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.

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