Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Wedding Trend #10 : Outrageous wedding theme (MEDIEVAL)

You may be a history buff. And you may have found out that most of the western wedding traditions and customs originated from the Middle Ages. Well, for those who have dreamt of castles and their knight in shining armour, a Medieval Wedding might befit your romantic tale. 

 
Whether you choose to re-enact with historical accuracy or simply steal a few period “touches” to add to your wedding, as we always tell our clients – the most important aspect of any wedding is to … enjoy it! 

Medieval Wedding themes are usually best brought to live with the right venue. Some venues for considerations would be a stone castle, Gothic or Tudor-style churches (think lots of stained glasses!) or scenic lakeside venue (preferably near woodlands).

To get your guests in the mood, you might perhaps want to consider setting the Medieval tone by sending them invitation cards using parchment paper – and make sure you’re choosing calligraphic fonts! To make it sound even more authentic – consider using the Middle English vocab to word your invitation. Calling all Lord and Ladies, please……and do get them to come in bright-coloured robes and gowns!  

When it comes to your medieval wedding attire, your personal taste and budget makes a lot of difference. But anything with an empire line will fit you right into that period – and the lesser the bling, the better too! To complete the look, wear your hair loose and finish off with flowers woven into your hair like a crown. 

** Jewellery tips : During the Middle Ages, stones held deep meaning for a marriage – red jasper to symbolize love, green jasper to symbolize faith and emerald to symbolize hope. 


Now is the fun part of decorating your wedding venue to get the Medieval theme really come alive! Use dark colours with splashes of bright bold reds, purples, gold and make sure ivy makes up part of your floral arrangements! (Green ivy was the mainstay of late medieval weddings!). For another Medieval touch (or superstition if you like), carry a bouquet made of herbs for good luck and fertility! Make sure there’s rosemary, thyme, basil and wheat in that bouquet!  

Did you also know that wedding cupcakes had its origins from the Middle Ages too? To add on more customs and medieval rituals, the bride & the groom tries to kiss each other over the top of the cupcake tower without tipping it over! So, go ahead and order your wedding cupcake tower for your Medieval Theme wedding! 



To add on to the ambiance, if your budget permits, you could get your DJ to don a court jester costume and hire minstrels and jugglers to entertain your guests. You could also prepare little bags containing grains of wheat for your guests who could shower the newly-weds with it!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Wedding Trend # 9: Hot Colours for 2014

Every bride, decorator and florist knows how tricky it can be when trying to decide on your wedding colours. Just google it and I guarantee you that you will see that brides take their colours seriously.

Thankfully, Pantone, the authority on colour in general has recently released its Spring 2014 Fashion Color Report, filled with beautiful wedding appropriate shades (http://www.pantone.com/pages/fcr/Default.aspx?season=spring&year=2014&pid=3). Inspired by a mixture of blooming flowers, travels abroad and strong, confident women, Pantone encourages mixing and matching various colours from the report or using the individual shades in new ways.

Can't find inspiration from Pantone, here are the growing trends we see (from bride’s requests and from a bit of research).

Shades of Pink
Pink has ALWAYS been the wedding colour of the century, but now we see brides mixing it up a bit to add their own personality to pinks. Its funny because if you ask that same pink bride whether or not her wardrobe, accessories and favorite colour is pink, she will normally say “hell no!” but when it comes to the wedding it will be a pink wonderland for.  Try adding some tiffany blue into the mixture and you’ll get an elegant yet fun touch or blush pink with champagne and ivory for a vintage feel, better yet pink with peach and green for a spring fling!




Grey

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Grey or platinum has been a strong contender for the past few seasons and it looks like the trend will continue on strong. Pair greys with purples and pinks for countryside feel or grey with canary yellow for a bright yet offbeat look or mint green with grey and ivory for a minimalist look. I love grey or platinum as a theme colour, but check out your venue and see how the grey will affect everything. I’m only worried about it being to “sad” an atmosphere of a grey minimalist venue with grey everywhere.







Navy Blue
Not a usual wedding colour but it actually gives depth and a touch of class. Think about matching it with a softer colour like pink for a whimsical finish, or lime green for a fresh garden look or yellow for a striking twang in your theme. Careful how you use navy blue, too much may make it too dull and you may unexpectedly end up with a nautical theme on your hands.






Neutrals
Neutrals are definitely the “in” thing; everyone has “Zen”, “woodsy” and “natural” concept on their lips. Play it down or up with neutrals but keep in mind your location. You may want to pump in a striking colour just to give it a pop in photos.  Browns, green and greys here will give you a rustic feel perfectly suited for your neutral theme.





Aqua
Don't mistaken aqua with just another blue; aqua is a really fun colour to use for weddings. You can choose to play with the different shades of blue to tone down aqua or play it up with yellows and pinks. Think about your mother's bougainvillea in the garden and how pretty the pinks and yellow grew together, just add a touch of aqua and you’re ready for a tropical wedding.







Coral
Corals came into play last year but only started becoming a big bang recently. Corals are the in between’s of the girly pinks and the sunny oranges, classy yet bright (but not too bright). Told you colours for weddings are a big thing and not an easy decision. Think about playing coral with platinum grey for an elegant look or coral with mint green for a “shout it from the mountain” kind of look or coral and blue for a just the right combination.






Of course the other option for colours is to create your own combination of colours and don't just go with the trend. Just take into consideration the venue, both your characters and the concept of your wedding.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Wedding Trend #8: Symbolic gestures

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Most brides have a vision of their wedding of walking down the aisle, the exchange of rings, the kiss and so forth (thanks to the movies), but when planning a wedding in Malaysia especially if you are not a Christian you won’t get the whole ceremony and vows bit. So a lot of couples start thinking of either planning a non-religious ceremony or including a symbolic gesture during their wedding day just to give it that extra special “oomph”.

Being a non-religious ceremony, you can include almost anything you want as a symbolic gesture of love, commitment or unity. Here is a look of some symbolic gestures across the globe.

Releasing balloons
There's a nice bit of symbolism in releasing balloons - about the two of you starting your journey together and about everyone's ho
pes and wishes for you as they each release a balloon.

Jumping the broom
The custom is historically associated with the gypsy people in Wales, but it is now more widespread among African Americans, popularized in the 1970s by the novel and miniseries Roots. The symbolism here is about sweeping away the old and starting a new life together. In days gone by couples who wanted to live together but weren't able to legally marry would declare their intention to 'live over the brush' and once they'd jumped over it, the brush would then be kept in their shared home as a symbol of their union. 

Planting a tree
What more symbolism do you need in a marriage ceremony than the idea of starting new life, nurturing and growing stronger? If the two of you have an affinity with the natural world (whether you're passionate gardeners or not), this might be a nice idea to include in your ceremony, especially if it's being held in your own garden.

The natural elements
You could decide to go one step further and include all of the natural elements in your ceremony - air, earth, fire and water. You could get married outdoors, plant a tree or shrub, light candles (you can buy lovely outdoor garden candles) and drink water from a glass (or even have it sprinkled on your hands as in the Thai good luck tradition).

Sand ceremony
Mixing together two containers of sand, to represent the merging together of your
lives.

Lanterns
Releasing sky lanterns, as used in many Asian festivals, represent the floating away of your troubles, to be replaced by good fortune and luck.

Pebbles
A lovely idea from a Scottish couple living in New Zealand. They asked each of their guests to come to the ceremony with a small pebble from their own garden or from somewhere in Scotland that was special to them. During the ceremony, an usher collected the pebbles in a wooden bowl and they took them back to NZ as a unique reminder of their special day.

Mexican hug
You'll be wondering what on earth this is! Well, you know what a Mexican wave is? Well, the Mexican hug is where the couple start off by hugging each other and then someone else: those people then hug another person - and so on, until everyone in the room has been well and truly hugged! It's a great way to involve everyone and a good laugh if you want to inject a bit of humor into your ceremony.

Sawing wood
Yes, sawing wood! This is a very unusual gesture and it's a German wedding tradition that involves the bride and groom using a two handled saw to work together as a team to saw a log in half. It's impossible to saw it in half unless you work together as a team, another great message for married life

Stamping on glass
It is a Jewish tradition where a glass is placed on the floor (in a bag), and then it is shattered with the foot. This act serves as an expression of sadness at the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, and identifies the couple with the spiritual and national destiny of the Jewish people. Others explain that this is the last time the groom gets to put his foot down!

"Mazel tov" means "good luck".

Stefana
The stefana are very symbolic, as is the entire Greek Orthodox wedding ceremony. The stefana are an ancient custom and symbolize "crowns". They are connected with a ribbon.

The crowns symbolize the nobility of the marriage, and that the bride and groom will be the king and queen of their household. The ribbon that connects them symbolizes that the newlyweds will be bound together in their new family.


In an Orthodox service, the priest will say a prayer over the stefana and the newlyweds, wishing them all of God's blessings in their new life together, as well as hoping for the family to be ruled wisely.

Ring tying
Tying of the rings together on a piece of ribbon, and near the start of the ceremony she'll ask everyone to pass it round and make a wish for us while holding the rings.

Paint your names
This serves as a concrete expression of your spoken vows. It’s almost like signing your marriage contract…in art form!

Weave a wreath
The act of weaving is itself symbolic of bringing elements together to create something new. It can also represent your commitment to work together as a couple.

Unity Drink
Perhaps it’s the wine that you’ve always enjoyed together or maybe its vintage is the year that you first met. The key is to use a water element that holds a significant meaning for the two of you.

Basically the world is your oyster as far as symbolic gestures go! So if you're interested in any of these ideas or you think of something original go for it!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Wedding Trend #7: Unusual Venues


 
What do you consider as unusual venues? For some it's a destination beach wedding, others it’s an underwater wedding, some say a coffee shop wedding or a wedding in the jungle is unusual. What may be unusual for you may be totally common for others. What may be an everyday location to some may be an out of this world option for others.

But one thing is for certain; the need to make your wedding YOU and make your wedding unique is the number one priority. For couple’s who don't have the luxury of exploring an entirely different type of venue try to put their magic touch in different ways, for couples whose imagination (and not their pockets) is their only limitation, unusual venues becomes the current trend.

Here we look at some unusual venue options in Malaysia and around the world.  

Aquaria
Dining “underwater” at the Aquaria will create a cool and unique dining
experience for guests. The other extreme of this idea is a truly underwater wedding, where you exchange vows underwater with scuba gear. But this option is not for everyone.

Zoo Negara
If you always wanted to have an African safari wedding, here is our Malaysian version.

KL Tower
Maybe not as unusual as it seems, but KL tower has an open deck area where they conduct base jumping events, which is perfect for ceremonies or sunset virgin cocktails (we don't want your guests jumping off KL tower!)

Eco Venues
Eco friendly kampong style venues like Dusun Garden Fairies in Janda Baik is a perfect back to nature venue for guests to enjoy the cool fresh air and perhaps a picnic style wedding by the river.

Museum
A museum may not be one of your first thoughts but interesting nonetheless. The museum Negara offers their outdoor patio area for dinners and ceremonies.

Hot Air Balloon
Rent a hot air balloon and exchange your vows in the sky and float back down for a reception.

On a Bridge
Pick a beautiful old bridge and exchange your vows while the river flows underneath.   

Cave
How about getting married in a wine cave or in a limestone cave.

Yacht

On a grand yacht or a small cruise boat whichever tickles your fancy.

Ferris Wheel
Exchange your vows while on a Ferris wheel if you are a big carnival fan.

Floating in the Air Platform
Or have your reception on a suspended in mid air platform.

On the track

Rent a stadium and have the ceremony and reception on the track for all you sports fans. Or if you’re a football fan, a football field!

Castle
Kellie’s castle anyone? A nostalgic venue with a potential for an enchanting evening.

Warehouse
Think an old warehouse or a plane hanger or even a school hall. These may sound like totally outrageous venues and unacceptable by normal standards, but with the right decoration, the right lighting and the right setting you will be amazed at the results.
                     
Wedding Walks
This is another interesting find that has not been done in Malaysia yet, but wouldn’t it be so cool!

Why limit yourself to one set venue when you can get married on the trot? That's the philosophy of Wedding Walks; your big day is planned around a special outdoor route chosen by you. So you can either walk to or from the ceremony while enjoying the beautiful surroundings along the way.

The ceremonies are not legally binding (you can conduct your legal services beforehand) but takes place at any given al fresco beauty spot. Ending up in a quaint café or having a picnic in the park or a riverside restaurant, the choices are as unique as the walk!

We hope to see some of these ideas come true in the New Year!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Wedding Trend #6: Pre Plated Menus


-->Family style, American service, French service, English service, buffet service, side service. Oh my goodness, just give me the darn food! It may all sound like wedding jargons that you don't have the energy to learn, but some of the service styles are actually what we do every day or what we’ve seen in almost every dinner.

Buffet service: All the food is in food warmers and arranged in a row.

Family style service: Family style of food service involves food placed in the middle of the table and guests helping themselves with the food.

American service / Plated service: A method of serving in which portions of food are placed on plates in kitchen (except for bread and butter and salads which are served on the table) and served to each guest.

English service/ Side service:  This method of serving is where each guest is served from a large dish. The large dish is presented to the guests and then later plated to individual place setting.

French service: Food is partially cooked and then brought from the kitchen on a cart that is used also for the final cooking. Food is completed in front of the guests and served by a waiter or waitress who offers a dish to each guest who helps him or herself.

The trend has been changing through years from family style banquets to pre plated service, for the guests everyone gets equal portions of food, for ladies it makes them look more dainty when eating, rather than trying to get their share from the middle of the table. For the hosts it makes the menu seem more “high class”.

So it depends on what you want to achieve for the dinner. It is definitely a growing trend to make all types of cuisine into plated service; from traditional Malay food
to Chinese banquets you will see a fine dining style service being adopted.

Bon a petit!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Wedding Trend #5: Besides Flowers?

Flowers, flowers, flowers. What is a wedding without flowers? Or is it? Flowers normally take 10% of your entire budget; this has not included the frills of decoration from ambiance lighting to theme colored linens.

Don't get me wrong: Flowers are beautiful. In fact, there's nothing more classic than an all-white
bouquet filled with perfectly styled blooms (I would have loved gardenias as my bouquet, probably one of the priciest buds, too) expertly wrapped in silk ribbon. But flowers can take a serious stab into your wedding day budget, which will inevitably be exceeded when you add your mother's co-worker's first cousin (with a plus one) and that too die for gown.

That is why slowly but surely we have seen an evolving trend of bride’s doing away with flowers even in key areas of the wedding. Next year we will see even more couples going for quirky and different ideas to replace flowers. Their reasons are simple cost and/or concept.

Cost: It’s cheaper to give your bridesmaids a sandalwood fan to hold down the aisle vs. a traditional posy. So cost is a major factor for brides to swap flowers with props, this also makes sense if you want your bridal party to keep your prop as an appreciation gift.

Concept: For the love of the concept and theme, couples venture into more exciting and thematic props and setting to blend into the theme that may not always be flowers. Here we’ve seen candelabra’s as centerpieces, lanterns as aisle decoration and even vintage bicycles as entrance props.

Rather than sacrifice a romantic look, try one of these gorgeous ways to glam up your big day:


1. Candles, candles, candles. Whether you go with pillars, votive, or a mix of both, the mood lighting will cast a warm glow on all skin tones -- making everyone look prettier in pictures and in real life. Head to a local store to pick up a variety of shapes, sizes and heights; and play with scale to get a customized look. Another great lighting option? Vintage lanterns. But be warned, you may be stuck with 300 pcs of candleholders after the wedding, which would probably make you the best-lit house during an electricity shortage. 

2. Branches, sticks, weeds and wildflowers. Really! Don’t roll your eyes just yet; think filled pots with local wildflowers for centerpieces, chalkboards as menus for each table, branches for a beautiful wishing tree and weeds as the base decoration for the backdrop. Not only will you save a tremendous amount on decor, but also you will be able to create a traditional vibe without blowing serious cash.

3. Hurricane vases--filled with baubles. You know those glass beads you'll see at craft stores that resemble the Christmas decoration? Well, pick up a ton of 'em, along with a bunch of clear hurricanes or even jam/ mason jars. Choose different colors and fill each vase to a different level. Another great filler? Faux gemstones, seashells or even sand. With the right combination it can look luxe and couture. 


4. Feathers. Tie up a bunch together to make a luscious bouquet that's soft to the touch and pleasing to the eye. Dress 'em up a bit by inserting a few bouquet jewels or popping in a few fake pearls for extra luster. But be careful when purchasing the latter: Fake white pearls look far cheaper than their ivory or blush counterparts. And as for the bouquet jewels, use them sparingly--too much sparkle can scream "poor quality." Think about replacing corsages with feathers for that Avant-garde look.

5. Paper Flowers / Pom poms: Handmade paper flowers, pom poms or even hand sewn fabric flowers make great dress embellishments, boutonnieres or even backdrop/ photo station/ family photo table/ candy bar decoration. Need I say more?

6. Vintage Brooches / Hair Pins: Can you think of how gorgeous it would be to pin a bunch of beautiful pieces together to create one giant bouquet? I've seen it only once or twice but it's not only a visually striking idea, but also quite a sentimental one. Ask family members and friends to raid their own jewelry boxes for important jewels of his or her own; it's a touching nod to your guests (and good taste in jewelry).

7. Total Novelty Items: Work with me here. Best idea for a boutonniere I've ever seen? This little peacock feather boutonniere tied with little rhinestones in the theme color, it was simple, elegant and perfect for this Indian inspired wedding. Have your man pin just about anything on that works with your color scheme, location, or even just makes you laugh. Think about how great you'll look in your photos if you can't stop smiling throughout the ceremony.

And the one idea you should never take on?

Silk and/or plastic flowers.
They're cheesy, cheap looking and just in poor taste. If you must have a bloom on every table (not that there's anything wrong with that), think about floating a single blossom in a small container of water for an elegant and refined style. 

Your only limitation is your imagination.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Honeymoon


After a week of family, friends and fun, we headed off for our honeymoon It was a beautiful, beautiful location and the service was second to none. The Malay wedding concept of Raja Sehari has extended to our honeymoon right here!

We were really in heaven and we were excited that we could now find some quiet time alone doing whatever our hearts desired. The suite had a great view and all meals could be served anywhere you wanted! The hotel even had ‘stalking’ services – they knew exactly when we returned to the suite and when we left and things like our afternoon tea magically appeared and our laundry magically
disappeared!

The problem was … we were lonely. Yes. LONELY. From having so many people around us to just the two of us were a bit unnerving. It was too quiet, too relaxed – just a couple of days before, if you asked me, I would have loved some alone time, but now it was different.

Don’t forget that we have been together for 18 years prior so we’ve been on many trips together, we have similar interests in what we want to do during a holiday and because I had planned the entire wedding to a tee, I didn’t want to plan the honeymoon as well. We decided to leave each day to do whatever we felt like doing but this proved to be a wrong move! Because we are an ‘old couple’ and we never do anything without plans (yes, even during holidays), we felt lost and in fact, we didn’t know what to do with ourselves!

We got up each day trying to plan the day ahead during our honeymoon (yes, we have a sickness) and there were days we actually walked about aimlessly. But to our surprise, we still had a good time because we were in each other’s company and we get to do ‘spur-of-the-moment’ stuff like being adventurous and getting mountain bikes to cycle through the forest without realizing that the path was so steep, we ended up pushing our bikes instead! (yes, we were not that fit :P)

At the end of the honeymoon, we were sad to be leaving Bali. We wanted to replay our wedding day and relive each moment of it right up till the honeymoon but all I have now are the great memories.

A honeymoon is really all about how you can get to know each other even more and taking the time
to relive that special moment in your lives so that 10, 20 or 50 years down the road, your entire wedding celebration will be but sweet memories, erasing whatever mishaps that may have happened during the wedding.

Simple, Easy and Cost Efficient


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..

Trust Your Wedding Planner

Look, if you are getting a wedding planner, then you should go with your gut instinct- TRUST HER. If you can trust your initial judgment to hire her, you need to trust her throughout as she had been there for you throughout your planning process and for that – she will pull through for you on your wedding day.

I am the ultimate self-professed bridezilla. However, above all else, I wanted to enjoy my wedding. So when I handed over my wedding plans to my colleague, I trusted her and told her that although I’m a wedding planner myself, I trusted her and I left it to her to do what she thought would be right.

In every event, there will be bound to be the unexpected. But since your wedding planner has been your ‘wedding buddy’ for the past 4-12 months, you need to trust that she knows your tastes, your wants and your fears. Trust that in the event of “an unexpected” she will provide the right solutions to your best interest.

Apparently, there were so many ‘tiny’ issues on my wedding day (family, lost priest, forgotten lyrics) but I didn’t have any inkling whatsoever and if you asked me, I definitely did not want to know. So what if your cake is slightly tilted, so what if your flowers turned out redder than you would have liked, so what if the choir was singing the wrong version of the song. Your guests would never know the difference unless you decided to point it out yourself!

I’ve read in so many articles that the day passes by very fast. As a wedding planner, I never felt that because my ankles, calves and my entire body was so tired by the end of the day I just felt like chopping off my legs and hanging them up for a rest. But as a bride, I totally get it now. Time flies. I remembered waking up and enjoying breakfast, remembered welcoming my bridal party, remembered having a massage on the beach, but from then on, time flew by so fast that I could not even catch my breath.

I didn’t know how to stop time or even slow it down and I even told my husband-to-be to please tell Father Time to pause for a while. But apparently he didn’t get the memo and before I knew it, I was waving goodbye to the last of my guests and it was already 2.30 in the morning! It was so true when they say time flies while you are having fun.

With that, don’t you want to spend your time doing something more meaningful, like enjoying the moment, catching the little touches, smiles and hugs, feeling the love? Trust your wedding planner and enjoy your wedding day.