Singaporebrides | Editors' Notes

September 2016

19 Things Only Brides Will Understand

There are some things only brides will understand. As one whose eyes have recently been unveiled, I can sympathise with wedding planning struggles. But take heart! The end, or the beginning of forever, is in sight!

Phil and I had dated for seven years before we got married, so I’d been hoping for a wedding for a long time. But when it finally came down to it, I wasn’t prepared for the unique stress that is wedding planning at all. If you’d been longing for your wedding too, and have plunged into the depths of wedding planning, I’ll bet you can agree with these 19 things I only learnt when I became a bride.

1. Even a “simple wedding” is filled with a thousand tiny details.

Who should be in place to open the doors for your processional, a sound system that can play your morning highlights, and enough transport to get your wedding helpers around–all these tiny but important details pile up. You can’t underestimate the wedding planning involved in your “simple wedding”!

things only brides will understand

2. Your wedding isn’t just about you.

You’re not the only ones with joyous news to celebrate; your proud parents want to announce your marriage to family and friends too. When so many people care about one wedding, it’s probable that there will be some conflicting opinions on what you should do. Try to strike that delicate balance between being afraid to hurt someone’s feelings, and feeling sad about not getting what you want. Your wedding isn’t only about you, but it is still mainly about you and your love. Ultimately, it’s a day that will mean more to you than anyone else.

3. Your dream wedding will remain a dream.

Unless you don’t dream of designer gowns, a gorgeous overseas destination, and doves who take flight from your outstretched hands in perfect unison?

Phil and I gave ourselves a very modest budget to work with, and allocated most of it to tried and tested guest-pleasers like good food and free-flow alcohol, in lieu of areas like our wedding outfits, or fancy décor. But we didn’t care one bit about those details on our wedding day, because we were too busy being happy about getting married, with our loved ones there to witness it all.

things only brides understand

4. No matter how early you start preparing for your wedding, you will be pressed for time a week before the actual day.

Guests confirm their attendance a week before, all of your gowns, certificates, and other items need collection, your seating arrangements need endless tweaking, breakfast and sweet teas must be prepared, the house needs tidying, and of course, the blushing bride must needs upkeep her skin, nails, and perform all those other beauty and grooming rituals.

The week before your wedding is a busy one as many details can’t be done ahead of time. Prepare yourselves by taking a couple of days off work early on. If you do end up with free time on your hands, use it to soak up the joy of your impending nuptials and think about your new chapter ahead!

5. You will not be able to sleep the night before.

No matter how early you schedule bedtime, or how many times your sister tells you to go to bed while she takes care of the many last-minute things that need to be done. And if you do manage to get into bed, chances are, nerves will keep your mind racing!

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6. You will not feel tired on one hour of sleep, because you will be so incredibly high on love and happiness.

It will help you to mingle with guests and new in-laws, without the need for an alcohol liberator, which is great since you don’t want an alcohol flush in your one million table photos. Although, the next couple of days will pass by in an exhausted haze, so schedule in at least one day of rest so you don’t spend your honeymoon being a zombie.

7. You will throw huge fits and cry about things that, when you think about them later, don’t matter.

Don’t beat yourself up over losing it once in a while; planning a 300-strong event is a job that professionals do for a living, so taking it on yourself definitely packs on the stress.

8. You cannot do everything yourself.

So please don’t try! Ask for help or simply a listening ear from your friends and your family. They love you and would be more than happy to help you out with a task or two, and having someone listen to your frustrations and offer some sympathy is often more than enough to soothe your frazzled nerves. Just don’t drown them in wedding requests (they have other things going on in their lives, you know!) or you may find your blue-ticked messages going unanswered.

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9. Prioritise the important things.

Many of the details that you stressed about—types of flowers, colours of your ribbons—won’t even be remembered by your guests. Save yourself money and stress by prioritising what’s truly important to you. This is great when you’re running out of time too. I decided not to get a manicure in order to do other errands, but don’t think any of my guests noticed!

10. Your wedding dress will transport you into an episode of Downton Abbey.

Without help buttoning, zipping, or lacing, you’re unlikely to turn up at your wedding at all. Oh, and you will never walk alone either, because your train weighs as much as a small sheep, and is as fluffy–and easily dirtied–besides. On the plus side, everyone will treat you like a queen, which is really sweet!

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11. There will be seating plan hiccups.

And they will occur after you’ve printed out neatly labelled copies, or even on the day of the wedding itself. Be glad that people came to celebrate with you and calmly make switches, or let your amazing reception helpers do it. At the end of the day, everyone is an adult, and they won’t mind sitting with complete strangers because they’re all there to help you celebrate. And eat, of course.

12. The Pinterest board is a thing of beauty… and confusion and sadness.

Don’t pin so many conflicting ideas that you can’t decide on your bridal bouquet, or your wedding favours, or your hair. I started feeling depressed after giving Pinterest references to and getting quotes back from your vendors, so I took a break from the app after a while to stop Pining over all the expensive things I couldn’t have, and remember why I was reining in my wedding budget—to build a more beautiful home for many years of marriage.

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13. You should not DIY everything.

Not every DIY project you see on Pinterest should be taken on. It may sound cheaper to do it yourself, but after purchasing the tools required, and factoring in the time you spend getting things right, you might be better off buying the wedding item or engaging professionals instead. In a bid to save money, I bought tons of ribbon from Taobao, thinking I could use them for endless DIY projects. They arrived in colours different from what I expected, and I had way too much of it. And, there was cheaper ribbon to be found locally!

Handcrafting a select few of your wedding items lends a lovely, personal touch to your celebration, and lets you unleash your creative side. Choose those that make the biggest impact to get more result for your effort.

things only a bride will understand

14. You cannot walk the whole day in 5-inch heels.

Killer heels almost felled me on a sloping car park. Thank God I brought along a pair of comfortable wedges that gave me height without the pain, and switched out when my shoes were no longer likely to be seen, such as after the ceremony.

15. Everyone will have an opinion on your wedding, and not all of them will be nice.

You can’t please them all, so smile and nod, and don’t feel bad that someone thinks your choice of venue is boring, or dislikes your outfit. Take advice with a pinch of salt!

16. Someone will need your wedding emergency kit.

If my sister-in-law hadn’t brought along sewing supplies, my groom would have been missing a button. On the same note, bring along backups of everything you can think of, like your wedding music, guest lists, schedules, or lipstick, because things will get misplaced!

17. You won’t care about mishaps on your wedding day.

You will be so happy that almost all of the people you care about came to celebrate with you, that it won’t matter that the processional and recessional music couldn’t be played, or that you forgot to bring the fairy lights to line the aisle. All you will feel is pure joy and love.

We were so happy that we found everything funny, from our page boy’s drum solo in lieu of walking down the aisle, to the recessional music that didn’t work. It made a very memorable moment when our fantastic emcee led all our guests in singing the wedding march to accompany our walking in as Mr. and Mrs.!

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18. Tears are unavoidable.

You will be so full of FEELINGS during your wedding ceremony that you will be wiping your tears and snot with your hand, since you couldn’t carry a tissue in your wedding gown. Advice? Get a gown with a pocket!

19. Your heart will feel like it’s about to burst.

Your groom might seem disinterested during wedding planning, but his face when you take his hand at the end of the aisle will tell you how much he wanted to marry you. And the moment you exchange your vows and feel your heart burst with how deeply you both mean them, will be all that really matters on your wedding. If there’s anything I wish I’d known during those bouts of wedding stress, it’s that actually getting married, and having so many friendly and loving faces gathered to support your commitment, will be the most emotional and heartwarming experience you’ll have.


Credits: Last two images by Cliff Choong Photography. All others by Samimage Photography