Our Very Own Wedding Guide to Planning A Nautical-Themed Wedding, #MJWeds0205

Planning for a wedding can be a nightmare and as the saying goes, “when you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. Even though Jacqueline and I are experienced event planners, we have never thought that planning a wedding can be so tedious. In fact, both of us took more than 2 years to plan for our wedding and even right up to the actual day of our wedding, there were quite a number of last minute changes. Just how hard can planning a wedding be?

In this blog post, we will share with you what goes on behind-the-scenes when we were planning for our wedding and we hope that this will be a useful guide to all the couples who are planning to get married.

To begin planning your wedding, you and your other half ought to choose an auspicious date and whether it is a superstition or not, it is highly recommended that you keep to this custom of choosing a suitable wedding date.

There are many websites available on the Internet to tell you when the auspicious dates for getting married are but those are pretty generic and may not be applicable to some couples. For us, we engaged Master David Tong to help us in choosing a wedding date and through the process, we decided for our wedding to be held on 02 May 2015.

If you are engaging a Geomancer to determine suitable wedding dates, you will need to prepare some information so that your Geomancer can calculate an auspicious wedding date for you.

Some important information that is required are:

• Your date of birth and time of birth • Your parents’ animal zodiac signs • Your dialect group • Your partner’s date of birth and time of birth • Your partner’s parents’ animal zodiac signs • Your partner’s dialect group • Range of dates you would like to consider • Any preference for weekdays or weekends • Is it going to be a wedding lunch or wedding dinner

When we engaged Master David Tong, he gave us the dates for our customary wedding day, guo da li, an chuang, and ROM; and when we read his report, we were very lucky that we could have our ROM and Chinese customary wedding on the same day. Master David Tong even sent us some very useful information and wedding planning tools that we could use to plan our wedding.

In case you are wondering, we paid SGD$130 to engage Master David Tong and we will definitely be seeking his advice for our new HDB build-to-order [BTO] flat at Punggol Drive.

Now that you got the dates, what next?

The wedding venue!

Deciding on the wedding venue may probably be the most difficult decision that you will make when planning your wedding and it will be wise for you to choose a venue that fits the budget that you have in mind.

Some questions you might want to ask yourself when looking for a suitable wedding venue is:

• How many guests are you expecting to have at your wedding? • Do you have a wedding theme in mind? • Are you looking for a wedding venue that is easily accessible and convenient? • What is the budget that you have? • Is your wedding going to be a wedding lunch or a wedding dinner? • Have you decided whether your wedding is going to be a traditional or contemporary one?

Having the answers to these questions will help you greatly in deciding on a wedding venue because certain venues can be very expensive while others can only accommodate a small group of guests. There are pros and cons to every wedding venue and it is entirely up to you to decide what is best for you and your partner.

Visiting wedding shows and bridal fairs is a great start to look out for suitable wedding venues and that was actually how we chanced upon One Degree 15 Marina Club. Had we not attended the wedding fair, I doubt we would have decided on One Degree 15 Marina Club to be our wedding venue.

For a schedule of upcoming wedding shows, you can check out Singapore Brides Official Website and if you like to find out why we chose One Degree 15 Marina Club as our wedding venue, you can read more about it here.

Whatever the venue you eventually decide, make sure you get all agreements and discussions typed out in black and white so that in the event of any disputes, it will be easier to resolve. Also, it will be advantageous for you to bring along someone who has worked or is working in the hospitality industry so that you can try to negotiate and bargain for a better wedding lunch or dinner package.

As for us, we took out other items like the house wines and wedding cards in the package and negotiated for extra rooms for our wedding entourage. In case you are wondering, we customised and personalised our wedding cards and we were very pleased with how it turned out.

Having taken out the house wines from the dinner wedding banquet package that we signed up for, we purchased 100 bottles of wine from The Straits Wine Company at Quayside Isle, Sentosa Cove separately. Although we still have about 60+ bottles of wine left after the wedding banquet, our guests consumed 3 barrels of beer!

The Red Wine that we chose for our wedding dinner is a red Cabernet Sauvignon that is produced by the Alias family in the Provence region of France. It is a medium-bodied red wine that is slightly on the dry side. The nose foretells a very ripe Cabernet Sauvignon with complex mixture of spices and black fruit but the attack is round with fine tannins, offering a surprisingly silky finish for a young Cabernet.

As for the White Wine, we chose the white Trebbiano Chardonnay that is produced in the Emilia Romagna region of Italy. It is a well-balanced lovely summer white wine that is zesty and has the intense fragrance of tropical fruits.

To complete the dinner on a sweet note, we also offered to our guests our favourite Moscato d’Asti sparkling white wine that is produced in the Piedmont region of Italy.

Wedding dates checked. Wedding venue checked.

What’s next?

The wedding photography!

There are many bridal photography studios in Singapore and if you take the path less travelled, you can cut down on the extravagant costs by enlisting your friends to help you out with the photography. With technology being so advanced, you can even outsource the printing of your wedding photo album if you decide to go the do-it-yourself [DIY] route. However, if you are not a designer and if time is not aplenty, we would suggest to you to take up a bridal photography package because it saves time and offers more choices.

Having said that, taking up a bridal photography package in Singapore can be very expensive and this is the only reason why we decided not to patronise the local bridal studios here. Don’t be mistaken though. There are indeed some pretty affordable bridal studios in Singapore but for the amount of money that we pay in Singapore, we could do so much more in Malaysia or even elsewhere. Hence, we decided to take up a bridal photography package with Destino Bridal Gallery in Johor Bahru after much scouting and research done by Jacqueline and her sister.

Before signing up for a bridal studio package overseas, make sure you exercise due diligence in doing your research. You need to check that the bridal studio you are engaging is reputable and will not suddenly close shop and leave you hanging; and if any bridal studios insist on a full payment, avoid them immediately.

A standard bridal photography packages will usually include the following: • Indoor photography • Outdoor photography • Rental of Wedding Gown and Suit for the Bridal Photography and on actual Wedding Day • Hand Bouquet for Wedding Day • Car Décor • Photo Albums & Photo Frames

Similar to the wedding banquet packages, the bridal photography packages also allows room for negotiation and discussion. While the prices are usually fixed, you can negotiate to take out certain items and replace it with something else. However, as with all bridal studios, the additional charges for extra photographs can be rather exorbitant [usually in the thousands] and certain bridal studios charge additional money should you decide to use a particular designer wedding gown.

Therefore, make sure you get all discussion down in writing [black and white].

You can check out our review of Destino Bridal Gallery if you are interested.

If you are looking for some bridal photography ideas, you might want to check out Wedding Scoop Official Website.

Half the battle is won when you are done with your wedding photography and what would be left thereafter will be the nitty-gritty stuffs like buying the wedding bands, guo da li, finding a Wedding Solemniser, and etc.

Stay tuned to part 2 of our Wedding Guide where we will share with you some reviews and nitty-gritty information about the vendors whom we engaged to make our wedding a really memorable one.