wedding: venue-hunting!

It’s not easy planning for wedding. T_________T

After Satkuru proposed in mid-July, we didn’t really start planning yet because we thought we should get a date first before asking around. Well, hungry ghost month started in August, so it’s a big NO getting wedding date in that month and my good friend, PeiKei advised that it’s better to sought date after the hungry ghost month. So we waited. :D

In September, Satkuru came to me with 3 dates. No, he only gave me one date. I accepted the date tho I was thinking why not letting me know all 3 dates, just in case we couldn’t secure venue on the chosen date. But since we have more than a year to go, I’d figure out we should be able to get one and started telling my close friends to save the date!

At the same time, we began to write out guestlists before inquiring on the venue. The reason why we listed down because I’ve read in MalaysianBrides forum that there are brides who had to change the venue because the number of tables increased and the venue couldn’t hold that much.

To all the brides to be: read a lot. Especially these forums.

Our initially list, or rather MY initial list came to near 800 guests. Satkuru freaked out stating why there’s so much people in my list. As we’ll be holding joint dinner, he said there’s no venue in the island that could hold more than 100 tables. So, I told my parents that we had to cut down the lists and the lists went down to 85 tables for both side family and friends.

In October, we began venue-hunting, asking around for venue to hold 85 tables. The first choice would be the moral uplifting society; but the place is booked on the date we wanted. We weren’t surprise when were told that as Penangites love to hold weddings here.

So, we went to Long Say Building at Burmah Road as the building looks grand too. To our dismay, the hall is small and we estimate the hall can place 30 tables at its maximum.

I sent email to Sunway Carnival Convention Centre as I read that it can put up to 100 tables. Satkuru emailed them too, and one Saturday, we decided to drop by to see the table arrangements as there was a wedding that day.We were pleased with the hall; tho the deco that comes with the package looks basic, but because the place looks grand, it looks grand overall and is up to our expectation.

We love this place BUT, it’s expensive. If this price being offered in island, then it’s okay but this convention centre is in Butterworth. We truly weren’t expecting the price to be that high. Gosh!

Next, we went to SP Setia Clubhouse as I saw good comments in some forums that I read. The clubhouse is located uphill, and we were quite impressed with the clubhouse and it overlooks the east-southern side of Penang and could even see the second Penang bridge.

Before coming, we knew that this place can hold up to 70-75 tables, but we came anyway to see how big is the hall and see if could squeeze in more.

The hall is indeed big, but then could only hold up to 50 tables if not mistaken. Can’t really remember now cz we went to see in early October. The rest 20 tables will be placed outside, at the foyer. But imagine the potongstimness of having to sit ourside the hall?

So we bid this place goodbye and went to scout more.

We were figuring – if we do our wedding at community hall and decorate it to what we want, then it would be more memorable to us. So we asked around for hall. Among the halls that I’ve called to inquire about is Han Chiang High School. After being transfered around to few teachers, I asked in my broken mandarin if the hall is available on the date I wanted.

He replied that someone already paid deposit for the hall. “But we have a stadium. Do you want to book the stadium?“, he asked in Mandarin.

Shocked from knowing there’s a stadium in a school and just before I could reply him, he said, “Oh, got people placed booking d. Sorry.”

I felt like I was being played. Feeling a little furious, I said thank you and ended the call. Grr.

Later that day, I found out that there’s a convention centre that belongs to the Sunshine group. Curious on where is it located, I called up the number. A lady answered and told that the hall is actually situation on the 4th level of the Sunshine Square building. I was even more joyous when she told me the hall can fit up to 120 tables!

Surprised and excited at the same time, I asked for appointment to see the hall that evening. She told me there’s someone actually booked the hall already, but yet to pay the deposit. I told her, if I like the hall and paid the deposit that instant, that means the hall belongs to me right? She couldn’t answer and said best if she could ask the person that has booked the hall. Alamak!

Still, I went in to see the hall that evening with Satkuru. It was soooo spacious, but old – as Satkuru said. As the hall only used and seen daylight when there’s event, the place is quite dusty and smells weird (hapak smell). The chandeliers are dusty and the old white cloth that hang in the ceiling still there, making me wonder if they would ever change the cloth. Overall, I’m okay with this hall, just that it needs a little makeover (that’s where the hall decorator comes in). Satkuru on the other hand, dislikes the hall because it looks old and smells weird, lol! He was pleased to know that the person who booked the hall paid the deposit few hours earlier – a good reason to decline the place.

Then I was thinking, if we get a hall, yes – we can decorate the hall to our preferances and can a good caterer for our food. But then, we’ll need to find we need to spend time and energy looking around again. Why not just do at hotel that provides venue, deco and food? Satkuru doesn’t want to get wedding planner; he feels if were to find wedding planner, might as well do at hotel.

Few calls were made to hotels – Cititel, Paradise Sandy Hotel – all booked. Evergreen Laurel Hotel, G Hotel, Gurney Hotel – can fit up to 60 tables maximum. Royal Hotel can fit 23 tables only! Same goes with Hard Rock Hotel for only able to cater up to 26 tables.

As for E&O Hotel, though I would loveeee to host my wedding dinner there, but it can only put 40 tables in the ballroom and if insists on 60 tables, then they’ll place the extra 20 tables at the deck. Both of us don’t like this type of arrangement and the price is exorbitant, so gotta say bye to this lovely hotel.

I came to know Red Rock Hotel through Daphne. She attended her cousin’s wedding at this hotel before and recommended this hotel for they serve good food as well as able to accommodate lots people too. So I called them up and arranged time to look the hotel. The hotel’s lobby is small, but that’s okay as there’s another entrance leading directly to the ballroom. When we entered the ballroom, we were at awed. The ballroom looks grand and there’s a large, beautiful chandelier in the middle. We felt in love with the ballroom.

BUT, again there’s a but here. This ballroom can fit 55-60 tables comfortably. Our hearts sank.

Then what’s the maximum tables that can be put in, in this ballroom?” Satkuru asked.

70 tables, BUT (again) there’ll be no walkaway in the middle. Plus it’ll be very cramp” he explained.

I told him my friend told me can fit more than 80 tables. He explained that, that’s achieveable with 60 tables in the ballroom and 20 more at the side foyer. The doors at the side will be dismantled on the wedding night.

I was thinking, if only the wall separating these two can be knocked down. At least, guests sitting at the side wouldn’t have to stretch their neck to see what’s happening on the stage. I jokefully told this to the marketing lady the second time we went there to see the table arrangement hours before a wedding dinner starts.

Few hotels we didn’t call in because of our unpleasure dining experience with them before. Satkuru believes that if we were to look for a hotel, at least the food should be okay and not making the guests running to the toilet after the meal.

Halfway looking around, mum called me up telling me that her godsis recommended Ming Garden at Penang Times Square, saying that the food is great, the place is classy and most importantly can put up to 120 tables! Immediately I googled up this restaurant and called them to ask if the date I wanted is still available. Sadly, the lady told me it’s already taken up and suggested me to do luncheon wedding instead. –”

When I told mum that the place is not available, mum asked me to try Hei Yeong Seng Chinese restaurant at Penang Plaza. I called that restaurant too, but again the place taken up.

I was thinking – is the date we chose REALLY THAT HOT? –”

Not giving up, I googled around again. This time I called up Tanjung Bungah Hotel, as I was drawn to the “Wedding by the beach” package. When inquire about number of tables, the hotel event guy told me “normally 20 tables.” I was like it’s a beach and there shouldn’t be any restriction what, but I didn’t voice that out. I just asked how about 80 tables and he told me it can be done since they did for 70 tables before.

Again 70, not 80!

However, he did mention that the price for that package had increased, so additional few hundreds per table on top of the package mentioned there. The new price will put a strain on our budget but the pro is the wedding is by the sea, super romantic!

Told parents about this, their worry is – what if it rains? Even Satkuru agreed with my parents. Oh well. There goes my dream. T_____T

Seeing that it’s really hard to secure a venue, Satkuru told me to cut down the guestlists again. He’s right, we have no choice but to do so since it’s hard to get venue in Penang though we still have a year ahead! Some restaurants and hotels suggested to do on Friday night, but Friday night will be super jam and we don’t want to start the dinner late. Though there’s a thought of doing separate dinner on Saturday and luncheon on the actual day, then luncheon which normally starts at 12 noon, might start late at around 2pm because of the tea ceremony. And I don’t like the idea of rushing on my big day because want to make it to luncheon.

Guess what, I’ve called up Berjaya Hotel and was told that the date is still available, but could only fit in 70 tables. Grr. Gonna see the ballroom tomorrow, yippee! :D

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