Things you should know before planning a wedding

Now that wedding planning has come to an end, I figured I would share some information I deem helpful for all newly BTB/GTB before embarking their own wedding planning.

[lol at shutterstock picture]

❣ Figure out your timeline
As a rule of thumb, it’s ideal to start booking at LEAST 1 year before your wedding. For those hot vendors, there are couples who had booked 2 years before. Call it kiasu or call it kanciong, but that’s how it is. If a vendor attracts plenty of customers, expect plenty of competition for slots, more ever on ‘special’ dates or peak periods.

Research, research, research.
It’s always good to have more than a year before your wedding date to research wedding vendors as much as possible. Trust me, this will help a lot. You will not only find vendors you may like but the general market rate. Ask around, check out Facebook, Google it, read blogs and visit the CozyCot wedding forum. By having a good knowledge under your belt, it’s easier to make confident decisions.

Discuss, discuss, discuss.
It IS your wedding but you are the product of your parent’s loins so yes, they do have a say with your wedding. They have every right to advice and share their opinions. Yes, some parents are very opinionated and stubborn so sometimes, you have to compromise. In fact, everyone should compromise. Do not let emotions hold the steering wheel when making a decision or discussing.

Plan your budget.
This goes without saying if you want to avoid a terrible surprise by the end of the final deposit. This may take a little more time and effort but it’s worth it. Write a table of all the things you need for your wedding, make an estimate budget amount and then actual amount. Most importantly, follow it closely! You may write it down or type it down as long as you do it!

Don’t dilly-dally
After researching and if it hits everything you want in your checklist of preference, cost and important people’s support, BOOK IT! I could not stress enough the importance of this especially when you are aiming for a popular/ top notch vendor or your wedding is during the peak periods. If you know what you want, book it ASAP.

 ❣ Promotions galore!
If you have your eyes on a particular vendor, follow them in all forms of social media platforms. Plenty of vendors will have their special promos to keep a look out for. Keeping up to date to Expo’s wedding exhibitions also help. Top wedding vendors usually showcase every January of every year while others do a few times a year.

Too good to be true?
Sure, when you come across a good package, you can’t wait to sign and deposit. Do a quick background check of the vendor, read reviews, check out every package and everything they offer and most importantly, ask as many questions as you can. Some great deals comes from plenty of crossing of items on the list. This is just to make sure there will be no bad surprises along the way.

Read the fine print.
Whether it’s an simple package or a luxurious one, always read the fine print. Bridal example, when you do a customised outfit, do you get to keep it? Are fake eyelashes are at an additional cost? Catering example, is clean up service included? Photography example, how many photos will be given?

Religion vs Culture
This is inevitable, there will be clashes of religion and culture especially religion aims for simplicity while culture craves for a bigger expenditure. The safest bet is always the middle ground but it still boils down to both families.

Traditional vs Modern
Another, inevitable situation. Parents can be adamant (understandably so) on upholding our Malay culture. They might be persistent as much as the younger couples persistent on wanting their modern wedding. The key is to compromise so both is happy!

When planning, we tend to focus on catering, bridal, décor, wedding gifts and photographer because they are among the main components of a wedding. Don’t forget the smaller things like ‘bunga rampai’, corsets, shoes and such. Yes, an estimated average Malay wedding is about SG$20K-SG$35 but don’t forget the miscellaneous such as costs for your wedding gift exchange, honeymoon, etc.

Need vs Want
Sure, during researching and planning, it’s easy to be floating in the clouds; wanting the dream wedding worth a Pinterest post. If it’s doable because it’s DIY, then it’s all good but if it’s something that requires you to burst your budget, it’s time to rethink that plan. Remember the rule of thumb, if you can’t afford it, don’t spend it.

Plan A, Plan B, Plan C
Some may call it being negative, but I call it realistic. Just in case, things don’t work your way, always have a fall back plan. It’s to make sure you and your partner always prepared for anything. Granted, there are things you can’t control like weather or just unforeseen circumstances but to be mentally prepared for anything is always a good thing.

You can plan everything to the T but sometimes it just didn’t work out how you think it would. It’s even more frustrating when it’s over a simple thing and it’s unnecessarily blown up. Believe in the higher being and everything happens for a reason. Redha for anything, good or bad.

❣ Relationship Challenges
There are couples who will face many challenges throughout the wedding planning. Whether it’s clash of each other/family’s opinions or misunderstandings, you will surprised it could break or make the relationship. People would say it is the ‘ultimate test’ before embarking to marriage hood.

Choose your Battles
Everyone has their own opinions; from the partners themselves to their parents to grandparents to relatives. Depending on each family, the straight forward and dominant ones can be very testing. It’s almost everything has to go their way and it will be tiring to fight for everything little thing. By choosing your battles, you can ease down the stress a little. For example, do you think it’s worth it to fight over wedding cards or berkat?

Facials and Haircuts
If you intend to do any facials and haircuts for your wedding day, rule of the thumb is, if you want to try a new facial or hair cut/color, do it min. 6 months before the wedding. This is to make sure you have time to recover if there are some issues that may occur like skin irritation or the hair cut/color didn’t suit you after all. If you go to regular facials, (correct me if I’m wrong) you can go 1 week before your wedding. As for haircuts, you may visit your favourite hair salon 1-2 weeks before your wedding.

It was never a must to have a wedding itinerary in the past. Everyone more or less knows the flow and every part of the wedding has it's standard protocol. But with combined weddings, additional wedding segments and such, an itinerary is helpful. There is no need for a detailed itinerary unless you prefer one. Just a simple one so that people have a rough idea of the incoming and goings of your wedding. Usually, the people who need this is family, DJ, videographer, photographer and the mak andam.

Informative Information
On the final appointment with your vendors or latest, before the wedding officially starts, inform your mak andam, photographer, videographer and DJ if you have any family relationship issues. For example, if your separated parents don't want to sit with each other or that your parents are divorced and has married another. These vital information gives a heads up to avoid confusion and drama. Help the vendors to ensure your wedding goes smoothly

Using these pointers as a guide, InsyaAllah, it will help you with your wedding planning.

Fellow brides and grooms, if I missed something, please share!


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