Wedding planning in Langkawi

Wedding planning in Langkawi 

I had an opportunity to photograph another wedding in Langkawi, Malaysia last weekend.

Although I am usually based in Sydney Australia, I travel around Asia (Mainly Malaysia, Thai and Japan) between May to August to photograph weddings when Sydney’s cold in winter.  Yes, I am not a winter person and trying to avoid as much as I can.

I am actually writing this blog from my rented apartment in Kuala Lumper in Malaysia.

My Australian client Bec and Dave booked me over a year ago through my previous client (bride) who is mother of two now.

Since both Bec and Dave are from Sydney, I have met them at the cafe in Surry Hills to discuss their wedding in Langkawi this time last year. I remember that they have asked me where is the good place to get married in Langkawi then. 
They have just started to plan their wedding there.

Since most of people get married on the private beach or pool deck area at the resort hotel, I have recommended them to have their ceremony and the reception party at 5 stars hotel there.

My favourite has to be Andaman Resort where I always stay when I visit there for holiday and wedding photos.

Their hotel resort is in the jungle and you will see a lot of animals like monkeys, flying fox, big lizards or hawks. Their hotel is massive and it’s a full of nature.
Of course the ocean is right in front of you and the sunset there is just stunning!

Langkawi is only one hour flight from KL.

Their wedding was on Saturday and I arrived their Friday morning, so I can enjoy beautiful island before their wedding day.

We had a quick chat at the hotel lobby and make sure what to photograph on the day.
Bec & Dave gave me the agenda, so I will know what’s happening on their wedding day. 

It’s gong to be a big day!!!!!

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wedding planning in Langkawi

Organising your Wedding in Sydney

Organising your Wedding in Sydney

Here is a more traditional breakdown of wedding expenses.

It’s extremely rare and impractical nowadays to adhere strictly to these:

The bride ad bride’s family traditionally pay for:

gifts for the bridesmaids, accommodation for the bridesmaids, the engagement notice and any other press announcements, the engagement party, reception costs, including the venue, food, entertainment party, reception costs, including the venue, food, entertainment and flowers, groom’s wedding ring, ceremony and reception hire, wedding stationary (invitations, place cards), photography,  wedding dress and accessories,guest book for  the reception, stationary for the thank you notes, outfits for the bridesmaids, and a wedding gift for the groom.

The groom and groom’s  family traditionally pay for:

the rehearsal dinner, traveling expenses, drinks at the reception, purchase/hire of clothing (tuxedo, suit etc), bride’s bouquet, flowers for the
bridesmaids, bride’s engagement and wedding ring, legal paperwork (Marriage Certificate etc), wedding gift for the bride, wedding outfit, celebrant’s fee and the honeymoon.

The maid of honour and bridesmaids traditionally pay for:

a gift for the bride and grooms, contribution to the cost of the bridal shower.

The best man and the ushers traditionally pay for:

gift for the bride and the groom, own attire, a contribution to the cost of the buck’s night.

Paying for the wedding can become complicated when there are the maters of expenses for the bridesmaids and groomsmen.

Groomsmen will always expect to pay their own way, and for most cases, so too will the bridesmaids. However you can always make your own arrangements if you are able to or feel you should make some contributions.

For example, you could offer to pay half of the cost the bridesmaid’s dresses or for the manicures.
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Sydney Wedding Photographers by Katsu Nojiri

Sydney Wedding Photographers by Katsu Nojiri

Organising your Wedding in Sydney 2

Organising your Wedding in Sydney 2

Most people want the best wedding they can afford. There are limits to what you will be able to implement because you won’t have an endless supply of money. It’s at the point that you need to priorities what’s most important to you.

Determine who is able contribute financially and what amounts they are prepared to put forward and finalize these arrangements as soon as possible to give you a greater sense of confidence and control over your planning.

Parents of the bride traditionally pay for most of the wedding in Australia. However, today it is quite common for costs to be shared between both sets of parents and
increasingly, it has become accepted for the bride and groom to contribute as well.

Asking specific people and how you want to spend the money.  There is another way to get around this. Secure the total contribution up-front so you alone decides
where and how that money will be spent. All parties can agree beforehand what percentage they would like to contribute, and then agree beforehand what percentage they would like to contribute, and then have this money transferred into your own bank account.

Following  are some general spending guidelines, however, most of your money will always be spent on those things that are most important to you:

  •  Food & Beverages: 50-60 per cent of your budget
  • Flowers: 8-12 per cent of your budget
  • Music: 4-10 per cent of your budget
  • Wedding Photography: 18-25 per cent of your budget
  • Miscellaneous: 10-15 per cent of your budget

When you choose the photographer, please remember to choose one that will provide you high resolution images without any restrictions so you can print, enlarge or post your photos on facebook without any additional cost.

At Sydney Wedding Photography by Katsu, we provide all your high resolution images on DVD on any packages that you choose.

If you are seeking to reduce your costs, dispense with familiar wedding practices.

For example, have a breakfast, brunch, or cocktail reception  instead of a sit-down evening meal, and choose an off-peak time, day and season. (winter) Look for inexpensive locations like a park or beach, ask for help from creative friends and relatives who have expertise with cake making, decorations.

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Decision Two: The Budget (Part 2) is coming soon.
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Sydney Wedding Photographers by Katsu Nojiri

Sydney Wedding Photographers by Katsu Nojiri

Organising your Wedding in Sydney 3

Organising your Wedding in Sydney 3
Timing, as they say, is everything. The time of day and year you want to marry underpins many other factors in planning your day such as attire, photographer, floral arrangements, decorations, theme, locations ad event transport.

Deciding your preferred wedding date and time is the very first decision you should make.

There are many variables you need to consider when deterring the date of your wedding. The weather can play a big part in selecting a wedding date.
Having the wedding outdoor seems to be popular these days in Sydney but you may want to have a plan B in case it rains.

Some of your guests may have  work have other commitments that may make it difficult for them to attend at certain times of the year.
You may also have to work around public holidays or religious festivals. It’s best to ask important guests if there are any times of the year that they won’t be able to attend before you set your wedding date.

Holding your wedding peak at times of the year can attract a premium. For a Saturday night in October is usually the busiest and most expensive time of the year fort the reception venues in Sydney. Usually wedding photographers are busy from September to December and February to April in for Sydney Wedding. (although our price does not change through the year)
If you want to stretch your dollar further, hold your wedding off-peak and make the most of it by creating your theme around it.

You may want to choose a particular wedding date because of it’s significance, such as the anniversary of your parent’s wedding or when you first met or lucky number for Chinese people such August 8th  (their lucky number) or October 10th (National Day)  or March 3rd for Japanese couple. (Girl’s day)

Speak to each service provider such as celebrant or photographer to determine the best time of year to use their service to maximize their effectiveness.

For examples, your photographer will know the best time of year  and time of the day to take photographs or start your ceremony.

Finally, to help decide the best time of the day to marry, take into account the time between reception and the wedding ceremony.

If you are planning a sit-down dinner reception, for example, then the time between the wedding and the reception is usually 3-4 hours at most.
This would make your wedding ceremony around 2pm or 3pm for a 6pm reception. (earlier in winter time as the sun set earlier)

If you can, avoid leaving guests hanging for too long between these parts of the day or alternatively, ask a relative to host a cocktail party at their home while waiting. If the wedding and reception are to be held at the same place, shorten the time different between the two events.

Please remember that we usually need about 1 hour to photograph you at one spot during the location shoot (plus traveling time), so for example,

if you are thinking about having your photos taken at The Botanic Garden and The Rocks area in Sydney, we will need at least 2 hours to photograph and traveling time.

Hope this article was helpful. Decision Two is coming soon…..

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Sydney Wedding Photographers by Katsu Nojiri

Sydney Wedding Photographers by Katsu Nojiri


Rule Five Part 2

Rule Five Part 2

Use this list of traditional wedding roles as a guide only. Don’t be afraid to allocate roles according to your own personal choices and reasons. For example, it may be more appropriate for you to base your selections on ability or on a

personal connection you have for each person.

Maid/Matron of honour:

  •  Organises the bridal shower with the bridesmaids
  • Organises the hens’ night
  • Pays for her own wedding attire
  • Helps with invitations and recording of gifts
  • Helps the bride dress for the ceremony
  • Helps throughout the day as needed
  • Returns any hired accessories for the bride
  • Assists with the young attendants
  •  Takes charge of the emergency pack (TBA)
  • Witness the signing of the register
  • Assists the maid of honour wherever possible
  • Helps the bride dress for the wedding
  • Pays for her/their own wedding attire
  • Looks after the guest book
  • Helps organise the bridal shower Flower girl or pageboy
  • Sprinkles fresh flower petals down the aisle for the bride to walk on
  • Carries a pretty basket of fresh flowers
  • Carries the bride’s train and helps to arrange it neatlyBest Man
  • Organise  the bucks’ night
  • Hires own wedding attire
  • Ensures the ceremony documentation is in place
  • Drives the groom to the ceremony
  • Witness the signing of register
  • Instructs ushers as needed
  • Holds the bride groom’s rings for the ceremony
  • Pays service providers on the day as necessary
  • Makes a speech
  • Returns the groom’s attire
  • Helps photographers to organize the groups shotsUshers
  • Arrive early to assist with any  setting up
  • Welcome guests and show them to their seats
  • Hand out service sheets
  • Help the best man as asked
  • Clean up after the ceremony
  • Hire own wedding attire
  • Help decorate the newlywed’ car

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Sydney Wedding Photographers by Katsu Nojiri

Sydney Wedding Photographers by Katsu Nojiri

The Five Golden Rules Rule Five 1

The Five Golden Rules Rule Five 1

A good project manager learns how to delegate tasks and motivates their team to do them well.

There are two types of helpers: the ones that you pay and the ones who are volunteered. Your unpaid helpers include people like your parents, cousins, brothers, sisters, close friends and so on. Your paid help includes wedding photographers like us, the florists, DJ and etc.

Although there is truth in the saying, “You get what you paid for” you should not select helpers on price alone. Quality of work one reason for price differences, but there is more to it than that.

What does their reputation hold? Do you actually like their work? Do you feel comfortable with the person?

We always tell our clients when we first meet, “You came here because you like our work on our website, do you feel comfortable with us too?”

Don’t get too caught in allocating the volunteer tasks according to tradition.  Instead, select on suitability and circumstances.

For example, in a traditional wedding the father gives the bride away. However, the bride can ask a brother, mother, stepfather or even both parents at once
if she so wishes.

Similarly, instead of selecting a close friend for the role of bridesmaid, ask a sister, cousin, or sister-in-law, or dispense with the role altogether.

Rule Five Part2  is coming soon…..

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Sydney Wedding Photographers by Katsu Nojiri

Sydney Wedding Photographers by Katsu Nojiri

The Five Golden Rules Rule 4

The Five Golden Rules Rule 4

The other side of the wedding planning can be the most difficult to control, and that’s the politics of it.

Overbearing parents and helpers can get caught up in rivalries and power games and, if left unattended, can result in threats of non-attendance or refusal to contribute further. Weddings are about building a

nd strengthening families, not about destroying them.

Employ these leadership strategies: 

  • If you have an overbearing helper, give them specific jobs. For example, give them the task of narrowing down the best caterer.
  • Remind those concerned who’s wedding it is and relay your visions of what you want your wedding to be like. Be as diplomatic as you can.
  • Always maintain an air of politeness and calm, but remain firm and assertive.
  •  As a last resort, be prepared to risk relationship status quo to keep control. it’s not nice to think strained relationships. could develop over what is supposed to be a joyous, but remember your priority now is to your life partner.

One of the true tests of your leadership is how you are going to manage the budget. Allowing other to decide who pays for what exposes you and your partner to a higher risk of deposited into your bank account upfront allows you to spend as you see fit, without seeking permission or worrying about unwanted  interference.

This may not be necessary for your situation, and hopefully parents will support their children in any case.

You also remember that you need to book your venue, celebrant and photographers first. They are the first ones to be booked out.
It’s October 10th today.  A lot of booking that we are taking now are ones in April, May and June 2013!

Please contact us early if you are planning to have your wedding in Sydney or any other places even!

Rule Five is coming soon….

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Sydney Wedding Photographers by Katsu Nojiri

Sydney Wedding Photographers by Katsu Nojiri

The Five Golden Rules 1

The Five Golden Rules 1

Having the right people close to you can make an enormous differences to the

pleasure and success of your wedding organisation. Whether you are employing professionals or asking friends and family to volunteer and assist, you must still select the right people.

The quality of the help you enlist will depend largely upon your ability to search out and recognize the best people for the job, and then getting the best out of them.

Getting people to do what you want requires leadership. Share your vision with those around you so they get a clear idea of what you want. Never assume anyone in your wedding party knows what is expected of them. The more information your helpers have, the better job they will do.

Be excited and spread your enthusiasm to others. Most people would be naturally chuffed at being asked to help out, so make them feel their contribution is really important and appreciated.

Be consistent, clear and don’t give out mixed messages. Agree with your partner on  important matters before you speak to anyone else. If you appear unified, this will give others less opportunity to wrest control from you.

Keep in contact with your helpers, Let them know where you are up to, ask them where they are up to, and ask if they need any help with their task/s. Give deadlines, because this sets the impression that you are in control ad makes people feel responsible for their tasks. Deadline also reduce anxiety because you have a deadline date of completion and can act when it’s not met.

Make a point of publicity acknowledging your helpers at the reception. Otherwise you can take them out to lunch, give them a gift like a special photo or just send them a thank you card.

Was this article helpful?  Please contact us if you are planning to have your wedding in Sydney!

Rule Four ( Part 2): Be a Leader is coming soon….

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Sydney Wedding Photographers by Katsu Nojiri

Sydney Wedding Photographers by Katsu Nojiri

The Five Golden Rules 4

The Five Golden Rules 4

Your first priority in this event is the preservation of your relationship.

There’s no point walking down the aisle in the best-organized wedding of the year if you can’t stand the sight of the person at the other end of it.

If your partner says to you, “We can’t do that, my parents won’t like it” their priority in this insurance is the relationship with their parents, and not necessary to yours.

Reaching decisions that may have far-reaching circumstances is never simple.
If you are going to put your foot down, make sure it’s important enough to do so. The key is to pick your battles. It’s more about putting everything in perspective and prioritizing what is really most important.

The organization of your wedding is a test of how you will function as a team. The decision-making process is unique to the dynamics of each couple. Some people like to organize every aspect together, other like to delegate parts, while others prefer to split the tasks.

We have noticed that a lot of our clients likes to come to see me together on their first appointment.  So they both can see more of my work and feel the connections with myself as their wedding photographer.

Agree at the early stage how you will work , so you don’t get yourself in a position where
the person is accusing the other of not pulling their weight, or pulling too much weight.

Rule Three will be update soon. Stay tuned!

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Sydney Wedding Photographers by Katsu Nojiri

Sydney Wedding Photographers by Katsu Nojiri

The Five Golden Rules 5

The Five Golden Rules 5

I have read a book a few months ago. The book was about “What makes people successful”.

One particular habit that is most useful to wedding planning is Habit Number Two: “ Begin with the end in mind.” This is based on the principle that all things are created twice – first in the mind, then in the physical.

Problems  can arise when couples don’t have a clear picture of the type of wedding they want. Without a clear plan, it’s easier to get talked into things you don’t really need or want.

No two weddings are ever going to be the same, so every wedding is an exception to the rules of wedding etiquette and planning. You have in front of you a clean canvas ready to be painted. You may hear people say “ It’s your day, do whatever you want.” This is true to some extent, but it’s also true the day happens to your partner’s, your partner’s parent’s and your guest’s day as all.

Consequently, it’s as silly to say “ Do whatever you want” as it is to say “ Try to please everyone” These are the extremes you should be avoiding.

Find the middle ground that resolves around a sense of balance between you, your family, your friends and your guests.

Sit down with your partner and create a vision of your wedding. It may change over time and this is fine, but at least you will have made a start.

Ask yourselves:

  • What do we want the guests to say about our wedding day?
  • What do we want our parents and immediate family to say about our wedding day?
  • What do we want the bridal party to say about our wedding day?
  • What do we want to say about our wedding day?

Keep these outcomes in mind as you begin to organize your wedding.

Please contact us anytime if you need to discuss your wedding planning in Sydney.
Although we are wedding photographers, we have been in Sydney’s wedding industry over a decade. We have met many couples who got married in Sydney during the time. We should be able to give you some advise. 🙂

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Sydney Wedding Photographers by Katsu Nojiri

Sydney Wedding Photographers by Katsu Nojiri