Yess finally! Haha
Finally because we started working on our wedding almost a year ago, and finally everything is done.
Despite us looking forward to this day for so long, it still feels better to have something plan being executed after thinking or working on it for so long.
I won’t go into too much detail, but thought I’ll log down our/my general thought process so that I can look back at it in future and/or hopefully it’ll help others.
The other thing I want to say is that, both our parents are pretty liberal in letting us plan the wedding. So all we did was update them with the progress.
We spent a total of less than $25k for the wedding + photoshoot. I won’t list the individual costs here as the quotes given by the vendor might be different depending on your requirements (which wouldn’t be fair for them if I listed their prices here). I would say these are value for money vendors – meaning they are professional and very nice vendors but not well known enough to charge very high costs, so do check out their portfolio and work with them if you find that you like their work.
What we wanted our wedding to be like
I’ve always wanted a simple and small wedding. BUT, not too small until there are only relatives, but one where friends that I want to invite can also come.
The thing is, this gave us a problem where the wedding wouldn’t be very very small. We ended up having a wedding with around 200 pax mainly because of the venue’s minimum number.
This was a difficult part – we started our wedding planning with this.
We started by looking at restaurants coz of our budget, but the thing is, we aren’t sure which restaurants are good.
We ended up going to a wedding fair at Vivo’s atrium in Jan 2016 (where we were hounded by some photography shop staff for quite a while), and noticed Orchid Country Club’s booth with their promotion.
The staff weren’t pushy, and the promotional package seem to cover almost everything that we need (other than food and venue – free flow alcohol, decorations, ang bao box, free guestbook, free room stay).
We didn’t sign on the spot but decided to think it through.
After thinking about it, we chose a wedding lunch to keep the wedding simple.
The benefits of a wedding lunch are:
1) It finishes fast – guests can go elsewhere or run errands after that.
2) If you’re doing gatecrashing, you don’t have to wait so long for the banquet.
3) They don’t usually rush the food, and guests don’t have to worry about transport.
4) It is cheaper.
We chose buffet, mainly because we didn’t want the lunch to drag too long. We love weddings that are short and sweet (I think the guests too).
Our friends usually have their pre-wedding shoot near the wedding, but we decided to have our pre-wedding shoot earlier as it’s usually something major before the wedding.
This was our to do list:
1) Photographer – we choose a freelance photographer recommended by a friend, mainly because the price fit our budget and the photographer’s portfolio was pretty good.
We worked with Ivan from LightSmith LLP, and I say he exceeded our expectations.
2) Dress – In photos, as long as something looks decent, you don’t need to spend too much money on it. I spent S$100 on a dress from this shop on Qoo10. It exceeded my expectations and all I had to do was to bring to a tailor to edit it (she charged me $5 only).
3) Location – I wanted something outdoors as I didn’t like the indoor decorations and stuff. I saw some pictures of Coney Island and I suggested that.
4) Makeup – Ivan (our photographer) recommend using this app called Vanitee to look for a makeup artist. I didn’t like his recommended ones but ended up finding this makeup artist Mint Gooi from Casaminto. You can find her portfolio here: Casaminto Makeup.
Mint was very professional and friendly and she knows her stuff. That’s the most important thing. I had spoken to another makeup artist prior to her and the other lady told me that she could do the makeup at Coney Island in the morning. Mint told me that she won’t be able to do it as there won’t be any electricity for the hair curling irons which was true.
We took the pictures in March 2016.
My thought process was this: People won’t remember what you wear a year later. Believe me, I don’t remember most of my friend’s weddings except roughly the people I sat with. Ended up buying another dress from the same Qoo10 shop. This was slightly expensive ($125), and I bought the wrong size the first time – do leave me a comment if you would like to purchase the unworn dress from me.
Justice of Peace (JOP)
We wanted to go for a lady JOP, and I let Eugene do the contacting. He did it quite last minute (and I mean 4 months before the wedding), so we didn’t get our first choice. I felt that this was a blessing in disguise however, as our JOP that we got on the actual day was Mr Mike Tam Chee Wah. He has a good sense of humour which our guests all commented that he was a good JOP and some of them have actually asked for his contact details. He was also very nice and gave us advice on what to do. We had originally only wanted one march in (after our solemnization), but seeing that there were many guests already there, he suggested that we have a march in before our solemnization which I felt was a nice touch to our wedding. We highly recommend him as your first choice if you’re looking for a solemnizer.
Brothers and Sisters
We kept it simple and asked 3 of our closest friends (in my case, my sister and Eugene’s sister plus one of my good friend who have been there for me for years – Meow Ling), to help us.
There wasn’t any gatecrash so it was even easier.
I remember Eugene’s brothers asking what to wear on the actual day and I told them it’s up to them, which made them super happy lol.
Program on actual day
This was done up with reference to a few other files that we found online as well as our own experience at weddings and how we wanted it to be like.
We kept it simple since there wasn’t any changing of dress – only one march in, video montage as well as speech and toast.
We kept to working with Ivan on the actual day as his price was reasonable and his professionalism was there.
Same goes for Mint!
This was part of the wedding package with Orchid Country Club, so all we did was to make decisions and choose.
We chose espresso mugs as well as passport holders. Interestingly the passport holders were the more popular ones!
I’d worked with Happy Gorillas on one occasion and had used their photobooth at a friend’s wedding.
The good thing about their photobooth is that the pictures are not small. I understand having credit card sized pictures, but they’re so small that I can barely see the pictures properly. And if you see how people keep the photos, if they’re big enough, they will put it on display at their home, their desks etc.
Value for money prices as well and they allowed for customization of the frame!
Lastly, live band for the guests!
If you’ve been to buffet weddings, you’ll know that they are boring. People eat at most 2 rounds and they get bored and sit around doing nothing. Hence, we decided to hire a live band to entertain the guests.
We booked Jeremy and Sky from Merry Bees (they work with a few other companies as well I believe) and topped up for Jeremy to be the Emcee as well. I was very worried about how it would go on the actual day (because I saw a friend’s emcee that he booked from a vendor screwing up his whole wedding) but his professionalism was just amazing!! I needn’t worry at all. His singing was also very good and a lot of friends raved about the band after the wedding!
We almost wanted to confirm with another vendor with regards to booking someone else for the band, but they turned out to be super unprofessional and we gave up trying after a month trying to confirm with them. Do comment with your email address and I’ll let you know which vendor.
Will update with pictures once they are sent over!
*Note: we gave various amounts of Ang baos to our vendors, JOP, brothers and sisters as well.
Would like to thank all the vendors and everyone who helped out at our wedding (25 Feb 2017)!