This blogpost is dedicated to help you get prepared for your wedding; I have compiled the entire list of my wedding vendors with an aim to give you an honest review of my experience with them!
The Auspicious Date for Wedding
First things first, have an idea of WHEN you would like to hold your wedding banquet. Decide if you want it on a weekday (eg Friday) or weekends, have an idea of the time period (eg Mar – Jun or any other periods) then proceed to select an auspicious date for your wedding.
I had my dates calculated by a Feng Shui consultancy firm as I strongly believe in starting the union on a right note. I am a deep believer of doing the right thing at the right time, and of course, I could only trust my dad’s company, Yuan Zhong Siu, to help me with it. For those of you whom didn’t know, Yuan Zhong Siu, is the only listed Feng Shui brand in Asia and I work there too!
When date selection is supplemented with the individual’s Eight Characters (i.e. date, month, year and time of birth), you can expect that the alignment of the right factors can help minimize unpleasant obstacles and help you ride on the wave of success. FYI, The Chinese Almanac or Tong Shu is only meant for general usage. It classifies individuals into 12 broad categories based on your year of birth/zodiac signs and is not specific enough for you and your partner. The best date for wedding activities should be personalized according to the couple’s birth information.
If you are keen, the entire service of Auspicious Wedding Date Selection has a current online promotion of S$150 NETT, and comes in a detailed analysis report with two best auspicious wedding dates for you to choose from and auspicious hours for Fetching the Bride, Guo Men and Hui Men activities. See more here and booking is via an email to email@example.com.
The Venue – Regent Singapore
Start looking at venues as early as possible; the sooner you are holding your wedding, the less expensive it will be as hotel prices increases by approximately 5-10% every year. To help with the shortlist, I had used SingaporeBrides platform extensively. You can look through a comprehensive listing of all the wedding venues in Singapore to host your banquet and the prices of the wedding packages shared on their site are very reliable and accurate. Just to share, one year prior to my wedding date, I contacted 25 venues on my preferred wedding date, and 23 of them were already booked. Yes, no joke, the slots are very hot-selling. So, start your wedding planning early to avoid disappointment!
For alternative wedding places, hitcheed platform works better.
To be honest, Regent Singapore isn’t one of the hotels that offer the best perks; in fact, they can be very rigid and inflexible with their policies. Do not go with the mentality that you can squeeze them for perks. Sherman and I booked the biggest ballroom and invited approximately 460 guests (maximum capacity is 500), and there wasn’t free flow wine.
But I was won over by the Love in Provence French-inspired theme they had, it’s simply gorgeous. I’ve asked a fellow stylist friend the cost of doing up such a floral arch and she quoted me around $10k. So, instead of going to another hotel and top up $10k for the floral arch decoration, we decided to use this money we ‘saved’ for wines! All in all, go with the mindset that you cannot get the best of all world. Regent Singapore stands out for their branding and quality of service. If you want cheap and good, this isn’t the hotel for you.
On top of that, I was delighted to hear that they partnered with L’Occitane to offer hand-creams as a wedding favour for guests. I was so sick of those useless gifts that other hotels presents so I admit that this was also a pulling factor for me. Not to mention, service by my wedding coordinator Alison is EXCEPTIONAL from day one. I am a “buyer” for service, and I would really highly recommend Regent Singapore for their impeccable service throughout my banquet and stay. Food is catered by one Michelin star restaurant, Summer Palace, and it was fabulous during food tasting. There were mixed reviews for the actual day dinner by my guests but I guess I cannot please everyone~
The only downside of this location is that there is no nearby train station. I actually catered a bus for my relatives to make their way down to the hotel.
Should you be planning for your wedding and am keen to check out Regent Singapore, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, I would love to do a link-up for you to meet Alison to bring you around. If you happen to decide to sign with Regent Singapore, you can get a complimentary 1 night stay for your bridal entourage in one of their Premier Room as a referral perk. I get to have a complimentary dinner for 2. Note that this referral perk is only valid for FRESH ENQUIRIES; it wouldn’t work for you if you are already in contact with any of their coordinators!
Wedding Planner – Totally in Love
Managed by Cecilia, she is a power planner whom ran my actual day’s dinner banquet. Ideally, find someone whom is committed to help you and has the time to see through the details so it can ease your load. Cecilia is one who is very willing to share; she’s also the one helping us take meeting notes when we met our wedding coordinator. I was definitely thankful for her experience and help at the end of the day.
Cecilia was stellar in her customer service, but the only downside is that she’s also very busy with her other commitments. Either that, I was a needy bride, I was someone that needed EXTENSIVE help as I am someone who focuses on my work SO MUCH that everything else is second priority. At one point in time, Sherman and I actually dreaded wedding planning. We were tired, exhausted and over-worked at our jobs and simply didn’t have energy and time for the wedding planning. To be honest, I was caught by surprised that there so much work that goes into planning a wedding. Our wedding had approximately 460 guests with more than 30 wedding vendors to manage, it was definitely stressful. So, if you think you are workaholics like Sherman and I, please set aside some of your budget to hire a wedding planner. They know the ins and outs of the wedding industry and you could save more pockets of time for rest and for the other things that you prioritize.
Nevertheless, Cecilia was the KEY to the success of my actual wedding banquet. Her entire team had helped made sure that everything went according to the plan – she was the point of contact for all my vendors, took care of the rehearsals and made sure that everything goes according to plan! So, kudos to that!
Screen your photographers carefully as pictures are the remaining memories of your actual day. Do not solely rely on online photo galleries to book your photographer, as I’ve learnt from the hard way that number of followers does not equate good chemistry/personality. Through my modelling gigs, I am blessed to have worked with many talented photographers but I have also worked with those that I couldn’t connect with. Make sure both sides are clear about what the other expects, so meet them up personally, talk about your ideal wedding and observe their response.
For me, I hand-picked my photographers based on (1) Emotional Connection (i.e. they understand where you are coming from and what you want), (2) Zest and Enthusiasm, (3) Past works and of course (4) Reviews (search Budget Brides on Facebook and you’ll get to see many reviews from REAL brides).
- Photographer – @JoyDevi (managed by Louis, our actual day’s main photographer)
- Photographer – @TrivioPictures (managed by Rio)
- Photographer – @VisualIndulgence (managed by Jin)
- Photographer – @4YuanYik (managed by my good friend Yuan whom nicely helped me with capturing moments too)
I was thankful to have a good team of photographers who stuck by my side to help capture the in-between moments of the big day. Rio, Jin and Yuan are my personal friends and I was so glad that they could be there for me on my actual wedding day. I was extremely blessed as they brought their expertise and help in many ways. In fact, the photos you see in this blog post are all captured by Rio! An Indonesian photographer, Rio, is a passionate photography enthusiast whom delivers professionalism, and has a keen eye for good angles. People who had met Rio would all love his infectious positivity and zest in life. He is super good in making you feel relaxed in his presence, so you can expect that your photos are less “pose-y” and very natural. He is actually always on the move too, so if you want to be shooting with him in Singapore, Indonesia or even other parts of the World, he has opened many slots and destinations for this year!
Now, onwards to talk about our main photographer, Louis (also an Indonesia photographer)… Sherman and I have worked with Louis previously for our pre-wedding style shoot (see here) and we truly admire his work etiquette (i.e. he delivers what he promises) and we loved his work! Louis is someone I would engage over and over again. He is someone who works very well under pressure, delivers a 5 stars service all the time and one whom will go the extra mile for you. He managed to capture so many photos on my actual wedding day, it totally exceeded my expectations. Not forgetting to mention, his package is wayyyy more affordable than a lot of local photographers while not compromising on the quality of photos. #notsponsored (Sherman and I were more than happy to pay Louis for his service).
At the end of the day, I think people should realize that photography is more than just pushing a button, and having a professional photographer ensures that he/she has the right equipment to shoot in any condition. Experience is also one factor you should consider when hiring as you need the photographer to be seasoned enough to capture those IMPORTANT moments. I am sure you wouldn’t appreciate dark and blurry photos when you hire a new photographer and want to save some cash. Spend a decent amount on a trusted photographer and let him/her do the rest.
P.S. Jin’s photos are not out yet (so I will leave my review in another blog post) and I am still looking through Louis’ photos; I promise to share them soon!
Alright, hope you had enjoyed the blogpost so far. I have so much more to share about my videographer, gown vendors, HMUA, photobooth service, styling service and more, so stay tuned for part 2 of the blogpost!
With love, Jacelyn