wedding planning


There is a general notion that having a wedding in Singapore is quite costly. This situation is promoted by the Singaporean wedding culture, a mixture of western and traditional elements. Moreover, the high costs are brought about by hosting a hotel banquet and the need to invite friends from the business circles, rather than the usual paper signing process.

However, there are various ways of how you can avoid spending too much on your wedding. Although some sites, such as https://www.a1credit.sg, have written helpful articles that contain tips for planning a wedding, it can still be a challenge for some others.

If you intend to cut wedding costs, here are 5 essential wedding planning tips that we have for you to consider.

1. Go for Alternative Venues

In Singapore, a significant portion of your wedding cost could be taken up by the banquet. To reduce the amount of money to be spent at your wedding, consider shunning these wedding banquets. Rather, it might be worth hosting your wedding at alternative venues such as parks, restaurants, or event halls. Though it is not a guarantee that these places are cheaper, the prices quoted would provide you with options to make flexible adjustments. From the range of options, you can get a place that provides a suitable wedding reception with romantic themes and in the process, save the extra cash while receiving value-guaranteed services.

Believe it or not, we actually booked and secured our wedding banquet package 3 years before our actual wedding and we saved a lot. I know it sounds kiasu but back then, a table at One Degree 15 Marina Club costs us $888++. Today, I don’t think you can find such a price anymore.

2. Acquire A Bridal Package

This is the most cost-effective method of obtaining all the required wedding services such as photography, suit rentals, gowns, and make-ups. Hence, bridal packages are quite popular in Singapore as the wedding costs could be hiked if couples use separate vendors. There are certain tricks that you can use to benefit optimally from bridal packages. For instance, let your chosen bridal studio comprehensively list down all the items that are included in the bridal package. Then, decide on what is necessary and replace the unwanted items by checking them off the list.

Getting a wedding planner can also be another solution to cutting down extra costs. Though many people believed that hiring a wedding planner can be costly since they do charge additional fees to source the items required and to plan the actual event; wedding planners do have connections with vendors and they can often negotiate for discounts especially for the items that you want. Therefore, when planning to have a large wedding with specific requirements, consider getting a wedding planner to cut down the costs.

For us, we got our bridal package from Johor Bahru, Malaysia.

3. Do It Your Way

This is mostly applicable when you have some creative skills. It helps cut down extra expenses in acquiring some items. For instance, there is no need to splash out hundreds of dollars on things such as wedding favours, decorations, and invitation cards. In fact, you can have all these and other items printed from home.

We actually got our wedding invitation cards printed in China (yes thank God for Taobao) and we had them shipped all the way to Singapore.

When not sufficiently skilled in either of these areas, you can get help from friends who can take care of your actual day wedding photography. Even make-up and hairstyling can also be taken care of by your friends. However, we are not disqualifying the necessity to pay for services from professionals. In fact, for a once in a lifetime event, we recommend that you hire professionals to do the job but if the budget is really a constraint, then these alternatives would help reduce your wedding expenses and go a long way in cutting down unnecessary costs for your wedding. It might even be a creative way of getting your family members and close friends involved in your wedding preparation.

4. Be Selective

In Singapore, everything can really be expensive, especially for events such as weddings. When planning to hold your wedding at relatively lower costs, it is worth being selective with everything you buy as the small things can eventually add up to a huge sum. You can also be selective by screening the list of people whom you intend to invite for your actual wedding event. You do not want to spend a lot buying stuff, only to end with a long list of absentees.

Another vital area that you can be selective about is the wedding menus. Go for food and beverage selections that are wallet-friendly. For instance, instead of hard liquor, serve your guests with wines and beers as that can help you save a considerable amount of money.

5. Use Good Credit Cards

It is not uncommon for newly-weds-to-be to resort to using credit cards in the event their finances take a bitter turn before, during, or after their wedding. This is especially true when buying lavish items and it can sometimes be quite unavoidable in an expensive country like Singapore. To get the most out of your credit card, ensure that the credit card you are using offer discounts at the wedding venues of your choice. A reasonable discount is between 5 and 10% of the reception cost.

Furthermore, you can switch to using cashback cards which allow you to get cash rebates instead. This is quite helpful as you can split the installment payments to cater to the required rebate expenditures. For instance, you can use the UOB One Card which offers a 5% rebate when you spend $2000 monthly for 3 consecutive months. What you get back is a whopping $1,200 in a year. This option is suitable when you shop for wedding items and want to save some cash in return.

If you are planning to accumulate miles for your honeymoon, the American Express® Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Ascend Credit Card is a card to go for. In fact, we have managed to accumulate business class flights for our trip to New Zealand last year.

Closing Thoughts

The wedding culture in Singapore requires one to have proper planning and you can still have a magnificent wedding in a romantic venue while saving money by following the tips discussed in this article. If you are planning for an upcoming wedding, incorporate some money-saving tricks to avoid spending everything from your own savings.

Weddings are one of the most expensive events you ever have to coordinate and sometimes, it literally pays to find ways to lessen this cost wherever you can. Many people these days are considering a DIY wedding as a way to achieve this. The reason for this is apparent; everything surrounding weddings has become such a slick industry that you are likely to be overcharged for almost everything you do. Take a wedding cake as an example; a simple iced cake cost $15, but a similar 3-tier cake, i.e. a wedding cake can be upwards of $500 when the real cost should be less than $50.

The Location

Dedicated wedding venues offer an all-inclusive service which is excellent if you are looking to save yourself some time. The downside for this convenience is that it can be extremely costly; often in the tens of thousands, as some wedding venues are known to cost almost $15,000 on average

An alternative is to rent a community hall or space and decorate it yourself for a few hundred dollars. Though this might be a fair amount of work, it is well worth the effort.


Wedding cars are another area where the cost can seem excessive and considering that they are only seen twice (when you arrive and when you leave), is the high cost justifiable? 

Consider this alternative, ask a friend who has a nice car and it can look just the thing once you put a couple of ribbons on it. Even if you do not have a friend with a nice car, a day’s car rental will be so much cheaper if you get it from a normal hire place rather than a wedding car specialist. 


The food is one thing that needs to be right. A tasty wedding feast can be knocked up without professional caterers. However, as a word of warning, this can be very time consuming, and it might be one area that you do still hire a professional. Make sure you get an excellent creative catering firm that can make it a special occasion.

The Wedding Dress

Now, this is the one that you are going to want to get right. You will usually have a firm idea of what you want, and this is the first starting point. You can find a few ways to save money that can still look awesome than a pricey new dress. You can buy vintage or second hand from many places, and even a family dress from your mother or grandmother can give a classy and personal touch. 


Floral displays can be put together by you and your friends, and they can be a great, memorable and special moment between you and your bridesmaids. This can save you a fortune as it’s easy to get hold of flowers wholesale and put together all of the bunches yourselves. Although it takes time, this can be a memorable time that is well spent, and it will give you something to do rather than just sitting and waiting to get going.


Once the vital part of the wedding is concluded (ceremony, speeches, and the dinner); there is the matter of the entertainment to be considered. I know of one couple (who are very close friends of mine) whose cousin was in a band, and they hired them to play the wedding. Although it was not as slick as a professional wedding band, it added a special touch to the wedding. If you don’t know a musician in the family, many musicians are looking to make a living from music that you can find someone quickly.

The Cake

We mentioned the cake as a prime example of a wedding item that you can be easily ripped off for. As we said, it’s much easier to get a different cake and re-purpose it as a wedding cake. Alternatively, you can get a relative who could bake and then decorate the cake on your own so that you can get what you want.

As promised, here’s part 2 our wedding guide to planning a nautical-themed wedding.
Like we mentioned, you have won half the battle when you have completed your bridal photography and so, what’s next?

File your notice of marriage with the Registry of Marriages [ROM]!

Do note that there is an earliest date and a latest date you can file for marriage and you should check out Registry of Marriages Official Website for more details.

If you have a preferred Wedding Solemniser after checking out Singapore’s Best Wedding Solemnisers, do contact him/her immediately and check his/her availability. We know ROM will advise you to contact the Wedding Solemniser 3 to 4 months before the solemnisation date but really, by then; your preferred Wedding Solemniser would have been booked by other couples already [so plan way in advance]. 

In case you’re wondering, our Wedding Solemniser was Miss Soh Geok Kee and our solemnisation was done in English at our residence. She was very friendly and helpful throughout and we were really honoured to have her solemnised our wedding.

Well, since we are Chinese, there’s a few additional things that we had to do and they are the Guo Da Li [betrothal ceremony] the An Chuang [setting the bed], and the day before the actual wedding, the Shang Tou [hair combing]. In fact, for a typical Chinese wedding, there are a lot of customs to follow and many taboos to be aware of.

For us, we made a trip to the Chinese Wedding Shop at Ang Mo Kio to get everything we needed for the Guo Da Li, An Chuang, and Shang Tou.

The Chinese Wedding Shop has 4 outlets in Singapore and they are very well-known for their Guo Da Li and An Chuang packages. The lady who served us at the Ang Mo Kio outlet was extremely helpful and she gave us all the pertinent information we needed for the Chinese wedding customs.

Another good place to find more information about Chinese wedding customs is the Internet but do be aware that certain practises may vary and it is always good to check with your parents and even grandparents what they expect for Guo Da Li, An Chuang, and Shang Tou.

While the Guo Da Li and An Chuang packages offered by The Chinese Wedding Shop is pretty standard and rather convenient, some people may prefer to buy the items separately as it may be cheaper.

After you have more or less settled the Guo Da Li and An Chuang, it is also about time that you shop around for your wedding bands and look for vendors who can liven up your wedding day with an entertaining live band, a delightful desserts table, memorable wedding favours, and a fun photo booth! Also, not forgetting the most important task, assembling your wedding entourage!

Our Wedding Bands from Love & Co.

We gotten our wedding bands from Love & Co. and as much as we hate to say this, we regretted making this decision because we could have gotten JannPaul to customise the wedding bands for us at a much more reasonable price. If only we knew about JannPaul much earlier, we would not have to spend the high price of SGD$4800 for our Love & Co. wedding bands. Nevertheless, we are still pretty satisfied with our premium Love & Co. wedding bands.

The five grooves on the band signify the elements of an everlasting relationship; love, bond, devotion, commitment and togetherness.

The Wedding Car- The New Volkswagen Beetle 1.2 TSI [DSG]

From the many car reviews that we have done, you would probably be able to guess that we are very big fans of hatchback cars and that is the reason why we purposely chose to have a Volkswagen Beetle to be our wedding car. I know there is the Mini Cooper but we personally feel that nothing can beat the timeless classic of a Volkswagen Beetle. Elegant yet drives sporty, we are really glad to have the Volkswagen Beetle because our plushies that comes from Germany [the NICI Wedding Bride and Groom Sheep] matches the classic German car!

Just so you know, our entourage cars were all hatchbacks [Kia Picanto & Honda Jazz] too.

You can read our review of the Volkswagen Beetle here.

The Wedding Live Band- Juni Goh and Band

We first met Juni at Saint James Powerhouse where he was performing and we really liked his style and the splendid performance that he put up. Straightaway, we approached him that night, engaged him to perform at our wedding banquet, and it was the best decision that we had ever made to hire them.


All our guests were full of praises for Juni and his band and were rushing to get his contact after our wedding banquet.

If you are looking around for a live band for your wedding, you might want to consider Juni and his band; and if you want to have a preview of Juni and his band, you can hear them sing at Shuffle on every Monday and Wednesday at 8pm; and Switch on Thursday and Saturday at 8pm and 9.30pm respectively.

Desserts Table- Sooperlicious Halal Cakes Singapore

We initially arranged and confirmed with a baker for our desserts table at the wedding but because we had to wait so long for a response and were worried about the possibility of a no-show, we decided to engage Sooperlicious Halal Cakes Singapore to bake some sweet and delectable desserts for our guests.

To be honest, we were extremely impressed with the overall setup of the desserts table for our wedding and Hana and her team of bakers were very meticulous and detailed when setting up our desserts table. The table décor matched our nautical wedding theme perfectly and we were just so amazed.

Not only does the desserts table looks good, the desserts taste just as good because we saw our guests helping themselves to multiple servings of macarons and cheese tarts! Just so you know, Sooperlicious Halal Cakes Singapore has a baking studio and retail store operating at Block 144, Tampines Street 12, #01-390 and both Jacqueline and I are definitely thinking of going there to pick up some baking lessons soon!

If you are interested to engage Sooperlicious Halal Cakes Singapore or to find out more information, do like their Facebook Page!

The Photo Booth- SG Media

There’s no doubt about it; we wanted our wedding to be fun for our guests and so, to liven things up during the cocktail reception, we engaged Gary from SG Media to set up a photo booth that employs green screen technology. Gary was very helpful when responding to our enquiries.

He advised us on the background that we could use for the photo and he even went the extra mile by giving us ideas for the photo booth. We are really happy that our guests enjoyed themselves and had fun at the photo booth

Actual Day Videography and Photography- Big Boss Production

Melvin & Jacqueline 2015 Wedding Highlights Video from Melvin Lee on Vimeo.

Needless to say, we were very pleased with them as they were very accommodating to our needs. For the actual wedding day photography and videography, it cost us SGD$2500.

Wedding Favour- Mrs Prachi Garg, Founder of Je ‘taime Perfumery

In one of our blog posts about the Singapura: 700 years exhibition at the National Museum of Singapore, Mrs Prachi Garg, Founder of Je ‘taime Perfumery, was the person behind the special scents that depict Singapore’s colourful history and much to our surprise, she was very kind to sponsor handmade perfumes for all our wedding entourage and guests!

If you are interested to learn how to make your own handmade perfume, Mrs Prachi Garg is definitely the right person as she conducts perfume-making workshop too!

Now that we have given you so much insights to our nautical-themed wedding, do note that this guide is by no means exhaustive and if you have any questions for us, please feel free to drop us your comments or send us an email. 🙂

Have fun planning your wedding and while you’re busy planning for the big day, don’t forget to enjoy the process of it too!

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.