Plan your wedding right
Wedding planners take hard work out of getting ready for the big day
The period between popping the question and the wedding day is busy and stressful for most couples.
After accepting the wedding proposal, all hands go on deck to prepare for the wedding.
Ms Kim Tay, operations director of wedding concept designer and planner Heaven's Gift, said couples usually plan for and confirm wedding venues first.
She added that couples should engage wedding planners as they can plan the wedding necessities more effectively.
Ms Tay, who is in her late 30s, said: "In some rare cases, couples confirm their bridal boutique before the other aspects, especially when they have obtained packages at a bridal fair.
"A good lead time to plan for wedding venues would be about a year before the wedding date, especially if it is held on an auspicious date or weekend, and when that is the only date that the couple has in mind.
She added: "In that timeframe, they should decide on the guest list and start sending out invitations to overseas guests.
"Then they should consider potential wedding planners, locate and reserve the ceremony and reception site."
The act of choosing bridesmaids, groomsmen and bridal boutiques can be done within six months before the wedding.
Freelance wedding planner Antonio Sanda, 34, said: "During this time, couples should choose their ceremony officiant, book hotel rooms for guests and reserve the music for the ceremony and reception.
"They should start selecting the photographer, videographer and florist, as well as booking pre-wedding photo shoots."
Ms Tay said: "For wedding planners, a comfortable lead time to properly plan a wedding event would be at least eight months before the wedding.
"The couple may first take about a fortnight to lock down details such as the number of guests to invite and the auspicious dates.
"As soon as that is settled, they can start shortlisting venues or engage the help of a wedding planner.
"The couple should finalise and sign the contract with the wedding venue about 10 months before the wedding or earlier, depending on the venue's availability."
Ms Tay said: "Couples should also consider backup plans for rainy days if their wedding is outdoors.
"Many couples don't put honeymoon destinations at the top of their priority list, as some may delay their honeymoon until a few months after the wedding.
"Couples who want to take local or overseas pre-wedding shoots should get these done four to five months before the wedding date so that they can choose photos and have them ready for display by the wedding day."
Mr Sanda said many couples also plan bachelor or bachelorette parties to celebrate their final days of singlehood before their big day.
He said: "These are often planned a month or a few weeks before the wedding.
"As the big day approaches, couples with large numbers of overseas guests should take special care to make sure that transportation to the hotel and wedding venues is smooth and organised.
LAST MINUTE HICCUPS
"Nothing should be left to chance as last minute hiccups can occur.
"This is the couple's big day which they have waited for a long time and nothing should get in the way of their joy."
Ms Hannah Chong, founder and creative director of Heaven's Gift, said couples should communicate their dream to their planners and families.
Ms Chong, who is in her early 40s, said: "As a couple, you should tell your planner the budget you want to set aside for creating that dream wedding. This allows the planner to stay within your expectations.
"As soon as you have articulated your desire and expectations, leave the baton of execution to your planner and vendors, and empower them with your faith in them.
"The more you trust them, the better they want to perform in their tasks."
She said couples should start looking at magazines and asking themselves what they want to see in the wedding, and whether the aesthetics or experience for the guests is more important.
Ms Chong said: "You should then articulate the expectations to your planner, and allow him or her to create your dream wedding with many intricate details or expressions.
"At the end of the day, you want your guests to participate in your wedding, enjoy and have an awesome experience.
"Most of all, you want to invest in a wedding experience that can make you remember how beautiful and meaningful it was, and the joy of the guests being part of it."