Before my wedding on last Saturday, I have been searching through the forums and blogs for reviews of wedding at Marina Bay Sands. Unfortunately, most reviews are just 1 sentence e.g. Not bad, good food, had my wedding there and it’s good, etc. So basically I couldn’t get much info from there, except for 1 bride who is willing to share with me her experience in private message.
Therefore, I shall be nice and share my actual day wedding experience at MBS in this post.
First of all, please take into consideration that the followings are based on my personal experience and preferences. Also, there were a total of 6 wedding banquets at level 3 ballrooms (running concurrently), and Michael Bublé’s concert at level 5 on my wedding day, 17 Jan 2015, Saturday.
1) Preparation (a few days before the wedding)
My MBS coordinator was Jennifer, but after she left, Aih Kim took over from her, which is probably why she is very busy. Despite that, she does reply emails promptly and answers to our queries. To be fair, promptly means within 1-2 days, as she has so many banquets to take care of.
So, Aih Kim called me to finalise the details of the banquet (number of bottles of wine with corkage waivered, time and venue of solemnization, venue of bridal changing room, hotel stay dates, total number of tables for the dinner, technical requirements for playing videos/music during banquet, banquet floor plan etc.). I was reminded to provide her a wedding photo (min. 5mb) to display on screens outside the ballroom, and a copy of the banquet event flow.
2) Actual Day Arrival at MBS Hotel
If you haven’t noticed, the ballroom is at the convention centre beside the casino, while the hotel room is across the road in one of the 3 towers.
Before we set off to the hotel, we were supposed to call MBS to let them know. But due to over excitement, we forgot about it. On our way to the hotel, the MBS staff called me to check on our estimated time of arrival (ETA). Upon arriving at the drop off point outside Tower 1 lobby, the MBS staff (sorry that I forgot your name) greeted us cheerfully and helped me out of the car. They know it’s us because of the bridal car and the informed ETA. Without any delay, the bellboys rushed to unload our barang barang from the bridal and groomsmen’s cars.
Meanwhile, the MBS staff walked us to our hotel room in tower 3. Yep, this means we have been checked in prior to our arrival, and the bridal car will be valet parked. They made us feel like VIP. =)
So, the staff brought us to our hotel room (Orchid Suite) at level 52. We had the garden view room. After settling us down, she left us to rest in the room. Our wedding package came with a free deluxe room stay for helpers which is located at level 33 in the same tower.
I will write about the hotel room in a separate post.
3) Time for Bride’s makeup
The complimentary champagne and chocolate praline (part of wedding package) were sent to our room. I only had time to drink a cup of nespresso coffee, remove my morning makeup, and a quick shower, then it’s time for me to proceed to the ballroom area for evening makeup.
My makeup artist arrived at 3pm to do makeup and hair do for my mum and mother-in-law, and my turn is at 4+pm. So my mum and I made our way from the hotel to the convention center using the basement 1 linkway. I had changed into my casual clothes so that it’s easier and less awkward for me to walk over. You can choose to take the bridal car over, but I walked to save the trouble and time.
Makeup and gowns changing is done at the bridal changing room beside the banquet ballroom. For me, I was given Angsana room 3E which is as big as my food tasting room. Inside the room, there are tables, chairs, sofa, bottles of water, power points, 2 small mirrors, 1 standing mirror, 2 clothes racks, and drapes to serve as changing area.
My husband stayed in the hotel room to rest until 4pm before calling the bellboy to bring my gowns and shoes from the hotel room to me.
4) Meeting of Banquet Manager & Solemnization
My banquet manager is Dexter. He is so helpful that I have nothing but compliments. He was already there overseeing the banquet tables set up when I went down for my makeup. My bridesmaids, groomsmen, and emcees met him at around 5pm for briefing and rehearsal.
At the same time, my solemnization room was already set up in Angsana room 3F. Since I did not top up to decorate the solemnization room, my reception table flower was brought to the solemnization table by the banquet staff. They automatically returned the flower to the reception table after the ceremony. The lovely assistant (very sorry that I didn’t catch your name either!) even advised me to take a deep breath before marching in the room with my husband.
I did not top up for the audio system, but my guests were able to hear very clearly without the use of microphones. We just have to speak a bit louder.
5) March-in Rehearsal
Dexter coordinated with the A/V technicians (provided by MBS) and the groomsman to play the music and adjusted the lightings. We did both the first and second march-in, wedding cake cutting, and champagne pouring (not real) rehearsal. The assistant helped me with my wedding dress train when I was going up the stage. She is really very helpful and kind.
6) The Banquet
We started the banquet on time at 8pm. Some of our guests couldn’t find parking lots and were late for the dinner.
For the VIP table, I felt that we were well taken care of. Food was nicely portioned and served. The chef had listened to all the comments which we provided during food tasting (I will write about food tasting in separate post).
But some of my guests feedback that the roasted pig skin was not crispy enough, steamed fish and soup were not hot enough. We feedback these to Aih Kim when we settle the final bill and she said that she will investigate. We were a bit puzzled because we have absolutely no issue with the food at our VIP tables and some guests do not have these problems too.
Portion wise, it’s huge. All the guests compliment the generous serving of food. Especially the stir fried scallop with asparagus, the scallops were so big and juicy, and no fishy taste at all. Each guest had about 3-4 pieces of scallops. The steamed fish was very fresh, juicy and tender~ I finished my portion in the changing room. *Greedy Bride*
Overall the service is very good. Except for a few part timers who needed reminder for refilling beverages. Plates were changed timely and food was served promptly. My banquet went so smoothly that we ended at about 10-ish pm. Guests were very happy.
I chose June Florist to do my banquet decor. Previously I was praising them being so flexible about the choice of decor in my blog, but now I have to take back my words.
Here are the stuff that went wrong:
– Flowers were not fresh. When I was doing my march-in rehearsal, I noticed that some flowers had already browned. Like seriously? If only I had my phone with me, I would have taken pictures to prove my words.
– I repeatedly told June Florist that I do not want too many leaves in the aisle flower stands and VIP centerpiece. But, they did as per their usual template. I can only say: Leaves, leaves everywhere~
– Stage Canopy disaster. First I must say that the canopy is pretty and fills up my stage well. BUT, the hanging flower was slanted with the crystals entangled. I noticed the error the moment the I stepped into the ballroom. Seriously? It’s so obvious that anyone who is not blind would have spotted it. They may have many banquet decors to do on that day, but that’s not an excuse for it’s my once in a lifetime wedding.
Also, the stage flowers were fake flowers.
– VIP table. I can only describe it as pathetic. I was assured by Lawrence from June florist over the phone that he will fill up my 20-pax VIP table with flower petals and big candles so that it would not be so empty. But on the actual day, my VIP table only had 1 Mega-top vase and 6 tiny side flowers.
I got my cousin to call June florist to rectify the problems. Guess what? They only came and put a few tealight candles on my VIP table. That’s it. My pathetic looking VIP table and the slanted hanging flower on stage. I shall post the pictures when I received them from my photographer.
As mentioned earlier, my banquet manager is Dexter. I am very lucky to have him managing my banquet. He is so professional and friendly that I would definitely vote him for best service award.
Here’s the stuff he did for us:
– Took good care of the banquet flow
– Pro-actively informed us of the number of bottles of wines opened throughout the banquet
– Pro-actively suggested to open the entrance door slightly for us to watch the morning highlights while we stand by for 2nd march-in
– Pro-actively suggested to do the dry-ice effect for our 2nd march-in as well
– Personally sent the food to our changing room when we have to change for 2nd march-in, and our dessert after the banquet ends
– He adjusted my wedding dress train for me before I march-in. This was really sweet of him.
– Lastly, he got the bellboy to bring our stuff back to the hotel room after the event.
Also, not forgetting the assistant (a Malay lady) who helped and took good care of me during the banquet.
That’s about it for the banquet review. If you need more information, feel free to leave a comment.
I will write about the food tasting and hotel stay in separate posts, so stay tuned!