Planning your own wedding like I did mine – Part 2

Read about Part1 here :

Now I’m going delve deeper into the nitty gritty and small details on wedding planning which I hope will benefit everyone once again.

Like I said in my earlier post the first 2 things were to work out your guest list and research on venues that fit in your budget.DSC_1246

The plan
Pertaining to the guest list and all the information such as your budgeting and time line, its good to have it on dropbox or googledocuments or some sort of shared drive where you and your fiance can share, and not to mention make copies of things such as your wedding timeline/ time table or give shared access of your timeline document to vendors or your bridal entourage when you require.

The moodboard
I basically kept a folder of all things that caught my eye – things that reminded me on an enchanted garden / woodland forest. While the theme was straight forward on its own, I spent a hell lot of time mulling over the color scheme on whether to have it kept green, white and peach, or have it be more colorful and romantic. ie Green and Burgundyoriginal_forest-theme-wedding-invitation Custom-Color-Size-New-70-colors-Convertible-Dress-long-bridesmaid-dresses-Multicolor-wedding-dress-Prom-party

This was the inspiration for my bridemaids dresses which i settled for in lavender.Moss-Wedding-Decor-Ideas-signs-and-frames natural-materials-9-rustic-style-ideas-for-a-woodland-wedding

And the gowns : oh the gowns. I love zuhair murad gowns so much, as well as Galia Lahav but not their pricetags hahahha.zuhair-murad-spring-summer-2016-bridal-long-sleeves-plunging-neckline-lace-trumpet-wedding-dress-patricia-front-view

However madly in love with Zuhair Murad designs I was – I had to be realistic about my budget….you know la – cannot afford hahaha and my figure also meant that I had no boobs to reveal la to be honest. Zuhair-murad-detacheable-wedding-dress-FAll-2015-collection-1 Halia-Raffles-Hotel-Wedding-10 2016-trending-greenery-natural-lush-wedding-ideas 11-jewel-toned-autumn-woodland-wedding-shoot

As my dinner banquet wasn’t individually plated – I had less space to work with for the decorations….so I had to change plans somehow mostly by just leaving it to Regina my florist to decide for me.

On the RSVP and attendance
Have your wedding stationery designer or if you will -try your own hand out at designing an electronic save the date card which you can forward along closer to the date to remind your guests, or have it sent to them before the real invitation.

Screen Shot 2017-08-28 at 11.23.02 PM

On that day as well assign 1 or 2 members of the bridal party to help with directions for guests who cannot find their way. Have this person tag to you like a personal assistant thruout the wedding so that he/she can help filter your calls.

Have your wedding invite feature a map and useful directions on getting to the venue, as well as a helpline ie a number to call should they need help on getting there.

Singaporeans are a notorious late bunch so be prepared to start even if just 60% guests are there. It helps to remind your guests that this is a once in a lifetime event and that their punctuality is appreciated- afterall these are close/good friends and family and you can afford to be honest about how punctuality is treasured on your once in a lifetime event.

On the week of your wedding, send your guests an electronic reminder about your wedding [during which you should expect some drop-outs so don’t fret]* remember the tip for Part 1 which was to invite a couple more people than what you’ve catered for since some were going to drop out anyway. There are however some risks involved lol.

The budget
I found this to be a useful resource when it came to planning my budget or having an overall idea of the venues prices –
One thing to note however is the prices are based on basic menu items and prices differ if you chose to opt for the more expensive menu/dishes.

Saving on ROM cost

  • yYu could either opt for your ROM to be done at ROM [cheap and fuss free]
  • Or you can look for a venue which will provide you a free room to have this done since it was a really quick thing- about 30mins.
  • We did this on the same day just before our wedding dinner in the Courtyard of Raffles hotel outside of The Halia at no extra charge. Saving us both time and cost from holding it on a separate date/venue.CHR_2325 CHR_2327 CHR_2366

About ROM and solemnization etc
It’s a rather straight forward process
Read about it on
It cost just $42 for singaporeans/PRs and can be done online, You’ll need to apply at least 21 days ahead of your marriage date

Step1 To file a notice of marriage you may do so at
Step2: Go to the Registry of Marriages to Verify Documents and for Statutory Declaration (strictly by appointment only)
Step3: On the day of marriage, proceed to have marriage solemnized by a licensed solemnizer and in the presence of 2 witnesses

Documents Required
-NRICs (for SC/SPR) or Passports (for foreigners) of groom, bride and
2 witnesses above 21 years old
-Solemnizer Consent Form (for solemnization outside ROM) – such as ours.
-Credit card for online filing of notice; or NETs/Cashcard for filing of
notice at e- Kiosks in ROM
Looking for your photographer/videographer and vendors etc
On your wedding shoes
While i know how tempting it is to get something pretty yet uncomfy- pls pls only get a pair of shoes you think you can survive in for a whole day. I know many brides who will kick of their stilettos and go barefoot in fact, I recommend shoes from Melissa you can definitely walk an entire day in it.
If you’re going for normal stilettos please consider a pair with hidden platforms as it helps to relieve the pain. Don’t forget to pack a pair of slippers or bedroom slippers and have a bridesmaid bring it around for you in case you need some moments of relief. Personally I had to walk from my hotel suite pass the courtyard of raffles to get to The Halia – during which i wore bedroom slippers, and only changed into heels before my march-in moment. This was a great idea from my bridesmaid <3CHR_1807 my melissa heels
It’s important you have a makeup trial done to ensure you like the skills of your makeup artist and the looks she can create. While it’s tempting to sign up an entire package that often throws in the makeup trial for free- do consider paid makeup trials as well before committing as you don’t want to sign up for something and then regret that the MUA skills wasn’t what you expected.
The makeup artist will probably not be able to settle your make up + your entire entourage and mothers, [unless he/she has a team] – but you’ll want to be picky too on who their assistants are. I’ve attended weddings where the main MUA was really good but their assistants were ….terrible.
So apart from Sally and Malena, as well as Shirley which I’ve recommended in my first blogpost on my wedding.
I will also recommend my makeup artist friends who have huge amounts of experience in both editorial and professional capacities. Meaning their work is good enough for magazines!
@cccjmiko (Carmen Ong)
@muacher (Cheron)
@vinvola (Vinna Er)
You don’t want your main bridal makeup artist taking on too much as you want her focus to be on perfecting your look.
Another thing to look out for is to ensure your makeup artist includes all things such as ampoules…false lashes and things like transportation in her quotation to avoid hidden costs or added cost that can ‘surprise’ you.
Tracking your payments
Keep all receipts, invoices and contracts etc consolidated in your drop box or googledrive and the likes for easy reference. Prepare all the balance payments before hand and hand them to a trusted member of your entourage to settle the balances for you with your vendors. You’ll be too busy on the day to do so and you don’t want vendors waiting etc.
On Beauty treatments for that glow
Book your hair appointments and Spa in advance but not too close to your wedding day either incase of facial induced breakouts. Go for something tried and tested too – don’t be too adventurous, at least not on your wedding week! Don’t go trying a new spa or new therapist during your wedding.
For quick fixes visit an aesthetics doctor for things such as a hydrafacial for that added glow, or a spectra peel laser or carbon laser for quick results.
For me I had acne on my back and 6 months prior to my wedding ,my 2 doctors started with multiple sessions of laser and chemical peels to help lighten my scars so that I could wear my gown with confidence on the wedding day. For that I’m forever indebted to Dr Chiam Chiak Teng and Dr Vanessa Phua – my mom loves Dr Phua too .
The Aesthetics Medical Center
Shaw Centre
1 Scotts Road #27-00, 228208
Dr Vanessa Phua
+65 6690 4690
501 Orchard Road #05-16 Wheelock Place, 238880
Yep see the acne that I have :(
2016-04-01 11.31.37
trunk acne
This was my back in May
2016-06-14 11.21.43
And the subsequent improvements
fbs paragon laser peel2016-05-16 12.27.49
You can also consider pampering your mother or mother in law with laser treatments too!
Or Spa sessions.
My hubby and I were sponsored massage sessions at Huang Ah Ma – the oriental spa chamber a cozy little tcm spa own by the Mary Chia group which helped to relax us a few days before our wedding.Know what the great thing is? They open till 11pm so thats great even if you’re working late you can drop by for a massage still! Huang Ah Ma – The Oriental Spa Chamber
is located at 50 Mosque Street, Singapore 059528 , +65 6536 1661
Now – the results . This was me on my wedding day – as the tulle was really translucent, I definitely was happy that the skin on my back looked clear on the day. CHR_1233 2016-10-08 10.47.40
I think it’s safe to color your hair some 2 weeks prior to your wedding, 1 week can get a little too rushed if you have lots left to do so do that earlier. For me I always choose to go to Chez Vous – an award winning salon where your hair is handled by Directors only. Each one with minimally 10 years of experience.
2016-07-27 23.48.43 2016-07-27 13.28.22 2016-07-27 12.35.21 2016-07-27 11.19.46
I had a caricarture artist to draw portraits for my guests on the day, from my company lolololol  –  you can hire from me if you like at or call +65 9828-6006, I also had a jazz wedding band from highnotes to sing live music for my guests.
I had brought along some rainbow scratchart cards and some crayons to setup a little ‘kids’ corner in case the little ones need something fun to do. This is cheap and easily done. You can also just have some coloring pages ready or a balloon sculptor or magician to entertain the kids and adults.
As I had my solemnization on the same day, we didn’t have time for a couples game segment but you can consider these as it adds to the fun.CHR_2520 CHR_2660
 I had actually customized papers for the artist but my bridesmaid had forgotten about the papers lolooolol – yes these are among the things that can go wrong and will go wrong on the day.
Alethea Wedding Essentials -1-05
Out of the many wedding planning list suited for singaporeans , I found singaporebrides has one of the more useful ones
So fun facts: Among the things that could go wrong and went wrong
Don’t worry I really don’t blame anyone hahaha here’s what happened just for sake of recounting the day and well letting other brides to be know that it’s normal for things not to go as planned.
This is perhaps a good enough reason to hire a wedding planner if you can afford it, I wished there were two of me sometimes. LOLOL
  • One of my bridesmaids woke up late and arrived at lunch missing the gatecrash , still I am glad she made it!
  • Another was a little ill the week of the wedding of which it is no fault of hers
  • And yet another left out the customized papers i printed for the caricarture to be done on – again it doesn’t matter.
  • My bridesmaid forgot about my ringbox during my solemnization ceremony lololol DSC_1326
  • Our groomsman face was stained by makeup during the gatecrash as the guys applied lipstain on his eyes thinking it was eyeshadow? LOL
  • We had a v low turnup for the tea ceremony or rather the rsvp for the tea ceremony because my family is chilled like that and his relatives that were coming from Malaysia couldn’t make it in time lol so we skipped it.
  • My makeup artist came a little later than expected during dinner *Gasp*
  • My mom got lost in the corridoor of Raffles Hotel and then turned to a groomsmen of ours to find her way out hahahah
  • My hubby insisted the flower boutonniere was not in the fridge – there goes my money. We found it in the fridge after the wedding -_- . It’s a juliet rose by the way …… so the funny thing was the next day I insisted he put in on his suit so I could take a photo . I loved the lush juliet rose, the seeded eucalyptus and the lovely orchid on it – again credits to florist Regina Mae for her wonderful work. DSC_1303
  • Another funny trivia: About 2 months before my wedding , I did a prewed video montage and was bitten all over by sandflies at changi beach – omg that was hell but i survived. It was itchy beyond words -_-
  • Oh yes I’ve been to a few weddings where by groom actually forgot to bring the bouquet so to avoid that I kept the bouquet with me hahahahhaha!! Anyway I was the one who paid for the florals ..MEH
  • We are not traditional and neither were are parents so we skipped the guo da li.
  • And frankly I’ve always been reluctant to get married – but my husband somehow convinced me . On my wedding day I was filled with so much mixed emotions – I think I discounted myself of some of the joy I could have had hahahha erm -_- hard to explain but at least I’m honest right? hahahahha
  • So hey – don’t swear the small stuff? Everyone chose to be there for us at our wedding on this special day and contributed in whatever way that can so – be appreciative! And have fun – don’t give yourself headaches like i did hahaha.

Planning your own wedding like I did mine.

Back in Oct 2016, I got married to my boyfriend of 7 years. Our wedding of about 150 guests took us a year to plan  in between juggling work and our new home renovation etc. It was to say the least one of the toughest times we had but I am glad it is done and dusted.


I had read about people getting into debts over their wedding banquets, as well as home renovations. Hence i guess if one doesn’t have the luxury of dating for a long long time before deciding to get hitch then yes I guess it would be very challenging financially.

Here are some tips which I hope will help couples that are soon to wed. These are my wedding hits and misses – my honest take on it which I hope benefits you when it comes to your own planning. Here’s how we survived.

First things first:CHR_1825-Edit

Talk about your budget and ideal venue, bounce your ideas with each other at least a year ahead. I think 12-18 months is good time. Work out a list of the essentials [food], and items which are considered luxury which you can evaluate along the way [example between getting a rented gown or a made to measure one etc, or things like a wedding band etc].

For us, we agreed to keep it small, to just close friends and a small bunch of relatives. I would say we were lucky our parents gave us alot of leeway and didn’t impose their guestlists on us. We had also agreed that it was our wedding, and we were paying for it ourselves hence we will call the shots. lol [Yesyes no demanding parents or in laws were going to change my mind oops]

A typical banquet would cost about $150 a head but there are always cheaper options such as buffet style weddings, or even a cozy one at a cafe/ restaurant which is quite fast becoming the norm here as weddings get more intimate and personal. Bear in mind that friends who have diet preferences / of requirements – might incur you some extra cost :)


Since I was someone who loved the whole old British colonial thing so I set my sights on either the Raffles Hotel / Intercontinental Hotel’ / Fullerton Hotel. From the start the Intercon had a minimum of 25 or was it 30 tables which was beyond what I wanted.

The Straits Room at fullerton was lovely but too cramp , and Raffles hotel wasn’t accepting bookings as they were due to renovate so just when i thought I’ll just do without a dinner, I had met with a Mother in Law who really wanted us to have 1 , I guess him being the eldest son, so I obliged much to the protest of my pocket lololl.

I started looking at smaller venues and chanced upon The Halia @ Raffles [that is now no longer there since the hotel is renovating], we then attended the wedding show and decided there and then on a whim that we liked it so we signed up with them. On hindsight – it was probably a better decision to work out all the nitty gritty and questions you have on things like your guests list and perhaps on whether kids chairs will be charged for etc before jumping into it like I did – then by my own fault only to realize I would sit only 100 guests inside and the rest have to be outside lol [without aircon] Sorry my 50 noble friends who endured the heat hehehe.

Actually I had written to Halia prior to the wedding show and making a booking to ask for things like corkage waive and etc but they weren’t so flexible on those things so we had to then forgo our plan of bringing our own moscato for our guests . Which was actually no issue as there was already lots of pick from since we had our Monkey Shoulder whisky bar, Ginger Beer , Tiger beer , Ice Tea and etc for guests.  lol

Here was the beautiful bar that I didn’t have a chance to par-take in not again ahahaha. CHR_2509

I designed that signage for the bar myself :)

And here’s some of the amazing food….that I didn’t get to eat.  Wished there was an option to ‘dabao’ lol. Well prior to the dinner I had ordered room service so I had some food at least ! CHR_2569 CHR_2571

I thank Jo and Riduan of Halia lots as they were both professional and really efficient. With prompt replies and great hospitality, Jo took on my seating plan changes with great skill and had not charged for the kids chairs I needed on the day of my banquet. Those were pleasant surprises despite the waiver of corkcage issues etc.

I had also opted out our their wedding cards because Mas from Creativekad did those for me and Jo ever so kindly converted the value of those cards into parking coupons for me. so very kind! <3

Mas did the invites, the wedding signages, the stickers for my wedding favors .



And Halia quite kindly provided me with the easel stands.CHR_2584



Not wanting to blow an extra $700 on a photobooth I had my own staff come to help with my photobooth using my own equipment? lol


My fellow MFP blogger Jean goes into very good details on what to look out for in your wedding venue and package which you can read here so I do not have a to repeat.
I’ll just share my experience here:

Pros about a hotel banquet
-Often includes the wedding favor
-The wedding cake
-Lots of parking space of guests
-Has basic AV system
-Includes hotel room
-Some throw in perks such as extra rooms for the entourage or even photobooth services etc / dessert table

Cons about a hotel banquet
-There’s typically a min or 25 tables which means easily $1500 x 25  = $37500 ? which is alot.
-Food is typically boring and standardized.

Pros about an independent venue: like halia
-More room to customize.
-Great food
We picked the communal dinner which had our friends sharing of platters to kind of break the ice. Some items such as the soup were still individually served.
-No price difference between dinner and lunch banquets at Halia back in 2016 at least hence we opted for dinner as it gave a more romantic feel.

Cons :
-Challenges about our venue as Halia is just a tenant of Raffles Hotel so the hotel perks don’t apply
-we forked out extras for parking tickets, for the wedding favors, hotel room and sound system and cake etc.
– There was no tasting session for you and your parents/inlaws etc. Or rather you would have to pay for it.
-Signages not provided unlike at most hotels. [tho nothing i couldn’t solve with the amazing Mas from Creativekad -[my wedding stationery designer]

It’s also very important you have chemistry with the wedding coordinator as you want someone you can trust and is responsive and gives good input/suggestions.

Wedding favours and customization

Since my banquet did not include wedding favors -it meant i could then buy wedding favors that I approved off – you know. Enough of salt pepper shakers or things like bottle corks. SO I  picked rose bud tea and purchased them in bulk and then stuck on personalized stickers that the Lovely Mas from Creativekad designed for me <3

Tho I burnt a lil hole in my pocket to get the favors I must say oh and the logistics… lol

I also bought these laser cut butterflies and birds online and had them placed on each of the wine glasses as a scene setter.


Wedding Cake

I ordered a 2 tier cake from Cupplets that I didn’t even get to taste lloloolol . But of course I had tasted it before ordering it and frankly in my own opinion it looked nicer than it tasted. The cake cost $320 and I had to pay extra for delivery ..

I also ordered some macaroons from which my bridesmaid conveniently helped to collect at raffles city before the wedding. CHR_2461CHR_2557

On cakes: I guess one could always do with a cheaper one! Or do without it totally as hardly people eat them after the dinner. Or get a friend.home baker to have it done for cheap. I felt the $355 I paid was abit steep and given a chance would have probably chose a cheaper option.

For my gown

I had it customized because I wanted a piece I could keep and I had gone with a Seamstress who operated from home, It was a rather hands on process where I had to selec my own lace, buy lace appliques, as well as other fabric etc to have it all put together, it also required about 5-6 sessions of me dropping by her place which I think wouldn’t be possible if I wasn’t self employed. On hindsight, honestly I wouldn’t have mind just renting. Actually my pre-wed shoot included gowns but I decided not to take those as I already had mine MTM. For those who are curious, the gown cost me about $2000, whereas rental gowns probably cost about $600-$800 or less.

Oh and I had my gown designed in such as way there there was a convertible skirt which I wore during the solemnization which I could remove during dinner for easy maneuver – also because my gown reveals quite abit of legs. CHR_2439

For dinner I just wore a gold gatsby inspired gown which I bought on the internet for cheap. The great thing was that it had a lace up back so it made it easy to cater to your size, the bad thing for me was that I think I lost some weigh due to stress and the dress was a tad loose.

By the way the lady in green here is our Justice of Peace: She was really professional, sweet and succinct. I personally think a solemnization is a serious affair and do not like JPs cracking inappropriate jokes hence i went with Ms Rosemary Lim who also was my good friends’ JP :) .



The Hubby’s dark blue suit was tailored at far east plaza  – Picadilly custom tailors , 14,Scotts Road #02-86 Far East Plaza, 228213 which great service and again allowed for customization of your lining etc. They even bother to have your name emboidered inside of it. It cost about $450 If i recalled correctly for a coat, pants, shirt and vest.

This can be done just about 2 months ahead of your wedding to avoid weight fluctuations.

Our entourage gowns and get-up.

Buy these well before hand – and head to the tailor if need be.

For the guys we got them white shirts and kaki pants from uniqlo as the husband wanted to tho I felt it wasn’t necessary but the funny thing was his friends didnt have white shirts. Ok then *chuckle*.

For my ladies, I bought them dresses off taobao and again I chose gowns with lace up backs to allow more room for the difference in sizes between everyone.

That side one way to save money really was to be more flexible on the bridal entourage get up :) You can simply get your bridesmaids to wear a certain color dress which all of them already have. Similarly with the groomsmen.

I also handmade each of them a babys breath floral crown.



Things I’ve DIY-ed

I had handmade all the lapel pins and corsages with the same lace appliques used on my gown. CHR_1069 CHR_1241 CHR_14302016-10-06 22.59.28



And these’ baby breathe floral crowns for each of my bridesmaids 2016-10-07 14.34.29


Wouldn’t want to have it any other way hence I splurged a little on the decorations since I loved fresh flowers so much and my theme was enchanted forest. Of which Ive to thank my friend and trusted florist Regina Mae of

She made my bridal bouquet, bridesmaids posies, wedding arch, table centerpieces and main wedding decor + car deco.

The photoframes that you see were bought online at taobao by me and then framed with my photos – afterwhich I left Regina to work her magic with it.CHR_2116 CHR_1617

CHR_1098CHR_2217 CHR_2215 CHR_2464 CHR_2467 CHR_2785

Florals however easily cost some $5000 and up, the skies’ the limit really. There are however some ways to have it cheaper – ie: Going for cheaper types of flowers, and believe it or not, the month is really important too, expect your florals to cost easily twice as much in December all the way up till Chinese New Year hence not a good idea to hold your banquet in those months. If you think foilage and greens are super cheap – they aren’t either. You could however save money by ordering say a hand bouquet from a neighbourhood florist or have a talented bridesmaid DIY for you. I had a friend who did up all her table centerpieces herself with babies breath – so nothing is impossible when you have a will.

Alternatively go to Far East Floral wholesale to buy flowers and make your own hand-tied bouquets for you and your entourage. It really isnt’ that hard! better yet, be open to non floral bouquets, it could be a paper flower bouquet, a crystal bouquet, a seashell/lollipop bouquet, – you name it.

Bridal Car

Our bridal car was our friends’ car. I came this close to renting on from Carousell and then our good pal offered his super comfy ride . Thanks for waking so early D and going to my florist the day before to deck your car <3 Here’s the amazing flowers done by Regina once again. Check out the giant Protea – this saves me at least $388- $500 but of course we gave a big angpow to our friend lol. I rather benefit a friend lol.

Back when my brother got married, he chose to drive the family car – aint no need for a fancy car that doesn’t even belong to you right?

2016-10-07 17.10.50lr


Guestbook – consider forgoing it as I’ve been to many weddings where just the first 2-4pages are filled up. My other girl pal personally regret splurging $35 or so on a little box only to have it go to waste.

I instead brought along a scroll for signatures, as pictured here. Which seemed more well received and appealing. Consider even a canvas which you can hang up for memories after too. Or skipping it because you won’t be looking at it that much frankly. Our scroll was included in our prewedding package so we put it to use for the wedding.DSC_0429

On Hair & Makeup and my nails

I chose the lovely Bejeweled nail salon at BreadTalk IHQ close to where I lived to have my amazing Bambi themed nails done . Thank you Eileen for the constant support. The details in the nails were a dream come true for me. Bejeweled was also the nail salon behind my many manicures: From my prewed photos manicure to my japan trip and even my hens party for me and my bridesmaids.

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This was my prewed photoshoot manicure

bejeweled nails taiseng breadtalk ihq

My makeup was done by Sally & Malena  from who were the ladies who did my Hens Party make up as well!

I went along with 3 hair changes and 2 makeup changes – I reckon I should have just done with 2 so that I would have made more time with my guests. Ahhhhh see what happens when you’re vain.

I had an up-do for the morning to keep cool, and and braided look for my solemnization ceremony and lastly big vintage curls for dinner.


p.s my teardrop earrings here were bought on the internet – real cheap actually. I think it was less than $15. Did 2016-10-08 17.48.01CHR_2828CHR_2810

Did I mention I also had a super capable MUA to doll up my Mother, MIL and bridesmaids? CHR_1838

AH0168 copy AH0169 copyAH0205 AH0206

So since I’ve also brought up my hens party :

The goodie bags for my bridesmaids were sponsored by the wonderful beauty direct

It contained Starlash glue and falsies, Chacott oil based makeup remover, hand cream and lots of other japanese brand beauty goodies for my girls <3.AH0002

What I DIY-ed for the hens party – Hair ties! for my girls <3

AH0008 hair ties

To sum it up:

  • Go for only what you are comfortable with spending, please do not get into debt it aint worth it.
  • Work out your guestlist before looking for your venue. Be prepared for a few drop outs on that day so always invite more people than you require.  Out of my 150 guest, about 5 dropped out. Tip, Expect a 4-5% drop out rate so invite just a couple more than you are expecting.
  • Work out the tiny details with your venue coordinator before signing and placing a deposit.
  • DIY whatever you can and are comfortable doing, rope in your entourage if you need to.
  • Look at the big picture and don’t sweat the small stuff [A number of things went wrong on my wedding day but that’s common, so just be happy and mentally prepared that somethings will not go to plan.
  • Don’t be afraid to explore Taobao lol it’s a wedding treasure trove.
  • Oh get your prewed photos taken in places like Korea/New Zealand where they return you all the photos [instead of upselling you each and every shot..]

For me my wedding banquet cost about $18000 + [for just the food alone] and it cost about $42500 if I added everything from tailoring, to the cake, photography on actual day, prewedding photography, angpows for the entourage and helpers, makeup,decor, wedding gifts and more.

I think I could have had a wedding below $25000, should I have wanted something much simplier, but I think we quite happily spent what we felt was necessary and we were ready for. We thankfully broke even on the dinner which was not something I was expecting – I personally think you shouldn’t expect your guests to cover your cost. ie someone who chooses say a really grand wedding at the St Regis should be able to afford it themselves and not expect their guest to pay the $300 and up to cover each seat because franktly not everyone is as wealthy and even so, they presence is a gift and their angpow a token of blessing – so it shouldn’t be expected.   I had a friend or two who asked how much dinner was and I declined to reveal and just told them to give whatever they felt like. hehe

I’m also thankfully for my childhood friends who took the time to come over from bangkok and china to attend my wedding.

Special thanks for Creativekad, Stanstills, Bejeweled Nail Salon, Dr Vanessa Phua, Dr Chiam and MaryChia’s Huang Ah Ma Spa for the kind sponsorships. Regina for trying to keep to my tough budget.
The team from High notes for all the assistance with the sound system and the musicians
And my family and friends of course of which all these wouldn’t have been possible.
We took our prewed video at Mitzo and Halias so thanks to both management teams of these places for allowing us the use of venue.

Once again a list of vendors just to summarize

Wedding Planner: Alethea [Me!]
Spa: Huang Ah Ma Spa
Aesthetics Doctors : and
Gown: Kim Seamstress (Tampines)
Bridesmaid dresses: Taobao
Groomsmen attire: Uniqlo
Florist: Regina Mae
Actual Day Photographer: Chris Xie
Prewed video: Stan from Stanstills   [ love in motion film]
Nails: Ucher/ Wen from
Mother and Mother in laws nails:
Makeup for sisters and mothers and groom: Shirley 9880-0289 [super reasonable, and super experienced not to mention the speed!!!]
Makeup for Bride: Sally & Malena
Wedding stationery: Mas from Creativekad
Hens party photographer: ChorHui hp: 9001-1828
Justice of Peace: Ms Rosemary Lim Hp: 9751-3822
AV: Robin hp: 9820-2265
Wedding Jazz Band: Highnotes , Kelvin Kong on vocals
Venue: Halia, coordinator Jo
Wedding jewelry: ‘si dian jing’ from Global Jewellers & Goldsmith Pte Ltd , Peoples Park #01-61AI also bought some teardrop earrings online to go with my gown :) Other than that I didn’t wear much jewelry as I don’t have the habit of putting on a necklace.

If any one has questions about any of these vendors, feel free to drop me a note at curioustrades @ gmail . com :)





Some of you might have been reading about my Enerpeel chemical peel treatments to reduce acne, acne scaring and improve my skintone.

This was my skin on Aug 19 when I first visited Dr Phua at Asiahealthpartners

For some reason my skin is flaring up alot more than usual this year. I’ve never used to get as many spots on my cheeks, chin and even neck area. Lovely Dr Phua then recommended me a series of peels to loosen out clog skin and dead skin cells, and aid in the removal of acne.

I had the Enerpeel Jesnner’s during then.

This was my skin after my 2nd peel done 10 days after the first one . Dated 28th Aug.

I had the Enerpeel – Salicylic acid peel done to dry up the acne i had.


2 weeks on: my  journey towards radiant skin continues, and what the Doctor ordered was: Spectrapeel laser.

Things were alot better from when i first entered the clinic looking like the above, however in September – due to my work load and working for nights on end without sufficient sleep. My skin started to flare up much to my dismay. So Suddenly in September this was how my skin looked. I’ve always been 1 to react really badly to the lack of sleep and from stress . hahaha

In this aspect: there’s not alot I can do…isn’t it?

Thank goodness there’s Dr Phua to take care of my skin.

so here goes:

I underwent the Spectra Laser Peel – a powerful yet gentle carbon-assisted laser treatment..


Laser Spectra® for Acne
Spectra® Peel is a carbon-assisted laser skin rejuvenation treatment, which uses a photothermal effect and photochemical superficial peeling to control acne inflammation, reduce sebum production, unplug pores and minimize pore size. Spectra® Peel can also improve some acne scars, uneven pigmentation and poor skin texture.

Dead skin, sebum, skin oils and colonizing bacteria (Proprionibacterium acnes) clog pore openings (blackheads and whiteheads) and enlarged pore size all contribute to acne. This safe and non-invasive skin rejuvenation procedure is highly effective in controlling oily skin and sebaceous activity; unclogs and minimizes pores to reduce breakouts and improve appearance.

What can Spectra Peel do for me?

Regenerates collagen

Removes surface discoloration

Lightens melasma and spotty pigments

Reduces all types of acne

Evens skin color

Softens skin tone

Decreases pores size

Reduces or removes fine wrinkles

There is minimal discomfort and patients can return to work immediately afterwards. The protocol intervals are between 14 to 21 days with repeated treatments from 4 to 6 treatments for best results. This procedure can be performed on the face, chest or back.

here is what the process is like


What makes it special?

It’s highly effective in controlling acne inflammation, reducing excessive oil and sebum production, unclogging pores and minimising pore size. It also reduces redness from past acne inflammation, diminishes brown spots and improves acne scars, uneven skin tone and texture and fine lines.


Whom is it for?

Anyone of any age who suffers from acne, enlarged pores, fine wrinkles, oily skin or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.


How many sessions?

Visible improvement, especially to active acne, can be seen after the first treatment. For optimal results, a series of six treatments at intervals of two to three weeks is recommended.


Recovery time?

The treatment takes about 30 minutes and you can resume normal activity immediately afterwards. This was me about to drive home…after treament.

personally it was painless and comfortable enough for me to be talking to the doctor during intervals while i was having my skin treated with the Spectral Peel Laser :) Here’s how the whole experience was for me and perhaps it can benefit you too. Personally I get outbreaks of acne and it is particularly bad this month as I’ve mentioned earlier, I also have open pores which I hope to minimize :) over the next few sessions.


Advantages of Spectra Peel

No chemicals to cause adverse reaction to the skin (as found with chemical peel)

No harsh sand papering of the skin (as seen with derma-abrasion)

Ability to return to immediate daily activity, requires no downtime

No scabs, pain, bleeding, or infection (as can happen with laser resurfacing)

All patients regardless of the color of skin can be treated

Is Spectra Peel painful?

A brief heat sensation can be felt each time the laser delivers a beam of light. However, with numbing cream applied before hand, it aids in minimizing this.

When the numbing cream is cleansed off, the clinical assistant helps to apply a coat of carbon onto my face.  Looking like I have a beard, and somewhat like a pirate ? hahah


That’s the spectrapeel laser behind me (that black aparatus)

Spectra Laser Treatment explained


What is a Spectra VRM III Laser Treatment?

Spectra VRM III is a CE and FDA approved non-ablative laser used in the treatment of many aesthetic conditions. Its advantages of being non-ablative means that it delivers the benefits of much more aggressive procedures
  • without the discomfort and downtime
  • patients return to their normal lives immediately after treatment
  • improved patient satisfaction

When would you need the spectra laser treatment?

This treatment is recommended for people who have:
  • Inflammatory Acne
  • Enlarged Pores
  • Fine Wrinkles
  • Oily Skin
  • Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH)
  • Pigmented lesions
  • Melasma (soft laser peel + laser toning)
  • Unwanted tatoos (black, blue, brown, red, tan, purple, orange)

Advantages of Spectra VRM III Laser Treatment

  • This Spectra laser treatment avoids prolonged downtime and PIH (post inflammatory hyperpigmentation) – common with AHA / TCA chemical peels and ablative CO2 lasers.
  • It can also be used in combination with Vit C iontophoresis, LED phototherapy, microdermabrasion, RF, IPL or fractional laser therapy for better outcomes

Mode of Action

Spectra mode
  • photothermal stimulation of the epidermis and dermis
  • gently heats the microfine carbon particles in the SpectraLotion™ and exfoliates the outermost layer of the skin
Acne reduction
Q-switched mode
  • photomechanical destruction of the microfine carbon particles in the SpectraLotion™ along with removal of outermost layer of dead skin
  • skin tone and texture are improved
  • cells associated (fibroblasts, mast cells, macrophages) with skin rejuvenation are stimulated resulting in collagen remodelling

Now for the fun part- :

Here are the results after my first treatment.

This is my skin taken on the 20th of sept. 10 days post treament.

No make up on my cheeks or anything. just lip stick :)

Again for contrast – this was before the SpectraPeel. What do you think? :) My schedule is starting to free up as well, so as much as what the doctor can do for your skin. Your sleep and skincare works together with the treatments administered too.

Doctor Phua mentioned my cleanser might not be working too well for my skin and thus I’ve switched to using Japanese – skincare brand ORBIS which just launched in singapore.
I’ve also switched to Heliocare gel based skinscreen SPF90 and purchased some sunblock pills too :) .

I love the fresh scent of Heliocare gel sunscreen. Most sunscreen have a strange chemical smell but Heliocare doesn’t which is what I love most about it. Heliocare ultra series – is only sold at clinics and you can get them at Asiahealth too. I bought mine at Aesthetics Asia 2013 from Neoasia who’s the distributor of brands such as Neostrata, Enerpeel, Heliocare and more during the tradefair when I was there to interview Dr Marino Petratros, one of the pioneers of chemical peels and laser treatments who practises in NYC. These products are not sold outside of clinics, so you got to get them prescribed or direct from your dermatologists.

Protection Has Never Been More Complete!

Heliocare Technology

Fernblock®, the main active ingredient of Heliocare Oral, is currently the only agent known to provide oral sun protection, making it a major scientific breakthrough in sun damage control. Fernblock® is the patented fern extract of Polypodium Leucotomos (PLE), a plant that has been used for generations in South America as a folk remedy for skin conditions.

PLE is 100% natural and has been used safely with no side effects or drug interaction for more than 30 years in Europe. Benefits of the Polypodium Leucotomos Extract (PLE) include:

  • Increased tolerance to the sun
  • Antioxidant effect
  • Prevents depletion of immune cells in the skin
  • Protection of skin cell DNA

Heliocare range of products offers maximum defense against sun damage with an exclusive combination of phytobiological, physical and chemical filters, and the latest photoprotection technologies.

About Asia Health Partners – Dr Vanessa Phua

Dr Vanessa Phua has a history of training in ophthalmology and aesthetic medicine internationally. Educated in the United Kingdom, with an ophthalmic microsurgical background, Dr Vanessa Phua has an interest in aesthetic medicine. This includes a range of non-surgical and minimally-invasive forms of anti-ageing enhancements. Her signature treatments are Joie De Vivre Face & Body Contouring and Papillon Revitalizing Threadlift. Dr Phua is certified by the HyaCorp Institute in Face & Body Filler contouring. This procedure is non-surgical, with minimal recovery time, yielding instant, natural, soft curves, and has coined it the Joie De Vivre range of aesthetic enhancements. The Joie De Vivre suite of enhancements has escalated in popularity since its inception as a non-surgical, safe, and friendly procedures.

Dr Vanessa Phua has a history of training in ophthalmology and aesthetic medicine internationally. Educated in the United Kingdom, with an ophthalmic microsurgical background, Dr Vanessa Phua has an interest in aesthetic medicine. This includes a range of non-surgical and minimally-invasive forms of anti-ageing enhancements. Her signature treatments are Joie De Vivre Face & Body Contouring and Papillon Revitalizing Threadlift.


Joie De Vivre body contouring
Dr Phua is certified in performing body contouring filler rejuvenation using Macrolane Body Fillers. This procedure is non surgical with minimal recovery time, yielding instant rejuvenation and contouring results which are safe, natural and aesthetically pleasing.


Papillon Revitalizing Threadlift
Dr Phua has been trained in Serdev, EZ lift, Revitalizing Happy Lift, Silhouette threadlift procedures from which she has helmed her signature technique, Papillon Revitalizing Lift. The Papillon Revitalizing Threadlift is ideal for those who desire a more contoured and rejuvenated visage, especially for areas such as the brow, midface, jawline and neck, for both anti-ageing and rejuvenation purposes.


Hair Restoration
She is also certified by the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery in hair transplant techniques, and plays an integral role in pioneering Singapore’s most comprehensive hair restoration centre in Asia HealthPartners, where she performs hair and eyebrow transplants regularly.


The first US FDA approved device for skin lifting-Ultherapy
Always at the forefront of non-invasive aesthetic treatments, Dr Vanessa Phua was among the first handful of Singapore aesthetic physicians to offer Ultherapy™ the world’s first FDA-approved focused ultrasound face lift in 2009. “She was also the first physician trainer to treat patients with the new, 1.5 mm depth transducer for eyelid and lip rejuvenation in April 2012”.


Outside of her profession, she is a wine enthusiast and an avid freelance wine journalist.

Credentials: BMed Science, BMBS (Nottingham, UK) MRCS (Edinburgh), MMED (S\’pore) Ophalmology Dip Practical Dermatology (Cardiff, Wales, UK) Registered/Qualified Laser physician Member of the American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine Committee Member of the Society of Aesthetic Medicine, Singapore Member of the International Academy of Cosmetic Dermatology Surgical Thread lift certified (Serdev, EZ, Happy Lift, Silhouette) Filler rejuvenation for Body & Face Contouring certified Thermage certified Physician Ulthera (Focused ultrasound skin lifting) certified Physician Certified Regional Trainer to Aesthetic Physicians for Filler rejuvenation with Teoxane Laboratories (Geneva)

Contact:Asia HealthPartners304 Orchard Road Lucky Plaza #05-06Singapore 238863

Tel: +65-62358411


How did we live without lasers? Introducing the AcuPulse™ CO2 Laser

In the marvellous world of aesthetics, lasers aid in facial rejuvenation and hair removal to the treatment of unsightly veins, stretch marks, skin resurfacing, scar removal, and so much more. The impact doesn’t just result in us looking better, it aids in our level of self esteem and restores our confidence too. For women, it helps us cope or fight the signs of aging. Especially in Singapore, when the sun does deal us a fair bit of damage. I wonder how we used to live without such technology.

Lumenis Launches a Revolutionary Treatment for Pesky Skin Conditions – The AcuPulse™ CO2 Laser

Used for treatment of acne scars, wrinkles, facial lines, sun damage, stretch marks, uneven texture, warts and many more
•    Empowered with SuperPulse technology:
•    A trailblazing technology that reduces risks of side effects and also ensures patients’ comfort during the treatment process
•    Witness significant results in just one session

The esteemed company is offering an exciting panacea to skin problems long thought to be untreatable. From acne scars, facial lines, wrinkles, sun damage, warts and even stretchmarks, the latest AcuPulse™ CO2 Laser (AcuPulse) will treat these effectively.

I’ve written previous about Lumenis and its OPT (to minimize my pores) as well as Light Sheer Duet treatments (to remove hair) which are both really comfortable and has minimal to almost no down time for patients. Now here’s more on the exciting Acupulse.

Say goodbye to

  • Acne Scars
  • Scars
  • Wrinkles
  • Facial lines (esp the pesky nasolabial one)
  • Sun damage
  • Stretch marks
  • Uneven texture
  • Warts

Here’s what we found out about the technology and effects of AcuPulse at the launch hosted by Lumenis and Dr Wong Soon Tee.

AcuPulse boasts two key benefits:
•    1) Faster ablation rate means a lower risk of side effects
•    With the SuperPulse technology, AcuPulse has the ability to deliver high energy in short pulse durations. AcuPulse can achieve an ablation rate that is faster than almost any other CO2 laser in the market.

2) Optimised ablation/coagulation ratio means a pain-free treatment
•    AcuPulse uses minimal energy thanks to its optimised ablation/coagulation ratio. There is less risk of thermal damage and in turn this means a lower risk of side effects. Patients can also look forward to a comfortable treatment and recovery experience.
This versatile technology can be used to treat over 30 skin problems. For dermatologists, this is a wonderful investment. For patients, this is the solution they have been waiting for.


Here are some case studies- showing results of just 1 treatment done by Dr Wong. Starting from day 1 onwards to a few days later.

How the procedure is like:

Other results from Lumenis:

About Lumenis
The world’s largest medical laser company, Lumenis is a global developer, manufacturer and distributor of laser and light-based devices for surgical, aesthetic and ophthalmic applications.  Lumenis endeavours to bring the finest state of the art technology products to the market, fulfil the highest standards of excellence, quality and reliability as well as deliver premium value and services to its customers.
For more information about Lumenis and its products, please visit:

AcuPulse™ CO2 Laser is now available at Assurance Skin, Laser & Aesthetics at Mount Elizabeth Novena

The clinic is helmed by the amiable Dr Wong Soon Tee

Dr Wong has more than 20 years of experience as a medical practitioner and dermatologist. Highly sought after, Dr Wong is often invited by companies to provide talks and seminars both locally and internationally. His specialty is minimally invasive facial rejuvenation treatments.

Expect to pay $500 and up to treat the 2 sides of your cheeks. As the treatment stimulates collagen, benefits include overall firming and lifting as well. here’s what you might expect after treatment:

Downtime: With regards to redness of your skin, you can speak to Dr Wong to let him know your goals as well as threshold for pain and downtime :) On average, skin will be red for about 3 days (sometimes more sometimes less). Sunblock and aftercare is important, you would also need to stay out of the sun during the first few days when skin is more delicate.


Why Fractional CO2 is the leading laser procedure for skin tightening

Carbon dioxide skin resurfacing is not a new concept.  This laser has been around for two decades.  Although standard CO2 resurfacing was excellent for facial wrinkles, acne scarring, sun damage and solar elastosis, there was significant risk of infections, scarring and pigmentary alterations.  These side effects caused this laser to fall out of favor with laser surgeons and patients alike.

The concept of fractional technology was introduced in 2004.  Basically, this technology allows for a fraction of the skin to be treated while the intervening areas are not ablated.  These intact bridges of skin between the treated zones allows for rapid healing.

When this technology was coupled with the carbon dioxide laser, excitement in the aesthetic world catapulted.

There are several reasons for this:

1.  Less downtime.

Traditional CO2 laser carried lengthy down times of up to 6 weeks.  Some patients would have erythema (redness) present for up to 6 months.

With fractional CO2, the down time is anywhere from 3 days to 6 days depending on the energy level utilized.  This quick healing provides a much greater level of convenience for the typical patient.

2.  Less risk

With traditional laser the risk of infection, scarring such as hypertrophic scarring and pigmentary alterations (hypo or hyperpigmentation) were much more common even with the most skilled laser surgeons.

Because fractional CO2 leaves intervening zones of skin intact, the risks associated with this procedure are much less.