Love, Community

Hello guys, apologies for the really late writeup! I have just gotten married recently and I figured what’s better than to share real time experience myself as a bride after going through all of it! (Actually, it’s simply too difficult to document every bit of it when things are constantly evolving!)

I’ve also decided to turn Love:Knots into a community instead of a planning firm to share with everyone all the knowledge and details that a couple may need in the midst of planning their big day – yes, for free! I’ve joined my husband at his business a long while ago and since I’ve all the experience, I shan’t be selfish but thought, it would be really nice if brides to be, old brides, grooms and all could feel free to just come by, drop a question, find answers and opinions here. It would be nice to get all of that warm support wouldn’t it?

So feel free, share with your friends and get them to be a part of this community. You would find some information here useful somehow, planning an event, advising someone heading towards their big day, or even if you just plainly love beautiful things just as I do!

 

Love,

Shan
Ex-planner 🙂

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The Wedding Planner’s Diary #2

There are many factors to creating a dream-come-true wedding. Some of which could possibly be replaced and solved with money. Still, there is one very important factor, which from the accumulation of my experiences, I accrue it to the factor of working with the right people.

Having the right people team up with the same mind towards the objectives and concept of your wedding is of utmost importance. I rank it foremost, ahead of budget. Whatever the budget of the wedding, if you have the wrong people working for you, it would probably turn out to be an unhappy and nasty turn of events.

Most people think that having the right people naturally equates to paying more for the best. Now, the general perception is that the best is always right. This isn’t really true! That being said, I have no criticisms on the best of the industry cause they are the best for a reason. They are good at what they do, and they have the experiences and network to back it up. But when I mean “right”, I meant the qualities of the people or businesses you choose to engage. These qualities aren’t just limited to the operating length of the company or the profile of clients and/or pictures that you see on their webpage. You have to learn more and beyond to find this pool of right people.

So who are the “right” people? I believe they should embody all, if not most, of the below qualities:

1) They love what they do.
To me, this is really important. When your vendors love doing what they do, they will do the best for you. Every work is a pride, which also means, you will get great quality control cause people who love doing what they do, will not give you slipshod work and pass it off. Also, loving what they do means that they will definitely do whatever it takes to get it right to your needs, taking each job as a personal challenge.

When I met our photographer Chris, he displayed a deep passion for what he does. He proudly showed us shots and described the process in getting it. When he shared with us how he founded the company, he took so much pride in describing to us how the company’s name “Moretopurple” came about. Seeing that gleem on your photographer’s face is an assurance he will never fail himself, and definitely not you.

2) They will tell you what you need, and what you don’t. 
This is a very clear line between vendors who are out to earn every extra bit from you and those, who actually care to give you wise advice on what you really can save on. While you might think that they are too affirmative which may leave you with no space, they give you good objectivity in what is good for you and what doesn’t necessary work for you. You are sure that when you pay them, they know exactly what they are doing, you know exactly what they are doing with your money and that it’s worth it.

I have worked with my florist Justin for years. He is by far the most assertive florist I have ever met. Some brides might be intimidated but I found him really knowledgeable and good at what he does. He proposes ideas that he knows would definitely work for you, and if you show him a cascading bouquet, he would tell you in your face that it wouldn’t work unless you wish to scorn at your own photos 10 years down the road. He would tell you that you do not need pearls over your bouquet just because you saw that photo on the magazine cause he could tell that it wouldn’t fit your look and your dress. If you have a responsible vendor like Justin, you would be assured that you would look right, and not too over-the-top! Irresponsible vendors would secretly be gloating over their riches by selling you over-the-top ideas, topping this and that up, without telling you when is a good time to stop.

3) At the same time, they respect your ideas.
Brides are still brides. They have their own ideas of a dream wedding. When it comes to working with a vendor, have an open mind that someone with more experience would come in to share with you their thoughts or ideas. They may not always be spot on about your likes and dislikes, but they definitely give you more feasible options and points of consideration. At the end of the day, you still hold the ultimate choice and decision in what components you wish for your wedding. Good vendors respect that.

4) They care and would love to have you more than a client.
By now, you would have experienced that vendors do have to know some bits about you and your fiance before embarking on any conceptualization with you. Take note of the vibes and the kind of questions that your vendors may ask about you. There are vendors out there who only care about what you work as or which district you may stay in cause then they know if you are rich enough to pay them. However there are always those who sincerely want to engage you on a level beyond a client. They probably want to know how you two met, the love stories and struggles behind. They don’t mind listening to your worries and concerns, because good vendors are aware that they are in the people business and vendors love what they do, will naturally love talking to people and finding out more, simply because they aren’t so cold to just focus on completing a business transaction with you.

Relationships like these with the vendors go a longer way and it spreads beyond the wedding preparation. It brings joy to know you have created bonds of friendships throughout this journey instead of seeds of unhappiness.

5) They observe, listen and understand your character & style.
Good vendors will learn to appreciate you for your character. They also probably picked out your weaknesses and will learn how to handle you appropriately. As a planner myself, knowing my client’s characters helped me so much in knowing what ideas would tick them. A wedding journey is a fussy and intense path. If a vendor bothers to know you in-depth, it saves both of you the tolls, the unhappiness, the teething stage of having to deal with different characters, or differences in handling issues.

6) They watch out for dynamics between you and your husband, and when many are around.
Good vendors try to make you feel happy and assured all the time. But that cannot happen unless they learn to understand and watch the silent, implicit dynamics when different groups of people are around you. Watching out for dynamics between the husband and the wife would give a vendor a good understanding of the kind of conflicts, concerns, and priorities that the bride may have in every decision making. Acknowledging these multiple levels of consideration helps to assure the bride that her vendors have thought through much for her. While your vendors may not have the perfect solution for you, it is always beneficial to have additional support.

Good vendors will not try to come into any form of power play or create situations in which the bride finds herself really difficult to be in. A good vendor releases these tensions and brings the issue to a simpler level such that a happy negotiation can take place instead.

One of the first vendor I met during my own wedding planning was a Taiwan-based gown company which offered overseas photography deals as well. Most of the time I believe vendors do get some bad thoughts when I reveal that I am in the wedding industry, cause their faces change almost instantaneously. Perhaps they know they couldn’t sell me something I know that is unnecessary or they might brand me as difficult since I would more or less, absolutely know what I want. I happened to have the company of my fiance and my future mother-in-law and we allowed ourselves to be talked into visiting this bridal booth showcasing their works. While flipping through their albums, my FMIL commented with a smile on her face that she believes I would look great in any gown. Much to my horror, the sales representative replied to my FMIL, telling her that since I was a planner, I would definitely be demanding and wouldn’t be easy in just picking any gowns. My FMIL was told, that I would be spending alot since I know the tricks of the industry and I would definitely want the best things for myself.

I cannot describe how much my eyes rolled.

7) They don’t mind sharing stories about their own lives with you.
I love working with vendors who have nothing to hide, even details about themselves. When you work with a guarded vendor, things do get a little unnatural. When things are all transparent and cozy it is easier to work together cause then you don’t have to spend half the time wondering what your vendor actually really meant. You could fully trust them. I always believe that when people engage in heart to heart talk, they are always able to bridge relations a level deeper beyond roles and responsibilities.

8) They don’t shoot other vendors down.
Good vendors respect others, including their competitors. A basic measure of character and integrity. Most importantly if they could b***h about their competitors, they could always do the same to you.

 

 

A great wedding is one that gathers all the right people working together on a common concept. I hope i am getting there on my wedding journey, and so will you! 🙂

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The Wedding Planner’s Diary #1

Well, this is going to be one of the most informal post we are releasing out ever since we were out in the market for the last three years, but hey, we thought it would be much more interesting to know what the mind of a wedding planner is really going through, and what magic is needed to work out a fine wedding right? The double bonus is that, I’m getting married as well so I might be creating a best seller here if I could relate what most brides think and at the same time what the observations of a wedding planner!

It’s like the movie, Vantage Point. We all want and need different perspectives sometimes and it takes someone who happen to be wearing two hats at the same time to qualify all of these perspectives. Now, to fulfill my need as a bride to document all of this journey and to fulfill the needs of my audience to want to know the secrets of the wedding industry, I’ve decided to start a little informal diary for your leisure, that you may read, laugh, contemplate and perhaps throw in your thoughts as well. After all, we are all just brides to be and we need all the support available right?

Let’s start off with the 2, million-dollar questions I have heard all my time as a wedding planner:

“Are you planning your own wedding or are you hiring a wedding planner?”

I do not know why this is such an intriguing question that people needed to know my answer. Like they were testing my professional ethics. If I stuck by my advocate that the bride should never be having stress over her own wedding, or the question of my ability to plan my own wedding as a wedding planner. It disturbed me for a while, really.

As a planner, it is important that we understand what our clients really want and need. And that includes understanding all of the things that they do not want, want but don’t need, need but don’t want, what others need and they don’t want and all the other permutations you can think of. It is a complicated mind boggling role cause you represent and work for your client but sometimes, we have to be assertive to tell our clients what really is good for them. Brides don’t really, all the time, know what is the best way out and you have to tell them the harsh opinion, hoping they can untangle their emotional knots in their minds. This is a role that is extremely paramount for a couple. And well for the most part of it, hiring a planner really is to get someone else to do what you can’t do on that day itself. I mean, you wouldn’t want to be at the sound console tuning on the volume, managing your montage, speaking to restaurant managers, checking your watch etc. I can’t emphasize more how important it is to hire someone on a professional level who can understand you, be a friend and still advise you professionally. At the bottom line, it’s a business relationship, and the bonus, a friendship in development.

That being said, I, bearing this double identity, cannot trust anyone other than myself to do the job. It’s not narcissistic but really, we are perfectionistic people. We are in control of everything, our minds spinning faster than your icore7 processor cause if we are not on our toes, things just happen and pass our eyes. We need to remember details, think of steps farther ahead than the time now and next. We think we know best and it is really pretty difficult to find like minded people ya? So how could I think of hiring anyone other than myself?

Down side of it, I can’t really have that clear, analytical mind to sort out decisions after decisions like I used to do for my brides. But
I am exceptionally thankful because I have a team of capable assistants, my ex-brides, experienced planners, business partners, an 18year friend since my primary school days (all of whom I regards my bosom friends) all congregating to be a big part of my journey as a bride. I only hope and twist all my fingers that I will never turn Bridezilla on any of them.

Girls are always girls. We found our men, but we still need our ladies. Because only ladies get it. They understand the emotional bits about every decision, and they give you wise perspectives all the time! Like even though I’ve said these word a million times to my brides, I needed my girlfriend to remind me things like, the marriage is more important than the wedding, that I’ve gone through it so many times, just enjoy the process blah blah. So I can’t be grateful enough to have all my greatest girlfriends with me, especially they were the ones who stuck on with me through ups and downs of life.

Still, I have to thank the man who is making all these come true, the person who is willing and eager to take this on like a joint project and to want to walk the rest of the journey with me. Nothing means more than knowing that you have all the bestest people with you when you need it the most. 🙂

Till the next post!

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Shop N Style!

Shop N Style PennantIt’s our 3rd birthday and we wanna celebrate with everyone’s favourite sale!
With nothing more than SGD30 only for a limited period, check out all our beloved props  that will sit pretty at your house or at your wedding reception table!

Item #1

C003L

SGD21.90
Qty: 1
“A little Sparrow” White-coated Bird Cage with Clip-on Base
(Medium: 45cm height, 55cm circumference) –
Keep it plain as a quaint garden prop or decorate it with green crawlers and flowers on the inside for a Spring or Summer themed wedding.

Item #2

C002L

SGD29.90
Qty: 1
“A little Sparrow” White-coated Bird Cage with Clip-on Base
(Large: 55cm height, 75cm circumference)

Item #3

B010L

SGD12.50
Qty: 1
Lime-washed Lantern House
(30cm height) –
Lit up a tealight candle in it and watch it glow as night falls! Ideal for a Country or Garden wedding.

Item #4

B013L

SGD3.90
Qty: 1
Rustic Wired Floral Basket
(15cm height) –
A very delicate piece of wire art that works well for a Country, Rustic, or Garden wedding. Prep it up with wild tiny flowers to further enhance it.

Item #5

C004L

SGD15.50
Qty: 1
White-coated Garden Tricycle Carrier
(36cm length x 20cm width) –
We love decorating this piece by ploughing fresh flower cuts at the carriage and a little “Just Married” sign at its tail!

Item #6

B009L

SGD2/each
Qty: 6
Assorted Miniature Sapphire Green Scotch Bottles
(12cm height) –
Magical in its tone and size, these vintage scotch bottles comes in 3 different shapes (see pic above), complete with carvings on them. Place them as a bunch as décor pieces!

Item #7

A030L

SGD5.90
Qty: 1
White-washed Picket Fence Holder
(32cm length x 8.5cm width x 7cm height) –
Fill it up with greens and tiny little blooms and this picket fence gives wonders to your reception or dessert table.

Item #8

A003L

SGD10 SOLD
Qty: 1
Aquamarine Vintage Rose Teacup Set –
Serve tea with elegance at your tea ceremony or stack them up as a prop display at a English, Victorian or Garden themed wedding. Includes saucer.

Item #9

A005L

SGD8.50
Qty: 1
Victorian Ceramic Coffee Canister
(16cm height) –
Pretty and petite as a prop, spill some coffee beans along side and use it as a décor prop for a English, Victorian or Garden themed wedding.

Item #10

A009L

SGD13.90
Qty: 1
“Grace” White Baroque Frame
(5″ by 7″ photo area) –
Ostentatious yet graceful to every bit of its swirls, this frame would sit well for a Victorian, English, Baroque, Royal wedding for any purpose, be it just an iconic feature, or to frame a wedding photo or even just a little signage board at a dessert table or guest book table.

Item #11

A010L

SGD8.90
Qty: 1
“Edward” Silver Pewter Baroque Frame
(4″ by 6″ photo area) –
Yet another pompus yet elegant piece, this frame makes a statement for any wedding going for a classy outlook. Works well as an iconic feature, to frame a wedding photo, or maybe serve as a table number for your VIPs.

Item #12

A011L

SGD6.90
Qty: 1
Hand-painted Garden Tool Box
(18cm x 18cm) –
Fill this brightly painted toolbox with some spades and forks and plant some wild flowers in it for a great icon feature at a Garden wedding!

Item #13

A016L

SGD7.90
Qty: 1
Seashore Hanging Lantern
(19cm height) –
Hang it up for a Maritime or Beach themed wedding or lay it as an iconic feature at the reception table or dessert table!

Item #14

A017LA017.1SGD15.90
Qty: 1set
Seashore Beach Chests
(Medium: 23cm length x 12.5cm width x 10.5cm height, Small: 17cm length x 9cm width x 7.5cm height) –
Boxes are always interesting and versatile tools to work with. Fill them with kids candies at a reception or guest book slips or simply sit them around as a fancy prop. Comes in a set of 1 large and 1 small chests.

Item #15

A019L

SGD6.90
Qty: 1
Seashore Limewashed Bench
(22cm length by 14cm width) –
What’s a beach without some romantic benches stained with a little rustic feel? Sit this piece any where as an iconic feature!

The fine prints.
– We can make delivery arrangements between self collection or postage delivery. Postage delivery charges apply.
– All payment to be made via iBanking and full payment must be made prior to delivery. iBanking details will be provided via email.
– Love:Knots Weddings will only be liable for condition of products before the delivery. Should there be any unfavorable conditions of props, kindly notify us immediately.

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Words, Hands, Hearts – Milan & Jackie

Our time with Milan & Jackie was really fun. Wherever they were, they were always able to lighten the mood with a couple of beers! Milan & Jackie were most generous in their review to us. Thank you for giving us a chance to serve you to the best of our abilities!

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“We started out 5 months before the wedding knowing what we wanted (after a few fights) and thinking we could manage everything on our own (mostly me, Milan wanted to engage a planner from the start).

How hard could it be! Just 200 guests, no formalities, no morning sessions, only a casual party, piece of cake! why pay someone to do what I could?

Boy I was wrong. The more we went into it, the more the to-do list grew all the way up to just before the wedding itself! To add to the pain, vendors were not easy to find. Those I could find were difficult to talk to, being either irresponsive or not willing to do what we needed them to. I started wishing I had opted for a hotel or a restaurant dinner instead. Friends offered a hand but I didn’t want to transfer the stress to them, plus things could get unpretty if I unleashed the bridezilla on them.

2 months before the wedding, I had only half of the vendors engaged, we both were snowed over with work and it dawned on me that I would have to take unpaid leave to organize the wedding. Panic set in, I caved in and contacted a few planners.

Entered Shan Shan, who stood out from the rest by far. She has a knack of knowing and understanding our personalities and what we wanted. Her suggestions were spot-on and she was extremely patient with bridezilla me. most of all, Shan Shan has great initiative.

The moment we handed things over to Shan Shan, a load was taken off our shoulder. No one believed me when I said I wasn’t stressed out and didn’t have to do much a month before the wedding. I even made two business trips the two weeks before the wedding and had peace of mind to fully concentrate on work. We worked right up to the day before the wedding and spent whatever free time we had with family that had arrived. Couldn’t have happened without Shan Shan, who did everything we needed to do, presented us with all the info we needed to make decisions, and when we sat on our ass, gently nudged us to make timely decisions and payment. The day before the wedding I realized I needed children cutlery, and because no vendors could provide that, my hero Shan Shan found time to go shopping in between making our table number markers and supervising the tentage and lighting set up. All that while we were at home having a family barbeque and getting drunk.

On the day itself, I sat patiently waiting to make my appearance. It started drizzling a bit but I wasn’t worried, Shan Shan had already showed me the wet weather plan. When it was time, I called Shan Shan who coordinated music, MC, helpers and bubble blowers. Everything was perfect when I rode my buggy to the lawn. It was my first time seeing it and I was so chuffed, I couldn’t have done it any better myself. When the party was over we left and that was it, Shan Shan took care of the tear-down and vendor payment the next day while we slept off our hangovers and received messages from friends telling us what a blast they had.

Weddings are supposed to be stressful. They really don’t have to be! It is possible to have fun at your own wedding if you have the right people taking care of it for you – we strongly recommend Shan Shan and Love:knots.”

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Plating Ideas for Christmas

It’s the time of the year that it is absolutely forgivable to go a little more extravagant on all things pretty, nice and exquisite! So we boldly did some research on some interesting plate-styling ideas that might whet your appetite, put you in the right ambience and mood just before that great turkey meal with your loved ones. Too pleasing to the eye that your guests will really be impressed with that little magic touch on those plates!

ImageImageA splendid setup of a country idyllic themed Christmas – complete with luscious hydrangea napkin bands and flower balls for an escort card holder.

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A little knit sock as a cutlery holder for every plating is just pretty heartwarming and great for a simple festive favour.

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With bold coloured napkins, gathered at the centre with some velvet red christmas holly plants or small pointsettia flowers, the dining table would be smelling fresh and seasonal before food is served!

ImageHow about a playful stuff toy candy cane with matching striped napkin bands for a family with kids and all who can’t resist turning young at heart this time of the year?

ImageWe like this simple idea very much. A stripey table mat coupled with red and white plates. Just a simple strand of pine strapped with a piece of thin satin red ribbon already is sufficient to doll up that table.

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Our top favourite! We love how this elegant and bright piece of gold-plated faux pine piece with glistering fruit berries shine on a matte piece of napkin fold against pure white porcelain plates. Nothing too fussy with real flowers, just sequined Christmas ball decorations and all things olive & gold.

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Little favour ideas – a simple kraft box with tiny Christmas trees painted on bundled up with a red/white striped twine. A simple Do-It-Yourself.

ImageEven simpler, a thick satin gold bind across the entire plate set against a bold coloured napkin looks rich and pleasing to the eye. Try maroon red or midnight blue napkins for yet another style.

ImageWe like how this setting could be so homey on a Boxing Day morning – complete with home-baked cookies and pies with little kraft boxes for a after-meal surprise. Affordable decor pieces like cinnamon sticks and cloth ribbons is good enough to transform that common looking checkered napkin. Add on a stuffed knitted Christmas tree, a sock, a reindeer or even Santa’s face!

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Last of all, we thought this simple setup speaks volume. Grab a simple decor piece that’s raw and presentable to top up the whole look. Have a little star on top of this miniature pine tree with names of your guests and they could bring it home and place it on their mantelpiece Christmas after Christmas.

Have fun trying out these table styling ideas!

Love. The Love:Knots Team.

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Christmas is coming, so is our promo!

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So Christmas is just merely 25 days away!

Look out for our year end promo packages!

Oh, and we will posting some christmas inspirations on table settings. Time to doll up for that special turkey dinner!

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