Congratulations, lovebirds, on taking the plunge and deciding to tie the knot in Singapore. I’ve been there too, planning my own wedding, so I understand that it can be a whirlwind of excitement and stress. But fear not – I’m here to share my experience and tips with all who are planning their wedding, and to guide you through every step of the way with this comprehensive wedding checklist. Let’s get this party started! 😉
The Ultimate Wedding Checklist
Getting Started (9-12 Months Before)
1. Set the Date
Selecting the perfect wedding date is a momentous decision. Here in Singapore, we often factor in auspicious dates, aligning our celebrations with cultural or personal significance. While you’re at it, consider our local weather patterns, so your outdoor celebration isn’t caught in the rain.
Pro tip: Start early by checking venue availability, as our busy wedding seasons can fill up quickly.
2. Create a Budget
Money talks! The first financial dance of your journey involves creating a realistic budget. Allocate funds for all aspects of your wedding, from venue and catering to photography and decor. Remember, it’s essential to balance your budget while ensuring you don’t compromise your dream wedding.
Pro tip: Building in a contingency fund can save you from unexpected financial stress.
3. Wedding Theme and Style
Give your wedding a unique and personal touch by choosing a theme that reflects your personalities. Singapore’s rich cultural tapestry offers endless inspiration. Consider infusing some local elements into your wedding design to make it uniquely Singaporean. Think Peranakan tiles, orchid motifs, or a colour palette inspired by the city’s vibrant streets.
Pro tip: Create a Pinterest board with your inspirations to communicate your ideas clearly to vendors.
4. Guest List
Your wedding is the ultimate gathering of friends and family, so crafting the perfect guest list is vital. Striking a balance between your desires and your family’s expectations can be tricky, but it’s worth the effort. Start by making separate lists and prioritise who you can’t imagine celebrating without.
5. Shop for Wedding Rings
Selecting the perfect wedding rings is a significant part of your wedding preparations. Consider factors such as the type of metal, design, and any customisation you desire. Visit several reputable jewellers and explore a variety of options to find the rings that resonate with your personal style and preferences.
Venue and Vendors (9-12 Months Before)
1. Book a Venue
Choosing the perfect venue is like selecting the canvas for your masterpiece. Singapore offers a diverse range of options, from lush garden settings to grand ballrooms. Decide whether you want an outdoor or indoor celebration, taking into account Singapore’s tropical climate.
Pro tip: Visit venues at different times of the day to see how natural light and the evening ambience will affect your celebration.
2. Hire Wedding Vendors
Your vendors are the unsung heroes who will make your dream wedding a reality. From photographers and videographers to florists and caterers, choosing the right ones is crucial. Study their portfolios, read reviews, and negotiate contracts to ensure you understand what each vendor provides.
Pro tip: Request references from your vendors to get insights from past clients about their experience.
3. Wedding Planners
If you’d prefer a smoother planning journey, consider hiring a wedding planner. These experts know the ins and outs of our vibrant wedding scene and can help you navigate it seamlessly.
Pro tip: Communication is key when working with a wedding planner; express your budget and expectations clearly.
4. Customary Ceremonies
Our diverse culture offers numerous customs and traditions that you can incorporate into your wedding. From tea ceremonies to donning traditional attire, these rituals add depth and significance to your special day.
Pro tip: Discuss these customs with your wedding planner or officiant to ensure they run smoothly.
5. Rain Plan
In Singapore’s climate, sudden rain showers are not uncommon. Having a well-thought-out rain plan is essential, especially if you’re hosting an outdoor wedding. Ensure that you have suitable shelter or a backup indoor venue readily available in case of inclement weather. Coordinate with your venue and vendors to ensure a smooth transition in the event that your wedding needs to move indoors due to rain.
Legal Requirements (6 Months Before)
1. Marriage Preparations
In the midst of the romance and excitement, it’s essential not to overlook the legal necessities. Begin by making a decision: will your ceremony take place onsite at the Registry of Marriages (ROM), or do you prefer an offsite solemnisation outside the ROM? Should you opt for the latter, you’ll need to select a solemniser, someone with the legal authority to officiate your wedding. It’s crucial to ensure that all legal prerequisites and paperwork are meticulously arranged to avoid any last-minute hiccups.
Pro tip: Research and choose a solemniser who aligns with your values and beliefs for a meaningful ceremony.
2. Submit Marriage Application
To initiate the process, furnish all the essential particulars to extend an invitation to a licensed solemniser. Schedule an appointment to make your official declaration and complete the marriage application, including the required payment. Keep in mind that you can submit your marriage application as early as six months in advance, but ensure it’s done no later than 21 days before your chosen solemnisation date. This is a legal obligation, as it provides the Registry of Marriages (ROM) with the mandated minimum 21 days’ notice of your upcoming marriage.
Food and Beverage Arrangements (6-9 Months Before)
Catering and the culinary experience at your wedding are crucial for ensuring your guests have a memorable time. Here’s how to manage this essential aspect, whether you’re working with a dedicated caterer or a venue with in-house catering:
1. Select a Caterer or Venue
Choose a catering service or a wedding venue that aligns with your preferences and budget. If you opt for a hotel or venue with in-house catering, explore their menu options and customisation possibilities.
Pro tip: Schedule a food tasting session with the caterer or venue to ensure the menu meets your expectations.
2. Customised Menu
Work closely with the caterer or the venue’s culinary team to create a menu that reflects your tastes and the overall theme of your wedding. Consider dietary restrictions and preferences of your guests, such as vegetarian or halal options.
Pro tip: Plan for a variety of food stations or live cooking to add an interactive and engaging element to your wedding.
3. Beverage Selection
Choose the beverages you’d like to serve, including alcoholic and non-alcoholic options. Decide on the types of wines, beers, and signature cocktails, if any.
Pro tip: Ensure there are non-alcoholic beverages readily available for guests who don’t consume alcohol.
4. Coordination with Venue
If you’ve chosen a venue with in-house catering, coordinate with them to ensure they have the necessary facilities and staff for serving food and beverages. Discuss logistics for meal service, bar setup, and any special arrangements required.
5. Special Meal Requests
Accommodate special meal requests for guests with allergies or dietary restrictions. Keep a record of these requests and communicate them to the caterer or venue.
Invitations and Guest Management (4-6 Months Before)
1. Design and Send Invitations
Crafting unique invitations is an opportunity to infuse your personalities into your wedding. Singapore’s architecture, lush landscapes, and vibrant street art can serve as fantastic inspirations. Ensure your invitations contain all necessary information, including RSVP details.
Pro tip: Make sure to proofread your invitations thoroughly before sending them out.
2. Seating Arrangements
Creating the perfect seating plan can be a puzzle, especially if there are complex family dynamics. Start early, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Sometimes a fresh perspective can make all the difference.
Pro tip: Use sticky notes on a large poster board to experiment with different seating arrangements.
Entertainment and Decor (3-6 Months Before)
1. Entertainment Options
Entertainment sets the mood for your celebration. Whether you opt for a live band, a DJ, or traditional cultural performances, ensure it aligns with your theme and the atmosphere you want to create.
Pro tip: Consider hiring a local band or performers to infuse a touch of Singaporean culture into your wedding entertainment.
2. Appointing an Emcee
One important detail to consider is appointing an emcee to host your wedding ceremony. A skilled emcee can add a wonderful touch to your celebration, keeping the atmosphere lively and ensuring the flow of the ceremony is seamless. Whether it’s a family member, friend, or a professional emcee, make this decision well in advance to secure their availability.
Pro tip: Discuss your preferences and expectations with your chosen emcee to make sure they understand your vision for the day.
3. Decor and Flowers
Transform your wedding venue into a dreamy paradise with carefully chosen decor and flowers. Singapore’s lush tropical beauty is an excellent source of inspiration. Think about incorporating orchids and other tropical blooms into your floral arrangements.
Pro tip: Make a list of the specific flowers and colours you’d like to use to guide your florist.
Attire and Beauty (2-3 Months Before)
1. Bride and Groom Attire
Finding the perfect attire for the bride and groom is a thrilling journey. Singapore offers an array of bridal boutiques and bespoke tailors. Remember to schedule dress fittings and alterations for that impeccable fit.
Pro tip: Consider traditional wear like the cheongsam or a custom-made suit with a Singaporean twist.
2. Jewellery for the Bride
The bride’s jewellery is a key element of her ensemble. Decide on the pieces you’ll wear, whether they’re family heirlooms, new purchases, or a combination of both. Ensure that your jewellery matches your gown and adds a touch of elegance to your bridal look.
3. Bridal Shoes
Select the perfect pair of bridal shoes that are not only stylish but also comfortable. Ensure that they match your gown’s style and length and have been worn in for added comfort on the big day.
Pro tip: Consider a second pair of more comfortable shoes for the reception if your wedding shoes are particularly high or ornate.
4. Attire for Bridesmaids and Groomsmen
Selecting attire for your bridesmaids and groomsmen is an important task. Choose styles and colours that complement your wedding theme and the overall aesthetic. Ensure that everyone is fitted well in advance, and consider whether you’ll provide or subsidise their outfits.
5. Hair and Makeup
Your wedding day is the perfect occasion to pamper yourself. Hire professional makeup artists and hairstylists in Singapore to ensure you look your absolute best on your big day.
Pro tip: Schedule a trial run for hair and makeup to ensure you’re happy with the final look.
Final Countdown (1 Month Before)
1. Final Details
With just a month left, it’s time to dot your i’s and cross your t’s. Confirm all vendor arrangements, from transportation to decor setup, and create a detailed wedding day timeline to keep everything running smoothly.
Pro tip: Delegate a trusted friend or family member to be the go-to person for vendors on your wedding day.
2. Wedding Rehearsal
Schedule a wedding rehearsal to ensure everyone knows their roles and the ceremony runs smoothly. This is especially important if you have a large bridal party or complex proceedings.
3. Wedding Favours
Creating wedding favours is a delightful way to show appreciation to your guests and weave your love story into your celebration. Explore choices like personalised gifts, local treats, or useful keepsakes to make this gesture even more special.
4. Marriage Licence and Legalities
Before you say “I do,” it’s crucial to ensure that all legal requirements are met. Make sure you’ve completed all the necessary paperwork and documentation. Attend your appointment at the Registry of Marriages (ROM) with two witnesses, where you’ll make your declaration of intent. Following this, you’ll receive your official marriage certificate. In the case of an offsite solemnisation, you can expect to receive a digital copy of your marriage certificate via email within a week.
5. Managing Red Packets “Ang Bao” and Gift Collection
Determine who will be responsible for collecting “ang baos” (red packets) and gifts from guests during your wedding. Often, this duty is entrusted to close family members or trusted friends. Make sure to provide clear instructions to those involved, including a secure place to store the collected items.
Pro tip: Prepare envelopes or a designated box to keep “ang baos” and gifts organised.
The Big Day!
1. Wedding Morning
The big day has arrived! As you wake up on the morning of your wedding, savour the excitement and take a deep breath. It’s your day, and it’s going to be beautiful. Enjoy a leisurely morning, surrounded by loved ones, and cherish every moment.
2. The Ceremony
The walk down the aisle, the heartfelt vows, and the magical ‘I do’—it’s your moment to shine. Blend traditions and modernity for a unique ceremony that reflects your love story. Engage your guests and make them feel an integral part of the magic.
Pro tip: Incorporate local customs or traditions to add a uniquely Singaporean touch to your ceremony.
3. Reception and Celebration
After the ceremony, it’s time to let loose and celebrate! Singapore’s diverse culinary scene means you can treat your guests to a wide range of delights. Toasts, dances, and entertainment complete the evening, creating memories that will last a lifetime.
1. Thank-You Cards
Once the confetti has settled, it’s time to express your gratitude. Personalise your thank-you cards to convey how much your guests’ presence meant to you. Share a cherished memory from the day or express your excitement for the future.
Pro tip: Include a wedding photo on the thank-you card for that extra personal touch.
2. Name Change and Legalities
If you’re planning to change your name, ensure you update all your legal documents, from your passport to your bank accounts. It’s a significant life change, and you’ll want everything to reflect your new status.
Pro tip: Begin with your passport and identification documents, as these will be required for various other updates.
1. Flower Girl or Flower Boy
Decide whether you want to include a flower girl or flower boy in your wedding. These roles can add charm and sweetness to your ceremony, and the choice is entirely up to your preferences. Ensure their attire and roles are well-defined in advance.
2. Displaying Video Montage Before the Ceremony
If you plan to share a video montage before the ceremony, ensure that you have the necessary equipment and a designated area for the display. Coordinate with your venue and a tech-savvy friend or a professional to ensure smooth playback during the event.
3. Pre-Wedding Photography
If you plan to display pre-wedding photos during your wedding day, schedule a pre-wedding photography session well in advance. Work with a photographer to capture these special moments and ensure the photos are ready for display.
4. Spa and Facial for the Bride
To look and feel your best on your wedding day, consider booking a spa day and facial treatments in advance. These sessions can help you relax, rejuvenate your skin, and de-stress before the big day.
Pro tip: Schedule your spa and facial sessions a week or two before the wedding to ensure your skin is at its best.
5. Manicure and Pedicure for the Bride
For a polished and well-groomed look, book a manicure and pedicure session before your wedding. Choose a nail style that complements your overall aesthetic and wedding theme.
Pro tip: Schedule your nail appointment a day or two before your wedding to ensure your nails are fresh and flawless.
6. Transportation to/from the Wedding Venue
Arrange transportation for you and your bridal party to and from the wedding venue. Ensure that everyone arrives on time and in style.
Pro tip: Consider hiring a wedding car service or arranging group transportation to streamline logistics.
7. Bridal Bouquet
Choose the perfect bouquet to complement your wedding attire. Select flowers and colours that align with your theme and personal preferences.
Conclusion: Your Singaporean Love Story
And there you have it, fellow Singaporean lovebirds! Your comprehensive wedding checklist for a Singaporean love story. As you embark on this incredible adventure, remember that Singapore is a city bursting with love and diversity, just like our own unique love stories. May your journey together be as distinct and beautiful as our beloved city. Here’s to a lifetime filled with boundless happiness, deep love, and countless cherished memories as you step into this new chapter. So, go ahead, create your own unique story and live your happily ever after!