So the planning for the Big Day starts. And you are suddenly overwhelmed by the list of to-dos. And you are frightened because you’ve heard too many horror stories about weddings gone wrong and whatnot.
You start panicking. Panicking because you don’t know how and where to start. But let us share something with you based on our own experience and from our recent wedding – there is no such thing as a perfect wedding. No matter how well-planned everything is, something will go wrong. And it is only normal. Just remember – this one-day affair will only be beautiful because you and your partner are ready to embrace a life together ahead.
We are beyond grateful for the presence of so many of our family members and closest friends for our wedding weekend, and with that, we share the highlights of our wedding, as well as tips on planning a wedding.
Thank you to every single one of you who made #BradMelWedding possible!
GET A WEDDING PLANNER
First and most importantly, do yourselves the favour by getting a wedding planner. It is the best thing you can do for your wedding.
We entrusted Begin Again with our Big Day, and no regrets. Candice, our incredible wedding planner, made our lives so much easier by taking care of almost the entire planning! She took the big load off our chests, and proved that our decision was right!
Most people go crazy from planning their wedding, often pulling their hair out and even ending up in huge quarrels with each other. Now, all these can be minimised – if you have a wedding planner. He/ She will be doing the main liaison between you and the vendors, and will oversee the event rundown on the day(s) itself.
With Candice, we had so much more time to focus on our daily lives instead of being overly occupied with the wedding planning. All we had to do was to tell her our likes and dislikes, preferences and must-haves, and she conveyed all these to our vendors, who henceforth put together a wedding more than we could ever ask for.
Looking for a wedding planner is one. Looking for one who is truly passionate about her thing and responsible is another. You wouldn’t want your wedding planner to perpetually miss your calls and texts, neither would you want one who is always waiting for your cue before she gets something done. We are lucky to have Candice – who is nothing like that at all.
And because of her, our wedding went so smoothly. Thank you, Candice.
CHOOSE A DATE
This is tricky because there may be many criteria set by the parents/ grandparents. A date is not just a date; as you might have thought. It may carry very heavy and symbolic meanings that cannot be regarded lightly.
If you come from a Chinese family, more often than not, your parents/ parents-in-laws would want to consult an almanac for an auspicious date for the ceremony. Listen to them; you won’t want to get into a fight because of the dates because while it may be a fuss for you, it may mean a lot to them.
It is often said that holding your wedding one month prior to and after “inauspicious festivals” is bad, e.g. Qing Ming Festival (usually in end-March or early April) and Hungry Ghosts Festival (usually in August).
There is no right or wrong to choosing a date; it all depends on your families’ beliefs and traditions. Our solemnisation was held on 17 June 2016 and the banquet on 18 June 2016; no particular reason to these. It was only out of convenience that the ballrooms were available then.
LOOK FOR VENUE(S)
For most weddings in Singapore, they are held in the ballrooms of hotels. We picked The Fullerton Hotel for many reasons, primarily for its rich history. Being patriotic Singaporeans ourselves, we had wanted something iconic of Singapore to hold our wedding at, and The Fullerton Hotel makes a splendid choice.
But of course, the banquet team deserves a mention for their dedication. All our guests were singing praises of our 5-course lunch and we were overjoyed to know that everyone loved the food.
AND A WEDDING STYLIST
Now, you cannot do without a wedding stylist. You may think he/she is dispensable, but a wedding stylist is an important someone who will conceptualise your ideals and translate them into reality.
Our wedding stylist, The 1984 Store, proved to be the best choice for our Big Day. The dedicated team took care of the decor and styling of both our solemnisation and banquet venues.
We had dreams of the perfect venue; we had dreams of walking down the beautiful aisle. We had dreams of our guests seated in the most wonderful settings; we had dreams of endless photo spots all over our wedding ballrooms. The 1984 Store made all of them happen with a customised rustic travel theme, complete with fresh flowers and photos of us scattered all over – just the way we liked it to be.
Thank you to the most fabulous The 1984 Store! Our wedding was made so Instagram-able and memorable because of your visions and efforts!
LOOK FOR A TRUSTY PHOTOGRAPHER
Needless to say, you need a photographer. A very good one, at that. Similarly, there are many in Singapore, one for every budget too – but just go for the best, really. You would want only the best moments captured, ain’t it?
Bobby Kiran Photography is a renown wedding photographer in Singapore and his skills are second to none. We dare say he is the best and most reliable. No horror stories of sudden price increase, or lateness, or even missing in action (MIA). Yes, there are actually photographers who are notorious for MIA especially on the wedding day itself. Imagine that panic attack!
We couldn’t be more pleased with the photos by Bobby. He who is ever passionate about his job creates the best imagery, and remember that wedding photos are something you will keep and look back at forever. Get one who is well-organised, communicates well so that you and your partner do not feel any tinge of awkwardness during any photo-taking, one who knows how to post and angle you, and efficient in post-processing.
Thank you, Bobby. You have given us so many photos that are keepsakes for life.
AND DON’T FORGET THE VIDEOGRAPHER
People often overlook the importance of a videographer. Just because they think photos suffice. But photos, while precious, are still images. Videos are the best way to preserve the happenings of the most important day.
Very often, we forgot how we felt during the process – because there were too many things going on and we got distracted. But a videographer is there to capture the essence of every hour, so that you can look back and relish the wonderful moments. It is akin to watching your own life story played in a movie; it is an amazing feeling.
We had Linstudios with us, and this talented guy did a cinematography-style video of the whole process – from our pre-wedding photoshoot at Tokyo to saying of vows to the banquet. Surely, he did a marvellous and our guests shared our joy through these videos that were played during the banquet.
Thank you, Wei Xiang of Linstudios. We now have something memorable to share with our kids in future.
MAKE A GUEST LIST
You are probably going to take a long while doing this. No one completes the guest list in one seating. And it is true that this will take up the most time in your planning – even more so than outfit sourcing!
Here’s a tip: make two lists.
List A will be the most important people to you, and it includes best friends and family members whom you would want to have with you on your important day(s). They are also the ones you should inform from the start, so that they can block out the date(s) for you.
List B will be the second-tier friends, those whom you are not the closest with, but would still love to have them with you at the celebrations anyway. People on List B should not be people who might be offended if you do not include them eventually. And they are also the ones whom you could move to List A should anyone from List A pulls out.
And why would planning your guest list take forever? We were only completely done with it three days before the wedding because there would always be last minute pull-outs and confirmations.
You should brace yourselves for friends who let you down, because while we thought the saying “Weddings really show you who your true friends are” was cliche, we only fully understood it having been through getting married ourselves.
Indeed – friends whom you thought would not miss your wedding for the world would; friends whom you thought didn’t quite matter would turn out to be the most spontaneous guests. This, we will always remember.
You can either rent your gowns and suits, have them tailored, or buy them off the racks. The options are aplenty.
We chose to go with rental, and we chose La Belle Couture – one of the most established and recognised bridal studio in Singapore. They do rental for both gowns and suits, and there are many packages to suit your wedding needs.
It was a seamless experience with the team, for the selection was more than impressive and the stylists knew exactly what worked best for us. Most people would be clueless about how to start, but the stylists are trained to give professional advice on what suits your body best, so you can be rest assured that you would look only your best on your big day.
Every gown-fitting session at La Belle Couture was so much fun, and this was a very memorable part of the wedding journey.
FIND YOURSELF A HAIR & MAKEUP ARTIST
Makeup artists (MUA) are aplenty, and there is one for every budget. But we say do not scrimp on this, because if there is one person who determines how you look like on the most important day of your life, it is your MUA.
A good makeup means you will look your best throughout and in all your photos and videos. On the flip side, if you get an MUA who does a poor job, that bad makeup will haunt you forever in your photos and videos.
Your MUA must be someone who is highly skilled and efficient. He/she must understand your features well enough to create looks that accentuate your features without you looking like a total different person.
For us, we trusted our friends Adeline Lim and Pearlyn Law. These ladies have a belt of experience in wedding hair and makeup, and they have created many looks for all our pre-wedding shoots and actual day celebrations.
Bear in mind that some MUAs do not style groom’s hair, so you might have to make separate arrangements.
Do book your MUA in advance so that you have ample time to arrange for trial make-ups.
Catherine Ting of Black Hair Salon (for Groom’s hairstyling)
Contact: +65 6835 9976
WORK ON YOUR PHOTO ALBUMS
Once you’ve got your photos taken, it is time to work on your photo albums. These are albums that you will keep with you for life, so spend a little more time on them, and look for a reliable printer.
Our albums were done by My Photo Talk, whom we had previously worked with for other prints for our home. These guys’ work fast, and you would be surprised by how affordable their albums are! They have a very simple step-by-step online order process, and you can get your photos printed with just a few clicks.
AND THE CANVASES
Don’t forget the canvases too! These are the huge-ass photos you would typically see during the cocktail reception. They are often the best shots from the pre-wedding photoshoot, and the quality of the canvas makes a difference to the overall look and feel.
These need not be exorbitant, nor do they need to be extra large in size that they’d take up too much space too. We had ours done by Print on Canvas, and boy, were they efficient in getting in done!
There is an ongoing promotion – get an S$18 discount when you place your orders online!
Print on Canvas
Contact: +65 9783 2145
WORK ON YOUR INVITATION CARDS
Wedding invitations was something we didn’t want to take lightly. Most would think it is just a medium to inform the guests, but to us, we wanted something that would have the guests remember our wedding right from the start.
The process of conceptualising a design was made easy with Dodt, who eventually came up with something in our wedding’s theme colours of seafoam and gold. They also designed a monogram that was minimalistic and sleek; just the way we liked it.
With a good design comes along the need to look for a reliable printer to complete the product. We had ours printed by The Fine Press, a Jakarta-based company that specialises in letterpress printing. We had ours printed in a very thick quality paper that exudes a luxurious, textural feel.
And the great sense of satisfaction came when guests told us how that was one of the most gorgeous invites they’ve ever received, and that they were already excited about our wedding.
PLAN YOUR DESSERT TABLE
Dessert tables are all the rage these days for all events, and being huge sweets lovers ourselves, we definitely had to place emphasis on bringing as much desserts as we can to our guests!
Planning this wasn’t difficult at all with Creme Maison Bakery, who knew exactly how a dessert table should be done. Tell them your requirements and preferred desserts and they will bring a wonderland to your wedding.
Both days of our celebrations were filled with amazingly fresh and delectable desserts that our guests couldn’t stop helping themselves to. The menu was well-thought and surprisingly very affordable for the sheer amount, and it was something we were happy to have our guests remember us for – that #BradMelWedding made them feel like Charlie in the Chocolate Factory.
A COFFEE BOOTH, PERHAPS?
Because ours was a lunch reception, we thought our guests might love a perk-me-up. What better way to wake up than to the smell of coffee?
We got Olla Coffee, a popular mobile coffee service provider in Singapore, to be part of our cocktail reception. Olla Coffee uses beans from Nylon Coffee Roasters, and because great coffee needs no sugar nor artificial flavouring, what our guests got to enjoy was true premium brew that was nothing short of aromatic. Now, that is one sure way to get you guests prepped for the eventful afternoon ahead!
The cherry on top? We even had cups printed with our wedding monogram!
AND OF COURSE, A LLAOLLAO KIOSK!
Want to give your guests something to talk about forever? Then have a Llaollao Kiosk! Seriously! It is possible with Llaollao’s new catering arm, and we are privileged enough to be one of the first few couples in Singapore to have a mobile froyo station at our cocktail reception.
Sure, you may think it is just another dessert. But it is not just another dessert when it is Llaollao! This sure got all our guests excited, and everyone was Instagram-ing their free flow Llaollao.
Read more about the Llaollao kiosk at our wedding here.
For enquiries on Llaollao catering, call +65 6733 2550, email [email protected] or visit www.llaocatering.com.
THE WEDDING CAKE
Most wedding cakes are for display only, but we made ours edible! We went with a Winifred Kristé Cake, who specialised in bespoke wedding cakes. It was a fun process – from sitting down with the team and sharing our ideas, to the cake tasting, to seeing the actual product sitting beautifully on the stage.
Small touches like these sure make the whole wedding a lot prettier. Our dream of having a rustic wedding cake complete with sugar flowers and gold pearls came true.
DON’T FORGET THE PHOTO BOOTH!
A photo booth adds infinite fun to a wedding! Our guests were kept occupied throughout, and because not everyone will bring cameras to a wedding, a photo booth is the best way to have some take-home from the wedding!
We chose to do it with Thank You For Coming, who are experts in tailor-made photo booths. No cheese backdrops and low-quality prints; only the best backdrops customised to your wedding theme, along with creative props and high resolution print-outs.
Thank YOU for coming, Thank You For Coming. Now, that was quite a mouthful. But all worth it! You can view our gallery here.
GUO DA LI
This will happen before the wedding – usually two weeks before. But do check with your parents on the preferred dates, because once again, the date matters and may carry symbolic meanings.
Truth be told, we know very little about Guo Da Li – the Chinese betrothal ceremony. But glad that we had help from the team at Le Knot, who educated and helped us with the whole process.
This old tradition has been passed down for many decades, and it is one that should be preserved for it carries many symbolic meanings that would mean a lot to the parents of both bride & groom.
Contact: +65 6844 5803
A live band makes a whole lot of difference to the atmosphere. Sure, it is a cost to save on, but it is also one that will elevate the whole guest experience. Sometimes, the singer doubles up as a host too!
Live bands usually stay throughout the wedding, with short breaks in between courses. They are the ones who will keep your guests entertained, and liven up the whole atmosphere with their repertoire.
Once again, we are grateful to everyone who made our wedding possible. To our guests, we hope you enjoyed the afternoon. To all vendors, thank you for being part of our celebrations!