Friday, April 11, 2014

Bali Wedding Report 4: Days Before Wedding

It has been months that I am away. Really sorry about this. My mum has been admitted to hospital since the wedding and now I am flying back to Kuala Lumpur every weekend. It has been quite tiring.

I know I have promised you guys some updates such as review on Tirtha and Harris etc. But focusing sole on each topics turns out to be too dry and it is difficult to understand since they are taken out of context. So I decided to write a chronological report and put in my thoughts and comments along the way. Maybe I will write a topic oriented update at the end if it is still needed. Enjoy!

9 Jan 2014 (Thursday)

The itinerary for today suppose to be very simple: Me, Mr and his family take Tiger Air 10:20 am flight from Singapore to Bali. My family will take AirAsia 9:30am flight from Kuala Lumpur to Bali. We will meet up at Bali Denpasar International Airport, where the driver will take us to our villa in Ubud.

Sounds simple right?

But as saying goes: everything can go wrong will go wrong, even things that can't go wrong will go wrong too. Chaos started even before we boarded plane. At 10am, as we were boarding our plane, I received a message from my sister saying that there were some problems with their plane and their flight will be delayed.

Delay is fine, but the problem is that no definite waiting hours was given. And since we were taking off soon, they can't keep us updated. So I let our wedding planner Inez (who is still based in Singapore during that time) to stay in contact with them while we went offline.

Pardon for my messy look. I typically skip make up when taking a flight... Oh well. Btw, that's my gown!

When we landed 2 hours 30 min later, we found out that they are still grounded with no departure time in view. What's more, after some hectic communication bouncing back and forth, we realized that Mr's golf bag was lost in transit. By the time we manage to settle the paper works and get out for the airport, it has been 1.5~2 hrs past our arrival time. Tirtha's staff and their driver have been waiting for us all these time.

I can't compliment more on the professionalism shown by Tirtha's staffs throughout the events and this is the first sign of it.

Since there is still no clue on when my family will arrive, we decided we will head to Ubud first. I have booked a villa at a very quiet part of Ubud - Villa Santai.

The villa is as gorgeous as what is shown on the website. Here's our pictures of them.

This is THE bedroom view

My family eventually arrived at 8pm, which is almost 8 hours later from their original schedule. Inez was there greeting them and arranging a new transport for them to get to the villa. I must say the indispensable value of a wedding planner reveals itself from the moment we embark on the journey.

Stunning sky view taken by my brother at Villa Santai

10 Jan 2014 (Friday)

The morning was spent chilling and relaxing at the villa.

We enjoy the bale ALOT!

More chilling...

My mum! Looking good after such a hectic flight!

In the afternoon we went for our rehearsal. It later turns out that having rehearsal 2 days before the wedding is a great decision. This is because most guests will arrive the day before the wedding and as the host, we want to spend as much time as possible with them instead of taking time off for the rehearsal.

The duration of the rehearsal depends greatly on the degree of changes you made to the ceremony. If you use Tirtha standard ceremony lithurgy, it can probably be done in less than 30 minutes.

However, we chose to write our own lithurgy.

We also requested for songs that's not in their standard repertoire and added unity candles ceremony.

Finally, we replaced their experienced celebrant with our own family friend! This is because we find their celebrant's English accent a bit difficult to understand. Make sure you take note of them if you are having your ceremony in English.

So you can imagine the amount of work required for our rehearsal. But Tirtha gladly complied with all our requests and assisted us throughout. They even get their choir down for the rehearsal to ensure the songs are being introduced correctly at each time point.

Whole group of us heading to Tirtha.
Here's our full lithurgy including translation in mandarin. Tirtha provided us a mandarin translator during the ceremony who read the script.

For those who are not interested in writing their lithurgy, you can skip this part, although I strongly feel that writing the ceremony ourselves really get both of us to think deeply on our altitude to the marriage and the life we want. It is quite a soul searching and soul binding process. It also gives us the chance to show who we are to our loves ones.

For those who are interested to write one, we found these books very useful:

1. The Wedding Ceremony Planner: The Essential Guide to the Most Important Part of Your Wedding Day

2. Conversations With God : An Uncommon Dialogue (Book #3)

3. The Knot Guide to Wedding Vows and Traditions [Revised Edition]: Readings, Rituals, Music, Dances, and Toasts

The book hold by the celebrant is Volume 3 of Conversation with God. The book cover happened to be aqua green in cover. So I print out the lihurgy and paste it in and pass it to the celebrant! :D 


Music: Forest Gump Piano Theme
[Guest Entrance]
[Celebrant Entrance]

Music: Marry Me by Train
[Grooms men entrance, proceed to groom side of altar]
[Groom Entrance with Parents, parents sits down] 
[Bride's bother and sister entrance, proceed to bride side of altar]

Music: From This Moment by Shania Twain
[Bride Entrance with Parents]

Welcome Address 

Let us begin by being still and feel the presence of love as we gather today to celebrate in this joyous occasion.

Let us surround the couple with this love and our best wishes for them on their wedding day, and throughout their journey together as Marriage Partners.


Good morning and welcome to Kelly and Jessie’s wedding ceremony. You are here today because you have played important roles in their lives and have helped create the people they are today. Kelly and Jessie would like to thank you for taking your time and effort to celebrate this very special time of their lives.


Kelly and Jessie have known each other for 10 years. They started taking interest in each other since the first time they met. They knew that they were meant for each other since early on in their relationship. They have been through a lot together, which has seen them grow (sideways too) and influence each other positively. Today, we are all gathered here to witness their public declaration to be husband and wife.
To commemorate their years together, the choir will present them with a song “You are Still the One” by Shania Twain.


接下来,”教堂合唱团” 将为为您呈献,“你是永远的唯一”, 以献上对佳人未来美好的祝愿。

I must admit, this is the picture (something similar to this) that sold me the idea of getting married in Tirtha

Present of Song 
Music: You are Still the One by Shania Twain

The choir were there during our rehearsal. They are really good. My friends feedback that their voice give them goosebump!

Marriage is day to day hard work. It takes a lifetime of love, commitment, understanding, acceptance and unconditional support to make it everlasting. It is not an easy commitment, yet it is one which will return profound joy, love and happiness if one cultivates it tenderly with care.

Here the bride’s parent would like to read an excerpt she has written for the couple:



My mum and dad giving us a reading. The passage written by my mum 
From their point of view

[Jessie's parents]

"This is the moment, we have come and gathered in this place, to witness and to celebrate. Celebrating you finding the other half, finding the one you will take in hand to walk through all the course in life.

By being married, you join two families together, with different upbringings and cultural values. You will take each word the other partner said to heart and take care of each other, may it be health, wealth, or feelings.

Being married, it means that you will bring up a family together, to nurture and cultivate your children together, to build a happy and sweet home together.

Being married, is to walk hand in hand to build a beautiful future together and may you be blessed always. Thank you.







Unity Candles

We will now continue the ceremony with the lighting of unity candles.

接下来,我们即将进行燃点同心烛仪式 。

Kelly and Jessie wish to use this symbol of light, to represent each of their lives. They are going to receive their light from their parents, to symbolize the love, care and support their parents have showed them and inspired them to become who they are today.


Mr and Mrs Choo, Mr and Mrs Tong, would you please hold the candle and pass it to Jessie and Kelly?

朱应良伉俪 以及 唐甸广伉俪,请你们携手共同将同心烛交替到捍民与闻皓手中。

As the candle passed on to Kelly and Jessie’s hand, it shows that they are now independent individuals, with all the capability to love, to support and to serve. Together they will light the candle in the middle, showing their commitment to include each other in their future path 3良to create a new family.


Passing of candles from our parents

I knew I have said this... I am impressed with Tirtha for finding us the blue candle. I wonder where do they source from.

Exchange of Vows

Jessie and Kelly, today you stand before us because you have stated your intention to join your remaining lives together in front of the people that you love and who love you, to publicly declare your choice to live, partner and grow together, in order that you live your life to the highest potential, and to contribute your most to the world.

闻皓和捍鸣, 今天你们两站在此地,面对着你们深爱着的,也同时深爱着你们的亲友,承诺着要携手度过余生。在正式成为夫妻,成为对方生活中的一部分后,相互扶持,共同成长,一起迈向人生高点,并为这世界奉献自己所有。

The vows you are about to declare to each other are not constraining binding promises, but a verbal reminder of what you can and are willing to do for each other during your journey of growth together. It will serve you during your heated arguments, lowest moments and deepest despair, so that you don’t give up this rare and precious opportunity.

你们双方的誓言,并不仅仅是段承诺,更是段言语间的提醒,提醒着你所能够,也所愿意在共同成长旅程中为对方付出的一切。 不管是在最激烈的争论,最失落的低谷,抑或是最忧伤的时刻,请牢牢记住这段诺言,牢记着这生命中最珍贵,最稀有,最得来不易的契机。

Without further ado, Jessie, would you read your vows?

[Jessie vow]

Kelly, would you read your vow now?

[Kelly vow]

Crying baby time

Exchange of Ring

Kelly and Jessie have chosen rings as a tangible symbol of their spiritual commitment today.


Kelly, would you gift your ring?

[Kelly] I give you this ring as my personal promise of love and trust.

Jessie, would you gift your ring?


Music: Soft instrumental keyboard music

We were seriously considering of removing this section, since we have "exchange our ring" during our ROM. But then, it is sort of expected, isn't it?

Signing of Certificate

For the final part of Jessie and Kelly’s commitment today, I would like to invite both Jessie and Kelly’s fathers come on stage to sign the marriage certificate as witnesses.


Background Music by Choir: I’ll be your love by Yoshiki

Signing a "fake" marriage cert. Come and think of it, the ROM cert didn't even has our own signature.


Jessie and Kelly, you realize that in a greater sense no other person or officiant can truly marry you. Only you can marry yourselves by your commitment for each other and your will to face the challenge in life together.


Jessie and Kelly,

with the support of your families and friends,

by the vows you have made to one another,

by the strength of your commitment,

under the witness of God,

it is my pleasure to introduce you as “Husband and Wife.”





我将正式宣布你们两为 结发夫妻。

You may kiss the bride.

Music : I Do by Colbie Caillat

The moment: Wrong girl?! 

Ok. Correct girl. :P

Mr took the opportunity to have take 2

So.. take 2


[Jessie and Kelly walk down the aisle and form receiving line at the door, followed by Kelly's parents, Jessie's parents, groomsmen, bridesmaids, and guests]

Music: Today was a fairytale by Taylor Swift

PS: We put in a special request for for both of us to stand at entrance of the chapel as the guests exit. This allow us to great them as they walk out. We got some pretty good photos from there. :D


After the rehearsal, we had a final meeting with Tirtha side to finalise the timeline. We had a small shock when we were told that the wine that we prepared to serve (Bali Wine: Two Islands) was not available. But later they manage to settle that.

Tirtha also arranged for us to meet up with AXIOO.

I have received a few emails asking why I only rated AXIOO as okay. I must say this is referring to Axioo Express package that we were offered. Some of the limitations that I mentioned in previous post such as random photographer assignments, only 50 edited pictures, only 1 photographer etc turns out to matter way more than we thought. Given that there is a compulsory purchase of album for AXIOO Express, which is brings their total price to USD2500 ++, perhaps it is better to engage another photographer.

That's us doing our final timeline run through with Inez, our wedding planner aka our life saver :D

While we are doing the rehearsal, friends and families started to arrive. Tirtha's staff make sure they were greeted at the airport, which is quite a hectic things to do considering people are travelling from 5 different airports and 12 different timing within 2 days time frame. This hasn't taken into accounts of guests who miss their flight (3 of them) and guests who got delay.

By the time I finally got the chance to meet up with everyone at the Welcome Dinner, the most popular comment was "Where did you get the wedding planner? She was so good!"

So really Bravo! to Tirtha's staff, especially our wedding planner Inez Chew. (PS: She was still meeting with us, our celebrant friends till almost midnight before she head over to airport to collect Mr's missing golf bag so that he can play golf with his friends the next day.)

Next up.... 1 Day Before Wedding...

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Bali Wedding Report 3: The Flowers and Decorations

I know I am suppose to talk about $$. But that's borriiiiing. And since Shevelyn from Indonesia asked me about the flowers and decoration, why not we talk about something prettier? :P

The flowers arrangement for our wedding. Photos from Tirtha Bridal Facebook

Should you upgrade the flowers? I guess this is a question for a lot of Tirtha brides-to-be. I personally quite like Tirtha's standard flowers arrangements. It is simple and modern. I would have gotten married with it and be as happy as I can be. And to be frank, I was so emotional during the ceremony that I didn't even notice the how my aisle flowers looks like! (How much I spend on it again?!)

Tirtha's standard flowers arrangement
However, which girl doesn't like some extra flowers and foliage for her wedding? And flowers do heighten the sense of romance in the air, don't they? (As so we were brain-washed by the multi-million dollars wedding industry :P) So I was considering upgrading the flowers after finding out Tirtha offers alternative flower arrangement packages from USD 1000++ to USD1600++, which is roughly the amount I think I can convince Mr to fork out without getting him shut down the whole idea immediately. :P

Gracious Casablanca package at USD1200++

We were lucky that when we signed  up the package and was discussing about flowers, Tirtha's co-founder and managing director Ms Yuka Koreyasu was there. It turns out that she was also the person in-charged for flowers decoration in Tirtha so she proposed to create a customized flowers arrangement for us based on our colour theme - ie. aqua blue/ sea glass to complement the seaview. In fact, I even showed her my previous blog post on our color scheme. :D

The first proposal was USD3000++. We were shocked. Okay. Perhaps shock is not the right word. We weren't that pleased with the proposal since it is way more than what we want to spend on flowers. And I know Mr is going to call this flowers things off if I don't get it down to a proper price point.

Our first flowers proposal of USD2965++

Luckily Tirtha is very flexible. All their items has individual pricing so that you can remove items that you don't need. Immediately, I removed the flowers for cake, ring pillow and registration table.

We didn't have a registration table before the ceremony because all our guests will arrive together in 2 bus load and having a registration table for them to sign the guests book will end up people queuing at the entrance. Instead we get our guests to sign the guests book during the cocktail hours after the ceremony and before the reception so they can have plenty of time to sign our polaroid guest book.

Our Polaroid Guests Book booth during cocktail reception
Polaroid Guest Book

The biggest price tag from their original proposal is the aisle flowers. At USD $200++ per vase, just the aisle alone is USD $1600++. Given that we will only be in the chapel for 30-40 minutes, I asked them to create an arrangement that can be used at both aisle and dining table, which they did! The aisle flowers are probably not as grand as otherwise but I saved tons of $$. And remember? I didn't even have chance to notice the flowers during the wedding!

Our aisle flowers arrangement
Close up shot

Even closer shot

The view of the back of chapel
Got the fan from Taobao. Turn out to be extremely useful.

Our altar flowers arrangement and the aqua/ tiffany blue candles

Compared to the aisle flowers, my attention was captured by the dining table flowers arrangement immediately because it is soooo beautiful. I especially love the aqua blue glass cube and candles holder. And the aqua blue candles!!! I can't believe that they actually manage to get them and use them throughout all the decorations since I only suggested aqua candles to them like 1 month before the wedding.

The point to note here is. If you have limited budget, spend it on the flowers for reception, not the ceremony. Ceremony only lasted 30-40 minutes, receptions are at least couple of hours.

Our dining table flowers arrangements

Our dining table flowers arrangement

Our dining table flowers arrangement
They also prepare a sapphire blue colour welcome drinks which we used for the toast. It looks great in photos!

Colour-coordinated welcome drinks which we used for toast
Finally, some shoots of our attires. Mr's attires is a pleasant surprise. When I bought the bow tie (a very unique one with sea!! Love It!), I have no idea how it is going to match his entire ensemble. I mail order his pocket square sight-unseen, which only arrive the day before we are going to leave for Bali. Surprisingly, the pocket square's colour tone matches his bow tie and the ribbons of boutonnière.  

Mr's attire. Turn out to be so much better than I can imagine.

My bouquet is made of the same flowers with blue ribbons. Love how it matches with the blue diamond on my engagement rings. I should have painted my nails blue but think it was too daring for brides.

Did I mentioned I specifically request for green cymbidium orchids? I LOVE this genus of orchids, especially the green one. Ms Yuka Koreyasu was concern that using the green orchid will clash with the entire look. But I am so glad that she used it eventually. Getting married without the green cymbidium orchid is just such a huge disappointment to me. :P 

My bouquet.
A shoot of groomsman and bridesmaid attires. It is my brother and sister in the picture. :D

I think I am lucky that aqua/ tiffany blue is in vogue now. My friends and my sister got their dresses separately and they all came in the exactly same tone. So the pictures turns out quite well. :D

Our final decorations costs USD 1070++, as shown below: