updated 31 Aug 2011, 07:18
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Sun, Jul 24, 2011
The Star/ANN
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Be your own boss
by Stephanie Chai


So, the boyfriend finally popped the question and you’re happily engaged!


Next comes perhaps the more stressful bit – planning the wedding. If you find yourself at this crossroad, it’s likely you’re faced with two options – to “do it yourself” (DIY) or not to DIY.


Before you make this big decision, here’s our rundown on whether or not you should hire a wedding planner.




The job of a wedding planner may seem glamorous, thanks to movies like The Wedding Planner which starred Jennifer Lopez. (Incidentally, JLo and Marc Anthony are getting divorced in real life.)


It is important to remember that wedding planning is much more than choosing a fab dress and dinner menu. In reality, it’s all about scheduling and management of vendors and guests.


Though that might not sound too fun, know that the best thing about planning your own wedding is you get to be your own boss! This means you’re in control of your schedule and the number of hours you work (or don’t work for that matter). Moreover, if you have a passion for weddings, being a DIY bride might just be the thing for you.


With all the resources available today, online and in print, finding the right tools to stay on track and organised has never been easier. Plus, should you get stuck in a rut, simply delegate some responsibilities to your bridal party or to that particularly eager aunt for the inordinate tasks.


However, fun as it sounds, don’t forget that wedding planning means ticking off a long checklist! These include:


> Hiring and overseeing wedding vendors.


> Inviting guests and handling the RSVP.


> Choosing a theme and décor.


> DIY projects such as creating wedding favours.


> Making sure everything runs smoothly on the big day.


The bottom line is simple – as your own wedding planner, your job is to do whatever it takes to ensure your special day goes exactly as planned. Being a DIY bride is a good idea if you’re someone who’s throwing a small wedding, enjoys being organised and has spare time on her hands.


I have a friend who planned her own wedding attended by 200 guests. And she said “Never again!” after spending days calling up friends for the RSVP. Rule of thumb: Always be realistic with your time and capabilities.


Not to DIY


After days of gallivanting across town and hours of e-mailing to get matters sorted, reality does kick in.


Most DIY brides begin to see that DIY weddings may “appear” to be cheaper, but are tremendously time-consuming.


Without a wedding coordinator, it’s up to the DIY Bride to ensure things don’t crumble and fall apart. One thing to consider is, it’s not worth being a DIY Bride if you end up in tears on your wedding day. So should you take the risk?


Here are our top reasons to hire a coordinator:


> Your planner liaises with all the wedding vendors.


From the get-go, your wedding planner can help you choose vendors and coordinate with them. Wedding planner Eileen Lui of Nupts & Such says: “Rather than dealing with 10 different vendors, a bride only needs to deal with one planner. We look over the smaller details such as contracts with vendors. This saves you a lot of time, hassle and of course, stress!”


> Actual day management.


On the big day itself, a wedding planner is usually there from the beginning to the end. So rather than worrying about the little things like “Has the wedding cake arrived?”, you can sit back, relax and enjoy yourself (as you should).


> Design


Let’s face it. They’ve planned many weddings whereas this is likely your first. Planners can help you decide on a theme, décor, favours, the works. Ultimately, they also offer design advice that will make your wedding appear sophisticated and elegant.


> Saving costs.


If you’re on a budget, your planner can help you reduce expenses with a bit of creativity. “For our clients who are on a tight budget, we help them make their wedding look like a million dollars at a fraction of the cost,” says Lui.


At the end of the day, no matter what you decide, relish the day, as it’s your time to sparkle!


Personally, will I DIY my own wedding? Chances are, probably not, because I am busy as it is, running a wedding portal (haha).


Remember to shop around as wedding planners offer different rates and packages, which can be affordable. So all of you who are privy to stress as I am – start saving up!


Model-turned-actress and TV host Stephanie Chai can help you arrange the perfect wedding. For more tips and ideas, go to

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