6. Random Musings

Season’s Greetings

merrychristmas

Happy holidays everyone! May the season be blessed with lotsa love, joy and peace!

xoxo

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3. Wedding, 5. Tutorials

Tutorial – Wedding Poster / Save the Date Graphic

Hi lovelies!

Thought i will write something different today!

I noticed something that has bothered many brides is doing up a pretty wedding poster / save the date graphic. Many brides are not willing to pay, but yet they don’t have the tools (e.g. Photoshop) to do it properly.

Canva is very popular nowadays as it is free and easy to use – however, it compromises on quality. You may have uploaded a high-res photo on Canva, but when you save it, you will notice that the quality decreases by a lot!

Hence, today i will introduce an ubiquitous software which you can consider using to do your graphics / posters – Microsoft Powerpoint!

Say whhhaaaa…aattt??

Yes, really. I actually swear by Powerpoint to do minor add ons on my photos when i’m using a computer without Photoshop.

Benefits:

  1. Everyone has Powerpoint.
  2. Easy to resize and drag-drop texts / elements
  3. Minor text effects available (e.g. drop shadow, embossing, transparency)
  4. Saving doesn’t decrease quality considerably

Of course, one can’t expect the photo quality to still be as good as the original, but it is pretty decent.

So how do we begin?

1. Open Powerpoint and select a Blank Presentation.

2. Go to Design > Slide Size and you will see this pop up:

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For posters, select the size of the paper you wish to print out on – I think a B4 size is good enough for me – so imma select that. My photo is in portrait orientation, so i’m going to select “Portrait”. Select “Landscape” if your photo is in landscape orientation!

For save the dates, you can work with the default slide, but you can also choose a bigger slide size for a graphic with higher resolution!

3. Insert your photo. If your photo is large enough for the dimensions you selected, it will fill the entire slide like this:

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4. Type your text! Add your name and your husband’s name or “Save the Date” or whatever. Pardon my lame cliche text lol.

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There are many pretty fonts available for download on the web! One site i usually go to is dafont.com. They have a section specially for calligraphy fonts! Fonts are free for personal use (so using it to do your wedding posters is fine), but most fonts are not free for commercial use – meaning you can’t use it for business purposes, unless you purchase a license.

You may notice that white text is not so obvious on the brick wall background. Well, not to fret, because…

5. You can adjust text effects! Highlight text, right click and select “Format Text Effects”.

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Then, the “Format Shape” sidebar will appear:

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Click on the second icon to open up the “Shadow” options:

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I’m going to add a shadow to my text so it will stand out from the background. I usually pick the first effect, but it is up to you!

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Tada! See the difference?

Basically you can play with the various text effect options until you are happy with it – there is reflection and glow as well.

This is how my text look like with shadow and glow at this settings:

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6. When you are done adding all your texts and elements and you are satisfied with how it looks, it is time to save your picture!

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Remember to resize all your text and element boxes within the photo dimensions! This is so that after saving, there won’t be empty spaces outside of your photos.

After that, drag your cursor over all the elements, or select all elements, and right click > Save as Picture.

Type in a file name for your picture, and you are done! If the slide size you chose earlier is A4, your picture should be good quality enough to print A4 size!

This is a simple tutorial with just text – be creative and experiment! For inspiration, these are some other posters i did using Powerpoint (in 5 min or less):

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Hopefully this tutorial is useful for you! If you have any questions, or wish to know more about designing on powerpoint, feel free to drop a comment below!

xoxo

3. Wedding, 4. Oh Yay Freebies

Freebie – Wedding Favours Sign Printables

Tis’ the season for giving! So here’s my first freebie galore!

Having a wedding favours table and need a sign to let your guests know? Simply print your preferred design out and put it in a nice frame!

Images shown here are samples. To get the high-res file without my site logo (print up to A4), simply leave a comment below indicating the code of your favourite design and I will send it to your email!

WFS #1:

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WFS #2:

favours2 copy

WFS #3:

favours3 copy

WFS #4:

favours4

3. Wedding

Wedding Vendors Mega Review (Part III)

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Hi lovelies!

We have come to the final part! Click here to read Part 1 and here for Part 2 if you haven’t!

In this, i will review the other miscellaneous vendors I hired on my actual day!

#1. Photobooth + Large Prop – Once A Prop A Time

Ratings: 4/5

To us, photobooth is not a necessity – we can make do without it. But we know our parents love taking photos, so when we saw Once A Prop A Time’s facebook ad with an attractive promo, we decided to just take it since we did not believe in paying so much for a reputable photobooth company. Also, we looked through the reviews on their page and they were all positive, so just whack only. And what clicked for us was that they offered the garden backdrop at no extra charge! Other photobooth vendors charge $150 – $200 extra for the garden/grassy backdrop which is ridiculous.

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We got their special $888 combo deal of 2h photobooth + large prop. Usually photobooths are already that price (with the surcharge for garden backdrop), so i thought it was a pretty good deal. But then later i saw them offering the 2h photobooth for $400 -.- Sian. Should have just waited instead sobs.

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But ok la, i got the fairytale gate for the large prop and it did make my reception area more magical~ Saw my friends and relatives spamming photos with the gate as well. Their usual rental rate for the gate is $588…so…okay…*self consolation in progress*

What was #holypearlyawesome:

  1. Very prompt replies to our emails.
  2. Went down to do a recce with us before even confirming.
  3. Arrived early, everything set up nicely before stipulated time. Gate was super pretty!
  4. Didn’t dismantle the gate till 11+ so our guests could take more photos after the dinner
  5. Really appreciated that they printed out an additional copy of all photos for us!
  6. Sent us soft copies on dropbox

What could be improved:

  1. Gave them a sample for the photo print design but their design was, frankly, not up to my standard (disclaimer: my standard very high, so not saying it is their issue). No issues, i did my own design (using powerpoint) and sent it to them. Told them to use it as a guide because i used Powerpoint so the glow effect of the words might not be as good as when you use Photoshop. But guess what – they emailed me back my design a few days later and asked if i am okay with it. WHUT. THE. It is my design, obviously right? But i’m damn zzz because they didn’t even do anything to my design??? Whatever, count them lucky because lao niang is too preoccupied with other more important things so i just gave up and accepted it.
  2. Printouts were of mediocre quality, not as clear as other photo booth vendors i have came across, but acceptable.
  3. They didn’t really encourage guests to take photos, until hubs and i arrived and pulled guests to take photos with us.
  4. We had an ice cream waffle booth and the two photobooth staff went to help themselves to it without even asking us out of courtesy. Worse, they even asked the waffle girls to dabao the ice cream for them. Like seriously?!?! Yes, the cocktail reception was over and most of the guests were in the hall, but the least they could do was to ask us first right? Obviously we wouldn’t say no, but isn’t it a bit rude to do that without going through us? Smh.

TLDR; Prompt, value for money but quality of prints and design can be better. Also, behaviour of staff should be noted. Recommended if you are looking for a budget photobooth with grassy / fairylights backdrop.

#2. Ice Cream Waffle – Bunnie Bash 

Ratings: 5/5

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Best decision ever to hire an ice-cream waffle cart!! Hubs is a huge fan of Rabbit Owl Depot waffles and gelato, and he was so sad that the Bugis outlet closed. So imagine his joy when we realised that they had set up their own events catering company called Bunnie Bash! It was a no-brainer to hire them even though their rates were slightly pricey.

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They arrived on time for the set up, and bonus points for their basic decorations which fit our theme! When i walked into the reception area, the smell of waffles just hit me hard in the face. SO GOOD. My guests absolutely loved it – some even had 2-3 cups.

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You get to choose 3 flavours of gelato, 4 toppings and 2 sauces. We chose Coconut, Milo and Coffee! For me, i thought that the consistency of the gelato was a bit icy, but nothing too severe that affected its taste. The waffles were simply delish. I really felt happy seeing my guests enjoying the treat!

TLDR; Every event should have an ice-cream waffle cart from Bunnie Bash!!! Mad love!!

#3. Wedding Favours (Cookies) – APSN

Ratings: 5/5

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Besides the favours provided by the hotel, hubs and i also wanted to give something meaningful as a gift. Since a long time ago, i told myself i will get my wedding cookies from MINDS or APSN. Eventually decided on APSN cookies as they were able to do individual packaging for one cookie. Opted for self-collection as the collection point was near my house. But you could also top up a nominal fee for delivery.

No regrets. Cookies were awesome – well done friends from APSN! You can tell that the guests loved it as well because there were very little leftovers. My sister was so sad because she was hoping she could kope the cookies back home, lol.

TLDR; Meaningful and practical favours. Highly recommended! Support our friends from APSN! 🙂

#4. Lunch Buffet Catering – Meihao99 

Ratings: 5/5

As hubs’ elders came to his house for tea ceremony in the morning, we had to cater lunch for them as well as our bridal party.

Decided on Meihao99 because they have good reviews and their menu was very appealing! Their menu for 25 pax was also affordable, unlike other more established caterers which charged much higher. Food ranged from average to fantastic. Really loved their kong ba bao!

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Phew~ Finally I’m done with my reviews! Hope this helps your wedding planning, girls! And of course, feel free to contact me or leave a comment below if you wish to know more! Will be glad to help!

Do look out for upcoming posts on some tips & tricks i learnt, and also where i got some of my stuff! Will be posting freebies for download too so do follow me if you don’t wanna miss out!

3. Wedding

Wedding Vendors Mega Review (Part II)

part2

Hi lovelies!

If you have yet to read Part I of my review, click here!

Part II will be on the actual day (AD) essentials.

#1. Wedding Banquet – Sheraton Towers Singapore

Ratings: 4.95/5

Lobby Bar
Sheraton’s iconic stairs – Photo taken from http://www.marriott.com

We went for a few hotel open houses before deciding on Sheraton Towers. Some hotels had magnificent ballrooms, but the location is either not ideal, or their package isn’t very attractive. Our wedding date is on a Friday, so to us, what is most important is that it must be near an MRT station and easy to get to so that our guests could come straight from work and won’t be late. Haha. Therefore, many of the grand hotels that are ulu were immediate strikes (even though i really love Regent Hotel’s decorations).

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Our chosen stage decoration

No regrets choosing Sheraton Towers. Reasons:

  1. Friday dinner still counts as weekday dinner – which meant our table prices were more affordable! Some hotels now count Friday as weekend as well, so this is a MEGA PLUS PLUS PLUS!
  2. Super responsive coordinator – Simin was our coordinator and even though she is like this cute xmm, she is very professional, prompt with her replies, and would try her best to accede to your requests.
  3. Near Newton MRT – DTL + NSL somemore. Fantastic location. 95% of our guests actually reached on time!
  4. HOLYPEARLYAWESOME wedding favours. What do you usually get for wedding favours? Heart-shaped paper clip? Bears? Chocolates? Coasters? Most of the time i find myself not using what i received. Worse, you can’t pass it on as a gift because people will know you got it from a wedding lol. But not for ours – we got reusable cutlery sets and our guests loved it! Really super practical. Most importantly, you can’t tell that you received it from a wedding, so even if you don’t need it, it can be someone else’s christmas present!! HAHAHAHAHA
  5. Decent wedding themes – their decorations are up there! Not super glamorous (like Regent’s and JW Marriott), but at least still insta-worthy la. So we also saved money on stage decorations.
  6. Food was good – no complaints from guests, some complimented the food. Personally i loved their Pi Pa Duck and Yam Paste!
  7. Don’t have to share reception area with other weddings. Seriously, having to share the already small reception area was a mega turn off when we visited Fairmont and Orchard Hotel. I can only imagine it will be so confusing for both the guests and also us. Sheraton’s Grand Ballroom reception area is quite big, and best part is even if there are functions in other rooms, you don’t need to share that space as the space in front of the Grand Ballroom is reserved for you.
  8. AV Testing was comprehensive and everyone was just so professional! Even the AV guy went out of his way to record everything we told him.
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VIP Table Decor

What we didn’t like so much:

  1. Coordinator forgot to inform us in advance that there were events before our wedding so we could not set up our decorations earlier. Bridemaids & groomsmen were supposed to set up our decor in the reception area and solemnisation room at 3pm, but they could only do so at 4.30pm. So basically they just sat there do nothing for 1.5 hours. But at least Simin managed to somewhat salvage the situation by quickly clearing up the area and letting us set up at 4.15pm. And thank goodness my bridal party were HOLYPEARLYAMAZING and managed to finish setting up in less than an hour. (-0.05 stars for this screw up)
  2. The suite wasn’t very big. [BUT their service is top-notch! We got our food (that we did not eat) saved and sent to our room after the dinner and breakfast sent in to our rooms the next day. Gave us complimentary snacks, fruits and drinks as well.]

TLDR Version: Highly recommended if you are a Friday bride. Damn worth it!!!

TIP: Make sure you attend the hotel’s open house before signing with them!! You usually get better deals during their open house 🙂

#2. Bridal Studio – Odelia Bridal 

Ratings (overall): 4.75/5

In Part I, I shared mainly about my experiences during the Prewedding Shoot with Odelia Bridal. This part will focus more on the actual day stuff like the gowns and other peripherals included in the package!

Gown selection for AD was about 2 months before my wedding! I had my bridesmaids come with me for the selection and Odelia Bridal was more than happy to accommodate all of them (+ my parents). I have heard of other bridal studios restricting the number of people during gown selection due to space constraints (cos they tend to have many people trying gowns at once) so this is definitely a plus plus point for me! I was the only bride trying out gown during my timeslot so okay la, they made do their promise the second time round! My hubs chose my white gown for me cos he “fell in love at first sight” with the gown on IG -.-

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And i picked my evening gown! Mad love for it cos it is not your typical kind of gown – it is feminine, flowery (suited my theme!) and…it has PEARLS at the back. SOLD. Haha. Received A LOT OF compliments on both my gowns, so i’m a happy girl!

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While the selection of gowns are not as good as other more established brands like digio and Rico, i think the quality of the gowns more than makes up for it. However, i must be honest and state that the range of style and colour of their evening gowns isn’t that wide at the moment. Hence, if you are a bride who likes boomz and statement-making evening gowns, then maybe Odelia isn’t for you.

In case you are wondering, Odelia Bridal does include tea ceremony dresses in their package – they have TWO (yes, 2, lol) kuas, and a collection of red dresses and cheongsams. I opted for the kua, but didn’t get to wear it at all cos really no time to change into it :/

My hubs review of their men’s suits collection -> Like that lor. Haha. Think he is used to the fact that guys in general don’t have much choice. Men’s suits are limited to your standard few colours (i.e. black, blue, white, grey) and a few more outstanding ones (e.g. green checkered, blue patterned, wine red). My hubs is pretty vain, so the fact that he actually didn’t complain about their suits should mean that if your hubs isn’t too fussy, he should be fine with the suits collection. But would just like to highlight that some of their suit pairing is weird though. For example, the green checkered blazer is paired with black pants – which looks odd to me. My hubs wore it for the PWS because the oddity wasn’t so obvious, but definitely not for actual day.

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One of hubs’ AD suits

Hubs and I went back for gown and suit fitting the week before our wedding! Everything was altered really nicely and we were satisfied! We also picked the accessories we wanted – bowties, necklaces, earrings, hair accessories, veils, etc. All included FOC! They then packed it in a box for you, to be collected together with the gowns and suits the day before!

My flower bouquet and wedding car decor was also provided by Odelia. My bouquet was GORGEOUS. Couldn’t stop admiring it! I got to choose the style that i wanted from a comprehensive catalog, and i must say that they really delivered! Look how chio it is:

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The car decor though…Okay firstly, must really thank the two girls Eunice and Wei Ting for taking up the challenge to decorate our vintage car haha. Not easy but i think they did a pretty decent job. BUT. The car decor must return though. Haha. So take note ya~ Don’t be a dumb dumb like my hubs and forget to tell your car driver lol.

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The only qualm i had was that there is no reminders on appointments. This led to a miscommunication for our photo selection appointment – Ben told us our appointment was 5pm that day, but in actual fact it was 12.30pm. So at 12.40pm, we received a call from Wei Ting asking where we are (at home, duh), and she told us it was 12.30pm. We were shocked and i told her that Ben told us it was 5pm??? But in any case, we rushed down and everything was fine after. I then saw in another review on Budget Brides that Ben tended to give different info from the 2 girls, so it is better to just double, triple check if you are dealing with him. Other than that, i think they did fulfill their mission of giving you “a perfect wedding” 🙂

TLDR summary: I had a fantastic experience with Odelia during my PWS, everything was done swee swee for you, and they made us a pretty bride and handsome groom. 4.75 stars! Men’s suits collection could be improved, and miscomm can be reduced! I guess a simple “See you tomorrow at Xpm!” message would be greatly appreciated the day before my appointment – at least i know my appointment is confirmed and that you are expecting me, and at the same time, you reduce the likelihood of a no-show, so why not? 

#3. AD Photography – Lawrence (The Louvre Bridal)

Ratings: 5/5

OMG, where do i start for this? Long story as to how I hired a photographer from a bridal studio instead of someone specialising in photography, but I must say I was most surprised by this particular vendor!

Honestly, I was very worried about my AD photographer because: 1) Not my first choice, 2) I didn’t know who I was going to get (as the studio will assign), and 3) I didn’t meet him at all before my wedding day. INSANE I KNOW. But well, if it is of any consolation, Lawrence did call me a few days before the wedding though, to confirm my address and check if i have any particular likes or dislikes. And that’s it. It is do or die on my wedding day. LOL.

So Lawrence arrived on time (+++) and I met him for the first time in my life. HAHAHA. First impression: Pretty nice, friendly. My videographers arrived before him and had pretty much set up everything, so Lawrence got to work pretty quickly. I think there is a standard list of things that he must shoot though. So in the morning when i was doing my makeup, he would tell my MUA to repeat certain actions so that he can tick off his list LOL. Sometimes he would also be a bit kan chiong when there is conflicting events happening as i think he wants to take everything but he cannot LOL. But i must say he did a decent job capturing the morning events though:

He even took this photo of our bridal car while travelling on the road!!

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After tea ceremony at my hubs place, we went to Hort Park for photoshoot with our band of brothers and sisters! (OMG I MUST THANK THE HEAVENS THAT IT STOPPED RAINING!! We are really, really lucky with weather throughout our entire wedding planning cycle! Our first PWS, second PWS and now AD!)

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Lawrence was pretty good in directing the shots (although our videographers were the ones giving ideas). Another +++ point was that even though we returned to my hubs place later than expected, he was still really professional to entertain my MIL request for more photos. Damn paiseh sia, so i told my hubs that I will bao more angpow for him lol.

He arrived earlier for solemnisation as well – when i reached down to my solemnisation room, he was already there taking photos with my videographers! Thumbs up!

All throughout the cocktail reception and banquet, he was taking photos non-stop. I really felt damn guilty cos hubs and I forgot to inform them about their seats (just nice got 3 persons flew aeroplane that day) and the videographers and him did not eat dinner at all mans!!! If this is not professional, i don’t know what is!

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And again, my MIL made him stay overtime to take this mega family photo. Can tell he a bit buay song la (cos already close to 11pm which is 30 min past his stipulated time), but he still did his best to grant my MIL the photo. My hubs and I really jin paiseh and just kept thanking him.

[Serious note, if you know that your mothers like taking photos, do inform them beforehand that your photographers are hired from Time A to Time B so the photographers are not obliged to stay past Time B to entertain weird photo requests from them.]

But the main reason why I am giving him a 5/5 stars rating is because…guess how long after my wedding did i receive the photos? 1 month? Nah. 3 weeks? Nah. Less than 2 weeks!!!! OMG. To be exact, 12 days!!! MADNESS!!! I was still on my honeymoon!!

12 days and i got all soft copies (900+ photos) burned into a CD PLUS 120 selected photos printed out and slotted in an album!!!

How HOLYPEARLYAWESOME is that?? Seriously, i think it pays to have low expectations of things sometimes, because then you will be easily surprised. HAHAHA.

TLDR summary: No complaints at all. He was professional, he arrived on time, did what he was supposed to do, and went out of his way even though it was past his working hours. I love the photos, and especially how fast i got them – TWELVE DAYS! A note that this rating could be skewed because i had absolutely zero confidence and expectations before my wedding day lol. 

#4. AD Videography – Aldrick & Xianrong (1stJournal Productions)

Ratings: 4.75/5 (for now; will update when i receive my full video)

Because of our uncertainty with our AD photographer, hubs and I knew we wanted two videographers for our wedding just in case. HAHA. At least if our PG cui, got 2 VGs to capture more moments for us. But as you know, not many vendors offer affordable rates for 2 videographers (most priced $2200 and above). It took us a lot of searching and visits to wedding fairs before we found 1stJournal! Their package was also $2000+, but during the Hitcheed event, there was a $500 rebate, which made their package damn affordable! Plus Aldrick was very earnest and yet liked to crack lame jokes, so hubs and i felt comfortable talking to him.

Aldrick & XR initiated a meeting a few weeks before the wedding to go through the AD schedule (+) and came to our convenience (+++)! They also shared some advice with us and we chatted a little so they got to know us better.

They arrived supeerrrr early at my house on the day to set up and they did not add an early morning surcharge, which is really a big PLUS. Both of them are damn cute la and tried to make me laugh so i wouldn’t be so nervous. They also “self-serviced” (e.g. cleaned my mirror, took my shoes out of my shelves) so i did not need to move out of my chair. Haha.

During our outdoor shoot at Hort Park, they seemed more excited than us and whacked a lot of ideas. So we just followed their directions only. Which is nice because my hubs was practically like a zombie that day and had no brains to think. As with the photographer, they also stayed longer than they should but did not complain. Really thankful!

They arrived early as well for the solemnisation at the hotel and was already busy filming when I arrived. Another thing I appreciated about them (and the photog) was that they worked well together even though they didn’t know each other before our wedding day. And maybe because they are mainly photographers rather than VGs, whenever Aldrick has an idea for a photo he will let Lawrence know about it, i think? Cos i saw them communicating a lot, which is fab.

Can’t fault their professionalism and their dedication. So why 4.75 instead of 5 stars? Ultimately, they are VGs and their deliverable for the day is the Same-Day Edit (SDE). Hubs and I were slightly disappointed with how it turned out though – we had a pretty interesting gatecrash but somehow it didn’t translate on screen. And our solemnisation cuts didn’t make it in to the video, which many of my friends and relatives were looking forward to see. That said, it wasn’t a terrible video – there were some laughter from the guests, we just felt that it could be better.

This is a tentative rating though, it might change as we have yet to receive our final video. Will update when it comes!

TLDR version: Professional, friendly VGs who try their best to humour you with lame jokes. They are directive and often communicate with the PG and the couple to ensure that they get good shots. Went out of their way even though it was past their working hours. No early morning surcharge. SDE can be improved though.

#5. Makeup Artist – Iman Lishi 

Ratings: 4.5/5

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As shared in Part I of my review posts, Lishi was assigned to me by Odelia Bridal, but she is also available for freelance booking.

She is friendly, easy to talk to, and arrived early on my AD. So early that i was taken aback and was not ready to start my makeup, LOL. She also brought along her assistant, who helped with my hair, which made the process much faster. She reached around 5am and I was done by 7am! Odelia Bridal kindly gave me extra flowers and Lishi made use of it for my hair!

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She does airbrushing, but i did not opt for it as she charged extra. Even so, she did a wonderful job. I really like my look and hairstyle! Much much better than my PWS look, haha!

Basically, she is very good at what she does and all. But the thing i was disappointed about was how she made me feel guilty about not hiring her assistant to do my mothers’ makeup. During the evening make up session, she told me that her assistant had reserved the date for me / rejected bookings (even though i had told her i will get back to her as my MIL has her own MUA that she prefers). Ok fine, to be fair it might not be intentional, but I just felt upset hearing that. Another thing was how i texted her a few weeks before my actual day asking if she will be doing light makeup for groom. She replied “Yes” – so i assumed she will be doing it for my hubs. But on the AD, she told me that there will be additional charges?!?!?! Tbh, I was a bit angry but I did not want it to spoil my night so i just REN. Plus i felt guilty from all that she said, so whatever la, i just paid her. Now thinking back though, I felt I should have approached it differently? :/

TLDR version: She is awesome at what she does, but clarify additional charges with her before the wedding so you don’t get a shock on the AD.

#6. Solemniser / JP – Teo Chong Tee

JP

Okay, technically, he is not a vendor. But i know this is still a big concern to many brides out there as we all want a JP who is friendly and nice. Plus points if he is humourous!

So…I started emailing JPs four months before the wedding, which is early according to ROM website, but really, in actual fact, I’m quite late in the game. A few of them have had commitments already, and my wedding is on a Friday! So i cannot imagine if my wedding is on a Saturday…But in any case, Mr Teo came back pretty promptly to us (after we got a few rejections from others). As we were starting to worry we will not get a JP, we immediately replied to say we would like him to be our JP.

[Side story: But then…after we replied him, other JPs whom we emailed started coming back one by one to say they were available…oh wells.]

He is quite advanced in his method of doing things though. We totally did not meet him f2f before the wedding, but only through email conversations. From other reviews i read, other JPs will request to meet and schedule a timing with you to endorse the documents required and brief you. But for Mr Teo, he requested us to endorse the documents and scan it to him, which he then promptly endorsed and scanned it back to us.

This, if you ask me, is actually more convenient, especially if you are bogged down by work and stuff. But to each his/her own – some couples might feel more relieved meeting f2f?

Oh, he also has this pdf handbook that he created with all the information you need to know compiled inside. Super cute.

He arrived promptly on the AD, and proceeded to do the necessary paperwork.

What we liked: Very fatherly, calming and assuring. No nonsense.

What we didn’t like: Too long-winded, repeated things over and over again. Pronounced by hubs name wrongly (he didn’t clarify with us before the ceremony started). Both of us actually started zoning out midway through his speech, oops xD

TLDR version: Recommended for busy couples who have no time to meet your JP before the wedding. He has a very fatherly and calming vibe, but tended to be long-winded. Not the humourous kind – so if you are looking for a humourous JP, look elsewhere.

Onwards to Part III >>>

3. Wedding

Wedding Vendors Mega Review (Part I)

Part1

Hi lovelies! This is my first review post so just some background: I completed my solemnisation + wedding banquet in October 2018! It was so, so, wonderful and I had so much fun! As I really miss my wedding, I decided to blog about it so i can relive the moments retrospectively~

xi

I’m going to start with reviews! I had to plan my wedding in less than a year because we did not expect to get married this year! We only found our fengshui master in January this year and got our date finalised in February – which meant we only had 8 months to plan! Madness I know. But while the start of my wedding planning wasn’t so smooth (cos we rushed ourselves and ended up making horrible choices), we became smarter and started reading reviews and asking around first before deciding on anything.

TIP #1: ALWAYS RESEARCH FIRST! Don’t be pressurised to sign a package on the very first visit – learn how to say no!

If anyone is pushy, you should take it as a warning sign already! Trustworthy vendors will respect your decision to consider and not engage in pushy sales. After the visit, do your research before signing up with them! I did not do that for my very first package signed and immediately regretted after i went home and found out that i didn’t get a good deal. There are many sites where you can look for reviews, e.g. BridestorySingapore Brides forum, and facebook groups (which you can ask your friends who are in it to invite you to). And of course, blogs like mine! 😉 Remember to sign only when you are comfortable! If you still have reservations, it is better not to do it or you will just worry throughout the entire planning process.

As i’m super long-winded and I have quite a few vendors I would like to review, imma split the reviews into 3 parts.

Part I – Prewedding
Part II – Actual Day Essentials
Part III – Other Vendors & Misc. stuff

So now, REVIEW TIME!

PREWEDDING VENDORS

1. Fengshui Master – Jason Liew (Can Xuan Ge 参玄阁)

Rating: 2.5/5

The key players in the fengshui scene are Master Long Tian Xiang and Master David Tong but their waiting times are ridiculous. Called Master David Tong in early Jan and he told us his next available consultation date is mid-March. Simisai?? So girls, if you are planning to wed on an auspicious date, please find your fengshui masters more than one year in advance! As we did not want to wait, we called up a few other fengshui masters and decided to go with Master Jason Liew as he was available for consultation in the same week. We smsed him the details required (i.e. DOB and time of birth) immediately after the call confirmation and met up with him the same weekend. During the session, he shared with us briefly about our bazi and came prepared with a list of auspicious dates for the wedding ceremony. He then told us he will supply us with further information on the GDL and An Chuang dates after we decide on the date we want. We paid him during that session. After discussing with our parents, we texted him back and he told us he will “try to get back soon as he is busy” and to remind him to reply as he will forget. Righhhhhttttttt. Alarm bells started ringing. Now it becomes my responsibility to remind you because you are busy?? Huh??

So to cut the long story short, he really forgot about us and we had to chase him multiple times for replies. He would also say things such as “will check when i get home”, but did not reply us until i reminded him. The last straw was this: He gave us two different GDL dates on two instances. He initially texted us the GDL date to be 30 Sep, but in the final document he sent us, he indicated 1 Oct as the GDL date. When I clarified with him, he said he will check, but never came back to us. Seriously, at that point of time I was so fed up already that I gave up. I went to check the Chinese Calendar on my own and decided on the better date for our GDL. While he was friendly, knowledgeable, and charged reasonably (definitely cheaper than consulting the two masters abovementioned), I would say go for others if you have time. The time wasted chasing him and waiting for him to reply is not worth it. 2.5 stars for him only because he was quick in giving us the main date and we could proceed to book our banquet.

2. Bridal Studio / Prewedding Shoot – Odelia Bridal
MUA & Hair – Iman Lishi (provided by Odelia)

Ratings (for prewedding shoot): 4.8/5
Ratings (for MUA prewedding look): 4.5/5

There was one fine weekend in February when many of the bridal studios had open houses. So we made use of the opportunity to visit all of them in Tanjong Pagar.

Tip: Visit when there are open houses because that’s when you can get the best deals!

Honestly, I  was so sure I was going to sign with digio bridal because I follow them on IG and I love their gowns so much. But…when we visited them, it didn’t feel like it was right? The consultants there somehow gave me this bochup feeling…you could feel it when you talk to them. Like they are doing so well, they don’t need your business. I felt a bit unsettled after the visit because I really thought they are the one. Their sister company Rico-A-Mona was so much better though. At least we felt welcomed and the consultant was bubbly and shared much advice with us. We even got a referral discount because our friend was with them. The gowns were gorgeous as well, and the consultant was so eager to let you try on the gowns lol. However, what broke the deal for us was the photography – i didn’t feel like it was particularly outstanding and there were a number of surcharges. So we decided to KIV, and the consultant again was so nice about it and told us to think it through. Although i didn’t sign with them in the end, i must give her two thumbs up!

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After visiting a few more bridal studios, our last stop was Odelia Bridal. We heard only positive things about them (nothing negative!) so we had pretty high hopes. Our very first meeting was with Jovin and she was so sweet. Basically, Odelia is run by husband and wife team Rex and Jovin – Rex is the photographer and Jovin the gown designer. This make things easier when you want to negotiate things as you are talking to the lao ban niang herself 😛 Unlike the other studios where they will say they cannot make the decision as they need to ask their boss etc. It was also somehow comforting to have a husband and wife team take care of your wedding needs? It was really nice and easy to talk to Jovin and she was so earnest about everything. We managed to negotiate a pretty good deal to include everything we need. So lo and behold, we signed with them after the visit (and i didn’t even look at their gowns LOL).

Fast forward 3 months later and it was time for our prewedding shoot. Okay so before i go on, I just want to state that the only qualm i have about Odelia is that they do not send you reminders for your appointments. So you need to double confirm with them the appointment date and log it into your calendar IMMEDIATELY. Hence, if you are a dodohead like me and would appreciate a reminder, then you might want to take note.

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(photo taken from: http://www.uniquesgwedding.com/company/odelia-bridal/)

Okay back to prewedding shoot (PWS), we had gown fitting one month before. I felt a bit cheated when I saw another bride during the same timeslot as me because Jovin told me the fitting will be exclusive, i.e. if it is your timeslot, no other brides will be doing the fitting with you. But apparently not la. Not a big deal cos we still had 1-1 service (since there were 2 consultants), but y’know, still a bit cheat feelings ma tio bo. I took quite long, changed many gowns, but the consultant who served me (can’t remember if it was Wei Ting or Eunice) was still very patient and entertained me. Haha so okay, good service recovery lol.

We then met up with Rex a week before the shoot to share with him some of our ideas and what we want to achieve from the shoot. Of course me likey likey korean style! And i must say – Odelia’s indoor studio backdrops DO have the korean feel!!! So i’m really happy about that. Rex was very accommodating and shared with us some ideas he has as well. Awesome.

I also had my makeup trial a few days before the shoot and my assigned MUA was Iman Li Shi. The trial was just makeup though (and it was mainly for her to know more about my skin condition, the look i’m going for, so she knows how long she needs on that day), no hairstyle included. I was pretty satisfied with what she has done so no complaints.

Day of PWS!! Hubs and I were so excited! We were also very, very, lucky! It was raining in the morning, but no biggie, because we had to do makeup first. We just prayed hard that the rain will stop in the afternoon because we are going out – and it did!!! So weather was amazing because it was clear and it wasn’t hot cos of the rain earlier – super thankful!!

Makeup & hair took about 2 hours for me and 0.5 hours for hubs. I really appreciated Li Shi bringing along an assistant so it was faster (which meant that we didn’t have to wake up so early LOL)! Odelia also provided a massage chair so hubs could use it while waiting for me to be done with my makeup. Super thoughtful!

FOUR gowns in total for the PWS – 2 indoor, 2 outdoor. Groom had 3 suits! I chose 2 white gowns and 2 coloured gowns. And another fabulous thing about Odelia is that they don’t differentiate between indoor and outdoor gowns! Whichever gowns you love, they will try their best to bring it out for you!!! Unlike other bridal studios whereby they will make you pick from a limited selection of outdoor gowns 😦

I really loved the first look Li Shi did for me – very Korean style so yay! Anyway this is the only close up photo of me you will see which is not mosaic-ed (since must show you guys how the make up look), but i will mosaic all the other close up photos la cos i shy HAHAHA…:P

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Hubs and I kept laughing during the indoor shoot because it was really fun – we had flower petals thrown at us, Rex had to direct my woody hubs to pose better, etc. We really enjoyed ourselves 🙂 For ref, we did 7 indoor scenes in total and we took about 1.5 hours. Eventually we selected photos from 5 indoor scenes. Some photos:

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Got the Korean feel right!!! Neo mu haeng bok hae!!

However, IMPORTANT TO NOTE that we took these at their previous studio along Amoy Street! They have since moved to Tras Street, and the indoor scenes will be different from what we had – so please check with them!

After the indoor shoot, Li Shi helped me touched up and changed my hairstyle again! So in total I had 3 different looks 🙂 However, i didn’t really like my third look. She recommended putting my hair up in a bun as there will be wind near the beach (which we will be heading for our outdoor shoot), and I agreed as I didn’t want my hair to be flying everywhere. It looked good in the mirror, my mum and hubs were pleased. But, but in the end…my face turned out fat in photos 😦 Sobs T.T

Tip: Know your face shape! Try out the hairstyle and TAKE A FEW PHOTOS first to see how you look like in photos and whether you like it or not. Mirrors are deceiving 😦

But ok la, Photoshop is there to save the day in the end so it isn’t so bad, LOL.

SO WHERE DID WE GO FOR OUR OUTDOOR SHOOT?

1. Kent Ridge Park

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This is a mega surprise!! Rex recommended this to us as we wanted a forest theme outdoor shoot, and the park was filled with so many pretty places to shoot at! I am surprised this is not that known yet. Really, really recommend taking your photos here!

There were a few shots on a flight of staircase that came out really gorgeous and artistic, but we couldn’t choose them as we maxed out our edited shots already, and we kiam siap don’t want to pay more 😦 I don’t know where it is exactly, but it is near the parking area so couples can consider going there!!

2. East Coast Park

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It was May, and the bougainvilleas were blooming! So we thought it was a perfect time to head to ECP for our shoot. Totally not disappointed as our photos turned out amazing! Some of our friends even thought we went overseas!

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Rex even had to stand on a chair to take this photo, what dedication lol!

Anyway, i need to mention this: Rex will drive you to the outdoor shoot location himself! Isn’t this so sweet!!! So one, you save money on transportation (i believe no other bridal studios provide this service, at least those that i went to), which is a lot (at least $100?), and two, he knows exactly where to drive you to to get good shots so you don’t really need to recce yourself beforehand and tell the driver where exactly to bring you to. Double yay!

Finally, we ended off the day with Odelia’s signature rain shoot at their back alley:

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This one is a good shot, best shot, must shot!! If you are with Odelia, must ask for it!! If in the end you don’t choose the photos also just take only. Hahaha. It was such a fun experience as Rex’s assistant (Ben) will spray water with a hose and you will huddle under the umbrella with your hubs while Rex click away on his camera. Waste water but the effect really very nice…

Overall, time well spent and we went home with happy hearts! Rex & Ben were a joy to work with!

One month later, our photos were ready for selection!

Another sweet gesture by Odelia was that they PRINTED out ALL copies of your photos and slot them neatly in an album so it is easier for us to browse through! I heard from my friends that other studios just let you choose off a computer, which can be tiring to look at after a while. Also, it might not reflect the actual colours as different computers have different resolutions! So my hubs and i were pleasantly surprised to get a hard copy album to choose from.

I tell you – you don’t know what is headache until you have to choose 30+ photos out of 200 photos for edits. So ok…now thinking back, maybe it is a good thing that my last look wasn’t that nice? LOL. I could easily strike out many photos because I looked fat. But it might be turn off for other brides too, because it might feel as if Rex didn’t capture the right angles? There were some questionable shots as well where our faces look weird, so…dump dump dump. Even though we dumped many photos, we still had close to 100 after the first cut. Sibeh sian. So then second cut was by scene – which scene we wanna keep and which scene we wanna throw. Some scenes only had one photo left, so that was easily dumped too, as photo albums require at least 2 – 3 photos per scene for it to flow nicely la. In any case, we still had wayyy too many photos after our second cut and we had to bear with the pain, close one eye and dump more photos away…Hais.

In summary, I minus only 0.2 stars out of 5 for our PWS with Odelia because a number of photos did not turn out as well as expected, but ironically, this was helpful in the end as we didn’t have to feel regretful dumping away so many photos, and did not feel compelled to purchase more photos.

Photo edits were done by another designer (i think she is hired on a part time basis?). Her replies were prompt, and she was very accommodating when we told her what additional edits we wanted. So no complaints!

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Our photo album was GORGEOUS. We chose glass cover instead of the traditional leather kind. It was heavy but soooo worth it! No complaints for the canvas photo too. Good quality and it is YUUUGGGEEE.

3. Prewedding Shoot #2 – Yikeshu Bridal & Photography Studio
MUA & Hair – Jean (inhouse MUA)

Ratings (for prewedding shoot): 4.75/5
Ratings (for MUA prewedding look): 4.8/5

I did a second shoot! I think i am crazy because i actually loved the whole process and didn’t feel that tired. Lol.

Anyways, reason for doing a second shoot was because:

  1. I wanted to do a hanbok shoot
  2. I wanted a casual shoot
  3. I wanted to take photos at NTU (which is where my hubs and I met)

I thought it through and felt it wasn’t money savvy to do the hanbok shoot with Odelia Bridal because I could only get back a limited number of photos. If i am going to spend money renting the hanbok, why would I just want a few photos out of it? And that would also mean sacrificing other nicer photos for the hanbok photos. Somehow, Facebook knew what I was thinking (damn creepy) and kept showing me Yikeshu’s ad. They had this mega 25% off promo and I was tempted. There weren’t much reviews on them for prewedding (since they mainly did maternity and infant shoots), but their package price was too tempting so i went down to meet them anyway, because, why not? Just look see only ma. The samples they showed us were not bad la, average. But…their package WAS INSANE. Gowns, suits and makeup included, 10 hours indoor, and outdoor shoot, canvas photo, table top photo, 20 edited photos and the best part? All softcopies returned!!! For how much? Less than $900!! MADNESS!!!

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We knew we had to take up the offer la. Like even though their photography didn’t impress us that much, i don’t think they will fail us also?? Cos after all we were just mainly gunning for the hanbok and casual shoot anyway, so as long as got shoot us in hanbok we happy liao lol.

We were assigned Raymond for our PWS! And i must say, we were very, very lucky because we were the last couple he was assigned to shoot at Yikeshu. (He has since moved on to Fine Artisans, Yikeshu’s sister company for more artistic shoots).

We could choose 4 gowns, 2 suits. But i didn’t even need all 4 gowns as I had my hanbok and casual outfits. Gown and suit selection were meh, tbh. Could tell many gowns were from Taobao because I added some of them to my cart. Lol. But ok la, that means the gowns are to my liking, just that the quality not so good and the selection not a lot la. So for brides who are particular about the gowns, then you might not want to consider la. They did add more gowns after my shoot though, so maybe that helps? Also note that outdoor gowns are VERY limited (told ya earlier!). But no biggie for me as I mainly wanted a casual outdoor shoot, so i brought my own dress.

I chose 2 white gowns in the end. 1 off-shoulder gown + hanbok for indoor shoot and 1 bustier gown + casual clothes for outdoor shoot. In case you are wondering about where I got my hanbok, i bought them in Korea! I got them at one of the first-level shops at Gwangjang Market (NOT the ultra premium ones at the hanbok area). The rental shops I went to in Singapore are charging $80 – $100 for 3 day rental (whut)?? Might as well just pay a bit more to own the hanboks, right?

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[PSA: I’m renting/selling the hanboks if you are interested! $50 to rent one outfit for ONE WEEK, or $100 per outfit for sale. This is good quality, not Taobao kind!!!]

Indoor shoot: Not a lot of scenes but we like that Raymond tried a variety of styles and shots. We had the fun, quirky ones, and the raw, serious, intimate ones. One thing that hubs and i were extremely impressed about Raymond is that he actually asked if there is any kind of shots we wanted to take and he would oblige. Even though he knows all soft copies will be returned, instead of quickly finishing things, he actually make sure that we got all the shots we desired! Which is really damn gan dong.

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Not bad la hor? Considering the price we paid?

We went to NTU for our outdoor shoot! NOTE: No transport provided hor! (Chargeable at $110 for 4 hours if you go with their transport).

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If you were an NTU student, I really think should go back to take. So pretty leh the hive! And Raymond like damn happy cos he can be artsy fartsy with his shots lol.

Must give a shoutout to the in-house MUA Jean (who is the boss’ wife) as well! She was damn patient and meticulous in doing my makeup, and took extra measures to make sure my eyes were even (cos my eyes one big one small). I also grew smarter from my first PWS and insisted I didn’t want a bun. So for my outdoor shoot she loosely tied my hair up and sprayed damn a lot of hairspray so my hair won’t fly LOL.

And i was super pleased with the results!! I think i look damn pretty LOL BHB. And Raymond was able to capture angles pretty well. He does consider which angle you prefer before he takes the shot so kudos to him!

Hahaha some photos abit try-too-hard, but ok la got the artistic feel…

All in all, also a pretty enjoyable shoot.

A major +++ point was that the photos were in SUPER FAST. We got all our soft copies in Dropbox in like ONE WEEK? OMG??? This is why everybody loves Raymond. God bless Raymond.

We didn’t need to head down to the office to choose the photos as we got all softcopies returned, so everything in the dropbox were ours to keep MUAHAHAHAHA. What we then did was to choose the 20 photos we want edited and indicate the photo we want as canvas and table top photo. Raymond also sent the edited photos back to us faster than you can say Raymond (ok la, 2 days). Damn awesome la he. We also collected our canvas and table top photo in a month’s time iirc.

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Our canvas photo from Yikeshu on the right, and photo album from Odelia 🙂

Overall, great experience. Loved the photos (especially for the price paid). Budget Brides out there can really consider – I think Yikeshu is pretty decent if you are not looking for something grand and spectacular. Other than the gown and suit selection (-0.25 stars), which needs improvement, nothing to complain about. Fussy brides who need a lot of gown options might want to think twice though.

4. Facial – Amelia (Direction Beauty)
318 Jurong East Street 31, Singapore 600318

If you are a Westie, you can consider finding Aunty Amelia! She is super experienced, and her rates are also reasonable. I paid $47/session, and the session is really comprehensive – basic cleansing, exfoliating, steaming, extracting, massage, masking, back massage. She even uses the metal roller thing. Whatever that is called. My skin conditioned improved and my MUA said it was more moisturised than before. So i guess it works!

Phew, that was loooooong. I hope I didn’t bore you to death. LOL.

If you are onz for Part 2 >>>>