Vendor Perfomance Review (Part 2)

Oh heyyyy….

Look what we have here? Another post within a week. I’m currently clearing my AL, so I’m doing my best to finish backdated posts before I get busy again… Thank you for reading and being patient with me thus far 🙂

Read here for part 1 of the review (vendors mentioned: caterer/decor/bunga pahar/sireh dara, wedding favours, kompang). I also forgot to mention that the reviews are in random order.

Let’s continue with the review. Next, on the list, I have my wedding cake from The Cake Anthem. They are not taking in orders at the moment because the baker, Att, gave birth late last year. When I enquired them back in 2016, she wasn’t open for booking yet but did a soft booking for me anyway (more deeds here: A peace of cake). Alhamdullilah, everything went smoothly from the moment I communicated with her in 2016 until my wedding day.

I gave her my moodboard and told her that since my reception is at the void deck, I would prefer the cake to be sort of “naked” (or in her words “tak cukup cream”). She was super nice, kind and transparent enough to go through the process with me and what will be additional costs if I were to add more flowers etc.

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Although I realllllyyyy wanted a customized cake topper but I decided against it as it’ll be a waste of money and where can I place the topper again in the future? Hence, I bought this cake topper from carousell for $3.50 or lesser! The cake stand and cake knife will be additional costs if I were to get from them. So I borrowed from my in-house chef at work 🙂

Anyway, the only thing I requested from Att was to have a ‘pop’ of colour for the flowers so that the cake won’t be muted. I left the colours and flowers decision all to her because as much as I’m a bridezilla, I toned down towards the wedding (because sis taknak stress).

Conclusion: **** – Att WINGED it with the colours. It’s not too loud and yet not too muted. And what do you know? The flowers on the cake matched the flowers on the pelamin! This is what happens when you leave everything to Him – everything will fall into place as He wills it. My advice to future BTBs, do not sweat the small stuff and do not micro-manage.


My henna was done by SyraSkins. Since my wedding and solemnization was on a Sunday, they asked me to come down on a Friday.

If I could turn back the time, I would definitely have chosen another vendor because I would want to have the henna session in the comfort of my own home and I won’t have to travel all the way to Geylang and have someone to accompany me to book a cab back (and waste $$). The downside was I also didn’t know that Syra won’t be doing my henna and nowhere in the invoice/package stated that as well. I guess I should have done my research better. Perhaps the reason I opted for them was that they were the only vendor that did white henna then and at the point of booking, I was still contemplating on what henna should I do (To henna or not to henna).

When I reached the venue, Syra’s older sister did my henna. I showed her a few moodboards from their Instagram and she did my design with a twist. I had no pictures taken on that day because sis tengah penat from running errands in the morning.

Thankfully, my bridesmaid and MOH were there and they spotted a few mismatched designs on the front and palm. They informed the assistant who did their henna to make my designs more symmetrical. Although the vibe and atmosphere were relaxing, nothing beats the comfort of your own home really. Oh, and they charged freaking $20 for additional hands.

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As you can see, apart from my photographers that did not take any clearer pictures of my henna, the henna on my palms were kinda “smushed”. This was because they wrapped my hands with a bandage after the henna session. Prior to wrapping my hands, they asked if I have sweaty palms. I told them no but perhaps I should have. After having your hands wrapped with a bandage for 12 hours, the henna will definitely smudged (my hands couldn’t breathe as well)! I was also disappointed that the “diamonds” didn’t stick to my hands after the solemnization (I didn’t bother finding a new one or sticking the ones that dropped because it will just make me angrier). I had to ask them for the “diamonds” because they forgot about it…

Conclusion: * – I wish they didn’t stop doing the home service. As you can tell, I was disappointed that the henna turned out smudgy and the “diamonds” didn’t stick even though I used a good eyelash glue.


My music & entertainment for that day was Orkes Mutiara. I don’t know about you but personally, I like going to weddings where the DJ don’t talk so much and they are playing classic malay songs. Yes yes, I don’t like karaoke or when the “singer” can’t sing for nuts but yet, they are belting a song dengan bersungguh-sungguh. This is just personal preference and you can have your own opinion on this. I’m glad my parents and I are on the same page with this. Orkes Mutiara was the first thing that they asked for when we have finalized our wedding date (Music matters)!

Conclusion: *** – they came to setup and leave when their time is up. Orkes Mutiara was definitely fuss-free, easy to communicate and my parents, family, relatives and guests definitely enjoyed the music and performance on that day! My dad even joget with guests while I was busy taking photos with my friends. I wish my photographers had captured that moment and when my Tanglin casts, Kak Masturah and Hatta sang a song! But they didnt. Oh wells.


Where do I begin with my next vendor, Thong Seng (shop is located in Larkin, Johor Bahru).

To me, a wedding card says a lot about the bride and groom. Like the pelamin, I wanted my wedding card design to be simple and clean. I had to add a touch of pink (more like the main colour actually) because…to have the card in mostly green may look like I’m the groom instead (you know lah makcik-makcik suke comment). Anyway, my husband designed both of our cards 🙂

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One good thing about designing your own card or have someone close to you designing it, they know your character and they know what you’ll like. Plus point is that I don’t have to pay for the design! The downside is, I should have known better and just have my wedding invites printed in Singapore or have a vendor to design and print. You can read my horror stories here and here.

Conclusion* – it’s a no brainer that this vendor only get 1 star. In fact, I would say that they don’t deserve any stars at all. The amount I paid to get it printed in JB + the hassle to go through customs and travel via public transport = quality and easy communication with a vendor in Singapore.

Although JB is cheaper, I would NOT RECOMMEND at all.


I had my wedding ring (which is also my mas kahwin) customized by Gem by Gems. I wrote about them here.

Basically, I already had a few design in mind and we went there to consult and ask for a quotation. We had a budget of not more than $3k for the ring. After about an hour of consultation and finalizing the design that I wanted, Tanweer gave us the quotation. Surprisingly, it was less than $2k considering that I had a blue topaz gemstone, 10 super tiny diamonds on the ring.

Tanweer asked me to send the ring inspiration photo via email so he can design according to the gemstone/diamonds/prongs that I have chosen. The inspiration and his design didn’t differ much and I was pleased with the outcome.

Inspiration:

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What Tanweer came up with:

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We were allowed to make changes. However, if we were to change the design completely, he will charge an additional fee for redesigning.

Final product:

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Conclusion: *** – Tanweer sent us the draft within a week. Any changes I made after the first or subsequent drafts, he will resend back within 3 days. It was such a breeze communicating with him and I was super happy with the final product as my ring inspiration came to life.

My advice to BTBs if you want to have your wedding ring(s) customized by Gem by Gems:

  1. Have a mood board/inspiration pictures ready. If you come with nothing in mind, there’s nothing he can advise on/not even any quotations apart from the diamonds/gemstones that you want.
  2. Do come in 3 months prior to your wedding. This is to give him ample time to sketch/design your ring and lead time to change (if any).
  3. Gemstones are truly beautiful.

Until the next (hopefully) final post 🙂

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Vendor Performance Review (Part 1)

Hello everyone.

First of all, this post was supposed to be scheduled in late November. However, due to my procrastination and me dealing with life…this post was never updated until now. Since my last post about A is for Anger, I have received numerous emails from ex-BTBs and current BTBs who faced/currently facing the same problem as me. Do keep the emails coming (don’t worry, I don’t bite). And after what it seems like forever…We finally received our wedding photos from The Fotorika.

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Without further ado, let’s begin the vendor performance review. I’ve adopted an ex-BTB (KEPAK.B.BING) satisfaction rating so all credits go to her for this rating chart! If I were to do my own…nampaknye this post will never see the light of day.

I’ve come up with a satisfaction rating where criteria are solely based on vendor’s service, responsiveness, knowledge and their performance. The number of stars awarded represent the followings:

(*)  vendor who failed to meet client’s satisfaction
(**)  vendor who needs improvement
(***)  vendor who met client’s requirement
(****)  vendor who met and exceeds client’s expectation

First on the list, we have my caterer and decor from Senik’s Event & Cuisine. Just a little backstory: the owner, late Cik Senik, is my Uncle’s wife’s relative. From what I remember (after going to numerous wedding receptions from my Uncle’s wife’s side), Senik’s Event & Cuisine is a family business. After the mother passed away, the business was taken over by her daughter, Kak Erra. The first 2 weddings that happened in my family, my mum hired the late Cik Senik and family to do both catering and decor. So it’s a no-brainer that my parents would want the same for me as well (just fyi, no discount as business is business).

I don’t know if you can remember but I think I did write about being nervous in the months leading up to the meeting with Kak Erra. This was because I was afraid that she couldn’t match my ideal pelamin. The past 2 decor/pelamin that my sisters had was…dated (one was in 2006 and the other 2013). Of course, Kak Erra posted many other pelamin/decor she did from the past years but nothing screams me, you know?

I wanted something clean yet classy. Not too many flowers but yet not too plain. I wanted something different but I know at this day and age, everything looks the same as we are all inspired by each other. Ultimately, I want people to look at the pelamin and say “This has Fiqa all over”.

Alhamdullilah, the pelamin was beautiful. It wasn’t what I envisioned but it was what I wanted – clean and classy.

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I didn’t want to have a busy pelamin so what Kak Erra did was to put the flower decorations on the sides and bottom. It was bigger than what she has done previously for my 2 sisters and it was definitely ME.

Food wise, I expect nothing less from Kak Erra. Truly, she has the best array of food and desserts. I’m not saying this because she is my caterer but I have tasted many wedding caterer food but nothing beats Senik’s Event & Cusine. Nothing. My guests were raving about their food especially the spaghetti and mee rebus. Sadly, I didn’t get to try most of the food because…it wasn’t on our lunch table. I don’t know. Perhaps we were the Bride and Groom and maybe they think we don’t want to taste all the food? I was sad okay!

My parents also engaged Kak Erra to do the bunga pahar and sireh dara.

This was what my mother wanted and I had no say in it because “culture”. I did have 1 requirement – after the nikah, both bunga pahar and sireh dara CANNOT be on the pelamin because it’s going to mess up the look especially on the photos. Thankfully, my mother agreed and I made sure my bridesmaids did not forget about this (my husband’s sireh junjung was done by my MOH).

Conclusion: **** – Senik’s Event & Catering has what I would call it, “wedding package” (food, decor, bunga pahar, sireh dara & junjung, bunga rampai etc). If you want to have a fuss-free wedding, do hire them because Kak Erra is a no-nonsense lady boss and she will tell you as it is. Food wise was beyond words and my decor was amazingly done. They deserve more than **** because they were incredible! I would highly recommend them.


Next, we have the main wedding favours from this shop at Level 2, Golden Landmark Shopping Complex (I tried to ask my parents for the shop name/receipts but they forgot and have thrown away the receipts). The kids favours were a box of Hello Pandas!

This was my dad’s chosen berkat and I didn’t have a say in it cos they paid for this. If it was up to me, I would have wanted a chocolate bar/macaron/cookies because it screams ME! Hahahaha. But all is well and I still have about 400 pieces left.

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Conclusion: **** – because they met my parent’s expectations – no mugs were broken and they delivered the favours on time.


Third on the list is Syabab , our chosen kompang group. If you have read my Kepak bing bing post, you would know how disappointed I was not to get Panjy. But everything happens for a reason and both the husband I do eventually like Syabab’s style – there’s some “dubstep beats” to their version.

Most of the liaising were done by my husband. There was only 1 accident that happened on the wedding day – one of the boys informed the groomsman, F, that the balance payment was incorrect (they were supposed to receive another $100). We were interrupted by F as he needs to clarify this with my husband in the midst of our photo-taking. My husband eventually told F to call and show the whatsapp conversation he had with the liaison person from Syabab who wasn’t there.

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Conclusion: *** – it could have been 4 stars but if only they had clarified it with their own leader/in charge…

That’s it for part 1 of vendor performance review. I will break the review into 3 different parts. Until the next one!

November

Apologies for the lack of updates, everyone.

I’ve been super busy with work and handling my own personal issues (no, I’m not pregnant). There were some issues that I had to deal with months before I got married and I went into slight depression. I wasn’t diagnosed with a Doctor but rather, I was feeling super miserable and was quite pessimistic for a period of 5-6 months. I chose not to write about my personal issues on this space as it doesn’t serve a purpose as this space was created for both my husband and I to pen down our thoughts and share our experiences with ex/current/future bride and groom. However, the same thing is happening again and I’m feeling so low and I just don’t know what to do anymore.

Perhaps when everything is over and I finally wrap my vendors review, I might share about what happened then. On a side note, alhamdullilah, we finally received the keys to our home on 16th November 2017 (more on that in the next few posts)!

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200 days

“May these vows and this marriage be blessed. May it be sweet milk, this marriage, like wine and halvah. May this marriage offer fruit and shade like the date palm. May this marriage be full of laughter, our every day a day in paradise. May this marriage be a sign of compassion, a seal of happiness here and hereafter. May this marriage have a fair face and a good name, an omen as welcome as the moon in a clear blue sky. I am out of words to describe how spirit mingles in this marriage.” Rumi

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Shot on Minolta Hi-Matic AF2 on Kodak 400neg.

Reviews on our wedding vendors in the next few posts!

Heart

Mak

Hi everyone.

My last entry was on July 18th. Ever since then, a lot of things happened.

My one and only grandmother (that I grew up with) passed away on the last day of Syawal, 24th July 2017.

I was out on shoot when my mum called me and my mum rarely calls me especially when I’m on a shoot. I was down to the last 3 scenes before calling it a wrap. I had to maintain my composure while finding a replacement for next day’s shoot. Thankfully, I can rely on my 2nd AD to finish the day and I quickly went back to my house to fetch my mom, nephew and nieces.

I was emotionally distraught the entire evening. You guys, I rarely write or speak about my feelings (especially when it’s matters of the heart) to people outside my circle. But here I am, sharing my feelings because I just feel the need to immortalize my memory of her.

I don’t really show how I love to people. I grew up with tough love and tough love is what I know. I rarely say “I love you” to my grandmother, my parents, my cousins, my relatives, my friends. I show it to them. Because of this nature, some people may think that I have no feelings because I don’t say it.

So when my grandmother passed away, I cried when I saw her body being carried into the house. I cried when my mum covered her face with the white scarf. I cried when I looked at her lifeless face. I cried when I was reciting the yassin to her. However, I did find strength when someone else was inside the room with me reciting the yassin.

I didn’t bawllah because I know Allah (swt) loves her more and she has lived a long and fruitful life (she grew up in WW2)! But I cried because perhaps I felt guilty that I didn’t tell her that I love her. And perhaps, I didn’t visit her enough.

Alhamdullilah, my late grandmother managed to witness my solemnization. Minutes after I left the venue to go back and change to the second outfit, my late grandmother had a seizure and was taken to the hospital. She was admitted to ICU and while I was busy running errands the day after the wedding (and preparing to leave for our honeymoon), I prayed so hard that she wouldn’t leave when I’m miles away.

Alhamdullilah, she managed to live and witness another Ramadhan and Syawal. I guess all the family members knew that her days are numbered because her vision has been failing her. Despite being in and out of ICU since my wedding, she survived until she couldn’t anymore.

My late grandmother, Hajjah Rasmina Bte Dasuki alias Sundari, has lived up to 90 years (or more because she/we don’t really know when’s her exact birthday), with 6 beautiful children, 11 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren (from a direct family line).

Picture above was the first time in years that she actually smiled 🙂

I would really appreciate if you could send a prayer to my late grandmother ❤ Insyaallah, Allah (swt) will reward you.

Insyaallah, we will see you in Jannah, Mak. You are always in my prayers ❤

A is for Anger

Ok you guys.

It’s going to hit 4 months soon and I have yet to receive the wedding photos. Prior to the previous post, I had a spark of hope that Wandi (photographer and owner) will message me and inform that the photos are ready.

Up till today, no photos. None. Nada. Zilch.

He promised that he will have the photos ready before Raya. That’s when I texted him on 1st of June. On 21st of June, I texted him again to ask why isn’t there any link given for us to choose our photos (so that the photos can be developed ASAP). He replied that he will give us all photos. No replies thereafter.

I had to message him on 14th July and waited hours for his reply. He said it will be ready by next week (which means this week).

I am this close to exploding. And when I explode, it’s pretty nasty. I am a very temperamental, emotional person and I get angry easily (that’s why I take yoga and cardio classes to vent my anger somewhere else! LOL). I don’t like it when people break their promises. Besides, he is the LEAST person/vendor I thought would do such thing!

Granted, he is my friend/ex-sec schoolmate but…COME ON. If you can’t handle a lot of customers or have a lot of backlogs, then don’t take more than you can handle!

If there’s anyone out there or ex BTBs who’s having issues with him and wants to reach me, please email me at syafiqahamid@gmail.

You do not unleash the inner dragon.

100 days of being Mrs.

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Salam everyone!

Finally putting a face to the name! 🙂 This is me and my husband of whom I’ve been dating for 8 years.

Alhamdullilah, it has been a journey of being a Mrs, a wife and a daughter-in-law. We are also in the midst of celebrating our first Hari Raya together.

People never fail to ask us questions like, “How has marriage life been”. Truly, I have no correct answer for that. However, I am grateful that I get to wake up and sleep with this man every single day and night. But of course, the 100 days were not all fine and dandy. We have our ups and downs and we are still learning about each other despite being together for 8 years. The other day, I joked with my friends that one good thing about being married in Islam is that we get nafkah.

Of course I meant it as a lighthearted jokelah. It’s not that I need the money but for my non-muslim/chinese friends, this is very new to them. And I emphasized that once we are married, the Husband serves as protector and the guardian of the wife and the nafkah is one of the duties he have to do (read more here).

But at the end of the day, I’m super grateful that I’m still living at my (parents) place so fortunately or unfortunately, I have no horror stories about my MIL. Kidding! In actual fact, there is no room/space for us to move to my Husband’s house.

Anyhow, we are still waiting for our official pictures from The Fotorika (despite it being more than 3 months since the wedding). I think we are one of the most rilek couple as we did not chase for the pictures. But once we have it (which I hope to be very soon), a review post of all the vendors for our wedding!

To all the BTBs getting married this year, this is my message to you –

There is so much that you can do. But at the end of the day, you have to learn to let go and let God. Everything will go well if it’s meant to be. If it’s not, it’s okay. It’s just a wedding 🙂 The marriage is THE MOST important aspect of it all. All the best and don’t forget to smile!

To upcoming BTBs and new readers –

Welcome and I hope the posts have been somewhat fruitful to your research. Remember, not everyone will get the same price/treatment based on the vendors that you choose. But that’s okay. If it’s meant to be yours, it will be! There are others. Happy planning!.

Until the next post ❤

3 days

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

I’m 3 days away from entering a new stage in my life. I have mixed feelings and I can’t seem to put it into words. Perhaps, a part of me is nervous and another part of me is scared. I know it’s normal and it might get worse the night before the wedding. I’ve always been the bridesmaid and/or have witnessed my friends that got married and I’ll always tell them, “Don’t be nervous. All will be well”. But truly, one needs to be in that shoes to know exactly how it feels.

The past few days have been a whirlwind of emotions. I was super stressed on some DIY stuff/bridal issues that weren’t coming together. But I’m at the last lap now and I’m telling myself every single day to LET IT GO. There’s so much that I can do but ultimately, what’s going to happen will happen according to His will.

Alhamdullilah that being said, all my pending items/to-do list have completed. All thanks to my family members (especially my sisters) and my pillar of strength and motivation, the GTB.

This will be my last post as a Miss BTB. The next post, insyaAllah will be when I’ve upgraded my status to “Mrs”. I will review all the vendors and let future BTBs know my experiences.

Until then,

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Time to get married! 👰🏼

25 days

In the last update, I know I said that I will write about how my fitting went with my bridal. However, I just can’t seem to pen my sincere thoughts without sounding cynical.

It’s not that something bad happened but I just…was expecting more from them. I was slightly disappointed with their collection. Although I must say that from the first visit (in their old office space) in 2015, their collection grew. Perhaps, I had ‘high expectations’ and was too eager to see if they had a wider variety of songket but none gave me the butterfly feeling.

Anyhoo, I still have my final fitting and trial makeup a week before my wedding. So let’s conclude my vendor review once the wedding is over. Until then, I will try to make the best out of it 🙂

Note to self, you have 25 more days. Please do not procrastinate and get out of the house to run errands!

1) DIY stuff for the guestbook table/hantaran trays (buy flowers days before)
2) buying the necessities for my room (bedsheet set/flowers etc)
3) dresses/accessories for the flower girls (to get it done by 11th March)
4) shirt for my close cousins and uncle (to get it done by 11th March)

Where did all the time goooooo?!

30 days

So are you ready?
Omg, I’m so excited for you!”
How’s the preparations going?”
Is everything okay? You booked for facial and misc. already?

You guys, I have not even finished reading this book –

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One of the main reasons why I have a hard time swallowing the contents was because… It portrayed women as a submissive person and someone who always have to listen to what their husband have to say. I read up till page 30 and had to put it down because I can’t handle how subdued the women were. However, a friend of mine told me that I should read it with an open mind. And so I did and began reading it again from the first page.

I must say though, it’s very interesting to read about our prophet’s (pbuh), their wives and daughters’ lives back in the day. I’m not saying that I agree with what they say in the book but some of them are relevant and related to the teachings of the Quran. My goal till the day I’m about to be someone’s wife is to finish the book. So insyaallah, may He ease my journey in finishing the book (disclaimer: I am an avid reader/bookworm but when a book doesn’t entice me, it has to go).

Anyhow, back to my 30 days countdown…

Caterer & Decor✔ (Met up with Kak Erra to discuss food & decor. Site recce will be the week before my wedding )
Wedding Favours for Guests & Children (Berkat)✔
Hantaran Trays✔ DIY (Pending buying the flowers/necessities.)
Bunga Pahar/Sireh Dara✔  (My caterer will be doing my sireh dara while my MOH will be doing for the Groom.)
Bunga Manggar✔ DIY
Bunga Rampai✔ DIY
Bunga Pahar – ✔ (My mother insisted on having one but it won’t be on my pelamin. My caterer will put it on her berkat table.)
Wedding Cake✔
Venue – ✔
Bridal  – ✔ (Went for my first selection and deeds about the selection with Nawwarah in the next post. Pending final fitting & trial makeup.)
Bridal Bouquet ✔
Henna✔ (Most likely will do the red inai but not on the nails.)
Photographer✔ (Pre-wed shoot done!)
Music/MC/Entertainment✔
Kompang ✔
Photobooth/Guestbook✔ DIY (pending the decor for the table)
Wedding Invitations 
✔ 
Wedding Rings
✔
Bridesmaids & Groomsmen Attire –
✔
Hantaran gifts – ✔
Bridal shoes – ✔
Honeymoon – ✔ (booked the flight tix last year, settled accommodation/attraction tickets in January. Pending itinerary.)

Alhamdullilah, I believe most things are striked off from the to-do list.

I’m mostly left with:
1) DIY stuff for the guestbook table/hantaran trays
2) buying the necessities for my room
3) dresses/accessories for the flower girls
4) shirt for my close cousins and uncle

We’re almost there…