Since about 1 month ago, my brain constantly feels like it wants to explode out of my eyeballs.
Since about 1 month ago, wedding + reno prep has also hit new levels of intensity.
I am going to chronicle all the crap that we’ve gone through regarding the wedding. Whoever came up with the idea that a wedding should be some gigantic event should be shot.
Deciding to get married
The original plan had always been to get married in 2018/2019, after P had settled down in his job. We realised that due to various factors, this was not a viable plan. After much discussion, we therefore narrowed down the wedding date to June 2017.
This was the first thing I settled. No church = no wedding, cause, yunno, Catholic. I called a total of 7 churches for our preferred date. None were available, and I also discovered that some churches did not take wedding bookings unless you were a parishioner there. Panic ensued. I asked for dates a week after the preferred date. Thankfully we found a church available. We went down that very day to pay the deposit.
This church (I’ll call this Church A) met our requirements of being (1) pretty and (2) having a large air-conditioned canteen. However, we later discovered that Church A did not have any support for weddings, had no wedding ministry, and that all their ministries did not do wedding services. You had to source everything, right down to the choir and altar servers, ON YOUR OWN. It also did not have a modern sound system, meaning, it could not play music off a CD. The secretariat was also, err, shall we say, unhelpful? Everything we asked, the answer was pretty much, NO, or WHY ARE YOU BEING DIFFICULT? Even when the question was merely, can you open a classroom for the bride to wait in before the march in?
Anyway, the final straw with Church A was when the secretariat informed me that the Church’s feast day was in the week leading up to my wedding day, i.e. no rehearsals could be held in the evenings. I had specifically asked as to whether rehearsal could be held the Thursday before my wedding as at the time of booking in September 2016 because we knew that quite a lot of our bridesmaids and groomsmen would be flying in for our wedding. Unfortunately, I didn’t have this in writing; confirmation was verbal at the time of payment of the deposit. Secretariat Lady suggested that I have the rehearsal the week prior. After checking with our bridal party, we found out that a total of THREE out of the 14 groomsmen/bridesmaids would be able to be present if the rehearsal were held the week before the wedding instead of the week of the wedding. Rehearse what har, with 3 people? We tried to explain this to the Secretariat, who adamantly said it was impossible. She further added that we had to be done with rehearsal by 8.00pm as the church closed then. That really was the end of the matter – my bridesmaids, at least, cannot be expected to reach earlier than 7.30pm, realistically.
So, I informed Secretariat Lady that we would be cancelling the booking, and that she could treat the $700 deposit as a donation to the Church. Her response did not even include a “thank you”. Rolls eyes.
By the grace of God, my own parish was still available on our wedding date. We hastily booked it. The attitude of all the secretariat staff in our parish was the total opposite of what we had received from Secretariat Lady – so much so that I nearly cried the first time I dealt with them, they were so kind. Stockholm Syndrome, anyone? Everything we wanted to do, the answer was either “yes”, or “let’s see whether we can help you check to make it so.”
The biggest problem with my parish is that the canteen was waaaaay too small to hold the number of guests we were anticipating. We explored (and are still exploring) various ways and means to increase or maximise the space in the canteen, which also happens to be in the basement and adjacent to the carpark (go figure, lol). It can actually only hold 150 people comfortably, and we are anticipating between 200-250 guests… Well…. We’ll figure this out by the wedding day.
So I never, ever, wanted a formal dinner banquet. I find these a pain in the ass to attend, and I hate this idea that people feel obligated to cover their cost of attendance at dinner. My ideal wedding has always been Church + lunch reception, followed by a dinner treat by me and P for our bridal party for their hard work on the first evening, and for our families on the second evening. Just a regular dinner, with no programme, where we can actually talk to people and not have them entertained by emcees and videos.
But is that what’s actually happening? YOU CAN BET YOUR ASS IT’SNOT.
What the plan is now: An (almost) full blown dinner banquet, just that it’s small, capped at family and VERY close friends ONLY, and sans stage.
There was some drama about this too! At the time I was venue hunting, I got everyone involved, i.e. my parents, P and P’s parents to estimate the number of guests they were likely to invite. P and I estimated fairly accurately. Our parents… not so much. We thought that a dinner of max 120 pax would be sufficient, and so I went looking around for venues on this basis.
I found two that met our requirements – both at good hotels, one being a small ballroom, and one being a restaurant in the hotel. P was in favour of the restaurant one. I was ambivalent, though leaning toward the small ballroom for various reasons. I asked P to check with his mother whether she would be ok with the restaurant venue. The MIL is the traditional kind. I wasn’t sure if she would be ok with the restaurant wedding concept – no stage, no visual projection. There were TV screens included in the package lah, but these were small screens, nothing like the big projectors you would get in a ballroom.
The MIL okayed the restaurant venue, so we proceeded to book it since it was the cheaper and more central option. Small Ballroom Venue was in Sentosa, which admittedly would have added a fair bit of time to our schedule. We traded out the screens for corkage, since we were agreed then that we had nothing to screen. We did not want a videographer and we found the childhood montage type things rather tacky.
The booking was made in Dec 2016. In Mar 2017, in a random conversation between P and MIL, it came up that the dinner was in a restaurant and there was no stage. The MIL “went into shock”.
Thus ensued frantic efforts on my part to obtain (1) AV projection, and (2) obtain SOMETHING to play on the screen. We finally agreed that it would probably make the most sense to get a videographer to do the church ceremony and the morning highlights. So of course, Madame had to go looking for reasonably priced videographers who produced quality work.
I think I spent a good 30 hours reviewing wedding videos after work, late into the night. I finally found one who had a reasonable half day package and seemed like someone we could work with. We met him one evening at Vivo, and hired him that very night in late March 2017.
It also came up in conversation between P and the MIL that we had bought 2 single beds instead of one solid king bed to avoid motion transfer. The MIL was extremely unhappy about this and wanted us to buy a new bed that was one whole piece of king size bed.
I obviously refused. Thankfully P was on the same page. But to appease her he did say she could put some fengshui things to counter the bad effects of having separate beds. I blew my top. I did not believe in fengshui, and he, as a soon to be baptised Catholic, should not either.
The Tea Ceremony
Anyone who knows my Mother will know she is the No. 1 Bad Chinese – knows nuts about Chinese traditions and largely fails to follow most of them. I’m like this too. It therefore caught me totally off guard when she wanted to do a tea ceremony. How she broached the topic was, “Hey, I was thinking, for your tea ceremony, shall we do it the next day, on a yacht? I can book the yacht!”
Me: “Huh? What? Tea ceremony? We’re having a tea ceremony? For what?!”
It all went rapidly downhill from there.
Suffice to say I made the mistake of saying that we’d do it if P’s side wanted, cause I certainly didn’t want it and I didn’t understand why she was pushing me to do it when she had always said that she would never make me do anything for my wedding that I didn’t want to. She then went all miffed and said that in that case, she didn’t want a tea ceremony either.
Blah blah blah, and months on, obviously we are doing a tea ceremony. I’ve even bought a kua set for P and I to wear for it.
A wedding is not about what you want. It’s about what others want for you.
I was staunchly against this when I had the energy to fight this.
I have no energy left.
Whatever the MIL wants, she can have in this regard.
Even if she wants to give me some farken ugly piglets as my SDJ, or she wants the whole shebang for the GDL, replete with dragon farken phoenix candles, she is welcome to do so. I will comply.
Because I am tired and I give up. No one cares what the bride wants, so the bride has stopped caring what she wants too.
At the start of this, the Mother actually told me that if MIL wants to do this, I am on my own, because she doesn’t know what to do and doesn’t want to do it. Way to leave me alone. But she has since retracted this it seems, because she later said to P to get MIL to give her a list of things our side needs to prepare or do.
I stupidly decided to design my own.
I did design my own.
The invites are gorgeous. If I do say so myself.
But it took so much stress, so many nights of painting, so many more nights spent cleaning up and editing images (with shit programmes no less, because I don’t own Photoshop), and so many trips to that godforsaken place called Queensway for the printing that I’m not sure it was worth it.
And then of course there was the last minute request for Chinese invites from the MIL. Which I had to scramble to produce. And did, in time for printing. I am SuperBride.
The Father’s Attire
This is the latest of things to crop up.
The Father agreed 2 nights ago to tailor a charcoal grey suit for my wedding.
Last night he accused me of being disrespectful and said that I did not get to dictate what he wore.
I couldn’t help it. I screamed. I sobbed. In abject frustration. How can my own father not want to wear a nice fitting suit when walking me down the aisle? He doesn’t even own a white shirt! And his blazer was tailored 30 years ago. There are no matching pants. I doubt the blazer fits. It looks incredibly dated. He’s probably going to pair it with a polo shirt.
When I am already stressed out managing the wedding practically all on my own, and when I have already broken down three times in the last month, why would you, as a parent, add to this stress? Why is it that all my friends know to just go with the plan and not stress the bride out further, but my own father does not?
Obviously I screamed and sobbed in private.
Because I am farken SuperBride.