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!


  1. Thanks a lot for sharing your wedding planning post here. Really liked this wedding banquet and other services you had for your big day. Had a similar experience while planning my own wedding. We booked one of best wedding venues Los Angeles and venue offered truly great services to us.

  2. Anonymous9:44 AM

    Hi, will you please drop me a email of the comparison table. My email address is

    1. Sorry i didn't see this earlier. if you still need it, you can facebook message me.

  3. Hi, can you please share your comparison table with me? My email address is Thanks!

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