Too much free time and OFFICIALLY WORRIED.
…More guests started messaging about not being able to come. and even my vendors already prepping me when the PSI hit an all time high of 401. Also in the homefront, it did not make it any better when we were cooped up at home with all doors and windows closed and having NO AIRCOND. We were literally dying. Me and the girls.
K was already settling his groomsmen stuffs and all so that is a good thing. Hmm…
Program Brochure states: A Remarriage Preparation Programme for couples for whom at least one partner is remarrying.
I did not know this exists until a fellow friend also just went through a remarrige. She told me it made sense for those who are remarrying to go through this wedding prep course as it is pitched at whole different level altogether. Obviously I went to the ‘usual’ kursus rumahtangga and..like most people who went through that, we would be like thinking in our heads, “oooh…I so would do this…and that…and yahhh we should do this…and that”…needless to say, a very idealistic approach towards marriage. And trust me…barely a year into the marriage, we would have forgotten nearly half of what was said.
But with this, some of the issues resonated with us and some of it is like a slap to your faces when you realised that was the MISTAKE that you did when you were in the previous marriage. Of course not all who came was due to divorces. There were a number of those whose spouse had passed on. It was definitely interesting to see the different groupings they divided us into:
– Wanita yang bercerai mati
– Wanita yang bercerai hidup
– Wanita yang single
– Lelaki yang bercerai mati
– Lelaki yang bercerai hidup
– Lelaki yang single
And from the categories, it was really2 insightful to see the different responses that each group came up with as within each group, the experiences are nearly all the same throughout within each group. And we get to hear for ourselves the other parties’ preference and opinions on a certain issue which otherwise we may not be aware of.
One of the topics that they brought up was Disciplining the Children – whose responsibility must it be? Or the issue of muhrim/mahram. Then how about the issue of grandparents having a sense of entitlement to the children. There are so many issues that were so direct that we were forced to think and think about repercussions. At some points of time, I actually felt ashamed at how I handled certain issues in the past. Indeed there are many other issues for couples in a remarriage. And if any one would ask for my opinion, definitely I would recommend them to go for this course.
Unfortunately, not many know of the existence of this course and so they go for the ‘normal’ course and some I heard did not even go at all. PPIS (Persatuan Pemudi Islam Singapura) is a non-profit organisation dedicated to working with women of all ages in carrying out their multiple roles and they too the initiative to set up a community for Stepfamilies. So when a couple decide to enter a remarriage, if either one who has a child of an age who already understands the situation, the children can participate in camps where they bond over other children with similar backgrounds and there will be dialogues and counselling session to create an awareness on how the new family arrangement would be.
In my line of work, I have seen so many children in stepfamilies/remarriages that have been neglected whether physically or mentally as the parent concentrate more on the new spouse or new children. Often children were left alone or forced to ‘understand’ the situation. It can get ugly if not managed properly. Hence I really applaud PPIS’s Vista Sakinah for taking the initiative to create this awareness and taking appropriate preventive steps such as:
Stepparenting Workshop – Workshops on ways of effectively engaging and parenting children/stepchildren after a remarriage.
Keluarga Xtra – Workshop developed specially to help children understand and cope with parental remarriage.
Parent Support Group or Jalinan Mawaddah – Brings remarrying couples together to find mutual support in coping with the challenges of remarriage.
But ultimately, it is the parents who have to take this first step to make it happen.
As you all know, I have two girls. But at such a young age, they know what kind of families they have. I have always encouraged them to be open about it. For example, whenever they have a show and tell or drawing of family tree, I will always ensure they include the 2 different sets of family and my eldest is proud to claim she has 3 sisters under her. Though of course the friction between me and my ex will always be there, we try our best not to rub it off on our children. And I am pleasantly satisfied that K and my ex’s wife make it cordial.
Update 3rd January 2014:
Our recent pic when our eldest enrolled in Primary 1
So now, one by one of my vendors called me up to alert me the possibility of them not showing up for the event as the PSI has now risen to over 300+. Of course they are so nice to offer me refund even the deposit amount that was term non-refundable. I guess they feel bad but takdir Allah kan?
Surprisingly both me and K were calm over this. No crying or getting angry or what coz really, we cannot control the situation and what’s worse is that our event is an outdoor one.
Even if the vendors come, the guests may not come. I already have a couple of colleagues messaging they cannot come as they have asthma and they do not want to risk it.
Chill aje ler kita. tengok macam mane.
Well guess what…
In the midst of being stressed over the haze situation, I have yet to buy my shoes!
So out I went driving with visibility being so poor…I mean, even KPE was bad! Made my way to Plaza Sing coz I really do not want to think of any other place, and started from Level 3 downwards.
I am not into the blingbling oohlala wedding shoes. Coz the previous time I did that, the shoe ended up collecting dust cz my feet was a size 5 that time and I could not pass it to my friends or relatives whose feet size could not match mine.
Spent about an hour or so till I really got so fed up that I went to Four Fingers to just gorge on the chicken wings. And that is when I saw the shoes. Just perrfect! and the best part is, it costs only $20+! Aldo was having some sale and the colour of the shoes are so perfect for my wedding dress and theme!
[UPDATED 20 June, 10pm: 3-hour PSI reading back at 231, within the “very unhealthy” range, at 10pm Thursday, after hitting a new all-time high of 371 at 1pm]
The Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) hit a new record high of 371 at 1pm on Thursday, again climbing into the “hazardous” range of above 300, according to data from the National Environment Agency(NEA).
At 9pm Wednesday, the PSI had soared to 290, higher than the previous peak of 226 in 1997, and entering the “very unhealthy” range of 201-300. It was a leap of 100 points from the PSI reading just an hour earlier, making some wonder if the updated reading was a typo on the NEA website.
“I thought it was actually worse in the day, though — seems pretty impossible that there would be a hundred-point jump within an hour, coupled with the fact that it isn’t that windy in the first place,” said systems analyst Frederick Tang, 36.
“I thought it was a mistake at first,” added communications undergraduate Gina Foo, 21, who said she had been feeling “very uncomfortable” while travelling outside during the day. “But I will definitely be wary about my plans for tomorrow, given how unpredictable the situation is.”
NEA’s guidance for when haze reaches the hazardous level is for children, elderly and persons with existing diseases to stay indoors and avoid outdoor activity. “The general populationshould avoid unnecessary outdoor activity,” it said.
Meanwhile, masks and air purifiers flew off the shelves at pharmacies and medical stores on Wednesday while others venturing outside experienced a range of ailments.
“You can actually feel the haze now — the smoke and dust particles in your eyes,” said 24-year-old Ronald Loh, who was travelling around the Tampines area. “It’s especially bad for people wearing contact lenses or with eye problems.”
“I can smell the haze in all my clothes and towels, even though they were hung inside,” added Tang.
“It’s getting very hot, the fan and aircon not enough and I’m having breathing problems already,” said homemaker Yasmin Abdul Razak, 47. “But nothing we can do, just wear a mask and life goes on.”
27-year-old Chloe Liaw, a medical sales executive, called for action from the authorities: “Something really needs to be done at the government level, to fix this problem.”
“There is nothing much we can do about it, other than dying slowly in the poor air quality,” she lamented. “At least provide free N95 masks for everyone?”
The PSI has been climbing steadily since Monday from 55 at 9am to 80 at 12pm and crossed into the “unhealthy” range of 105 at 3pm, according to the National Environment Agency (NEA).
Any reading between 101 and 200 is considered “unhealthy”.
The smoky-smelling haze from Indonesia shrouded skylines and was visible on street level at various places. Marina Bay Sands was cloaked in smoke as the burnt smell pervaded the central business district.
The haze, brought about by prevailing winds from the fires in Indonesia’s Sumatra island, has affected Singapore since 13 June 2013 and is expected to continue over the next few days.
Environment and National Resources Minister, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan urged Indonesians “to enforce their own laws” in a Facebook post on Monday night.
“We are deeply concerned that the 113 hotspots in Sumatra have caused our 3 hour PSI to rise to 152. NEA has been in touch with the Indonesian authorities to register our concern, and renew our offer of assistance,” he wrote.
“For too long, commercial interests in Indonesia have been allowed to over ride environmental concerns,” he added, saying he would personally speak to his counterpart in Indonesia to “personally to convey the seriousness of the situation.”
The last time Singapore saw such choking smog was in 1997, when the PSI index peaked at 226.
NEA advises on its website that people with existing heart or respiratory ailments should reduce physical exertion and outdoor activity. So far, the haze has not affected business or air transport.
Over the weekend, the haze situation also hit “unhealthy” levels in neighbouring Malaysia. The Malaysian pollutant index showed readings of 102 and 121 in parts of Pahang, Terengganu and Malacca on Monday.
Singapore experiences hazy weather conditions on a yearly basis when winds from Indonesian forest fires blows over the region during periods of persistent dry weather conditions.
The last time the PSI went over 100 in Singapore was on October 21, 2010, when it hit 106, according to local media.
Being a laidback event with only a closed knitted group of guests, we decided to do away with a photobooth idea. Firstly, it is to cut costs. Secondly, we already had the postcard idea where guests write their wishes down for us so we do need that booth to pen down guestbook wishes. Thirdly, our Save-the-Date was done on a hipstershit-photobooth idea…so we decided why not instead of the usual printing of pictures, we use the Instax films. Guests can take as many as they wish and they do not need to pay for the films.
It certainly helps ALOT that a close pal does photography and he sells Instax films. So I got a HUGE discount for all these!
Mind you. We are not the typical couple or me, a bridezilla who already have a vision of what the ‘PERFECT’ baju nikah and sanding will be 2years before the wedding. Both of us were busy working, me with my responsibilities as a mom and us trying to just spend our free time just being together…we absolutely had no time to plan properly where we will get the Nikah outfit coz we planned with our wedding makeup artist, Katt of The Wedding Brocade that we will only be getting the sanding baju from her and we will source on our own the baju nikah. But being the great procastinators that we are, we did not manage to get the nikah until like about nearly 2 weeks to the wedding *gasp*. Even then, we had the tailoring of the sanding baju 4 months before the wedding.
So one day on a weekday, we brought one of my good pals, Faridah aka Ida Razak, to JayBee to go Baju hunting. Our planned venue was Angsana but we ended up at Danga City Mall. We scoured the area for a suitable shop that sells ‘nice’ baju for nikah. But there was none. But on a good note, we managed to find a super lawa and suited for the theme dresses for the girls. As we had earlier bought the ‘cowboy’ boots for them a week ago from Vivo and bunga-bunga2 headbands from Cotton On, the dresses would certainly go with the look!
Dah patah hati after nearly an hour walking throughout the mall, we finally decided to move on to Angsana…and that is when we chanced upon a corner shop that had a 2-storey (like maisonette like that) and surprisingly when we entered, we were floored by how the small corner suddenly was so big that it has a whole collection of ossum baju exclusive ala2 kedai-kedai untuk Datin Datin gitu…And we were soooo Happy!
We sort of lied to the sales assistant that we nak carik baju for a function and not for getting married coz takut they jack up the price sembarang (as there were no price tags) but seriously, the bajus were oh so comfy and super lawa. The head designer came in and he started fussing over K and insist on how K should wear the baju and all (till both Ida and I thought that he has a liking for misai men…urgh).
The best part…A couple set of the Baju Nikah only costs us in total RM$1000 aje.
Again, while on the many trips back and forth to Daiso, SKP, Spotlight…me and my girls keep straying into TYPO – whether it is the Wisma one or Vivo one. The girls as usual want to buy their stash of notebooks and coloured pens while I, get distracted by the ‘hipstershit’ stuffs like mason jars, chalkboards, kitchen decors…sighpie. Well I finally succumbed to a number of TYPO things which I told K that it IS INDEED FOR THE WEDDING. #whitelie
And since I squandered cash for all these things, I had to make it HAPPEN somehow. And while on the journey back (could not even concentrate on what the girls’ are talking, I hit on a number of ideas. And one of them being the above where I used a milk carton crate for a coolshit ‘Cutlery Stand’! See! Now all the decor pieces and dulang hantaran now flow seamlessly following the theme #mcmpaham
There are a number of bride-to-bes who have emailed and asked me certain questions pertaining to organising a wedding at Piai Plaza. If you plan to organise one at this particular place or a similar one like Berlayer Shade at Pasir Panjang, then maybe you might be thinking of the same questions like these:
1) How many days was the wedding affair?
It was a one-day affair. Nikah at 10. Followed by reception/sanding from 12-4pm. Ample time in between for us to make baju change.
2) Is it cumbersome to move to and fro the event venue to change attire?
We booked Aranda chalet (just beside Piai plaza) to make it easier to travel back and forth. Our family members don’t need to rewang rewang or hangout at the plaza as we booked a chalet nearby at Aranda (quite a big place…about 2 rooms, a big hall and kitchena and the outdoor BBQ pit area to accommodate the guests who could not make it for the actual day. We will even have a BBQ on the wedding night instead of the usual catered food)
3) Is there a washing point for utensils and cutleries? What about cooking?
The issue of no cooking and washing was one of our major concerns initially before we booked the place (and we booked it roughly 8 months away too!) but Alhamdullillah, we met with the team from Rose Catering (the same one who catered for Fiza O’s wedding) and we were very happy to know that they actually prepared all their dishes in a central kitchen (a factory in Pandan industrial park) regardless of the wedding venue. What this also means is, apart from the cleanliness and hygienic preparation area, their prices already are inclusive of transporting the dishes to the venue. If you were to engage other caterers, most prolly you have to book a void deck nearby for 2 days and pay extra for the logistics and transport. And yes, I enquired before with 2 other vendors and they insist that you book the void deck and pay $1k++ extra for transport.
About the washing part, me and my then-BF decided that we would do away with washing all together. Instead, we decided to use disposable cutleries and plates. Furthermore it suits our theme also. To avoid making it look too plastic and ‘cheap’ (coz we know how particular the makcik2 can be), we used the biodegradable type. The same ones that Long Johns Silver and Ikea are using. If you buy it straight from the dealer, it is much cheaper. But we decided to let our caterer settle it for us since he wanna make a bulk purchase.
Most parents will not favor the use of disposables. That’s why for us we managed to make them steer away from the planning of catering from the very start…hehe…not easy though.
4) Does NParks allow the deco to set up two days before or a day before?
Ours was a 1-day event. Nikah at 10am followed by sanding from 12-4pm. In the contract from NParks, they did state the set up time only from 2-6pm. However, since our decor vendor (Issweddings) do their set up mostly at their warehouse, they only came and put them together. So it would be quite fast actually. So we had to do with only a day before. But considering it’s just $600 with complimentary set up and tear down date, it was a good deal.
I must add though that this place is really a gem! No one walking pass will know that there is a wedding taking place inside cz of the lush greenery. And the fact that the restrooms were a mere footsteps away was a plus point for the guests. And there are many2 angles of the place you can take outdoor pics of 🙂 do look through the instag #hipsterweddingaffair after the wedding for more insights ya.
But one thing, after majlis, must2 engage Bangla to clear rubbish (they will auto come and approach your family members and ask if you need help). Please don’t chase them away. They are really a gem I tell you. They will sapu and clear rubbish and they know where and how to dump the rubbish. If you tak kemas and throw, you kena saman by NParks. The officer will come to inspect the place the day after. This applies to even void deck weddings. My first wedding back in 2006, we just paid $50 to the Bangla and by 8pm he had the MPH all swept and washed. The Banglas will always without fail hang around the event venue close to 5pm coz they know the event is finishing.
5) Any major issues or problems your side face with the venue?
Only grouse is car park coz u know, guests will prefer having a nearby one. The nearest ones would be downtown east and the sports complex just opposite.
Oh another thing. You do need to book a generator for electrical supply coz we would be having a DJ, candy floss and ice cream machine, fairy lights from decor and all the lightings and fans . We sourced the fan and generator company on our own (so no middleman charges by caterer or deco). If you want, the contact is Khian Seng Hup Kee – somewhere from the Toa Payoh Industrial Park. I am dealing with a Mdm Lim cz the rest all tak tau cakap English. They are very professional. Got quotes and online receipt via email all. Contact: 62508665. If you jemput ramai orang, then you do need a tentage. And kipas and wiring and kerusi meja . This contractor supply all these. Trust me. Middleman charges are expensive. You only need to pay the contractor on the day they deliver. I didn’t book a tentage cz my jemputan only 600pax. I only paid 700+ for generator and kipas and wiring.
Toilet is super near. Got vending machine all. And super ample space for kids to run around. I gt 2 kids of my own and they will have a maha happy time just playing at the field nearby where I get to keep a close eye on them while on the pelamin even though they will have their own chairs on the dais ;).