Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wedding Services FAQ Part II

Continuing from the previous post, here's part 2. I hope you would find it useful in your wedding preparation. I've initially wanted to include videographer and photographer's services in this post but due to a recent article about music copyright extending to weddings, I'd taken some time to seek advice from both VG and PG whether it's fine to upload their slideshows on public. For this post, I would be concentrating on hotel write up instead.

Similar to part 1, if you like what you see on the snippets, click on the hyperlinks to lead you to my past entries. Posts will open in a new window.

FAQ have already been answered in the comments section but if you have further queries, you can still drop me a comment and I'll try my best to answer them.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

~*Hotel for Banquet -- Mandarin Oriental*~
(Formerly known as The Oriental, Singapore)


[Photo credit: Mandarin Oriental]


[Photo credit: Mandarin Oriental]


[Photo credit: Mandarin Oriental]


Note: Mandarin Oriental would be abbreviated to "MO" in this post

MO hompage:
http://www.mandarinoriental.com/singapore/

MO wedding page: http://www.mandarinoriental.com/singapore/special_occasions/wedding/


kh & jo's...
Wedding coordinator/ executive event manager: Bethany Tan
Wedding butler: Cha Lee
Wedding personal attendant: Viona
Banquet chef: Roy Chua


Our favourable experience prior to the wedding...

Bethany is a colleague-friend of kh's cousin who was working at MO back then. When we talked to her, we felt as if we were talking to a friend. There wasn't any professional distance between us so we could voice our queries and concerns without any restraints. She is really honest, friendly and accommodating to our every need. She also gave lots of great advice and threw in quite a bit of complimentary stuff to our package.

Every pre-wedding meet up with her was a comfortable experience and we knew we were in good hands with Bethany coordinating our wedding.

~~~~
*Detailed write up on the hotel "shopping" process for our dinner banquet
From the above link, you can read write ups on our experience at MO and view pictures of the 4 wedding decor themes with detailed description on why we chose the dream theme.
Besides MO, you can read write ups on Marina Mandarin and Marriott hotel as well. There is a short mention of Fullerton, Swissotel and Grand Copthorne Waterfront too.

I found out from Bethany that from 2010 onwards, there are 5 themes available.

This website takes you to more photos and description of the 5 themes:
http://www.singaporebrides.com/hotels/oriental/index.htm

~

We chose the dream team because it's been my dream to have a black table cloth theme for the banquet. I love the elegant table centrepiece which looked like roses in ice.




The original colour for the roses in this theme is yam (a light purplish colour). We changed them to red roses as we love the combination of black and red.




The VIP table was a large one to accommodate both sides of our families. We felt that both sides of the family are equally important to us and wanted everyone to sit together instead of having 2 separate smaller VIP tables.



Initially, the biggest table at MO could not accommodate the numbers. However, Bethany saw to it and made sure they managed to get a larger table for our wedding. I didn't know where they got the large table from but we were thankful for Bethany to go all out to make sure that the issue was solved.

Alas, the black table cloth was not big enough and so the decoration had to be modified.

~

MO has a good collection of wedding favours to choose from but I personally prefer the almond dragées.



Almond dragées are time-honoured traditional Greek wedding must haves which slowly made their way to Europe and America. I wanted something unique instead of the usual salt & pepper shakers, mini teddy bears, key chains, photo frames etc. I know that most of these favours wind up in the storerooms of most people's homes so an edible wedding favour would be more environmentally-friendly. The glass bottle is cute and can be used for craft work. Well, at least I hope my guests managed to recycle the bottles.

Nobody in mine and kh's family kept the wedding favour. We were all too busy and the bottles were taken by others. If any of my friends reading this have got the glass bottles and don't know what to do with them, can you throw them over to us?

I heard from Bethany that the almond dragées are no longer included as it isn't a popular choice for wedding favours. What a pity that not many locals appreciate it.
=(

~

A few days prior to our wedding, we met with huge problems due to the H1N1 restrictions last year.

Some guests over my side had flu-like symptoms and were advised by their doctors to stay at home. Over at kh side, things got really bad when kh's "company" issued tight measures on gathering of their staff since they are from the search and rescue team and the "company" could not afford any screw ups.

From an initial overload of guests, we started losing tables of guests by the days and our minimum 35 tables requirement to use the grand ballroom was affected. Seeing how upset we were, Bethany bent the rules a little and made special arrangement for us to continue using the grand ballroom, even allowing our vegetarian guests to add as headcounts for the 350 guests. We were thankful beyond words for her thoughtful gesture.

~~~~
*Food Tasting at Mandarin Oriental
You have to scroll 3/4 down the above post to "June rewind" to read the food tasting write up in detail. Apologies for the long long post that time. For those who are new to my blog, I was rather busy with my god daughter's cancer situation last year and was not very consistent in updating about any other stuff on my blog besides updates on her situation.

[Edited to include the write up here so that you needn't scroll.]

Copied & pasted from "June rewind"...
-->
Mandarin Oriental has got the BEST wedding munu around. Before our wedding, kh and I had never attended any weddings held at MO and hence we weren't aware of how good their food is and their various signature dishes.

We only got to know about our prudent choice from people who had good experience at MO. Whenever people heard that our wedding was to be held at MO, they all gave the thumbs up and said we could never go wrong with MO, be it the fantastic service or the mouth-watering dishes.

After having experienced all things pleasant during the whole pre-wedding process, the actual day and the follow up, we were really glad that we chose MO to hold our wedding banquet.

There were a few pte msgs on forums and emails (how do you people even get my blog and email @???) etc asking for advice and to share about our wedding at MO.

I would love to do a write up on our experience with MO but I haven't quite got the time. I would also love to share about the various services we engaged for our wedding as the questions asked by many seem to be the same. (Whitelink related, Photoshoot related, JP, wedding advice) I'll definitely do some write-ups should the time permit. It'll be much more convenient if I've got some posts to direct people to.

Here's a little sharing about the food tasting.

Our menu for food tasting:

APPETIZERS

Mandarin Oriental Combination Platter

Silver Bait
Sliced Suckling Pig
Roasted Duck
Jellyfish
Prawn Salad


SOUP

Double-Boiled Shark’s Fin Soup with Chicken


SEAFOOD

Deep Fried King Prawns with Wasabi Mayo Sauce


MEAT

Stewed Duck with Five Treasures
Chestnuts, Red Dates, Sea Whelk, Taro and Lotus Seeds


Braised Baby Abalone and Dried Mushrooms
with Chinese Spinach


FISH

Baked Fillet of Cod in Superior Teriyaki Sauce
(Mock fish head and Tail)


VEGETABLES

Sautéed Broccoli with Fresh Scallops


NOODLES / RICE/ BUN

Crispy Mini Buns with Chilli Crabmeat Sauce


INDIVIDUALLY PLATED WESTERN DESSERTS

Double Happiness (5 portions)
Manjari Chocolate Mousse with Chocolate Jelly and Mango


Sweet Passion (5 portions)
Passion Fruit Cream with Crispy Swirl,
Raspberry Compote and Pistachio Tuile


Boy am I hungry just looking at the menu and typing these words out.



1. Mandarin Oriental Combination Platter

2. & 3. Deep Fried King Prawns with Wasabi Mayo Sauce

4. & 5. Stewed Duck with Five Treasures

6. Double-Boiled Shark’s Fin Soup with Chicken

7. Baked Fillet of Cod in Superior Teriyaki Sauce (with Mock fish head and Tail)

8. Individual portion of cod fish

9. Mock fish head and Tail combined




Food at a glance:

Crispy Mini Buns with Chilli Crabmeat Sauce

Sautéed Broccoli with Fresh Scallops

Braised Baby Abalone and Dried Mushrooms
with Chinese Spinach

Manjari Chocolate Mousse with Chocolate Jelly and Mango

The ribs glazed with honey at the bottom left corner were complimentary sample from the chef. We weren't supposed to have it but we could not decide if we should opt for the duck for our AD or change to the ribs. Hence, they sneaked 2 pieces for us to try.

The ribs were highly recommended by both our coordinator and chef. After we sampled the ribs, we immediately replaced the duck with the ribs for our AD. The duck was good but the ribs were really delicious. It's also a unique dish as we don't see such food at wedding dinner. For a non-ribs person, I actually liked it a lot.

We also changed our desserts to or nee (yam paste) coz MO's or nee is touted the best by many or nee lovers. We also thought that our menu consisted of too many unique/ fusion dishes that we wanted something traditional for the older generation.

After the whole food tasting, both sets of parents commented that it was the best wedding dinner food they've ever eaten in their whole life. Our siblings also had nothing but praises for the food. However as advised by many wedded couples, we were rather strict in our written comments to the chef so as to maintain a high standard during the actual day.

The chef is ever so humble and thanked us for our comments. Our cute wedding coordinator laughed at our comments a day later when she received the slip of paper coz seriously ah, we wrote things like:

"The baby abalone is really baby. Can we have teenager abalones instead?"

Ok you get the drift.

~~~~

*Our experience on the wedding day

My married female friends told me that the bride has the least to worry about on her big day. Her only duty is to look beautiful and be pampered.

How true their words proved to be.

MO made our wedding a dream come through. The price may be a little steeper as compared to other hotels of the same range, but it was worth every penny. Moreover, we signed the package before a stipulated date and got additional discounts and perks. All in all, we felt that we've really made the right choice to hold our banquet there.

Right from when we first stepped into the hotel to get ready for the solemnization, we were pampered by the staff till the very end of our stay.


That's Bethany and us doing some last minute discussion to ensure the smooth flow of the event.




In-room English Afternoon Tea, a bottle of Moet and chocolate-coated strawberries. I didn't realise that there was a wedding cake till I saw hs's photos.




The bridal suite



My friends didn't quite believe when we said we didn't make use of the bath filled with roses at all. We were too exhausted by the end of the day and on the 2nd day, we went for the complimentary spa and didn't use the bath again. More on the spa later.

Complimentary one-night stay in a Deluxe Room for the jie meis which included breakfast for 2 the next day as well. I hope gera n zanne made full use of the complimentary brekkie.



[Thanx hs for snapping these photos, uploading them so quickly and sending them to me! You're always the efficient one.]

kh and I had a staff each to "wait on us" the whole evening. I had a so-called personal wedding attendant, Viona, to wait on me while a so-called hotel butler, Che lee, was assigned to kh.

During cocktail reception when I was mingling arond with the crowd at the lobby, Viona stood by my side the whole time. My bridesmaid didn't have to do anything at all as Viona would be the one constantly squatting down to arrange my train, holding my bouquet when I needed my hands to give bear hugs to all my lovely friends, following me into the side room to arrange my gowns, bringing a glass of water with straw and even offering mints. Some of my relatives asked how come I did not have any jie mei attached by my side and I pointed to Viona saying the hotel provided a very good PA so my jie meis could concentrate on helping at the reception table.

During the march in, kh was tekan by the notti swordbearers despite warning them not to. Both Cha Lee and Viona were roped in by the swordbearers to assist them in dishing out the "punishment" and even though they were of no fault, they apologised profusely to us in whispers as our "punishment" was meted out. At the last stage when kh had to carry me out (with heavy gown, trains and all) for a proper march in, Cha Lee was around to make sure that there was no accident. Imagine the embarrassment should I fall.

All the guests had nothing but praises for the food and service. Many people came forward to tell us that it was the best wedding banquet food they've ever eaten and complimented MO for their unique dishes. Many also gave the thumbs up to MO's top notch service.

Special mention to a waiter...
Kh's grandpa unintentionally dirtied his pants during dinner. A waiter immediately offered another pair of his own pants fresh and clean from his locker. We were really impressed by the waiter's thoughtful gesture. It's the first time I come across any service staff offering his own clothing item for a guest to change into.


The great service did not stop even after the banquet ended. Knowing that most brides and grooms would not have the time to eat during the banquet, the hotel provided the service of having individual portions of food from the whole course to be delivered to the bridal suite. Not to mention, they were served piping hot.



~~~~

*Our experience after the wedding day

MO's package includes a 3 days 2 nights stay. Since our wedding was on a Friday, we spent the whole weekend relaxing and enjoying or pleasant stay at MO.

The next day, we made use of our complimentary vouchers and ordered room service. Of course pigs being pigs, we had to top up as we ordered quite a fair bit.




After that, we went for their spa, which was an added perk in the package.


[Photo credit: Mandarin Oriental]

The couple spa was really relaxing. Even though it was our first spa ever and had no yardstick to measure upon, we felt like a king and queen.


On the final day, we had complimentary breakfast from Melt-- The World Cafe before checking out.




[Photo credit: Mandarin Oriental]

Everywhere we went, we were addressed "Mr and Mrs Ng". That gave us the idea that all the staff knew who we were and indeed this gave us the VIP feeling. I believe it's the same for all wedded couple who held or who are going to hold their wedding at MO.

We may just head over to MO for our 1 year anniversary. ~Heh~ Anyway I've always love MO coz that's where all the restaurants with great food like Morton's and Cherry Garden are located.


[Photo credit: Mandarin Oriental]


DISCLAIMER: All actual day photos taken by my wedding photographer, Gideon, have not been edited by me in any way (no collages, no watermarking, no borders) except for resizing. Please do not use my photos. THANK YOU! =)

8 comments:

  1. Hey Jolene... thanks for sharing the details :)

    My FH also said not to disclose so much now and only reveal everything after the wedding to give an element of surprise.

    Your post has been helpful. Thanks. I am also cracking my head for special wedding favours instead of the normal ones.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Aww... I was so looking forward to looking at your lovely wedding pictures! Not even a teeny weeny peek? ;)

    Where would your wedding be held? Do they provide the weding favours or are the favours provided the really generic ones? You've to see your budget and also things/views that you and your FH share.O ne of my gal frenz thought of giving retractable chopsticks to drive the idea of being environmentally-friendly and bringing these chops around instead of using disposables every day. She and her FH are crazy about saving the earth and I think it's really meaningful.

    Hope you manage to find a special wedding favour soon. =)

    ReplyDelete
  3. My solemnisation will be in a church and my banquet will be at Concorde Hotel.

    :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. wow - what a wonderful fabulous looking wedding. i am in no rush to get married but when i do, this one is something to definitely get ideas from.

    so beautiful..:) and the food looks delish

    ReplyDelete
  5. citrella,

    I can't wait to view your photos!!! All the best in the prep!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Amy,

    Thanx to the hotel. It has certainly made our wedding really fabulous and memorable. I'll be coming by your blog more often. Do blog more. *Hehe*

    ReplyDelete
  7. hey Jo!! Thank you so much for sharing your MO experience! LOVE your pics!! I am kinda stressed as my AD with MO is in dec this year and I have problems planning as Me and FH is based overseas! Didnt get to go to wedding expo, just chosed MO based on forum reviews.... I am just wondering if we will need to hire florists or anything like that? Really got no clue what I should be doing! helllppp :(

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Sharon,

    First all CONGRATS to u! =D

    I'm glad that you found my sharing useful. Both you and FH overseas and so you all signed up for MO package without physically going down? Not to worry, you have 5 themes to choose from and those include flowers in the decor as well so you need not engage the service of florists unless yo want to. =)

    When both you and FH back in sg, meet up with your coordinator and they would guide you along. You wun be too lost when you're back so no worries!

    ReplyDelete

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