Prep - Bringing forward the wedding

11:33:00 PM

Some time in end November, Ben's dad was feeling very uncomfortable and we decided to bring him to the hospital for a thorough check-up, which led to him going for an endoscopy a few days later. The doctor diagnosed him with Stage IV Cancer, with cancer cells present in his colon, lungs and brain. It was news we all found difficult to digest but it sank in after a while and all of us in the family reacted to the matter really fast.

While waiting for more scan results and for the doctors to tell us what steps would follow, Mel decided to make some calls to see if we could bring forward the wedding, which was set to be in June. One of the problems we had was that for us Catholics, we had to first complete an Engaged Encounter course before we were allowed to get married in a Catholic Church, and our course was only going to be from 9-11 Jan 2015. So regardless of what date we would like to shift the wedding to, it had to be the week after the course. 

We are hoping that this wouldn't happen to any of our friends and readers. But we felt it might be good to share on the steps we took and the issues we encountered along the way if anyone should fall in a similar situation as us. 

1. We first seeked permission from the priest to bring forward our wedding due to unforeseen circumstances and once he gave the green light, we shortlisted new dates for Jan and Feb 2015 that the church was still available for as it would have been easier securing a different ballroom for our dinner banquet because we had chosen MBS convention centre as our dinner location (which we have yet to blog about! Sorry!)

2. Calling up MBS was the next step Mel did to check if they had ballrooms left on our newly shortlisted dates. Thankfully as it was still 2 months away, there wasn't going to be any charges for changing the wedding banquet date (also because our reason was unforeseen of course). 

3. We secured the new date of 17 Jan 2015 to have our ceremony held in the same church and our dinner banquet held at the original venue, albeit a smaller ballroom size given this time round due to it being a "hot" date for a wedding. 

4. The next part was rather tricky as there were many vendors whom we had previously contacted and informed of the previous wedding date. So we had to contact them again to check if they were available on the new date. 

Good thing we did our homework way before our wedding so we had a backup list of vendors should any of our preferred  were no longer available! 

We were also very lucky that all the vendors were really understanding about our situation and they tried their very best to help us with our requests. We went ahead with securing the church florist, wedding lunch caterer and confirmed the decorations we wanted for the dinner banquet, all these within a week or so. As Ben was busy with home renovations (his family had to move back into the home they had rented out for the past 5 years and it was left in a really horrendous state for us to clean!), he left almost all of the decisions to Mel and she would summarize all that she had confirmed with Ben every night when they met up. We also didn't want to waste too much time finalizing minor details, so we made sure that all the deals that we had signed went through a fast yet thorough process. 

5. While we originally planned for a pre-wedding & honeymoon trip to Korea in April (sorry we won't be able to blog about this anymore!), we decided to cancel the trip since it didn't make sense to have the photos taken and printed after the wedding itself. We discussed with our Bridal Shop on the possibility of shifting the deposit we made for the trip to other packages that we had purchased from them. Again, we were truly blessed as they agreed to do it for us without a penalty. 

Since we cancelled the korea wedding shoot, we quickly booked a slot for an indoor wedding shoot with the Bridal studio. A lot had to be done in between, like:

- Trial make-up with the MUA
- Get hair dyed
- Gown fitting and re choosing of gown because 1 of it was not available on the new date of shoot

The Photoshoot went well (read the post about our Pre-wedding Photoshoot) and we were able to select the photos 30min later before it went for editing and printing. Great effort to the team for speeding things up and letting us collect our albums and portraits the week after. 

6. We also set a date for the Guo Da Li ceremony (4 Jan 2015) and purchased all the items necessary at the Chinese Wedding Shop. The ceremony went smoothly and we were very glad that Ben's Dad was able to join us that afternoon.

Read about our Guo Da Li Ceremony here.

7. Surely we met disappointments along the way, especially when we had finalized lunch catering details with one of the caterers and the contact person in charge suddenly went on maternity leave without handing down her work to any colleague. We were left clueless on whether our orders were taken and if it wasn't, we had much less time to search for a new caterer. 

But we did by the way. We confirmed on another caterer and they solved all our worries about our lunch reception. One problem out of the way! 

Planning for the big day has been a long process, which started some 8 months ago. But it never crossed our minds that this would have happened to us and to our families. It has been a tiring journey, one with full of ups and downs. We always joke with each other that we can be certified wedding planners after planning our own and we will excel in meeting with tight deadlines. Haha! But it's true. Nothing feels more accomplishing than planning for your own wedding. More time is taken but more personal effort is being put into it. 

Thank you for all your messages and prayers. Ben's dad is in his recovery process after undergoing radiotherapy and we are hoping for the best for him. 

In the meantime, 
We breathe.

See you at #MelBenGetsMarried :)

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