Midi Skirt Fever: My Picks From Zalora

My colleagues and I do this crazy themed outfit thing on Fridays and just last week, it was midi skirt day, and everyone turned up in all kinds of midi skirts and dresses. Thanks to this themed “event”, I’m beginning to have a bit of a midi skirt fever – I just can’t stop looking at midi skirts!

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It is after all very Kate-Middleton-esque. It is proper (enough for work), yet stylish; it is comfortable (you can practically sit any way you like!) but still very flattering. What’s there not to like about midis?

I think I’m going to add more of them into my wardrobe. Heh heh heh.

Here are a few that I’m eyeing from Zalora SG.

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This is one that I’m almost sure Kate Middleton will wear. I love the subtle pleat details and this shade of red is just gorgeous.

 

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I know I’ve said that midi skirts are generally work-appropriate, but this raised hemline is definitely going to raise eyebrows. Very cool if you’re in a creative industry where you’re given freedom to dress as you wish, though. And in any case, it makes for a great weekend wear.

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I love polka dot details and this has a mesh outer layer that gives a peekaboo effect too.

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Did I mention I love polka dot details? :p This one wins my heart too, with its understated design and flattering shape.

How about you? Are you more a mini, maxi or midi skirt girl?

This post is part of a partnership between Zalora and me, but in no way has it influenced my opinion.

How to hold a kickass wedding (that will get featured in a magazine/wedding website)

I’m not sure if it’s because I’m a newly-wed myself but I’ve been noticing a lot of wedding-related stories on mass media. Whether is it the couple who got into serious debt after splurging $110,000 on their wedding, or unusual pre-wedding photographs, it looks like newlyweds these days are always trying to outdo one another and hold the most kickass wedding ever.

There are a number of websites that are specifically dedicated to featuring unique weddings in Singapore. And as someone who was planning her wedding not too long ago, I obviously visit them from time to time. However, what’s really interesting to me is that while some newlyweds try to be unique, eventually, they all start to all look the same.

Disclaimer: I do not, in any way, see these weddings in a negative light. Please don’t be offended if it sounds like your wedding. I’m not targeting anyone specifically. I’m just sharing an interesting observation that I’ve made. :)

So, here I have compiled a list of things to include in your wedding if you want to be one of the unique weddings that are featured in magazines or websites:

#1: Poms Poms

Colourful, handmade poms poms are the order of the day if you want your wedding to look feature-able.

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#2: Chairs that says “Mr & Mrs”

Alternative would be “Mr. Right” and “Mrs. Always Right”. Preferably, they’re handmade and strung together and hung on the chairs.

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#3: A candy bar

Made up of macarons, lollipops so huge nobody can ever finish it without developing a toothache, popcorns, and gem biscuits (because vintage = hipster = cool).

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#4: Get guests to write notes

Guestbooks are passé. Give people colour pieces of paper to write their well-wishes for you. They should preferably be able to hang it onto some kind of tree or put it into a vintage-looking box.

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#5: Funny outfits for the groomsmen

Groomsmen are already going to be humiliated when they do the gatecrash anyway. Why not give them crazy outfits like superhero costumes and humiliate them further?

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I couldn’t find better photos, but I think this cufflink idea is kinda cool. Me likey!

#6: Birdcages as a décor

Maybe it’s to symbolize how the couple are going to lose their freedom from now…

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#7: Wedding bouquet that’s not made of flowers

Consider buttons, or origami cranes, or maybe even vegetables like broccoli, kailan or peppers.

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#8: A crazy wedding car you would never usually see on the road

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Because… where else would the budget go to?

#9: End the wedding with a dance

Because yumseng is too mainstream. You need your photos to look fluid, not static. (No pictures because I can’t find any without faces).

Anyway, whether unique weddings are cool or annoying, you know what’s important? That the couple and their guests enjoyed themselves. Even more important is that they remember that marriage is more than just a fun party, but that it’s a day they’re going to remember and honour for the rest of their lives.

On a separate note, I can’t wait for my wedding photos to be ready so you can look at them and judge me.

I’m A Clueless Teenager Trapped In An Adult Body

So I’m now married, have my own house and basically living life as an “adult”. Perhaps soon enough, I may even have a human person who looks up to me as “mummy”. (No bun in the oven yet, I’m just saying.)

Some time ago, a young colleague who was helping us out temporarily before going back to school laments that she cannot imagine how she can cope when she gets to where I am. To her 22-year-old mind, the thought of being married and living independently, away from her family just sound too incredulous. How do you “learn” how to be an adult, she wonders.

The truth is, I told her, you’ll never feel prepared enough for adulthood. At least, that’s what I feel. Even at this point, I often feel like a 17-year-old trapped in a 29-year-old body. It’s still a surreal feeling to me that I have to deal with “adult” stuff like paying utilities bills, for my house, and having a husband (and not just a boyfriend).

There, this is me when I'm perhaps 18.

There, this is me when I’m perhaps 18.

I remember going through another “adolescence” stage when I was 19, just as I was going from teen hood to adulthood, and also going from a relatively disciplined junior college educational system to a more flexible one in university. I struggled quite a bit, and felt very lost because I didn’t know what I was supposed to do with my life. It felt like I was thrown into the ocean without any life jackets and asked to just swim hard.

Now, at 29, it felt like this once again. Before I know it, I’ve already been through almost a decade of “adulthood” yet I still feel like a clueless teenager, albeit one with more life stories to tell, been to more places, have more money, and feel more confident giving presentations before CEOs.

Nonetheless, I’m sure I’ll pull it through, just like I did when I was 19. While I may not feel it, I’m sure the wisdom that comes with age will help. What’s more, at least I now have a husband to cry to, and my own house to cry in.

Cheers to all teenagers trapped in adult bodies – you’re not alone.

Café Fest Is Here: The World’s First Café­‐Hopping Event

This is probably an event that all café-lovers are going to luurrrrrve – the chance to café-hop, all in a day (or two!). The inaugural Café Fest will be held on 6 and 7 September, along the Waterfront Promenade Singapore, where 12 homegrown cafés will be presenting their ware to some (estimated) 4,000 café-lovers. The cafés include OZ Specialty Cafe, Jimmy Monkey, I am, Maison Ikkoku, Cake Love, and Toby’s EState. CafeFest_Logo

What you can expect at Café Fest

Enjoy freshly-brewed coffee, delectable pastries, sway to the music of live performances from bands such as 53A, Marc X Hashy and The Sessionists, and also take the chance to pit your hopping skills against your friends in an old-fashioned coffee sack race. These, and a lot more fun games and activities.

How much is the admission for Café Fest?

It’s FREE!

But if you’d like to enjoy the wide variety of drinks and treats at the event, don’t forget to purchase café-hopping passes, available on the Café Fest website. At S$20 for the Early Bird pass, you’ll also get free Uber rides on festival days and a Spa Esprit voucher notebook and if you throw in another S$10, for S$30 you’d get a VIP Experience pass, to also include expedited entry at registration, a welcome drink and a limited edition tote bag.

Visit Café Fest Facebook page for more information. You can also follow them on Instagram (@cafefestsg). More information too, in this really adorable infographic:

 

Café Fest Infographic Final

What I want to buy at Zalora during GSS

The Great Singapore Sale (GSS) happens in June and this is the period where I always look forward to because it’s the time I can really snag great deals. There’s nothing like seeing the dress that I’ve been eyeing for the longest time but have been holding off from buying going down to much lower prices, and then I finally make the purchase – woohoo!

Zalora, one of the largest online retailers in Singapore, has attractive discounts during the GSS period too, and this is exciting because it means you don’t even have to step out of your house, and can get hold of fashion and beauty items at a steal – all delivered to your doorstep!

These are some of the items I’m currently drooling after from the site:

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This cute crossbody bag is retailing at S$34.90.

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This pair of Melissa shoes I’ve been eyeing, is going at S$144, instead of its original S$240 price tag!

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But if I were to pick a pair of shoes that’s more affordable, I would go for this from Koumi Koumi, at just S$19.90 instead of S$29.90.

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I also like this pair of Gold Andi Fashion Sunglasses by Mel, retailing at S$19.90.

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This dress has also stolen my heart and most importantly, it’s only retailing at 2 for S$32! LIKE WHUUUUTT?!

Check out these deals and more at the Zalora Singapore GSS deals page.

This article is commissioned by Zalora but in no way has it influenced my opinion.

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Taobao Shopping Via 65Daigou For My Wedding Essentials

I’ve been hearing about the amazing Taobao and how it had helped many budget-brides save on their weddings. But I’ve never really dared delve into the giant monster that is Taobao. While my Chinese standard is pretty good, the site and it’s huge archive of items, wall of text and the whole coordination of shipping etc. just overwhelms me. That’s why I never stepped into it.

Until I learnt about 65daigou and how it acts as an agent between the consumer and Taobao (as well as other foreign shopping sites). I decided to give it a shot. And guess what – it turns out to be quite a breeze!

Here’s the step-by-step on how to do it:

Click on image to enlarge it.

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Paste the url of the Taobao item that you’d like to purchase into 65daigou

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A screen like this pops up, where you can select quantity, colour/type (under remarks) and how you want it to be shipped. There’s even a field where you can choose whether you want to go for an alternative or to discard the order if what you want is out of stock.

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It is then added to the cart!

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Continue adding what you want into the cart by going through the same steps.

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When you click on check out. A summary is shown.

 

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Proceed to pay via bank transfers.

All orders are consolidated and shipped to you together. Assuming you continue to buy items via 65daigou in the next few days, all parcels are tracked in your account too. This way, you can actually choose to only arrange for delivery when all your parcels arrive in Singapore.

There are free collection options, as well as an affordable home delivery service that you can go for. I opted for the home delivery one because I bought too many things!

What I also like about it is the personal service that I get from the 65daigou staff. Whenever there’s an issue or query from the seller, someone from65daigou writes to me (I can access these messages via email or through my daigou account) to ask me how I would like to proceed in English.

For instance, for one of the items that I bought, because it carries magnet, it cannot be sent via air, but only via sea. This obviously has an impact on delivery date, and I get a message asking me how I’d like to proceed.

In another instance, an item that’s really light but very bulky comes with a high volumetric weight that will set my shipping cost to really high. Instead of proceeding, the staff wrote to me to find out if I’d like to drop the order (which I did).

Anyway, I know what you’re waiting for… a show of what I’ve bought for the wedding! Many of them are meant for decorations that are in line with our theme for the wedding — Journey.

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A cute “getaway” car

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A tissue box that we’re thinking if it can work as an angbao box (probably not, but we can still use it to hold tissue paper at home.)

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Tea ceremony set

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Dragon and phoenix candles that my parents will be giving Keith’s parents during the betrothal ceremony.

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They customise it! I’m hanging this on the bridal car.

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This is also for the betrothal ceremony. It even comes in a nice box.

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We got this for our groomsmen.

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A mini projector that I’ll share what use it’s for in later posts ;)

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A really pretty globe for reception area decoration, but will look great in my house’s shelves too.

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A model of a plane — SIA!

I bought 12 items in all and only paid around $300 altogether (including price of products, shipping fees, agent fees and delivery fees). It’s very good value for money, if you ask me.

A globe, for instance, if I were to buy from shops in Singapore, would have already set me aside by more than $100 – let alone this magnetic one (that looks like it’s floating) and turns when you plug it in. Things like tea ceremony set, I’ve seen in wedding shops, can also be close to $100 or more.

Visit Taobao and 65daigou to start shopping now :) You can also visit 65daigou on their Facebook and Instagram pages.

How To Deal With RSVP Woes

Speak to anyone who has planned a wedding (or possibly any event), they’d tell you that dealing with RSVP is probably the most tedious part of the planning.

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It’s painful because you have to deal with many parties, who may or may not give you a response, and you can’t proceed with things like printing of cards, selecting of caterers and other logistical arrangements until you know the turnout you are expecting.

Don’t be surprised if you get ridiculous excuses interesting reasons to why they can’t make it for your wedding. Like:

  • I need to pack for a trip that’s happening a month after your wedding.
  • My cousin has tuition that day.
  • My brother-in-law may be ORD-ing that day and then we may have a huge celebration.
  • I regularly bring my dog out for walks at the same time as your wedding.

The above may or may not be what I’ve heard.

And even when they’ve responded, don’t be taken aback if people back out on the last minute (i.e. the wedding day).

Wedding-List

Anyway, this is not a rant post. I’m going to share with you how to deal with it:

  • Remember: Your wedding is only important to you. Yes, you may wonder why people can’t understand the reason they have to give you affirmative responses at the fastest time possible. But repeat this a few times to yourself: Your wedding is only important to you. Nobody is obliged to “help you out” or make planning easier for you or even attend it because you invited. YOU chose to go through it in the way you’ve planned it. You could have gone to ROM, do a solemnisation with just two witnesses and you’re still married. So, take the obligation off everyone.
  • Don’t obsess over the RSVP. It is tempting to check your friend’s “Last seen” information on WhatsApp and wonder to yourself why she hasn’t replied you although she was last seen on WhatsApp 30 minutes after you’ve sent your text. Now, take a chill pill and stop obsessing over it. She may be busy with work, or going through a rough day. Or maybe, she’s trying to make some arrangements so she could actually attend your wedding because it is important enough to her.
  • Have contingency plans. Because you can’t expect everyone to see your wedding important enough to put down everything they have to do on that day to be there, you have to expect that the turnout may not be as great as you’ve expected. Check with your caterer if they are able to accommodate a smaller crowd, and the guys renting you the venue if they have a smaller place you could use if the turnout is not so good. Have these information at the back of your mind so you’ll relax knowing that there are plans you can fall back on.
  • Change your perspective. I know of people who see each guest with a dollar sign above their head. They want a huge wedding at a luxurious hotel, and see each guest as their ticket to covering the cost of the wedding. This may be why they freak out when guests turn down invitation. If you find yourself thinking like this, ask yourself why you want to hold a huge wedding in the first place. If your guests don’t matter to you as people you want to share your joy with, why should you matter enough to them to take time off to attend your wedding?
  • Breathe and take a chill pill. Remember I told you to repeat a couple of times: Your wedding is only important to you? Now, at the same time, what’s really important on your wedding day is just you and your husband-to-be. Make sure that you’re both happy and having fun, and that you haven’t forgotten what’s the reason why you want to go through this whole ceremony that you’ve been planning for so long. Don’t let RSVP stress gets to you (and him). The wedding will so go on, with or without the guests, won’t it?

What A Catholic Bride Needs To Know: Timeline

I’m Catholic and it’s always my dream to hold my wedding in church, because the act of marriage is sacramental to me. Now, I will not go on about what it means spiritually to me, but in this post, I’m going to share some of the things you probably have to take note of. (Married Catholics, feel free to comment. Since I haven’t gone through everything yet, I may have missed out some things.)

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Photo from pianofortephilia.blogspot.com

There are several things to take note of for a Catholic wedding, but here is a basic check list:

Before you book the church…

One of you has to be Catholic before you can get married in a Catholic church. You also have to have already completed the Engaged Encounter (EE) or Marriage Preparation Course (MPC) before the wedding takes place.

Keith and I went through the MPC before we were engaged. While many couples choose to only go through it in the midst of their wedding preparation, we wanted to do it before the engagement was announced, to be sure that we knew what we’re in for before we say yes with the proposal ring. But of course, it is up to the individual. I should probably write a separate post on this, but the MPC was a great programme that really benefited Keith and me. If you’re thinking of just “getting over and done with it”, I hope you could uplift the attitude, because after all, you’re planning for a marriage, not just a wedding.

Anyway, another thing you should think about before you head over to book the church is the date. Most churches only do weddings on Saturdays. Also, while it is still done, most priests would not encourage weddings to be held during the Lent or Advent period because it’s a period of repentance and spiritual preparation.

Booking the church

You can technically book any Catholic church for your wedding. Keith and I will be holding ours at St Teresa Church, although we attend Mass at Christ the King (and will make Holy Cross Church our parish after we move into our new place).

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Photo from marctey.com

Visit the website of the church of your choice for details on how to go about the booking. Most of the time, you’re required to see the parish secretary personally to do the booking and to pay a token for the facilities.

The priest who’s celebrating your wedding

It’ll be best if you have already asked a priest to celebrate your wedding for you when you do the booking of the church. Because of the busy schedules of priests, some of them may request that the wedding be held at the parish that they serve in. Check with him on this. The contact details of the priests are also available in the link I’ve provided above for the list of Catholic churches.

Three months before the wedding

This is probably the time when you begin to feel the heat of preparations. It is also time to do the following: book the choir, hire a florist and speak to the priest.

The secretary is likely to pass you some notes and contacts regarding the resident choir and florist that you can speak to. Otherwise, you can use any Catholic choir, and any florist. We decided to go with the St Teresa Church ones because we feel that they would know the church best. Your choir and florist should be able to guide you through what to take note of and provide you with songs/flower options.

Your priest will contact you around this time too, to fill in an application form for a church wedding. During this meeting, he will explain the meaning of a Christian marriage to you and then you declare your understanding of what the church teaches about marriage. He would also fill in an ROM form that states that your solemnisation will be done by him. You need to eventually submit this form to ROM.

Some priests may also speak more to you to learn a little about you. This is a good time to ask the priest for any advice and if you need help with choosing the readings for the Mass/service. The priest is very experienced, having celebrated many weddings. He will be able to give you guidance.

Two months before the wedding

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Photo from nearby.sg

This is probably the time to decide on your readings and hymns, complete your Mass/service booklets (if you’re intending to have them) and send them off for print. Remember to let the priest approve it before you send it to print. He is definitely more familiar with it than you are.

One month before the wedding

The parish secretary will call you up to arrange for a rehearsal. She will let you know who is involved in the rehearsal and you have to arrange for everyone to be present.

If you’re intending to do a reception after the wedding (like we are), this is also approximately the time for you to confirm your attendees and to shortlist and book a caterer.

I will be posting more about choosing of the readings and hymns, as well as spiritual preparations in later posts once I find the time to :) I hope this is helpful!

How To Choose Your Wedding Venue

The wedding venue was the first thing on my to-do list after Keith proposed. This is because I’ve often heard stories about how popular venues get snapped up one year in advance and since I had one year to plan the wedding, I decided that I wanted to settle this first. (Anyway, true enough, my original “dream venue”, which was Fullerton Hotel’s Straits Room was already booked when I enquired).

Having gone through the process of booking, here are a few things I’d advise all brides-to-be to take note:

    • Plan your guest list first. This is going to help with your venue shortlist tremendously. Different venues have a different capacity and “minimum booking”, so you need to have a good approximation of how many guests you want.For us, we really wanted to make it a cosy celebration among only our nearest and dearest, and are not foreseeing to have more than 150 people in our “inner circle”. Our church wedding, on the other hand, will be the “bigger event”.As such, we only looked at small ballrooms with a capacity of 15 (minimum booking of 12) tables.
    • Shortlist and start emailing. We shortlisted all the venues that can accommodate our number of guests and are most keen on three of them: Four Seasons Hotel (Crescent Ballroom), Movenpick Heritage Hotel (Heritage Room), The Sentosa Resort & Spa (Beaufort Room) and Raffles Marina.
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      The exterior of Movenpick Heritage Hotel.

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      Movenpick Heritage Hotel from a distance.

      It is easy to email, and to me, what’s important during this stage is to see how responsive the venue is. A responsive catering manager assures me that he/she will be responsive when I need assistance in the future when I book with him/her. Also, always ask to go down and view the venue.

    • Site inspection. We went down for all the venues we shortlisted besides Raffles Marina. This is because they were very unresponsive and don’t seem willing to meet us on weekends or after work hours. Well, we have to work and it’s expected for someone from the service industry to understand that they may have to put in these hours. This is why many of them work shifts.During the site inspection, we really looked out for a few things:
      -How are the service staff like in the hotel? Are they polite? Are they helpful? Note that the overall service level of the hotel is going to leave an impression on your guests.
      -What’s the table arrangement going to be like? For me, a straight aisle is very important, so I need to know if the tables can be arranged such that the aisle is straight.
      -How do you feel about the venue? Can you see yourself holding your wedding there? I think that “gut feeling” is important.We chose Movenpick Heritage Hotel in the end for a few reasons: The staff, from the doorman to the front desk staff, are all very polite and helpful. We could feel their genuine warmth from the moment we step into the hotel; the entire hotel, not just the ballroom, is beautiful; I liked the signature fragrance of the hotel; I love that it’s in Sentosa because I love Sentosa; It’s incredibly easy to get to, whether by car or monorail (it’s located right in front of Imbiah Station, which is just two stops away from VivoCity); and I have a good “feeling” about it.
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The ballroom

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The ballroom

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Cocktail area

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Cocktail area

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Setup of reception table in front of ballroom.

  • Sign off. I will suggest committing to the minimum requirement at first and then later let your catering manager know you need to increase your tables. Your deposit is based on the number of tables you’ve committed. And since you don’t know if your guests may or may not RSVP affirmatively, go for the lowest possible commitment first.
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Sitting area in hotel

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Pool

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Exterior of hotel

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Exterior of hotel

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The iconic Merlion sits right outside the hotel

So far, Movenpick Heritage Hotel seems to be a good choice for us. Even when I requested to do my pre-wedding photoshoot in their premises, my catering manager was very prompt and helpful with coordinating it. The service has been impeccable.

Which bridal nail design should I go for?

To me, the pre-wedding shoot (or engagement shoot, if you prefer) is like a good chance to try out the dresses and makeup before the wedding day.

My shoot is happening next week (so fast!) and I’m now racking my head, trying to figure out what I haven’t prepared for it.

Oh yes, there are actually quite a number of things to do prior to the shoot. I will save the details for a separate post but for now, I want to focus on one thing – my nails. I’ve received a sponsorship for manicure (I will share more after it’s done!) and have also shortlisted a few looks that I liked.

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Which do you think I should go for?