Checklist

Photo by Peter Herman Photography. www.theweddingnotebook.com

Roles And Responsibilities Of A Bride’s Sidekicks

Photo by Peter Herman Photography. www.theweddingnotebook.com

Photo by Peter Herman Photography

Planning a wedding can be an overwhelming process. Thankfully, the bridal party is there for support and to help. While a bride may have her own ideas as to how involved her ‘enlisted helpers’ will be, there are certain “duties” involved for those who take on these following roles.

#01 Maid of Honour
This is the bride’s right hand woman. She acts as the bride’s spokesperson, takes care of her, and makes sure she looks good from head to toe. From adjusting the bride’s train at the altar and holding her bouquet during the exchange of rings, to getting her a drink if she is thirsty and handing her a tissue when things get emotional, the maid of honour is a pillar of support for the bride.

#02 Bridesmaids
The bridesmaids form the bridal entourage. They are typically close friends of the bride who will assist the maid of honour in planning the bridal shower and getting the bride ready for her big day. In Chinese weddings, they are also the ‘ji-mui’ or the masterminds of the games that are aimed at getting the groom to prove his love for his future wife.

#03 Wedding Planner / Programme Coordinator
The wedding planner oversees the entire flow of the wedding. On the actual day of the celebration, he or she will liaise with the banquet manager or vendors on location. All the other persons in charge (PIC) will report to him or her. As the programme coordinator, he or she will also need to have good time management, take initiative, and be on top of things. This person is sometimes entrusted with the task of paying the vendors or suppliers on the day as well.

#04 Head of the Bridal Party
This person is tasked with contacting all members of the bridal party on the actual wedding day. He or she will ensure that they are awake, ready, present, and in position at the wedding venue. They are responsible for the numerous details relating to the bridal party, for example, making sure the corsages and bouquets are in place.

#05 Head of Décor
The head of décor holds the blueprint for the wedding setup. He or she would know exactly where the reception table is to be placed, how many candles or candlesticks are on each table, and so on. This person usually leads the team of helpers who are putting together the wedding decorations.

#06 Family Representative
It takes a family member to know a family’s needs. This family representative can advise on ceremonial decisions and last minute seating changes. In some cases, the family representative will also help to safeguard the gifts received by the couple and deliver those items to them after the celebration.

Red Packet Allocations For Your Chinese Ceremony

Peter Herman Photography. www.theweddingnotebook.com
Photo by Peter Herman Photography

Given the overwhelming amount of things to plan for a Chinese wedding ceremony, it might be a good idea to come up with a list of recipients and the amounts that you would need when it comes to red packets. This can actually be quite a substantial amount that couples often overlook during the budgeting stage. Traditions vary from family to family, so take this as a mere guide for those who are totally clueless. Remember, you can always give more if you’re feeling generous.

“Heng Tai” a.k.a. The Groom’s Team


Given by: The groom’s parents or the groom
Value: Any amount, it’s more for symbolic purposes

These are usually given to the “heng tai” after they have picked up the bride and returned to the groom’s house, although they can also be given out in the morning before the entourage leaves to pick up the bride.

Door Boy


Given by: The groom
Value: Any amount, it’s more for symbolic purposes

The groom should stay in the car upon arrival at the bride’s house until someone from the bride’s side of the family opens the car door. This is often the youngest brother of the bride or the youngest boy in the household. It signifies the beginning of the gatecrashing ceremony a.k.a. “chip san leong”.

“Chi Mui” a.k.a. The Bride’s Team


Given by: The groom’s team
Value: As a minimum, this ranges from MYR15-MYR50 for each member of the bride’s team.

For the gatecrashing ceremony, the groom’s team should prepare a few red packets instead of just one final set. That’s because there are many stages involved, with the final, biggest red packet to be given only when the groom is right outside the bride’s room. A member of the bride’s team will then collect all the red packets, deduct from the total the cost of items purchased for the ceremony, and divide the amount between all the “chi mui”.

Tea Ceremony


Given by: The bride and groom
Value: The amount differs depending on the relationship with that individual. Adults usually get more than kids. To avoid mistakes, names can be written on the red packets or use different red packet designs to indicate different amounts.

During the tea ceremony, you will offer tea as a sign of respect and receive red packets from your seniors. This is then followed by tea being offered to you by your juniors, beginning with your siblings, followed by your cousins, and then their children if any. This takes place on both sides of the family and it can be quite a lengthy process, so make sure you put someone in charge.

Helpers


Given by: The bride and groom
Value: The amount depends on the job description. It can be up to the value of their dinner at the wedding reception.

There’s no obligation to give, but many couples give their helpers red packets as a token of appreciation. It’s also a way of compensating the bridal party if you didn’t pay for their dresses and makeup services. If you’ve already given your helpers red packets during the tea ceremony however, then don’t worry about this.

Peter Herman Photography. www.theweddingnotebook.com
Photo by Peter Herman Photography

What You Should Know About Your Vendors’ Meal

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[Source]

We thought this might be useful as it’s not a commonly discussed topic and, in fact, is something many couples overlook. Most vendors just want something simple while working a wedding, and for wedding planners, photographers, videographers and the like who probably won’t have time to grab a bite the entire time, it’s a good idea to prepare something that they can eat quickly beforehand. The last thing you want is a hungry, lethargic wedding planner or photographer who can barely think straight.

When?
Feed them no later than half an hour before your guests arrive, or during the first course of your reception meal. Alternatively, ask them what they prefer. For example, videographers who are rushing for your SDE (same day edit) might prefer to eat only after their work is done.

Some couples also serve their vendors the same food as their guests. If that’s you, set aside a vendors’ table in a corner of your venue, not too far from the main table, so they can eat whenever they have a free minute. Remember to instruct your banquet manager not to clear the food for that table.

What?
Most vendors don’t expect much and would be quite happy with fried rice, rice boxes, noodles or pasta. Make sure it’s something that’s easy to consume and not too soupy; even club sandwiches will do.

Avoid spicy food that might cause discomfort, and regardless of whether you order something from your caterer or get a friend to purchase something separately, do try to ensure that the food is fresh and warm. Your vendors’ meal should also be served punctually as their window of free time is usually quite short.

9 Things You Should Know Before You Print Your Wedding Invites

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[Source]

What if you’d been following a particular designer from overseas for the longest time and want them to do your wedding invites? What if you’ve just fallen in love with a design that you found online? Most of the time, shipping invites from overseas will cost you more than you can afford. There is a cheaper option, which is to print them locally. Most online shops sell printables or design templates, and just FYI: this process applies to all wedding stationery, not just invites.

#01 Design
You have three simple options: design your own, hire a stationer or purchase a design online. Designing your own is not as easy as you think, so if you lack creative flair, opt for the latter. Template design prices are actually quite reasonable, and please don’t attempt to modify designs on your own.

#02 Size
Check available envelope sizes first. A lot of overseas designs sometimes require different envelope sizes, so make sure you are able to source them where you are. Art stationery shops such as CzipLee and Art Friends offer good quality envelopes in various styles.

#03 RGB or CMYK
Design files should be in RGB colour mode for email, WhatsApp and online use. For printing, use CMYK, and understand that it will never look as vibrant as it does on your screen. Colours like orange are actually hard to achieve in printing without using spot colours, and you won’t be able to get silver or gold unless you use special metallic spot colours.

#04 Resolution
Ensure that it’s 72dpi for online use and 300-600dpi for printing. If you don’t know what this means, please hire a designer. Most of the free clip art available online aren’t of a high enough quality to use for printing. There are some good free printables, and we’ve got some of them here, but you’ll rarely be able to find good wedding invitation designs.

#05 Format
You can upload to-be-printed files in jpeg or png format, but we actually advise sending Illustrator (Ai) files, especially when text is involved, to avoid pixellated fonts on your printed materials.

#06 Type Of Printing
We highly recommend offset printing for its quality; digital printing can look like it came from your laser printer and has a glossy effect. The price does vary quite a bit however, so we’ll leave it up to you to decide depending on your budget.

#07 Printer
If you can’t get any recommendations, there are often plenty of printing shops near art schools. Their quality is usually above average, and they might even be able to recommend an offset printer if preferred.

#08 Quotation
Before you contact your printer, have all this information ready: quantity, size, number of colours, paper type and special effects. If unsure, email the artwork to the printer and they will be able to quote accordingly. If you have several options, compare the printing quality and price. With the exception of quantity, everything else will affect the price. For a rough quotation, send the printer a sample from the designer’s website.

#09 Printing
Once you’ve sent your file to the printer, no news is good news: it means your file is all right. All you have to do is sit and wait for the call to collect your invites. During collection, don’t be in a hurry to leave. Check your invites to make sure everything is good. You might get a few “dirty” ones but that’s fine; printers usually give you some extras anyway.

How To Get Great Deals For Your Wedding

If you have the luxury of time, there are plenty of ways to get great deals. Last minute shopping and rash decisions will always cost more, so if you can, spot what you want early, allow for other options and be decisive when things are on sale.

#01 Designer Sales
Designer labels often have sample sales at the end of each season. Follow the labels you like on social media to be in the know.

Wedding deals for weddings. www.theweddingnotebook.com

Celest Thoi Boutique

#02 Online Shopping
Do your online shopping during the mid-year sales, or on Thanksgiving, Boxing Day and Black Friday. Be ready to move fast as stocks are usually limited.

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#03 Hotel Bookings
Hotels generally have at least one promotion a year, so wait for those. Even a discount of just 10% works out to a lot when it comes to venue bookings, and there are often additional perks and giveaways, such as free tables for your reception or honeymoon packages, thrown in as well.

#04 Photographer Bookings
Photographers usually start taking bookings in June for the following year, and many offer early bird booking rates. If you already know exactly which photographer you want, this is your chance to save some money.

#05 Destination Bridal Portraits Promo
Instead of specially flying a photographer to your desired destination, why not check the destination photoshoot calendars of different photographers to see who’s flying where? Many of them travel to popular photoshoot spots during the peak season anyway, so choose one that suits your style, and save on additional air ticket and accommodation costs.

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#06 Use The Same Venue
Instead of booking separate spaces for your ceremony and dinner reception, have it all at the same venue. You could have your ceremony just before your dinner reception so you won’t need to worry about a luncheon, plus all your guests will be early for dinner.

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(See also: 18 Venues To Have Both Garden Ceremony And Reception In Malaysia)

#07 Think Out Of The Box
Browse online stores for lace dresses, use fruits and vegetables for your décor instead of flowers, or mix real and faux blooms to save some cash. Be honest with your vendors about your budget so they can provide you with different options, and be creative.

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“Rustic Backyard Wedding At The Greyhouse” by ZA Gallery

6 Types Of Wedding Guests You Shouldn’t Have Bothered Inviting

As a wedding guest, remember that you have been handpicked by the couple to share their special day, so do support them by adhering to some basic wedding guest etiquette. Don’t be the person who keeps stealing the limelight!

TWN, in collaboration with Stories by Integricity. This was great fun to do, so thank you to Grace and the team. To ensure that you don’t miss out on anything, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Fashion Tips For Grooms To Suit All Budgets

suit-up
Photo by Johnny Tuxedo

#01 Invest in a suit
Nothing fits better than a tailored suit, so invest in one. If you want something versatile, pick a suit in navy, grey or charcoal as those can be worn for any occasion.

#02 Ready-to-wear
If a tailored suit is out of your budget, then buy one off the rack. Ready-to-wear suits make great alternatives when on a tight budget – just make sure it fits properly. For an even better fit, buy a suit that’s one size larger and get it professionally altered.

#03 Suit separates
Most fashion labels these days allow you to purchase jacket and trousers separately. For a casual look, buy a navy jacket and pair it with your favourite chinos.

#04 Go vintage
Remember the saying “something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue”? We’ve seen brides wear their mother’s wedding dress for their own walk down the aisle, so why can’t grooms do the same? If it’s not too much of a stretch, take the suit your dad wore on his wedding day to your tailor and get it altered to fit.

#05 Buy online
Want a designer suit but don’t have the budget for it? Online stores like Mr. Porter actually carry a huge collection of designer labels at slightly cheaper prices, while other stores like OwnOnly offer made-to-measure suits. The best part: most of these stores offer free delivery worldwide.

#06 Buy it on sale
Major fashion labels and online stores often have massive sales at fixed periods, particularly Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Find out when they are and start saving!

5 Fashion Mistakes That Grooms Make

We have seen photos from thousands of weddings, and, unfortunately, not all grooms look like handsome, dashing versions of a James Bond in the making. To help you future grooms out there, here are 5 fashion mistakes to avoid:

#01 Tuxedo Before 6pm
The tuxedo is also known as a dinner jacket. That means it should be worn only for dinner. A tuxedo during daytime is a fashion abomination.
TIP: The 10 Commandments Of The Dinner Jacket

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#02 Light Coloured Suit In The Evening
Light coloured suits like white, sky blue or beige are for daytime use only. This is why dinner jackets only come in black or midnight blue.
TIP: If you plan on wearing just one suit to carry you from day to night, opt for a versatile colour like grey or navy.

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#03 Braces And Belts
Braces and belts have the same function – they hold your pants up. Wearing both renders one of them redundant.
TIP: Pants with belt loops must always be worn with a belt.

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#04 Buttoning Your Jacket All The Way
There are two basic rules: always button the top button of your shirt, and never the bottom button of your jacket.
TIP: Memorise the “Sometimes, Always, Never” 3-button rule.

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#05 Trouser Length
Your trousers should cover the top part of your shoes and part of your laces when standing up. Find a pair that fits you well and alter the length if necessary. Make sure your pants are not too loose or so tight that your guests are embarrassed to look at you.
TIP: For a more fashion forward look, the bottom of your trousers should fall right at the top of your shoe.

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Find The Pre-Wedding Photoshoot Style That Fits You

There are plenty of different approaches for your pre-wedding photoshoot. Find one that is suitable and that aligns with your own style, and go for it. Do some research and dig up what fits you best. If you have problems choosing just one, you can always combine a couple, or even plan another photoshoot to celebrate your first wedding anniversary if your other half is up for it.

#01 Bridal Portraits
These are photos of you in your bridal gown and photos of the both of you all dressed to the nines. These tend to be more dramatic in terms of setting and look, and, if necessary, you should save photos of poses that you like on your iPad or phone to help you on the day of the shoot (FYI, that’s how models do it). Other than that, just relax and your photographer will guide you. Make sure that your hair and makeup enhance your beauty rather than make you look like someone else altogether.

Photo by NDrew Photography. www.theweddingnotebook.com
“Vintage And Chic” by NDrew Photography

Photo by Jason Tey Photography. www.theweddingnotebook.com
“A Blush Pink Vera Wang Gown With Tea And A Bunny” by Jason Tey Photography

#02 Engagement photoshoot
This is normally a more casual photoshoot that shows the two of you sharing some intimate moments. Many couples prefer this approach as they can stroll around leisurely, and the photos usually consist of more close-up shots so you won’t regret any cheesy poses five years down the road. Just make sure that your photographer also does a proper shoot of you in your bridal gown on your wedding day – you don’t want to regret not having any full-length photos of your dress.

Photo by Munkeat Photography. www.theweddingnotebook.com
“Love In Spite Of Our Differences” by Munkeat Photography

#03 Stylised photoshoot
This is usually more of a little teaser for your wedding day, or it could be a romantic set of photos inspired by a movie or theme. Some couples also choose to do editorial styled shoots, like those you see on the glossy pages of a magazine. This provides the two of you with the chance to enjoy each other’s company without the rush and bustle of your wedding day, and it gives your guests a clear idea of what to expect. It works extremely well if you want your guests to dress up in a certain theme, creates excitement and is definitely something to talk about if done well.

Photo by Multifolds Photography. www.theweddingnotebook.com
“Whimsical Rustic Styled Shoot” by Multifolds Photography

Photo by Androidsinboots. www.theweddingnotebook.com
“Alluring Femininity From 1960s Shanghai” by Androidsinboots

#04 Conceptual photoshoot
This uses art or any other creative means to craft a stronger love message. It normally results in a more lasting memory for your guests, and it could be the start of you two creating things together. Alternatively, it could also be just one or two conceptual photos on top of your bridal shoot. Conceptual photoshoots are definitely more time consuming, which means you’ll have fewer photos, but as the saying goes, quality is better than quantity.

Photo by Raymond Phang Photography. www.theweddingnotebook.com
“Great Moments In New Zealand” by Raymond Phang Photography

Photo by Funkydali. www.theweddingnotebook.com
“Endless Possibilities” by Funkydali

#05 Tell your love story
Recreate your love story, even if it’s just a simplified version, by making a video. Don’t forget to add the things that matter to you both, or perhaps have the shoot somewhere meaningful or significant to your relationship.

Photo by Acapella Photography. www.theweddingnotebook.com
“Ballet In Paris” by Acapella Photography

Photo by Edwin Tan of Armadale Weddings. www.theweddingnotebook.com
“Reliving High School Days” by Edwin Tan of Armadale Weddings

#06 Destination photoshoot
For this, you should pick a country that the two of you dream of visiting together or one that holds a lot of great memories for you both. The former will create excitement and hope for the future, while the latter will draw out emotions that, hopefully, will make you grateful for your journey together. Destination photoshoots are very time consuming, so remember to factor that into your plans.

Photo by Axioo. www.theweddingnotebook.com
“Walk On The Wild Side” by Axioo

Photo by Adam Ong Photography. www.theweddingnotebook.com
“City Of Love” by Adam Ong Photography

#07 Post wedding/Pre-honeymoon photoshoot
This normally happens after your wedding day and before your honeymoon so you don’t have to rush through prep or cut short your holiday. Social media makes it easy for you to share the photos with all your friends and family, even when it’s after your big day. Just a word of advice: if you’re planning on doing a lot of drinking, don’t schedule your photoshoot for the day after your wedding. Otherwise, a photoshoot on the very first day of your life together can be immensely beautiful.

Photo by Chris Spira Photography. www.theweddingnotebook.com
“Simple And Elegant Wedding In Rasa Sayang Resort” by Chris Spira Photography

Tips For The DIY Bride: How To Stay Organised

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How hard can this be, right? The challenge that most DIY brides face is conveying the vision in their heads to their helpers, and delegating the tasks. Besides having a main coordinator for the wedding day, you will need helpers to assist you with all the different elements as well. DIY weddings can actually be fun, as everyone can feel part of the most meaningful day of your life, so don’t worry too much about troubling people who you know love you very much.

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Divide your helpers into different groups: registration, décor, ushers and so on. Detail how many people are required in each group on the itinerary. It is also best to have one person in charge of each group so you only need to brief the group leaders and they will brief the others.

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Gather your helpers and do whatever you can in advance so that things won’t be so rushed on the actual day.

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Pack things into boxes according to their purpose so that the person in charge will know where to find what is needed. Put those people in charge of getting all the items back too. If you can, come up with an itemised list, and draw the arrangements (if you have something in mind) to make it clearer and easier to understand.

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Items for the décor might need to be subdivided into smaller groups, such as dessert table, photobooth, ceremony and reception. Pack glassware in a separate box, making sure that the items are bubble wrapped properly, and label clearly so that your helpers know to take extra care with it. Sweet items should be sealed to prevent an ant attack and stored in a cool place, and you should only set out food items on the actual day.

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You can either entrust the person in charge of each group with the relevant boxes, or you can arrange to have all the boxes picked up from one place. If you have big items, remember to arrange a suitable vehicle for their transportation.

Five Reasons Why Wedding Planners Still Prefer Weddings In Hotels

How to choose a wedding venue. www.theweddingnotebook.com

Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Most wedding planners will tell you that they prefer hotel weddings, and there are many reasons for that. While we aren’t exactly fans of predictable wedding venues, we do feel a need to caution brides on what to expect if you choose to not have your wedding in a hotel.

#01 A lot more hassle
You might need to put everything together yourself, including caterers. Some venues even require you to bring in your own tables and chairs, which could mean additional costs if you’re renting them. You also risk having to get lower quality items if rental prices are too expensive.

#02 You might spend more
When you break everything down, it might eventually cost you more. Guests, on the other hand, always expect things to be cheaper than they really are, which could mean smaller Ang Pows. Also, if your wedding is not in town, some vendors might ask for a transportation fee.

#03 Unclear contracts
Here’s the riskiest part: unlike hotels, a lot of other venues don’t provide proper contracts. You might end up spending a lot more than your initial quotation amount. The lack of proper procedures could also be frustrating and cause unnecessary stress.

#04 Facilities
Many venues lack adequate parking spaces for your guests, which could be very inconvenient. Do ensure that the venue is appropriate for your guests, and if it is an outdoor space, make sure there is a Plan B.

#05 Service
When it comes to service, hotels are virtually unparalleled. Other venues will probably not have a banquet manager, bellboys to help with carrying items, and a team to assist you. So unless you have a coordinator and a troop of willing and capable friends, you might be better off sticking with a hotel. Hotels will also provide you with a bridal suite, which is exactly what you’ll need after a long day.

6 Steps To Not Losing Any Sleep Over Your Wedding Day

We understand – there’s a lot of pressure to make your wedding day the most beautiful and meaningful of your life. If you work full-time, the stress of juggling both work and wedding planning will probably get to you. There is so much you need to do that you might even lose sleep over it all. So here are a few tips on how to manage the wedding planning process so it’s much more enjoyable.

#01 Don’t over-think it
Download our wedding planning checklist and just do what you need to each month. The reason a lot of people lose sleep is, instead of writing down what they need to do and ticking it off a list, they think about it every night when they are in bed.

#02 Don’t waste too much time online
Don’t read too many wedding blogs; just pick 2-3 favourites. Ideally they should include an international blog for inspiration and trends, a local blog to help you with sourcing vendors, and perhaps a wedding forum or something similar that will enable you to research and perform background checks on potential vendors. Be selective, as some blogs and websites are just a waste of time.

Don’t Pinterest too hard
There are lots of pretty things on Pinterest and you might be tempted to pin everything onto your boards. That can be a waste of time if you’re pinning things that aren’t within your budget. The best way to use Pinterest is to be purposeful about what you are searching for. Use keywords or colour themes to narrow down your search.

#04 Don’t leave things till the last minute
If you follow our checklist, most things will be done before the final week leading up to your big day. Remember to delegate. The only thing left on your to-do list in that final week should be your guest list. Also, try to take a week off work and pamper yourself.

#05 Don’t party too hard
Try not to get too excited, especially on the night before your wedding. If you’re having a bachelor or bachelorette party, do it a week or two beforehand. That will allow you plenty of time to recover from your hangover, unwind and rest.

#06 Don’t think about what could go wrong
This helps nobody, especially yourself. Just go with the flow, and remember that your guests are people whom you love and won’t mind one bit if anything goes wrong. Besides, many brides tell us that the things that go wrong are often those they least expect to. As long as you are married to the person you are supposed to wed, it will have been a perfect day.