When you get engaged and start planning your wedding, the first thing you should know is that everyone is going to have an opinion.
That high school mate you haven’t spoken to in 10 years will chime in with some suggestions. Your bridesmaids will have plenty to say - they’re just as excited as you are! Your parents may or may not have anything to say (but more often than not, they will definitely have much to say).
Your future spouse will also have a thing or two to contribute. But to prevent your wedding becoming a total mishmash that turns out looking like a kindergarten kid’s school project, here are a couple of things I did as a bride.
1. Keep most of it between your husband and yourself.
Weddings have become such a commercialised event that yes, it’s truly all about the money. So my piece of advice is this: don’t let your parents pay for your wedding. You both should foot the bill.
Why is this a good idea? One, so your parents and in-laws will have little to butt in about. Two, so you can decide how lavish (or basic) you want the wedding to be. Three, so you learn how to be adults and stop relying on your parents’ money.
I’m not trying to insult anyone whose parents paid for their weddings. I mean, if they can afford it and you can put up with their demands, then go ahead.
But if you, like me, value your independence greatly and believe that it’s important for you to stand your ground when it comes to the wedding, then trust me... Pick up the tab.
2. Accept everyone’s opinions but follow your heart
My friends over at The Wedding Notebook have been super helpful with their input since I started planning. Chaiyen and Andros have generously shared their thoughts with me over many things and they’ve been amazing with their consulting.
I really appreciated what they told me. After all, information is gold. But at the end of the day, with everything they said, I still had to make the decision with my other half.
You will be told where the best this and that is. But you must be able to balance out the scales between what is best and what is best for your bank account.
My other half’s parents wanted something a little on the grander side... but I had to put my foot down and say, hey, we can’t afford that. Would I have loved to have my wedding at Glasshouse @ Seputeh or maybe some kind of fancy hotel? Would I have loved it if I could hire a wedding planner to do all the heavy lifting for me? Damn right I would have.
(I work 3 jobs and tbh I don’t have time to plan a wedding - plus I’m not really the fancy hotel kinda gal, so my venue worked out perfectly for me.)
But at the end of the day, we just chose a place that fit our budget, fit what we wanted - something simple - and which was what our hearts told us to go with.
We chose Puteh @ Subang. It’s a really pretty tentage area with a garden marquee right in the middle of nowhere (my definition of nowhere is Jalan Lapangan Terbang Lama).
1. They handle the basic decorations like the red carpet, the main table floral arrangements as well as 6 standing flower arrangements.
2. The place is already so stunning with minimal decorations, it works very much to my advantage since I want a simple wedding.
3. The food is also handled by them. All we have to do is attend a food tasting and decide on the menu, number of pax and it is done!
4. There are plenty of parking spots and there is also an option to choose valet parking services. This is good if you’re going to be inviting a lot of older guests who can’t walk too much. Also it will hedge against potential rain.
5. When you opt to use their caterer, you don’t pay any extra for using the venue space (which could otherwise cost north of RM12k per day).
6. You are renting the WHOLE space, this includes the huge tentage area which can fit 50-60 tables, the garden area, the parking area, the changing room, the set up area etc. That means you won’t have unwanted guests awkwardly fumbling into the wrong wedding (which tends to happens sometimes at hotels when ballrooms are placed side by side).
7. The venue is central enough... it’s near the Subang airport, which makes it accessible by multiple highways.
8. There are few hidden costs. (But more about this in “cons”.)
1. If it rains, your guests might have issues getting to and from their cars without the valet service.
2. Apparently, the toilets tend to get a little dirty towards the end of the night. I believe I could hire a part-time cleaner to be on standby to combat this.
3. If it rains, then the garden wedding ceremony will have to be cancelled but the good news is that a very readily available alternative is right there at your disposal at no extra charge.
4. They charge air-conditioning per hour - but this is included in the whole package. So you have a good 6 hours to entertain your guests with aircond if you don’t want to pay extra for it.
5. For nicer chairs, you’ll have to pay extra. But honestly I am quite happy with their standard set up and paying extra for chairs seems a little extravagant to me. As I mentioned in pros, there is little hidden costs, but rather costs will go up if you want the fancier stuff.
6. You’ll also have to pay for flood lights. But again, this is optional.
Having considered ALLLLL those factors, we finally decided on it and paid the deposit. Which is a flat rate of RM5000 for those who are wondering. (These are 2017 rates, expect them to go up a compounding 5-10% for years to come.)
Hunting for wedding venues in Malaysia has made me realise that there are PLENTY of options available. You can rent a bungalow, an event space or a community hall, which would lean towards more budget options.
This would also mean the hassle of finding your own decorators, caterers, etc.
Or you could go for a mid-range option like Puteh@Subang, get a pretty value for money deal.
Or totally splurge on a hotel venue.
Since Tim and I are simple mid-level executives and don’t shit money, we chose to stick with something within our affordability range (so as to not start the marriage off in debt) and trust that our friends and family will be able to enjoy this celebration with us without all the frills and luxuries.
Don’t even get me started on my initial idea for the wedding. This is already a huge compromise.