Friday, April 15, 2011

Some Major Things to Do in Preparing the Wedding in Indonesia: Our Progress So Far

My wedding in Indonesia is happening in three months time. I remember that when my family set the wedding date, I felt that the gap between my ROM date and wedding celebration date is incredibly distant (more than one year apart). As usual, however, time flies faster that we think it would and here I am now - in few months time, I'd be having my big day.

Me, the Bride-to-be.

When I went to Indonesia for Christmas last year, I was so busy settling my wedding preparation everyday. My one week holiday at home had become a 'business' trip. However, after an intensive wedding preparation in a pretty short span of time, I can say that after that one week holiday/wedding work, now I felt much relieved because my husband and I, with the helps of my parents, managed to settle most of the major things for the wedding in Indonesia.

Step 10. Touching Base and Dealing with the Wedding Organizer

In Indonesia, most couples would engage a wedding organizer to organize all the operational things during the D-Day. The wedding organizer's service usually comes in package and includes the basics such as venue decoration, ushers, tea ceremony arrangements, wedding timetable and entertainment (singers and dancers) arrangements. The selected wedding organizer has to closely liaise with the hotel people from time to time for the couple's smooth wedding preparations. My Mom had booked a wedding organizer for us quite some time ago and chose a basic package because my husband and I are not really keen in having too lavish party for our wedding. After heavy negotiations, seemingly my husband and I couldn't escape from having dancers as part of our wedding party's timetable. Our family and the wedding organizer advised us that without dancers, our wedding would be too 'quiet'. In the end, we both conformed this idea.

The first thing we did when my husband and I met with our wedding organizer was discussing the wedding itinerary. The person in charge briefed us on the common wedding timetable practiced and at this stage, both husband and I had to raise our opinions and told them what we want and don't want during the event.

Moving on, since this wedding organizer is in charge for decorating our wedding venue, they showed us some of the wedding decoration portfolios and asked us to select one that we liked best. At this stage, we selected the one that really suits our style and we also clearly communicated with them on the venue decorations' theme, color, layout, etc. Although both parties had discussed the general wedding timetable, the wedding organizer will only come out with the final wedding timetable proposal nearing the D-Day which my husband and I have to proofread and approve.

Next to-do-list:
  • Provide list of VIP guests (20 names) to the wedding organizer, list of guests for the Tea Ceremony, list of guests to be called for photo sessions at the wedding, names of receptionists (4 names and usually are the bride's/groom's relatives), names of the family members who will greet the guests with the receiving lines (usually the couple's parents and other direct elderly family members), name of contact person from the couple's family for point of contact on the operational things during the D-Day (1 name) and names of the people who want to contribute a song during the wedding (family members or friends)
  • Set the time for a technical meeting to be attended by the bride and groom, wedding organizers and all vendor. This meeting is to be held on one of the few days before the actual wedding date. The purpose of this technical meeting is to finalize and brief everyone involved on the final wedding timetable
  • Submit the DVD containing the pre-wedding photos for display at the wedding
Step 11. Checking the venue

My parents had booked a venue for our wedding after many visitations and a lot of price negotiations with a number of potential venues in town. A lot of couples are apparently going to get hitched in July so booking a venue in advance is indeed a wise move to make sure that the venue we want is available. Instead of having our wedding in a restaurant, we decided to do it in a hotel's ballroom. Having our wedding in a hotel is also logistically easier for our overseas guests as they'd be staying at the same hotel too. Although my parents had sort of settled the venue part, my husband and I still went there to personally check the place and discuss few things with the hotel sales manager like selecting the Master of Ceremony, discussing some logistical issues between the hotel and the Wedding Organizers, confirming the wedding dinner's menu, selecting the wedding cake and booking the band.

Step 12. Selecting the Wedding Gown and Make Up Artists

Selecting a wedding gown in a bridal house is a fun activity for the bride-to-be but a torturing experience for the groom-to-be because usually the groom would be involved too in selecting the wedding gown for the bride. Selecting the wedding gown for the groom means judging the best gown amongst so many similar white wedding gowns put on the bride. This activity can take few hours at at some point, usually the groom would just simply pick the gown or tell the bride to just choose whatever she wants. Although, the bride has seemed to find the perfect gown for her from a bridal house, my advice here is to always check other bridal houses out too since they might have better gowns and better deals. Generally, the bridal house offers a bridal package which includes the wedding gown, make-ups for the D-Day for the bride, bridesmaids and the parents and a bridal spa. When negotiating with the bridal house, always bargain for more.

In Indonesia, after we selected and confirmed a wedding gown, the bridal house will do the gown fitting on the bride almost immediately and exclusively keep the gown for the bride until the D-Day. Say, if we book a gown one year before the wedding date means the bridal house will not offer this gown to other people for one year until the D-Date. The rental fee of a brand new gown usually is quite expensive. If a gown has been worn by someone else for once or two times, the gown rental fee is much cheaper. Wedding gowns worn more than three times usually will not be offered in the bridal house anymore. This is contrary to the wedding gown's rental in Malaysia, the bridal houses in Malaysia offer various gowns for the bride to select but they will not keep one particular gown exclusively for one person. They will only do the fitting on the final selected wedding gown on few days nearing the D-Day.

Next step:
  • Do a make up testing with the bridal house
  • Bring a pair of high-heel shoes confirmed to be worn on the wedding day for the final gown fitting
Step 13. Ordering the Wedding Invitation Card

If we have a number of printing companies in mind for the wedding invitation card, we better ask around first and get for different quotations and designs from them for comparison. In my case, I had a very limited time to settle my wedding preparation, so my Dad took my husband and me to just one printing company in town to choose our wedding invitation card. We browsed tons of wedding card portfolios and finally chose one design that we liked most. Before we left this place, we negotiated the price for printing the cards, discussed on the deadline for printing the cards as well as confirmed the wedding details and writings for the couples' and family's names. Once he's ready with our wedding invitation card's design, he'd send us the final design via email for our approval before printing.

Choosing the wedding invitation card.

In Malaysia, the restaurant that we use for hosting our wedding celebration would give complimentary wedding invitation cards according to the number of tables that we booked. For example, for 20 booked tables, the restaurant would give us about 100-120 complimentary wedding invitation cards. If we don't like the fixed designs of the wedding invitation cards that they offer, we can just engage a third party to do it but involving third party for this means extra costs.

Next to-do-list:
  • Make the final guest lists 
  • Distribute the wedding invitation cards to the guests minimum two weeks before the wedding date
Step 14. Choosing the Wedding Souvenir

In Indonesia, we are supposed to give a wedding souvenir for the guests when they sign in the reception table.  My husband and I try to keep my wedding costs not too overboard, so our main considerations in choosing the wedding souvenirs are the price, design and functionality of the souvenirs for the guests. My husband and I agreed to give something that the guests can use for a long time not just a random stuff which is cute but useless. In the end, my Mom was the one who sourced the souvenirs for us because I had no time for this.

Step 15. Booking the Photographer and Videographer

To me having a professorial photographer for the wedding is uber-important. I like to conserve my important moments in life through pictures. Ideally, we should have a professorial photographer that already have extensive experience in taking candid wedding pictures, can click with us and is not so expensive in charging the fee. Once, my Dad introduced us to a wedding photographer he knew but my husband and I didn't quite this photographer's attitude so we both dropped him. In the end, we booked our friend who is also a professional photographer to take our wedding photos.

As for the videographer, in the beginning my husband and I refused to spend extra bucks for engaging someone to take video of our wedding because we felt no one would see our wedding video that often, even ourselves. Since my parents insisted on this, we finally agreed to do so. Thinking back, now I feel that maybe having a video of our wedding day may not be a bad idea after all.

Step 16. Testing the Food for the Wedding Dinner

When we met the hotel sales manager during the venue check, we also set a date and time for testing the wedding dinner menu. One night, my whole family came to the hotel's restaurant at a set time and we were served the whole eight complimentary course for the wedding dinner. We were also given a pencil and evaluation paper for the dishes. On this opportunity, we were supposed to write as many comments as possible regarding the food like add more sauce, reduce the salt or change some meat for a particular dish, etc.

Testing the food for the wedding dinner.

So here we are now, not pretty much set for the D-Day but we've settled the major things for the wedding day. Our tasks in these upcoming three months are to finalize all the wedding details and tie all the loose ends.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for leaving your comment here!