As you are engaged with your soon-to-be husband, the first question that pops out your mind is, “How to start planning your dream wedding?” where the initial excitement of being engaged grows. It is very essential to every couple to have a good decision-making process together with a goal of having a wedding reflecting you as a couple. You wanted to have a wedding which was as unique as your love story while still being as cost-effective. Here are tips from our Co-Founder, Melissa Lou who presented a workshop during the Seedly Finance Festival 2021 on a step-by-step guide to planning a cost-effective wedding. Here are some tips to get you started.
Do I need a Wedding Planner?
When planning a wedding, there’s a thin line that lies between “fun” and “torture”. If having the thought of wedding planning makes you either feel stressed or overwhelmed, you may decide you need professional help. But what help do you need exactly? Consider a few things before you decide on hiring a wedding planner.
- Identify Precisely What You Require
To begin your thinking process, start thinking about the time available or required for wedding planning and how much time you are willing to set aside as a couple? Next, how much are you willing to spend on your wedding planner? Prices may vary depending on the scope of service. Also, it is best to create checklists on your wedding priorities – is it important for you to have a less stressful time planning for the wedding? Are you trying to ensure smooth logistics for the day? Is one of your priorities to have a pinterest-worthy wedding? Identify what’s important to you.
- Wedding Planners Vs. Wedding Coordinators
There is a key difference between wedding planners and coordinators, but always remember that everyone charges differently – some charges are based on fixed service fees whereas others charge by a percentage of your wedding expense. Wedding planners typically provide full planning services but differ from one planner to another based on their expertise. On the other hand, Wedding Coordinators only start to assist you on a later stage of your planning with some as early as 3 months before the wedding date or just a coordination on your actual wedding day.
There are also some other factors to consider when planning to get a wedding planner or coordinator. Here are some pro tips for you to think about:
- Do they have a limit on the number of hours they meet with you or a limit of hours for actual day coordination?
- Understanding their team size is good for you to consider how wide their job scope is going to be. There might be limits on what one person can handle versus an entire team.
- What is their level of experience?
- A planner or coordinator who is familiar with your wedding venue may make the planning process easier. They understand the ins and outs of the venue’s package inclusion, what can be negotiated, and how to manage the different aspects of planning and logistics. They also have a better understanding of the pros and cons of each venue and will be able to advise and suggest the best flow and experience for your guests.
- Are they any hidden costs? You don’t want to be caught off-guard by any unexpected expenditure so always ask if there is any other additional cost that you should be aware of.
- Understanding how your planner or coordinator communicates will give you a better idea of what to expect throughout the planning process. This will reduce the chances of misunderstanding and misalignment of expectations.
T-12 Months – The Big Picture
Regardless of hiring a wedding planner or coordinator, it will be better if you understand the different stages of planning a wedding. Here are the following wedding checklists you can follow based on timeline.
The average engagement takes around 15 months to complete and you should be looking at the big picture before your big day. The moment that you get engaged, everyone will be asking you about the exact day when your wedding will be. After, you need to think about what type of wedding do you want – what are the most important elements to you? Do you want to throw a huge party into the night with great music and have great foods and beverages? Considering your wedding priorities straight will guide the rest of the process making it easier to choose where you’ll compromise. Through this, you should be able to easily decide on what wedding theme you’ll have on your big day.
Next, determine your wedding budget. This factor will surely affect every decision you make about how you plan your wedding and purchase you make, so be sure to carefully work out on your budget before starting your wedding plan. Our free wedding planning kit comes with a wedding budget template which will help you and you can use to start planning your budget. It is best to start getting out of the way so you can have a realistic picture about what you can spend on.
We’ve known that most weddings in Asia are for the parents – it’ll be good to have a conversation with them on who they are planning to invite and how many on each side of the family. With COVID, you need to take note that only a maximum of 250 guests you can have on your wedding so you need to limit them in number. When you already have an indication on the number of people you plan to have for your wedding, search for potential venues and reserve these spaces. There are various online resources, such as Delegate, you can use to filter and search for venues with your capacity in mind.
To emphasize, it is important to have a venue checklist to make sure you are aware of all the conditions as you are hiring the venue, such as checking if it is available for exclusive use, the flexibility of their rental packages, etc. or even to check their delay or cancellation policies. We also provide a detailed wedding venue checklist as part of our wedding planning kit to help you.
T-9 Months – Secure Key Vendors
Around 9 months before the wedding, you need to focus on securing vendors for your wedding. These key vendors should include:
- Your invitation card designer
- Your bridal boutique
- Your photographer and videographer
- Your hair and makeup artists
- Your florist or stylist
But before securing these key vendors, it is crucial that you already decide on the theme and style you wanted to go with. There are also some great ideas on how you can DIY things like floral arrangements and stylings.
The best way to have a cost-effective wedding is to know what you are paying for and to compare different packages transparently and efficiently. On Delegate, you’ll have the chance to compare wedding packages between vendors and to access exclusive discounts and perks. Next, attend wedding affairs where wedding vendors are often put up the best deals within the limited time frame and to secure the best rates possible for your big day!
T-6 Months – Start Wedding Day Prep
For the 6 months before your big day, you might want to consider your wedding day preparations which are inviting your bridesmaids and groomsmen and selecting the best outfits for them. This is when you also invite an officiant or solemniser for the event. Be sure to also plan out for your wedding program, a rough brief will do. Also, start looking for other vendors you might need including:
- Wedding Car
- Live Band
- Wedding Favours
- Wedding Bands & Bridal Jewellery
T-3 Months – Settling The Details
3 months before your wedding, start easing your load by finalising the details of your wedding such as your guest attendance and the seating arrangements. Next, confirm the wedding day itinerary and prepare items such as your wedding playlists, childhood montage, wedding vows, etc. These 3 months before your big day is also when most brides start their bridal fitness and their aggressive skincare regime. It is also a good time to prepare for Guo Da Li, etc.
There is also a huge list of nitty gritty details to settle 1 month and few weeks before the wedding. For you not to get bored with the details and for the interest of time, Our Wedding Planning Kit tailored for Singapore weddings is highly recommended for you to download.
Payment Hacks for Wedding Spend
It can be quite overwhelming to spend a huge amount of money at a go, especially if couples are budgeting for the new house, renovations and saving up to start a family. Here are some ways to help you ease your load:
- First, choose the best credit card deal that guarantees you the best savings based on how much you’re spending
- Next, try to stagger payments for your wedding vendors by negotiating for a smaller deposit especially due to pandemic, it would be wise for you to take note of all the postponement and cancellation policies just in case.
- Usually, not all merchants take credit cards so it is better to book and secure your vendors via platforms like Delegate where we accept credit card payments for all vendors listed on our platform.
Get the link here to download the FREE wedding planning kit exclusively for all. Build your ideal wedding by following the steps on planning a cost-effective wedding. We love to see your wedding plans come to life!