Your city’s biggest wedding fair is coming soon, and you just can’t wait!
A wedding fair is a good place to get a feel of what’s out there. Options are endless, and it’ll get you thinking about what you should be considering for your wedding.
But having a sit-down meeting with a wedding supplier is different though. By this time, most suppliers are assuming that you’ve already done your homework. So it would be considered a waste of time for both parties (you and your supplier) if you sit with them without having first discussed these 4 important things with your fiancé.
Here they are:
1. How long you want to be engaged for
“What month of the year do we want to get married?” usually is the timeline question couples ask, since couples usually weigh in factors such as weather, cost of venues, theme, and vacation leaves availability. After all, you can’t have a beach wedding during the monsoon season in the tropics.
But I encourage you to do something different.
Talk about how long (or short) you’d want to be engaged for, independent of the aesthetics and logistics of your wedding day. There are other more important considerations around the length of an engagement that can affect your spiritual health and your relationship with your fiancé than the wedding programme.
To help you for this talk, I wrote about the 5 Things You Can Consider When Deciding How Long To Be Engaged For.
My wedding dress designer asked me to come back after three months because our wedding was not in seven months. Some dressmakers would only start making the dress three to four months before the wedding to prevent the dress from discolouring, or lessen the number of dress adjustments in case the bride changes sizes over time!
2. Where you want to get married geographically
This was an obvious consideration for my husband and I when we were planning our wedding, because we weren’t living in either of our home countries. Whichever place we picked, there would still be a good amount of guests who would need to travel internationally.
This brings us to the topic of destination weddings.
People automatically assume that it’s overall more costly if it’s done overseas. But the real answer to this is not necessarily. For example, a grand ballroom wedding in your home city can be more expensive than doing it at a beach in Phuket. You can go cheap or expensive at any place.
Decide beforehand where you’d want to have your wedding. You wouldn’t be able to compare apples to apples suppliers from different countries - so suppliers’ offers are not a good gauge of whether you’d want it in country A or B.
3. Where you want to be legally married
Due to varying marriage laws across the globe, where you’d want to have a church wedding (officiated by a priest or a pastor) may not necessarily be where you can or you’d like to have your legal ceremony - especially in the case of destination weddings.
It may not even be a destination wedding. Maybe you’re considering getting married where you currently reside, or where most of your guests also reside. But due to citizenship considerations, you may not be able to legally marry there.
It’s important then to discuss beforehand where you’d want your marriage to be registered, and research on the marriage laws accordingly. You may decide to have your civil wedding done in one city and the church wedding (where you make your marriage vows public in the presence of family and friends) in another, and that’s possible too. Our legal wedding was in Singapore a few days before our wedding ceremony and reception in Bali.
On that note, we only considered ourselves married after we’ve said our vows in the presence of our family and friends - and that was our personal conviction. I found this useful blog on the theology of civil and church weddings if you have questions on this subject.
Our Bali wedding showcased a Bali-based group of vendors. Their rates and service offerings are very different from vendors in Singapore, the Philippines or the US, which were our potential locations for our wedding.
4. How you'd like this wedding planning process to look
Time and again, my husband and I have seen how the wedding planning process becomes a test of relationship, convictions, and faith for many couples. This was also true for us.
Since a test is something you’d need to prepare for, it’s a good idea to agree with your fiancé how you’d like your wedding planning process to look. Whether you’re doing a three-month engagement or a year, those months will go down in history and you’d want to go through it with grace.
An exercise we did before anything else was to write our ‘Guiding Principles’. These were rules, agreements, or philosophies that helped us make better and smarter choices together. Having this shared vision for this momentous occasion will help you navigate through the wedding planning process, which includes meeting your suppliers for the first time. I talk more about it here.
Once again, congratulations on your engagement! May this season be a time you’ll grow even more in love with each other and go deeper in your faith.