Tuesday, December 29, 2009

making the reception unique

DJ Craig is a music programmer, remix artist and party enabler in the southern California area. He has been providing Disc Jockey and lighting services for Southern California weddings and special party events for over 15 years.

Now this guy would have lots to say about wedding receptions. He's probably witnessed thousands of them. Sometimes when you've seen a failure occur a million times you can't help but notice a pattern, know what I mean?

Anyhoos, here's what he has to say about '9 Easy Ways To Make Your Wedding Reception Unique':

Pick An Unusual Entrance Song:

Check out your music collection and write down the first ten songs that appeal to you. Then decide which one of those would be best for you to walk into at your reception. Chances are you will come up with an Entrance Song nobody else has thought of. One rule of thumb is- the higher the energy of the song, the better. This applies whether it's Classical, Rock, Hip Hop, Swing, etc.

Don't Just Enter, MAKE An Entrance:

The difference can be subtle or more pronounced but it is important that you, in some way, visually acknowledge your guests as part of your Grand Entrance. This can be done by simply pausing to let them get a good look at you while they snap a picture, waving back at them or perhaps taking a bow or giving high fives. Now you have included your guests in the joy of the moment by making them PART of your entrance!

Change The Order:

Often the First Dance comes after the meal. But there's no rule that says you can't do it right after your entrance. The Best Man's toast can be at the beginning of the meal... or later, towards the end of it. Just because you throw your bouquet doesn't mean you have to do the whole garter removal and throwing thing. If you want, you can the pass on the removal and just have a garter toss or you can dispense with the whole formality.

That Sounds Different:

You have an opportunity to create a unique experience for your guests from the time they first step foot in your reception. It is important that your reception have it's own "sound". Preferable a unique mix of songs that people don't usually come in contact with at the office, the mall or while listening to the car radio.

You can turn your room into a romantic Spanish villa with flamenco fusion latin guitar. Or create a swinging, "Rat Pack" atmosphere with classic big band music. You could even transport your guests to a sunny, tropical seashore with the rightright mix of beach music. We had one couple who got engaged in Italy and chose artists like Dean Martin, Andrea Bocelli and Louis Prima for their dinner music. The choice of sounds that sets the tone for your reception is limited only by your imagination. The goal is to give your guests something they haven't experienced at any other wedding they've been to.

Saying "Thank You":

A simple "thank you" to your guests over the mic can mean so much. Publicly expressing your appreciation for their participation at your wedding is one of the classiest and most heartfelt things you can do. And in case you should miss anyone during your mingling time, you have at least already acknowledged your gratitude to them.

Choreograph Your First Dance:

A choreographed First Dance is always a special treat for you and your guests. We've seen waltzes, swing dances and even a tango or two. A bit of work is involved here as you may need to take some lessons and rehearse prior to your "performance". The pay off is creating an unforgettable moment for you and your guests. A moment that never fails to get a great response from all in attendance.

Use Creative Lighting:

The right lighting can add color and depth to any room. Colored beams of uplighting on the walls, a pinspot to highlight the cake and dynamic projection dance floor club lighting are some ways to create a special atmosphere. Well planned lighting has a dramatic effect on the look and feel of your reception.

Avoid Musical Cliches:

Party songs that have been played at every wedding in the past twenty years can be replaced with more inventive choices. Jettison those played-out tunes like "Love Shack", "La Bamba", "Mony Mony", "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" and "I Will Survive". Update your playlist with fresh ideas. Examples of newer songs that have wide appeal include "Smooth" by Santana, "Hey Ya!" by Outkast, "Get The Party Started" by Pink, "Are You Gonna Be My Girl" by Jet and "Crazy" by Gnarls Barkley. This is a good starting point and the music can get more cutting edge adge as the night goes on.

Promo, Promo, Promo:

Have you ever been to a wedding where you felt like you didn't know what was going on? Your MC should let your guests know what they have to look forward to later. Attendees will be less likely to leave early if they know that the cake cutting is coming up shortly. Or that if they go now they will miss the first dance. Make sure your MC understands the power of the promotional announcement!

Friday, December 18, 2009

if you liked it then you should have put a ring on it

Approximately a month and a half ago I personally went browsing and picked out a half carat at the price of RM6000. It sounded pretty OK in Guys books considering he had just enough to cover our wedding bands in the budget. There were people (mainly Mmmy) who were disappointed with my choice claiming it wasn’t right for me to be married off with such a cheapo bling. I have to admit I wasn’t ecstatic about it but I didn’t think a ring could be such a big deal in terms of saving face. But it was. And I was torn between my man and my mother. Hence I just left the subject aside for abit and continued to work.

Little did I know that time can be pretty tricky, the longer you want it to stall the faster the clock ticks and next thing I knew it was just a week to my engagement… and we still didn’t have a ring! Just as I completed my last O&G tag, Guy drove me from TI to De Gem, Bangsar to get our ring-shopping done. It was both thrilling and worrying at the same time. A boy has never bought me a ring before... I couldn’t help but be quite bewildered. Mmmy and Dddy came along for the ride. Drama pending *giggle*

Turns out, horror of horrors, the previous diamond I had picked out previously had been shipped to their outlet in Jakarta! There were just no other RM6000 stones left. F*ck.

Mmmy proceeded to ask them to bring out whatever 0.4-0/6 carats they’ve got left and then Michael (store manager) put this stone in front of me that was mind blowing. From the start I knew I wanted a solitaire enclosed in a 6-claw ring. When Elesa presented me with a 0.6 Carat Excellent Cut VVS Clarity Colourless, I fell deep in love! It was THE stone. I felt it but I didn’t dare show it. I did, though, grin like Cheshire cat and giddy. Well it was most rightly so ‘cos the price revealed itself and we had a momentary exolphthalmus. It was definitely over his budget. I was about to say no when Mmmy nodded in approval. She was happy with the stone. I looked to my right. Guy was pale as sheet. I checked his pulse and reminded him of the act of breathing.

We take it-lah.
moi: Huh?? Eh no-lah… it’s way above the budget.
Guy: You like it. I can see it in your face.
moi: That’s not the point.
Mmmy: I think this is the one.
moi: *exasperated*
Guy: Just take it. Really it’s OK.
Mmmy: It’s just the right size…
moi: Mmmy! But we can’t afford it babe…
Guy: It’s OK. Let me worry ‘bout that. I’ll work it out. We’ll take it.

At the risk of sounding absolutely pompous, I can’t help but gush at how pretty it is. It’s just absolutely beautiful and QQ. It is actually quite nicely large when you stare long enough at it and NOT look at any other diamonds above 0.6 carats. I chose a white gold band ‘cos it’s cheaper than platinum. And the claws look like a crown from the side. How regal weee!! It’s seriously the best present that Guy has EVER given me :) Whenever I feel low and pitiful, I just cock my head to the left and lift my ring finger and *WHAZAAAM!!* I feel all peachy and special again.

Well really the guide to choosing THE ring is:

1. Firstly be very very very informed with your boyfriend's monthly wage and financial commitments. Choose a price range that's comfortable for him and then kick it up just a wee notch just so he knows that he can't get you easy. Yet don't be cruel and create a pent-up argument-to-be. You could probably use XiaXue's '3-month-salary' tip which incidentally turned out to be the price of my ring though I hadn't planned for it before.

2. Take time to scour jewellery stores and look out for bargains in the newspaper. It really helps though I didn't do much browsing due to time. Make sure you choose your gem from a reliable jeweller. I've heard of horrific stories where independent goldsmiths actually exchange your gem with a fake or lesser valued stone when they finally get down to making your ring. I chose De Gem 'cos it was recommended to me.

3. If you can afford it, purchase an internationally recognized diamond. In my case we couldn't afford a Lazare and opted for a GIA stone instead. You don't want to be in a position where you HAD to sell your stone but got peanuts for it in return.

4. Keep looking around 'till you find one that you love. 'Cos when you do find that special stone / ring, waking up everyday to put it on becomes an activity you just can't wait to get outta bed to do. They don't say 'Diamonds are a girl's best friend' for nuts.

Trust me, this engagement ring thingy is real fun.

For the rest of my Ring story *click here*

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

the new age cinderella slippers

I am not the typical bride. I think you know it. It doesn't mean I don't appreciate conventional or traditional... I love a white dress, gigantic flower centrepieces, that something blue... Still, as I said, I adore stuff that's outta the box... atypical... unique... exquisite :)

I was just about to settle for Louboutin's Anemone when I saw this in Taipei!

I am so lovin' these Vivienne Westwood Anglomania + Melissa Lady Dragon open toe plastic pumps!! OMG I'm crazy regrettin' the fact I didn't just get 'em at that time.

Brilliant way to sashay-sashay-chante down the aisle. And you know a wet floor ain't gonna get in your way of your 'man and wife' moment, for sure yo.