Venue sorted!

We’ve booked the Malaysian venue! Pretty much. It’s a Chinese restaurant (hah!*) in a country club, and we’re also planning to book up a section of the club — sort of a verandah/deck area — for hanging around and nomming on mocktails/finger food before dinner, plus coffee and nyonya kuih after dinner. My parents have paid the deposit for the Chinese restaurant since the date is geomantically approved and therefore very popular. I’m told we don’t need to pay a deposit for the verandah/deck till January, when I’ll be back home and able to have a look in person.

So that is good! My mom has all sorts of ideas for the dinner — she’s really taken up my tentative nyonya theme and is totally running with it — so I guess I’ll just sit back and let her do what she wants. The thing is with my mom you do have to push for restraint if you want it — she is a bit of a force of nature once unleashed, and she loves being creative and design flourishes and all that sort of thing. And I’m sure she’ll do a good job of stuff, and we’re more or less at the same place with the sort of aesthetic I would prefer — we agreed that we ought to have local flowers, orchids and the like (but only if they weren’t too expensive, I added).

So I’m going to keep my powder dry for pushing back on the things that really matter to me. We had the following discussion, f’rex:

Mom: And I’m looking for a professional make-up artist and hairstylist for you —
Me: Do I have to have a professional make-up artist?
Mom: Everybody has for their wedding! So you’ll look nice mah!
Me: I’m OK with having a hairstylist, but I don’t want a professional make-up artist.**
Mom: But who ever heard of somebody getting married and not having a professional make-up artist?
Me: We could be pioneers! 😀
Mom: They’re very clever one. You can just ask them to do natural style if you want to look natural.
Me: How about I don’t wear make-up at all? That’s the most natural!
Mom: Let’s discuss this when you’re back in January. (Read: “I’m sure you’ll come around by then!”)

Then, of course, there was also the discussion about money …

Me: How much will it cost then?
Mom: All together, less than hotel.
Me: Good! But how much will it cost? I want to pay!
Dad: We won’t know how much it costs until we finish opening all the ang pow.
Me: But don’t you have a ballpark estimate of the total upfront costs?
Dad: Don’t worry about all that. We can talk about it in January.

HMM. This may be an explosive January!

I can tell I’m going to have to do some amount of fighting er I mean negotiating if I want this to be a laidback, fuss-free affair. Hah!

Pictures of the just-booked venue below. I actually really like the look of the verandah/deck — it’s open air and looks laidback — but my dad doesn’t like the idea of having a meal basically in the corridor. Fair enough, Dad!

*I was pushing for a Chinese restaurant all along on the principle that the food is better and less expensive than that provided by the usual (for my family’s socioeconomic milieu) hotel ballroom. I got a surprising amount of pushback on this — I think people felt it wouldn’t be romantic/glamorous/special enough.

**I have realised that hair makes a huge difference to looking nice. I look pretty cute on good hair days and just kind of funny on bad hair days. But I very rarely wear make-up and don’t always find it makes people more attractive — it gives people a certain kind of look, but it’s just different from an unmade-up look, IMO. It’s not always prettier.

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