Our vegetarian wedding

2013 will be a busy year for us, with the new home and wedding happening within a span of months.

We are more excited about our home than the wedding.

Planning for the wedding (I cringe to say *my* wedding) makes me feel self-indulgent. I don’t think I would regret it if we did away with a wedding, and jumped straight to married life in our new home 😛 But Derek wants it. I think.

To minimise the carbon footprint of this event, we’ve decided to hold a vegetarian wedding party.

Derek does not fancy Chinese vegetarian food, so we are going for western.

Our number 1 preference is Flutes at the Fort, which is able to do vegetarian weddings. Its website rightly calls it a hidden treasure: I love that the restaurant is housed in an old colonial house that used to be firemen’s quarters, tucked away in lush foliage behind the Civil Defense Museum. It is a ten-minute walk away from City Hall MRT, which is incredibly convenient as far as colonial-housed restaurants go (Think Dempsey Hill, Rochester, Bukit Timah). We also went there for dinner on my birthday, and loved the food, ambience, and service. Unfortunately, they are making plans to renovate and can only accept bookings from July onwards, which is just too late and too bad for us. One thing though – they only provide plated service, which does not go down well with our parents. They have the perception that western plated meals are small in serving, unable to satisfy guests, and hence, not “presentable”. I think we need to treat them to a meal there before they can change their minds.

Second choice: The Halia

This restaurant is very interesting. When I first enquired a few months ago, their event coordinator said they do not do vegetarian weddings, as “Halia is a modern European fine dining restaurant (sic)“. It was a most peculiar reason, as I never knew vegetarianism and European fine dining were mutually exclusive. She also asked “Vegetarian meaning no meat, no seafood?” to which I rolled my eyes and said: “Seafood is meat what!” I am surprised that the staff from a reputable restaurant like Halia did not know what vegetarian food meant… From our conversation, I get the feeling that she might have equated the word “vegetarian” with 斋米粉. After spotting a vegetarian menu on their website, I felt compelled to get to the bottom of this. So I messaged them on Facebook, hoping to get a second opinion from the FB admin who should be their marcomms person. A few days later, the same event coordinator called me, and apologised for the “miscommunication”. It turned out that they can host vegetarian weddings; what a surprise. I am now awaiting their vegetarian buffet menu. They have two locations: Botanic Gardens and Raffles Hotel. I am inclined to go with Raffles Hotel because of its convenient location. I have heard of people getting lost inside Botanic Gardens.

Third choice: Artichoke Cafe

Which is an accidental google find. So convenient, at Middle Road! I pass by Sculpture Square all the time, but I’ve never noticed its existence. From the online pics, it looks casual, relaxed and unpretentious*eyes hover upwards*. I like that. But I am still waiting for them to reply my email.

Fourth choice: Riders Cafe

Colonial housed restaurant in inaccessible Bukit Timah. Email bounced as their mailbox is full.

A turn of events

I have many updates for you, blog!

  1. After two good years of freelance work, I am now officially unemployed and looking for a full-time job. The job should: pay enough CPF so that I can finance my house, be something I enjoy doing, not upset my work-life balance.
  2. (I believe I need a good life outside of work in order to be happy)
  3. Derek proposed and I said yes (can say no meh?)
  4. The ROM and wedding was planned as a combined event for Dec 2013 but we have to ROM within the next few months just so we can buy a house together, and enjoy the $30K CPF grant while doing so
  5. Why the rush? We chanced upon a resale flat online and found it a good deal, albeit with a catch. 
  6. We have already signed the Option to Purchase, which means the flat is ours, subject to HDB’s terms
  7. That’s a rather big turn of events within a span of two months, lor.

As I am very free now, I have started to shortlist wedding venues and caterers. I’d be happy to do without a wedding ceremony and spend the money on renovations, but my father will not be happy. Derek does not want him to be unhappy, so I guess we’ll have to respect his wishes somewhat. We had wanted to cap wedding expenses at $5,000 because we felt spending anything more than that is irrational. The money could be put to better, more tangible use – like reno, buying furniture, paying off housing and car loans….

Unfortunately, I think we may have to double this budget, given the number of relatives my father wants to invite. He listed 60 people, and that’s excluding my own friends. In his books, the “closeness” of our relatives is defined by their attendance at my late grandparents’ wake, and if they paid any 白金, although I’ve never met some of the people he listed。 I was pissed off about how 爱面子and 思想老旧 he can be, after questioning him about the relatives he listed and why we should invite them. I think inviting people whom you are not close to gives them pressure – they probably don’t quite feel like coming in the first place but feel obliged to, since you asked. Awkward.

Am I willing to put down my likes and dislikes in order to please him? To what extent? Much as I yearn to hold a low-profile, quaint, intimate wedding attended only by people I know and like (max 50 pax), I don’t think I can without making my father feel disrespected. As I cannot imagine myself holding a banquet/hotel wedding (the pomp!), guess we’d have to find a middle ground and package it nicely before selling it to my father. No far-flung locations, no angmoh food, must have aircon, must have vegetarian options, no mosquitoes. To sum it up, friendly to the typical Chinese-Singaporean elderly. 

No matter what we do, we have to do it in a 心甘情愿 way. 钱要花得心甘情愿,才有意思。我还是相信,我们可以找到一个不用委屈自己,也能令老爸觉得有面子的方法。