Summer Romance 2018


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4 Expert Tips on Choosing Your Blooms from a Wedding Florist

Behind a wedding invite is a huge and tangled mess of decisions to do with the wedding dress, bridesmaids’ dresses, groomsmen outfits, the venue, the menu, the guest list and more. With the stress of such copious decision-making, it’s no wonder that those involved in wedding planning often see the sweetest of lovebirds tearing their own and each other’s hair out prior to the day of matrimony.

When a wedding budget dictates these choices, couples might just only be able to leave a small amount for décor and flowers – which could also be another source of conflict for those who still have high expectations for their big day.

Now don’t get anymore stressed though! We speak to Alyona Yakovleva, florist and founder of Gathered+Styled for tips and to get at the common mistakes couples make when choosing their blooms:

Tips on choosing your blooms from a wedding florist

#1: Put a hold on those Pinterest pins

Ah, technology has certainly made realizing your dream wedding easier… or has it? Pretty pictures of gargantuan floral arches can help inspire the look of your very own big day but Pinterest and wedding blogs can also lift expectations to an unrealistic degree.

In addition, those top-rated Instagram photos of someone else’s wedding are surely swoon-worthy, but the truth is many Internet-browsing couples here have probably already stumbled on the same as well.

“Most of the time, the choice brides make here are pretty standard— they choose the same Pinterest pictures and very few are actually open to try something really different and unusually, though I try and suggest things that are a little out of the ordinary,” says Alyona. “You can get some ideas from Pinterest, but don’t go for the most popular pin; be different. Ask your florist what ideas he or she has, I’m sure you’ll be surprised!”

#2: There’s more than just peony fever

Another issue that comes with browsing the Internet for floral décor inspiration is that these weddings you want to replicate can be halfway across the globe. Sure, love conquers all, including distance, but the blooms of some nameless bride in a photo culled from the Internet may not survive the number of kilometers it has to travel to get to you. You will just end up paying a pretty penny for a bunch of listless flowers – hardly auspicious or cheery for this merry matrimonial occasion.

“People here tend to go for the ‘European style’ in flowers, which means those they end up choosing are imported and most of the time, expensive,” says Alyona. “Every bride dreams of peonies. No, really, every single bride! They are the most beautiful but also one of the most expensive flowers here! I understand this trend, I love peonies myself, but sometimes it’s just too expensive, and for me, very often not worth the money.”

#3: Go regional and seasonal

If you’re still keen on tapping into the trend of exotic blooms, the most ideal and cost-effective arrangement is one that uses seasonal flowers. “Don’t ask for winter flowers in summer and vice versa. You’ll end up paying quite a lot of money for a few small, not really lasting blooms,” says Alyona.

Given the perpetual summer heat in Singapore, taking climate into consideration can make your décor last through the late hours of the party and cut down on your floral budget too. That doesn’t mean you have to stick to traditional choices like baby’s breath or gerberas.

“A lot of flowers and foliage come from Holland, Australia, South America, New Zealand, Taiwan, China, India, Malaysia. Nothing is actually grown here in Singapore,” points out Alyona. “But using plants and foliage suited to this climate can help you save, or will allow you to get more or something bigger even if you keep to the same budget,” she offers.

#4: Go green instead of the standard blooms

It doesn’t help when hotels offer similar blooms to couples in the name of economy. “The more I attend weddings here, the more I realise they are all the same,” says Alyona. “Hotel packages often include flowers, but really, everyone has the same few arrangements. Moreover, they don’t look good at all.”

Going green and tropical is not only more value for money but makes the setting stand out among the other wedding ballrooms and venues that others have used. Sure, cascading flower curtains certainly make a fairy-tale sight but a massive plant chandelier made out of ferns is an equal conversation-starter.

“Your guests might not remember if the scallop was good at the dinner but they will definitely remember and take pictures with a hanging monstera chandelier installation or a flower backdrop full of artichokes!” offers Alyona. “Moreover this year’s Pantone colour of the year is Greenery, so you can save and be trendy at the same time!”

This story first appeared on the BankBazaar Blog, a leading online marketplace in Singapore that helps consumers compare and apply for the best offers across all financial products: personal loans, home loans, car loans, credit cards & investment.

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Cooking Up A Hen Party

What do all brides- and grooms-to-be like to do just before their wedding? It’s the hen party and stag party of course! So naturally, it calls for something special when well-heeled individuals like Angelina Seow decided to tie the knot.

The bride-to-be enjoying special coaching from the chef.

“I’m a real foodie and enjoy cooking healthy, tasty European dishes! Some years ago in Provence, my then-boyfriend-now-hubby and I took a unique cooking class involving French cuisine. So naturally, a similar activity with my girlfriends for my hen’s night in Singapore was something I thought would be great fun,” enthused Angelina.

An attentive audience taking delight in Chef Daniel’s humour.

The night began with a pleasantly surprised bride-to-be as she had not expected her group’s work station to be specially decorated just for her. One of Angelina’s girlfriends had made prior arrangements with CulinaryOn to arrive earlier for the set up.

Surprising the star of the night with a bridal themed décor.

“The team was very helpful and obliging throughout when they knew this was a hen party. On that day itself, I was held up and arrived much later than expected. But thanks to Portia, the event master’s help, we managed to complete everything just before the bride arrived,” said Carol, who was also the one who suggested CulinaryOn for the occasion as she had previously attended a class there.

One of the spacious and gorgeous cooking studios at CulinaryOn.

“I’m a fan of reality TV series MasterChef and Junior MasterChef. The layout of CulinaryOn makes me feel as though I’m on the set! I had a great time previously and I knew the girls would like it too.”

Delectable canapés prior to class prevent empty stomachs from growling.

Each class is assigned a chef, a sous chef, an event master and other dedicated helpers. Before the class commenced, guests were treated to canapes and free flow soft drinks. Subsequently, everyone was gathered around the chef’s work station for a briefing of what to expect for the evening. Duties were divided up amongst members of a team so each person got to handle a different aspect of the preparation.

Aveline feeling accomplished with her very well rolled out pasta dough.

As the menu for the night included pasta, guests were shown how to knead the dough and how to create springy, professional standard spaghetti. In fact, guests were taught how to cook all the dishes from scratch, including the lava cake, so that they could replicate them at home with the recipes that were emailed to them after the class.

A bemused Angelina clearly enjoying herself at the cooking class.

If you are wondering whether you need to do any cleaning up, there is no worry about that as the stations are cleaned up after every dish by the helpers who work like magical elves – fast and inconspicuously.

Chef Daniel demonstrating to an enthralled audience the dangers of dry ice on fresh greens.

For this hen party, the class was led by the very affable Chef Daniel who also possesses great comic timing. In fact, all the chefs here are rather fun and colourful characters who don’t just cook, but are able to entertain at the same time and make participants relish the whole process. As Angelina said, “It wasn’t just me who enjoyed it. My friends too, had a jolly good time! The class was entertaining, had a spacious, sophisticated ambience and involved fun teamwork!”

Add a dash of fairy dust to celebrate friendship and marital bliss.

Aveline, another member in the hen party, says, “I would rate this 9… or 10 out of 10! Kudos to the team, especially Chef Daniel for his helpful tips and directions. I wish they have Cantonese cuisine class too!” The group’s sentiments were summed up by Jessica, “I didn’t expect this to be so fun and the certificate we received at the end really makes me feel as though I’ve made great culinary achievements!”

A group photo at the end to commemorate a new batch of ‘graduates’ at CulinaryOn.

At CulinaryOn, prices start from $118 per person for a session lasting 3 to 3.5 hours. Each session comprises of 3 dishes, soft drinks and canapes. Alcohol is sold on the premises or BYO. There are standard and tailored packages for corporate events, team building, birthday parties, hen parties, dating events and children’s workshops, etc.

Bookings can be made online at www.culinaryon.sg or enquire with the team at +65 3159 1482

 

 

 

 

Valentine’s Day Dining At Restaurants With A View

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This Valentine’s Day, Faber Peak Singapore has planned a sweet evening for couples at Singapore’s unique hilltop destination, where picturesque views of the forest, running cable car line and the Sentosa-HarbourFront precinct, set the scene for romance.

Inspired by the theme “Sweet Pairings”, couples will enjoy pre-dinner activities to start off the evening on a sugary note. The lovebirds can bond through a session of making the all-time popular cocktail Strawberry Mojitos, which can be enjoyed during their dinner. Couples can also indulge their sweet tooth at a chocolate fountain and create memories together at a photo booth, accessorised with romance themed props.

On Valentine’s Day on 14 February, couples have a selection of dining venues to choose from at Faber Peak Singapore, including Dining on Cloud 9, Spuds & Aprons and Faber Bistro.

Dining on Cloud 9 (Sky Dining)

Dining on Cloud 9_Valentine's Day

Couples can choose the ultimate private dining experience for an all-time high, and spend Valentine’s Day on Dining on Cloud 9 ($328++ per couple). The 4-course dinner stretches across 90 mins with changing views of the HarbourFront and Sentosa Island as the backdrop. Dinner starts off with a glass of champagne and Salmon appetiser, with a choice of main between Red Quinoa Crusted Black Cod with mashed sweet potato, or a 36 Hour Slow Braised Bobby Veal Shank, ending with a luscious dessert of Fruite Praline Mousse with Manjari Ganache and Raspberry Elderflower Jelly.

Spuds & Aprons

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Faber Peak Singapore’s restaurant-with-a-view, Spuds & Aprons offers a 4-course set dinner ($248++ per couple). Starting off with an appetiser of Smoked Duck Salad with crispy yam duck dumpling and Truffle Scented Silken Hen Consommé, diners can choose from a main of Roulade of Codfish and Shellfish Mousse or Pan Roasted Fillet Mignon with marrow crust. They can also look forward to the Warm Mellow Xocoline Chocolate Cake with Caraibe Sorbet for dessert.

Faber Bistro

Down the hill from Faber Peak Singapore and tucked away in the cosiness of the forest, Faber Bistro offers a 4-course set menu ($200++ per couple). Appetiser starts with Hokkaido Scallops Tartare, with crispy fish skin and passion fruit vinaigrette and Veloute of Cauliflower and a main course of Chilean Sea Bass Fillet with kataifi prawns. Dessert is Apple Toffee with caramelia mousse and calvados jelly.

Each couple will receive a box of handmade chocolates to take home for a sweet ending to the evening and a reminder of their celebration at Faber Peak Singapore.

Reservations are encouraged for Valentine’s Day bookings. For bookings, please call +65 6377 9688, or email: guestrelations@mountfaber.com.sg, or visit www.faberpeaksingapore.com.

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RAIN & KIM TAE HEE’s SGD1,600 WEDDING

When Korean superstar Rain announced his marriage plans with actress Kim Tae Hee on 17 Jan 2017, no one could have expected that the wedding would be held two days later.

Rain-and-Kim-Tae-Hee-Official-Wedding-Photo-1

Image source: www.koreaboo.com

In his handwritten letter posted on his Instagram account, Rain had expressed the couple’s wish to have a private and quiet wedding as their country is currently going through emotional and financially difficult times.

In contrast to many of the high profile celebrity weddings we saw in 2016, the couple, both Catholics, held their wedding at Gaheo-dong Catheral in Seoul. The modest ceremony attended by some 50 guests cost just SGD1,600.

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Image source: www.koreaboo.com

A graduate of the Seoul National University with a diploma in fashion studies, Kim chose to design her own wedding dress, with the help of her stylist, instead of flaunting a designer gown.

After the wedding, Kim released her handwritten letter to fans, thanking them for their well wishes and support in spite of the sudden news. She also thanked her partner for his “overflowing love” and promised to be someone he can lean on and count on for support.

Rain-and-Kim-Tae-Hee-Official-Wedding-Photo-2

Image source: www.koreaboo.com

The low-key couple had originally declared that their honeymoon will be postponed for the foreseeable future. On 20 Jan, however, their management companies announced in a joint press release that the couple will be leaving for their honeymoon on 22 Jan. Was it a ploy to throw the paparazzi off-guard? We’ll never know.

Although the specific location was not revealed, holiday makers in Bali can keep their eyes open for the newlyweds who will be there for a supposed total of five days.

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