Friday, November 25, 2011
Isn’t it fabulous when something so cheap, so easy and so simple can turn out so fabulous? Here was a wedding where the bride’s request was to use what the environment could give us.
Our challenge started a few months before when the bride and I went snorkeling for stones, shells and other sea worthy items to use. Yes the things wedding planners had to do to please the bride. We even had to canoe to find the resident shark so that we were assured that when the boys were given a task to snap a photo of the shark , they would actually find it !
So we used what we could get from nature and made wonders with it , I was actually quite surprised that the guests really enjoyed our DIY décor and the photos were stunning.
Here are some easy ideas for you to follow :
Noise Makers : For the guests to make noise during the festivities. We put dead corals into mineral bottles and tie ribbons around the neck.
Centerpiece : We used shells, sand, stones, leaves and added a bit of candles to create a unique centerpiece for every table
Beach Décor : Use paper bags, add a candle in it and light up the beach with your homemade luminaries
Escort Card : We used stones and wrote the guests names on it to act as escort cards
Place Card : We use sturdy leaves from trees to write the guests names on it
So think about it, what do you have that will make your wedding more YOU..
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
|Cartoon by Mike Cope / COPETOONS.COM|
Why? Simply because - samples are also cost to these vendors, who by the way, operate a business and not a "FREE SAMPLES / SAMPLING" institution. It's all good and fine if the particular vendor has samples in hand to show to the client - be it a tangible product like a guest sign-in book or a votive candle holder or even perhaps, samples of invitation cards or other stationeries. But in the event where the vendor does not have a sample product in hand, be reasonable. Sometimes, in all likelihood, a photo reference or a sketch might suffice.
For clients requesting for samples, do keep in mind a few key points :
1) Have you agreed on the quotation / budget of the vendors? Has a deposit amount been paid?
If the answer is yes to both questions, then it is in the goodwill of the vendors to provide a sample or a sketch that will meet your final approval. However, if you have not agreed on any quotes or budgets and neither has a deposit been paid, then it is certainly extremely unfair to request for samples - especially in the event where the vendor has to purchase the samples without there being a confirmed business from you. One might argue that this is the vendor's investment when pitching for a business - which might be true. But in all honesty, it is up to the vendor to decide if your business is worth pitching for. So, exercise common sense and reason when dealing with vendors. We all understand only too well that it is better to see finished goods 100% as per to appear on the wedding day, but there are costs involved and how each vendor deals with this cost is different.
2) Raw materials / 1-time-usage materials / Perishable products (Eg. Flowers, Wine, Cake, etc...)
Even if the quote has been agreed on, for certain items, there are still high costs involved for samples due to its perishable nature. Especially when it comes to flower arrangements. If you are not able to visualize the details from a sketch and require a real-life sample, understand that there are costs involved. Be prepared to pay for the sample, if not offer to pay for it. Why? For a florist to arrange a table centrepiece for your viewing pleasure, there is the flower cost involved and not to mention time cost too. Unless this is already accounted for in the budget agreed, it is not fair to make the vendor pay for the sample cost. Simply because this is your wedding. It is your investment to make. Not theirs.
And when it comes to wine-tasting, sure, most vendors would offer a free tasting session for their clients who have ALREADY agreed upon a certain budget to spend on wines or champagnes. However, during the tasting session - understand one thing - every opened bottle is cost to the wine supplier. Even if only one sip had been taken from the bottle, there is no way for him or her to sell that bottle. So next time, you go for a wine-tasting session, be reasonable. Do you really need to taste that $8 bottle of champagne or that $25 bottle of wine? (What do you really expect from the champagne or wine at that price??) If you feel you must, then offer to pay for the opened bottles. Just as you, a client do not wish for vendors to take you for a ride, vendors feel the same way. It's not a free happy hour session where you bring 3 or 4 friends to the tasting session, you know.
3) Samples from overseas
Undeniably, resources in Cambodia can be a tad challenging and sometimes, some of the materials are sourced from overseas. But when you request for overseas vendors to send you samples, exercise reason again - offer to pay for the cost of sending the samples, whether it is via courier or other forms. Can you imagine if you request first batch of sample (courier costing $100) and you don't like them. And you require a second batch or third batch of sample even. The courier costs add up. So, again, be reasonable.
4) Cheapskate Vendors?
Just because the cost of 1 sample is $5 and the vendor is claiming this back from you, don't accuse the vendor of being a calculative cheapskate (likewise, the vendor can say the same thing of you!). Again, be reasonable - he or she is running a business. Every cent counts especially when they are only operating on an SME level and not that of an MNC. As mentioned, vendors will practise their own descretion as to whether investing in samples for you is a worthy cause or not.
Most of the time, vendors are more agreeable to free samples / free sampling for clients of wedding planners. This is because we bring repeat businesses to them. But as wedding planners, whilst we strive to negotiate the best deal possible for our clients, we are reasonable and understanding with our fellow compatriates as well. And sometimes, when clients "misbehave", like bringing a group of friends to a wine-tasting session and thereafter, not confirming a single bottle with the vendor, - we get .... really embarassed for introducing the client to the vendor. Not only did the vendor not make any profit, they made losses instead!
I mean, in this world, everywhere and anywhere you might go - when it comes to doing business, it is better to go for a win-win situation. As long as we all communicate logically and listen to reasons, your dream wedding can be very beautiful with vendors going the extra mile for you.
In the world of wedding planning, stress levels are high, immune systems are low and the number of victims keep increasing by the year, there is no cure. Its been dubbed various clinical names: Multiple Personality Disorder, Schizophrenia, Temporary Insanity, but in my world, this "illness" is more commonly termed "Bridezilla Syndrome" or 'BS" .
So how do you avoid "catching" the bug ?
I tried reciting a mantra "Zen! Zen! Zen!" (it didn't work), friends tried taking me on spa trips, food trips and shopping trips (enjoyed every bit of it, but it still didn't work). Here's some tips I hope will work for you :
1. Bridezillas are made, not born. Wedding planning is like taking on a part time job (sometimes its full time), the stress of deadlines, demands of the family, the content decision making, managing vendors and the emotional roller coaster you go through, its no wonder you catch the BS bug.
Antidote : Chill out ! Remember the wedding is about two people who are in love who want to be together forever and THAT is what matters. Not the shade of red you want your roses to grow into. Take time off from the wedding, catch a movie, go for a manicure, do something un-wedding and you'll come back with a fresh perspective and in a much better mood. You might even be inspired by what you see in the non wedding world.
2. Everyone has something to say about everything. Among congratulatory wishes, you will get unsolicited advice, bombarded with horror stories and negative vibes from friends and family who think their helping (but their not)
Antidote : Decide what the both (yes both of you, include the groom in the process – please) want and stay centered. Set clear boundaries about what you want and stick to it. Some weddings are for the sake of other people (sad to say) but the marriage is for the two of you , focus on what it means to you. Who cares that your distant cousin has the same flowers for her bouquet.
3. Getting married can stir up a lot of emotions. You'll be surprise at how emotional you can get on and before the wedding day (I told myself that I will not shed a tear, but Nigara falls came climbing down and for a -some would say- stupid reason). The process itself sets forth a period of growth and change that can be nerve wracking.
Antidote : You can embrace this as the next chapter in your journey and realize that it can only get better from here. Try to stay on top of your emotions and be honest with yourself during this time, resolve any unresolved issues and you'll see everything in a much better light. Believe that there is a happily ever after.
4. Wedding planning can be a crisis . There is so much focus on how to make the wedding look beautiful, making the wedding be the talk of town and providing the guests with a party of a lifetime, the bridezilla loses herself and the reason she is getting married in the first place.
Antidote : Remember that the wedding although its the most important party you will throw, it is exactly only that – a party. The reason you are getting married in the first place is because you love each other and want to start a new chapter of your life together. Guests are inspired by the love they feel in the room, who cares whether you had 28 cupcakes which had exactly 28 hearts that are 100% identical.
5. Perfect Wedding = Perfect Life (NOT!), some bride's give the wedding day too much power. They believe that the perfect wedding will mean the perfect marriage and the perfect life. There is an underlying fear that if something goes wrong with the wedding, it is a sign that will make or break the marriage.
Antidote : Step back, breathe. Now look at it from a fresh set of eyes, the wedding day, while important, is only one of the many experiences and memories you will share together. The most important part is when you walked down the aisle into the arms of the person you love (so don't stare at your bridesmaids if they are not standing in a perfect formation)
Monday, November 14, 2011
|The ever bubbly Ruth with her team|
We spend some time with the bubbly and cheerful Ruth Larwill - Director at Bloom Training and Cafe to talk about wedding cakes and all that jazz :)
Hi Ruth! Thanks for your time. So..... how long have you been in the business of creating and designing beautiful cakes for parties and weddings?
Since Bloom operates as a social enterprise where all profits are used to train more Cambodian women, we just love that Cambodians themselves have embraced Bloom Cakes so enthusiastically
What about future plans for Bloom’s?
Yes we are hoping to duplicate Bloom – we are researching viability in Siem Reap and Toul Kork at the moment! We’d be happy to hear from bleaders (blog readers!) what place they’d like to see the next Bloom!
Cambodia is entering an exciting time where our elite customers have been to weddings in the west and they now know that cake can taste good!! In fact it is plated and served as dessert at most weddings in the west. Whereas here in Cambodia, the wedding cake is not even eaten. Cambodians who say they hate cake just haven’t experienced delicious moist good quality cake – It no longer has to be cheap sponge made of flour, egg, sugar and palm oil!
We love our customers at Bloom, because they want the BEST of the BEST – both in quality and design! We work with our clients to come up with amazing incredible fashion forward designs that will have their guests gasping in awe!
Aye to that, Ruth! Before we part – can you share 5 Top Tips for the couple when choosing their Wedding Cake?
The wedding cake is often a design centrepiece for the whole wedding reception. It should create an exciting ‘vibe’ for the event! We often see guests go and stand next to Bloom wedding cakes and have their photo taken. If you choose an original, personal design, it creates WOW factor and makes for a memorable day both for you and your guests.
Choose your colors first and bring a color palette to your Wedding Cake design consultation. (It really does make a difference if everything looks co-ordinated... That’s why we LOVE Eileen and The Wedding Planner Team!)
It is much more modern to have a sugar-covered cake rather than the plastic tasting cream cakes of the past decade. It allows for so many more design options. If you don’t like the sugar covering – just don’t eat it! But many people prefer it to the fake plastic cream of the past...
Order your wedding cake as soon as you can. Bloom only takes a certain number of custom orders as we often need 10 sugar artists working on your order for 1-2 weeks.
Have fun with your wedding! Bring your partner into Bloom and try all the different flavours of cake! For most Grooms, this is their favourite part of planning a wedding!
*Laugh* Take your wedding planner along for the tasting too! *grin*. Great, Ruth! Thanks for sharing! And here's to better weddings and wedding cakes!
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Sunday, October 16, 2011
We take time speaking to Debra Char about her thoughts and creativity behind Acadia Cards.
|The beautiful Ms Debra Char....|
We started in 2002 and it was by coincidence that one of our corporate clients was not able to find someone to customize her wedding invitation cards so we offered our services. Since then, we started making personalized wedding invitations and it slowly expanded to other wedding stationeries.
Do share with us, what is your area of stationeries specialty?
We do provide consultation to our clients, discussing their requirements, from colour theme, design concept, material selection right to the finishing treatment of the stationeries.
Every couple wants to have a unique and personalized wedding invitation. So, we do provide suggestions to meet their requirements and at the same time, we also provide advise regarding tradition and custom. Currently bright coloured cards are back in demand and besides that, the warm and earthy toned coloured cards are still popular.
Yes! If a couple have engaged a wedding planner, we will liaise with the wedding planner. But if not, generally we would deal with them through emails. It's all very convenient actually.
Absolutely! As most Asian couples are brought up in such a way where they will need to consult parents and/or family before deciding on their wedding invitation design and wordings. As you may well know, in Asia, a wedding is not just about the couple. It is a family matter too. But then again, sometimes, it all boils down to who is paying for the wedding. That would be the decision-maker, really. You see a lot of the couples in Malaysia and Singapore are now paying for their own weddings so the style of the cards are becoming more modernized.
Thank you so much Debra for your time!
Meanwhile - have a look at some of the personalized stationeries for weddings courtesy of Acadia Cards below!
Sunday, October 2, 2011
Folks! Do check out our recent regional cooperation between Cambodia, Vietnam and Malaysia!
Read more HERE
|The Confetti Ladies|
Now, we believe that the wedding planning business in Vietnam is on the right track and we expect more of the medium and upper class clients to engage the services of a wedding planner. Hopefully, we could reach a status where we are a necessity rather than a luxury - much like in Malaysia or Singapore.
When a client comes to Confetti, we will do an initial consultation to find out what they truly need.
So, in a market where middle-class segment is growing and people are becoming more open-minded, where do you see your creativity and styles coming in? How?
I don't quite care much about classifying my target clients in terms of economic status. Wealth doesn't mean open-minded, middle-class doesn't mean willing to afford a modern wedding style. We offer our service as creators of wedding concepts - a chance for them to personalize their weddings and make it unique and memorable. If they are open to this concept and this idea of personalizing their wedding, then we can work together. The first rule is that they must accept, otherwise, it will be difficult for us to plan anything.
Again, totally agree with you. Before we part – can you share 5 Top Tips for the couple when choosing their Wedding Planner?
Monday, September 19, 2011
|Shirlyn Peh from Elysium Weddings|
There's always been people planning weddings but for professional wedding planners, this trend probably started about 15 - 20 years ago. Weddings in Malaysia have steadily been growing more creative, more westernized, more modern and wedding planners as a necessity rather than a luxury probably gained foothold in the market in the last 7 years.
It's actually very simple step-by-step process.
1) Getting started : Discuss, Develop, Design
2) Wedding vendors : Source, Compare, Build ideas
3) The nitty gritty : Coordinate, Assist
4) Bridal party : Coordinate, Assist, Guide
5) D-Day : Coordinate, Liaise, Organize
So, to date, what has been your most challenging wedding?
Well, for starters, people's mindset changes as everyday, we are exposed to new things and we are exposed to the TV, to news, to magazines, etc. As such, couples these days are more willing to spend for their wedding in order to get the wedding of their dreams. They are also more knowledgeable about styles, trends and gone are the days of cookie-cutter weddings. People want a wedding that is unique and personalized.
What is your hope for the wedding industry in Malaysia? What do you wish to see more of?
|Remember, a planner is someone you need to be able to work with |
for the months, weeks and days leading up to YOUR big day.
So, you need to feel comfortable with her and TRUST her !
Sunday, September 11, 2011
|The magnificent facade of The Sofitel PP Phokeethra|
We catch up with the new Director of Sales and Marketing, Mr. Gregory Tugendhat to talk about all things weddings at The Sofitel, who is part of the Accor Hotels Group.
Good Morning, Greg! With only 2 minutes to spare, we'll just launch into it! *grin* Do tell us more about the weddings at Sofitel, Phnom Penh.
|The Grand Ballroom|
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
|Malaysia in the 14th Asian Bridal Summit represented by AWP|
The annual Asian Bridal Summit is an event hosted alternately by member countries of the Federation of Asia Pacific Bridal Association to promote greater working relationships within the region and help each other grow the wedding industry in their respective countries. This year, the summit was hosted by China. Participating members at the 14th Asian Bridal Summit for this year included China-HK, China-Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Myanmar and Malaysia. Malaysia was represented by the Association of Wedding Professionals (AWP) Malaysia’s President, Leticia Hsu and Vice President, Eileen Lui from Elysium Weddings and Nupts & Such Malaysia respectively.
This year’s bridal summit theme focused on the preservation of culture and traditions in weddings in a continuously progressive and modernized society. Besides a presentation and forum on how each country’s wedding industry is working towards preserving culture & heritage, they were also invited to showcase their country’s main cultural wedding fanfare and traditional costumes in a live performance and fashion show session during the 4-day summit.
|The Forum Session of the Asian Bridal Summit 2011|
|The gutsy duo making their introductory speech of the video |
|With the Mayor of Haiyang, Ms Xinzi Chen|
The 15th Asian Bridal Summit will be hosted by Myanmar, who went to China with the intention of bidding for the hosting privileges. The President of the Federation of Asia Pacific Bridal Association, Ms Yumi Katsura, the renowed Asian queen of wedding fashion designs handed over the Federation’s flag to the Myanmar delegation during the closing ceremony.
Malaysia last hosted the summit in 2001 (7th Asian Bridal Summit). Last year, it was held in Seoul, Korea and garnered a lot of international media’s attention.
|Media Interviews with both local and foreign media|
|With the Japanese delegation's traditional instrument musicians|
Monday, August 29, 2011
|Pretty ladies : The team heading Udaya Decoration....|
We catch up with Mr. Pangha, partner and co-founder at Udaya for a 2-minute chat to talk about flowers, weddings and Cambodia.
Tell us more about your area of specialty in terms of your floral arrangement styles.
Our style is simple, sweet and attractive. We always try our best to create new styles for every client using our own accessories
What are usually the standard arrangements that are requested by clients for their wedding decoration?
Share with us more about your working style. What is your working process from A-Z?
As an independent & innovative event decorator, our process is specifically tailored for each client. However, generally it entails the following steps :
We will always ask for a budget from the clients and then from here, we will work out a proposal and the quotation. After the quotation is approved and deposit paid, we will lock in the date of the client's event and start our own internal planning, for example, purchase orders of flowers, accessories, etc.
Being in Cambodia, we understand that sometimes, flower stock is a major problem and certain types of flowers are not easily obtainable. Why do you think this happens?
In your opinion, what do you think about the wedding industry of Cambodia in general? Do you think there is a great potential for the wedding industry in Cambodia to grow?
The wedding industry in Cambodia is definitely growing. Nowadays, we see more and more modern styles and creativity being requested as compared to previous years. Most of the clients are willing to spend their budget when it comes to flowers and decoration because they want to create something that is "wow" and memorable to their guests as well.
So, strictly from a point-of-view of a florist and decorator, yes, the potential is huge in Cambodia. It is just really about giving time for the Cambodian people to accept new concepts, new styles, new trends, new designs. Even concept like a wedding planner is rare right now. But soon, the Cambodians will start using wedding planners and trusting them to plan their weddings as well.
Very soon, Cambodia will be just like any of the modernized countries, like Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand *smile* It'll happen once there is market demand for modernized and personalized weddings. Of course, on our part, we need to educate the market too !
Oh, I definitely agree with you! We need to let the market know that there are other styles to consider, other colours, other materials, other flowers. Right? Anyway, what do you think is the biggest hurdle for the local wedding industry to overcome?
The biggest hurdle for local wedding industry to overcome is the sourcing of flowers. When flowers need to be imported they may not arrive fresh because sometimes, the suppliers do not know how to handle the flowers. When we use these flowers that don't look too fresh, our clients complain.
I just hope that in the future, Cambodia will start growing our own flowers to satisfy the market demands.
I wish and hope for the same thing too *smile* Before we part – can you share 5 Top Tips for the couple when choosing their Wedding Flowers?
- Allocate the correct budget for your expectations
- Think about personalizing your styles for your wedding. What is your favourite colours?
Yes, yes. Budget planning is so important! Well, thank you so much for your time, Mr Pangha! Orkun Charan and here's looking forward to working more with you for future!
|Creative Backdrop for the stage - certainly a step into more |
unique designs and creations for wedding decorations
|Pretty Table Centrepieces : Wedding Planning by |
The Wedding Planners
|Table Centrepieces doesn't have to be uniformed. Wedding Planning|
by The Wedding Planners. Photography by 1am Studio Malaysia