$$$ KPO and CZM $$$: An Honest and Brutal Wedding Vendors Review

Monday, December 10, 2018

An Honest and Brutal Wedding Vendors Review

KPO has been nagging all the time that I have not contributed to any blog post since the establishment of this blog. So in order to stop his nagging (and he promised to do 60 sit-ups after I write at least one post), here I am!

It has been two months since we got married (how time flies), and we have received our wedding actual day ("AD") photos, so I guess it about time to write a review of all our vendors. Details on the prices can be found on here - Our Wedding Expenses is Within Our Budget!

The following is our humble opinion (out of 5 stars):

1) Furama Riverfront Hotel (our AD venue) - 4.5 stars
We started looking for hotels in 2017 (1 year before our AD) and were initially looking for somewhere small (can hold about 12 tables max) as we wanted a small cosy place just to hold our relatives and closest friends. Given the requirement, we can only fit the requirement of 'solemnization' for most hotels (as the minimum banquet tables are typically around 20 tables). When we first approached Angela from Furama, we were delighted to hear that the venue allowed a minimum of 12 tables, and the price of a lunch banquet was not much different from the 'solemnization' package. The perks were attractive and we can 'lock in' the 2017 price though our banquet is in 2018.

Some of the perks are:
1) Free flow beer, red wine and white wine (in our opinion, please don't waste time on hotels which do not even give free corkage)
2) 2 nights stay at the bridal suite with free buffet breakfast
3) 1 night deluxe room for 'helpers' with free buffet breakfast
4) 2 nights at Furama Villa & Spa at Ubud, Bali (flight not included)
5) 1 night anniversary stay at Furama Riverfront
6) Complimentary food tasting for 10 pax
7) Free use of a function room for solemnization, teapot for Jing Cha
8) Other basic typical stuff like dry ice for march-in, fresh flowers etc.

For the price we paid (just slightly over $100 inclusive of GST and service charge), it is quite attractive and we do not have to worry about the alcohol.

In terms of payment, it works like most hotels where it allows partial/periodic payments until AD. To our pleasant surprise, Furama introduced an online payment system mid-way and we could use the DBS Woman's card for the banquet, allowing us to earn 4 mpd (cap at $2k a month). As a result, we managed to clock quite a lot of miles from the banquet itself.

Overall, we love the perks given (especially item 1 and 7). We heard that some hotels do not have item 7 for free, but they can only select it as part of 1 of the "wishlist". We shall not name the hotels, but that's why we love Furama as it is more "easygoing" in that aspect. The wedding coordinator Angela is very responsive on both emails and Whatsapp too. The banquet manager, Hayden, is also very professional and gave us very detailed instructions, which calmed us down greatly.

The only downside for this vendor is that they changed the wedding theme and choices of wedding favour less than 1 month before our AD. CZM does not like last minute changes, and can you imagine her horror when she has to re-select everything at the last minute?? I would have given 5 stars if not because of this.

Damage: $17,878.63
URL: Furama Riverfront Wedding

2) Bridal package from Rico-a-Mona - 5 stars
We had a pleasant experience with Rico. I was first drawn to Rico because of the huge selection of gowns, and they are so pretty (so is their models). Our coordinator is Sinny, and she is very professional. She allowed us to try on many gowns before we signed any package and did not pressure us to get a package immediately. In fact, she encouraged us to go to other bridal shops first to take a look.

For our pre-wedding shoot (PWS), we engaged their in-house photographer Charlie and make-up artist (MUA) Miki. I will review Miki below as she was my AD MUA as well. Charlie was a superb photographer who had a sense of humour and this made our photoshoot less awkward/more natural when we smiled.

I think Rico is generally more expensive than other bridal shops, but there is no hidden pricing (unlike some bridal shops which charge extra for 'premium' gowns) and I love the gown selection. All other extra charges are made known to us upfront before we signed the package. Overall, I think it is worth the money and I have no regrets.

Damage: $4,224.36
URL: Rico-A-Mona

3) Make-up artist Miki - 4 stars
I researched on Rico's MUA and both Miki and Milly are the "hot favourites" and I chose Miki eventually based on her pictures on Instagram. Miki is especially good with eyes and I love how natural her make up is.

However, I was rather worried when she turned up >30 minutes late for our PWS. Though I don't think she compromised on the quality of makeup, we had to rush through our PWS and had to make some last minute changes to the outdoor venues.

We continued to use her as my AD MUA as I really like her make up, hence, kept my fingers crossed that she will be punctual. We agreed on the time months in advance and I reminded her on the schedule a few days before. I was made known that she will have a bride before me, but the timing should be okay. However, she was also late on AD and the whole AD got pushed back 30 mins as a result. Luckily we had some buffer here and there and made it in time for our wedding lunch. I later learnt that she had 3 brides on the same morning (*gasps*) and she had to rush to the third venue after my make up was done. Oh well, don't really think she should accept so many jobs on the same day as some people's AD may be really tight..

Instagram: Miki

4) Jerome Goh Photography - 4.5 stars
We chose Jerome because I really like his photography and he is super responsive as well (typically replies within the same day). We took up the "premium" package which has two photographers as the photos of the second photographer were also really good. Both photographers were also punctual on AD and we were given the photos way in advance of the agreed timeline (the photos are expected to be ready only in about 12 weeks, but we have gotten it around after 8 weeks of our AD).

The only downside is that the photos taken by the second photographer seem to fall short slightly of our expectation. But generally, we are still pleased with our photos.

Damage: $2,000
URL: Jerome Goh Photography

5) Sparkle Live Music - 1.5 stars
We have engaged a live band through Sparkle Live Music, and have selected Peixin as our singer + emcee because I have heard her both live at my friend's wedding and on Youtube, and she is so good. I will have a separate review on her below. We noted that Peixin is kind of like a freelancer, and there are a few different live bands online which works with her. We chose Sparkle Live because my friend has engaged them before.

However, I was very disappointed with them. Firstly, there were double standards in the pricing as my friend, who wrote in to inquire, was quoted $200 less at almost the same period of time. We were coincidentally discussing about Sparkle Live before I noted the discrepancy. Immediately I called them on this and they mentioned that the brochure that was provided to me was not up-to-date and hence the difference. WHAT??? Fortunately, the new price was extended to us (and hence I am giving an additional 0.5 stars).

Throughout this engagement, the coordinator, Prinsten is always MIA. Not only was he unresponsive to emails, his work is bad. He was supposed to come up with the emcee script which he promised to turnaround in a few days, but it took him 2 full weeks to get back with a script full of errors. From one look, we can tell that it is simply a template copied elsewhere (which is fine because we expected so), but he did not even bother to change the bride and groom names. The additional details we provided him was not added to the script as well. Where is the duty of care??

We also provided him our preferred song list in early Sep, which he mentioned should not be a problem, but only informed us two weeks before AD that there were several songs which have to be amended. Luckily both of us weren't particular about songs, so we just let Peixin sing any song which she prefers.

Damage: $1,564
URL: Sparkle Live Music

6) Lou Peixin - Singer for live band - 6 stars
Yes, giving her 6 out of 5 stars. She is superb. Everyone whom I spoke to told me she is really good. Can check out her songs on Youtube too. We, however, recommend that you engage her through other live bands (see #5 review above).

URL: Lou Peixin
Youtube: Miss Lou

7) Infinity Hair Art - 2 stars
This is a hair salon package which we purchased on Fave because it was cheap. Conclusion - if something is too good to be true, it probably is. This place hard sells like crazy, and it seems like the case for a few years, according to this review. It is my bad for not doing sufficient due diligence. Was persuaded to sign up some package, end up it is nowhere cheaper than other salons.

Damage: $510
URL: Fave Deals (at your own risk)

8) Solemnizer Mr Tam Chee Wah
I first got to know of Mr Tam through a private facebook group for Brides-to-Be. Many brides highly recommended Mr Tam as someone bilingual, funny and brief. He was exactly the kind we were looking for, as we only had 30 mins for the solemnization.

I obtained his number online and texted him on his availability around 6 months prior to our wedding, though I was not carrying much hope that he will agree. Previously, I was rejected by some other solemnizer because it was simply too early. To my surprise, he agreed immediately and sent me some instructions on the process (such as to fill up some forms, and to write my vows etc). His clear instructions greatly assured us.

On the actual day, he arrived early. All our guests were engaged with his jokes and loved his sense of humour. More importantly, he kept within the 30 mins time frame so that I have sufficient time for my second make up for my banquet.

For brides-to-be, you can contact Mr Tam at +65 9380 1780 or email him at miketam@singnet.com.sg.

That's all I have on the vendor reviews. Now thinking back what is the one thing I could have done differently for the wedding, I felt that the entire wedding was over in a twinkle of an eye, so don't bother spending too much time on less important stuff like second makeup/march in etc. I will perhaps spend more time going table to table to chat with my relatives, friends etc.

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