Friday, August 21, 2009

~ Dream ~



This is my first scrapbook work related to my wedding. And i totally love it.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

How to choose a bridal boutique?

There are numerous bridal boutiques to select and as a bride-to-be (BTB) have no idea where to begin. It is quite impossible to visit all of boutiques. Hence, it is very important to shortlist a few bridal boutiques to visit.

To start off, BTB can refer to the bridal forums for feedback and comments. Some brides may even share their wedding album. Recommendations from friends work as well.

Visiting a bridal show helps as well. Though, i personally do not advise signing a bridal package without visiting the bridal shop first. It is important to me as a BTB that i like most of the gowns instead of the few pieces that are showcased in the bridal show, the variety of gowns available and most importantly if my favoured gowns will actually suit me. However, i do still visit a bridal show since all the bridal shops are consolidated at one place and i can make the necessary photo albums/package/price comparisons.

Below are some factors i have considered when choosing a bridal.

Budget
It is important to set a budget for your photoshoot so you narrow down to the bridal shops that suits your budget.

The budget should also include an estimate of the additional photos that you might top up.

Bridal boutique or Ala Carte
A bridal boutique will be a one stop shop that provides all the services like photography, make-up and the gowns/suits for your wedding. E.g Digio

Ala carte is usually a more expensive option as it may or may not require you to get your own make up artist. Photography will be provided by photography studios that ties up with the bridal shop. The gowns are made to measure (MTM) and normally you get to keep the evening gowns. E.g Flamingo

The wedding couple need to get a feel of what particular style the boutique (regardless of bridal boutique or one stop shop) is selling either in photography or gowns. E.g some bridals are known to create dreamy and mystical effects for their photos like Signoria Nuziale. Some are known for creating gowns made in french lace or intricate embroidery.

Local or overseas shoot
There is also a choice between a local shoot or overseas shoot. A local shoot is done in Singapore and it can be anywhere. Some place that holds special memories for both of you or the hot spots for wedding shoots. e.g Sentosa, Hort park

An overseas shoot is conducted overseas and at scenic areas near the sea or sea of lavender or blooming flowers etc. For this, there is an option to choose a local photographer to go with the couple to the preferred location or employ a photographer located in the country. For the former, you probably have to bear the expenses of airfare and accomodation.

After you have decided on the above and you have chosen a desired boutique. What are the things to look for in a package?

The Album:
- Material of album cover
The package that you're signing up for includes which albums being presented. Sometimes when you are shown a very unique album and it may not be in the package

- what is the size of the album? If you want a non-standard size, what are the charges

- Is mini album included?

- Any charges if you want a hot press album (those that have no white dividing line for album)

Artwork:
- Is artwork for the album included or additional charges apply?

Portrait:
- What are the selection included in package? 3-in-1 or Canvas print?

- What is the size of the portrait?

Photography:
- the number of pictures included in your package. Always try to bargain for more.

- Are soft copies returned for your selected photos

- What are the charges per additional photo

- If you purchase above a certain amount does the boutique return you all the soft copies inclusive of non-selected photos

- How many full time photographers with the boutique?

- Do you like the style of the photographers?

- Do you like the portfolios shown?

- Number of outdoor locations covered for pre-wedding album photoshoot.

- Does package include actual day photography? If provided, who will do the actual day i.e in house photographers or free lancers?

Gowns/Suit:
- Are the gowns/suits on rental?

- Selection based on off-the-rack or made to measure.

- Variety of gowns available for selection. For some bridals, there is a restriction of gown selection based on your package.

- Can you try the gowns before deciding to sign with the boutique?

- How many costume changes are included in prewedding photoshoot?

Makeup:
- Do you like the makeup done from the album shown?

- How many makeup artist are with the boutique?

- are the makeup artist full time with the boutique or a free lancer?

- How many makeup is included in the package?

Miscellaneous
- Is a car (inclusive of petrol) included in the package for actual day wedding?

- Are car decorations included for wedding car?

- Car ribbons for following cars?

- How many corsages are included?

- Is guest book included?

- Logistics, transport charges for pre wedding shoot? Can it be complimentary?

- For ROM, do they provide you a short gown and flowers?

- Father suits/ Mother gowns? Can they be provided free?

- Dresses for bride's maids can be provided free? what are the charges?

When in doubts, please confirm and clarify with the boutique. Never never assume anything is given in the package.

A bridal is not a one size fits all but more of customisation. One man's meat is another man's poison. Everything mentioned above may or may not be included in a package. The couple have to find a package that most fulfil your requirements/expectations and budget.

Sometimes the perks offered to a couple may not be extended to another couple for the same price due to the bargaining and persuasive skills.

It is also important to state everything in black and white in the the invoice in case any disagreements between the bridal shops and you.

I hope the information will be of use to all the brides. Good luck in your selection of bridal boutique!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Banquet - Hilton



This is what welcomes you from the entrance.

Themes

Crystal at Vista room


The wedding reception


A close up of the wedding reception table with champagne roses


The vista room with all the tables. The set up is incomplete when i took the picture.

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The stage


The VIP tables in close up


Another view of the VIP setting


The guest setting

I happen to have European Charm setting for Vista room. Hence, i have also put up the pictures below with an actual wedding as a reference to other brides.






Black/Red at Panaroma

The Panaroma is located on 24th storey beside the swimming pool. It is quite ideal if you wish to have a romantic poolside solemnisation.



A close up view of the wedding reception table.


The reception area


The pool reception. The pool area will be closed off from visitors from 7 pm for the wedding function.




The stage


The march in along the ailse.


The VIP table setting


Close up of the VIP table


The guest table setting


European Charm at Grand Ballroom


The wedding reception table


The reception area


The red carpet for the wedding couple.
This is an L shaped march in and there are some pillars in the room.


The stage settings


The VIP table setting. I like the idea of a joint VIP table of 12 for the wedding couple. And the petals on the table add a romantic touch to the the event.


The VIP seats also have roses adorning the chairs and wrapped in organza.


The table setting for the guests.


The oriental style menu

Table requirements:
Grand ballroom: min 30 - max 50 (min 40 tables for a saturday)
Vista Room: min 20 - max 25
Panorama Room: min 18 - max 24

The food
There are 2 menus to select from from wedding banquet dinner: Passion and Devotion.
Devotion is the pricier of the two and it is the only menu available on auspicious dates.

The hotel has changed its menu in June 09. Personally, i've not tasted the food for the wedding dinner but my significant other thinks that the food is commendable based on his recent experience at a banquet.

The bridal suite

The bedroom

The vanity room cum washroom

The living room

The suite is really huge. One of the biggest i've seen and very roomy. The decor is more inclined to a business feel.

Others

The list of wedding favours





This is the hotel that solitairebride has finally booked for her wedding.
The package compared to holiday inn atrium is more expensive but still more affordable as compared to her other preferred choice mandarin oriental. The package is also comprehensive with most of her requirements like wine/pretty decorations/nice suite.

Most importantly, she is able to fulfil her min tables requirement and the actual day that she want is available to her as well.

Do stay tune for other hotel reviews that will be posted up in the following months.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Banquets - Holiday Inn Atrium



I was greeted by the very beautiful glass elevators upon entrance. It creates an instant grandeur. Or it could be just me having a weakness for see through elevators lined with pretty lightings

Themes

There are 3 very romantic themes to choose from. All are very pretty and mesmerising.

Red Ardor at the Atrium Ballroom


The ballroom setting. This seems to be most popular theme nowadays. Black and Red.


One of the table settings for the guests


The VIP table settings


The reception setting

Garden at Changi Ballroom

The main table setting with the stage


The VIP table. I think the 2 love swans symbolising the couple is very sweet and thoughtful touch that the hotel did for their theme.

Lavender Dream at Changi Ballroom


This is the Lavender Dream setting. A bubble effect accompanies this theme which complements it perfectly.

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A close up of the VIP table.

I didn't get other shots of the Changi ballroom/Seletar ballroom as the hotel only set up one table of Lavender Dream and Garden for the wedding showcase.
I did a viewing of the Seletar Ballroom though the ballroom is simply a function room.

Table requirements:
Seletar: Min 15 - Max 18 tables
Changi : Min 20 - Max 24 tables
Atrium : Min 30 - Max 46 tables

The Food
There is generally 2 types of packages to choose from, one with a fixed menu another with options to mix and match. The price differential between was minimal.

The package itself is quite comprehensive with beer, wine, AV, wedding favours, invitation cards and parking. The perks are even better on a wedding showcase naturally.

The bridal suite
This is the most impressive suite i've visited so far. The suite is newly designed and much thought have been put in the design with the bridal couple in mind and its very romantic and spacious. The view at outram road is also very breath taking.


The wedding bed is decked out in romantic red and overlooking the city view.

The bed with the with the side lamps which adds much ambience to the evening.



The vanity room cum washroom.


The living room with the oriental feel sofa


The bar counter


The breakfast table

Others


ROM in style. The two romantic white stand come with extra charge though.


The complimentary ang pow box rented to you for the actual wedding night.





The wide selection of wedding favours


The wedding invitation card that my beau loves totally.

This is definitely a value for money package. The only down side is its location.
This will be my top choice if only it hasn't been booked for my wedding date. As i feel that the price/perks are reasonable, the themes are cool and a definite plus is the bridal suite.