I wrote these down shortly after the wedding, while the experience was still fresh in my mind. I hope that these will prove useful to many. Yay! 🙂
- Hire an excellent coordinator. Do NOT scrimp on your coordinator. I have heard horror stories of couples getting top suppliers and a so-so coordinator. If you do not want all your preps to go to waste, book a reputable coordinator with a great track record (such as our coordinator, Kiss the Girl Events!).
- Prepare in advance. One year is just enough time. Any shorter and you may not enjoy preps that much. Take the time to visit churches, attend food tasting sessions, and join bridal fairs. Do not impulse book your suppliers! Research on each supplier to make sure you are really getting your preferred supplier. Read online forums. They help a lot in the decision-making process.
- Stick to your budget. Set a budget at the very beginning and try your best to stick to it. Do not spend more than you have! Agree on which suppliers are your priorities, and allow yourself to splurge but only on those suppliers. For example, we did not compromise on our videographer, our #1 priority (we got our dream videographer Jake Olaso), but we chose a relatively affordable hotel (which in fact turned out to be a very good decision as our hotel, Picasso Boutique Serviced Residences, was quite unconventionally beautiful). And note that to do #3, you have to do #2, because you need time to research on the many many suppliers out there!
- Budget not only for your major suppliers but for your needs on the day itself. For example, we spent a significant amount on lunch prior to the wedding for family, friends, and suppliers. Make sure your budget includes these expenses; you can ask your coordinator for help with projecting these things.
- Prepare a list of moments you want captured on the wedding date. On the morning of the wedding, my MOH told me that she wanted a picture with just the two of us. Unfortunately, neither of us remembered to have this picture taken. 😦 Once you think of special pictures you want taken, list them down and give the list to your photographer!
- Use a courier for sending out your invitations. Invitations are sent out usually one month before the wedding date, and by this time, you will be busy with many other things. We used a combination of a courier and friendly helpers (our friends and family) to distribute invitations. Just bear in mind that you cannot do this step on your own!
- Hire the Manila String Machine! All bias aside, this is really an excellent wedding string quartet with an awesome library of classical and modern music. For our wedding, our MSM pieces included Beethoven’s Sonata Pathetique, Dave Matthews Band’s Crash into Me, Dashboard Confessional’s Stolen, Coldplay’s The Scientist, and the theme from Game of Thrones, among others! Super cool, right? 😀 You will definitely not regret having MSM at your wedding. 🙂
- Ask for help. It’s not easy to plan such a big event, and if you try to do things all on your own, you will definitely get very stressed. I am very fortunate to have had help from so many people (see my thank-you message in my previous post), and my wedding turned out very personal and heartfelt because of the many contributions of my family and friends! 😀
- On the day itself, accept that nothing is perfect. There will always be something amiss, and you just have to condition yourself and accept whatever happens on the big day. We were fortunate that there were no major problems during our wedding. For me, the biggest problem was our morning preps being slightly behind schedule (because I am so particular about being punctual!), and so for a moment I panicked, but then I calmed down soon enough, because I realized that worrying would solve nothing, would ruin my makeup, and would make for not-so-happy pictures. Haha. In the end, things fell into place, with the ceremony starting on time. 🙂
- Remember that your fiancé is on your side. In the middle of all the wedding preps, it is easy to become frustrated and take it out on your partner. Remember that you are a team, and preparing for the wedding will test how well you work together. I can confidently say that preparing for our wedding made us even stronger as a couple. There were many challenges, but we surmounted them together, and we were able to have a wonderful wedding! 🙂 There are many more challenges ahead, which we will overcome as a team, and hopefully these experiences will make our marriage indestructible! 🙂