Credits to stylemepretty.com for the cover photo.
A lot goes into planning a wedding. While discussing our budget and guest list over and over again, we realise why people hire wedding planners. But, as I’ve mentioned on our previous wedding update, that will incur additional cost to our budget, besides, I’m quite determined that we can do this ourselves.
Instead of hiring a wedding planner, I decided to make a wedding planner. Well, in my case, its a wedding binder to keep our appointments, namecards, guest lists, receipts and all that jazz. It’s not anything fancy, just a plain file that I got from Popular and some other stationeries. I also made templates for our wedding plans to file it in the binder and bring along for our appointments, that way, it should keep everything organised.
Here’s what you’ll need to make your own Wedding Planner.
- Binder – A file big enough to store all your plans.
- Dividers – To segregate different sections (such as Budget, Guest List, Table Seating, etc)
- Card Slots – To slot in namecards from vendors.
- Paper Slots – To slot in documents and receipts.
- Stationary Pouch – To put in your necessary stationaries (pen, post-its, etc)
What’s a planner for when you don’t know what to put in it right? Don’t fret, I’ve created templates for planning my wedding that is free for you to download and use. You’re my dear readers whom I’ve come to know as friends, this is just something small for the support and encouragement you’ve given me so please feel free to use my little token of appreciation. However, do note that you may have to tweak it according to your preference as I made it to suit my plans. Also, note that I’m a Singaporean bride so most of my planning process is more relatable to fellow Singaporeans.
- Wedding Checklist – A monthly checklist of things to do before and after our wedding in tabs.
- Wedding Budget – A template for budgeting everything we need for our wedding in tabs.
- Wedding Guest List – A template for finalized guest list.
I will be adding more downloadable templates as our planning progresses but please refer to my Wedding Planning Lists (Free Downloads) page for more.
That’s about most I got to make my planner. Of course, to make it prettier, you can add stickers, pretty paper, do a full on scrapbook style planner, its up to you, its your planner after all. I decided to go for something simple and sleek so that Shine can help me carry it around without feeling like a sissy. But please excuse my amateur drawing on my dividers, that’s my way of making my planner look pinterest-y.
So you’ve made a planner but; what’s next? Lets settle the very basic of the planning process first. The other aspects of the wedding can be found on the Wedding Checklist for you to refer to find out what else you will have to prepare for.
First of all, you have to set an estimated budget. Yes, I said estimated because in reality, you will not be spending 30k net, most probably you would be spending a little more than what you initially predicted which is normal or bless you, with discipline, you may also spend a little less than what you’ve budgeted. But don’t go overboard and spend on anything more than you can afford.
We budgeted by segregating the wedding into parts and allocated our budget according to what was most important to us. Example; for us, it was our outfit and photography so I spent awhile looking at bridal boutiques and asked around for the price of their packages so I could gauge the budget to set for our outfits and photography. Then, follow with the rest of the wedding, see what you’re willing or not willing to spend much on and calculate the total cost.
You can use the Budget Template I’ve prepared to assist you.
Once again, I mention estimated. To be dead set so early during the wedding planning process may be difficult because a lot goes in into choosing a specific date.
Most couples I know will set their date around the same time they got together which is meaningful. And being Asian, most of us will have to consult our parents to see if our chosen date is suitable. Besides these factors, you may also have to factor in your budget to estimate how long you will need to save the amount you’re looking at. If you’re planning on an outdoor wedding, you’d have to also check the best months to avoid the haze or rain (although, in Singapore, you kind of have to expect showers every now and then, only depends on whether it lasts a few minutes or a whole day). Also, if you already have a venue that you want to hold your wedding at, you must ensure that its available on your date or it will be devastating if its all snapped up! So try to be flexible with the date.
For those particular with auspicious dates, you can refer to this.
We’ve estimated ours to be in July 2017 if all goes smoothly.
The guest list is the most crucial out of everything you’ll have to plan for your wedding. Almost everything you’ll be paying for will include the number of people at your wedding from your venue to food to favours to drinks to seats and more. The bulk of your wedding budget will come from your guest list so the more people you invite, the more moolahs you’ll have to spend. It’s horrible to see all your guests walking around with dollar signs floating over their heads so my advice is to invite the people you would really want at your wedding. Think of it as the biggest appreciation party you’d ever hold in your life. Don’t feel compelled to invite people you haven’t met or talked to in 10years or neighbours friend just because they asked to come to your wedding. Choose wisely.
But of course, there are the unavoidable invites – your elders’ lists. If you’re paying for your wedding entirely, you have the right to say no to people you don’t want at your big event but if your elders are helping you with your wedding then, I’m sorry, you’d have to suck it up. But as far as possible, try to include your parents’ invites as well (if these people have not been mean to you or are good friends of your parents) because it’s your parents’ proud moment as well. And if all else fails, just look forward to all the angbaos you’ll be receiving. If you know they’re gonna give you a small packet and are shitty people, then you should really make a stand and not invite them at all.
Yay, this is the fun part (for me at least)! Shopping for dresses and photo shoot! Which girl hasn’t dreamt of their dress since they were little? Which girl doesn’t like dressing up? And which girl doesn’t love shopping? I know I do. And this is the ultimate combo – the dress, the dolling up and the shopping of a lifetime!
Here’s a guide on some silhouettes and necklines that can help you choose your perfect dress.My personal favourites have always been the Mermaid (duh) with a sweetheart neckline.
But hold your horses girls, don’t just pay for a dress just because it’s Vera Wang or because their package includes a photoshoot in Paris for just $2k (it usually comes with lots of hidden costs). Look around and ask what their packages offer; check their photography style to see if it matches the feel you’re looking for, their albums; how many photos you get, whether you fall in love with the dress collection and if you like and trust their service! Until ALL these boxes are checked, DO NOT SIGN WITH THEM.
If you ask me, the most intense and scariest part of our wedding planning process is choosing the venue. I do not dare to fall in love with any place just yet until we can accommodate all our guests and if I can be sure if we can afford it. As mentioned, the bulk of the budget will come from the amount of guests we invite and venue will play a huge role in this!
First of, you cannot choose a venue before knowing for certain how many guests you want to invite unless you are willing to cut people off your list. You do not want to book a place that can host 250pax and then find out later that you actually have 400pax! You’re asking for shit and you most probably cannot get a refund of your payment.
Again, like how you’ve shopped around for your dresses, make sure that the venue can accommodate everything you want for your wedding and ensure that there are no hidden costs! Make sure a receipt with everything that they’re offering to you is stated; do not sign with them if they seem shady or do not meet your requirements. Also, don’t forget that they’ll have to be within your budget.
Here are some websites to help with selecting your venue.
Take note that venues in Singapore get snapped up one and even two years before the wedding date (we are after all known to be kiasu). So as much as you shouldn’t rush into booking your venue, you shouldn’t take too long either. Shine and I haven’t had our hearts and pockets set to a venue yet, most of the places we thought would be friendly to our wallet turned out to be quite sleazy and hasn’t given me the good vibes. So, that leaves us still in search of the right venue for us.
Wedding planning may be stressful but don’t forget to tell yourself that it is only one day in your life. Just one. Don’t stress yourself, cry or sulk over every detail. Yes, it may be the single most important day but the whole point of a wedding is to celebrate your love for each other and I feel that through all the planning and counting digits, that is the most important thing couples forget; the ultimate reason why you’re having a wedding at the first place.
So relax and have a glass of wine. You’ve found your soulmate, some women search their whole lives and still can’t find him. So, be grateful. Be happy. Of all the stress you have to put up with on a daily basis with work and datelines, the last thing you’d wanna do is to have a headache at your wedding. So if the cake is not as pretty enough, screw it. If he fumbles over his vows, laugh. You’re marrying the love of your life!
I hope you’ve enjoyed the sneak peak of my wedding planning process so far. I’m in no way a professional so please don’t expect a full out Wedding Planning for Dummies as I started out my planning just as clueless as you. I just thought another bride-to-be could be in need of some help from a fellow bride-to-be and I’ve never been selfish with my research and info as most of you already know.
If you feel that I missed out on anything, please feel free to comment and share! I could use some advice from other brides and especially from those who’ve already been married (congrats to all). As I’ve mentioned earlier, I will be posting updates on my wedding process so do follow and subscribe to the blog, Instagram, Twitter and/or Facebook.
Lots of love and till the next update, kisses.