Getting Married


Getting married

Well I got hitched and decided to store all my lessons learnt here.

So you plan to get married to get married in Singapore. Here are some pointers.

Most important thing.

You need to arrange for a date for your customary wedding, one year in advance.

Where are you going to stay?

Since the state subsidized flat (from HDB) takes anywhere from 1 to 5 years. This needs to be settled first and indirectly creating the Singapore's version of wedding proposal. "Lets get a HDB flat"

To shorten the waiting time, you can apply under the Fiance scheme. It lets HDB do their planning, while you do next steps. Sort of shortening the critical path. What happens if both of you decide to call it quits? You lose the $500/ deposit.

New !!! HDB has discontinued the queue system due to overwhelming stock of unsold flats. More info check out HDB website.

One other possibility is to borrow a room from a relative.


You need to be registered with the Registrar Of Marriages (ROM). Thus creating the famous question, “Have you ROMed?” Note a minimum of 1 month notice is required. Since most couples prefer weekends or THE date, really advance booking is required.  Note for inter-racial marriages, ROM runs marriage counselling classes.  This help with the cultural barrier.

Plan a simple lunch for the immediate families. This can be a really icy lunch. Communication and going with the flow is the key.

Not really the in thing nowadays, engagement parties, unless you have loads of money.

Deciding on the Wedding Day

Deciding the day to do the customary rites, you need to choose a day that is acceptable to all parties. All parties here means, your partner and you, related parents and grandparents. If the bride or bridegroom is Chinese, you may need assistance with the Chinese Lunar calendar. To get your ideal venue, it is prudent to choose your wedding day one year in advance. It is a good idea, to set it on a weekend, or your best man, bridesmaid, immediate relatives have to apply for leave. Once you have done this, you may need to do the conclude the following two steps.

Bridal package.

The most important word here is Recommendation. Whatever bridal shop that you choose, it must be recommended by someone's fashion taste you trust. Most certainly not that Third auntie's from a decade ago. A quick way bone up are the bridal magazines in National Libraries. Yup!! Didn't think they have that don't you?. Concentrate on the general styles. The finer details on what the bride actually wear comes later. Prepare to bargain hard, option to made to measure, more number of prints in the album etc. The cost of package may look staggering, relax, payments are staggered.

Alternatively, you can just drop it.

The venue.

Generally, you have 3 choices. Hotel, restaurant or event hall. There are some pros and cons here. A hotel package, gives you everything, including the bridal suite to change in. For restaurant or and event hall, you might get a clean store room. But the price is great.

Usually hotels, is the preferred choice, so popular dates then to be taken up real quick. In addition there are minimum order restrictions for weekends (25 or 30 tables). Nowadays, thanks to the kiasu Singaporean, you might need to put in a tentative booking on anything you like, even if you have not made up your mind.

For restaurants, they are generally for flexible and can cater to any number of tables. A nice touch is, excess tables sometimes can be turned into credit.

What happens at the bridal shop.

It takes about 6 calendar months to complete the whole bridal package. Don't worry, you won't be spending all your time with them. Book 2 to 3 weeks in advance to choose your make up artist, another 4 to 6 weeks to choose the bridal, outdoor and evening gown. This include made to measure and alterations to off the rack, which means more visits.

Outdoor gown, choose something light. A backless dress will be cooler in the hot sun. For both outdoor and evening gown, make sure the bride can walk fast in it without falling over. If necessary, get the edge trimmed or platforms.

It takes 2 sessions for bridal photography. Preferably on different days, it is less stressful. Indoor photography is a full day, outdoor takes about half a day, approximately from 3 to dusk. That is another 2 or 3 weeks.

Once that is done, it takes 2 weeks for the photos to be developed and printed. A session to choose the best picturess for your album. This typically takes 3 hours. After selection, it takes 4 weeks for the bridal shop to produce your album and that canvas size picture.

There is a final fitting session and collection. Unless something really major event, normally no action is required, 

What happens at the venue.

You will need to put down a deposit to confirm your booking. The remaining bill payable on the day. Stand by couple of credit cards to pay for the remainder of the bill. Either some family members or your own. Gold cards are definitely an advantage.

Usually there is a food tasting session about a month before the actual day. Schedule your partner, parents and you. There is limited seating available. The venue will provide various decoration, color schemes and music for you to choose.
You can do this during the food tasting session.

What do I do?

The bride. 

Once you have selected the gown and altered to your size, it is very important to maintain consistent weight. This is for a period of about 5 months. Now, some people go on a crash diet to look good on their wedding day. This will result in a very loose fitting wedding gown. Don't bet on any last minute alterations. It can't be done.

Concentrate on getting fit. You will be running around quite a bit before and during the wedding.  For the tom boys, practise walking around in heels.

Invest in a button up or zipped up blouse for the photo taking . It is easier to change out of without messing up that one hour's worth of makeup.  

The bridegroom.

Choose two suits.  One for day time wear and one for night time.  Note double breasted jackets are meant for day use only and must be kept buttoned at all times.

Get fit as there will lots of dashing about, greeting guests, and coordination. In some cases, carrying that roast pig.

Learn how to sing your bride's favourite song. Failing which any sickly sweet love song will do. Remember the sweeter the better. You will need it get into the bridal chamber to pickup the bride.

Standby ang paos or red packets of different value. Work out of system of identification, so you don't give the wrong one out.

What happens on that day.

T is the time bridegroom  is suppose to pick up the bride.

Firstly, at about T-1 hour, the make-up artist will put on the makeup and arrange the hair do.  Depending on T, this may be at the crack of dawn (mainly for Teochews), about 4am.

If you are Chinese, the roast pig should arrive at the groom's place.  The bridal car will arrive to pickup the bridegroom and together with the pig, pickup the bride.  On arrival, someone will open the bridal car door for you.  At each door to the bedroom, there will be more obstacles in place.  Here your above singing practice will help you out.

You will may have to pose for photographs and return the groom's place for the tea ceremony.  The bride usually change from bridal to traditional dress.  Once the tea ceremony is over, followed by light reception.

Then it is time for to return the bride's place for tea ceremony.  There may be a reception.  It is off to the hotel or groom's place for a rest before the dinner.  The hardest part is now over. 


  About me     Contact me