Singaporebrides | Weddings 101
Don’t Be Fooled By These Wedding Myths
The journey to becoming a missus is an emotional, life-transforming experience. But watch out for wedding myths that have besieged brides-to-be for decades. If you believe them, the wedding planning process will become much tougher than it should be. SingaporeBrides takes a reality check on your behalf.
Myth #1: It’s your big day
With the engagement ring sitting tight on your finger, you may think that your wedding is all about you – the lovely bride. After all, you are the one donning the white gown and walking down the aisle. So, you should have the final say in every decision – big or small – right? Like whether to hold an intimate solemnisation lunch or to throw a boisterous Chinese banquet, or whether to splurge on flowers or photography. Well, it’s your day – and it should be perfect your way.
Unfortunately, as many brides-to-be will soon find out – this is not the case. Before trouble brews, you should quickly realise that your wedding is not just about you. Yes, you read it right. Chances are, your parents and future in-laws will want to be involved in the wedding planning. That means you will have to deal with their expectations, and you will have to do so as diplomatically as possible. If they are contributing towards the wedding, you have to be prepared to make some concessions too.
Says Joan Goh, 29: “When planning our wedding, my husband and I did not intend to hold a Chinese banquet and naively thought that our parents wouldn’t mind. But we couldn’t be more wrong. My mother guilt-tripped me for weeks, while his father insisted on organising the entire affair. In the end, we caved in, chose a hotel with a reasonably-sized ballroom, turned up, smiled and shouted ‘yum seng’ till they were happy. Since our wedding ended up not being about us – we had wanted a cosy, intimate affair – we have decided to celebrate our first wedding anniversary in a beach resort. My advice for brides-to-be is to keep things in perspective – know that a wedding involves your loved ones too. That way, you get to keep the peace.”
Myth #2: There is a perfect dress for you out there
Even before you said yes to his marriage proposal, you’ve heard so many stories along the same vein – a bride-to-be walks into a boutique, tries out a few gowns and soon falls in love with her dream dress. So, when you start planning your wedding, the one thing you look forward to most is the journey of finding the right dress. And you’re not worried – because you will know it if the dress is meant to be yours.
Dress shopping can be an incredibly intense experience – only a few brides-to-be are lucky enough to say yes to the dress with minimum fuss. It is likely that you will first have to navigate through the rows of bridal boutiques in Tanjong Pagar – and compare befuddling wedding packages. Next, it’s on to trying (and re-trying) gowns until you find a style you like. Then there are the alternations to contend with. Expect mistakes and mess-ups before you eventually settle on the perfect dress with the perfect fit.
Fiona Low, 25, reminisces: “I thought I knew what my perfect wedding gown would be because I spent so much time poring through wedding blogs and magazines. But the actual process of choosing a gown turned out to be much tougher. The styles I like did not suit my petite frame at all. It took a few more visits to the bridal boutique before I eventually picked out a wedding gown that was quite different from what I originally envisioned. So, keep an open mind and consult the gown designers on what might suit your frame best.”
Myth #3: You must DIY to add personal touches to your wedding bash
These days, it seems expected for a wedding to be filled with handmade touches by the bride and groom. From a personalised photo-booth backdrop to homemade bubbles to mini honey favours, you may feel that it is a must for the bride-to-be to DIY certain elements of a wedding – or your party will be without personality. So you plod on, but as time goes by, you find your DIY to-do list getting longer.
As the bride-to-be, there will be a hundred and one tasks to settle before you can stroll down the aisle in bridal bliss. So, do ask yourself if you have the time or energy to work on all the DIY projects you are planning to take on. Also, a wedding without DIY elements does not make it any less memorable – remember that it is the people that count and all your loved ones will be surrounding you on your special occasion.
DIY was on top of Chung Wai Mun’s mind when she was planning her wedding in 2012. The 29-year-old wanted a wedding with the DIY works – paper flowers, self-designed wedding invitation cards and hand-sewn pouches for the 100-odd guests. She says: “When I was tearing my hair out, my best pal and maid of honour gently told me that it would be impossible to complete every DIY project I had envisioned. She also gave me a piece of good advice: That I shouldn’t be trying to pull off a perfect DIY wedding. Instead, we worked together to choose only DIY projects that truly represented my personality. In the end, I still laboured over the hand-sewn pouches because I wanted a meaningful gift for my guests. But I eventually asked a graphic designer friend to design the invitation cards instead.”
Myth #4: The more you spend, the more wonderful your wedding will be
First, you end up signing for a custom-made gown instead of getting one off-the-rack. Next, you decide to go for a pre-wedding shoot in Paris. Then, you told your hotel florist to upgrade your banquet flowers to the highest tier – with a lush floral stage display and more. Your groom might already be rolling his eyes at every instruction you give to your wedding vendors, but you push on. You strongly believe that a wedding is a one-in-the-lifetime adventure (and expenditure), so you can’t settle for less.
Although everyone has different standards, the modern wedding is becoming an expensive affair. These days, it’s not uncommon to see couples splashing out tens of thousands of dollars just to tie the knot. Sure, you can definitely do that if budget is not a concern. But if what you are spending is causing stress in your relationship with your fiancé, then it may make sense to re-evaluate your list of wedding “must-haves”. After all, a wedding is just a start to something more significant – your marriage.
Jennifer Low, 36, reminisces: “My wedding was a low-key affair because we were both fresh out of university with tuition loans to pay off. We opted for a simple civil ceremony followed by a lunch for both families at a restaurant. That’s because we feel that we could save the cash for our Build-To-Order flat instead. Besides, a wedding is the be-all and end-all of our relationship. It should, instead, be the way we learn, grow and love in our marriage.”
Myth #5: Your wedding day will be perfect
In the months leading up to your big day, you may find yourself obsessing over every detail because you are trying your best to pull off a perfect wedding. After all, it is a day you have envisioned since you were a little girl. Most importantly, everything must go according to plan – and it must be perfect, your way.
There is no bride who does not dream of a perfect wedding. But if you truly believe in this, you may end up dissatisfied and unhappy. That’s because you can’t have everything in the real world. So, don’t obsess about unnecessary details. Focus on some important aspects while going easy on the rest. Also understand that certain factors – like whether a guest will get drunk and start talking nonsense – are out of your control. Sometimes, it’s the little glitches will end up being truly memorable.
Natalie Ong, 31, says: “I planned my wedding down to every last detail, and on the actual day, I ended up trying to orchestrate everything – making sure the emcee knew what to say, trying to remind the bridesmaids what to do and even making sure that the hotel manager remember my instructions to play our favourite song right before the march-in. On hindsight, I was trying too hard to pull off a perfect wedding. And to this day, I felt wistful that I didn’t focus on enjoying myself on the day I was marrying the man I love.”