Sunday, October 25, 2009

Photography and Videography to get under S$2,500

I've finally come to the end of my research and booked my photographer (PG) and videographer(VG).

This process is by far the most tedious. Especially if you're picky and has a tight budget to work with. And your wedding day is like the most "IN" date of the year.

Of course i appreciate the art works and the to die for pictures from a premium PG from the > 3,000 range. Still, i can't make myself part with my heart earned money.

My voice of reason will nag me till no end if the final output from this premium range fails to deliver.

So the consensus with my beau is i'll keep to the budget of S$2,500 inclusive of a videographer.

And yes! I want a videographer because its my wedding day and i want to keep the memories to remember. I figured that my brain cells don't work that well. All memories and chronological order will get mixed up and fuzzy over time. Most importantly, i'm going to miss the gatecrashing and of course i want to see it! How he got tortured for my sake. :P

Yup! I'm such a sadist.

Well, if you ever unsure if you should proceed with a videographer.
Use a pro/cons list and you can see which side of the list is longer and more important to you.

The Videographer

Personally, i feel that looking for the right PG is harder than a VG. Because there is only so much you can pick on the videographer. The quality of express highlights, the edit of the whole day event and any extras that are being offered to the package.

Thinking back i think i like the final delivery of the first videographer. How he integrated photos with the videography and the video interface that he show us for section. But i feel that his express highlights are a tad too long. The shortest clip i was shown is 7 mins and how he can't seem to get it any shorter. His shortcoming is definitely not being able to edit and snip out all the important parts.

And being the budget consicious me, i axed out all the videographers who are above S$2,000 IMMEDIATELY. Time constraints and no money.

And of course i like my videographer editing prowess. And the contemporary style express highlights and of course the MTV express highlights. If the video interface and the various sections are done more seamlessly. i.e naming of the various chapters with cute names and short introductory either stills or love poems or quotes and a photo slideshow (i don't care if it gets replicated to a thousand couples) it will be more than perfect.

The Photographer

I reviewed like countless portfolios online. Maybe fifty if not hundred. Serious!

The source came from Singapore brides, Clubsnap and friends recommendations

First i will check out their website (if any) followed by blog (if any). If i like them, i ask for a quote. If they are really expensive, then goodbye.

I even set up an spreadsheet listing all the PGs in terms of price and grading. From this i shortlist my photographers and arrange to meet them.

Research is not the worse of wedding planning. It is the coordination between different parties that kills. So tiring!

After meeting up with the photographer, we'll see if we like the personality/sincerity of the photographer and their works. I will usually ask to preview one full day series taken by the photographer to see if their works are consistent. If the photographer is an asshole or try to rip me off. That it! Sayonara....

Anyway i'm so glad i got finally decided on my photographer. I like the photos that are shown to me. The attention to details on still (shoes etc) and the people. The different feel create to bring emotions to a picture. Antique or high resolution. Though more attention can be placed in expressions and actions. And also posed classy and jazzy group photos can bring out more character.

Did i meet my budget?
Well. Sadly i've a exceeded my budget by a bit. Most importantly, i've two committed full timers who are passionate about their work. Yes! They will continue to improve till my wedding. So they do their best for my wedding. Woo hoo.

I'll share more on my photographer and videographer and their fabulous works in the coming posts. Stay tuned!




Saturday, October 17, 2009

Banquet Orchard Hotel

Themes

Orchard hotel is one of the first hotels that i viewed due to it reasonable pricing and high and pillarless ceilings. And my favourite, chandeliers! In summary a perfect ballroom and a very comfortable suite. Or so i've heard.

Its chinese restaurant food Hua Ting also came recommended through friends.

Choice of themes include Indulgence, Dazzling dreams or Celestial charm. A pity i'm unable to share these themes with you except for one.







A more detailed look of the theme.








credits to Intuition Photography

A grand entrance with confetti.




The reception area




The reception table decoration








The table settings of a guest table.

Table requirements:

Orchard Grand Ballroom: min 60 - max 100
Orchard Grand Ballroom 1 & 2: min 40 - max 55
Orchard Grand Ballroom 3: min 25 - max 32

Others




credits to Intuition Photography





Credits to Intuition Photography

ROM at one of the function rooms




credits to Intuition Photography

A pleasant surprise awaits the wedding couple. A thoughtful touch by the hotel.




The cherry namecard holder aka paper weight. Something unique as a wedding favour.




And of course the lugagge tag.

My Review

Personally, i've attended weddings at Orchard Hotel. The ballroom is nice and the ambience is right. The bridal suite is really comfortable and huge.

Food is acceptable and you can mix and match based on the options available.

The pros is of course the flexibility in perks and FREE FLOW of drinks (beer and house wine!). And i believe due to its competitive pricing, its almost always the most popular hotel and probably booked way in advance. Especially for hot dates. So if the above all fit your pocket and criteria, just do it! Wait no more.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Cost of a Wedding

The below entry, has put things more into perspective for a wedding. At least for my case. Here's the blog entry from financecents. You can refer to his blog on www.financecents for other information.

A modern wedding can be broken down into:
1) Wedding Package - this includes wedding gowns, studio and outdoor shoots, wedding albums and wedding cars.
2) Wedding Bands - rings the couple put on each others’ fingers after saying their vows.
3) Solemnization - ceremony of saying your vows, exchanging rings and being married by a Justice of the Peace.
4) Videographer & Photographer - for your special day
4) Wedding Banquet - a wedding lunch or dinner, sometimes a buffet.
5) Honeymoon - couple’s time all alone to maybe help in Singapore’s population crisis, usually overseas.

BUDGET:
1) Wedding Package - $1,500 and below, some of us will go across the causeway to City Square Mall in Johor Bahru, just be sure to read the reviews
2) Wedding Bands - $500 and below, maybe a ring with a diamond for the lady and a normal ring for the groom
3) Solemnization - Simple affair at the Registry of Marriages costs just $26.
4) Videographer & Photographer - $200 and below, get some friends to volunteer and remember the red packets
5) Wedding Banquet - $1000 and below. A lunch buffet at home or at the venue of solemnization inviting only relatives and close friends.
6) Honeymoon - $1,000, a real romantic trip to nearby island resorts like Bali, did i just recommend Bali again ha, just be safe people.

Total Costs: About $4,000
(Since we will very likely break even from the red packets, the actual costs could be much less)

DESIRABLE:
1) Wedding Package - $3,500 and below, wedding gowns, evening gowns, an album and a big photo frame. Check out the package from La Belle Couture that me and my fiancee chose, east west fusion, latest collection fashion shows and simply beautiful gowns to choose from thereafter.
2) Wedding Bands - $2,000 and below, one might just be able to get a Destinee 10 pair of wedding bands from Lee Hwa Jewellery.
3) Solemnization - $1,500 and below, booking a beautiful little church such as the Armenian Church along Hill Street.
4) Videographer & Photographer - $3,000 and below, semi pros to pros, the photos and video should keep you happy for years to come.
5) Wedding Banquet - $500 to 1,000 a table. Weekdays are usually cheaper than Weekends, Lunches are usually cheaper than Dinners. A usual 5 Star hotel banquet will cost $900++ per table.
6) Honeymoon - $6,000, a nice trip to Japan’s most beautiful cities visiting Hello Kitty Land, Mount Fuji and Disney Sea.

Total Costs: About $16,000 excluding banquet cost
(Based on 30 tables, banquet costs will be about $35,000 and below, pray that you break even)

EXTRAVAGANT:
1) Wedding Package - $7,000 and above, fly to Hong Kong(Package by My Dream Wedding) or Taiwan complete with a Photographer.
2) Wedding Bands - $10,000 and above, custom made wedding bands with gems from Cartier
3) Solemnization - $10,000 and above, Chijmes Hall with 150-250 of your special guests
4) Wedding Banquet - $1,688++ a table gets you St Regis on a weekend
5) Videographer & Photographer - $6,000 and above, professional videographer with express edits and professional photographer with 2 cameras for the entire day
6) Honeymoon - $20,000 and above, fly Singapore Airlines Business Class to France and hop over to Monte Carlo to roll some dice, catch F1 and take to the high seas on a private yacht

Total Costs: About $53,000 excluding banquet cost
(Based on 50 tables, banquet costs will be about $100,000 and above)

There are many other miscellaneous costs like ‘wu dian jing’ for the Teochew, Suckling Pig or Roast Pork for the Hokkien, Red Packets for the brothers and sisters, tea set for tea ceremony…

So to all grooms, be more than prepared. To all brides, help your future husband for God’s sake after reading the above.

Advice: The Ultimate resource ladies and gentlemen is Singapore Brideswebsite and forum. Truly God sent.

Advice: To prospective couples, a package signed at a roadshow is usually better than when you do a walk in. So be sure to check out the dates and register.

Oh and here’s what those acronyms mean:
BTB is Bride to Be.
GDL is Guo Da Li. (Going through the chinese ceremony of Marriage)
AD is Actual Day.
MTM is Made to Measure.
WG is Wedding Gown.
EG is Evening Gown.