The Expo Experience + main vendor booked!

If you are getting married in 2018 (and maybe 2019?) you would know that the MegaXpress Mega Weddings & Lifestyle Expo has been on since Thursday and practically every Malay wedding vendor is there trying to get you to sign up for their packages and tempt you with some wild discounts.

My cousin went on the first day and she told me that the expo was pretty damn big with a lot of popular vendors and also some new upcoming ones. She, the expo expert, suggested that I go on one day to check out all the vendors that I wanted to talk to and then come back the next day to book so that we could sleep on it or have any discussion if necessary (if you have parents then you know it will be necessary. No such thing as ‘do what you want it’s your wedding’ nope nope don’t believe don’t fall for the lies)

I told the mat about this and he suggested that we go on Saturday and then make any bookings by Saturday night/Sunday. I agreed because of 2 reasons:

  1. It was a shitty work week and I didn’t have the time to go to the expo on weekdays
  2. We had already viewed some potential locations (The Landmark, Serangoon Gardens Country Club, Warung in the East, Grassroots Club) and asked for the rates of others (D’resort, Aranda Country Club) back in November/December. Our parents felt that it made more sense to hold the wedding in the east or central because the bulk of our guests stayed in the east and it made no sense to make everyone go to the west for a wedding. We decided that Warung in the East was too mah fan for guests, D’Resort’s offer was too expensive for us and Aranda Country Club didn’t even get back to us, so it was down to three locations left.By the time the expo came round The Landmark was our first choice. Here’s why:
The Landmark The Grassroots’ Club SGCC
Location Central & accessible – I will not die going to the East Accessible – next to Yio Chu Kang MRT Kind of out of the way – Alight at Serangoon MRT and then take a feeder bus
Package & Price (as of December 2016 for 600 pax) Catering, decor (Sentimentals), mak andam (Fatimah Mohsin), invitation cards (printing not included), 1 hotel room, PA system, cake table. $38++ per pax Price of MPH, 32 tables, 320 chairs, stage, cake table, PA system and 1 changing room: $7,600. We were not keen on using their caterer in the packages, which meant sourcing on our own. Catering, decor (Tahta Tiara or Misyaz), berkat, invitation cards (printing not included), PA system, changing rooms, compl. parking for guests, floral centerpieces for all tables, wedding cake. $46+ per pax
Food “Not bad” “Pretty good” “Decent” Unfortunately no one had nice things to say about the caterer in their packages :/ Package has same caterer as The Grassroots’ Club POR QUE
Premises The Landmark restaurant and Red Velvet ballroom are next to the pool. If alfresco dining by the pool is your thing, you will be very excited about this. Whether you get one or two spaces depends on the no. of pax. The following applies to to the Red Velvet ballroom: It has an additional space outside for us to either put some tables for alfresco dining or just chairs so that our guests could chill by the poolside under shelter which really appealed to us. You can also set up a photobooth there. Buffet is outside the ballroom. Ballroom is pretty spacious. Super spacious MPH, which is probably why Anggun and Saiful Imran can always do those massive pelamins. If you are wiling to pay the price to do up those ceiling high pelamins it will look amazing. Space just outside MPH can be used for photobooth, there is also a large communal sitting area and a small garden. Only one toilet on every floor (at least for ladies). If you are looking to bring in your own caterer, they must have central kitchen as TGC does not allow cooking onsite. Otherwise, you will have to book a void deck nearby.* Ballroom takes up almost whole of 2nd floor – ideal for privacy. Kitchen and changing rooms are on the same floor as well. Ample space to put 15-20 tables plus berkat table and larger than usual pelamin.   Pelamin done by Tahta Tiara on that day was beautiful. Two buffet lines, helpful for peak periods. We had to climb stairs to reach main entrance, take note if you have a lot of old people coming to the wedding. Lift is under renovation this year, best to check.
Timing Lunch: 12 to 4.30
Dinner: 6.30 to 10
7 hour booking 8 hour booking (again if I recall correctly)

*Caterers who do not have central kitchen will normally charge additional if they have to cook elsewhere and transport the food to the venue.

The Grassroots’ Club was a strong contender since we liked the place and we could have the space for a full 7 hours. But the thought of having to deal with multiple vendors instead of just most things under one roof was not very appealing. The cooking constraints was also a bummer for us since we had very good caterers in mind but unfortunately they did not have a central kitchen. Our calculations also showed that it was likely that having the wedding at The Grassroots’ Club would incur higher cost.

Three strikes meant that we had a winner.

So on Saturday after Zohor we had a quick lunch and made our way to Expo.Finally got to the wedding expo after freaking 20 minutes of waiting for a lot and lo and behold, like a sign from God, the first booth we saw was The Landmark.

landmark1
Image taken from The Landmark’s Facebook

All those hanging flowers are so pretty in real life, it’s such a shame they don’t translate as well in photos. The Landmark’s decor company, Sentimentals, does this backdrop for a lot of their clients (as you can tell I have been doing some stalking) but doing something like this would mean added cost since this is not the basic pelamin they include in their package. For the record, the mat and I are actually okay with the basic pelamin. I didn’t think it was basic at all but I don’t have a specific pelamin in my head so who knows? I guess the term ‘basic’ varies from person to person.

landmark2
Image taken from The Landmark’s Facebook

I regret not taking a frontal view of the invitation cards because I thought the floral ones were very pretty. The mat had his eye on the black one, which I didn’t really look at because I was too busy looking at the other two lol. Not gonna lie, the cards were beyond my expectations. I had expected a boring hotel-provided card (like the ones standing) but the Landmark proved me wrong.

It just so happened that Encik Hamzah, the person who we had met previously to take a look at the place, was at the booth. And he sat down with us and basically told us kalau tak book kat expo rugi (not his exact words but you know what I mean). And when we heard what was going to be thrown in for the expo package it was basically impossible to say no. It was everything that was originally promised (catering, decor, invitation cards minus printing, bridal) PLUS:

  1. Invitation card printing
  2. Berkat
  3. Prayer room

Which basically meant everything was settled for us???

(We aren’t exchanging gubahan fyi)

The only thing that held us back was that we were unsure whether our event was going to be on a Saturday or a Sunday because his mother didn’t want a Saturday afternoon wedding since there are people who work half day/shift and that was the slot that my parents preferred. But since we knew for sure that we were going to book the place, Encik Hamzah took down our details and he went though what we were going to be given in the package. One thing that I remembered liking when talking to him back in December was how to the point he was. No such thing as holding back prices or “we will see how when you book” – he told us matter-of-factly how much things were if we wanted to add on something, if we could exchange one thing in the package for something else, and showed us examples of what previous couples had done for their wedding. I felt comfortable dealing with him and I think that’s very important if you’re going to let a vendor run literally your entire wedding. We told him that we would be back tomorrow with our final decision, he said okay and kindly gave us a voucher for Fatimah Mohsin “to upgrade your bridal”.

Originally I had the intention to forgo the Fatimah Mohsin bridal included in the package and replace it with a dish or two because I wasn’t too keen on a mak andam creating a new face for me. I know that fair skin tones, coloured contacts, Instagram brows and nose contour are all the rage for many Malay brides (and that’s not wrong at all! You do you) but that was not what I was into. And since I’ve read people saying that mak andams can be quite difficult when you request for something that isn’t what they usually do, I decided it would probably be best if I got a friend of mine to do my hair and makeup for me. Also, I was kind of madly in love with Lulu Alhadad Bridal’s designs I mean:

la-bridal

So pretty??? And it looks like a lot of her dresses/gowns aren’t very fitted so maybe don’t have to wear corset yisssss / Images taken from LA Bridal’s Instagram

However over the past month I figured I would ask them if they can just loan me one baju kurung and one gown and I don’t have to fork out the money for another bridal company or tailor my outfits, which might be another headache altogether. We stopped by the Fatimah Mohsin booth to check and it turns out they did allow me to loan 2 oufits. The “upgrade” turned out to be additional number of outfits which I knew he was not going to be into and I myself felt it was a bit extreme to have 3/4 outfits in 4? 5? hours. Surprisingly, the mat suddenly changed his mind about tailoring a baju kurung and a suit “since this is in the package” and the ladies there were all agreeing that he should take the outfits in the package also.

So now neither of us has to tailor anything and we just have to set an appointment three months before our wedding for the fitting. *fistpump*

fatimah-mohsin-twg

I mean there has to be something that catches my eye… right? / Images taken from Fatimah Mohsin TWG Instagram

We ended up booking a pre/post wedding photoshoot with Bridal Concepts because they gave us an extremely good deal but that was really an impulse booking that we made on the spot because they entertained us for so long and the deal was really very good. I can’t say much because I didn’t think about having a photoshoot since we were trying to keep to our budget but since The Landmark package was all inclusive (plus a $1k discount!) we figured we could have this just for ourselves. Maybe after we do the photoshoot I’ll talk more about it.

We decided that the mat would go on his own because it made no sense for him to pick me up from the dreaded west, drive back to the east, and then drive me back to the west just to make a deposit and sign the contract.

We went home after dinner and had a chat with our respective parents (or for me, a slight interrogation with a hint of ‘why on earth did you not ask this question???’) and last night was a real pain for me but today my mom seems alright with the idea that we are going to have a dinner wedding on Saturday. I asked the mat to ask Encik Hamzah the more important questions that my mom had and I received very satisfactory answers.

So a Saturday night wedding at The Landmark by the pool is a go, Alhamdulillah!

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