Tuesday, April 21, 2009

March weddings are awesome!!

Finally, we have just received all the images from March weddings and I just can't stop smiling. In March, we have 3 weddings :
  • A British Indian Couple having a garden wedding at Raffles House in Fort Canning Park
  • A Taiwanese & Singaporean couple having exotic Maldives wedding at St Regis Singapore
  • A Singaporean and French couple having an enchanted wedding in Bali.

And each of the wedding setup is extensive and one of a kind. Yet strangely I was not tired, but was refreshed and energised, I just can't wait to do more of such weddings. I believe one of the key reasons for such energy was all 3 couples were trusting, and they allowed us to take one step further with the concepts and at the end of the day, everyone in our team had fun creating the concept and details. So enjoy the slide show, i.e. www.heavens-gift.com/couple.htm ; it may take slightly longer than usual, simply because Hannah just couldn't stop adding more pictures in the slide show.. :)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

How to begin your wedding plan?

"I am getting married!", this is the most magical remark every woman dreams to share one day. It's the dream that we may have been planning and fantasizing since we were little girls. And no wonder, it is stressful when we try to put our 20 years of fantasy to plan for that 1 perfect day we can't wait to have. So how do we begin our wedding plan, without overstretching ourselves. I am going to try to pen down all the necessary tips in 1 blog post:

1) Set a budget before you do anything.
This is such an important step in wedding planning, and ironically it is one area many have overlooked. When we are excited about getting married, we can't help to start shopping for all the essentials such as gown, wedding venue, photographers etc.. and often we start incurring expenses, before we even realise that we may have overblown the wedding budget. So take time to discuss with your partner how much you are going to put aside in your wedding budget, and do a simple spreadsheet to include all the expenses you can imagine of to spend. Do not just think about the food and beverages, think about the wedding details such as flowers, wedding stationery etc and put it a reasonable budget. Measure your budget against the market prices. Only when you have worked out a budget, then you can start narrowing down your shopping list, and selecting the right venue and vendors becomes easy.

2) Shop smartly for vendors.
Personally I don't believe in combing the entire bridal shops or wedding venues to find one perfect selection. As a busy executive, I believe in shopping smartly. Ask yourself, what are you looking for in a vendor : the skills, the designs, the style, the price. And with that, narrow down your selections, and visit max 3 suppliers for each category to complete your selections. In fact, if you have done enough research on the web or through the magazines, you usually need to visit 2 players, and you will know who you will end up with. Find an expert you trust, view their profile and portfolios, and measure the strengths against their price, and at the end, choose someone you are most comfortable with, because selecting a vendor in the wedding industry, is like choosing a property, you buy it not solely based on price or 1 specific factor , often your final purchase is coupled with a touch of your personal preferences. So go with your heart.

3) And finally, take time to think about your bridal party . A bridal party is the extended helps you would want to have. They are your "stress coolers", your "butlers" as well as your "help mates". Have someone who will look after you and is passionate to make you the most beautiful and happy bride of the day. Do not end up with others who are more paranoid and stress you further with more decisions and concerns to look after. I have witnessed weddings where the bridesmaids were more anxious than our brides, and instead of releasing the brides from worrying, the poor brides ended up worrying for their bridal party, which is really uncalled for.

And as a wedding planner, I can't help to add one conclusion : Pls find a wedding planner. These days, having a wedding planner is not a luxury, it is a necessity. You will often discover, a planner is more than a consultant, we are your bouncing boards for ideas, for some of us, we are your designers and executors of your perfect day, above all, your confidant whom you can share your dreams to, and together we shall unveil that little dream of yours to those whom you love to share with.
So have fun and enjoy every moment of your wedding planning.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Employment opportunities or internship with Heaven's Gift

These past few months, we have received so many resumes that we stop counting how many applications we have had to date. A pity that most applicants do not match the fundamental profile of team mates we are looking for.. tho some of the applicants are very well educated, experienced, otherwise, I will love to meet some of them.

So I decided why not we pen down and share with you the profile of a planner assistant we are looking to hire. And if you are the one, do write in to us, we are keen to meet you.
Basically we are not looking for short term internship, if you desire to be an intern for us, we need at least a minimum of 6 months commitment, preferably longer period. The main reason is it takes at least 6 months, if not more for someone to know the basic fundamentals in the wedding industry. All of our clients are generally well travelled, business executives or expatriates, so the ability to communicate well, as well as presenting one's knowledge with precision is essential. I don't believe in trial and error approach, every member represents a part of Heaven's Gift, and you need to be confident and know what you are talking about when you face the client.

Nevertheless, I am willing to explore new or old blood who possesses the following qualities :
  1. If you are willing to humble yourself and serve, imagine being a butler for the bride, helping her to wear her shoes, fetching things around for her or her family, and not perceive these tasks as lowly duties, then it is the first step to become a planner assistant.
  2. To be able to work as a team. No one acts like a boss in our team. Everyone learns to support and help one another. It is through that, you get to learn even more and be an efficient planner assistant
  3. Commitment, commitment and commitment. Contrary to what many think - wedding planning is so fun, it is actually a very tedious and strenuous job. We may start work late, but we work even later. Before the event begins, we are there, when all guests leave, we are still working.. Our working time stretches more than one can imagine. Clients' rest days is our work days, Client's work days is also our work days.
  4. A passion for design. In fact, I am looking for more than a flair, I am looking for talents in design and creations.. I may not be physically handling all the designing, but I do know how to train one to be good in this area. We are looking for ability and availability.
  5. Finally and most importantly, I do look for reliable and faithful team mates. The industry is too small, and too competitive. We are not looking for players who seek to take a short cut , and try to be the next competitor. We rather train someone who believes in the organization, has the heart to learn and contribute to the team, than for someone who watches and tries to duplicate. On a hind note, we know most of the planners in the industry, some have become good partners, whom we refer to clients as well when our hands are full. I always believe each planner is unique and draws a certain group of clientele.. but as any planner, I am certain no one embraces a "stealer".
And after reviewing the above checklist, and the demanding qualities, and you still think you could be the one for Heaven's Gift, then we want to meet you..
Please do not call or sms me to get a job which amazingly, some actually did, I just thought that is very unprofessional. You want to impress your boss with your first impression, send a proper resume and let us do the calling. I look forward to see the new batch of applicants who know what they are getting into.

I think many may be surprised to see my upfrontness, but it is good to know who you will be working with. I strongly believe in training planners of next generation to be professional and capable; despite some may perceive planners liken to the Hollywood movies - disorganised sloppy learners, I think it's time for a change. This is a professional and highly qualified occupation, so be different, and strive to be excellent.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Tribute to Adji

I was just informed, an ex-colleague of mine-Setiadji Adityawan (Adji) from Jakarta has passed away due to a heart attack. I am in shock, and this is a dear colleague of mine. We both have grown stronger ever since our last encounter at the Marriott Hotel Bomb in Jakarta 6 yrs ago... I am speechless and all I can do is pray for the family, and Adji, this is my little short note to you as you are watching down from Heaven.

Tribute to Adji, my dear brother..
What can I say about you, my pal..
You have had been a warrior who never stop fighting the good fight.
You have had been an encourager who never stop expressing your love for us
You have had been a brother who protect and stands by me all the time esp in my days in RPS..

Sometimes life seem so uncertain, so unpredictable, and yet I know from the bottom of my heart that you know like I do, that our unknown future is in the hands of a known God
I simply trust that you are resting in Him, I prayed just as much as I prayed for my granny...
that He knows what's best for your family, and He will take care of you, and your loved ones, just as He is taking care of mine and my loved ones..

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Exotic Bali - another great Bali wedding...

I just touched ground from Bali, and when I logged onto my inbox, I was thrilled.. one thank you note from my couple from the Bali wedding, one link from Gabriel Mendes blog for the pictures he took, and one sms from Kuang whom I brought in to take some of the details shot.. every note from the team just makes me want to do another wedding soon in Bali.

The couple enjoyed themselves, the guests were spontaneous and they knew how to have fun, the team behind the scene were great. I would not have done it without you guys, thank you once again..

One thing I love about Bali, the people are so patient, they know how to make their clients happy. Usually in Singapore, besides having to supervise the setup, and the testing of sounds and lightings, my team has to further supervise the servers to ensure they response to the guests' requests, but in Bali, we just need to get the setup and details ready, and the Balinese and Javanese servers always amazes me, I just don't need to supervise, they sure know how to serve the guests well.

This wedding is as challenging as any of my other weddings, we need to build the dancefloor, the floating walkway and stage on the pool, and the first time we did it in this venue - Atas Ombak. So imagine while band was performing, guests were dancing, and next you know, everyone jumped into the pool the moment the party began.. yes, it's crazy.. but everyone had fun.. I know my team was crazy trying to ensure no one slipped and hurt themselves.. esp my bride. At the end, all went well... So enjoy the pictures taken by Gabriel, and I can't wait to see the rest and the lot from Kuang too