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Like most brides, your wedding is probably the most significant event you’ll ever put together yourself. There’s just a lot of details to iron out and that explains why many brides opt to hire a wedding planner in Singapore.

There’s no point in denying—wedding planning can be overwhelming but, a well-thought-out plan of action is key to a successful celebration. It’s why our team at Beautiful Gatherings created this ultimate guide to help you organise your thoughts and list all the major things you have to do before the big day. 

Of course, every wedding is as different as every love story! So, feel free to strike out whatever you want to exclude.

Part I: Your Complete Checklist to Planning Your Wedding in Singapore

A wedding planning checklist shows you tasks that have to be done before the big day either as a timeline or by category. It’s easy to get buried into this laundry list of to-dos, but pause here, take a deep breath: You’ve got this, and we’ve got you!

Big-Ticket Items

1. Budget

Work out your budget.

On average, weddings in Singapore cost about $30,000, but it can go as high as $70,000 or even more, based on the number of your guests and the scale of the type of wedding you want. Don’t worry if you don’t know how much your wedding will cost yet. Sit down and discuss with your partner the following things:

• How much you’d like to set aside for the wedding. 

• Where to splurge, where to save, and where you can DIY. 

• Who will shoulder what.

Be realistic about what you can afford—it’s unnecessary to start a marriage broke or in debt. Give yourself enough time to save for the wedding and make sure to plan early to avail promos and score good deals from vendors in Singapore.

2. Theme

Envision your wedding style.

A wedding theme is the idea or concept that flows throughout the ceremony and reception. It can be as simple as your favourite colour or as specific as the style of a decade or your favourite movie. 

Your wedding theme will dictate your search for vendors, particularly the venue. Are you having a rustic wedding? A barn or a garden venue may be a suitable option for you.

3. Guestlist

Who and how many will you invite?

In creating your guestlist, you’ll want to divide people into three categories: those you want to invite, want to skip, and those who may or may not make the cut, depending on the capacity of your venue. Here are some guidelines to help you figure it out.

• Make a preliminary list with your partner. 

• Know where to cut off family invitations. 

• Give both families the same number of guests.

Ideally, these big-ticket items have to be settled first before you can book your vendors or dive into further details. As you get closer to the wedding date, you can then confirm the logistics and tie up the loose ends.

Vendors

What order should you hire your wedding vendors in?

Wedding vendors in Singapore are usually divided into two categories: those that can serve one one or two weddings a weekend and those that can work on multiple gatherings per day. This affects how fast they are booked and how soon you should book them. Plus, having a hierarchy of priorities together with your budget will give you a firm direction on where to splurge and save.

Here’s a reference on the order and how early you should hire your wedding vendors.

4. Venue: Have your venue booked at least a year in advance. You will not have as many options available if you wait too long. Plus, it’s difficult to hire vendors until after you have booked the venue because most of your wedding details rest on it.

5. Photographer & Videographer: Book your photographer and videographer early in the wedding planning process. It’s hard to replace someone and expect to keep the same artistic style you imagine for your wedding.

6. Caterer: Some venues include catering in their packages, but others don’t and you’ll have to hire a caterer to prepare and serve food for your wedding. Because it makes up a large part of your wedding budget, you’ll want to get it out of the way early—at least a year early.

7. Wedding Planner & Coordinator: You may opt to not hire a wedding planner, but you should at least consider a same-day wedding coordination service to keep your wedding running smoothly and executed directly. Hire this person at least six months out, but the sooner, the better.

8. Event Stylist & Florist: At six months in advance, you have enough time to find a stylist and florist, and brainstorm with them what the vision of your wedding is.

9. Hair & Makeup Artist: A talented HMUA is coveted by many and hard to get in with. So, make sure to hire this person at least 3-6 months out, if not earlier.

10. Entertainment: Whether you’re hiring a soloist or a band, you’ll have to settle your entertainment at least 3-6 months early. Because, much like your photographer, it may be difficult to find replacements who match your taste.

11. Attire: If you’re planning on a bespoke wedding gown or suit, make sure to allocate enough time for the production, fittings, and final adjustments as well. You can shop for veil, shoes, and other accessories later.

12. Officiant: There are many options to get an ordained officiant: you can check with your local church or ask your friends for recommendations. Just make sure to settle this at least three months in advance.

13. Others – Cake, Rings, Favours, Stationery: These are some of the loose ends that you can tackle on as you get closer to your wedding date. Most practical brides today opt to personalise their invitations and favours not only to save on costs but to ensure that they reflect their wedding styles as well.

14. Accommodation, Transportation & Other Rentals: If you want to block off hotel accommodations or hire transportation for you and your guests,make sure to do that at the beginning of the process. The same goes for other rentals such as tables, chairs, dinnerware, and tents, when necessary.

Miscellaneous

15. Documents

File a notice of marriage with the Registry of Marriages no later than 21 days before your wedding. Once approved, you can get married within three months from the date of the notice.

16. Entourage – How big a bridal party you will have is up to you. In most cases, it’s your family and friends that you will ask to be part of your entourage, you’ll also have to plan your outfits with them.

17. Hens’/Stag Party: Schedule your bachelor/bachelorette party a week or more before the wedding. You don’t want to have it too close to the date, as they’re often the busiest days leading up to the big day.

18. Wedding Date: When establishing a timeline for your wedding, you can benefit most from hiring a wedding planner or coordinator in Singapore. They can tailor your schedule to fit your desires, particularly if you’re planning to include non-traditional activities in the day. Plus, they’ll be the one to coordinate your timeline with your vendors.

19. Honeymoon: Where should you go for the honeymoon? How long should it be? How much are you going to spend? No matter where you are in your wedding planning, the opportunity to pause for a while and plan your honeymoon is always a welcome break. If you’re planning to go out of the country, make sure to book flights, hotels, and tours in advance to avail discounts.

How Early Should You Plan a Wedding?

In a perfect world, you would have at least six months to a year to plan your wedding. But, in real life, there are just cases when brides have a little less time than that to pull off a celebration: they have to move for a job or both are just eager to get married now rather than later.

As overwhelming as planning a wedding in a short span of time may seem, the best approach is to focus on the big-ticket items. Identify what you can reasonably do yourself and enlist the help of others where necessary.

Of course, hire a wedding planner and coordinator in Singapore if you feel like things are going out of hand. They wouldn’t be called professionals if they can’t handle the pressure, would they? Another thing you would appreciate with them is that they can hook you up with a list of reputable vendors and bargain for you.

Part II: Common Wedding Mistakes & How to Avoid Them

There are many things that could extend beyond control on your wedding day like a pimple on your forehead or sudden rain. But, there are also a few mistakes that you can make throughout your wedding planning.

While your wedding planner will always do everything they can and beyond to give you a perfect day, the rest is up to you to make sure that you steer clear from making the following mistakes during the entire process.

Before the Wedding

• Not Setting or Blowing Off Your Budget: There’s a reason why budgeting is first on our list: it will serve as the foundation for everything you will decide on, including what you can and can’t afford. It’s easy to fall into excitement, but first, make sure to sit down with your partner, set a firm budget, and stick with it. Keep track of your expenditures to avoid surprises along the way. 

• Being too vague about the details with your vendors. If you want something in particular, by all means, please share. Your wedding vendors are not mind-readers and they want you to be specific about your details. Likewise, they would appreciate you being straight with your budget so they can tell you whether it is realistic enough to realise your dream wedding. 

• Stressing yourself too much. Every aspect of putting together a wedding is stressful in itself. However, don’t let it take a toll on your mental health. One way to manage this stress is to make a list of all the things you’ve done in your timeline and celebrate small wins. Reading all the things you’ve accomplished so far, however small they may seem, should be enough to keep you going. 

• Having no contingency plans. What if it rains on your wedding day? A contingency plan should outline everything that you have to do in case of unexpected situations like bad weather and relay this information to your vendors  and other people that can help you work around your Plan B. 

• Having a limited range of suppliers. It helps to do your research and base sound decisions on output and reviews. Look up reviews, attend wedding fairs, and get to know different suppliers who can give better value for your money. 

• Having too many advisors. Family, however well-meaning, can become your stressors during wedding planning. While you may want a more intimate wedding, it may seem impossible with your parents wanting to invite your extended family that you haven’t even met. Remind them that although you appreciate their involvement, it’s you and your partner who have the last say in decision-making.

During the Wedding

Running out of time. This happens far too often. One minute you’re enjoying your time in the shower, the next you’re panicking because you’re an hour away from the ceremony and the HMUA isn’t done with you yet. Speak to your vendors about how much time they need and ask them for a detailed timeline, that way, you can plot your schedule for the day accordingly. 

Feeling a bit lightheaded. No matter how you feel like you don’t have the time to eat, make sure to have at least some sandwiches to keep you fueled throughout the day. You can ask one of your bridesmaids to oversee your food ahead or your caterer to arrange a tray of snacks for you. 

• Still organising on the big day. Your wedding day is the time to stop planning and enjoy everything that you’ve prepared for. Be in the moment and especially in the photos that you really wanted to be in. It’s time to let go and enjoy what’s going on around you. This might be one of those rare occasions where you have your family and friends together in one place. 

• Not delegating tasks. The previous point would likely happen if you don’t delegate tasks. A few weeks before your wedding, write notes that would include anything of importance such as who needs to get paid, how your guests are getting to the venue, and who will collect the cards and gifts for you. This way, you’ll worry much less on the day.  

• Being unable to speak to all your guests. A wedding day can go by in a flash. Why not extend the celebrations the following morning to spend more time with your family? Maybe some of them have come halfway across the globe—trust us, it will make your wedding so much more memorable. 

• Forgetting what the day is really about. Still scrambling with writing your vow? Obsessing over the place cards that are not positioned the way you wanted them to? While you want your wedding day to be perfect, don’t forget to be present at the moment. Try not to let small imperfections upset your day.

After the Wedding

• Not sending thank you cards. You’ve made it through your wedding day successfully! What could still possibly go wrong? Forgetting to say thank you. Show your gratitude to all the people who have helped you. You might have missed to mention someone during your thank-you speech the night before and a thank you card is a great way to make up for it.

Part III: Wedding Trends in the Aftermath of COVID-19

In a normal situation, we would get ready to attend a wedding—buy gifts, steam-iron suits and dresses, and write toasts. In some cases, we would also secure a leave from work to travel out of town.

But, as we all know, we are in unusual times. The COVID-19 pandemic and the social distancing measures that have been put in place to prevent the spread of the virus has ruled out large gatherings and made everyone fearful of going out.

Weddings have been postponed, cancelled, or dramatically downsized and there’s a possibility that these celebrations as we know them—grand, elaborate, and festive events with family and friends in attendance—will not be the norm again for a long time.

How will the COVID-19 pandemic change the wedding culture? Here are a few trends and predictions we can expect in weddings this year and beyond:

Weddings will become more intimate. Due to the gradual lifting of social distancing restrictions, some brides may opt to move forward with planning an intimate wedding celebration with a reduced guestlist. 

Sanitising products will be a staple wedding décor and maybe giveaways. As we practise health and safety measures, sanitising products are more likely to become a staple wedding décor. Many brides are also likely to come up with creative ways to distribute hand-sanitising solutions to guests as pre-wedding favours. 

Coursed and plated meals. The manner in which food and beverages are prepared and served is also likely to follow stringent safety precautions. Instead of the accustomed buffet services, most brides will opt for course and plated meals. 

Contactless greetings. No hugs, kisses, and handshakes for now. In lieu of these traditional greetings, brides may put a spin on greetings whether it involves a formal bow or a more casual gesture like winks and waves. 

Digital registries and gift-giving. Additionally, brides and guests alike will likely take a digital approach in terms of registries and gift-giving. The same goes for wedding-related events like bachelor/bachelorette parties. 

Live-streaming for faraway guests. The use of streaming platforms like Zoom will also likely increase with brides sending paperless invitations which have the link to the wedding in it. All that guests have to do is click the link to join the celebration. 

Open-air wedding venues. The social distancing protocols have encouraged brides to opt for open-air wedding venues to keep guests from feeling confined. But, for those who have already booked an indoor wedding, they can make do with socially-distanced seats and by incorporating outdoor elements to give an open-air vibe. 

Marry now, celebration later. While in quarantine, many brides have decided to get married on their original wedding date, with just the two of them or their immediate family in attendance and postpone the celebration until it’s safer to hold gatherings.

Part IV: Why You Should Hire a Wedding Planner & Coordinator?

You may have spent hours on Pinterest creating your dream board and creating a checklist, but you may never have put them into practise yet—and often this is where it all makes a difference. There are so many reasons why we suggest hiring a wedding planner but the bottom line is that wedding planning can be a lot of work. Add that to your daily responsibilities and it’s enough to stress you out no matter how you felt ready and organised at first.

Working with a professional can take a huge responsibility off you, affording yourself time to enjoy the process. In conclusion, below are some of the many reasons why you should hire a wedding planner:

Expertise – Weddings don’t just happen. It takes a team of wedding professionals who have the expertise to plan a wedding and make it successful. Plus, they have a network of vendors who they know can better suit your requirements in terms of style and budget. Lastly, they have the skills to defuse any problems, even before you know it. 

Offloading of Tasks – Planning a wedding can be stressful and there are just so many factors that can play. Your wedding planner will be there for you to share with that stress by taking over and overseeing the tasks you don’t want to be bothered with. You can also trust them to resolve any conflicts within the family or even your vendors.  

Focus on What Matters – Leave the dirty work to your wedding planner so you can spend more time on things that matter: savouring the remaining days of you being single, writing down your vows, choosing your gown and rings, and reconnecting with your guests on your wedding day. Let someone worry about the flow of your schedule and witness how your dream wedding unfolds right before your eyes. 

Same-Day Coordination – After all the preparation comes your big day. After spending so much on your vendors, you want the day to run smoothly and what’s better than to leave it in the hands of a professional? Have someone to manage these vendors, keep track of the logistics and timeline.

Weddings by Beautiful Gatherings

Love is immune. No pandemic should stop you from having your dream wedding and at Beautiful Gatherings, we will help you achieve that.

We are a Singapore-based wedding planner and coordinator that offers actual day coordination and planning services designed to help you put together a gathering that you’ll surely love.

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