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Sunday, October 05, 2008

Wedding Prep: Hotel Shopping for Customary Dinner

We met up with wedding coordinators from Marina Mandarin, Marriott and Mandarin Oriental.

By the time I post this entry up, kh and I have already decided on the hotel. Nevertheless, I would like to blog about the other two hotels as well for the coordinators from there gave us quite favourable impression. I hope that this would come in useful for my friends and my readers in the future. =D

Short notes on Fullerton, Swissotel, Grand Copthorne Waterfront:
We also had a short meeting with individuals from Fullerton and Swissotel but there isn't much to elaborate. The guy from Fullerton gave me the impression that he thought we could not afford to hold our wedding there. That was after kh mentioned that he was still pursuing his degree. He thought we were one of those knocked up early twenties couple perhaps. Kh is one who doesn't like to reveal his profession to sales staff so even though he was only a student as he had deferred studies and hold a distinguished (in my opinon at least) career, he would not reveal this to strangers.

I didn't exactly like the package Fullerton offered. It was expensive with not much offered except for the charming suite.

The package wasn't very enticing for Swissotel too.

For GCW, Whitelink signed us up for the wedding show as they had their gowns on display at that time. Hence, our fee was waived. It was the only wedding show we attended and I can't comment much on their service since it was a large scale affair. Also, it was way before our wedding prep that we attended that show and I can't recall lots of information.

Marina Mandarin
Marina Mandarin’s wedding coordinator is a humourous and affable lady. We had tea and coffee reception at the lounge served in English style (think of English silver plated tea set) with delectable cakes. Perfect for our ravaging tummies!

Previously when we consulted Fullerton, we only had drinks while Swissotel didn’t even offer a proper table with seats where we could discuss in comfort. I personally feel that first impression is highly essential. Of course, we didn’t eliminate Fullerton and Swissotel based on these grounds.

With our previous experiences, the serving of English style tea with cakes at MM was an evident upgrade.

She gave us quite a number of extra perks on top of the package. The suite was quite luxurious as well. A pity about their limited themes and wedding favours! They only had a gold and ivory theme and a red theme. She was well aware of their limitations and assured us that the whole wedding team at MM has been constantly bugging their boss to include more themes and favours.

We decided to forgo Marina Mandarin.

I personally had extremely favourable impression of the wedding team at Marriott through numerous phone conversations. Smooth operator’s voice bubbling with enthusiasm and politeness greeted me whenever I called them.

The wedding coordinator assigned to us was such a lovely and pleasant lady. Their package was quite enticing. In addition, whatever we requested, she was more than willing to accord to us. They were quite flexible to most of our requests.

The wedding suite was pretty. I thought MM’s wedding suite was better but kh begged to differ. We like their wide variety of wedding favours, especially the glass ruler which could act as a paperweight.

Even though they didn’t have my black and red table cloth theme, they have a reddish black organza to spread over the tablecloth — reddish on one side and blackish on the other — which I thought could very well fit into my black and red ideal theme.

The best part of the night was our complimentary dinner at Wan Hao restaurant (their signature restaurant and wedding banquet restaurant). We did not even confirm any booking— we only made tentative bookings. We could hardly believe our ears when the wedding coordinator told us it would be her treat after asking if we had any dinner plans. She added that it would be a good way to sample their food and there was totally no obligation.

Rewind one hour back…

On our journey to Marriott, both of us were dying of famine. While waiting at the lobby, we were eyeing the delectable cakes and desserts neatly placed in rows. I told kh we had to tell her that we hadn’t had our dinner and that we were dying of hunger. He replied, “You think what? Tell her that and she will bring the whole restaurant to you meh?”

Well indeed, she really brought the restaurant to us.

It was our first time at Wan Hao. We were quite impressed with the classy zen chinois décor. I love their black table cloth! A pity there is no black table cloth wedding theme.

The dinner was fantastic! I love their soup, scallop with asparagus and desserts. The scallop asparagus was so delicious that I had craving for asparagus and scallop for the next few days after that. Their dragon fruit dessert is really unique. Simply love the gush of red wine over it.

Their service was personable. A “waitress” (we think that she is not really a waitress but someone of higher rank) was assigned to us and we really love her recommendations.

Before she came along, we held the menus in our hands for a long time, quite clueless as to what was appropriate to order since somebody was paying for it. To tell you the truth, the usually glutton us were quite pai seh to order anything too expensive, but how not to when everything on the menu is priced exorbitantly?

She is quite cute la. We enquired if the asparagus scallop dish could be included as one of the dishes in the banquet and she advised us to refer to our wedding coordinator. She added that she would be happy to accord to our requests and would be glad to see us again during food tasting. Little does she know that we had yet to confirm our booking at that time.

Kh and I love Marriott’s service a lot!

Mandarin Oriental
We would have decided on Marriott if not for the fateful day I bought the latest issue of Style Wedding and saw a small little snapshot of Mandarin Oriental’s…..



Knowing that kh was tired of hotel shopping, I begged him to make Mandarin Oriental our final stop.

It was a good thing I did.

It turned out that the wedding coordinator assigned to us is kh’s cousin’s friend-colleague. What a coincidence!

I love Oriental’s theme a lot.

I totally dig the black or dark table cloth with red roses kinda look.

Besides Regent, I didn’t know where else had the black tablecloth theme until I stumbled onto Oriental.

For Oriental, the black theme is known as the “Dream theme” where mystical silver organza ribbons and lilac-coloured roses would contrast against the black tablecloth.

I am so in love with the brilliant centerpiece which looks like roses on ice. Even though the whole theme didn’t turn out as black and red as was my oversight from the photos, we could change the lilac roses to red ones. I would love the silver organza to be changed to red ones but that wasn’t allowed.

without flash

with flash

Even though we went there especially for the “Dream Theme”, I was quite captivated by their “Happiness Theme” which is a passionate ensemble of brilliant shades personifying the glamorous Orient. The whole look isn’t CHEENA but CHINOIS instead. The look boasts a sophisticated fusion of Shanghai Tang meets the West.

without flash

with flash

Pretty eh? It matches my favourite black and red ensemble more than my black, silver and purple theme which I think I would eventually settle for. However, I figured the “Happiness Theme” looks good only because of the black drapes against the wall which contrast with the red décor.

The photo was taken during a show and the original colour of Oriental’s ballroom’s walls is brown. The brown walls wouldn’t really bring out the beauty of the red décor. Should their walls be black, I would definitely jump at the “Happiness Theme”.

The “Garden Theme”

Oh so sunny, something different from the usual roses garden party feel.

The city suite which would be used as the bridal suite.

It has a luxe business feel to it. kh likes it. I thought it is pretty but it hasn’t got much of a bridal feel to it. I guess the rose decorations, chocolate coated strawberries and bubbly champagne on the actual day would add a touch of romance.

Have I told you how excited I was when I read about Oriental’s elegant fan-shaped ballroom?

In my mind’s eye, I could envision how grand the ballroom was. Fancy a grand march in from the middle of the “fan”.

However, when we viewed the actual ballroom, it was nowhere near a fan!

It was an ARC!

The usual march in would be an L-shape march in.

A long march in would be possible with lesser tables.

Marching in along a curve seems weird, no?

I noticed that there were many other doors besides the one on the left of the ballroom. There was even one in the middle of the arc! Insistent on having a dream march in from the centre of the fan ARC, I enquired if we could do it.

Our wedding coordinator paused for a moment and said it is not possible as the soundtrack would be less than a minute!


She talked to us like old friends and was pretty frank about many things. Not exactly very professional but in a way, it’s beneficial to us.

Package-wise, Oriental was even more enticing than Marriott. We were comparing every single detail which Marriott upgraded or threw in free for us and Oriental beats hands down.

Food-wise, kh and I thought Marriott should be better. Our wedding coordinator said that Oriental’s banquet chef specializes in preparing meals for large scale banquets. He cannot really do small portions well but she assured us that the quality of food during the wedding day would be much better than during food tasting.

Kh and I have never attended any weddings at Oriental before so we dunno about how good or bad the food is.

I was keeping my fingers crossed and half-believing her till one day big boss told me that the best wedding dinner food he and his wife had ever eaten was at Oriental. He told me how impressive it was as compared to Marriott which is supposedly known for their food.

Well, I really hope I can trust big boss. I asked in jest if he had said it just coz he knew I was considering between Oriental and Marriott. Guess what? He said in mandarin that he always exaggerates but I’ve to trust his wife’s taste.

I’m so gonna take his word for it.

Nice not I say one ah.

So folks, next year if you do attend my wedding, please don’t blame me if the food sucks k?

Kh had just sent a confirmation email to our tentative booking.

Despite the many perks, one negative point about Oriental is that the deposit is quite high and we have to pay half the amount of the total cost a month before the wedding date. Most hotels allow full payment after the dinner or upon checking out when the couple could lug their big wads of cash from the ang pow to pay.

We are gonna be poor souls soon.


  1. congras, have been to a few wedding dinner. One of my relative has her wedding there. I rem the food was quite nice. :)

    Some links -

    Some pics I took when I attended frens wedding.

    As for wedding dinner, usually the food standard will dropped, I have worked as an internal auditor for a local hotel. Once come banquet time, all the food will be prepared way before hand. N then the hot sauce or whatever will be poured over the food. Especially for those resturants which are leased to 3rd party, usually hotel will engage a outside food caterer to whip out a storm during banquet.

    But nowadays ppl seldom rem abt food. Haha.. more of the atmosphere, like my mate's n his 999flowers.

  2. As for wedding dinner, usually the food standard will dropped, I have worked as an internal auditor for a local hotel. Once come banquet time, all the food will be prepared way before hand. N then the hot sauce or whatever will be poured over the food. Especially for those resturants which are leased to 3rd party, usually hotel will engage a outside food caterer to whip out a storm during banquet.
    Link Building

  3. Hi bwilly,

    Long time no "see"! Oh you found Oriental's food nice? That's great! Now, I've got 3 people telling me the food is not bad. *SmileZ*

    I also thought nobody would be bothered about food but I was wrong. Every dinner I attended, people around me would comment on the food. When I told people of hotels I've shortlisted, immediate response would be where-and-where the food not nice, but the food sucks etc etc. People do bother about the food afterall.

    999 flowers (roses)??? WOW... impressed!

    Hi francis,

  4. Really busy lohz, shifting to new hse n looking at a bigger car.

    Food will make a bigger impression on the older generation. Keke.. younger one will be wow over by the ambience. :)

    Attended so many frens' wedding other than that, the other will be my fren's wife (d bride), playing the piano during the wedding. My fren - d groom was pleasantly surprised. ")

  5. Hello,

    Photographs may look a lot better than the real thing. Did you take a look at the black table cloth in real life? How does it look? Does it look very dark?

  6. bwilly,

    Moving house is such a chore. You still staying in the north?


    Yes I went to view the actual set up. It was quite black and I felt that the silver organza had no striking contrast with the black. However, after they dimmed the lights down, it was pretty shimmery and beautiful. I guess I would really need to use lots of red roses for contrast.

  7. Hey Jolene =) I like the theme u chose. I always like such combi for colours!

    Btw i've been to Oriental twice for wedding dinner (but that was few yrs back) and i find the food not too bad.

    Feeling excited for u. Hee! Looking forward to more updates

  8. June,

    Hi^5! You like black and red or black and silver?

    Thanx for telling me about Oriental's food. I think I can really set my mind at ease about food now.

    Sure thing... Will try to update more. But as for the pre-wedding shots, I dun think it'll be anytime soon. I'm really excited about it though. =)

  9. I'm more into black & red combi. Somehow when i this combi,it will get my attention =)

    Aiyoh... Can i go to ur wedding?? Wahahaha! Jus kidding

    Btw have u settle ur choice for bridal shop?? Forgot if u had any update in LD. I'm quite forgetful. Hee! Pai seh

  10. Same here. Black and red. However, must take note that the Chinois-looking black and red theme in the photo posted is actually not black and red. Coz black drapes were used in that wedding show. IRL, the walls are brown so it will not look like the black and red theme that we like.

    I just hope that the black and silver one would have more red. Feel like buying red organza to lay over the tables but i would be spending a bomb and spoiling the theme's desired look. Maybe I shall use a lot more red roses.

    Haha... no need to pai seh. Q diff to keep track also right? =) My studio is WhiteLink. Signed up loooooong ago during a show when the perks were q attractive. But now I'm thinking shouldn't have signed up so soon. Then can slowly look.

  11. Jolene.... Have u confirm Oriental oredi?? I was viewing InterContinental website and realised they have black & red theme too =) Looks nice

  12. June,

    Yup confirm liao. Signed the contract on the Sunday which just passed (26th Oct).

    Oh InterCon not on our list as future hubby thinks it's v inconvenient for guests when it comes to parking. The carpark is always full. Thanx for informing me though. BTW I tried googling for it but I can't find. Do you mind pasting the url? TIA~


  13. No prob =) Just wanna share the info with u. Hee

    Here's the website for Intercontinental

  14. I just went to view the website. Are you referring to the Opulent Desire and wedding luncheon set up? The pics are v small and zoomed in... can't get a general overview but the main pix which shows the black and red theme looks very elegant!

  15. yup, moving to Woodlands. :)
    It's bigger than my current 4rm, by abt 8sqm? keke..

    Have a great time planning your wed. :)

  16. Congratulations! I hope you would have a fairy-tale wedding. I really like you and kh. You all are such sweet couple. So envious. I can't wait to see your wedding photos Jolene. When will you be taking photos? ^_^


  17. Yup... I was refering to the Opulent Desire =) I thought it looks nice. Hee

    Anyway enjoy the process of planning for ur wedding! Btw will u be getting cynthia's 2 kids to be the flower gal & page boy? =)

  18. Hi Yen,
    Thank you very much! =) I can't wait to take the pre-wed photos too. We haven't decided yet but we should be meeting up with our studio by December.

    Hi June,
    For a moment there, I forgot you knew Cynthia. Hahaha... I sha yan when I read your message. Yup, I've got that thought in mind all along and asked cyn if I could "use" them. She said she would be very glad. Just that she dunno if they'll be huai dan that day or not. LoL

  19. I inclination not agree on it. I assume polite post. Especially the title-deed attracted me to be familiar with the whole story.

  20. Anon,

    I'm not too sure if that's a spam comment or if you are typing via translator? I dun quite know what you're talking about.


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