Yup, after disclosing that the bf and I are busy planning for our wedding next year in my previous blog post, I have had received a handful of well-wishes, thank you! 🙂
This shall be my very first post on wedding preparations and to share with you on how we got our planning kick-started…
So, you guys have decided to tie the nuptial knot but are frantically lost and worried about where and how to start?
The FIRST and FOREMOST thing to do is to choose your wedding date.
*Do note that this is by no means an accurate to-do list but a reference guideline based on our experience.
This should be the most important thing you need to decide and settle before you can move onto the next stage. Having a date fixed would certainly make things easier for your upcoming wedding preparations because the availability would very much depend on your wedding date.
Say for example, you have attended or read reviews of a certain hotel banquet but whether you manage to book it or not, is another matter altogether. More popular dates will be snapped up very quickly, so you need to be fast. Of course, you may book your wedding banquet with an ‘open date’ concept, i.e. to confirm and pay the deposit with the hotel but to choose the wedding date at a later time. This can be done no doubt, but this also means that you are running the risk of non-availability of your preferred date.
Do not forget that the availability of your actual day photographers and videographers would also depend on your wedding date. Nothing can be confirmed if you do not already have a confirmed date.
When it comes to choosing your wedding date, there is no hard and fast rule but do consult both of your parents on whether they prefer an auspicious date. Do not brush this saying aside that “Wedding is between two families and not just the bridal couple alone” because it may most probably be true. If you do not realise at this stage, you may at a later stage of your wedding preparations.
If they request for an auspicious date to be calculated by a geomancer, I don’t think it is difficult to accede to their request since the fees are not that exorbitant. There are a few popular geomancers around but 2 most popular ones are Master David Tong and Master Long Tian Xiang.
Couldn’t find any pic of Master Long.
Initially, the bf and I did not intend to engage a geomancer to calculate the auspicious dates for our wedding (our parents and I are not superstitious) but after some consideration, we decided to go ahead to engage one, for the fear of clashing with whatever dates and all.
Initially, my colleague advised me that we could use an almanac calendar app on our phone to search for a good wedding date. This almanac calendar, if I am not wrong, is also known as the “tong shu” which is a calendar that applies to everyone in general.
However, do bear in mind that “ba zi” will override the “tong shu” simply because the date calculated based on your “ba zi” only applies for the both of you. What’s more, there will be auspicious timing calculated and dervied from your “ba zi” too.
We shortlisted Master Tong and Master Long for consultation. As we were a little tight on the time line, we wanted an urgent consultation with them. As I was informed by another Bride-to-be (BTB) that Master Tong was quite already packed and can only provide a consultation meet up session with us end of March, I proceeded to contact Master Long, who also charges 10 bucks cheaper. He stays at bungalow in Woodlands (far from where we reside).
However, I was extremely displeased with his service and attitude. I had informed him that because our BTO completion is targeted at 1Q 2016, which also means we have to submit our ROM cert by then, we are looking for the earliest reply from him, in light of this urgency. Because you will need to book your hotel banquet as soon as possible, around 1 to 1.5 years prior to the actual day, you will need to finalise your wedding date in the quickest time possible.
Of course, this is not a hard and fast rule because there are still some couples who book their wedding venue within less than a year before the actual date. However, it is advisable to book in advance to prevent disappointment. So it is better to be kiasu, right? 😉
So back to Master Long.
Bearing in mind of his seniority and role, I tried to be as polite as possible. Unfortunately, what I got in return was arrogance and rude replies from him. He mentioned that he can only meet us after CNY (we contacted him on 8th Feb and CNY starts on the 18th). I understood his tight schedule perfectly but I was hoping he could made us an exception.Even if he could not accede request, I would be totally cool with that. It is not as if I was forcing him or being unreasonable.
But what I could not accept at all was his rude replies which I translate “No details (referring to our “ba zi”), talk what?” and “Don’t want to delay your time, you go find others to calculate!”
I was super pissed and wanted to give him a piece of my mind, but the milder-tempered bf advised against it. So I let it go….
But such poor customer service and ridiculous attitude should be brought up to the attention of potential customers as a pre-emption!
I have read some positive reviews about Master Long so I really do not know the real reason behind his impoliteness. Plus, I tried to be as courteous as possible, so….hmm. But I have heard of his bad attitude and arrogance too from some others.
We thus decided to look for Master Tong instead and I am elated to say that we are super pleased with his service thus far. Likewise, he did mention to us that his schedule was very packed as well but what he could offer was to calculate the dates for us first and schedule a consultation session another time. We were fine with this arrangement because what we required urgently was the dates and the remaining details can be advised and discussed thereafter.
We paid $130 via Paypal and was informed that he would get back to us with the auspicious dates within 7 days. If I had recalled correctly, by the 4th day, we received our auspicious dates and timings, together with many other useful details for our wedding preparations. These timings include fetch-the-bride timings and ROM timings.
He was very efficient and prompt in his replies, even via whatsapp. But I will not rule out the possibility that because the whole of January 2016 was advised to be an unlucky month (“Po Yue”) to wed and February is the month of CNY (Chinese believe that weddings held during the CNY period will clash due to 喜 冲 喜 and also based on our “ba zi”, there were not available dates for us), so we were left with March 2016.
Taking into account our “ba zi”, we were only given 2 dates for the month of March. The list he provided would rank the most auspicious date to the least auspicious date. As we preferred the 2nd date, we forgone the 1st. We will fill in more details when the time comes, so stay tuned 🙂
Recently, we met up with Master Tong for the consultation session and he was very friendly and helpful. He kept prompting us if we had any further queries which I thought was very thoughtful of him. He explained to us in great detail on the dates and timings given as well as the 过大礼 (Betrothal Gift Ceremony) and the setting up of the Matrimonial Bed, which is also known as 安床.
We even managed to ask his rates for house viewing for fengshui advice. For 3-room, he charges $600, for 4-room, he charges $700 and for 5-room he charges $800.
There will be a discount of $100 for repeated customers 🙂
If you are curious, you may follow Master David Tong via his Facebook page too 🙂
If you are not keen in engaging a geomancer, make sure to shortlist a list of preferred dates so that you may have a higher chances of getting the hotel of your choice.
Hopefully this helps in kick-starting your first step in your wedding preparations!
The next step to take will be to choose your hotel banquet (although of course, not everyone may want to throw a wedding banquet in a hotel) so stay tuned! 🙂