Thursday, July 4

Wedding: Money, Budget, and Problems

Ding Dong Ding Dong...

*my imaginary wedding bells ringing*

To be honest, how does a wedding bell sound like? I don't know. My friends of the same circle are all getting married. To date, this year I have attended more than 5 weddings, and for each and every wedding, I noticed the uniqueness. I never really enjoyed weddings as much as now, perhaps, because I finally realised how much effort each bride and groom had put to make their big day a success. I hope mine will be as successful as theirs too *fingerscrossed*

Let me share how I pull through my wedding. XerOz (my soon-to-be husband) let me make all the plannings, then I'll form a proposal (yes, I do presentations to present my ideas to him), and he will agree, or modify. Please put in mind that my wedding is a very humble one to begin with as both of us are not children of millionaires, and did not want parents to be burdened with our expenses.

1st stage: Proposal

This is the very beginning. I was presented with a beautiful engagement ring that he bought from SK Jewellery (Approx Price: RM3k). The worse part after buying the ring was a month after he bought, SK Jewellery had their 8th Anniversary Promotion with 20% discount! So, my hint to husbands-to-be who are under tight budget and want to make every penny worth, please ask the jewellery shop when is their next promotion. (Not all will reveal, so just try your luck! 20% discount yoh!). Some jewellery shop couldn't give discount, but will give ring pillow with cute teddy bears too! I didn't have anything, too bad..haha.. 
-Amount spent: RM3k-

2nd stage: Registration of Marriage (ROM)

From my previous blog post, I did my ROM on 30-12-12 (Total documentation costs: RM130) in Buddhist Mahavihara. I did my own makeup & hairdo, hence explaining my simple look. I wore a dress from Vior (RM126) + a cardigan from Aurora Boutique (RM35), and heels from Vincci (RM99.90). My bouquet was made of fake flowers, consist of 4 bunches of 5-piece roses (RM12.90 each bunch) bought from SSF Furniture. The total price of my bouquet was RM60, which is almost equivalent to the price of a real bouquet, but my intention was to reuse this bouquet in future for photoshooting. So I hit 2 birds with 1 stone! 
-Amount spent: approx RM500.00-

3rd stage: Venue Bookings
Realising that we have very limited budget, this means we are also running against time for venue bookings. Three main problems that will be encountered:

  1.  "auspicious dates" are limited (especially weekends)
  2. Venues with "good food" are limited."Good food" is very subjective. It's hard to please everybody's taste. The more you listen from others, the more confuse you will be.
  3. Restaurant or Hotel?

The fact that restaurants/hotel menu changes (price increases) every 6 months, means that me and XeROz has to find a good deal and book the price earlier. So in November, we went to a Bridal Fair in Midvalley to find a venue for our banquet. It was a horrible experience there (refer to my blog post here), but at the same time we managed to speak to the sales team from Tai Thong Group of Restaurants and Vistana Hotel. No doubt, Tai Thong are well-known in the wedding banquet sector, but I have read good reviews of Vistana from forums. Tai Thong wasn't very impressive because in our conversation, everything "can be done, can be arranged" (it's like promising everything easily) and the salesperson kept using other customers in waiting to press us for bookings and confirmation. On the other hand, Ms. Wai Wai from Vistana was very calm, confident and offered us a food tasting, plus guaranteeing me that theirs no price changes despite booking 1 year in advance. I chose Vistana Hotel(KL). With the promo and additional gifts they throw in for me because of the Bridal Fair, it seems fair.
(Price per table: RM1008++).

For my Melaka relatives, I will hold a mini banquet there, I had no ideas about restaurants and I called up Tropicana Grand Ballroom (by Tai Thong Group), Luh Yeh Yen, Pei Zing, Bei Zhan and New Lagoon. Perhaps not as competitive as KL, they do not have a menu to offer me as they are waiting for 2013 menu to be released. I blacklisted some restaurants because I can't understand what are they talking about in mandarin (I'm not Chinese Literate), and when I ask them to fax or email, they replied me rudely. So, I thought, why don't I drive to Melaka and visit them personally. My first stop was to meet Liz Wong from Tropicana Grand Ballroom. Despite her speaking very fast, she impressed my dad and he wanted to immediately book Tropicana. So, done! Compare to other that I called, Tropicana's menu was the most expensive, starting from RM698++ / table, but since dad says OK! We proceed booking in March. Last month, Liz called me and asked me to re-print my wedding cards, because Tropicana Grand ballroom has obtained a halal licence and will change it's name to Royal China! Gosh, Liz wanted to reimburse me the printing cost, but I told mom she is really good and helpful and mom says "Nevermindlah!" So, thanks mom and dad, and Liz for being so sporting!
-Amount spent: RM3000 for booking Vistana Hotel, and RM2000 for booking Royal China, Melaka-

4th Stage: Wedding Photography

Ok, this is one of the most critical stage for DIY-ers like me. Me and XeROz agreed that we do not have alot of cash on hand to engage a Bridal Photography Studio. The cheapest we saw from friends is RM2,688 (1 large frame + 1 big album & small album), average friends photography cost is about RM4988-6888, and most expensive I encountered is RM30k. So, I pulled some strings and thankfully my dear friend, TianChad from Sky Arts Production agrees to semi-sponsor (he snap, I choose & edit myself) me pre-wedding photography session. I did a weekend getaway to Ipoh-Cameron Highlands + photography session, booked a suite at Strawberry Park Resort (RM493 Fresno suite), I rented a gown from Lovely Gown (RM200) + an evening gown from Kenanga Mall (RM150). We overspent about RM300 here for our casual photoshooting costume. We bought new T-shirts n pants from Padini hahah! If you have matching tees, you don't have to spend extra like us. I did prepare some props (RM100). My mom have a friend who operates a printing company so, it's cool for me, I really get to control my budget and print accordingly.

Advantage of DIY Pre-Wedding Photoshoot:-
1) Less expensive, you can control your budget
2) No limitations on where, when & how
3) Leisure and less tiresome

1) Not as extravagant as studios. Need to study on how to pose. 
2) Because mine is a semi-sponsor, I had to edit myself.
3) Choose too many photos due to greed and ended up headache which to print. LOL

-Amount spent: RM1000+ (on photoshooting sessions only)-

Currently, I'm stuck in Stage 4. There's another 6 stages to go! 

5th Stage: Preparing For Betrothal (Guo Da Li)

6th Stage: Bridal Bed

7th Stage: Wedding Gown & Suits

8th Stage: Wine & Wedding Games

9th Stage: Bridal Car, Home & Banquet Decoration

10th Stage: Wedding Eve

There's so much to do, and there's even more to spend! it's almost 10k already T_T
I guess I have to stop now. Gotta finish up my stage 4 and proceed to other stages!



Unknown said...

Congratulations to both of you.Great idea of reusing the bouquet for photo shooting, I liked it. You really made wonderful plannings.
B&B Brugge

MsXeRoZ Nicole said...

Shristhi Ahuja, Thank you for visiting and the compliment. hehe.. Actually the reason why I wanted to post it all out is to remind myself that all my plannings are a public commitment. Sometimes, I want so much for a fairytale wedding, and the risk of overspending is high. I did overspend here and there, but overall it's still manageable.

atreyustrange said...

Wah thanks for scaring the shit out of me to get married now! Haha! Kidding dear. :) Semoga murah rezeki dan dapat membayar semua yang diimpikan. LOL~

MsXeRoZ Nicole said...

@atreyustrange, I scare the shit out of myself when I see these figures too, but honestly, because of proper planning and sufficient duration of time, both of us didn't feel tha pain in our @ss paying off these stuff. I feel don't rush into your wedding, enjoy the moment of preparation.