Top 7 wedding planning tips from Singaporean brides

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Credit: Bin Thi U on Unsplash

Now that it’s my turn to be getting married next year.

I getting a little anxious about my wedding preparations. Your vision of an ideal wedding, coupled with societal pressures of how weddings should be carried out, can often cause anxieties in brides and grooms during their wedding planning process. Although we both wanted a small and simple wedding, there’s still a lot to consider due to the bigger purchases we’ll be getting into. It can be costly getting married in Singapore simply as most of us millennials would not mind splurging on our big day.

To smoothen up some of these knots in my nerves, I decided to interview brides who just got married in 2019 and find out what advice they would give to brides-to-be. They were mainly my close friends who had held Chinese-style weddings in Singapore. I even sought advice from ex-brides on SG Budget Brides Facebook page too. I asked them what they would have done for the wedding if they could turn back time. From my conversations with them, I gather the top 7 most useful wedding tips and advice from them. I find these tips heartening and I hope you’ll feel the same way too.

1. Don’t panic! People will only remember how great the food taste and enjoy witnessing the celebration of love between the couple.

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Credit: Alasdair Elmes on Unsplash

I’ve heard these a couple of times and it’s so true. At the end of the day, no one will exactly remember or even bother about what exactly happened during your wedding day. All we can remember is how good (or bad) the food tasted and how crazy in love the couple looked. Thus, if any wedding boo-boos happen, don’t sweat about it. It may be once-in-a-lifetime for you as such you wanted everything to be perfect but remember, it isn’t a YOLO moment for your guests.

Moreover, we Singaporeans love our food. Good food makes us happy so if there’s one thing to worry about, it is finding the right restaurant, hotel or caterer that whips out good food.

2. Get a team of people to help you with your wedding planning.

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Credit: Vasily Koloda on Unsplash

Hiring a wedding planner isn’t quite a thing here in Singapore. Most couples prefer to rope in their close friends and besties to plan for their wedding. For Chinese wedding couples, they will get their groomsmen (brothers) and bridesmaid (sisters) to do the gatecrash where the groom and the groomsmen have to ‘crash’ into the brides’ house. They will have to undergo several challenges planned by the bridesmaid before the groom can meet the bride.

Having a team of people helping you to organise a wedding would really help you load off some of the stress and anxieties you have to go through. It is especially useful if you can get some help from friends who have done weddings or events before. Allow them to help you to go through your errands to-do list so you can have some time to relax before the wedding. It’s important for the bride and groom to have ample rest as well!

2. Borrow wedding props from your circle of friends or family.

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Since most you’ll probably be organising a wedding event only once, most of the props and items used will eventually have to be given or sold away on Carousell. So why not borrow wedding props from your family or friends instead? Instead of heading to IKEA to buy photo frames for your wedding reception table, why not ask if your friends have extra photo frames at home? Perhaps some of them might have kept their old wedding decorations in their storerooms. Ask because you’ll never know. You not only save money but also help save the environment.

But if you are organising a traditional Chinese wedding which involves Guo Da Li (过大礼), it would be best to check if your parents if they mind receiving second-hand items.

If you are on a budget, you might even want to do some DIY wedding decorations. There are plenty of YouTube tutorials on how you can DIY your own even decorations. After your wedding, you can even make some money back by selling your DIY decorations on Carousell.

 3. Go digital and send wedding e-invites.

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Credit: Helena Hertz on Unsplash

These days, most wedding couples send out wedding e-invites. They only sent out invitation cards to their immediate family members and older relatives who prefer receiving hard copies. But if you think about it, most of the guests would eventually toss your invitation card away after the event. As such, some advised not to print too many invitation cards.

But if you must send our invitation cards, you can design the cards in such a way that the guests could leave messages for you at the back of the card so that your invitations card will not be gone to waste. Extra invitation cards can be left on the reception table for any guests to pen down any heartfelt thoughts for the couple.

4. Go ‘à la carte’ for your wedding.

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Credit: Charisse Kenion on Unsplash

The brides whom I’ve spoken to advise me to go ‘à la carte’ when I am shopping for wedding vendors instead of going for bridal packages. It is better to book your favourite florist, photographer, videographer and makeup artists who you want to work with. Because if you book a package with the bridal studio (which usually includes gown rental, makeup and photography), you don’t get to choose which photographer or makeup artist you would like to work with. I’ve read complaints from brides who are unhappy with the photographers hired by the bridal studio they’ve bought the package from.

Before booking with the various vendors, it is best to check if they do offer discounts for working with their affiliated partners. For instance, if you have decided which florist you want to work with, they may be working with a partner bridal studio which offers 5% off gown rentals. If you do the math, it is actually better to book your makeup artist or florist so that you can enjoy a greater discount on the more expensive purchases (e.g gown rental, photography or videography).

5. You can’t have everything.

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Source: Marisa Morton unsplash

Going ‘à la carte’ allows customisation but it definitely more costly. A typical bridal package which includes gown rental, makeup, photography, floral bouquet and props can cost between $2,000 to $3,000. The price might seem attractive but you don’t always get what you want.

You pay for what you get. Some brides mentioned that they would have paid a little more to hire more experienced wedding photographers to shoot their weddings instead of hiring photographers from a cheaper source.

6. Tell your vendors what your expectations are.

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After you engaged your vendors, do take the time to discuss and tell them what are your expectations. This is because your expectations may differ from their expectations. Communication is key here if you want your wedding to turn out the way you want it. A bride lamented that she should have told her photographer what to shoot instead of giving them the freedom to shoot what they deemed to be important. Even the most experienced or popular photographers can be neglectful and forgot to take important shots such as family, groomsmen and bridesmaid group shot.

7. Don’t overdo it.

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Credit: Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

A couple of brides also wished that they could have simplified their weddings. One quipped that she should have gone for just one overseas pre-wedding shoot instead of doing both local and overseas pre-wedding shoots. I guess what matters the most is the actual day wedding itself.

One of my friends also said that she wished she has done only one wedding march-in instead of the usual two march-ins during wedding banquets. She would have more time to enjoy her meal and spend time interacting with her guests.

Lastly…

At the end of the day, what matters most is whether you and your partner have enjoyed this big day together. Remember, it’s your big day. Don’t let the opinions of others affect you. Keep things simple because what’s eternal is love. There’s still a long journal ahead of your marriage!

Hope you find the above 7 wedding tips useful! If you have more wedding tips to share, do leave them in the comment box below!

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