Diary Of A Bride-To-Be: How To Plan A Wedding (Step-By-Step Guide)
Your wedding is one of the most important days of your life. This sentence sounds cliché, but it’s true.
Emotions run high when you’re getting hitched, which is why you need everything else to run smoothly.
And through everything else, we mean your wedding.
A wedding planner knows how to foresee and arrange for all those nitty-gritty details. But, if you can’t afford one, you can either get a wedding loan to cover the costs or plan your own.
Make sure you tick the list below, which by the way, is super simple, and you won’t have to worry about any loose threads.
You need a clear budget before starting to plan your wedding. Otherwise, you can get caught up in the spending and spin into much debt. This includes the lure of credit cards where they make it so easy to overspend.
That’s why you need an honest talk with your partner and families. You have to figure out:
– How much you’re willing to set aside
– If you can save more money before the wedding
– If you’re willing/ able to take out an affordable loan
You should also consider expenses that include the start of your married life, such as:
- Your honeymoon; if you want to see the world, now’s your chance
- Purchasing your dream home and new furniture
- Accommodating a new baby if you and your partner are pregnant or planning to soon
- Getting a wedding loan to cover any of the above costs. You can easily get the lowest quote for free here.
2. Type Of Wedding
Before delving into the details, you’ll have to outline the bigger picture. But, if you’re getting married, you’re probably mature enough to know your style.
Do you want a loud, wonderland wedding or a quiet wedding by the beach? How elaborate do you want your wedding to be?
Whether formal, bohemian, intimate, or hipster-ish, your ceremony shouldn’t be influenced by your budget. Cosy weddings with few people can become very expensive if you’re ordering caviar for everyone. Conversely, formal ceremonies can cost very little if you know where to get the best deals.
For couples who are more traditional, they may want to have a Guo Da Li as well. Check out our guide on Guo Da Li planning.
Still, it’s worth pondering on your setting: indoors vs outdoors, garden vs beach, restaurant vs villa.
Tip: While you’re at it, consider some wedding themes too.
3. Guest List
Ah, the guest list, this ever sore point of contention that tests your marriage before it begins! Good. Now you and your partner will know if you’re genuinely soul mates.
Trust us, your parents or grandparents might want you to invite the entire village.
Firstly, you, your partner, and your families have to draft a guest list. Put these lists together and see if the people you’ve selected fit your budget.
If not, consider:
– Invite your closest friends, especially those who have seen you and your partner grow.
– Close family and relatives
– Your siblings and cousins
– Close comrades from work
– Limit the number of estranged relatives you’re inviting
– Ask your parents to limit their guests
After you know your budget, wedding style, and guest list, you can select a venue that fits all these factors.
Make sure you book it in advance so that there aren’t any problems with your wedding date.
Here are some tips:
1) Visit several venues that fit your style.
2) Make sure you can arrange the tables in a way that makes all your guests happy
3) Check the number of bathrooms
4) Check how slippery the dance floor is
5) Ensure there’s good visibility for everyone
6) Check the lighting
7) Check the food and drinks offers. Ensure they can cater to all guests, such as vegan, children, or people with allergies
After you’ve selected your venue and your wedding list, there might be one more thing to solve: transportation.
This can be a problem if:
– You’re holding the party in a very remote park or beach in Singapore
– You’re having the party abroad
– You’re inviting relatives from abroad
5. Wedding Outfits – Wedding Gowns
Plan your wedding outfits by looking for excellent ideas on Pinterest. Once you’ve decided on the right style for your dress and suit, you can:
– Start analysing bridal boutiques. Visit plenty to make sure they have the right style. There are many popular bridal shops along Tanjong Pagar that offers a wide range of designs.
– Consider a bespoke gown or suit if you want a unique look.
– If you have a reduced budget, consider: Borrowing or renting your wedding dress (well, you only wear them one), modifying your mother’s old wedding gown, purchasing a second-hand wedding gown.
Tip: Set aside plenty of time for this activity. If you do it in a hurry, your wedding outfits won’t look perfect.
6. Wedding Photographer
Take a picture, it lasts longer.
Your photo and video album is the keeper of all your memories. So, your photographer has to be highly skilled in wedding shots. At the same time, you don’t want a photographer that’s too intrusive and overbearing.
The best wedding photographer is an experienced photographer.
Therefore, the best advice is to shortlist a few photographers that fit your budget and style. Analyse their portfolios and check their online reviews.
Afterwards, arrange face-to-face meetings with them to see if you like each other’s visions.
Tip: Remember to make your booking a few months before the wedding.
Choose the right entertainment for your wedding by weighing all your options according to your budget.
If you have a limited budget, it’s okay to invite a DJ or ask one of your friends to play music. Live music is always welcomed!
Otherwise, you can consider live artists, performers, and musicians. Allocate at least $1,000 for this alternative.
8. Hair & Makeup
You’ll also have to think about how you want to look. Hair, makeup, and nails are essential for both partners. Don’t neglect waxing!
So, consider all the things you want before the wedding and know when to set them up.
For example, you can’t tweeze your eyebrows, wax, or colour your hair right before the wedding. These procedures may leave your skin sensitive and sore. Besides, beauty procedures such as eyebrow embroidery will look weird for the first few weeks. It takes time to settle and look natural.
Other things you can include here are:
– Hair and face treatments
– Brow embroidery
Ideally, you’d need about a month between these beauty treatments and your wedding. However, you can schedule a relaxing massage a day or two before your wedding.
That means you’ll need to plan several visits to your stylist before the wedding. You should also consider a trial hairdo and makeup to ensure you look just like you envisioned.
Again, the best advice is to shortlist several saloons according to your budget. If you have a friend who “does hair” or attaches “faux nails”, let them know they’ll have to go through the same eliminatory process as everyone.
9. Wedding Stylist
Some people don’t have an innate sense of esthetics. So, even if you feel that some colours or some patterns clash, you might not be able to put your finger on the problem.
That’s why you should consider a wedding stylist if this option fits your budget.
This person assists with expert advice about wedding design. They work with your preferences so that you can have all the details in the right places, such as balloons, flowers, and photo display.
A wedding without flowers is tough to imagine. But hey, if you can, feel free to skip this step. Otherwise, take into account:
- Your style and the type of wedding you’re planning. For example, white tulips look amazing informal settings, whereas wildflowers are better suited for bo-ho ceremonies.
- The flowers’ symbolism. If you’re superstitious, check out the meaning of various flowers before selecting the ones you want to include.
- The colours. Make sure your wedding flowers fit your wedding’s colour palette. If you have an eclectic wedding, you can wing it with a variety of colours and patterns. However, if you’re ceremony is rather formal, you’d need to pick more sober colours.
- Organic vs non-organic flowers. If living a green life is essential for you, take into account where your flowers have grown and in what conditions.
By now, you already know you have to visit several florists before making your choice. Consider all the factors above plus your budget before shortlisting your options.
Who do you want to officiate your ceremony? Some people prefer pastors or priests, while others prefer solemnisers.
Consider these questions before choosing:
– Are you or your parnter of a specific faith?
– Would you like to pay respect to an older relative or parent by choosing a specific officiant?
– Would you like the religious/ spiritual ceremony in a specific place, such as the church where you were baptised or the beach you had a spiritual revelation?
– What are the points where you and your partner can compromise?
– Do you have a specific person that you’d prefer to solemnise your marriage?
– Would you rather elope, get married at the civil office, or have a lavish ceremony?
Luckily, Pinterest is swarming with invitation models.
You can create customised models that reflect you and your partner’s unique style, such as funny, sober, or laid-back.
Just make sure these invitations fit your wedding style and budget. Make sure you mail them with plenty of time in advance so that anyone can RSVP.
You can also consider e-vites if you want to protect the environment. Besides, e-vites help you keep track of your guest list seamlessly.
Otherwise, if you’re creating bespoke invitations, leave plenty of time for printing, sending, and answering.
13. Bridesmaids and Groomsmen
This is the fun part.
You and your partner’s best friends should be involved in the wedding. Remember that there’s no rule about the size of your wedding party.
However, your budget can pose severe constraints, especially if you need to pay for more people’s outfits. Also, if you have more flower girls, you’ll need to purchase more flowers.
The solution is simple, if you consider renting these outfits or if your wedding party pays for their suits.
Other than the engagement ring, you will also need wedding bands.
Rings cost a lot of money in Singapore and abroad, especially if they’re made from gold. On the bright side, gold rings are not as popular as other materials today.
However, depending on their carats, weight, and design, you can get away with a decent-looking $500 band.
Thus, you’ll need to do your research well in advance. Look at models you like within different shops or customise bespoke bands, depending on your budget.
Don’t have a lot of money?
Consider melting second-hand jewellery or family heirloom rings!
15. Party Favours
Many venues offer favours included in the wedding package. Often, you can choose between a few options. However, you may want to create unique party favours.
Ensure these mementoes fit with your wedding style. It’s popular nowadays to feature an interactive bar where people can make their favours, such as origami or aromatic mixes. However, this alternative doesn’t fit formal wedding parties.
Another affordable option is to rent a photo booth. Guests can have their pictures taken with whacky props, making your wedding a splendid and memorable one!
16. Bachelor / Bachelorette Party
The bachelor and bachelorette parties offer you precious moments of respite before the wedding. You can forget all the party planning stress and lay back with your closest friends.
At the same time, the hen’s and stag’s parties allow you one last hoorah before you tie the knot. Conversely, many modern-day couples prefer to unite these parties and have all their friends together in a casual setting before the big day.
Tip: Plan these events at least a week or two before the wedding because you don’t want to be too hungover then.
17. Marriage License
Don’t forget this step if you want to get married.
You need to file a Notice of Marriage online at least 21 days before your big date in Singapore.
Next, you’ll have to arrange a meeting at the Registry of Marriage to check your paperwork and sign a statutory declaration. After going through these steps, you can go ahead with your wedding solemnisation. Just make sure your officiant is licensed and that you have two witnesses of at least 21 years old.
18. Wedding Day Schedule
Ensure that everything goes smoothly during your actual wedding day because trust us, you don’t want any glitches.
You can handwrite a list with all the times and activities that everyone should do. Using Google Sheets is an excellent solution if you want to coordinate more people because everyone sees your updates instantly.
Our advice, though, is to keep your wedding day schedule to a minimum. Just make sure everyone gets to suitable venues on time.
That’s it! We’ve covered all the most critical points of your wedding planning. If you follow the advice above, you’ll have the dream wedding you envision!