Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Day-Of Coordinator Writes

Many people helped us on the planning towards D-Day but none had put in more bsat in it than our two wedding coordinators: Mel & Mel. We love them immensely for what they have pulled off. So here's a write-up on their side of the story - originally intended as a keepsake for the newlyweds - written by Coordinator No.2. Enjoy!

Our dear friend Charis got hitched last April and she's been blogging about The Day giving us the down low and before and after picture of matrimonial bliss. As wedding coordinator No. 2, I thought it would be nice to also share details of the whole event and give you a behind the scenes picture of the mythical world of the Wedding planner/Coordinator.

Melissa and Melisa (me!) were elected as The Day-Of Coordinator (DOC). A seemingly simple task as all the nitty gritty details were slogged out by Charis and her Sammy Darling way beforehand. They had planned the entire wedding on their own and all 'The Mels' had to do was make sure it flowed finer than fine wine and err ... smoother than silk. 

DOCs in general deal with stuff like in-person discussuions (which happened over scrumptious dinners and caffeine fueled sessions), venue walk-throughs, day-of timelines, vendor confirmations and rehearsal coordination. 

'The Mels' also took on the role of venue decorators because...yeah we're all that! 

The day started off super early (jip san leong) and we arrived at the venue (after the ear squats, chocolate affair and soiled diapers) at approximately 1000hrs  armed with sticky tape, pretty ribbons and an arm full of Gerberas. 

I was a little bit anxious but decorating kept me relatively calm. We had the green light from Charis to make calls we deemed necessary if anything went wrong. Our rehearsal the night before went alright but Melissa (we'll call her No. 1) kept fretting about this and that, about the flow and timing and positions so I let her and assumed position of 'The-Calm-One'. 

At 1200hrs, when sound check was supposed to start, the band was nowhere in sight. We continued getting the venue prepped, got prettied up and attended to some flyaways and minor OCD decorating details. 

At 1300hrs, the band arrives, sound guy arrives, and I run to check on the food. Only the cake lady was there. Coffee Bean shows up too and deposits paper cups, condiments and a big jug of milk. (where's the coffeeee???) Ok, I admit that I forgot to ask the dude where the coffee was, cause err... I was uhh checking out his enormous muscles. Yup. Bimbo moment right there. 

I head on up to give the best men their cues and run through the order of service with the band and make sure everyone knows their place. No. 1 is extra antsy and I let her be. I think she's bribing the flower girls and page boys with animal pegs and stickers. In a bright cheery voice she says, "I'll give you one now and if you walk to the end of the aisle properly, you'll get another one!"  
Good Luck No. 1!

I check on the registration table and make sure the girls are fine. Michelle's late but it's ok, we have Susanna manning the table. It's almost 1400hrs and the food is still MIA. I get Jochebed to help wait down in the reception hall while I see to our slide clicker Celine and run through the order of service again. 

At a little past two, the bridal car arrives. And I try and usher everyone in pronto! As I head out to meet the entourage, the caterers arrive! Whoopdeedoo! 

I give them quick directions and relief Jochebed from her post. And then the Coffee Bean guys arrive...WITH COFFEE! Hurrah! (and muscles! Whoa!)

Then I run upstairs and with as much sweetness as I could conjour i said - "With sugar and spice and all things nice, get your asses into the church right now! The Bride is HERE!"

And miraculously everyone dissappears inside. The flower girls are all lined up and Asher's picking up dirt off the floor. And i remember feeling this stillness..... Like a little happy
bubble of contained Joy. 

The music starts up although I don't remeber giving a cue. Asher looked like a pro and went ahead with mommy, only stoping once to pick up dirt off the floor. Then I  lead the first flower girl to the aisle and she stops. Looks at me with a look that said "No way Jose!" But I smile at her reassuringly... and give her a little nudge and she walks on....*pheww*

Then I cue seven others and a wave of butterflies flitter out of my centre as I turn and catch the look on Charis' face which is just utter Bliss. She had a, "This is finally happening!!" sorta look. :D

As the ceremony was underway, No. 1 kept sending me SMSes to remind me to cue The Band/The Singer/etc. and i rolled my eyes and replied saying "RELAX. I've got it. It's flowing along just fine. :)" 

Wedding coordinators for hire. Write in if you're interested.
(L-R: Mel.A, Charis, Mikayla, Mel.N)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Sabai di mai kha? (Khun Charis "phuuts")

Following up from Sam's post yesterday, the fish turned out fine despite being balanced rather precariously on a steamer thingy that's way to big for the pot that it was on. Can't say the same for the rice, though. We usually steam our rice using the microwave and a ceramic bowl and yesterday I: a) put too little water in b) put it on High for an extra 2 mins. Yep, we nearly had rice crispies that went snap, crackle and pop. It didn't help my self-esteem when my phasa-Thai (Thai language) instructor laughed a little too long and loud when I told her of this little incident. Sigh.

Despite, or in spite of what happened, I still love going for my Thai lessons. The conversations around me are becoming less of gibberish and I can slowly start conversing with my instructor in broken Thai. Maybe it's 'coz we are Chinese Hakkas, certain words stick easier in our memories. Except for some stark opposites, the most obvious being: pheang which means expensive in Thai and cheap in Cantonese! Oh, speaking about that, let's do a little lesson on bargaining (necessary if you're coming here!) given in its reality and not what you will find in any Thai language instruction books:

Me: Nii thao-rai kha? (How much is this, please?)

Shopgirl takes out calculator and keys in price, 'coz really, who are you kidding? It's obvious you are a farang with that awful Thai.

Me (mustering courage to continue in Thai): Jin jin kha??! Oh, pheang maak, pheang maak. Lod dai mai kha? (Are you for real??! Oh, that's TOO expensive and I'm sure you're not charging a local that! Can you reduce the price, please?)

Shopgirl: Lod rakaa laew kha. Mai dai lod kha! (It's already a bargain. We can't reduce the price any further!)

Me: Ok kha - Dichan suu sorng kua, lod dai mai kha? (Ok, I'll buy two. Can you reduce the price then?)

Shopgirl then almost always makes an angry/"I give up" look, frowns and nods in agreement of the price and then proceeds to collect the proceeds that mostly likely raked in a gross profit margin of easily 300% and up.

Oh, how I'm learning to love this city (not being sarcastic here)! Samuel and I have somewhat fell into the groove of married life now. Hubby gets up early to get ready for work. Wife sleeps on only to be awakened by hubby on going out, a "goodbye, dear" and a hug and hubby's day at work starts. Wife decides to a) switch on laptop and check facebook comments b) take a bath or c) go back to sleep again. Day starts on which option has been chosen. Don't be envious! It's hard work thinking of what to do for the day! *snigger*

My current craze: DIY ceramic mosaic tile art.

Our tenancy's almost coming to an end so Sam and I are currently looking for another place to rent, largely due to our need for a bigger kitchen with preferably an oven (okay, that's my want) and also one with at least 2 bedrooms. Sam and I love having people over and to play hosts so the lack of a "real" extra bedroom now puts us off inviting friends/family to stay with us. It would also be good for little pitter patters in the future and it doesn't hurt to have an extra room or two (I said future). So, please pray with us so we can find the right place!

Disclaimer: The bargaining scenario depicted above does not in a way speak in general of all traders in Bangkok but just one as experienced by the blogger. Bangkok remains one of the most economical places to shop and eat in except for Bandung, Indonesia, where there are factory outlets galore and worthy of annual pilgrimages, with or without the necessity for a new wardrobe.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Updates - as requested by Mel (Sam speaks)

Charis is steaming a fish for our dinner now. Took us 5 mins to find a pan that fits the fish and works on an induction cooker (note: Induction cooker only works with flat surface pan)

Missing my ice cream maker.

Missing the BBQ Machine. Note: Find a place that has a balcony or a garden.

Missing Ramly/Char Siew/Roti Canai and mostly world cup with mamak!

Updates complete! (Say Thank You, Mel :))