I’ve always dreamt of my big day since I was a child, and now that day is finally becoming a reality. Since I began planning my wedding, I’ve learnt some lessons — both big and small — that you’ll only find out when you become a soon-to-be bride yourself.
These are experiences that not even your mum or your friends will tell you, perhaps it may seem normal to them once they’ve been through it. If you’re like me, and are still in the midst of the wedding preparations, or starting to plan one soon, go grab a cup of tea and I’ll be your virtual best friend to let you in on some things you should know.
Because other brides-to-be are way more kan chiong than you are, you’ll find that your favourite venues or popular wedding vendors have been snagged up in a year, or sometimes even a year and a half in advance.
What should be locked down a year to nine months before D-Day? Venue, Photographers (PG), and Videographers (VG). This is important if you’re engaging popular ones in the industry. Thereafter, you can slow down and breathe for a little.
It’s going to be crazy, tiring and confusing at times when looking for the venue. Admit it – we all have that far-fetched, Pinterest-inspired venue that we’ve coveted in our heart, but this is Singapore.
Sorry to burst your bubble but there are going to be a few hits and misses when you go for site visits. My advice? Once you find the one place that both you and your significant other kind of like, settle for it. You may not swoon over it at first, but allow time to let it grow on you.
I’ve always wanted to get married in a church with stained glass windows and clean white walls with wooden pews, but most of the churches that fitted these requirements only allowed members of the church to get married on their premises. The journey to finding a venue is long and arduous, and this goes for all types, including hotels. I ended up with a relatively traditional-looking church sans the stained glass.
And yes, I’ve grown to like it now.
Ditch your misconception that booking any other venue is cheaper than having your reception in a ballroom. You’d be surprised, some venues quoted us a sum comparable to that of a five-star hotel. If your venue happens to come with an opulent interior, lucky you, otherwise be prepared to pay to hire a venue stylist to spruce up the place.
You could get help from your entourage with decorating the night before the wedding, but I’m pretty sure they’ll be cursing under their breaths (we’ve all been bridesmaids, and we know how we need our sleep too!). Also, some venues come without a caterer and all this starts to add up.
So the next time you’re attending a non-hotel venue, you could be an angel and do your newly wedded friends a favour by not skimping on the red packets.
Before giving yourself a pep talk about how you can handle it, make sure you do a thorough health check on both your bank accounts before making such a commitment. Also, if you’ve applied for sale-of-balance flats, you may be able to get your keys by the second HDB appointment. That’s also about the same time when both your CPF accounts will be wiped clean.
Within a span of nine months to a year, you’ll be saying hello to your new home! Bet no one told you it’ll be that fast. Now, you’ll have to pay for both the wedding and your home renovation. Just something to keep in mind if you’re thinking about staggering it.
Going À la carte may seem like you’re taking a huge leap of faith. In all honesty, I loved that it gave me the liberty to plan the wedding according to our desires, unrestrained by the packages offered by bridal houses.
Walking down this narrower path may or may not cost you more depending on the extent of your extravagance, but you can at least know you’re investing in the right things, and cutting costs on the least necessary.
I’ve found independent vendors to be more personal and they genuinely place your desires above anything else. They take the time to understand your preferences and personality and create a style that suits you. Remember, the wedding is about the both of you and should not be a cookie-cutter event.
I started going crazy, pinning every single pretty idea that appeared before my eyes and soon my board became utterly messy and a mishmash of clutter. But, it also helped me identify a style that I wanted. Once you find a repetitive trend in your pins, you’ll know that you’ve found the style you love.
Again, be realistic. There are some flowers that are impossible to get in our climate, and venues that you won’t see on our little red dot. A little tip, I used Pinterest to focus on the core decorating elements, and used it as my main platform to get DIY ideas that could be easily recreated here in Singapore.
Trust me, or at least trust your heart. Opinions from people around you and Online reviews will try to sway you when it comes to the choices you have to make, or the vendors you should choose. I say go with what or who you’re most comfortable with. After all, to each her own.
Sticking to your intuition is the best thing you can do for yourself and it’ll cut the hassle of wasting nights away on blind research, undoubtedly lessening your stress.
Every bride and groom have that certain aspect of the wedding that they feel are more important than another. Sit down with your fiancé and go through a list of vendors or details that can be compromised upon and what can’t. This is vital as it will help with your budgeting and proper allocation of your finances.
Apart from the venue, the bulk of our money went into hiring good photographers and a videographer, as they are responsible for capturing the essence of your big day. You don’t want bad quality pictures, especially not when it’s one of the biggest moments of your lives together. Avoid those planned unnatural poses that you’ll regret five years later when Facebook decides to remind you of your past.
There won’t be a fairy-godmother to wave her wand and set everything in place, but you have your other half, family, family-in-law, and closest friends supporting you every step of the way. Trust that they will have the wisdom to advise you accordingly and know that you can count on them to help you whenever you need them.
While there may be times where you squabble over minute details, know that at the end of the day, your relationship with them will only grow deeper. They will be the ones crying tears of joy when you walk down the aisle. They will be the ones sticking by you all your life. Trust that they have your best interests at heart.
I’m down to the final few months before my big day and geez, didn’t we just place our down payment for renting the church hall? In a blink of an eye, you’ll be walking down the aisle.
So, try to enjoy every bit of the planning process. I’m not even through with it but am already starting to miss it. I’ve set the date with a picture of the church aisle as the background of a countdown app and it gives me a mini heart attack each time I see it. Exciting, nonetheless!
Keep the planning fun and light-hearted, and enjoy it to the fullest. You’ll find that this period of time will forge a bond between you and your significant other, which is crucial for the start to any marriage.
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