Singaporebrides | Weddings 101

January 2022

10 Essential Wedding Planning Commandments For The Modern Bride

Planning your wedding will be a breeze with these wedding planning commandments in hand.

Wedding planning should be a time of excitement and fun as you work towards bringing your dream wedding to life. However, between juggling a full-time job and planning the biggest party of your life (and doing it for the first time!), your wedding planning journey might feel more like a nightmare than an exciting ride. You might feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of tasks on your wedding to-do list, especially if you are short on time or unsure of which items on the list you should prioritise, and that may make your journey less enjoyable than it should be.

Don’t panic (or worry), we’re here to help. To make your wedding planning journey a pleasant one, we’ve put together a list of ten essential wedding planning commandments to guide modern brides like yourself along with your wedding planning so you know exactly where to begin your planning and what you should or shouldn’t do.

1. Always Start Early, Even If It Feels Like You Have Plenty Of Time

Jasmine and Wei Xian’s Enchanting Victorian Garden Wedding at Hotel Fort Canning by Diktat Photography and Leslie Photography

When it comes to wedding planning, it is never too early to start. With a long list of things to do and places and services to book, it never hurts to start planning your big day even if your wedding is planned for a year or more later.

Some items on your to-do list will require you to book in advance, such as securing a venue, wedding photographer and videographer, wedding planner and stylist, bridal boutique, and a hair and makeup stylist, especially if you are set on a particular location or vendor, or want to tie the knot on a special or auspicious date.

Once you have set a date for the wedding, look for vendors that suit the look or theme you have in mind for your big day. Shortlist a few and reach out to them to learn more about their services and rates before making a decision. Since wedding venues, photographers, videographers and hair and makeup stylists get snapped up quickly, it would be best for you to secure these vendors as soon as you can, so that you engage the vendor of your first choice.

If you are going to customise a wedding gown with a boutique, you might want to add this to the list of tasks on priority, as customising a gown from scratch will take a few months, excluding the time needed for fittings and adjustments. The last thing you want is a rushed-out dress that’s not what you’re looking for, or having to settle on something lesser because there is not enough time to do what you want.

So, even if you think you have more than enough time to plan your wedding, get started on it immediately instead of putting it off to avoid any disappointment.

2. Never plan a wedding without setting a budget

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

Weddings are expensive affairs, even if it is an intimate celebration, so it’ll be wise for you to plan your money carefully so you don’t spend more than you can afford and end up in debt on your first day as Mr and Mrs.

Always start your wedding planning with an open and honest discussion with your partner on how much you are willing and are able to spend on your wedding. Come to a consensus if this is a fixed number or you are both okay with spending a little more if necessary, and how much “a little more” is.

It’s best to be clear on the numbers that you’re comfortable with spending right from the get-go so that you have a better idea of how much you have to spend. This will also help make a decision when you are unable to decide between something you need and something you want. Once you have decided on a budget, stick to it no matter what.

3. Identify your priorities so you can maximise your time and funds

Ivy and Julius’s Epic Mountaintop Pre-Wedding Shoot on Trolltunga, Norway by Juan from Juanmoley Fotologue

After you’ve set a budget, the next thing you should discuss with your groom is your priorities for the wedding. Is having an Instagrammable photo spot for your guests to take photos at to remember your wedding by important to you? Or, is hosting your wedding at a reputable hotel that serves a gastronomic meal more important?

Once you have discussed which aspects of your wedding are more important to both of you, you’ll be able to focus your wedding budget and time on these areas while scaling back on others that you are okay to spend less on or leave out of the wedding completely.

4. Don’t compare your wedding to others; it is not a competition

Azelle and Daniel’s Modern Traditional Wedding with Blooming Pink Florals at The Clifford Pier by Antelope Studios

If there is one commandment every bride should abide by, it is this. Never, ever compare your wedding to others, especially the celebrity and influencer weddings you’ve seen on social media.

Your wedding is neither a show nor a showdown with your friends or anyone else, so don’t compare your wedding to others, especially celebrity and influencer weddings you’ve seen on social media. Every wedding has a different budget but regardless of the figure that was spent creating it, each and every one of these weddings are perfect and unique in their own way. Comparing your wedding with others will only lead you down the road of envy, disappointment and even resentment – all the feelings you shouldn’t be experiencing on a journey that is supposed to be the happiest and most exciting time of your life.

Your dream wedding isn’t dependent on how big or lavish the celebration is. It is your dream wedding because it has elements that mean something to you, your groom and your families, and above all, it is perfect because you are happy with it.

5. It’s okay to include the wedding traditions that speak to you and leave those that don’t out of your wedding

Yan Rong and Jonathan’s Garden Wedding at The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore by Highest Kite Weddings

Weddings are rife with traditions no matter which part of the world you are at. Regardless of your religion or culture, most wedding traditions are meant to bless your marriage with happiness, fertility, prosperity and longevity. Passed down from generations before us, some of these traditions might not be as relevant as they used to be back in the day, but modern brides are still expected to include them in their wedding to please the elders in the family, even if they cannot relate to it.

While it is your wedding and what you say goes, it would be best for you to discuss with your groom and families if you wish to omit any wedding tradition of your big day, especially if it is tied to your culture. It won’t be a truly joyous affair if your parents or elders in the family are unhappy with the decision you’ve made to leave an ancient wedding tradition out of your wedding. After all, these traditions not only offer blessings for your marriage, they are also a way of honouring our families and culture.

Other wedding traditions, however, such as wearing a white wedding dress or forbidding your bridesmaids from dressing in white are entirely optional. While these traditions might have important meanings for weddings in the past, that is no longer true for modern weddings. So, go ahead and wear a coloured wedding dress and get your bridesmaids to dress in white if that is what you want for your wedding. You don’t even need to be in a dress, if you feel more comfortable in pants!

6. Keep your wedding planning necessities organised

Reaiah and Jeremy’s Intimate and Heartfelt Wedding at Conrad Centennial Singapore by Smittenpixels Photography

If you’ve started a to-do list for your wedding, you would have realised how long that list is by now. With that sheer amount of things to keep track of, it is important for you to stay organised so you don’t miss out on a task or miss a deadline.

To help you stay organised, consider creating spreadsheets, a wedding check-list or folders online, or getting physical folders to store essentials like contracts and receipts. Use online wedding planning and budget checklists to keep both you and your groom updated on the progress of your wedding planning, and help you keep track of your expenditure.

You can also create a “My Wedding” label or folder in your inbox to keep all your wedding related emails in one place, so that you can easily locate them when you need to. Once you have some organisation in place, your wedding planning will much smoother.

7. Don’t be afraid of asking for help or delegating tasks

Alexandra and James’s Breathtaking Clifftop Wedding in Ululate, Bali by Terralogical

Planning a wedding requires a lot of work and takes more than just one person to get things done. So, don’t attempt to do everything by yourself. Get your fiancé involved in the planning by delegating tasks such as putting together a list of venues or vendors who meet your criteria, or task him with picking up items for the wedding, if he isn’t already lending a hand.

Engage the help of your bridal party, especially your maid-of-honour, to help coordinate vendors and the day’s programme on your wedding day so you can fully enjoy your big day. Familiarise her with the wedding schedule, the guests’ seating plan and contact numbers of the vendors so that she can follow up with them on your behalf.

It’s okay to ask for help or delegate tasks during your wedding planning journey. Doing so will keep you from being overwhelmed by the number of things you need to complete for the wedding and help you channel your time and focus on a task that needs it the most.

8. Don’t skimp on hiring wedding professionals

Yeonhee and Pei Qian’s Elegant Destination Wedding at Andaz Singapore by John Lin from John15photography

When it comes to a celebration as important as your wedding day, it is best to hire professionals who’ve had plenty of experience making it a dream come true for their couples. While a DIY wedding has its charms, if you aren’t particularly handy with art and craft or don’t have the luxury of time, you’d do best with engaging a professional wedding stylist to spruce your wedding venue or an experienced florist to put the bouquet of your dreams together.

You should also invest part of your budget in an experienced wedding photographer or videographer who are skilled and experienced in capturing the precious, fleeting moments of your wedding day, so that you can relive them after the celebrations are over. Shortlist a handful of photographers or videographers whose works resonate with you and set up a meeting with them to find out more about their services and rates. Aside from their style of photography and rates, you should also consider if you can click well with them and feel comfortable enough to entrust the important job of immortalising your wedding day to them.

9. Communication is key to your wedding planning

Brenda and Matthew’s Romantic Wedding at Sinfonia Ristorante by Andri Tei Photography

When it comes to your wedding planning, establishing good communication among the parties involved is important. This includes your groom, families, bridal party and vendors. Keep constant communication with your vendors, especially with your wedding planner or stylist, and be honest with them about your budget and what you expect from them. The more accurate the information they have from you, the better they can plan your wedding.

The same goes for your groom and families. Being open and communicating your expectations with your loved ones will make your wedding planning go a lot smoother and more harmonious. Don’t keep things to yourself or make important decisions on your own. Talk to your groom and if it involves in your families, sit down with them and talk through these issues to reach a harmonious conclusion.

10. Have Fun during your wedding planning journey

Shu Ling and Chin Feng’s Casual Paparazzi Inspired Pre-Wedding Shoot in Bangkok by Sanit Nitigultanon

Your wedding planning journey is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and while it can get frustrating sometimes, you should try to have fun and enjoy every step of the way.

Planning a celebration as big as your wedding involves a long to-do list of things that shouldn’t be handled by just two persons. You can rope in your closest family and friends to help with the wedding planning so you and your groom don’t get so stressed out that you can’t enjoy the journey.

Instead of your groom, bring your bridesmaids along when you are shopping for a wedding dress for some girl-time. Or, if you feel like it, you can even invite your mother or mother-in-law to go along with you for some mother-daughter bonding time.

Need help deciding or seeking opinions? Turn to one or two of your closest family and friends and let them help you with your dilemma. Even if they are unable to help you with your problem, at least they can help cheer you up or divert your attention away from wedding planning so you can relax for a while before returning to the issue at hand.

Wedding planning may not be easy but it can be done with a little guidance and plenty of help from the people around you. Need more help with planning your wedding? Then, you should check out our ultimate wedding planning guide, complete with a step-by-step guide you can follow to make your wedding planning journey an even smoother one.

Feature image from Elaine and Gabriel’s Gorgeous Pre-Wedding Adventure in Sumba by Darren and Jade Photography

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