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Wedding Planning

A step-by-step guide to planning your wedding.

  1. At least twelve months before wedding
  2. Three to six months before wedding
  3. Two months before wedding
  4. On the wedding day

1. At least twelve months before wedding

Arrange for two families to meet to discuss the intention for a wedding and the items below.

1. Discuss approximate number of tables of guests from each family.

2. Discuss approximate timing for wedding. The actual date can be decided later.

3. Discuss wedding style and level of formality. This refers to wedding setting (indoor or outdoor), venue for wedding (hotel ballroom or resturant setting), wedding banquet type (Chinese banquet or Western banquet), etc.

4. Discuss wedding customs to carry out. For Chinese wedding, the popular Chinese wedding customs include delivery of betrothal gifts (过大礼), installing the bridal bed (安床), fetching the bride to groom's house (入门) and tea ceremony (敬茶). For more information on Chinese wedding customs, please see Chinese Wedding Customs.

5. Discuss the contents for the betrothal gifts (过大礼).

6. Discuss who pays for what in the wedding or how the cost would be shared.

7. Discuss how the red packages are to be distributed between the two families.

Getting down to planning.

1. Set budgets for the followings:

2. Draw up guest lists for family members, colleagues, friends, etc.

3. Pick an auspicious date for your wedding. Those who need auspicious date for wedding, please see Good Wedding Date.

4. Announce wedding invitation informally. You may want to let your guests know that you are planning for a wedding and ask them to attend your wedding. This informal invitation will help you gauge the number of guests attending the wedding.

5. Book wedding venue. Once the date for the wedding has been decided, the next thing is to identify and book a venue for the wedding. Usually a hotel is used for a wedding venue because it provides the convenience of doing makeup, changing wedding suit, and changing wedding gown and dress. If you have out-of-town guests, you may also want to reserve hotel rooms for them.

6. Decide on food. The type of food and dishes serve at the wedding banquet depends on the wedding type. For Chinese wedding, food is usually a 8-course or 9-course meal. For church and outdoor wedding, food can be buffet style meal.

7. Hire caterer. If you prefer food from elsewhere or you have your own wedding venue, you may want to hire your own caterer to provide the food for the wedding day.

8. Identify bridesmaid and bestman.

9. Identify master of ceremony (MC) for wedding banquet. For Chinese wedding, you may need 2 masters of ceremony. One to speak in English and another to speak in Chinese.

10. Identify coordinators and helpers for wedding banquet. Coordinators and helpers are needed to usher guests, help take more photographs and to create a noisy and vibrant atmosphere.

11. Book bridal package. The bridal package is an essential component for a wedding. A bridal package offers wedding suit and gown to dress the groom and bride on the wedding day. A bridal package also includes indoor wedding shoot and outdoor wedding shoot.

12. Hire makeup artists. Makeup artists are hired to make up the bride on the wedding day.

13. Hire photographer and videographer. Most bridal packages include indoor wedding shoot and outdoor wedding shoot but not the wedding day shoot. You may have to hire a photographer for the wedding day shoot. For those who are not content with just wedding shoots, you may want to hire a videographer to capture the sights and sounds of the wedding day.

14. Order hand bouquet. Most bridal packages provide hand bouquets for indoor wedding shoot and for the wedding day. However, if hand bouquets are not provided, you may want to make arrangement to order from a florist.

15. Arrange for wedding car. A wedding car is needed to fetch the groom to the bride's house and to fetch the bride back to the groom's house, and to send the groom and bride to the wedding venue. A bridal package may provide for a wedding car but you can always choose to use your own car.

2. Three to six months before wedding

1. Start a keep fit regime. To look your best on the wedding day, you may want to begin a keep fit regime.

2. Order wedding favors. Wedding favors are little wedding gifts. If you want your guests to bring something home from the wedding, you can consider giving them wedding favors.

3. Plan seat arrangment for guests.

4. Send out formal wedding invitations. Usually the hotel you use for wedding venue will provide free wedding invtation cards which you can use to send to the guests. These wedding invtation cards are usually without inscriptions and you need to print your own inscriptions. If you have no idea how the inscriptions should be written, you may want to look at our sample Wedding Invitation Card.

5. Shop for wedding rings.

6. Shop for accessories such as shoes, jewellry, etc.

7. Arrange for the fitting of wedding gown and suit.

8. Plan wedding day agenda.

9. Plan how to receive guests.

10. Plan how gifts and red package are received and recorded. You may want to appoint a trusted person to oversee this.

11. Plan how the day photographer is to take photo on the wedding day.

3. Two months before wedding

1. Deliver betrothal gifts (过大礼). This wedding custom is carried out for Chinese wedding before the wedding day on an auspicious date and hour.

2. Arrange for final fitting of wedding gown and suit.

3. Arrange for indoor and outdoor wedding shoots.

4. Finalise seat arrangements for guests.

5. Install the bridal bed (安床). This wedding custom is carried out for Chinese wedding before wedding day on an An Chuan date and auspicious hour.

6. Finalise wedding day agenda.

7. Confirm arrangements with various service providers for wedding day.

4. On the wedding day

1. Fetch the bride (新娘入门). This wedding custom is carried out for Chinese wedding on wedding day where the groom will go to the bride's house to fetch the bride to the groom's house. This process is to be carried out and completed within an auspicious hour (a 2-hour period). If one auspicious hour is not long enough, consider using an auspicious date with two auspicious hours (i.e. a total of 4 hours) next to each other. Tea ceremony is held at the groom's house. Tea ceremony may also be held at the bride's house when the groom reaches there to fetch the bride. For more information on this Chinese wedding custom, please see Fetching the bride to the groom's house.

2. Wedding banquet begins. The final moment has finally arrived. Start to receive guests.

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