Singaporebrides | Weddings 101

April 2020

To My Dream Wedding That Does Not Exist

In the most perfect and ideal world, SingaporeBrides’ writer Natalie would have the dream wedding she had always imagined since she was younger… but this is no such world. Natalie shares her reflections on this journey of discovering what a dream wedding is and what it can actually look like.

Once upon a time in 2009, I watched the movie Bride Wars for the very first time. That was a good eleven years ago. I was barely anyone or anything then, and was nowhere close to having a real boyfriend. But yet, something within me got awakened. That began my love and search for all things weddings and for the wedding of my dreams.

I’d long dreamt about my perfect dream wedding. Intimate, cosy, and aesthetic. I knew the exact dress I wanted. And the colour scheme that would make everything pop amongst the pretty lights and ambience. I had planned everything down to the T – or at least it was this way in my head.

And then, my turn really came. After years of waiting, it is now my time.

Janice and Glenn’s Stunning Pre-Wedding Shoot in Cappadocia, Turkey by White Grandeur

I got engaged a couple of months back and wedding planning has since officially begun. As I begin this journey for myself, I came to the realisation that perhaps, there is actually no such thing as a dream wedding. This dream wedding I’d always dreamt of might never actually happen.

Alison and David’s Magical and Intimate Wedding at Tirtha Uluwatu Bali by Gusmank Photography

A Love-Hate Relationship With Social Media

On top of that, the boom of social media came in just around that time too. I blame Pinterest and Instagram for making the dream wedding so seemingly accessible for normal people like me to long after. While these are merely new means of seeking out inspiration and information (all of which, I believe are helpful and have been helpful in my wedding planning process so far), they have also created a deeper longing within me to want everything I see.

But the truth is that while I want everything, I can’t have everything. There are decisions to be made and there is money needed to pay for the extravagance and the aesthetics. Pinterest has made it easy for me to see all the weddings from all over the world, but reality hits when I realise that I certainly can’t afford everything.

I need to choose which elements of the wedding my fiancé and I are willing to spend more on, and which to cut costs on. We need to come up with excel sheets and budget plans on how we are going to work towards this money saving goal. We need to make tough decisions to saying no to venues I’d always dreamt of holding my wedding at because they were simply too expensive and out of budget.

And in all of this, I need to be okay with it. I need to be okay with wanting everything, but not being able to have it all.

Trixie and Steve’s Ethereal Wedding at Sofitel Singapore by Andri Tei Photography

Comparison Will Always Be There

Take away the temptations of the wonderful and oh so inspirational world of Pinterest and Instagram, and you’re still stuck with something else. Enter friends’ and friends of friends’ weddings. Instagram attacks again – this time, much closer to home.

At the age where everyone seems to be getting engaged and married, it is definitely exciting but at the same time, nerve-wrecking. Since the start of the year alone, I’ve attended one of my best friend’s weddings and have received wedding invitations to four others in the next couple of months.

Perhaps it is in our Singapore culture that makes us naturally compare the various weddings that we see around us. I liked this from a certain wedding, but I didn’t like this part from the same one. We attend a wedding, enjoy it, and think about it within ourselves. We want this for inspiration and compare the various weddings with each other.

Maybe it’s also because it is that of our friends’, and so it seems more attainable. The more weddings we attend, the more ideas and desires I have – and ultimately, the more I will compare these different weddings to the wedding that I will one day have in the future.

Ying Yu and Sebastian’s Cosy Wedding at The Gallery at Grand Hyatt by TinyDot Photography

A Wedding That Is Yours

Ultimately, I needed to take a break. I needed to take a break from comparing, and I needed to realise that someone else out there will always have a nicer or grander wedding than I will have – and that that’s okay. Many have always told me that the wedding is for you – not for your guests or your families, but for you as the couple. And now I’ve come to see how that’s true.

I may have the most beautiful of weddings but if my personality or style aren’t in it, it would simply be a wedding, just like anyone else’s on the street or on social media. A dream wedding may not turn out the way I always think it would be if I’m always looking at others’ weddings and comparing what I want to theirs. The dream wedding is ultimately what is me and my fiancé. Not that of what others tell me or of what my friends think. It may indeed look entirely different.

The wedding industry is a big and growing one. Or perhaps it has always been the same, only that my view on weddings and my participation in it are growing. While I may continue to find my dream wedding somewhere out there, I’ve come to see how even if I don’t, that doesn’t truly matter.

A couple of weeks post-engagement, my fiancé and I have already had a couple of minor disagreements about how our wedding should be like. That’s when it hit me that the wedding is but a weekend’s event. It is our marriage and union that we should be celebrating and we should be fighting for. It may sound like a cliché but that was a perspective I needed to hear and remember. It’s also probably one that I have to keep reminding myself as I plan for my big day.

Tina and Jacen’s Intimate Wedding at Emily Hill by FiveTwenty Library

Celebrate The Union Above All

The time, money, and effort spent in investing and working towards our dream wedding are all important – yes! Whether or not my dream wedding happens, and however that will come to look like eventually, I’m reminding myself that the goal of any wedding is to celebrate the union of the two of us. It is to celebrate the family, friends, and relationships who have made us who we are today. And it is to celebrate our own relationship, both the seasons that have passed and the journeys ahead together.

While a dream wedding is amazing and I can’t wait to create my dream wedding (whatever that may end up looking like), I am now more aware that there are more lasting and important things. It truly isn’t the gown I’ll wear when I walk down the aisle or the colours of my bouquet or the food my guests will eat that make my dream wedding; it is our union and marriage that make it. This is what matters most.

Credits: Feature image from Calista and Christopher’s Beautiful Wedding at Tirtha Uluwatu Bali by Iluminen.

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