Location, Location, Location Part 2

If you missed part 1, click here.

I have covered 4 wedding venues worth sharing so I am left 3 to go.

Community Center Wedding
PA CC list

Big area to work with a stage just for your pelamin.
With good decorations, ceremony can look pretty grand.

Depending on your nearest CC, it may cost up to $3500++
Caterer has no allocated space to cook so extra charges needed.
With budget decorations, the place may look bald.

I don't like additional costs to add this and that. If not planned properly, the end result might give me a heart attack. I've checked Eunos CC and it's about $2200. In my opinion, not really worth it because need to work extra hard to turn the place beautiful.

Gurame Garden Wedding
Gurame Resturant website

[photo credit: Simplifai Studios]

BEAUTIFUL with cabanas, garden feel, next to the sea.
Inclusive of indoor and outdoor dining.
Gurame even throws in 3D2N chalet or 2D1N hotel stay.
Delicious food.
Transport available for guests.

Everything beautiful comes with a price.
Unless solemnization to be held somewhere else, additional hours (and costs) needed for the venue.

It's obvious. The only thing that stops us from this one is $$$ because we LOVE this location. It's perfect in terms of venue, ambiance, the chalet stay so that our family can comfortably stay and food is good. Initially, I thought we can fit it in our budget but after punching in the costs, not really. Unless we get get real lucky money wise, this maybe just a dream away.... (ah kan.. dah emo)

After much researching, we are back to square one.

Void Deck Wedding
Town Councils website

House is less than 1 minute away. Convenient if anyone forget something.
Within the budget range, it can fit in mid point.
As mentioned in part 1 intro, there is a homely kampung feeling

Unless we book packaged wedding deals, we have many vendors to deal with.
Humidity may ruin the day but nothing fans can't fix.
No "class" to non-Malays but who the hell cares? lol

I have no qualms on this one because it's a place that has been celebrated in for decades. Budget wise, it is also controllable although more thorough research on each vendor is needed.

Final Conclusion

At the moment, it has been narrowed down to Gurame Restarant and void deck wedding. It boils down on money, I guess. Yes, yes.. No point of having a "big" wedding when it all ends up to debt etc. Thank you for your concern but we got it under control. I am so thrifty to a point it may misconstrue as stingy; even to myself. =P

Although locations may uplift the ceremony in their own ways, it's definitely not top priority. There are way more issues to focus on.

Update (2015):
Thanks to Syazwani for updating me with recent (2015) Gurame's packages so I can share with other BTB readers! I understand sometimes you just want to know prices without the commitment of discussing with the vendor.

Update (Feb 2016):
Thanks to Dya Reza for the 2016 packages!


The Superbly Delayed Hari Raya Post

The post says it all. Hari Raya was on August 2013 and it's almost December. I'll spare the boring details why and start with the post.

Actually, I didn't celebrate Hari Raya as most would. Along with Abg Jamil, Jhon and my mom, we spent eve and actual hari raya at Adventure Cove and watch the NDP fireworks. To read the posts, click here and here. 

It's not that boycott Hari Raya or anything. Our doors are still open but somehow mom had her priorities a little different this year. First people to visit was of course my bro and his family. He also brought along nephews on SIL's side.

The standard 'mintak maaf ' moments.

More guests came by as days passed by. On days Jhon is around, there are photo evidence, for others, too bad huh...

Abrupt End.

Location, Location, Location Part 1

One of the first discussions Jhon and I had for our wedding was where should it be held? As a Malay, my first answer was void deck. It's a standard location because...

1. It's convenient (your house is a lift ride away)
2. Depending your your block, you have an open space to work with.
3. Cheaper location
4. It has a personal touch because of the idea of getting married in the place we had call home,
just like the olden times.

Jhon has been to a lot of void deck weddings and even photograph/video them so he has knowledge. He agrees if decorated properly, a void deck wedding can look pretty grand. Despite accepting it, he still prefers a "nicer" location. Which lead me to almost obsessively research frenzy on all possible wedding locations that would fit our budget.

From hotel weddings to restaurant weddings to park weddings to a mixture of both. To over the top, day dreaming locations like S.E.A Aquarium sea gallery to Lagun Sari. Here are the places we have narrowed our eyes with it's pros and cons.

The Halia at Singapore Botanic Gardens
The Halia website

Look at the picture! BARGH! Garden wedding! We love the outdoors.
It has somewhat a homely and cosy feeling.
Beautiful decorations.
It's far from our homes but generally central for all guests.

It's obvious, it's most probably costly.
Need to find another location for solemnization.
Do not serve pork but serves wine. I doubt their meat are halal too.

A big no no.

Furama Riverfront Hotel
Furama Riverfront website

Wedding cards, favours, 2 room stay in hotel, projector etc are included.
Halal Indonesian food is served by Kintamani Restaurant.
Possible of having solemnization and light lunch only.
Beautiful place in town.

Clearly expensive from $70 to $75 per head.
Personally, I feel like it's over the top, having a hotel wedding. Who are we trying to prove here? It's different if we have plenty of excess of money to spare.

We got to stick to being humble and realistic to our lifestyle so no.

[do you notice as the list goes down, so are the price ranges? lol]

Lagun Sari Wedding
Lagun Sari website

It's all you want from a restaurant and hotel but CHEAPER.
Food is quite delicious but some may disagree.

Lacking of parking spots for guests.
As the guests starts to roll in, it can get pretty crowded and stuffy.
Maybe an odd opinion from a bride but I find they have poor lighting. Sure, a pro photographer can fix that but I am talking about the ambiance.

The lighting bothers me more than it should and I dislike cramped venues. Sorry, Lagun Sari.
Cerewet lah minah ni.

Charisma D'venue
Charisma D'venue FB page

This place is known for their delicious wide variety food. I have not tasted before but they are known for their yummy reputation especially their Nasi Briyani. I got to come down and have a taste test.
Location is easily accessible with parking.
Affordable especially for food that is widely recommended.
Simple and sleek deco.
Sub-par night lighting but not an issue for afternoon weddings because they have big windows to let natural light in.
They have indoor and outdoor seating so guests can get fresh air without missing the ceremony.

I feel that the area in front of the 'pelamin' has a little space constraint. Personally, I prefer a larger space around the 'pelamin' to allow it to stand out.
Although it has a decent layout, it still can be quite crowded.

Obviously, Jhon and I are quite into Charisma D'venue but that area at the 'pelamin' lah. Again, bother me more than it should. It also affects photography angles. But if we ever turn out to have a void deck wedding, their food catering is where I am aiming for. (belum try makan dah nak book catering lol)

Oh, and mom suddenly felt bad that I am going for a 'budget' wedding when I showed her the place but quite decent what. Great food, good ambiance and save money but she felt bad and cried because my elder sis and bro had a big wedding. Plus, I am the youngest daughter so she had imagined something different for me. Seriously, I don't mind at all. I don't feel neglected or felt like I was getting the short end of the stick. Anyways, I was just researching and sharing info. But you know how it is, no matter how understanding your mom can be, she still have that ideal wedding for her children.

Okay, side tracked a little but her reaction already gave us a big hint that she is not very keen on such places because in her opinion, its too budget and low class. ?_? I really don't mean to paint a dark picture of my mom but I feel I should share this. Through reading forums, if not all, most BTB experience these question mark and frustrating conversations with their parents and in laws. By sharing, other BTB feel a little better because they are not alone. And sometimes it sets your problems in a perspective in a way it does not seem that bad after all.

Anyways, my list is not yet done, a few more locations coming up in another post.


Shibly turns 6!

Time sure flies fast. Shibly is graduating from kindergarten soon and will be heading to primary school next year. In fact, he has a school orientation in a few days.

He wanted a Minion themed cake so his parents lovingly got him a birthday cake to be shared with his classmates and Syihab's classmates.

We didn't have intentions to be boastful or anything but when we found out Syihab's classmate also had a birthday, we felt embarassed. Aiman's cake looked small in comparison and his parents didn't came to visit. While Shibly has 4 adults crowding the class. *paiseh* Purposely made him were home clothes some more so he would stand out. =p

As for party gifts for his classmates, his mom bought minion cupcakes! Expensive wor but it looked good. My SIL was telling how the kids were so excited showing them off to their moms when she was picking the kids from school.

We made jokes that my bro was like doing wedding gift exchanges. He went with cupcakes and then returned with a cake (SIL had arranged to have the cake sent directly to the school first)

Happy birthday Shibly!!


Jhon Tolentino is 31!

Jhon has surpassed 30 years old and landed the 31st mark on October. He likes to say that this is his last year that his age is on the calendar. hur hur

He applied half day leave and we met at Changi City Point to eat at Istanbul Gourmet. It used to be one of our go-to dinner place when it was at East Point Mall. Jhon was delighted to know that it opened in Changi City Point. The only down side it is an al-fresco kind of thing where you have to take away the food.

Either way, he was a happy man.

This year, I bought him a wallet because his current one is slowly deteriorating. To my delight, while we were window shopping with my Mom a few weeks before, I saw a good deal from Goldlion. Yeah, uncle-ish brand but the wallet, belt, buckle and even the box looked good. Plus, we were never brand kind of people.

I still wrapped it and Jhon acted surprised. I love him for that. haha

We later headed to Sim Lim to buy an external hardisk (his current one is down and pictures up to 7 years are gone! heartbreak) and then to Orchard to watch IMAX 3D movie, Gravity. I was apprehensive at first because of the price but I gave in for the birthday boy. It was awesome lah! I felt I was in space too! Not to mention, when Thor and The Hobbit trailer's was shown, I was completely blown away. I am hooked with IMAX 3D movies now.

After the movie, we went to see Fizah for dinner at Cahaya Restaurant for Jimba Noodles. Wohoo! Meeting Fizah was a little spur of the moment because days before, we were saying it's been a while since we last hung out and tada!

It was a tiring day because we walked a lot but nothing beats that happy smile on his face. Happy birthday, mahal ko!


Solat Class

Our Solat (prayer) class started on Sunday, 25th August 2013 at 1:30pm to 3:00pm. Since there are some differences in male and female praying methods (positioning of arms and legs and attire), classes are divided to male and female.

I was nervous but Jhon was not which was weird since he was the one who is converting.

I will share my experiences first.
My teacher was Ms Soraidah. The class was completely filled by the time she arrived. We were given a solat how-to book with a DVD. The DVD covers the basics of Solat which will be added with more prayers as one progresses while the book covers more detailed and complete prayer steps a prayers.

The class went pretty okay although I found it frustrating that sometimes sister Soraidah insist answers from us who were confused in the first place. I supposed she wants to know the level of our knowledge but the lady does not quit! There were laughters and new info learnt.

As for Jhon's class, it was more of the "abang-abang" cool where it is more chilled compared to my class. "Abang-abang" cool don't talk so much but Jhon really enjoyed Bro Umar Siraj's lessons. There were a few times where it did struck a chord in him.

As the weeks passed, we eventually had "wudhu" (ablution) and "solat" (prayer) practicals. We learnt hands on and as usual, the girls take longer time. Not only because our class is s bigger, there was just so much commotion and chattering. In fact, for "wudhu" practical, everyone wanted to take photos. What was supposed to end at 3pm, ended at 4:30pm. Imagine how hungry and frustrated Jhon was waiting for us. Lol Jhon was not the only one though because there are couples and families taking the same class too.

[Can you spot me?]

Overall, we really enjoyed our Solat class. I even made new friends.

I hope our path to strengthen our faith is forever smooth.

There is Solat 2 class but Jhon and I decided that we will embark to that class after we have solidify the basic Solat first. One step at a time yeah?

So when will Jhon officially convert to Islam?
It is still in discussion. Initially, we thought of doing it
this year but now there are talks of months before the wedding. At this point, I can't tell because it is a truly special and enlightening day for Jhon and I want to know that he is 100% ready for it.