Weddings: the WHERE

Hi guys! It’s monday again! Monday blueeees. So today was a really nice and rainy morning and hence, I only woke up at 1pm… Just fulfilled bridesmaid duty #2 for the year and was completely TIRED OUT. Weddings are hard work.

So today, we are going to talk about the WHERE of your wedding! Hold your horses before you go charging at emailing hotels/venues or joining their wedding showcase!

6 Things to discuss with your other half before shortlisting places: 

  1. How many guests are you expecting? 
    • Draw up a tentative guest list:
      • who your parents want to invite
      • who you guys want to invite
      • Add 10% to this total number (AKA the venue you choose should be able to accommodate up to 10% of this total number)
      • Tip: Do try to count those whom you MUST invite only so that you know the MINIMUM number you expect which will affect the minimum number of tables you look for in your venues 
  2. Confirm your overall wedding plan and number of people you want to invite for each segment: 
    • ROM, solemnization and banquet!
    • For me personally, I am having ROM/solemnization in the evening together before the dinner and then having the dinner banquet hence, I chose to have my ROM/solemnization at the hotel itself to save the time and energy of moving from place to place and it also meant that I chose the said hotel because of its solemnization venue!
    • Decide how you would like to arrange your ROM/solemnization and banquet on the actual day or whether separate days hence separate venues on different days are needed
    • Tip: it is easier to split up the venue discussion for ROM/solemnization and banquet because they are completely different events and you may have different expectations for the venue 
  3. Religious ceremonies/Things needed for your wedding programme during banquet 
    • If you and you SO is planning on having a religious ceremony during your solemnization, it is VITAL that you communicate with your religious institute and leaders what are the must haves (sound systems, screen projector, able to plug in instruments, etc.) in the venue and how big the venue must be and also how long is the ceremony
    • For example, for most churches with their own chapel, they are happy to let you do the church wedding in the church itself but for some churches like mine, we have to source for our own venue for solemnization
    • Do double check that you are able to carry out the ceremony details (eg. light holy matrimony candle in the function room etc)
    • Do also check if the venue has projectors, how many mics, whether you need to provide your same day edit videos in thumbdrive or bring your own laptop etc. Image result for shock last minute
    • You definitely don’t want a rude shock on your wedding day!
  4. Envision the type of wedding you and your SO are looking for
    • This kind of sets the entire tone of your wedding be it cozy/grand/garden-theme/fairytale-like etc
    • For us, I was dead set that ROM/solemnization meant way more to me than the actual venue of the dinner banquet. I had envisioned for a long long time to say my vows to him under a blue sky overlooking a water body (water calms me HEEHEE), hence my venue was decided based on the ROM/solemnization venue criteria LOL
    • Know the ELEMENTS that make up your dream venue in order to open up more options, for example, I wanted to have my wedding at iFly skygarden and we managed to identify that all I wanted was the blue sky and a water body!
  5. BUDGET BUDGET BUDGET Image result for budget clipart
    • As much as I would like to have my dream wedding at iFly and dinner banquet at some 5 star hotel in Sentosa, MONEY IS LIMITED and budgeting is extremely important and I cannot stress this enough
    • If you are extremely rich you can probably skip this LOL
    • As much as it is important to have your dream wedding, it is important to remember that weddings last for a day, but marriage (and debts) last for a lifetime 
    • A wedding, to me, is magical because you are marrying the man you love, not because you are marrying in a venue you love. 
    • Try to discuss your budget for the venues and food and decor etc.
      • Rental fees for the venue (more for ROM/solemnization)
      • Catering charges
      • Banquet fees: per table x minimum number of tables
        • Tip: most venues will have you to confirm a minimum number of tables on booking, ie if you are able to confirm 35 tables, they will give you a grand ballroom but if on that day, you only have 32 tables, you STILL PAY FOR 35 TABLES, which is why the tentative guest list is extremely important 
  6. Consolidate! 
    • After discussing all the above 5 points with your SO, do create a check list of criteria you are looking for in your venue
    • Here is a simple excel file I used that you can use according to your discussion (Feel free to edit it to suit your style and discussion)! Wedding venue checklist

4 tips to make your venue searching a tad sweeter: 

    • You may be surprised but the auntie-power has to shine when wedding planning is involved
    • Don’t be paiseh and BARGAIN!
    • Generally, hotels/restaurants are happy to let you bargain for perks
    • Below is a list of general perks people tend to bargain for: 
      • Free flow BEER and WINE (extremely important if you have friends who drink alot because this will save you tons!!!!)
        • Do clarify if they provide both red and white wine if it is free flow
        • Most hotels are offering 1 complimentary bottle per table
      • Waiver for corkage of duty-paid hard liquor
      • 2 night bridal suite stay with breakfast
        • for my wedding, I managed to negotiate to use the 2nd night for anniversary stay as I wanted to jet off for honeymoon sooner LOL
      • 1 night helper room stay
        • Generally hotels will give a helper DAY room but it is possible to negotiate for an overnight stay
      • In-room dining credits
        • My auntie power wasnt strong enough and I didn’t manage to get this, but it is important because you probably will not get to eat your banquet D:
      • 30% complimentary carpark (although rumour has it that on actual day people tend to get 100% free parking…)
      • 70% wedding invites
      • Free wedding favours
        • Do ask how many types of wedding favours you can choose, for my own wedding, I am able to choose 2 different wedding favours and distribute equally to my guests (half type A, half type B)
      • Free food tasting Image result for jessica huang
        • generally held on weekdays for 10 people (or 6 for some atas hotels)
        • Some hotels actually charge for this, so do negotiate for free!!!!
        • It is important as this food tasting will allow you to feedback on how you want certain dishes done on your wedding dinner
      • Free ROM/solemnization venue (or at least discounted!)
        • mine wasn’t free 😦 but heavily discounted I guess
  2. Contact the venues you have in mind earlier and get a quotation from them: 
    • Most venues have a wedding coordinator who will be happy to introduce you to their packages and meet up to show you the venue on weekdays and sometimes weekends even when they are not having wedding showcase
    • This gives you an idea of how suitable the wedding venue is and also whether they fit your checklist!
    • Tip: sound out the wedding coordinator and find out if they have upcoming wedding showcase (generally more discounts) or any upcoming promotions 
      • It will be wise to wait till their wedding showcase if it is upcoming as generally they will have more perks or discounted PRICE (yes, actual deduction of price)
      • Build rapport with your wedding coordinator and if you really love the venue, sincerely explain to them if you are able to “soft book” your wedding date and sign on the wedding showcase during promotional period with them (most will be happy to do so)
    • Deciding on the venue EARLIER (ie. reccee and compare all venues earlier) will help you sign on the spot during their wedding showcases and promotions! 
    • Tip: ask about payment schedule and sound out if they are willing to follow your payment schedule in order for you to maximize the cashback credit cards! (in general, hotels and big restaurants are more open to this compared to niche places) 
  3. Visit wedding shows, wedding showcases!!! Image result for did someone say free
    • I spent many many weekends going for more than 10 wedding shows/wedding showcases before I decided on my venue
    • Pros of going to the wedding shows and showcases is that not only do u get to sample their dishes (yes, free food!), you also get to SEE THE ACTUAL WEDDING DECOR (esp for solemnization) which is normally not present when you visit the venues normally, and many hotels even show you their bridal suite!
      • Tip: Wedding themes tend to change yearly, so does wedding favours and wedding invites, so I personally did not pay much attention to these as I booked way in advance! 
    • Moreover, they tend to have more promos during the wedding showcase itself
      • For eg. park royal beach road was having free dessert buffet table if you signed with them during the wedding showcase! + alot of other perks which were super super worth
    • Other bridal related services such as photobooths (which you can try on the spot), bridal boutiques, photography and videography companies will also be there usually during the wedding showcases and they do offer quite a good deal sometimes (I signed with my actual day videography during the Carlton hotel wedding showcase!)
    • Did I even mention free goodie bags? (yes, I am an auntie at heart)
    • Tip: do ask for complimentary parking from hotels when you visit them! Their parking is crazy expensive T.T 
    • Check this site to have a rather updated schedule of wedding shows!
  4. Look for alternative venues! Image result for marina barrage wedding
    • Due to budget, I looked at many alternative venues such as marina barrage, etc where I can rent event spaces from NEA or NParks
    • These venue rentals can be quite affordable and if you are looking for a unique experience, it will be quite attractive compared to the 100th wedding held at Faber Peak
    • I even considered having it at NUS where I met my fiance (LOL) but decided against it eventually as there is no open water body haha

Okay, that’s about all the thing I can think of for now! Happy venue sourcing everyone!


Do feel free to share, comment and add on your own experiences as well!

Side point: my friends just said I am a potential bridezilla… let’s hope they are wrong.

Update (1/6/2017):

Another money saving tip for brides! If you are okay with taking up other people’s packages, you guys can check online forums for people looking to sell their signed packages here:

  • Ask them if the date is an open date or if possible to change date without additional cost to yourself
  • Ask if there is any transfer fee
  • Usually you save money because of couples willing to forfeit a portion of their deposit (or all of it) to avoid cancellation penalty!
  • Tip: This is a good way to market-survey the signed packages of venues you are interested in! 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s