Foto2u Digital Imaging @ Bandar Sunway

In December last year, we needed to have our passport sized photos for our ROM. Hubby has already got his photo taken and thus needed the print out. On the other hand, I needed to take fresh photo since I have not taken for some time.

 

We were driving around Bandar Sunway and managed to spot Foto2u Digital Imaging. We told the sales assistant our needs. I was then instructed to go into their photo shop. She first enquired what’s the reason for taking photos, which I shyly responded that it was for passport purpose (which will also be). She then told me that for the purpose of passport, I needed to show my ears; so I tucked in my hair behind my ears. And, the photo was then taken. Inclusive of processing the extra copies of hubby’s passport photo, it took around 20 minutes and we were charged a total of RM 23.

 

Overall, service was ok. Not much conversation went around, so I can’t go in depth to evaluate them. To get to the shop, parking can be an issue.

Marriage registration in Thean Hou Temple

Usually, couples (one of them must be Buddhist) choose their marriage registration in Thean Hou temple because both are from different states and/or they want to have it on weekends and/or for religious purposes. For us, we choose Thean Hou temple as our marriage registration venue because we want the convenience for our witnesses and guests. Compared to the government’s registration department, on the actual registration day, we do not have to lie up as early as 8am. Moreover, there is one beautiful registration department, which is located in Putrajaya, and hence, distance could be a further hurdle. Furthermore, we like the scenery around Thean Hou temple.

My hubby actually rang the marriage registration office up and found out that we only can submit our registration forms three months in advance (from the date we planned to register). We were told to bring our photocopies of NRIC and birth certs, photocopies of our two witnesses’ nric and two passport sizes photos respectively.

So, on Dec 20, 2010, we went over to the registration office in Thean Hou temple. We were early and thus the first one. We were entertained/ service by a very friendly lady, who explained to us about their procedure. We were then asked to fill up the application form on the spot and attached all the required documents to her. We also told her the date that we wanted. The application fee was RM 120. The lady then explained that we will need to go to the commission of oath for the statutory declaration and to a JPN office for the submission of application (We were already aware of this through some research over the internet). She recommended us to the commission of oath, which is Syarikat Megah (their affiliated company), and the JPN located at Endah Parade, Sri Petaling. She printed out a receipt and asked us to pass the forms to Syarikat Megah, which will tell us what to do next. On the receipt, she circled our date of registration and reminded us to bring our actual NRIC on the actual day. Our witnesses also need to bring their NRIC, and we can also change our witnesses on the actual day, if the ones submitted could not make it. Before we left, the lady with a smile congratulated us and handed us a free Chinese bridal magazine.

So, we went over to Syarikat Megah at Endah Parade. The company is opened only at 11am (we were slightly earlier). We handed them our forms and also showed them our NRIC for the oath process, which cost RM 34. We were then asked to go few levels up in the same building to the JPN to show the officer the form. The lady told us that we need to bring down the form to them after the JPN submission or alternatively, we can drive back to Thean Hou temple to submit. So, we went up to JPN, which was not too busy. We submitted the form and were charged RM 20. We then handed the required form back to the commission of oath. The whole cost of for the application for registration of marriage in Thean Hou temple comes to RM 174; this is relatively more expensive compared to if one registers at JPN office, which cost about RM 30.

One day before the registration date, my hubby obtained a call from Thean Hou temple to remind us about our registration. On the day, we were required to register twice – once at the small office next to the registration office and once again at the registration office. In the registration office, we were given a gift as well. We were then sent into the marriage registration office, together with our witnesses and guests. And, we happily got registered. We received our marriage certificate on the spot.

Overall, we think the application and registration of marriage in Thean Hou temple have been professionally managed with their friendly assistants and also registrar. They have made sure that everything went on smoothly. To us, it was worth the higher priced paid to Thean Hou temple compared to JPN office.

Mon Liza Wedding Castle, SS2

We first came to know about Mon Liza in their road show in Midvalley in September 2010. We were kind of please with the sample photos. The package was explained by Wendy of Mon Liza.

We also looked at other bridal house packages. We did not immediately sign up for any package, as we were surveying. Seriously, in bridal fairs, you feel like a “market” in the sense, the bridal homes will market to you like nobody’s business (trying to pursue you to sit down at their booth to convince you). The competition is really high.

I even made some searches over the internet to see comments about the bridal houses. Overtime, we found that although it can be “cheaper” (it can go as low as RM 2,000) to sign up pre-wedding packages in bridal fairs – and some even entitled you to go places like Bali or Taiwan to take photos, in the end, one likely to fork out more. Logically, this is the case since there is no free lunch in the world.

In December 2010, we scouted around among the bridal houses in SS2. Due to their high competition, they do not allow their potential customers (most bridal houses) to take back the paper where they scribal the contents of the packages. So, our advice is always bring your note book and pen along.

Finally, we picked Mon Liza Wedding Castle, SS2 (after going home to think). We signed up the package RM 3,688 where our sales assistant is Elaine. [I won’t be jotting down the package here, as this is to respect their privacy. We got her writing the package details in black and white on the invoice. Also, it is always better to check it out yourself – kick your own ass from the desk and move on!] We also requested for family photos to be taken and was told that we have to buy the extra softcopies at their stated price – which is RM 20 per piece. We presume that the family photo’s softcopy is at RM 20 per piece as well. That’s why we have choose the RM 3,688 package rather than RM 3,988 package, as we already budgeted that we will buy extra copies. The difference with the two packages, if I am not mistaken, is the size of one of the albums and an extra photo frame. Payments are split into 30:30:30:10 – deposit: gown fitting: photo shooting: collect albums. To reflect our story account is genuine, our invoice number is 3399.

We also made the gown fitting appointment. The day before the gown fitting (somewhere in March 2011), Elaine called to remind us about it. It does reflect good customer service. Before we started out to choose the gowns, we choose our “themes”. At that time, choosing themes was not easy as we were given the actual albums, which were difficult to make comparison. (Recently, I noticed that they have come out with a brochure.) Elaine choose many gowns for me and she helped me put on each gown. Truthfully, I have never worn so many dresses before in a day. It is good to have many choices, but of course, the setback is it will be difficult to choose if you like more than the ones you are supposed to take. We also bought my Nu Bra (RM 50), which will be used on the shooting day from Mon Liza, as Elaine assisted it to put on it. [Yes, one will be truly naked in front of the sales assistant for the whole fitting session] Then, we set our shooting date and with faith, we left it to Elaine to choose our makeup artist and photographer.

Come the day before the shooting date, again, someone from Mon Liza called to remind us about the appointment. When we arrived at their studio (which is located in SS3), the makeup artist and assistant are already there; in fact, helping another couple to put on makeup. We came to know that our makeup artist is Mr One, who has a lot of sense of humour; while the assistant is Grace (also a makeup artist) who helped me put on the gown. Our photographer is Rain. We choose Taman Tun to take the photos as we wanted the nature feel and also do not want to travel too far. This really depends on your preferences.  So, it was outdoor and indoor photo shooting, the whole day. Our families came in the evening for the family shoots, which I think they truly enjoyed as well.

The next day, Elaine called us up to set appointment for viewing the photos, which was one to two months later. The time length of waiting, according to her, depends on how soon your actual wedding day is. If you want to view it as soon as possible, you need to stress it to her. Generally, it is quite pack on weekends.

On the selection day, which takes about half a day, we were told that they were having a promotion where if we select extra 50 softcopies, it will be RM900 (which is RM 18 per piece, instead of RM 20 per piece). However, these softcopies pricing does not include the family photo pricing. The rationale, according to them, is because there are more headcounts in a family photo (which we think is pure nonsense). So, they will be charging us RM 50 per piece of family photo. Not only that, to have the family photo softcopies, we are required to have one of the family photos framed up, which will incur us an additional charge. This was the only “trap” that we fell into? We have no choice since our families have made the time to come for the shoot and happily plus excitedly waiting for the photos. At the end, we choose 8 family photos, and forked out an additional RM 480 (we did not argue about this because we know that we have no say about this). So, the total extra softcopies cost us RM 1,380. So, if you are offered to take family photos and told about soft copies prices, do not assume that they all go on the same price. Always ask, don’t assume and get them state “black and white”, so that you have a preparation mindset and money.

As we were happy with the photos taken by Rain, we then decided to hire him as our actual day photographer. Together with another photographer, it cost us about RM 1,800, where we paid a 50% deposit on it.

We went for photo viewing (after it was designed in soft copies). It is good to be observant when viewing the pre-viewing. Things to note include – whether the sleeves are dirty, shoes are torn (you will just need to zoom into the photos one by one). Also, if you are not satisfied with the design, always voice up. This is what hubby did. He told our designer, Gino about some areas that he felt weird (some initial designs). We got Gino to change it on the spot and we were truly amazed by how she did it.

The next visit was the quality control. We were supposed to get our soft copies as well, but Gino was on leave. Hence, we couldn’t. They could have prepared in advance (by burning it into a CD) to avoid disappointment to their customers. All the photos are ok except for the biggest frame photo, where we noticed that the sharpness in the face area is not clear. Since Gino was not at the spot, Elaine called her another designer (guy) who gave us “rubbish” explanation. Also, (I think) since he wasn’t our graphic designer, he was “lazy” to entertain us and kept saying “don’t know” or we have to ask Gino. There wasn’t a remedy given, but keep denying the sharpness. Elaine resorted to “holding” the big photo before they frame it out. She said she will ask Gino to call us.

Thinking that we have spent an additional RM 3,180 (which is RM 1,380 + RM 1,800), we asked if we could get an additional 10 softcopies for free. All this while, we have been flexible to them – we are not choosy.  Also, we told Elaine that we did not “calculate” with her on how they have (over)charged us for the family photos, which was out of expectation. Coincidently, the boss (Irene) was there, and when Elaine denied us, I asked to speak to her boss, which she said “if everyone wants to speak to our boss, then our boss will have a hard time entertaining customers.” Then, I stressed it out that we are serious by looking at her. Next, she resorted to asking her manager’s help, who I am not mistaken, is Emily. Without knowing the actual details of our package and spending made, Emily immediately rejected our request. And, the most annoying thing that I heard was “we hope you can refer us your friends” when they did not have the spirit of goodwill (not even bother about a win-win situation, but more like they win-we lose). They made me lose my cool. Anger was running high and I did something obscene by showing her my middle finger.  And, we and they continue to sit there like nothing happen; nobody is doing anything. I only stared at them angrily (sorry, I was in bad mood that day). After some emotions running in the scene, Emily asked Elaine to write down what we have taken, and then, they went into their boss’s room to talk about it. About five to 10 minutes later, they came out from the room and Emily (with a smiling face) sat in front of hubby (and without looking at me) said that “knowing that you have supported us by buying photos and also booking Rain as photographer, we just called Rain (who will earn the commission from the additional photos you take) that he agreed to give you the 10 free softcopies.” So, at the end, we manage to get the 10 free softcopies but only can choose the photos another day.

What I don’t like is: why can’t they have the spirit of goodwill and create a win-win situation at the first place; instead would want to make us (or me) run high on emotions before they agree on it? It is not that we did not top up our package.  From this point of view, you can see how they are on the winning side (if they did not agree with the 10 free softcopies). And, I still do not believe that the total cost of additional photos taken will be given to Rain – but will be shared with the management, and the management will decide on this, and not the photographer. Maybe the sales assistant should be given some flexibility/ power to decide to give out something extra for the supportive customers, which make customers happy.

Good point: They did not curse back to me for showing them my anger, at least in front of me (but, not sure, at the back scene)

The process has not ended. Besides choosing the 10 free copies, we have to collect our album, do fitting for our actual day, car decoration and collect actual day gown – before I can make a total conclusion about their package and how satisfied we are. But, seriously, the last week’s incident has given us some bad impression.

Disclaimer: I have also cooled myself down (after few days) before writing on this so that I can give an unbiased view.

Rain (or Ah Gu), photographer from Mon Liza Wedding Castle, SS2

We did not know who our photographer was until the pre-wedding shoot day. Our sales assistant from Mon Liza Wedding Castle (Elaine) has assured us that she will select the “best” for us. So, on that day, we met Rain (while his colleagues call him Ah Gu). Before we started out, he tested our “smiles” and showed us the right way to post in order to look natural and photogenic (this is really a plus point). He checked with the photos for every click he takes and would ask us to retake when he feels our expressions in the photos did not turn well – for instance, when one of our eyes closed or our smiles look “fake”. Rain was really professional with his work, and was very “into” his role – as he acted out the posts he wanted us to do – even if it was feminine roles. He was observant to the ways we post for photos and ensure that our gown and suit were neatly intact before he made shoots. To us, he was really patience (which was something we should expect when choosing a photographer), even though we often made the same kind of mistakes during the shoots. He continued to take shoots, even at some points I wanted to give up and yawning away (which we were glad he did continued to do so). He was “mysterious” and did not really want us to look at the photos taken on the day; but the very few photos that he showed us on the spot (to give us an overview) really impressed us.

We got to see his total work at the photo selection day. And, we actually fell in love with his photos. After thinking for about a week or two, we have decided to hire him as our actual day photographer. Hope his work will be up to our expectations on that day!

Follow up read 1: Actual day photographer, Rain & Sky from Mon Liza Wedding Castle

Follow up read 2:Mon Liza Wedding Castle

Balloons – Something Special 2U, SS2 or Balloon Bouquets, Section 14?

In May, we were looking for helium balloons for our pre-wedding shoot. From the forum, I got to know about Something Special 2U, which is located in SS2. It specializes in selling Chinese Wedding stuff, and they do have helium balloons as well. In its website, it was mentioned that 4 round and 4 heart shaped helium balloons cost about RM 26. So, we decided to pay a visit to the shop. Upon arrival, we asked the sales attendant about the helium balloons as posted on their website. None of them know what we were talking about. Then, we went to their shelves that displayed balloons and asked them about pricing. It was RM 3 to RM 5 for the helium balloons, depending on the shape. Given that our pre-wedding shoot would start from day time (from 9 am), we asked if we can get it by 10am (on a Friday morning). The sales attendant says they only open at 12pm and if we want it earlier, they can come in earlier but they will charge us an additional RM 20 on top of the cost of the number of balloons we order. Feeling that they are not very service-oriented, we decided not to place the order there. They weren’t that good in handling customers.

Our next stop is Balloon Bouquets located at Section 14, Petaling Jaya. We already know their presence and they are kind of famous. We initially thought the helium balloons there would be pricier. But, we are glad to find that they charge RM 3 for both round and heart-shaped balloon. In addition, the male sales attendant takes his initiative to explain to us the difference of a helium balloon that could last longer compared to the RM 3 ones (which last about eight hours). The difference is they add on glue for the pricier helium balloons (I have forgotten about the pricing for this). We asked if we can collect early and the sales attendant says that they are open at 10am. So, there is no additional charge. But, he reminded us to book in advance so that we do not have to wait on the day of collection.

We made our bookings for 10 helium balloons (RM 30) one week before our pre-wedding shoots with Balloon Bouquets, Section 14. And, in the morning, on our way to our outdoor location, we dropped by to collect the balloons, which was ready for collection. We are happy with how the balloons turn out and how the sales attendant arranged it! The only setback about this branch is the parking.

White Rose Florist USJ SS15

In February, we were searching for flowers for our ROM. We actually surveyed few florists around SS2 (Petaling Jaya) and also SS15 (Subang Jaya). Our final choice was White Rose Florist because the lady was able to give good and sound advice plus her flexibility to accommodate us. We also told her the colour of my gown and she suggested the colour of flowers for us. Given my height, the lady also suggested the number of stalks that I can hold. At the end, she showed the sample photo of flowers. She wrote down the flower code and reminded us to book two weeks before the day we collect it. Since our ROM was on Monday, she also agreed to open her business on Sunday for us to collect the flowers.

We paid the deposit (RM 50) in the middle of March. We turned up at her shop again as we do not want any confusion. And, we collected the flowers the day before our ROM. The lady was basically waiting for us to turn up and happily showed us our flowers when we turn up. We paid the remaining RM 70, where the total cost is RM 120.

However, my mother in law said that it was “overpriced” compared to flowers in Petaling Street. However, could the flowers from Petaling Street turn out to be as good as this (just wondering)? To me, this was really beautiful.  Moreover, my friend (who came to my ROM) said that it is usually the berries that cost the flowers expensive.

I am indeed happy with how the flowers turned out and the service provided. Well, if in future if there’s need for any flower for any occasion, I am happy to get back to her.

Paul Cheng Photography

In December last year (2010), we were scouting for a photographer for our ROM/ wedding. And, coincidently, Paul Cheng, who was my former classmate added me on facebook and I came to know that he is in the photography business. When it comes to picking a photographer, I think “trust” is an utmost important factor. Given that I know Paul personally, without much hesitance, we contacted him via email. And, we also wanted to check on his availability on our day. His email response was fast. He quoted us a price (which cannot be disclosed as per promised) and suggested that we meet up.

 

Paul came all the way from Klang to meet us at SS2 on a morning, and arrived earlier than us. He explained to us about his photography service, described more about himself (since we have not met for the past 10 years) and how the services will be conducted during a ROM and wedding. He also probed us on the kind of theme we want (which we have not much idea on). At the end of the conversation, he told us that we did not have to agree on the spot, but think about it and let him know in a couple of days. Few days later, we agreed to have him as our photographer on our ROM day.

 

Throughout the period before the actual ROM day, we stayed in contact via email, google chat and Blackberry messenger.  Paul made sure that our queries are all answered.

 

On the eve of the ROM day, instead of me reminding him of the event on the next day, he smsed me to check out how I was doing and asked me to relax.

 

On the actual day, fearing the traffic, we arrived early at the venue. What surprised us is Paul arrived even earlier than us. As our request for him was we wanted him to take some pre-wedding shoots and given that this is our first time having a professional photographer, he guided us throughout the process. Photos were shoot when guest arrived, before, during and after the signing ceremony and the group shoots. What I observed was Paul does not simply click his camera but just two or three clicks and confident that the photos are good. He also created some environment when our look become stiff.

 

We have asked Paul to join us for lunch after the ceremony. Given the lunch was located near Petaling Street, Paul took the initiative and suggested that we take some pre-wedding shoots too at that area, which was a good idea.

 

On the very next day, Paul Blackberry messaged me and asked for permission to upload some photos on his website. We wanted to view those photos first before he posted it on his website. So, he emailed to us the hidden link. Once we were “ok” with that, he posted some photos on his website.

 

About a week later, Paul contacted us and suggested that we meet up again to get the photos in another week time. So, we met at Subang Parade to get the photos. After viewing the photos on the spot, we handed him the fee, as per agreed.

 

Overall, we think Paul is good in terms of servicing and photography skills. While initially I did not have much feedback for Paul (which he often asked me for it) and after going through some other photography in the past few months, I think one point that Paul could improve on is be more observant of the objects’ (people) – for instance, if the person’s dress has flipped up or the standing legs are wide open, and more focus can be placed on the object (not just the scenery).

 

We initially engaged him for our actual day wedding photography. However, out of some unexpected circumstances, he could not make it. He tried his best to make us feel at ease, by even suggesting another photographer and meeting up for it. It’s abit disappointment that we could not work together this time around but there are certainly many opportunities in the future.

 

HRH Nail Studio SS2

I wanted to get a nail art for ROM. I have no idea where to, and thus I google search some nail saloons – the key factors for me are the service plus location. So, I bumped into HRH Nail Studio and found that they have 3 branches – Section 14, Section 17 and SS2. Being more familiar to SS2, so we went there to check out before hand (few weeks before day I wanted to do the nail art).

In the nail studio, I told her that it is for the purpose of ROM. So, the manicurist explained that I would need to do the normal manicure first before doing nail art. She then showed me some nail art sample. I was actually more concern about the pricing, since it was the first time I am doing nail art. So, I asked how much will it cost, and she said approximately less than RM 100. So, I happily set an appointment for the day before ROM.

On the appointment date (which is late March 2011), I told her that I wanted to do pedicure as well. Initially, she said she couldn’t as there are other appointments placed. But later, she said it was possible, as the customer was late. The place is serene and thus really conducive if one wants to relax while having their manicure and pedicure done. I find the manicurist is more professional in the sense that they do not yell at one another and totally focus in giving their customers the full attention. This was also my first experience of nail art, after hearing so much about it. I opted for a non-3D nail art. The bill comes out to RM 127 (classic medicure and pedicure + nail art + French tip).

My second visit was in June 2011, as I wanted to get a nail art for my pre-wedding shoot. I called to make an appointment, where they professionally handled the appointment making process. They wanted to explain to me the package they were offering at that time, but I told them to speak to me on the spot. This time around I brought along my nail art magazine, and showed the manicurist on the pattern I wanted. I signed up for the two times basic manicure and pedicure, which was RM 100. The additional nail art cost RM 50. So, the total bill was RM 150. The manicurist confidently mimics the nail art, which I showed her. I am really satisfied with the actual outcome. I actually spoke to the manicurist who did my nail art, and she told me that it was practice that makes her nail art jobs perfect. In addition, she is really a young lad to begin with. I am impressed.

My third visit was in July 2011, to utilize the one time basic manicure and pedicure, which I have paid for. Prior appointment booking was made, similar to the previous experience. No hard sell given even though they know that would be the end of my package.

Personally, I like the experience in HRH Nail Studio. The environment in the shop is good and the service given is professional. Compared to my first experience in another nail saloon, I came to understand about the need of manicurist being hygiene on their nail tools. The only setback in the SS2 branch could be the traffic and parking. I will probably visit their other outlet in Section 17 on my next visit.

Follow up read 1: Here

Follow up read 2: Here