Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Appetite for weddings

Practically every vendor (every person, even) we spoke to before the wedding was 100% certain Enfant Terrible and I wouldn't be able to eat on the day.

My fifth cousin said he barely ate anything on his night because he was walking around so much but made up for it by practically inhaling the cake when he got home after.

Our caker told me that the couple never gets to eat because they have to visit all the tables.

The seamstress said I wouldn't have to worry about eating too much on the night and busting out of my dress because because no one who gets married actually eats on their night.

NO ONE mentioned the nerves though, except our venue coordinators, who laughed at my worried face 3 days before the wedding and assured me they had my back. (This is the most unbelievably important thing you can tell someone who's about to get married and I urge you to say it if you can back it up.)

Anyway, nerves. We drifted through the day in a haze of anxiety and couldn't taste anything we had at breakfast and lunch. At dinner, I made it through half my appetizer (2 bites of salad and 2 pieces of pandan chicken) before feeling I'd puke if I ate any more. It was a shame because the Burmese laksa was fantastic (also 2 bites), as was everything else. But I gave up and just sipped my liquids (water, wine, lemongrass tea) after that. I also had a bite of cake after the cake cutting when ET fed each other the obligatory slices, and that was pretty much it for me that night.

Also, muruku crackers during the cocktail hour when I could pause from talking to guests.

ET fretted about the DJ throughout and only relaxed after he gave his speech (even the photographer said he looked stressed). He actually ate after all the guests had left. The food had gone cold by then but it didn't matter.

Me, I think I got my appetite back on Tuesday. We'd packed our extras (woohoo!) so at least I got to enjoy that, albeit belatedly. We're also trying to make the cake last as long as we can, but we're fighting over who will get the last bite of chocolate, so this might not end well.

Your wedding nerves will probably be different (I am a terribly anxious person as a rule), but it will be a robot couple that doesn't feel even the slightest flutter of butterfly wings on their day.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Wedding vendors

Not that anyone asked, but:

Venue/decor/catering: Passion Road
A lifestyle cafe/event venue that opens for lunch on weekdays and hosts events in the evening and weekends. We picked their Asian buffet; virtually every guest we had complimented the food.

The amount of greenery present (there is a giant beringin tree in the front) is the perfect lurking place for mosquitoes, but they fog the day before and set out mosquito repellent on the evening, so no one was bitten. As far as I know.

We didn't have to add anything to the setting because the decor is always stunning by default. Probably the most major decision you'd have to make is the tablecloth/table runner color combo.

Alcohol: Wine Talk
Based in Phileo Damansara, this was actually the only vendor we tasted with, which goes against wisdom. We liked their stuff right off, which meant we didn't have to drive to Puchong or PJ Old Town, where the other prospective alcohol vendors are located, after that.

Perhaps unusually, we had more red than white wine left over, which is also the opposite of conventional wedding/Chinese wedding wisdom. It was quite a warm night, so that might have been why the white was more popular, bearing out the advice of Sulo, our Wine Talk ambassador. Or maybe my younger cousins found it more quaffable. It might have been a bit of both. All I know is, one of the adult wine enthusiasts was on the verge of bringing her glass home.

And though I seriously wanted to do so initially, I'm glad I didn't get RM37 wines.* Given I didn't like the blended wines from the pricier Wine Talk, and I don't drink usually, it's possible our guests might have rioted over the cheaper blended wine from the other vendor.

Photography/videography: PassionArtz Photography
We got a range of figures when getting photog quotes. I understand we pay for their expertise, time, manpower, equipment, and experience in capturing one of the biggest days of a person's life. But I also think our party was too small to warrant a RM6k per gig (!) shooter.**

Anyway, I was surfing FaceBook desultorily after failing to find a photographer I was 100% happy with. There's only so many portfolios you can screen before it all melds together into a luminous white blur of swirly cursive "Sweet Day" and "Forever Memory" and foreheads touching together shots.

I wanted to see what Passion Road had been up to lately but FB autocomplete had other ideas. Just in time too, because I'd been on the verge of contacting another photog who took reasonably decent photos and who wasn't too expensive. Jake's fee is higher but his photos are way different in that they don't look edited to death (really hope I won't have to eat those words when we get the photos back). He and videographer Soo were great to work with, and I'm glad they didn't have to wrestle past too many of our relatives for their shots.

Cake: Jenni's Cake Studio
As with Wine Talk, this was our first and only cake testing stop. At that point, we (I, actually) was sick of looking at cake quotes. Two of the recommended cakers took ages to respond. The quotes for a 3-tier cake were either in the 4 figures, which worked out to an exorbitant price per small slice wtf, or or cost less but with less pretty cakes.

Jenni's fee was intermediate, and her cake studio has history on its side. Given the nigh-on impossibility of finding a parking spot in Kota Damansara, she made the cake testing a dream for us, preparing a standby takeaway for the cakes.

One of the best things was that I only had to Whatsapp my Mondrian-inspired design to her and she was all set. The next time we communicated was actually the day before the wedding, when I called to arrange the delivery, only to be told the delivery guy was off that day...! But the person I spoke to assured me she'd get the message to him, and that they were working on the cake at that very moment.

The cake turned up as agreed on when this tattooed, coolly dressed fellow strolled into Passion Road on the day and asked who was in charge. The cake was exactly how we imagined it would look, though I didn't expect the piping around the sides (to hide the fondant seams, I guess). Most importantly, it tasted fantastic, both butter and chocolate mud versions (we ordered chocolate though...?). I liked the chocolate cake most.

Hair and makeup: Snips
I get my hair cut at Snips because they're fast and I look less shit when they're done with me, and I vaguely remembered seeing a banner advertising their makeup service once. In retrospect, it could all have gone horribly wrong.

We booked a makeup session with them without a trial (I don't know if we do makeup trials in Malaysia, which is another aspect that could have gone terribly awry), and were told that "upstyling" is part of the deal, though charged separately (?!).

Andrew the artistic team ("a-team!") professional stylist did my hair, looking only slightly miffed when we insisted we didn't want an up-do. We agreed on a half-up with no accessories. He called for the big tongs and cooked my hair into big waves, then twisted sections into mini buns or something, and pinned everything together before sending me off to Miu for makeup.

When we spoke 2 days earlier, Miu said she'd do a "natural" look for me. She put 2 layers of something all over my face, which looked chalky under her bright makeup lights but was fine in the sun and later in the evening. Then she gave me modest little cat eyes and a scary pair of false eyelashes, which Enfant Terrible made her take off. Then I got some blusher and a horrible thick layer of peach lipstick, which flavored everything for half the evening after that. I looked like a brighter, princessy version of myself, which was perfect.

Dress: eBay
A few weeks before the day, wary of bridal boutique prices and weary of all the dress links I'd been sending him, ET said he'd get a dress from eBay. And he did! We had to alter it a bit. What made this secondhand find sweeter was that it looked amazing and miles better than the bespoke couture dress Mrs. Cumberbatch wore for her wedding (ahem).

Dress (runner-up): Emerald Brilliant
They specialize in cheongsam, and I tried on a gorgeous white one with a princess collar, but it wasn't The Dress. That's the last thing I ever expected to say, but stranger things have happened, I guess. I mention them because Christine the manager is fantastic, and Anuar the seamster is a sewing genius who took in the 2 inches from the sides of my eBay dress.

Shoes: BeMe at Isetan
They were shiny platform mules with 3-inch heels and I was still able to walk at the end of the night. My toes are still a bit numb though.

That's all; thanks for listening!

*I was freaking out over our budget until Enfant Terrible reminded me of his credit card limit, and even then I was worried.
**We're all in the wrong job.

Monday, May 11, 2015


I've just deleted about 50 wedding-related bookmarks here, which included tutorials on paper flowers,  short party dresses, makeup (mineral/conventional/how to), shoes, MC-ing, and alcohol. The to do/to get lists have been removed from my phone. The vendor quotes and receipts in my wedding folder (everyone has one, right?) will be the next thing to be tackled.

I still can't believe it was just 1 night ago that a hundred-something people attended the party of my year. I'm still getting my appetite back and my stress dermatitis is subsiding. Also still picking hairpins out of my hair every now and then. A pretty good Monday so far.

Sunday, May 3, 2015


Due to my nomadic circumstances,* I spent the past 2 days without my iPad. The first 24 hours were spent glued to my phone, refreshing my mobile socmed** apps and cursing the small screen. After that, I read a magazine and didn't miss my iPad anymore.

Today, I retrieved it, but the anticipated heroin rush of relief didn't materialize.

I think I'm going to start removing some of my feeds.

*I left it at home when I went to the apartment.
**Social media, of course.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Catching up

I'm spending the weekend at home as the MIL is accommodating house guests from out of town. Not much has changed in TTDI, except the glass in the fish tank has turned a vivid disgusting green due to algae growth.

It can't be good for the fish, you say, and you're right. The corydoras, one of the hardier fish species around, are dead. They're lying bleached and still on the bottom of the tank, and even the scavenging ravenous shrimp are done with the remains.

The 4 glass catfish appear to be present, but I feel it's only a matter of time before they're found motionless. They usually huddle under a plant near the bottom of the tank, but right now, they're circling under the surface of the water, apparently hopefully. I don't know where the tetras are.

Elsewhere, the wee skinny white kitten my 2 neighbours co-adopted (one feeds her, the other houses her) has waxed incredibly plump and sleek. She spends her days lounging in my overgrown garden, eyeing the neighbour's other cat warily.