Friday, July 23, 2010

Congratulations to Journeys For Two

We have to say congratulations to Journeys For Two for their 4th issue of Journeys For Two - Destination Wedding for the Stylish & Chic. Whilst Nupts & Such and Events Wizard have been advertisers since the first issue, our newest baby - The Wedding Planners  only started this issue - and guess what? We already have enquiries!

Sometimes, it is not about how many media you advertise into - but rather - advertising into the right media to get your communication message targeted correctly. My point-of-view may be a little biased considering that I am involved in working on Journeys For Two - but the pouring in of enquiries from the magazine is speaking for itself.

On behalf of Journeys For Two - I thank ALL who have supported us and believed in the magazine.

On behalf of The Wedding Planners, Events Wizard and Nupts & Such - KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK, JFT!!

Black & White

Many wedding industry players - even the big ones - do not believe / have not been scared / think it's not a biggie .. to have proper contracts/ quotes/ agreements. Everything is just peachy if the event is successful and there are no hiccups. But one minor mistake and all hell will break loose.

It is indeed best to have everything discussed and agreed upon in black and white because within a few months down the road, both parties might not remember what was promised and what was agreed upon. The only ticket is that signed agreement. It gives both parties bargaining power - somewhat, if something turns sour.

Whether it is vendor-to-vendor or client-to-vendor, insist on proper documentations. Gone are the days of handshake deals because these days - we believe in covering our a**es.  Don't risk your reputation and your piggy bank over paperwork.

Both Nupts & Such and Events Wizard have just gotten lawyers to have a look at our contracts which are now iron-clad (or so we hope). This is to protect not only us but our clients as well. At least, as a client, you are assured that you will not be given a bill for my spa session and I can be assured that you don't assume that my fees include your manicure session.

Many of our clients become our friends after the wedding. Let's work towards achieving a great relationship with all vendors and clients. In one recent instance, a potential client of mine, who were also lawyers decided to scrutinize my brand new contract.. and after hundreds of back and forth emails, we could not agree on terms that were acceptable to both parties.

So we both walked away amicably and the bride later sent me flowers to thank me (which was totally a big surprise) and I made a new friend though not a new client. Better we realize and discuss the issue now, than to have a problem and make enemies later.

Guest Lists

A wedding planner’s worst nightmare is the guest list; I’ve been up helping the groom do a last minute prep on his guest list till 3 am the morning of his wedding just to see whether Aunty A should actually sit with Aunty B!

To all who are about to get married, your guests may not be aware of your meticulous arrangements. They will still call at the last minute to add or change, right up to the afternoon of the dinner itself. My two cent's worth is to have a cut-off time. After the allotted time, you should not accept any additions and just delete the absentees (there's always a reason why reserved tables are prepared beforehand). Don’t stress about printing and reprinting the guest list over and over again. Stick with it - if you had already said no guests bringing their partners / maids / kids (Eileen can certainly agree with this when she did her "NO CHILDREN ALLOWED wedding in Bali).

For guests, please do be considerate - in addition to the guest list, the couple has to worry about other 'issues' on their wedding day - vegetarian guests, the flowers which are wilting in the sun while guests come in Malaysian-time, the mother-in-law who suddenly cannot fit into her dress, the sister who is fretting over not given enough attention, etc... So please consider RSVP-ing well in advance. Do not give last minute instructions. I mean, think about it - if you tell the couple you aren't able to make it because you may need to see a man about a dog at 2pm on the wedding day, do you really think they can get a replacement so that your space is not wasted? For that matter, a week before the wedding day - they still can't do very much about it.

And for God’s sake, please do not stress about the guest list on the eve of your wedding!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

AWP's Efforts

This coming September, AWP Malaysia will mark its 2nd year anniversary and I think here is where Leticia and I, as the co-founders of this association would like to count our milestones as well as express our sincere gratitude and thanks to all the committee members who had relentlessly, in one way or another, lent us their support and encouragements.

Starting the Association was no easy feat and it took us a good 7 - 8 months of deliberations and planning and not to mention, the tediousness of applying for our license. We are NOT registered with the ROC but we are registered with the ROS - which basically means we are NOT a money-making company or organization - despite what a few sour grapes would like to think. I mean, when we and the committee work on any of the AWP projects - these are based on our "volunteering" time and we do not draw a salary from this Association. We know, we know, it is a thankless job almost 100% of the time - and YET, there are still those who doubt us, who slander us and who..... bitch about us. But hey - we can't exactly control what you think or say. We shall not give in to these back-lashing and continue to steer the Association down the right path and at the same time, root for mutual benefits for all our members.

Looking back - here are some of events that brought us to where we are today :

Cathay Cineplex Online Contest in partnership with Cathay Damansara (promotion of Bride Wars starring Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway)
Cathay cineplex online contest in partnership with cathay damansara (along with the Bride's War partnership, AWP together with Cathay Cineplex Damansara also carried-out an online contest for members of the public. Prizes for the winners are sponsored by members of AWP)

Cathay Wedding Showcase
Cathay Wedding Showcase (AWP, using the Bride's War platform was offered a premium space at the entrance hall for members of AWP to showcase their wedding items - decor, favours, photography were all displayed to create publicity mileage for both the association as well as the individual members)

Cathay Wedding Exhibit
Cathay Wedding Exhibit (As a side-special, the AWP also organized a wedding exhibition at Cathay Cineplex's preview lounge from the 6th - 8th February. This is done in line with the movie premier of Bride's War. The exhibition showcased member photographers with their enchanting photography styles and moment-capturing instincts)

Valentine's Special at The Curve
Valentine’s Special @ Curve (as part of the Valentine's month activities, AWP organized a Valentine's Special, working together with The Curve to bring a different kind of wedding showcase to members of the public)

Platinum Lounge @ Cathay
The exclusive platinum movie suites at the Cathay Cineleisure opened its doors to our AWP photographers to create a museum photo exhibit to cinema patrons and friends. The promotion was held in conjunction with the month of love. Photographers who participated were Zach Chin Photography, Fabulous Chapter Photography, Edmund Tham Photography and Ideal Wedding.

Berjaya Love Me Do
Berjaya Love Me Do contest winner, Kelvin Teo Seh Kiat & Kimberly Yap Huay Sean had their grand wedding at the Berjaya Langkawi Resort & Spa on the 23 April 2009 and what a celebration it was indeed for the happy couple and their sixty invited friends and family! Congratulations once again! AWP endorsed the entire contest / event.

Garden of Eden Contest
The Association of Wedding Professionals Malaysia launched the “An Escapade : Garden Of Eden” online contest last August. With various vendors and service providers who are current members of the AWP co-sponsoring the event, contestants had a chance to win some great prizes – including a pre-wedding photography package with some of the top-notch photographers in town.

Tourism Malaysia Langkawi Expedition
As the first step in recognizing AWP in its effort to jointly develop weddings for tourism in Malaysia, the tourism ministry had invited AWP to do a thirty-minute presentation to tour agents and press from China who are greatly interested in this market. The presentation took place in Langkawi and we received fantastic response from the tour agents and press. Members wishing to work together with China - please contact AWP for more information.

Community @ Heart
In association with Community @ Heart, a non-profit charity organization aimed at providing workshops for the residents of Klang Valley. One such was the pre-marital wedding workshop for soon-to-be-weds and part of the course offered couples a helping hand from AWP on how to plan their wedding. The event was a fun-filled one with That Special Ocassion, Ideal Weddings, Truly Scrumptious and Beauty Haven.

Tourism Malaysia Brunei Expedition
Still working in tandem with Tourism Malaysia, this time around, AWP was invited to speak in Brunei at the Tourism & Weddings Seminar hosted by the TDC Brunei. Of course, all our members were specifically showcased for this special slideshow presentation.

Indian Summit by Tourism Malaysia
AWP did a presentation on destination weddings to a group of wedding planners from India. Yet another effort to bring in the destination wedding market by Tourism Malaysia.

AWP Media Munches
In a bid to bond further with the media, AWP launched the Media Munches - where it is an afternoon of fun & gossips between AWP and members of the media. Here is where good food and great company is enjoyed - without any mention of work. This is a monthly affair and we thank our main sponsor Prince Hotel for your support throughout.

AWP & Asia Bridal Summit

AWP Malaysia was invited to be a member of the Asia Bridal Summit - which is a Federation of Asia & Pacific Bridal Associations. This would further stretch our network beyond Malaysia and we would in the near future, be able to have workshop exchanges with our other country counterparts for ideas and know-hows.

From the Media Munch, AWP had successfully gained the support of TV3, and our members are now being showcased on the TV3 wedding website on a monthly basis. The two volunteer writers from AWP (Kris Wong and Eileen Lui) will contact members for interviews, feedbacks, etc.

AWP Wedding Wishes
In another colloboration with TV3, in an aim to "give back" to the society, AWP launched the Wedding Wishes Project, working with organizations like MAKNA to ensure everyone has a meaningful celebration.

For more photos and details of the news and events by AWP - please click here.

We have certainly come a long way. We still have a whole journey ahead of us. We strive to uphold the credibility and professionalism of this tiny (but growing) wedding industry and we hope you will too. For those who believe in us - it is for you guys that we continue striving ahead - without getting paid.

Thank You.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Nasty Eggs

Its strange to think that in a small wedding community, that there can be people who are envious, people who are "out to get you", people who are nice because they have to and people who are down right nasty. I've had my fair share of ***holes and you'll be surprise to know where they pop out from. Sometimes it is the client but the truth of the matter is most of the time it is the vendors.

People Who Are Envious
The Chinese have a saying, "you see me good, i see you good" :) well bluntly put, we all have our problems, issues and crushed dreams. So don't be envious of someone else's success or you'll just end up with a bad case of gastric. Just go kick yourself in the tush for not thinking of it first.

People Who Are "Out To Get You"
Whatever for? The pie is big enough for all of us! Let us share and be merry. But i know that this is just my idealistic mind on overdrive. People who are out to get you can make a it their full-time job to scheme, plot and plan --- why waste your money making time on screwing someone else over when you could be doing good (and making money).

People Who Are Nice Because They Have To (or more likely pretending to)
We know that sometimes, we need to be polite and diplomatic. But those who go beyond that are just so fake! Sweet smiles and sweet talk is a load of crap. We can see right through you, so please spare us the nonsense and lay it out straight. They pretend to be nice because it is their inferior way of masking their true feelings.

People Who Are Downright Nasty
Well , this is a whole new breed. The ones that keep grudges for a long time, the ones who hit on a well- meaning association, the ones who talk bad/ talk behind/ talk shite about everyone else without looking at themselves --- those are the ones you should never ever go near. Keep your distance and you'll be safe. I believe that if you want to talk about a subject, at least have facts and walk the talk.

My advice to the nasties ... Watch your back , what goes around comes around.