Monday, 2 September 2013

August event at Serangoon CC

Last week, we styled the wedding of yet another gorgeous and lovely couple, Nazhrul and Noraiha.

It was our maiden set-up at the spacious Serangoon Community Centre.
Honestly, it was a big challenge for us...
because with an interior design like Serangoon CC's, 
what with the colorful panels and community pictures abound, 
the place looked rather busy and totally incongruent to the intended theme to start with.

 We therefore knew a lot of design interventions need to be made.
But to work the space up the Mariah & Sham style, 
 using lots of exorbitant blooms, quality props and 200 chiavari chairs,
to substantiate that big a space, would be unusually expensive...
because anyone who has seen our works in real time, 
would know we're very particular about the 'feel', quality and details.

 And going by our style, we are unlikely to just hang cloths 
and random props just to fill up the space and 'decorate'.
It's never about the amount of things we use, prepping an event space...
it's always about THE kind of things we use.

Admittedly however, as skeptical as we were,
the venue is in fact a practical venue for couples with a large guest list. 
 Because not everyone wants an intimate celebration.
I remember when I got married, 
I had more than a thousand guests converging at my parents' void deck.
And I loved it because it was heartwarming to see relatives near and far,
 friends from all over, and neighbours, coming together to celebrate my big day.

Our couple treasures this big celebration as much as I did, 
and I respect them for that.
Noraiha, in my dealings with her, comes across as someone very generous. 
She wants her guests to be comfortable and enjoy good food.
In fact she went to great lengths to choose this relatively 
new venue for its cleanliness and spaciousness.
Because in the end, a dream wedding is not just about dream venues. 
It's about celebration and the coming of two families.
And so we tried our best to create something majestic and botanical 
for them, within a reasonable budget. 
Our only regret is that we only took limited (and blurry) pics
with our mediocre phone camera that day.

May Noraiha and Nazhrul be blessed with a beautiful life together, as beautiful as they are.....
The canvas monogram we've prepared as the couple's keepsake.

 The dais, a reflection of the majestic Colonial East India era

Our new leather sofa was specifically brought in to fit the theme. 
And she's such a beauty, we still cant get over her ;)
We were told it's quite unusual to have leather sofas for dais settings, 
but then again it's ok to be unusual, if it's for something as beautiful as her.
 Her timeless beauty was complemented with thick velvet curtains, plain silk cushions, 
premium quality faux blooms, palm trees and equally beautiful french mirrors.

More details

The cake symphony we created to complement that lavish colonial and botanical feel

Much of what we do is not just about deciding what to place, 
but what not to place in our styling as well.
Our initial design for this dais included a crystal chandelier peeking in between the curtains.
After fixing the chandelier however, we took it down.
Because we decided that putting one for the sake of injecting more 
opulence and glam to a dais is just too cliche. 
Furthermore, the crystal chandelier, as gorgeous as it was, wasnt congruent to the colonial feel.
...unless of course we've gotten the more suitable french chandelier we've set our sights on...

ok so this will be for our next change ;)

Beyond the dais, we created a clean and sleek botanical space for the guests to dine.
Because just like in the colonial days, many celebrations were held in gorgeous immaculate gardens. These gardens were mostly lined with tall black lamposts, adorned with yellow palm trees, immaculate hedges and  gorgeous fountains.

Our initial plan was to fill up the whole space with baby's breath - all white and whimsical.
But it would make the colourful wall panel fixtures around the hall stick out like a sore thumb, 
unless of course we cover them up totally.
But because hanging cloths would diminish the botanical feel and appear unnatural, we decided to use our african violets, with colours complemeting the colourful panels, as the 'props' instead.
For that natural botanical feel, we decided not to wrap up the 30 pots of violet blooms. 
Like all the other potted pine and yellow palm trees, we placed them raw, still in their natural pots, interspersing the taller floral arrangements. 
But even with 30 pots, the big space wasnt quite filled up, and our OCD was tingling. 
Luckily this time round, we managed to refrain from 'voluntarily' buying more props, 
out of our own pockets, just to substantiate the look.
Floral blooms

Hydrangeas, though we may still use them again, are too main stream nowadays. 
Furthermore, they are not the natural blooms in the east indian colonial era.
So we played around with a new look using local blooms and wild flowers.
Yes...we spent months poring over even such minute details.
Because at the end of the day, anyone can decorate....
but to put meaning and life into a style requires a lot of time and meticulous effort.
Maybe not many can appreciate such details, 
but it's always these fine details that make the difference.

 These frames, bearing community photos, were lined along the whole circumference of the hall.
We covered them up with quotes and meaningful verses, in textured paper no less, 
because again, we believe that details and quality make all the difference. 

Local white-blush-pink chrysanthemum blooms sitting prettily in classy heavy glass roman vases.

And then, as we would imagine, the colonial era was full of poster paintings.
So here are some of our poster versions of their wedding.

Once again, our biggest gratitude to our awesome team! :)
Thanks Didi, for stepping up to be the onsite manager for this project. 
Thanks to our husbands, Hazrin and Fadly, for their technical, artistic, financial and physical support.
Thanks Mint and Shida, for staying with us throughout, and for being so dependable and proactive.
Thanks Isyam and Syafiq, for the logistical and botanical support.
Thanks Bala for the logistical support at the eleventh hour!
Thanks Farhaty and Mak, for baking and icing the cake for us, respectively.
Thanks to our parents and in-laws for baby sitting our kids during the rush hour.
Thanks Amrullah, Sheikh Ahmad, Rushdy , Hanzalah, 
Amirah and Dhaniah, for your time and muscle...

We're totally grateful for all the teamwork and great memories. 
Thank you so much ! :)

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