Picking the venue

3:20 PM

Venues are the bane of every bride...actually which decision is not? For those who are by nature indecisive, planning a wedding will without a doubt throw you off guard and get lost in the sea of choices. Choices, choices, choices...when all we thought choosing the right groom was the hardest decision to make.

For us, it was a clearcut banquet dinner at a hotel. Our parents would hear none of the restaurants though if we had it our way, The White Rabbit would be awesome or even Alkaff Mansion! 

First of all, the number of tables determine the size of ballroom and height of ceiling. Few hotels would offer a ballroom with high ceiling and also accommodates 25 tables. If memory serves me right, those that do are Crowne Plaza Changi Airport, Carlton Hotel and Grand Park City Hall. The rest come at a premium.

Here's a breakdown of what the fiance and I went through before we settled on THE hotel.

Carlton Hotel - Empress Ballroom 1 and 2

Ceiling Height: Nice and tall!
Foyer: Spacious enough to accomodate a photobooth, candy table and more!
Walk-In: L-Shapred.
Pillars: Nil.
Remarks: Seems that the PA system is not known to be great hence all the effort of prepping the world's sappiest photo montage or express highlights is likely to get screened without audio.

Fairmont Hotel - Atrium Ballroom

Ceiling Height: On the low side.
Foyer: Decent but the height of the atrium ballroom is such that even the foyer is affected by the low height.
Pillars: 2 thick pillars.
Walk-In: Recommended to do a U-turn walk in rather than straight walk in from the back door.
Remarks: We weren't too impressed by the U-turn walk in and 2 pillars which would cause some obstruction.

Hilton Hotel - Panaroma Room

Ceiling Height: Decent and Panaroma room had natural light which made it brighter and bigger. 
Foyer: Small area
Pillars: Nil.
Walk-In: Midway or from back depending on layout of tables.
Remarks: The room was odd shaped (think L-shaped) with the front portion being completely blocked off hence the walk in would be missed by those sitting in that corner. It has a "city view" being located on the 23rd floor but there is nothing much of a view except buildings.

Hilton Hotel - Vista Room

Ceiling Height: Decent.
Foyer: Decent.
Pillars: Nil.
Walk-In: Midway.
Remarks: The mid-way walk in would mean that guests seated towards the end of the ballroom would be completely neglected. Seating arrangement recommended is in rows of two.

Pan Pacific - Ocean Room

Ceiling Height: On the low side.
Foyer: Decent but shared with other ballrooms.
Pillars: Nil.
Walk-In: Due to the length and breadth of room, walk-in is done from the side which results in a short walk in.
Remarks: Nil.

Marina Mandarin - Vanda Ballroom

Ceiling Height: Claustrophobically low.
Foyer: Exclusive area and spacious.
Pillars: Nil
Walk-In: Straight in.
Remarks: I found the ballroom too cramped with minimal space to man oeuvre. .

So the one we finally decided on is....

Regent Hotel - The Grand Ballroom

Ceiling Height: High enough!
Foyer: Exclusive area and spacious.
Pillars: 2 but these were negligible considering the ballroom can accomodate up to 50 tables so our table arrangement will be comfortable.
Walk-In: Straight in.
Remarks: We loved it from the start and even at the open house, we were won over by the dessert table - oh the macarons, martini tower and all the delicious food. :( Being foodies means, we can be won over by food. Truth be told, we were actually most impressed by their selection of themes - shall not disclose which one but yes we are also very visual people.

First deposit made and now we are looking forward to 3 months prior to our BIG day where we can decide on the details.

There are always options to upgrade to a larger ballroom as long as you meet their minimum spending requirement.

Good luck!

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