At Sassy, we’re often asked for advice on planning a wedding in Hong Kong but having never done it ourselves, we’re not really experts on the subject! Thankfully, we have found someone that is – Sandra Chau, owner of gorgeous HK-based wedding blog Simply Peachy! We’re bringing Sandra on-board as Sassy’s resident wedding expert, and over the next few months she’ll be giving you the full scoop on where to buy your dress, when to book your venue, how to budget your big day and just about everything else wedding-related in between! So without further ado, it’s over to Sandra…
It’s the most important time of your life, the moment you have been waiting for and you want everything to go smoothly. So if you ask any newlywed couple about planning their wedding, they’ll tell you the same thing – get started early! I know… the wedding is in a year’s time and you think you have plenty of time… but trust me, wedding planning can be loaded with potential drawbacks so save yourself some tears and nervous breakdowns by being organised. You’re probably thinking “duh”, but you’d be surprised how many couples leave things until the last minute!
So let’s avoid those ‘should’ve, would’ve, could’ve’ moments and take away some of that wedding stress with my top ten wedding planning tips!
1. Don’t be Lazy
It’s so easy to get caught up with your initial engagement that you shelf the planning until just months before your wedding date. I’m not saying you shouldn’t take time to enjoy every moment of being engaged (you should!) but you’d be surprised how quickly time goes by when you have your own wedding to look forward to!
2. Make Lists
List making is essential for wedding planning and it helps with devising your wedding budget. Make a to-do list or a list of ideas you have for the wedding; these will help you determine your priorities concerning things you want, and need to do or organise. In a place like Hong Kong where people are consumed with work, it’s easy to lose track of things.
3. Set the Budget
Setting a budget for a wedding can save you a lot of disagreement and heartache and it needs to be done early so that you can get on with the rest of your planning. Without a budget, you can’t really start booking your venue or shopping for your dress; if you have a smaller budget, you may want to do more DIY elements that you need to allocate time for. When setting the budget, make sure you also talk to anyone else who might want to help pay for the wedding, for example, your parents.
4. Pick a Date and Venue
The first to-do to be checked off your list should be setting a date, time and location. The location sets the tone of your wedding and from that, helps you plan other things like the style of the wedding, colour schemes, dress and so on.
Once the date is set, start setting deadlines. For example, if you got engaged in May and your wedding is in March, mark your calendar to have the reception venue locked down by June. Try to get as much done as possible in the first few months so that the last few won’t be hectic.
6. Wedding Inspirations Notebook
Buy a notebook or folder and keep all your wedding ideas and inspirations in it. You’ll no doubt be trawling wedding blogs and magazines during your planning year so you can take this inspirations book to vendors to show them what styles or colours you like – plus it’s also a wonderful keepsake after the wedding. I still love looking back at mine!
7. Share Duties
Sharing duties between you and your partner is the best way to get things done efficiently. Set aside time where you can sit down together to plan and do things for the wedding. Be realistic in assigning tasks because, come on, we know the groom doesn’t care about what flowers the bridesmaids will carry! A lot of brides make the mistake of taking on too much and not involving the groom but he may surprise you… They want to be involved too! Plus, it’ll be easier to divide and conquer!
8. Flexibility is Key
Each of you is going to want different things for the wedding so flexibility is a must. Be willing to compromise and if either of you does object to something, make it known! Give each the other the chance to explain why he really wants to, for example, wear a top hat (then veto it later!).
9. Negotiating with Wedding Vendors
This is clearly the lawyer in me speaking, but be sure to clarify all details and expectations during your initial discussions with wedding vendors. Don’t be afraid to ask questions before locking anything down. Read the fine print on every contract before you sign it and if you don’t understand anything, just ask. Make sure your contract sets out the date, times and locations of your wedding. You should also be aware of any cancellation policies, fees and payment policies. Don’t forget to keep records of all your contracts and receipts!
10. Remember your Bridal Party
Don’t be afraid to reach out to your bridal party for help. They’re your minions for the day, right?! As your closest friends, whether it be helping you pick a dress or package your wedding favours, they’ll probably be happy to help. Like I said before, divide and conquer!
All in all, just try and stay organised. The more organised you are, the less chance there is that something will go wrong. Happy planning!
Sandra is the editor of Simply Peachy, a Hong Kong wedding blog about all things bridal and beautiful! Dedicated to finding fun and fabulous wedding inspirations that will make your heart leap, Simply Peachy is a comprehensive wedding planning resource for the crafty modern bride. Get in touch with Sandra for any wedding-related questions via Simply Peachy’s Facebook, Twitter or by emailing [email protected].