So, you’ve said “yes” to his romantic proposal, set a date for your Big Day, and now it’s finally time to hunker down, catch your breath, and get to work on the juicy details. Except… there are a whole lot more details to consider than you had anticipated!
Planning a wedding from scratch can be as distressing as it is an exciting affair. There are often expectations and opinions to be managed, personal goals to be realized, and financial constraints to be grappled with.
Fret not – we have compiled a comprehensive checklist to keep you happy and sane in the months ahead! It’s not an exhaustive list, but we’ve covered all the main tasks you’ll need to look into before your special day.
12 months before D-Day:
Most couples set their wedding date to be about a year from the date of proposal. However the engagement period can be as tight as a couple of months or last as long as a few years.
Select and book your wedding venue
Many popular hotels and restaurants are booked 1-2 years in advance of the date, so it’s best to book early if you have a particular place in mind. If you are planning to hold your solemnization ceremony on the ROM premises, you can book 3 weeks to 3 months in advance to the date. If you are using outside premises for the ceremony, such as a church or restaurant, you will need to book a licensed solemnizer and obtain their signed consent before you can book a date with ROM. More details here.
Meet the parents
In a predominantly Asian society like ours, it is customary for the parents of both sides to meet for a meal to formally consent to the marriage. You certainly don’t want your wedding day to be the first time both sides set eyes on each other! Besides getting to know their prospective in-laws, the meeting is a good opportunity for the parents to share their expectations for the wedding, for example the kinds of traditional practices they want to adhere to, how many tables would be given to the bride’s side, the dowry, and so on.
Set the overall concept and budget for your wedding
If you need ideas for your wedding theme, beg, buy or borrow a few wedding magazines and flip through them for ideas. Pinterest and Instagram are also a great platform for getting inspired.
Create an action plan for future accommodation
In Singapore, finding an abode that is within your budget and preferred location can be pretty difficult. Now is a good time to weigh your options and decide if you want to move in to either side’s family home after the wedding or look for a place of your own. If you are planning to move out, are you looking for a BTO or resale? Private or public housing? Discuss your options and decide on your next steps.
Select and book your bridal studio and photographer
At this stage, you still have some time to scout around and look at various bridal studios before you settle on a particular one. Do take the time to visit a few boutiques to get a feel of what their customer service is like and the style of their gowns/suits and photography. While promotional packages that offer a slate of services to cover all your wedding needs may be the most affordable way to go, you may realize that you like a certain studio’s fashion but a different photographer’s style. Take your time to explore your options before you confirm who your “key players” will be.
9 months before D-Day:
The wedding is still quite a long way off, but things are slowly starting to take shape! At this stage, most of your loved ones and friends would know that this wedding is happening and may offer their help and suggestions. You may feel overwhelmed by all the opinions, but always regroup with your other half to remember and focus on what matters most to you both. Remember that it’s still your wedding.
Form your bridal party
What’s a wedding day without your best friends? Your bridal party is typically composed of your closest friends (may include cousins), who will be involved in the wedding in one way or another. It’s not necessary to have equal numbers of bridesmaids and groomsmen, but having that balance does make for nice wedding shots on the actual day! Some couples choose to make a ceremony of inviting these friends into the group, for example by hosting a lunch for everyone to meet and get to know each other a little better.
Delegate tasks ruthlessly
Now that the core group has been formed, feel free to delegate duties to your friends and loved ones so that you do not shoulder the weight of planning this event on your own. For example, it would be helpful to have a pair of friends coordinate the actual day’s event, have someone in charge of registration, and have a small team to look into decorating the venue. It can be tempting to want to do everything on your own, but having adequate rest and time to reflect along the way is just as important a part of the journey of preparation for your marriage.
Select and book other vendors
Along the way, you may want to source for other vendors that will be part of your big day. For instance, if you want unique wedding favours, chances are that the hotel’s default gift ideas won’t quite cut it for you. You can get some great DIY ideas from Pinterest or customize your gifts with a local artist (Etsy is another great resource!).