In this final part, I shall share the banquet venue Sunshine and I picked for our wedding in the end. =) Though I had set out to hold my banquet in a Chinese restaurant, we did not like the one I initially thought we would be signing with (Qian Xi). The rest of the Chinese restaurants I screened through either did not provide free alcohol or were priced almost similarly to that of hotels after addition of alcohol and consideration of other perks like free hotel stay for a night etc. Hence, Sunshine said to just search for hotels to save us the trouble. The hotel we signed with for our wedding banquet eventually was…*drum roll*…
Sunshine and I shortlisted a list of hotels based on their pricing and accessibility and Novotel was one of the hotels we shortlisted. Similarly to what Sunshine did for ParkRoyal Kitchener, he dropped a query to Novotel to first enquire if the date and time we wanted was still available with the number of tables we have.
I had read some online reviews (and also eliminated some venues based on this) about Novotel and I saw that one of the sales coordinator, Cindy, was highly praised by the netizens. Hence, I was hoping she would be assigned to handle our query and was pleasantly happy when I saw that she was the one who replied. We eventually arranged for a viewing at the hotel just before one of Cindy’s customers had their wedding banquet lunch.
Accessibility – Novotel is located within a 10-15 min walk from Clarke Quay MRT Station. Initially, I was still worried that some of our older relatives (Sunshine’s side) might not be able to find the way to the hotel and was fretting who should I arrange to fetch them. However, my worries were unfounded because I later learnt that there would be an upcoming MRT station, Fort Canning MRT Station, situated right outside Novotel which would open early next year, way before our wedding in Oct 2017! Yay! This is good news to us! Hopefully, the progress would not be delayed. This new MRT station along Downtown Line would greatly improve Novotel’s accessibility. Plus point!
Ballroom – Sunshine and I are only looking at hosting a maximum of 20 tables (we do not have much friends) and hence, Cindy showed us to the smaller ballroom, the Cinnamon Ballroom which can hold a minimum of 18 to a maximum of 24 tables. Cindy was explaining to us that the number of tables we are looking at would therefore fit just right such that the ballroom neither looks too empty or too crowded. When Cindy first opened the doors of the ballroom, I was sold! I LOVE what I saw! I can almost predict that this would be the exact same decoration I would have a year later! Omg! <333 Haha. Plus point!
I have a soft spot for pink, sweet and romantic stuffs and seeing this scene just made me fall in love with Novotel. Haha. Cindy then proceeded to point out to us the small inconspicuous pillar at the right of the ballroom. However, she assured us that with a maximum of 20 tables, they would be able to arrange the tables such that none of our guests would be blocked by it. She also encouraged us to look at the table setting and I saw that there were individual plating for all guests! Up till that point in time, I was never bothered by whether there is any individual plating because when I was working as a part-time waitress for banquet events 10 years ago, after my ‘O’ levels, the hotels did not provide individual plating. To me, that was the norm and anything more than that would be a bonus. Upon closer examination, I realised that the design of the plates used for plating was very pretty. Another plus point! For those interested, Cindy also informed us that the ceiling of the ballroom is about 3.5m in height. I did not really pay attention to this as it is not my concern/priority. To me, as long as I think the ballroom looks okay, I do not care about the ceiling height. What is the use of a high ceiling if the ballroom looks ugly or weirdly shaped? If the ballroom looks decent and proportionate, I have no issues with its height. Lol.
Cindy then showed us to the function rooms just outside the ballroom, where solemnisation could be held complimentary. There was also an outdoor pavilion where solemnisation, complete with varying degrees of decoration, could be held at a cost. Luckily, Sunshine and I were satisfied with the simple decoration done in the function room. =D
Service – Cindy was friendly, professional and patient as she showed us around and later explain the details of their package to us. Novotel was the only venue to provide us the price list of their individual food items. Depending on the package chosen, couples can then look at the price list and decide if they want to change an individual dish from their package to something else they prefer in the menu instead. I then asked Cindy if she would be able to extend whatever promotions they had during BOWS to us (we were one week late then). She kindly agreed, provided that we give her a reply soon. After almost 30 minutes, we were satisfied customers! Plus point!
I only feel like hitting myself for not chatting with them during BOWS. If only I had sat down at their booth during BOWS and bargained with them, I might be able to get a little bit more perks than just the BOWS perks I have now. Damn! Sunshine said I should already be contented that Novotel was willing to extend their promotions to us post-BOWS though. Oh well! I still love what we saw! Sunshine could tell that I was very attracted and he was also satisfied with whatever Novotel had to offer. As Sunshine wanted me to hold our wedding banquet at a place I love and he did not want to spend anymore time, effort and money looking around, we decided to sign with Novotel despite its price tag, which was slightly higher than what we had budgeted. =D
Pros: Accessibility, ballroom & theme, service
Cons: Price (slightly higher than what we initially budgeted), no changing room for the couple in between march-ins (Couple have to make their way back to their hotel room for a change of clothes!)
Read my other banquet venue considerations, Wedding Planning Chapter 5 – Banquet Venue Selection Part 2 here.
Read about the videographer I engaged in Wedding Planning Chapter 6 – Videographer Chosen! here.