I have been on blog hiatus recently as I was busy with work and wedding preparations.
I am happy to report that JM and I have graduated from wedding planning last February 4 with flying colors.
We got engaged on August 2015 which gave us at least a year and half to plan for our wedding,
Even before we started our wedding planning, JM and I knew that we wanted a small wedding, with just our families and our very close friends.
We settled on a maximum of 150 guests. This may not be small for some but for us, this was just right.
Here are some tips for my readers who are planning to get married soon:
1. DECIDE ON YOUR BUDGET AND CREATE A WEDDING EXPENSE TRACKER
Weddings are not cheap. They will either eat up a chunk of your hard-earned savings, or require taking out a loan to finance (and yes this is an actual thing nowadays)
Couples should honestly talk and decide how much they are willing to spend for their dream wedding. It may be a one-day event, but the memory will last you forever. It does not need to be extravagant, but it does not mean that you have to scrimp on everything and regret it afterwards, either.
Before booking suppliers, I laid out a spreadsheet on how much we were willing to spend for each supplier. This way, we can narrow down the research on which suppliers we can afford.
I will not tell you how much exactly we spent, but I can assure you that we were very happy with the outcome. It was just the right amount of money that we were willing to spend and it was one of the best decisions that we have made as a couple.
2. CHOOSE YOUR WEDDING DATE
We were not very particular in picking our wedding date but we wanted it to fall on the first quarter of the year and we wanted to stay away from the rainy months.
We initially planned to get married on January 28 since it falls on Chinese New Year which happened to be a long weekend holiday in Singapore. However, since our chosen venue is already booked on that day we decided to moved it to the next weekend which was February 4.
Note that if you are inviting guests from overseas, they will probably ask you not to have your wedding during the Christmas holiday season. Everybody and their dog is in the airport on a flight to somewhere, as the holidays are a peak travel season and can become very stressful. If you plan on having overseas guests, be considerate toward them. The struggle of air travel during the holidays is very real.
3. RESEARCH. RESEARCH. RESEARCH.
I was already doing research on suppliers even before we got engaged which is why I already have a shortlist of those who I liked (which I presented to my then-fiance).
I have been a long time member of the GirlTalk Female Network and WAW (Weddings At Work) communities which helped me a lot while I was doing my wedding research. I have gained a few friends over there who I constantly ask for reviews and suggestions about a particular supplier. It really helps to do your research early on as it will give you a peace of mind on the supplier that you booked.
During our wedding preparations, I was not able to attend a single Bridal Fair as I reside overseas. I delegated this to JM. Before he went, I made sure to check on the list of exhibitors and do research on them. We booked a few of our suppliers during the bridal fair who gave us additional discounts.
4. PICK YOUR ENTOURAGE
We have only three pairs of ninongs and ninangs, whose marriages we really look up to. We picked those whom we know can guide us during the ups and downs of our married life.
Since we wanted to cut on some expenses, we decided to drop the bridesmaids and groomsmen from our entourage and stick to the roles which are needed during the ceremony. We only have a best man, maid of honor, secondary sponsors, two flower girls, and two bearers. But since we still wanted our friends to be a part of our wedding, we gave them different roles during the ceremony. Some were assigned for the readings and others during the offertory.
5. ENJOY THE WEDDING PLANNING
It was not an easy ride during the wedding planning for JM and I, we have had disagreements and petty fights over some details. It also felt that most of our time was focused on the wedding planning and we are forgetting to spend quality time with each other.
Since we started our wedding preparations a year in advance and most of our suppliers are already booked, we decided to take a break from wedding planning and to just enjoy our engagement period. Once we got back on the wedding planning, it was a more enjoyable experience for us.
I have also grown closer to my friends who are getting married as well. We enjoyed researching and sharing stories during the wedding preparations.
JM and I want to give back to the communities and friends who have helped us planned our dream wedding, stay tuned for our detailed supplier’s review.