Monday, December 27, 2010

Booking our Reception Venue: Brighton Savoy, what's left on the list and receptions back home in SG/MY.

I'm so happy that the blog posts are all finally up to date. But most importantly the other happier thing is that we finally placed a deposit on the reception venue a couple of weeks ago on Tues 14 Dec. That's another tick off the list and one less thing to worry about. Since hearing that 2011 was a favourite year for couples to get married (I mean, come on Prince William and Kate at that!), having the most important things on top of the list sorted out certainly placed our hearts a little more at ease.

As you might recall, we went to inspect the Brighton Savoy a few months ago in July. They have been really good in holding the date for us for 5 months and only requesting a deposit to be made after another couple expressed interest as well. Throughout that period, they have constantly kept in touch with us to find out if we were still interested in holding our reception there. And so that's a good indication of customer service. :) The other venues that we visited made no contact at all, except for a couple who checked back a day or two after the visit and simply forgotten us after that.

Ticks on lists so far:Next on the list:
Ceremony Venue
Reception Venue
Photographer & Videographer
Flowers and Cake
Bridemaid's Dresses
Actual day gown
Hair and makeup Artist

Not forgetting to mention that I have asked my uncle and auntie if I can leave from their very beautiful bungalow on our wedding day and they have happily said yes. And as you can guess coussy Kayla (their daughter) is extremely elated too. We'll most probably borrow my uncle's Merc for the bridal car and save on the hire car. I would really like to decorate it as well, hoping we can find a shop here that does it.

For the moment, we're still in holiday mood for the rest of the plans. We're having discussion about the reception lunch/dinners back in Singapore and Malaysia for year end with our parents though. Apparently as in the chinese lunar calendar, this year (the year of the Rabbit) is a popular for weddings back home as well because couples want to conceive and have a "Dragon" baby in the following year. LOL. So we have to be pretty fast in booking the venues for Dec 2011 and Jan 2012 too.

Till then Happy New Years 2011 everyone and may this year be a good one for everyone too!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Melbourne Pre-Wedding Photoshoot gown alterations and possibly finding my actual day Wedding gown.

I bought my pre-shoot(engagement) gown from the Bridal & Couture Sample held at the Bayview Eden Hotel in July. As in most Asian cultures, couples actually dress up in wedding gowns and suits to take photos before the actual wedding. This is so that the photos will be ready and printed in time for an album to be displayed at the reception place for guests to view.

Though Photography Studios here are slowly starting to introduce Engagement Shoots, it is still not something that is commonly done and Melbourne. But we still chose to go ahead with the culture with pre-shoots in Melbourne, Malaysia and possibly Singapore. ;) To save money, our pre-shoot in Melbourne will be done by friends James and Weichao.

The super long gown when I first tried it on at the sale - got it for $400. It was literally sweeping the floor and I wasn't a fan of the body-hugging design down to the hips.

First alteration was done at Be A Star Bridal. The shop didn't do a good job. My gown turned out to be too short in the front and the seams at the back weren't even/symmetrical with the front.

I intend to put a coloured ribbon around from the back to the front and so I tied a thin ribbon round, took a photo, and made it thicker in Photoshop to see how it looked.

After being happy at how thick the ribbon should be, Mum and I went to Spotlight to get a thicker piece of cloth and Mum sewed on sequins and beads to personalise it.

The problem started when we found out the front and back seams of the gown weren't even/symmetrical. We realised then the bridal shop had done a bad job in the alterations. A plastic strip was also poking out from the right side near the hips. The gown thus needed more alterations done as well as getting the ribbon sewn on it properly.

On one of the off days I took to spend time with mum before she went back Malaysia, we visited Nifi Bridal in Oakleigh. I just intended to browse around when I tried on this really gorgeous strapless gown with laces and embroidery. It didn't really seemed my type until I tried it on and it fitted perfectly. All it needed was alterations for the length a little.

At that moment, it felt like the gown was "the one" for my actual day and I hastily put a $200 deposit on it. About a week later, I was having second thoughts because our wedding was still about a year away and I probably have time to look at other places. But I guess I have been pretty good in not being impulsive and putting deposit on the first shop I visited in April! The $200 is still sitting there awaiting my decision as they need at least 50% deposit in order to make an order for the gown.

In any case, the lady at the shop also recommended a seamstress they use who was in Clarinda, pretty near our place. This seamstress operated from home and her work certainly looked much better. She was also very helpful and knowledgeable in recommending what needs to be done to alter the gown properly and to fit the ribbon. I felt more comforable this time leaving the gown to her.

Edit 08/12 - I have gone back for a first fitting since then and am very much looking forward to collect my gown after the 25th of Jan when she returns from holidays. :)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The one year countdown to our Wedding!

Today is exactly 1 year (or 12 months or 365 days) to our wedding! And the countdown begins!

Our wedding blog launch today is to commemorate this special countdown. This blog took months of preparation and up till now, I still have not finished all the posts! There are still a few posts in draft mode which I need to get my hands round to finishing them up soon! Posts all updated now! Very happy! :)

But meantime, please enjoy having a read of all the completed posts so far. Start from the very first post at the bottom - the unofficial day start day of our plans on Sat, 3 Apr: Little John Memorial Chapel: A Sneak Peak. Keep going up by clicking on the post titles from the Blog Archive on the right.

Also check out the pages: About this blog, The Proposal and Wedding Details. I'll add photo albums as well soon on the wedding gown try-outs, reception venues, cakes, cars, expos etc. just for the visual people who can't be bother reading! :p Thank you for visiting our blog!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Brighton Savoy Bridal Expo

When we visited Brighton Savoy about a week ago, the sales rep. reminded us that they were having a Bridal Expo the following week. The expo, held on Sunday 17 July was at the hotel itself and was of a smaller scale. Of course it wasn't as big as the ones at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Though it was small, it also meant that we got to see other smaller scale wedding suppliers apart from the usual ones at the large expos. The expo was held at the Seaview room itself and spanned out to the open area leading to the Gala Room and Wellington Room.
Kat's Cakes and Formal Hire - the first few booths we saw
Tables were elegantly set up in a nice wedding theme
Beautiful table centre pieces were on display
A large diamond ring table centre piece
Bridal Diva - wedding gowns in plus size for the slightly more rounded figure
One of my favourites - Fancy a Macaroon Tower for a wedding cake?
Another beautiful table centre piece in a lovely decorated Wellington Room
Vintage bridal rental cars if you're into the old stuff for your wedding
View of the Wellington Room set up for a wedding - more for smaller number of guests like less than 80 or something

I also received a goodie bag with heaps of free brochures and two thick bridal magazines inside. A couple of them were more for brides in the Mornington Peninsula and so weren't too useful. But there was no harm in getting ideas from other regions.

We chatted to the guy about the Macaroon Tower and found out it was about $700 for that. Bought some home to try and they were really tasty - but not sure about spending that much for a "wedding cake". Brighton Savoy sales execs. were also around to give advice and help. I think the expo made it an inch closer to us making a decision on our reception venue.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Reception Viewing: Brighton Savoy

We started the beautiful Sunday with lunch at the Brighton Baths Cafe / Bar. James, our tennis mate/friend and pre-shoot wedding photographer first introduced us to the restaurant around March.

There was a set meal offer going on at that time with a 3-course meal for around $30 or $40, I can't quite remember. The restaurant was upstairs while the cafe / bar was downstairs with stunning views overlooking Brighton Beach.

The plan that day was just a relaxing lunch and to look at a reception venue - The Brighton Savoy, along the Esplanade, facing Brighton Beach. Prior to that I had already view photos of the venue online and was really blown away by the photos along the beach as well as the function room that was facing the beach.

Venue Name: The Brighton Savoy
Prices (2011): Sit-down dinner 5 hours from $106 pp
Package includes: Canapés, 3-course meal, table centre pieces and chair covers, cake-cutting and serving, 1-night accommodation and personal M.C or Hostess included.

View from the bar and coffee/tea room waiting area for guests.

Along the corridor from the reception area to the other function rooms.
The Seaview room - the function room that they recommended to us.
Darling was discussing something with the sales exec. I can't quite remember what it was.
Facing the beach - not so obvious now because of the sunlight.
From the Seaview room looking into the recption / lobby area.
The Seaview room opens up to a back garden and apparently they told us that it will hopefully be renovated in time for a more modern look and added gazebo.

After viewing Brighton Savoy, we pretty much had our minds set on it although we didn't quite like the min. requirement of 80 guests for that function room. Then again after some calculations, we realised we could probably make up that 80 guests if not more. :p But since we still have time, we just asked them to hold on the date for us for the time being.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Reception Viewing: The Westin, Hotel Windsor, Stamford Plaza, Elizabethan Lodge and Gown Try-outs: The Red Carpet

We started our second off day with another list of hotels to visit. These hotels were mostly in the city, except one that was in the suburbs of Blackburn. In total, we visited 4 reception venues and 1 bridal shop! Talk about jam packing a day's itinerary! But it was a fruitful one afterall since it helped us with the decision-making and I've got a pair of wedding shoes. :)

Venue Name: The Westin Melbourne
Prices (2011): Sit-down dinner - 1 hour canapés from $30 pp + 5 hours main course from $80 pp + 4 hours drinks from $38 pp or a packaged deal of $185 pp.
Package includes: Canapés, 3-course meal, table centre pieces and chair covers and 1-night accommodation.
The entrance / car porch area to the Westin
Inside of the Westin - Lobby / lounge area
View of the Westin Room III facing Melbourne's Swanston Street
View of the Westin Room III looking from the side of Swanston Street

Venue Name: Hotel Windsor
Prices (2011): Sit-down dinner 5 hours from $135 pp. Min. spend $10k in Grand Ballroom.
Package includes: Canapés, 3-course meal, personalised menu cards, chair covers and sash, red carpet entry, tea, coffee and chocolates and 1-night accommodation.

Entrance to Hotel Windsor

Hotel Windsor - lobby / lounge area

Entrance to the Grand Ballroom

Inside of the Grand Ballroom

Beautiful dom glass with chandeliers

Another view of the Grand Ballroom

The Bourke Room (before the Sep renovations)

Another view of The Bourke Room (Before renovations)

Venue Name: Stamford Plaza Hotel
Prices (2011): Sit-down dinner 5 hours from $128 pp
Package includes: Canapés, 3-course meal, table centre pieces, chair covers and sash and 1-night accommodation.
Stanford Plaza Hotel from across the street
Lobby area and view of the very high elevator
The function room (view 1)
The function room (view 2)

Venue Name: Elizabethan Lodge
Prices (2011): Sit down dinner 5 hours from $121 pp
Package includes: Canapés, 3-course meal, table centre pieces, table place cards, chair covers and sash, 1-night accommodation and use if the Chapel if needed.
Entrance to Grand Heritage Room. Min 100 or more guests
Inside of the Grand Heritage Room all nicely decorated for a wedding
Grand Heritage Room (View 2)
The Windsor Room (Smaller guest size)
Beautiful garden at the back of the Windsor room
There's also a bridge and waterfall in the back garden
The Windsor room - another view. Usually used for conference and meetings as well.

The Red Carpet bridal also coincidentally had a sale going on that day. We didn't plan to visit the shop unless we had time after viewing all the reception venues. But lucky for us the reception viewing at Elizabethan Lodge wasn't until later in the afternoon and so we had time to head to Ashburton for awhile to check out the sale.

Bridal shop name: The Red Carpet
Branch: Ashburon

2-piece peacock like gown. It was pretty obvious why I didn't take a liking to it :p
bridal shoes from Red carpet
I did however score a bargain on wedding shoes. $85 down from around $139 I think

And that was it, the end to another long day of wedding preps. ;) Sucks having to go back to work again tomorrow but ah well, at least the week will be shorter.