Singaporebrides | Weddings 101

April 2018

10 Commonly Practiced Wedding Traditions in Singapore That Are Okay To Break Away From

Experiencing a tough time coping with the many wedding traditions you’re expected to follow? We show you 10 commonly practiced traditions you don’t have to abide by for your once-in-a-lifetime.

Weddings are more than just a celebration of two individuals’ love and commitment to one another. They are a celebration of history and culture. Regardless of where you come from, race and religion, you’ll learn that there are many wedding traditions that you’ll be expected to include for your big day. While most of these traditions bear some form of significance back in the day, they may not be relevant or absolutely necessary to include in weddings in this modern day. In this article, we’ve picked out 10 commonly practiced wedding traditions that are okay to break away from, especially if they hold no particular meaning for you.

1. Your Fiancé Has To Shop For A Proposal Ring On His Own

bride and groom portrait; happyTansey and Phil’s Breath-Taking Pre-Wedding Adventure in Kuala Lumpur by Cliff Choong Photography

We’ve all come across that one bride who isn’t crazy about her proposal ring because “it’s totally not her” and wished she could have picked out a ring for herself instead. Don’t want to feel the same way about your proposal ring? Then, suggest to your man to go shopping for one together! You’ll get to choose a ring that you’ll love and save him the hassle of sneaking around trying to get your ring size and worrying about picking the wrong design for you.

2. Your Wedding Must Be in A Hotel

Abigail and Delwin’s Beauty and the Beast Inspired Wedding at JW Marriott Singapore South Beach by Melvin from Multifolds Productions

There are no set rules on where you must have your wedding at. Where you choose to celebrate your nuptials depends on your budget and the kind of wedding you have in mind. Hotel ballrooms are great for couples who are looking for a more formal venue that can accommodate a bigger guestlist while intimate venues are perfect for couples who prefer a cosier, more personable wedding in a carefree setting. Neither option is better or more posh than the other; whether you decide on a hotel ballroom wedding or an intimate celebration depends on your preference and the kind of experience you would like your guests to have.

3. You Have To Be In White

Jillian and Jason’s Soulful Wedding Photography in Norway in the Dramatic Lofoten Islands by Vegard Giskehaug

Before white wedding dresses became a thing, it was common for brides to wear the best outfit they had in their closet regardless of colour while royals were dressed in colour for their weddings. It was Queen Victoria who started the trend of wearing white for a wedding in the 19th century and as brides over the centuries emulate her style, her then avant-garde choice of colour became the tradition as we know it today.

So, take a leaf from the fashionable Queen Victoria and feel free to break away from tradition if white is not your cup of tea. Remember, it is your wedding after all, you are allowed to choose a gown in a colour of your choice.

4. You Have To Be In A Floor Length Dress

Aly and Ivor’s Charmingly Intimate Pre-Wedding Session in Singapore by Skyy Woo Photography

Although most brides will opt for a floor length wedding gown, a length that is most commonly associated with formal celebrations and events, you are more than welcomed to wear a knee or tea length dress for your once-in-a-lifetime if it suits your fancy or wedding venue. It is, after all, your wedding!

5. You Can Only Have Females/Males in Your Bridesmaids/Groomsmen Party

Audrie and Eugene’s Pastel and Rose Gold Nosh Wedding by Gowns Villa, Colour Edited by Audrie and Eugene

Who says you can’t have the opposite gender in your party of bridesmaids? There are no superstitions or hard and fast rules surrounding the gender of your bridal party, so don’t be afraid to include a bridesman or a groomswoman in you and your fiancé’s bridal parties!

6. You Have To Dress Your Bridesmaids In Identical Dresses

Caiyun and Terence’s Gorgeous, Romantic Wedding at Montigo Resorts Nongsa by Vicky and Eric from SVK Studio

There’s nothing wrong if you want your bridesmaids to don identical dresses, but you don’t have to make them do that if you don’t want to or if they are uncomfortable with the idea. Allowing them to dress in different outfits and silhouettes creates an interesting visual for your wedding album while offering them the freedom to dress comfortably and be themselves. You can still keep the same feeling of uniformity going by giving them a colour or theme to abide by as they pick an outfit that complements them.

7. Your Parents Will Pay For The Wedding

Pearlyn and Kang Cheng’s Urban Tropical Forest Wedding at Conrad Centennial Singapore by Feldberyl Images

There are no hard and fast rules on who should pay for the wedding, so if your parents or soon-to-be parents-in-law offer to foot the bill, you can either choose to accept their generous offer or opt to pay for your wedding yourselves. However, it is common for those who contribute to the bill to have a say in the wedding preparations, so it might be good to reconsider accepting their help if you wish to avoid clashing opinions with your parents or parents-in-law on the wedding.

8. You must have a gatecrash

Tansey and Phil’s Elegant Chic Wedding in Malaysia by Samimage Photography

You can opt out of a gatecrash if you’re not a fan of this boisterous affair. Traditionally, the gatecrash is served as a test of the groom’s sincerity and love, and represented the reluctance of the bride’s family to marry her off. Today, the practice of a gatecrash is done more for the fun of it rather than for its sentimental value. So, if you prefer a quieter morning on your wedding, feel free to skip the gatecrash altogether or replace it with a first-look with your husband-to-be for some alone time before the wedding madness begins.

9. You Must Invite Everyone on Your Parents’ Guestlist

Si Ling and David’s Modern Peranakan Wedding at EMPRESS by Studiokel Photography by Kelly Fan

It’s heartwarming to know how excited your parents are at the news of your wedding but when they start penning down the list of people they want to invite to your wedding in their excitement, that joy may be short lived as you may throw your dream of an intimate wedding out of the window if you don’t want to risk upsetting them. Just thinking of giving up on your dream wedding kills you but you don’t know if it’ll be right to turn your parents down.

Ultimately, it is your wedding and if you decide on a cosy wedding with a trim guestlist comprising of only your close family and friends, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t have that. Explain to your parents that you’d love to invite everyone on their list to share in your joy but you simply don’t have that many headcount to include them. Instead of inviting to the wedding, suggest hosting a simple dinner for them after the day so you can meet them and thank them for their blessings and well-wishes.

10. You must have several dress changes for your wedding

Michelle and Sean’s Romantic Floral Wedding at Amara Sanctuary Resort Sentosa by Annabel Law Productions

A unique feature of Singapore weddings is the bride’s multiple dress changes during the course of her wedding. While some brides prefer to wear a different gown for her morning ceremony, solemnisation and first and second march-ins, others may prefer to just remain in the same gown for the entire celebration, and that’s perfectly fine. If you prefer to skip the changing into different gowns for more time with your guests and remain in just one gown for your nuptials, go ahead and do so.

At the end of the day, the important thing to remember that it is your wedding and you should feel free to do whatever you wish to, whether it is to abide by these wedding traditions, replace or omit them altogether.


Credits: Feature Image from Jasmine and Wei Xian’s Enchanting Victorian Garden Wedding at Hotel Fort Canning by Kadek Artayasa from Diktat Photography