As a first-time bride, I was disillusioned by the fact that BIG BUDGET = PERFECT WEDDING
While an unlimited budget for your big day is always nice, it definitely doesn’t mean you can’t have the perfect wedding without breaking the bank.
If you’re a bride-to-be, here are a few things I learnt from this wedding season, which may come in handy when planning your big day:
1) You don’t have to wear a Vera Wang to feel special on your wedding day
Every bride is said to be most beautiful on her wedding day, regardless of whether she’s walking down the isle in a designer gown…or not.
Fact is, you don’t have to wear a branded gown to feel special. Ladies, it’s not the gown. It’s you.
Having a label to your dress is always nice, but these days, pretty gowns are not exclusive to the rich and famous. You can even own a stunning dress for just under RM1000, so don’t stress ya. ;-)
2) Can’t afford to hire a wedding planner? Relax, it’s not the end of the world.
While good wedding planners make pretty valuable lifesavers, not everyone can afford to leave it entirely to the professionals; and unless you’re opting for an unconventional way to commemorate your big day, here’s a checklist that should help you get started:
9 months to 1 year before the wedding:
- Determine your budget
- Select the date (you may want to have a few options, just in case your preferred venue or officiant is not available on your selected date)
- Start a wedding folder (inspiration boards, references, etc.), determine your wedding theme (if applicable) and a rough idea of the things/activities that will take place your big day
- Decide on your wedding party, and give them a heads-up
- Get started on a guest list (having a gauge of the total number of people attending will help with the location shopping)
- Decide on the type of location, and ask for quotations based on item #2 and #5 above
- Book your officiant and find out the relevant procedures for getting registered in your respective area (if you’re in Malaysia, go to the nearest JPN office to get more details)
- Shortlist your preference for photographers, videographers, caterers (if your venue isn’t supplying the F&B), florists, entertainment, etc.; ask for quotations
- Book your pre-marital counseling classes/sessions, as I always believe that it is important to start your marriage on the right foundation
I’m happy to share the rest of my checklist and budget template with you, so if you want copy, just pop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org ;-)
Detailed planning is vital but that only constitutes to half the battle in the world of weddings. The other half is execution. And if you’re the bride, you’ll need to learn to delegate. Yeah, if you read my previous blog post, you’ll know that I had to go against every fiber in my being to obey #babybaby and
1) Stay away from the venue during the setup process, the night before
2) NOT sneak a walkie-talkie under my wedding gown. Lol
So the point is, you’ll have to delegate. Jeng jeng jeng.
Identify at least 3 key people that you can trust to run your actual day – 1 to manage the front of house (guest arrival/registration, ang pao collections), 1 to manage the vendors & photographers/videographers (arrivals, timelines, setup and tear-down at the venue, etc. assuming that it is not handled by your venue providers), 1 to manage the actual flow of events/activities/entertainment (itinerary, audio visual, emcee, etc.).
Yep, there’s more to consider than you think. That's why it is always best to get into the details and mentally visualize the flow of your day as early as possible in the planning process. From there, create a checklist of things that you'll need at the different stages (you can keep adding to the list as you go along, so don't worry if you missed out one or two things in the first round of "brainstorming" with your husband-to-be/event planner. From there, you can start listing down points for your briefing to the people who will be helping you out; to avoid unnecessary confusion and stress for everyone involved, during the actual wedding week.
Meantime, if you're looking for some economical ideas for your wedding reception, here are some of the things you too can DIY (at very minimal cost):
p/s: Our family members played a very big part in this; so good luck convincing yours to help out too! Hehe.
KIDS' KIT - a lil’ something to keep your little guests busy (both hands and mouth) during the ceremony.
Lollipops can come in handy, especially with the noisy few, so make sure your ushers are stocked. Hehe.
I printed the mini colouring "book" from this website [http://lovelyindeed.com/diy-activity-book-free-printable/].
PERSONALISED FOOD TOPPERS - We basically just stuck 2 pieces of paper to each toothpick, although it's actually more complicated than it sounds.
WEDDING BROCHURE to orientate your guests (if there’s anything specific you need them to do or not do, social media hashtags, itinerary, floor/seating plan, etc.)
ANG PAO COLLECTION BOXES (we wrapped and re-used empty tissue boxes)
TOILET DECO (simple black print on coloured paper, laminated)
CONFETTI BAR (small pieces of coloured/shiny paper for the mixing pleasure of your guests) :-D
Hope this helps. :-) Will share the pictures/video from the church wedding in my next blog post. Till next Wednesday, mwah!!!! Panda hugs. xxx
All photos (unless otherwise stated) by Cornelius Lim
Design/Concept/Direction of all "A Walk Down The Aisle" materials (invites, wedding favours, stickers, food toppers, guest photo printout template, button badges, etc) by Joey & Regine Khor.