My husband and I love simplicity. It shows in our design choices and our lifestyles. We also have a penchant to display repressed anger toward bad service. To top it off, when it comes to food his Japanese taste buds are spoilt by the splendor of flavours available in Japan. Our expectations are not high, it is just that we are hard to impress. Yet, the Grand Hyatt Singapore made us very happy people.

Minimalism is often construed as having a white sofa placed in the middle of a white room. That is neither minimalism nor simplicity, it is, instead, just plain boring. There is an art to creating a pleasing space with as little items as possible. Should one want to undertake this endeavor, any design flaws would stick out like wine stains on an ivory wedding dress (touch wood). It was this minimalism that sealed my husband’s decision of having our wedding at the Grand Hyatt. Why would we choose and older hotel? Its exterior is modest, one might say reminiscent of the 1980’s Post Modernism. Inside, Hyatt made an excellent decision of investing in the Super Potato team to revamp their interiors.

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Super Potato Co. is one of the world’s leading interior firm. It is a Japanese firm run by renowned designer Takashi Sugimoto. Their touch turned Grand Hyatt chic, welcoming, and stylish. When the husband stepped into The Gallery (their banquet hall), he was won over. The entire space would solely be ours, including the spacious lounge with its high ceilings. Personally, I prefer high ceilings for the banquet room, but he does not. He finds high ceilings imposing and unfriendly, whilst I find it grand.

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This difference in our perspectives showed that taste is indeed subjective. The decisions you make when choosing your wedding celebration venue would come to light as well. What I strongly recommend though, is for one not to neglect details. The space that Grand Hyatt Singapore provided was bar none. Placement of furnishings, lightings, accent pieces, while leaving other areas  open, provided an extra stretch that seemingly embraced all your guests when they arrive.

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My prerequisite for any hotel is a decently sized bridal suite. Decent translates to large; it is one of my must haves, and they delivered. For most hotels, if you approach your sales coordinator about viewing the rooms first they would be able to accommodate to your request.

Food was excellent. Some dishes were served individually, some were communal. The abalone and sea cucumber in an individual claypot for all guests was their pièce de résistance. I would rather have all dishes plated out to my guests, but I was not charming enough to convince them.

Service staff is another factor not to overlook. Their banquet personnel came from all over the world, and we speculate that it could be exchange programs with all the Hyatts around the globe. Don’t quote us on that though. We had a party of Indian, German, Japanese, and Korean service staff and managers amongst the Singaporean personnels. All of them were extremely professional, and I dare say more so then the banquet staff who served me at a friend’s wedding in a 6 star hotel (I shan’t name and shame).

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Comparatively, there is one other hotel that received raving reviews on food and service. My clients who had their banquet at Capella swear by them. I remembered one groom told me their butler uprooted a small tree because it was blocking their view! I felt sorry for the tree, but at least it was planted somewhere else within the compound.

Now, we come to the price list. Grand Hyatt’s tables are $1388+++ for the year 2013. It’s the median price for hotels their caliber. Other hotels do have lower rates around the $1188/$1288 price range (Corpthone, Fullerton, etc. to name a few), while Capella, like St Regis, is on the higher tier ($1588/$1808). Here’s the full list of wedding venue prices from Singapore Brides.

For our 2012 wedding, the husband and I took up Hyatt’s add on package of pre-banquet  hors d’oeuvre and free flow of alcohol at an extra $400 or so per table. I recalled our total bill, after taxes, was around $1800-$1900. In retrospect, our guests didn’t drink that much and we would have saved tons if we had not went for it, but that extra amount of money relieved us of the tremendous “what if not enough” stress. All we did was sit back, enjoy, and have the ball of our lives with our friends and family. There was so much fun I wish I could bottle it up and give it to North Korea.

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Safe to say, The Grand Hyatt exceeded our high expectations. We are now Hyatt club members, and we plan to stay with them during our future travels.

(All articles written on our blog are not paid spots, and no barter trade of any form was involved. These views are the personal experiences of the writer.)
 


 


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We have produced a booklet showcasing our photography and our exclusive boutique partners’ gowns for the start of the new year, a first in our history. We dare say it’s a progressive step. The booklet showcases fashion editorials we did for Le Grand Wedding and Z Wedding D’sign’s latest season collection. In addition, you will also find our pre-wedding (local and overseas) and wedding day photography portfolios.

Feel free to pick up a copy at the Z Wedding D’sign booth in the BOWS wedding fair this weekend. Thereafter, it would be available at our partner boutiques –

Le Grand Wedding: 93 Tanjong Pagar Road
Z Wedding D’sign: 79 Tanjong Pagar Road

and, of course, at our Orchard gallery: 50 Saunders Road.

 

 


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Christmas came early for Chris, and Shawn & Debbie managed to enjoy his new toy. He had just bought new radio lighting equipment for the team, and now all the photographers are playing around creating shots that are possible with this recent stash.

For the year 2012, Shawn & Debbie will be the last couple Chris will photograph. Come 2013, he would be putting his camera down and focusing on the team and the business. We leave you with some sneaks of what he had managed to capture this last shoot, happy holidays!

 

 

 

 

 

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So… what cameras does Chris use?

It all started 33 years ago in 1979, his first camera:

 

This is his latest equipment:

 

And this is always in his bag:

 

Photographers and their cameras, there’s no such thing as too many toys.

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We’re touching up on our Hong Kong studio this week, and launching an open house for our Hong Kong clients this weekend.

Date: Saturday, Sunday, 17th and 18th November 2012

Studio address: 22/F, Park Building, 476 Castle Peak Road, Hong Kong
Google Maps link here.

Please RSVP, email, or contact our Hong Kong branch for more information!
Tel: +852 2156 1933

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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We had a fantastic time during the launch of our new studio over the weekend, it was simply delightful to have our working partners join us. To our boutique partners, Amanda Lee, Dang Bridal, Divine Couture, Silhouette, and Silverlining, thank you for your support throughout these years. A special note to LeGrand Wedding and ZWedding, the flower stand was simply gorgeous, thank you very much for the generosity you have shown us.

 

We had a small lunch reception for our invited partners and guests and used De Calla for the catering. I must say their food was simply delicious, and most importantly it was fresh. None of that stale, dry, texture I had experienced with some other caterers. They serve Hong Kong cantonese cuisines and local foods; some of their signature dishes include Bi Feng Tang Fried Rice, Shark Fin Soup with Crabmeat, Prawn Ball with Wasabi Salad Cream, and Braised Beef Brisket. So if you’re in need of a caterer, do browse through their menu at http://www.decalla.com.sg/menu. We’re happy to have involve them with our open house, and for the next weekend they are giving away $50 catering vouchers to our studio launch attendees.

 

 

We are continuing our studio open house promotional packages this coming weekend of 10th and 11th November, and it is still not too late to drop us a visit. Pardon me if we sound like a nag, but do remember to RSVP via our Perfect Weddings Portal with your desired time of arrival.

 

 

 

We shall end off thanking LeGrand and ZWedding once again for bringing their gowns and their designers over to our new studio. Our couples who had yet to decide which boutique they would don for their wedding had a chance to try out wedding gowns. It was a wonderful experience for them. They will also be attending this coming weekend.

 

 

To our guests who joined us on the first weekend of our launch, the Chris Ling team thank you for letting us partake in your nuptials! To future guests coming by the second weekend, we are definitely looking forward to and attending to you.

 

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On top of setting up an overseas studio (which we did with our Hong Kong branch), it had always been Chris’ dream to own the biggest pre-wedding photography studio in Singapore. After many years, that dream has now been fulfilled. It started with countless months of waiting for the ideal location to be made available, and we found it in a very modern office/industrial estate close enough to Singapore’s central. Location is undeniably important; after all, it wouldn’t be ideal to make our couples travel all the way to a smog laden corner of Singapore just to save on rental.

Close to 5000 sq ft, the three units we are occupying contain an abundance of natural light that cascades in from the glass windows. This creates the ideal condition for a soft imagery. On top of the perfect lighting condition, the large floor space allowed us to create a variety of themed rooms. There are now so many concepts available that our couples can easily spend an entire day in our studio.

It isn’t easy setting up a studio with this many settings. Interiors may look beautiful superficially, but from the photographer’s lens there are other factors to consider when creating a good photo. Lighting, angles, and whether there is enough space to frame up the photo, these often overlooked details are the difference between simply creating an aesthetically pleasing space to building up a conducive photography environment. After weeks of planning and preparation, shifting and shooting, and overworked limbs, we have finally created for ourselves, and for our couples too of course, a photographer’s playground. No detail was left out; every little touch contributes to a more dynamic photo. Here is one of our rooms, a pub setting we have created:

 

The wine bottles were kindly provided by wine bar Que Pasa (located at 7 Emerald Hill, under the Emerald Hill Group of Pubs), and we’d like to give them a big shout out for supporting our endeavors all these years.

We will be planning for a Chris Ling Studio open house some time end October or early November. If you’re on our Chris Ling Privilege mailing list, you would get first hand information once we confirm the details. After which, we’ll release the official event posting to the public through our Facebook page.

We leave you now with some of the details that went into just one of our setting:

 

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With all the paint work done, partitions constructed, and decors in place, our new Singapore studio in Midview City (Sin Ming Lane), is now completed. Our amazing team had put in many hours of blood and sweat remodeling the interior to create a powerhouse of creative visuals. With a growing demand of pre-wedding photography, it is only a natural transition that we take over half the 7th floor of Midview City for purely our photography endeavors. Lights, cameras, and action indeed; more capital had to be invested in purchasing additional lighting equipment. The pièce de résistance, floor to ceiling windows letting in glorious sunlight.

Our Orchard studio shall remain as a gallery. For couples who had taken their photographs in our rustic Emerald Hill house, you’d be delighted to know that your album can be considered ‘limited edition’ henceforth!

We shall post up images from the new studio soon, do watch this space.

Directions to our Midview City studio:

22 Sin Ming Lane
#07-82
Midview City
Singapore 573969

Google Maps – http://bit.ly/UofDvF
Street Directory – http://bit.ly/P88QVI

 

Photo credit: Midview City

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Our team is clocking overtime again, bustling about as the last quarter draws near.

 

 

 

 

 

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The invitation card above was provided for by the Grand Hyatt.

Customized wax seal stamps are a beautiful touch to your invite, but do note the more guests you have, the more tired your hand would be stamping hundreds of invites. There are many ways to custom your own, one need not stick to the hard and fast rules of monograms. Of course, you would have to provide an exact idea to the seal stamp maker, and they can lay out the design for you. You can google ‘rubber stamp maker’ and find a few in the market, or if, like me, you find it tiresome to get a variety of quotations, I went straight to M W Rubber Stamp Maker in Rochor, Singapore. Seal stamps cost about $60 for the smallest size (as shown above).

Wax seal sticks would have to be bought separately. The stamp maker can order wax sticks for you, and when you enquire how many seals can one stick make, they would never give you a straight answer. It would depend on how much wax you would like to use, or if you make mistakes; even getting a ball park figure from them is more tedious then unicycling uphill. Unfortunately, or fortunately, there was a shortage of wax sticks in Singapore, and my videographer Alvin led me to a blog shop that sold them. Katrina Alana sells gorgeous items, and wax sticks of many colours. You’d be spoiled for choice.

From my experience, a small wax stick from her stock can be stamped 8 to 12 times, and using more wax will produce a better effect. I bought 10 sets of 2 wax sticks each, in total 20. After sealing about 75 envelopes with quite a good dollop of wax (and some that had to be re-done), I still have about 6 sticks remaining. Here’s a YouTube video on how to use wax seals.

Invitation card inserts
: If you have booked a banquet with a hotel in Singapore, they would give you the invitation cards, but you would have to print the inserts. Traditionally, one can use a light weight paper to print English and Mandarin translations of the wordings. Feel free to play around with your inserts, try different materials, textures, and grammage; and you can indeed customise each card to the name of your guest. This service would of course cost quite a bit more. Do look for Album Stories if you aren’t sure which printers offer insert customisations. Depending on the paper and the size, it should cost around $1 to $3 per insert. Don’t take my word for it though and do get a proper quotation from them.

 

 

Custom insert – Banquet:

 

Custom insert – After party:

 

Custom insert – Back:

 

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