Expert Tips from Top Wedding Planners - Part 1


Here at The Wedding Scoop, we aim to empower couples by giving them inspiration and information every single day. In today’s feature – the first of a two-part series – we’re thrilled to be bringing you expert tips from some of Singapore’s most talented wedding planners. They’ve seen it all, and we hope their experience and words of wisdom help empower you when you’re stuck in a rut and facing tough decisions about your wedding planning. Onward and upward!

Getting organized and planning ahead

Jessica, Wedrock Weddings
Give yourself sufficient time to plan your wedding. One year is ideal, but you may buffer more months if you foresee certain commitments such as work-related ones, which may put substantial stress or pressure on the planning process. Send out invitations earlier than you think you need to, and always give a RSVP date earlier than you need it as some guests will need to be chased for their replies. The invitation design can be a valuable reference point for the style and décor of the wedding and it is advisable to complete it early.



Photos by Bloc Memoire via A Midsummer's Nights Dream: Sean and Dawn's Wedding.

Cindy, Ode to Joy Wedding Concepts
"If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!" Start planning for your big day 9 to 12 months in advance to give you ample time to prepare. List down the key tasks and timelines for each item so that you can track the completion of the wedding to-dos effectively. Alternatively, some websites provide comprehensive wedding checklists and resources that you can utilise.



Photos by Nathan Wu via Ryan and Daphne's Romantic Bali Wedding at Amankila Resort.

Renee, The Wedding Butler 
Get yourself a 2-ring binder and make sure you organize all your ideas, receipts and invoices from the vendors you have hired, including notes taken at meetings or when you’re inspired by new ideas. This old-fashioned method keeps you in check and organized at all your wedding-related meetings. Make categories for every area of your wedding – wedding attire, wedding cake, venues, menus, entertainment, etc. Keep photos of your wedding ideas and influences categorized on your iPad too as this will help you easily pull out the right photos for each of your meetings. We have seen brides scrambling through multiple photos, unable to find the ones they want to show us.

{Tip from The Wedding Scoop: Try using Pinterest as your very own cloud-based moodboard for finding and storing images with specific elements that inspire you or that you’d like to use at your own wedding. Have a Pinterest account and not sure where to start looking for wedding inspiration? Try The Wedding Scoop’s Pinterest page!}



Photos by Kelvin, Lightedpixels Photography via Handcrafted Wedding With a Paper Flower Backdrop: Brian + Tiffany.

Caroline, The Wedding Entourage 
It is important to keep a directory of contacts for yourself or your coordinator to send reminders to all helpers and vendors 2 days before your wedding. Once you’ve confirmed the list of helpers, do remember to arrange a briefing with everyone involved on the actual day to run through the detailed schedule and to ensure that everyone is certain about their responsibilities for your big day. Keep a record of all correspondence with and payments to your vendors so that you won’t lose track of your expenses and to ensure that the relevant information is readily available for reference.




Photos by Yu Hsin and KC, Tinydot Photography via Jeffrey and Daphne's Exquisite Wedding at Alkaff Mansion.



Photos by Schnap Photography via Dinesh and Janani's Fabulously Fun Wedding at Burkill Hall.

Selecting the right venue

Renee, The Wedding Butler
Go for the wow factor! Don't go for trendy spots just because it's the latest, coolest venue to have a wedding. The wow factor is very important. Be wowed by the venue – if you feel butterflies in your stomach and your heart pounding, that’s where you want to celebrate your big day. Be wowed by the banquet sales team and what they can offer, and don't be shy about asking them a lot of questions because it's important to know what you are paying for. (E.g. Are there other weddings held on the same day as your wedding in the venue? How many servers will be tending to one table? What is the maximum number of guests the venue can accommodate (because Asian weddings tend to be large)? Finally, be wowed by the experience. When we say “experience” we mean an experienced team and venue that can pull together a great banquet for you. If you want an outdoor wedding always make sure you have a backup location in the venue to shift the wedding to. Your wedding is once in your lifetime, so it's not the time to take the risk of proceeding without a wet-weather plan.

Picking a wedding date

Renee, The Wedding Butler
When picking a wedding date try not to pick Valentine's Day or significant holidays like 2 weeks before the Chinese New Year period, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, or Labor Day. These are days where many vendors often charge more due to the higher demand of flowers or they have to pay their staff overtime, and these additional costs will ultimately be passed down to you. Auspicious dates are a common practice but if your family is not overly traditional about this, try not to have your wedding on a very popular date as the venue may be overbooked for many weddings from morning to dinners which means the quality of all the venue’s services will also drop. Also keep in mind that your guests may be invited to other weddings and may not be able to attend yours. A handful of popular venues are also imposing “hot date” surcharges above and beyond their menu prices. Many top vendors may also be booked, leaving you with the least experienced ones. Make sure you have at least 3 possible wedding dates as options when you start calling your preferred venues, as this will help eliminate going back and forth with emails and calls trying to find a date that the venue is available.


Bryan, Beautiful Gatherings 
Make the wedding yours – very often couples come to me with a frantic outpouring of ideas that they have kept in mind. It could be from weddings that they have attended, magazines, their Facebook feed, and the most dangerous of all, Pinterest. As the saying goes, “too many cooks spoil the soup” and so in this case, too many ideas will make your wedding messy and incoherent. I advise my couples to give these websites a break and begin by thinking of what THEY want. What kind of wedding would they like? How do they want their guests to experience the wedding? At the end of the day, it is YOUR wedding. It is not a competition. Instead, it is a celebration of the commitment of love from both of you.



Photos by 9frames Photography via Glamorous All-White Wedding at Pan Pacific Singapore: Andrew and Shana.

Anna, Spellbound Weddings 
Decide who is going to be the decision-maker when it comes to budgeting: yourself or your partner or both, or your parents. If the decision-maker is your parents, will you have a say in it? Will you be unhappy if you have no say in their budgeting decisions? Perhaps you should consider letting them have their way, and focus on making decisions on areas in which you can afford to be the person paying. Otherwise, it will not be a happy journey to the big day.




Photos by Alwin, Trouve via A Cheery Yellow and Pastel Blue Wedding at Alkaff Mansion: Wei Siang and Shuwei




Photos by Aloysius and Eng Hong, 39 East Photography via An Art Deco Inspired Wedding at Shangri-La: Tian and Jess.

Jessica, Wedrock Weddings
Be a team throughout the entire wedding planning process. It’s good practice for the bride and groom to be unified in all their decisions and it will definitely bring them closer. Remind yourself of what’s truly important – the union. After all, the wedding is the celebration of the union. No matter what, don’t lose sight of this big picture.

Renee, The Wedding Butler
Keep focused. These days we have easy access to so many social media photos and ideas from many sites and online platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest. Once you have decided on your theme and your gown ideas, your invitation influences, your flowers, etc, try not to surf the internet for more ideas or read wedding magazines as you will start wavering on your initial desires for your wedding. It's important to keep focused as it helps eliminate confusion, and indecisive thoughts that make it stressful not just for you but for the vendors you hired. Keeping focused will also enable you to move along to other aspects of your wedding.

Caroline, The Wedding Entourage
Always look at the big picture – it is easy to get caught up in planning the nitty-gritty details and putting too many things on one plate. It is important to put your foot down as a couple and set guidelines in the early stages of the planning to decide what the priorities will be for your special day.

Making time for each other and yourselves

Renee, The Wedding Butler
In over 17 years of planning many weddings, I have counseled so many couples who fought about their wedding plans. In extreme cases, their weddings were called off. I have given this advice to all our couples: have 2 “wedding-free” weekends every month – don’t talk about the wedding, look at wedding vendors or try on gowns at boutiques. I'm not saying it’s taboo and that you should stop thinking about weddings entirely because you only have your weekends free to spend time together on wedding-related activities, but ironically it's because of this fact that you only have your weekends to spend time with each other that you should make time to focus on each other instead of just the wedding. Wedding decisions can be very stressful and costly, and talking about it constantly only allows for it to turn into a nagging topic that can go on for months. Dragging your fiancé to multiple vendors and wedding shows can be very boring, daunting and tiring. You lose the magic of your love even before the wedding. Over the years many of our couples have come back to us after their wedding to thank us for giving them this precious advice as it saved their relationship from fights and helped them to remember it's all about celebrating their lives together and not about pleasing everyone. Remember it's all about the journey and not just the destination.

Bryan, Beautiful Gatherings 
Space out your day! I notice that couples tend to pack their wedding day with activities, running from the gate crash, changing dresses, taking group photos, and the list goes on. It can be difficult to keep energy levels up when you’re “on show” for ten or more hours at a stretch. Keep the activities to a minimum and allow yourself some time to be quiet, collect your thoughts, have a glass of water, check your lipstick or just have a few minutes of uninterrupted time to yourself to enjoy the day more.


We hope you found the tips useful, Wedding Scoopers! Stay tuned for more insight into wedding planning in Part II of Expert Tips from Top Wedding Planners.


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