Wedding Diaries

Getting married: The hall

My wedding reception was held at Dewan Merak Kayangan. Before we decided on the hall, Mama shortlisted several halls that could cater to a sit-down event for 500 pax and went for site visits. Of our options, she picked a Felda hall for a number of reasons.

Why we picked Felda

Felda halls are usually proper banquet halls which come with a complete package. They charge by the number of pax per reception and this is what we got:

Dining

  • Delicious food catered by reputable caterer, Felda D’Saji
  • Fresh flowers and decoration for the main table
  • Food for guests served in heated domes
  • Banquet chairs and round dining tables
  • Menu cards on each guest table

Decoration

  • Pelamin
  • Flower arch
  • Flowers for walkway

Entertainment

  • Stage for performances
  • PA system and LCD projectors

Other facilities

  • Reception table
  • Changing room for bride and groom
  • VIP waiting room for important guests
  • Free parking

Felda makes it very easy for its bride and groom — you wouldn’t need to book everything above separately, which is the case if you plan to hold a reception at a community hall.

Ideally, we wanted to hold it at the larger and more modern Dewan Perdana, but since the hall required 700 when were only inviting 500 guests, we had to take up the smaller Dewan Merak Kayangan.

Limitations

However, there are several things that you’ll have to consider when you’re booking at Dewan Merak Kayangan. Here are its limitations:

The hall

Back in the days, Dewan Merak Kayangan was the place for wedding receptions. Being an old hall is fine, but looking old… is a problem. The ceiling, walls and carpets looked old school, aged and had stains. The flooring of the main stage needed to be replaced. If anybody had looked closely, they’d be able to spot spiderwebs here and there.

The banquet table

The table setting was alright.  However, the label of each table and the food menu could’ve been better. Who uses Calibri for weddings?!

The main table

The main table was minimally and decently decorated by the appointed decorators. The chair could be upgraded. Requested everything to be an all-white event, out of nowhere, we were given black ribbons and placemats on the main table lol.

The pelamin, arch and walkway

During the first few meetings at Felda, they let me go through pictures of pelamin done by their appointed decorators, so that I could pick one to use for my own reception. In the meeting room, I was FML-ing the whole time. Some of the default Felda pelamin have been around for more than decade — that’s how old they are. Some of the props can also be old and dirty. There was an option to upgrade the pelamin by adding fresh flowers for a couple of grand, but after seeing the pictures of pelamin with fresh flowers, I was left unconvinced.

You can still have your dream pelamin. If you want to sub the job to another decorator not appointed by Felda, you’ll be slapped with a surcharge of RM1500.

Setting up a pelamin can take hours — up to 9 for a decent pelamin, so you’ll have to book the hall for the whole day to allow them to do work properly. But at Felda halls, you can’t exactly do that. There are usually two receptions held at the same day, one in the afternoon and the other at night. If your reception is held at night, you’ll only be able to access the hall from 5:30PM. Guests usually arrive at 8:00PM so that will leave the decorators 2 1/2 hours to get a pelamin done. Muri, muri. There are ways to make it work (you can ask the decorators how) but the decorators I’ve spoken to were just not keen to decorating pelamin at Felda.

As for the arch, it was made of dirty plastic flowers (thankfully not apparent from a distance). The walkways were decorated with white, stained boxy podiums and on top, white chrysanthemums which was great but tolerable.

The VIP chairs in front of the pelamin for those who were going to merenjis could have been prepared more properly. What is with these super wrinkly chair covers?!

Entertainment system

Sound system had limited capabilities and couldn’t support more than a couple of mics.

Final thoughts

Signing up for a Felda D’Saji package undoubtedly makes planning a lot easier — it’s almost like a one stop center for a wedding reception! You have dedicated teams overseeing the catering, decoration, lights, sounds and visual, something that’s very important for a sit-down reception. Because of this, we didn’t need to gather so many people to run the reception. We also received feedback that food was real good.

However, I think the management should seriously consider refurbishing or restoring their older halls. The yellow lights, ceiling, the walls, the flooring on the stage — all of them need to change. They should also consider replacing things that are old — like stained curtains and carpets, dusty plastic flowers, broken pelamin props and dirty merenjis cushions.

If you can tolerate everything that I’d just listed, then go ahead. If you’re critical about details like me, you might need to spend some money to upgrade some of the hall’s offerings… or consider the more modern Felda banquet halls like Dewan Perdana should you qualify i.e. have 700 or more guests.

Overall though, I think we managed saved quite a bit of time and money from having to book and arrange different aspects of the reception separately, so bottom line, it was still cool.

To learn more about the packages and halls, see Felda D’saji.

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2 Comments

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Anon
    September 21, 2014 at 5:42 PM

    How long in advance did you book the Dewan Merak Kayangan? I heard it’s about a year nowadays.

    • Avatar
      Reply
      Miasuraya
      September 21, 2014 at 6:39 PM

      About that. Close to a year before the date.

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