought that spoke volumes, and I was rather apologetic to the HTB that I was very banked on Marina Mandarin - reason being I thought of it as a luxury hotel, and thus with a luxury pricing too.

When it came to choosing of the venue, despite my biasness, we did research several venues and rated it across several aspects:
  • Menu
  • Location
  • Price
  • Package inclusives
  • Complimentaries
  • Reviews from SingaporeBrides forum


We tried to be more impartial, putting in formula into some of the ratings, such as price.We compared 15 hotels in total:

Extract - comparison of 3 hotels
Updated to the best of my knowledge based on wedding packages online.

If you are looking for the full comparisons of all 15 hotels, drop me a comment or Facebook message.

Note: does not include further negotiations with the hotels. What we input was based on wedding packages uploaded online, some which are more specific than others. Food selection was based on what I preferred, alot more food options in the packages.

It was then that I realised, hey Marina Mandarin isn't super ex compared to some other venues! To think my mum initially still blamed me for being too demanding to the HTB...seriously -.-"

When you really compare everything side by side, then you realised that there are some differences, like some hotels with 7 course meals vs some with 8 course. And the dish they remove is slightly different too - most prominently M Hotel without prawn.While Marina Mandarin wasn't my highest rated hotel, but I had inherent bias towards it since I attended wedding dinners there previously.

We finally shortlisted some hotels which we emailed while we were getting our dates. Some hotels we did not consider due to the minimum 25 tables requirement. As much as possible, I wanted to keep the wedding as small as possible.

After settling on the wedding date, we finally fixed on 18 Feb 2017 and quickly emailed the hotels. It was really quite a popular date and many hotels were already booked.

Thankfully, I had previously attended the Marina Mandarin wedding showcase and was already in contact with the wedding coordinator, Francis. 


And from there, it was all set...
Marina Mandarin it is for our wedding lunch!

Monday, April 04, 2016

First important task: Wedding Date?

Perhaps one of the first things people start to do during wedding planning is to determine the wedding date. Venues in Singapore get snapped up really quickly, with some kiasu brides booking almost 2yrs in advance for popular venues.

From my one experience, I would think this shouldn't be a starting point. A starting point could be to align wedding expectations and the different background and cultures you are from.

The wedding date was a source of major conflict for us. It made us really upset, it made my parents really upset too. I was really upset because the 'myth' of "wedding planning confirm got conflict one" fell on me really early. I thought we would not succumb to this, especially since we had talked broadly about the wedding before.

I come from a freethinker background, the HTB's family comes from a Buddhist background with strong superstitions.

I do not believe in auspicious dates.
I believe the couple will be happy if they work together to make the marriage a happy one.


I do not believe the wedding will be smooth because of a particular date.
I believe that the wedding will be smooth because of careful planning, briefing and assigning of roles. With sufficient contingency planning, one should be prepared for any situation. And should anything happen which is out of plan, clear thinking and decisiveness should solve it.


I do not believe in words of a geomancer or from a book.
They do not know me. I wouldn't think everyone born under the same zodiac sign have the same personality and mentality. If yes, come up with a dating app to match all the different zodiac combinations of an ideal couple then.



So if everyone goes for the auspicious dates, will there be no more unhappy marriages in the world? Will there be no more divorce? No more marriage challenges? I do not think so.

And if we have very little auspicious dates, what I am supposed to read into this? That we are incompatible? That we have less chance of being happy together? That it is a higher chance for bad luck to befall on us? I do not believe so.

While I use "I" above, my parents are generally of the same view. So they were really worried when we were so stressed and unhappy about the wedding date and venue. To some point, they were really upset too.

I have always thought wedding date should be determined by the couple based on perhaps the ideal month to get married (then check on availability), or perhaps a meaningful date to the couple.

In the end, somewhat luckily, we did get the month that we wanted. Why? Because I told the geomancer my parents and I will have no qualms about getting married in lunar first and second month. Meaning the geomancer assumed for me on my preference.


Like I said above, he doesn't know me.


TIPS ON CHOOSING A WEDDING DATE

1) Do not start with the date

Start with listing down what exactly the couple wants from the wedding. So the couple aligns their thinking first, and feel more like a team, and can take on any battles which come along. Subsequently, take in the parents' considerations if need be. Parents' considerations are not the couple's considerations. But it is accommodated should they have an extremely strong view.



2) If you demand more, clearly explain your thinking

Explain in detail where you are coming from and do not expect people from a different background to understand. Explain from a point of view of standing in the other party's shoes. Put it in a way that will not worry the other party and make them at ease.



3) If you demand less, be prepared to always feel lesser-off

Simply, you will always be at the lower end of the see-saw. There is no equilibrium since you demand less. A friend told me before that one should just demand for stuff, just so it feels more equal. But I do not want to, because it contradicts what I believe in the wedding. So I need to accept the lesser-off feeling - which is not easy for me because I have strong pride.



4) Manage your parents well

Do not expect the other party to know your parents. You should be the one to convey their thoughts, and manage them when meeting. You are the link between your life partner and your parents - and assuming you know both really well, then you should be in a good position to manage this. Do not throw the other party into the unexpected, simply because backgrounds differ, and one may not comprehend.



5) When conflict arises, stay calm
While I say this is a tip, but I rarely practise it. Because I think quite quickly, and naturally will get agitated really quickly too. You may think this is jumping into conclusions - but flip the table over and it could be the other party giving too little information which led to this conclusion. It takes two to clap.


But yes, slow to anger, definitely agree to that and must implement it. For a peaceful and healthier relationship.



Honestly, after all these while, thinking about this still makes me really upset. I wonder when I will ever get over this, or what closure I require or mentality to be seeded. 

And this is not the end. We still have another roadblock: Auspicious Time. Which we will only get in August.

*sigh*

Friday, April 01, 2016

#cloud9wedding

It is back to my blog to capture all the memories from one of the biggest milestones in my life.

It has been 76 days since I got engaged, 323 days to the wedding date. Ever since we started wedding planning, forums and blogs have been great sources of reviews on the various wedding vendors. Thus, I strive to contribute back as well, by documenting my journey and capturing all these memories.

******

After the proposal, strangely enough, one of the top things I wanted to do was to create a wedding hashtag. I wonder if it has to do with my occupation as a marketer - I felt it essential to create somewhat like a brand for ourselves. And looking ahead, I really wanted to see photos which others are uploading of us, and tagging is a way to this.

While I started thinking about this awhile back, it was only until last weekend where inspiration struck and the HTB (aka Husband-to-be, so familiar with forum acronyms these days hah) agreed to it as well.

After researching quite abit from pinterest, and drawing inspiration from married friends, I came to the following conclusion:


TYPES OF WEDDING HASHTAGS

1) Your Name, My Name, All Together Now

Most wedding hashtags fall into this category where it is a mix of the bride and groom's first names (e.g., #KristinlovesJustin,#AndyplusKate ) or using the groom's last name (e.g., #MrandMrsSmith, #StephensWedding, #MeetTheKhuns).

Some have a creative take by plugging their names into typical wedding wishes (e.g., #HappilyEverHarrison, #ToHaveAndToHolton) or hit songs or movies which people can easily associate with (e.g., #TimandAnneinWonderland, #TwasaGoodKnight, #ForeverYounge) In fact, there are wedding hashtag generators online which try to come up a creative hashtag based on the couple's names.

However, this didnt work out so well with our names. Tried various combinations but wasn't pleased with any. Also, this option potentially limits usage to just the wedding day.

It is not just the wedding, but also the marriage. I wanted a brand/hashtag where we can use it for other major milestones in our couple life together.


2) Our Common interest, Our Common Lingo

Some wedding hashtags do not incorporate names, but have a hint of your common interests or lingo in there.

For example, since we are having sort of a travel theme wedding, I thought of a few possibilities:

#ourweddingjourney
#ourweddingadventure
#ourweddingtakesflight


It is all rather long though. And adventure doesnt describe us (or maybe, me) that much. Take flight has a sort of hasty meaning to it too.

Other than interests, there are some which may include common lingo like what my friend, Rachel had with #thisweddingrocksmyboms, with boms being the lingo (or so I infer).

Well, the HTB and I do not have such common language though. So this option was out for us.


3) Random words which are not random

Another possibility is to have a hashtag with seemingly random words. Yet it may represent something close to you. I was initially stuck in a rut trying to think of possible words.

I even went to research on one-syllable and two-syllable words, piecing them together in various combinations to see if anything makes sense.

And then, the Aha! Moment:

#cloud9wedding

I initially spelt out nine, but after sharing with the HTB all the options, he suggested changing it to the number 9 instead. Which works well to shorten it - though I do hope the guests will remember!

The story behind #cloud9wedding:

On Cloud Nine
Meaning: Extremely Happy
Background: With reference to a ten-part classification of clouds in which “nine” was next to the highest
(Source: Oxford Dictionary)


From the day we got together, we were a really happy couple (that is, until initial wedding clashes, but that is another story). There were many moments where we felt that we were on cloud nine - notably when we first got together, a random day where everything felt just right, and when he proposed.

It is also what we strive to be - a happy couple.

Other than extreme happiness, Cloud 9 somewhat alludes to travel as well. What is one typical instance when you are above the clouds? When you are on a plane.



So I really felt that it was a perfect combination for us, and was glad that the HTB liked it too. And it is everlasting - I could use it for future milestones like honeymoon, new house, kids.

And true to my marketing self, I even did up a logo sort of for our wedding:



This was adapted from an image I saw on Pinterest. I believe the inspiration is from a passport stamp in the overall layout, especially how the date was placed.
Need to think where I can use this!! :)

To end off, while it is great that there are wedding hashtag generators in place to provide the convenience, nothing beats brainstorming with a pen and paper while googling for inspiration.And finding that hashtag which really represents the couple!

Just a reminder to check that the hashtag has not been used!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

New Job, New Woes

Source: Google Images (KeraNews)


9 months have passed since the new job.
9 months and it is still difficult to grasp what's going on here.


Am I not putting in enough effort?
Am I too resistant to change?
Am I not doing all I can to adapt?


That begs the question - adapt? Why should I do so?

Is it just to keep the job?
Is it to make changes for the sake of making it?
Is it really necessary?
Is it value-adding?


Are all these dealbreakers?

The amount of uncertainty is worrying.
The lack of clear direction is worrying.
The mountain of engagement is worrying.
The fact that we barely move is worrying.
The absence of follow-ups is worrying.


Am I the only one worrying? I doubt.

So why are we all stuck in this ball pit of worry? 
So why are we gearing to battle against everyone?
So why are we struggling to integrate everyone?
So why are we running like headless chickens sometimes?
So why are we compromising our personal life for work?
So why are we made to accept that this is the way it is?


I don't think these are questions for me to answer.
But the question is, what is the value for me to hang on?

Sunday, May 31, 2015

happy birthday welson (:

Source: Google Images (IcyTales)

to the one whom i met 91 days ago,
and became my #1 63 days earlier, 
the one who was away for 29 days, 
whom i dearly missed so so much,

this is for you <3


The heavens have been really kind to me this year. So much that there wasn't even a need to come to this blog anymore. Somehow this really has evolved into an emo blog where I pour out all my thoughts. 

These days, however, emo is like a word of the past. While there are definitely still times of frustration (work as usual), there is someone to talk to, who will make me think past these frustrations. There are still times when I feel mildly upset (grr, yeah it's work again), but there is now someone to cheer me up. At times when I feel really happy, I can share this joy with someone dear to me. 

And on this day, we celebrate this someone's birthday. his birthday. sadly for him, a very belated one. 

While it is belated, I hope it will still be special, for my special someone. Plans did have to change quite abit, with the switching of dates, and then from dinner till lunch :x So well, initial place which I planned didn't work out (haha, save it for another time :p), first lunch place I planned didn't work either (fully booked for an event haiz)...

but wherever the place, I do think everything will still work out fine. 

because we are together with each other. 

Somehow it all still seems surreal. From the time we first met, to the time at Gardens by the Bay, till now. I feel really happy and lucky to be together with this someone, and really wanted to celebrate a nice birthday with him. Somehow I have always minded/weighted a birthday more than any other occasion - it's a special day where we came into this world, and so deserves to get a little special treat. Though I personally think special doesn't need to be extravagant or obnoxious, it's just something to make one feel special again. 

I thought for a really long time on what to get or do. But I was honestly at a loss for quite awhile. It made me think that I really do need to get to know him more, perhaps to be more inquisitive. It is really not in my nature to ask too much, because I find it invasive sometimes, and rather people share about themselves instead. Perhaps it is time to start thinking differently, so that I can know more, and get something in which he really would want. 

Somehow, the idea of a garden keep striking me, perhaps because of the night at the Supertrees. I really wanted to somehow wrap up that thought into a tangible memory - something that can be seen, to remember us of that day. Since we didn't exactly have a photo from that day (the afternoon one not counted) to remember it by. 

During my random googling (to get inspiration), terrariums popped up. A pretty little indoor garden in a bottle. What if I could put a Supertree look-alike into this bottle? Researched abit more into terrariums and realised that they are somewhat self sufficient and can thrive on its own. A terrarium can go on for weeks or months without needing water, as the water cycle happens within the closed terrarium, where it is constantly recycled. It doesn't really need the sun either - just put it in a bright area with indirect sunlight, like in an office or at a home desk. It doesn't need fertilizer at all, as the plants will get nutrients needed from the soil.

This struck a chord with me on how I think we are. There really isn't a need for constant attention, because I know I am in your mind (and you in my mind). When you are busy with work, I don't really mind that, and will support you instead. There isn't a need to do too much, and our love will still thrive like the tiny plant in the terrarium. I like this whole concept, but I think I will struggle to explain how I wrapped it up into this concept to you. 

And then the Supertrees idea. Well the idea was to get some bubble tree straws, and then twine it with green wire typically used to make flowers. But after doing up the terrarium and realising the lack of space for 2x bubble tea straw diameter, and also the fact that straws are tightly guarded by bubble tea aunty (all the gongcha straws are given now, not for customers to pick), I decided to drop that idea. I was also kind of skeptical over my green hands, this gardening thing is too new to me, and sadly a cactus died on me previously :( 

So the idea of the gift did kind of change, but I do still hope you cherish it. 

And then came the news that you will be in the states on your birthday. I did think whether to still do something then, or just wait for you to come back before celebrating. Inspiration struck after I got the coke cans for my parents. The idea was initially just to get a pair for both you and me, with a photo and a message. Then I decided to do up a special something on your actual birthday instead, something which I have not done before - a video. Thankfully the recording and editing of the video turned out to be not too difficult.

Today, we will be having lunch together to celebrate your birthday. Since you became a recent loyal blog reader, who probably read more posts than anyone else in the world, who shower me with so much attention which sometimes I wonder if I deserve so much, I hope this blogpost will be a nice surprise for you too.

Happy Birthday Welson,
I love you! 



Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Determined


"Things will get better..."

For close to a year now, I have been deluding myself with that. To encourage myself by seeing the light (?) at the end of the tunnel. Till today, I'm still in that tunnel, in that endless trail. 

Yesterday, I stepped into a sinkhole. All my emotions just came up, wondering what all this is for. At work, I tried to deal with it the best that I can, by just organising myself and just... work. But as night came, the emotions came back together with the wonder of why all this is happening. 

Putting in effort doesn't mean anything; trying your best falls on deaf ears. 

But this morning, I woke up asking myself how can I best deal with this in the short term? Answer is just to to suck it up and finish whatever there is to finish. No point wondering about the unknown future. Even if it means working till late night, working on public holidays (which is today), I will just get it done and see how it goes from there. 

Because if after I have put in the best of my effort and the issues still don't go away, I shall safely say I have done my part, and perhaps the scope is just not manageable for one human in boon lay. 

I shall work.

(Updated: 7pm)


ACCOMPLISHED! 

It's time to enjoy the rest of my public holiday now.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Work Life Balance


"And it is mind over matter"

It is Day 5 of #100beautifuldays, and the attempt at being healthy is taking a toll on me.

The stress from leaving work on time.

For the past two days, I have been leaving promptly at 5pm so that I could go for gym classes at Amore. And I was hoping today will be no different - to leave early and go for a run. I really wanted to keep up the momentum, and told myself that no matter what, I must continue my exercise.

Mind over matter, they say

So I worked as quickly as possible (sadly I reached office 30mins late due to a train delay #smrtfail). I did not touch my phone much except for work issues, didnt access facebook, didnt go for lunch. And yet, I could only pluck myself away from the desk 1hr after end of work, with thoughts of "if need be, I can continue working from home tonight."

9.5hours of utter concentration and I still couldnt finish. And I do believe I am not slow. Is OT an invisible mandatory in our contract? Must we sell our lives away to the office? Am I a whiner making excuses?
It is tiring. I barely get enough sleep every night because I have to get up at 545am everyday to make it to work on time. But I am trying to make an effort here - to be a healthier better me.

Better than others, anyway.

I may not work as late as others, but that doesnt mean I should be condemned for my whines. I dont want work to make up all my life - which currently it feels so. I should have a life outside work, I should have time to feel like doing whatever I want.

It is less than 5hrs to the end of today and I am still on the way home. After all these rants, I just need to suck it up and make use of these few hours. To see how I can possibly squeeze in some exercise or stretches so that efforts from the past few days don't go to waste.

I can do it, I know I can.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Sponsored Review: Hada Labo SHA Hydrating Light Lotion



It has been almost 3.5 years when I started on my very first Hada Labo lotion and cleanser. Through the years, the number of variants have increased, with more products catered for targeted skincare needs. 

Picture above shows the Hada Labo products which I use almost daily - though I missed out the exfoliating cleanser! That brings the total number of Hada Labo products I use to 6:

- AHA/BHA Exfoliating Face Wash Foam
- Arbutin Whitening Lotion
- Super Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Lotion (Nano formula)
- Super Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Mist
- Super Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Essence
- Super Hyaluronic Acid Moist Eye Cream

I put the Whitening Lotion and Hydrating Mist in office to keep me refreshed at work.

Now, Hada Labo has come up with yet another range of products: oily and combination skin. 


I have oily and combination skin, though the regular Hada Labo lotion still works well for me. It doesn't feel too heavy for my skin. But with this specific Oily & Combination range, I will have a better product to suit to my skin type. 

The lotion feels lighter than the regular Hada Labo lotion and absorbs into your skin in a mere instant. Though it feels less dense (as if it's not locking an ocean in a drop), but it still keeps my skin feeling soft and hydrated. 


In an attempt to showcase the difference between the 3 hydrating lotions I have, I put a drop of each onto a laminated paper and tried spreading it. 
  • Whitening Lotion: it feels much denser, heavier and compact - where it is able to spread smoothly across without 'breaking'
  • Normal Lotion: it still feels somewhat dense, but it spreads for a shorter distance as compared to the whitening lotion
  • Oily & Combination: this new formula clearly feels less dense, just merely spreading it will cause the liquid to run with air pockets at the side
I don't think "dense" is the right word to describe this effect, but I am at a slight loss now in terms of vocabulary. I am sure you get what I mean :)


So choose the Hada Labo Hydrating Lotion which best fits your skin today! :) and complement it with a face wash and essence for better effect. If you would like to try a sample, get a free sample at The Sample Store: 


Hada Labo is available at all Watsons, NTUC, Guardian, SASA, BHG and Unity for RSP S$22.90. 

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Private & Locked

So I happened to check my page stats and saw a surprising number of views on my Reflections post. extremely shocked by how many people have viewed that - I only told a few close friends about it. And it is highly unlikely to appear in a search engine because there are no photos. 

Someone must be sharing it. 

But oh well, like I told shuyi before, it contains my innermost thoughts, but thoughts in which I'm not afraid of others knowing or judging.

I don't like secrecy, privacy settings, or custom lists in Facebook. There are no online secrets - everything can be dug out, everything has a cached. You will not be able to run from it. If I post something and it appears shared or posted elsewhere, I should be prepared for it. 

Though with that said, my only private platform right now is Twitter as I do rant abit on it. Not so much as compared to last time, but I've even taken the effort to delete away certain tweets which I will not want people to know. These days, crypt-ism works best. 

Let's talk in poetry from now on. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

fly away


"Spread your wings and fly away"

so another of my friend is flying away for work - and it is a local contract, so there is actually no definite date that she will be back. Definitely happy for her that she gets this opportunity; but at the same time, I'll really miss her too :( It's not that we meet up very often, but well, I know that she will be there if I need her. And she is my one and only exercise/hiking buddy too, my inspiration whenever it comes to working out.

No doubt there is technology to always keep us in contact, but it really matters whether one is by your side or not. In fact, I only have one friend whom I've kept a pretty good LDR with. Though I will say that is slightly different as she has an end date to come back, which is like in two months' time. It is just a matter of time that they fade away - though the good thing is that whenever you have a chance to meet, you can still catch up like old times, as if no time has past :) 

I must put in more efforts to maintain all these LDRs - these are friendships that I will not want to lose. Looking back, perhaps I should have done more to keep more of other friendships. But as each moves on in their lives, it feels that friends get filtered to those few that you always meet - those whom you somehow don't feel like you have to make alot of effort to maintain. 

On a separate note, another friend is looking to come back from HK and I hope she really manages to do so! 
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