Saturday, May 13, 2017

#adulting: How to organise a wedding.

Hey guys! So I don't know if you've heard, but..I'M MARRIED! Yes! Finally! After all those years of thinking that I will die a...

Hey guys!

So I don't know if you've heard, but..I'M MARRIED! Yes! Finally! After all those years of thinking that I will die alone with not even cats to eat my remains, I've finally tied the knot with this guy who is now known as my husband!
Check it out! I have a dress that is longer than my knees! And a guy who is willing to spend the rest of his life with me! And now you're all like, "Wah if Jac can get married, so can I." Which is true! And let me guide you through the process in it's entirety so that you too can have a fantastic wedding.

#1 Find a groom.

So this is the first step of the marriage process. You have to find someone to marry you. Some people find their grooms while they are schooling, some find them in the workplace, and some find them in church.
Me? I found my groom on Tinder.
Photo by @smithankyou.

Yeah I know I swore off dating apps a long time ago after my disastrous blind date incident, but you know, circumstances change. One day you are dead set against dating apps, and another day you are hiding in the bathtub because you can't bring yourself to eat another bite of CNY food and your sister won't let you take a nap. And all you see on FB and Instagram are pictures of food so you download Tinder and start swiping. 
And that was how I met your father (I will say to no one because I have no kids and if I ever have kids I will pretend to be wholesome and say that we met in a library and I couldn't reach the book on the top shelf).

So okay. Now you know how to find a groom. Go online and start looking. If you don't like the idea of downloading dating apps on your phone, you can look into more traditional methods of finding a groom. I've done some research for you and you can now find matchmakers and mail-order (or email-order, rather) brides and grooms online!

#2 Find a solemniser.

So if you want to be married (in Singapore) you need someone to be there to sign your marriage certificate. If you're the religious type you probably can get your religious leader to do it (eg pastor at your church). If not you can go onto the ROM website to look for someone to solemnise your marriage.
Behold the ROM website, which (if created in the early 2000's) must have been a great and modern portal of its time.

We wanted to get all the paperwork done at a room at the Registry of Marriages (it can be done in 20 minutes there, and FOC!). But sadly, being the last minute people we are, all the rooms at ROM were booked up. So we had to find someone who would come to an external venue to sign our certificate. Which is technically also FOC, but you feel bad not giving an angpow after the guy comes all the way down to your place just to sign a document. Typically, people book locations like restaurants or hotel ballrooms for their ROMs. James and I did it downstairs. #budget.
Photo by @smithankyou.

Like literally down the stairs from the place that we were renting. If you see here, I am trying (and failing) to open the balcony door of our old place.
Photo by @smithankyou.

So anyway, yes! Solemiser! Find one online and email him or her with your date. And your solemnizer will email you some forms to fill in, and you complete them and send them back! Easy peasy lemon squeezy!
(Via Giphy).

Anyway, that's basically how you get married. However, if you want to have a ceremony and the whole shebang, then here is more information on what you have to do...

#3 Decide on the type of wedding.

So James and I are not that big on the whole wedding dinner thing, where, unless you are good friends with the people you are sitting with,  or unless the bride and groom have some fun entertainment items lined up, there is nothing much to look forward to. There are awkward powerpoint presentations, weird speeches from everyone in the world, waiters with a procession of dishes marching in to cheesy elevator music - you know the drill.

So that was something that we truly did not want. We decided on the key items that our wedding needed to have, and started from there. Also, just in case you were wondering, the key items we identified were:
  1. Alcohol
  2. Real cake
  3. No strangers (aka people we did not know on a first name basis)
And you know, since we were legally married already, this would be a symbolic wedding. I found a Greek celebrant to conduct the ceremony for us! He conducted the ceremony in both Greek and English, and included a literal tying of the knot session (by his assistant).
I booked him online. And you can too at Santorini Weddings!

#4 Select your wedding location.

So, James is British and I'm Singaporean. But we decided not to hold our wedding in either Singapore or the UK because we didn't want the majority of guests to be either from his side or my side. So we decided to go somewhere halfway.
We were watching TV, hence the blue glow on our faces. We were not being abducted by aliens.

Which is Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran - basically the Middle East. Not places that you might consider as wedding destinations. After throwing out a few countries (including Egypt and Turkey), we decided on Greece. Because #mybigfatgreekwedding.
(Via Popsugar).

And also why not? Neither of us had been to mainland Greece before, and Athens sounded awesome! So Greece it was! Also, please note that this entire conversation took place in an elevator journey from the ground floor to the 40th floor. So you know, about a minute. We are quite efficient like that.

Anyway! We I did some research online to look for places to get married in Greece, and discovered Santorini! And it looked AMAZING.

After that I emailed goodness knows how many hotels to get possible dates and quotes, read countless reviews online, and we settled on Dana Villas. I say "settled". But really, there was nothing to settle for. The reviews were great and the photos were in a league of their own.

And yes! That's how we chose our locations, through Google images, TripAdvisor, and Gmail.

#5 Send wedding invites.

So we figured quite early on in the process, that if you want to have a wedding celebration, you're going to need guests. Initially, I thought I could just get away with WhatsApping people to invite them to our wedding. But apparently, British tradition dictates that you must send physical invites to people. But unless you have a wedding package with some hotel in Singapore, wedding invites are SO EXPENSIVE IN SINGAPORE. And so generic. And not us.

Like seriously I did not know buying cards was more expensive than buying pizza. So I went online and sourced for other options, which was where I found Rodo Creative, a duo that does bespoke wedding invites in the UK. And this is what they created for us!
It was like, perfect for us. We thought that the plane ticket coupled with the map was a really fun idea! Also suitable for our wedding. And also cheaper than most of the products in Singapore. It was kind of a no brainer. There was even a reminder to forgetful people to bring their passports along! (James forgot his passport when we went to Bintan for Darren's wedding).
Anyway, the invites were delivered really promptly, and were true to the design. We were very impressed, and so were all our guests #successkid.

#6 Say yes to the dress.

As you probably can tell from the photos, I got a wedding gown! And if me owning a dress which covers both my knees and ankles isn't impressive enough, let me proceed to wow you even more:
  • I bought it in 30 minutes
  • It was cheap
  • It is new
  • It's designed by Vera Wang.
YA. Thank you. And I mean Vera Wang the famous wedding gown designer, not like some other person who shares the same name.  But, more of that in another post. Basically, do your research online and everything will be just fine.

#7 Hire a photographer.

So you have great photos on Instagram and you have invited loads of trigger-happy friends to your wedding. And you decide, "Well, maybe I don't need to hire a photographer, I can just depend on my friends."
(Via Giphy).

Don't be ridiculous. Unless you are paying your friend to be there, I would suggest that you hire someone else to take your photos. I mean, you hope that everyone will enjoy your wedding right? Why give someone the stress of being your photographer?
(Via Giphy).

Also if you don't like the photos, what are you going to do? Scold your friends? That's a bit shit don't you think? Anyway, I emailed tonnes of photographers based in Santorini, and decided on Eva Rendl. And so that's why James and I have romantic photos like this.
You think James and I can take photos like this in front of people we know? No way man. We needed a professional to instruct us on how to look romantic in photos. Otherwise, our photos would end up looking like this.
You get the idea.

#8 Find a florist.

You think that you don't need flowers for your wedding, but you really do. Like initially, James and I couldn't have cared any less about having flowers for our wedding. But later we realised that so many people are coming all the way from goodness knows where for our wedding. So we better put some effort into tarting up the place.
It's a good thing we did! We thought we overpaid a bit, but the rest of the stuff was relatively cheap. So you know, balances out. Also we found our florist online - Fabio Zardi. A bit on the expensive side, but we were quite impressed by what he did. (And it takes a lot of James to get excited about flowers).
Also they have this online project management system where you can keep track of outstanding tasks. This made me extremely happy.

#9 Cake.

This was very important to us, as it was one of the criteria for our wedding! So anyway, I sourced for a cake online, and our cake turned out very well.
Isn't it cute?! Half is a wedding gown and the other half is a suit! (We're trying to beg people to send us more photos of the cake because we had dismissed our photographer by then). It's from Lixoudis Bakery, and the cake was really very good! We even ordered an additional cake to celebrate James' dad's birthday! It was delicious.
Oh and the Lego people? Ordered them online. A combination of parts from Brick Generals and We had wanted to put them on our wedding party cake, but...we forgot. Luckily, we had another wedding cake to look forward to!

#10 Pick wedding favours.

We were not going to get any wedding favours at first, but a week before the wedding, we came across the most awesome products online ever.

And James came up with the brilliant idea of turning these into our wedding favours for our guests, half of whom were angmoh! They were a great hit, although I have no photos of our guests wearing the pins, because our photographer had been dismissed. But it's okay because all our steady pom pipi friends said that they will be sending us photos.
We also saw that the little dröm store sold Strangely Singaporean postcards, which we thought would work very well as table names instead of having generic numbers! We thought it worked quite well. For instance, this is the table which housed most of James' relatives.
It was lots of fun going around to the different tables and explaining the various pins to everyone. We got a different pin for each guest, so everyone had a good time comparing their pins with each other. (Or they told us that they did. They may be lying). Anyway! We ordered the pins and the badges from the little dröm store via email, and THEY WERE SO NICE TO ME. LOOK WHAT THEY SENT ME.
An extra set of postcards and a note saying that they think I am chio! Thanks Stanley and Antoinette :)

And that's mostly what we I did to organise the wedding! In essence, everything can be done online. Right from the start where you find your groom, to right to the end where you post all your photos and blog about it online. And everything went really well too! We had a great time, and it was genuinely fun. Like, you know how some people say that they are so glad that their wedding is finally over? James and I enjoyed every bit of our wedding! (Even the part when I forgot my vows).
In conclusion, I would like to advise anyone who is planning a destination wedding against spending thousands of dollars to hire a professional wedding planner. Please spend the thousands on hiring me instead. I have OCD and great attention to detail. I only have one wedding in my portfolio so far, but if you are willing to pay me thousands of dollars, I am happy to expand my portfolio to include more.

Anyway, James and I would like to thank everyone who took time off to come to our wedding. We genuinely like you and that's why you were invited. We're still working on sending out thank you cards and stuff, but if you have any photos of the wedding please do share them! We are working on something (we think).

Also, thank you everyone else for all their well wishes. We couldn't invite everyone (we had a cap of 24 guests, which we pushed to 30), but thank you for your WhatsApps and FB messages. James and I are quite surprised by how many people want to talk to us and see photos of us pretending to be romantic.

Also it's the weekend guys! Have a good one! (And meanwhile I'm going to China for work. Gah). And now, let me leave you with the song I walked down the pretend aisle to.

❤ Jac.

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