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Thursday, 17 December 2015

The Nuptial Series (xi) - Wedding Banquet Venues

Having settled the hassle of photography, gowns rental and solemnisation details, it is time to book the Banquet Venue, preferably a year in advance.  We wanted somewhere with sea or pool preferably; I wanted somewhere where none of my friends have held their weddings at before.  Below are some places we spoke with before coming to our final decision.  Please note that prices are good till May 2016 at best.

1.  LANTERN BAR

Photosource: http://www.fullertonbayhotel.com/dining/lantern
My all-time favorite place to hangout at and chill at, this gorgeous rooftop at Fullerton Bay Hotel has an allure of its own. The ambience is romantic, classy and yet relaxing at the same time, and there's a pool!  The package they quoted me was SGD$130.00++ per person excluding taxes - inclusive of wedding cake, buffet lunch, free-flow of soft drinks, invitation cards, centerpiece, wedding favours and ang pow box.

That was utterly steep for a wedding lunch (not to mention dinner), and we would still have to engage our own decorators because decoration is not part of the package. The factor that made us give this up (after many negotiations from them NOT having wedding packages to this customised one) was that most of the guests would be standing.  Maybe this would work for the westerners, but no can do for our side (lots of aunties and uncles will be attending the wedding, duh).



2.  FULLERTON HOTEL
Photosource:  http://goo.gl/YAEFY2
I loved this hotel for the posh ambience and large, curvaceous staircase resembling Titanic's in the movie. This hotel rings of class from its Colonial-style exterior to the dazzling interior. I have been here for high-tea, meals and drinks before, and decided to celebrate our important day here. The quoted prices till December 2016 for us started at around SGD$1,438.00++ per table of 10 pax to SGD$1,688.00++ per table, at least - depending on weekdays or weekends.   Price was reasonable, since it was a 6-star hotel, and included a night's stay in their luxurious room.

However, the minimum number of tables needed for wedding lunch is 25; minimum for wedding dinner (weekday nights) was 25, and for wedding dinner (weekend nights) was 35. There was no way we could meet these arrangements, unless we roped in all the relatives' childrens and distant relations, including a good number of acquaintances.  The brilliant solution offered to us was to (I quote them), "We can do 25 tables for you but you have to pay for 35 tables". Awesome solution! - why didn't we think of that?!



3. PARK HOTEL CLARKE QUAY

Photosource: http://www.parkhotelgroup.com/clarkequay/events-en.html
This seemed like another probable venue for our wedding, because of the huge glass panel allowing for view of the pool. It was romantic and their service was very prompt and efficient. Unfortunately, we did not even get to inquire about the rates because the ballroom could only accommodate 13 tables (130 pax) at maximum capacity.



4.  ONE DEGREE 15 MARINA / OTHER SENTOSA HOTELS

Photosource: http://awinsomelife.org/tag/one-degree-15/
We liked One Degree 15 Marina, because of its location and we could be surrounded by sea. The prices for dinner was around SGD$1400++ per table for weekends, reasonable for us. However, the ballroom would be indoors with no viewing panel for the waters or yachts at all.  So, this would defeat the purpose of holding our wedding banquet there.

There are a number of other good hotels in Sentosa Cove area - Equarius, W Hotel, Amara Sanctuary, Shangri-La Rasa Sentosa etc, but the parents have suggested convenience should be the prime factors, so we had to scrap off hotels in this area.




5.  GOODWOOD PARK HOTEL
Photosource: http://www.goodwoodparkhotel.com/gallery-en.html
Loving the old-world English charm of this boutique hotel, we decided to check them out as well. The ballroom would offer no pool view as well (unlike L'espresso Cafe at lobby), and service was rather good. Rates were reasonable at SGD$1,238++ per table for 10 pax on weekdays, and SGD$1,518.00++ per table for 10 pax on weekends.

This went onto the list of possibilities.



6.  HILTON SINGAPORE

Photosource: https://goo.gl/rbdTOi

























An established brand with hotels all over the world, Hilton Singapore held special meaning for me because my high school's D&D (dinner and dance) was held there, the final year that we would see each other and study together with each other ever again.  Service was quick and efficient as well.  The wedding dinner rates for weekends quoted was around SGD$1,218.00++

Barring this tragic story here, this elegant hotel still went on our list of possibilities.




7.  MARINA BAY SANDS

Photosource: http://world-visits.com/2013/09/things-to-do-in-marina-bay-sands-resorts-in-singapore
The iconic 3 towers of Marina Bay Sands has taken Singapore by storm, and now represents Singapore on postcards and images widely, along with the Singapore Flyer. I remember when I first visited this hotel - barely operational - I'd told myself that this would be one of the chosen venues for my wedding.

So we went to check the hotel out. We have both been to its sophisticated ballrooms for dinners before and enjoyed the delicious, unpretentious food.  The rates for wedding dinners on weekends started at SGD$1,400++ a table, and they have many different ballrooms. Service was efficient enough. This went into the list of possibilities as well.

Having spoken with several hotels, and wishing to shortlist from one of them, here's two things to take note of:
(i)  If you do attend their wedding fairs, ensure that everything that is being quoted and proposed to you is noted down in black and white, and re-clarified. It turns out that the goons at the wedding fairs may be new or very junior and give lots of weird answers that will give you problems later;

(ii)  If you try to get rates from websites such as Singapore Brides and KiasuBride, do be mindful that these are merely estimations. Please contact the hotels directly for exact rates, because we found some discrepancies during our own research / experience.  I guess the rates on these websites work better for angpow rates.


For the rest of the Nuptial Series:
Part (i)  - The Proposal
Part (ii) - Solemnisation procedure
Part (iii) - Solemnisation venues
Part (iv) - Finding the right photography studios
Part (v) -  Hunting for the suits and gowns
Part (vi) - Bespoke (tailored gown) - Review on Kelly's Bridal
Part (vii) - Pre-wedding photoshoot in Vancouver, Canada
Part (viii) - Pre-wedding photoshoot in Singapore - Loov Production









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