Should You Go Ala Carte For Your Wedding?

We struggled quite a bit with this question in our wedding planning. I personally have heard many couples spending thousands and thousands on bridal packages or different wedding vendors. That being said, when we are all in this planning stage, it is all too common that we probably won't realise how much we are exactly spending... until maybe when the amount in your bank account is dropping drastically.

So to start, what is the difference between Ala Carte VS Bridal Package?
  • Ala carte will basically mean you source out every single item. The bulk expenses would be costs of wedding gowns, suits, pre-wedding photography, engaging make up artiste and florist.
  • Bridal package is a literally an all-in package. Everything that I typed above (or maybe more or less) will be listed down to you by the sales person at one fixed price. The reason for me to bold and italics to the word "fixed" is because it's not exactly fixed afterall. And I will explain that to you very soon in my next post.
Therefore for Mr OOPS and I, we are very clear.
EVERY CENT COUNTS, RIGHT FROM THE VERY START.
Our budget to settle all these nitty gritty details was $3000. So we started listing down the pros and cons of doing everything ala carte.

Why Go Ala Carte?

Pros
  1. You can do away with all the unnecessary stuff that comes with the bridal package. Usually the bridal studios will throw in some extra perks here and there. Usually there will be at least one of two or maybe more items which you may not need it , or you already have it. For example, they may give you a free guest book but you prefer using your own handmade special book? Or maybe throw in free teddy bears that you can supposedly use to decorate your wedding car/room but those are totally too kiddish for your wedding's theme? Or maybe those free plastic flower corsages which you find it totally not matching to your wedding? Yup, now you have an idea.
  2. You can select things based on what you want. Similar concept to the one above. When we go ala carte, we basically take up the roles of a creative director, fashion designer, wedding co-ordinator and so on. When we take up all these roles on our own, we basically have the liberty to shop around for the exact dream wedding that's floating around on our brains. Only we will know what are the items we want and the look of it. We can even create those colour theme wedding! We can get that particular make up artist we want to get that not-so-old look. We can engage that oh-so-perfect photographer to do our pre-wedding shoot. And that therefore bring us to the next point.
  3. You only pay for what you want. Since we only shopped for what we need and engage the people whom we need, we literally paid for only what we want. With so many shopping options and discounts going on almost every single day, we just need to be on high alerts and snap at every opportunity to save costs. Sounds perfect!
Cons
  1. You may end up spending more eventually. Precisely you have the liberty to handpick every single item and vendor, you may end up overlooking the total costs which has amassed from multiple small purchases. For example, engaging a photographer for pre-wedding shoot may costs only $1600. At the point of confirmation, $1600 sounds ok and decent. However, what about the costs to rent/buy a gown? Engage a make up artist? Transportation costs?... so on and so forth.
  2. If you don't have a flair in art and fashion, this whole ala carte thing is going to be a disaster. Being able to handpick all the little details of your wedding is not tough. BUT being able to handpick all the little details of your wedding and making sure they all goes well with each other at the end of the day is tough! Sometimes we buy an item with the idea that this is perfect and THE piece for my wedding. However, at the end of the day, it just doesn't match. Oh well. This is probably why we can see all those brand new items for sale at wedding forums or wedding facebook pages.
  3. You will need to invest more time to make it work. Time is gold. In order for you to reach your aim of saving costs, the one thing you need to sacrifice is your time. Lots and lots of time to source for the best deals online, offline and from word of mouth. It may even mean spending time travelling all the way from east of Singapore to the west of Singapore just to have a look at a warehouse sales selling cheap and pretty wedding gowns. There will be this awesome feeling of "It's all worth it!" when you get a good deal. However, not all of us have the luxury of time. And this may cause us to become more frustrated or even just settling for whatever deals we chance upon next just to get it over and done with.
If you are interested to know about our final decision, we eventually opted for a bridal package. I have been having concerns about going ala carte because I'm unsure about where to start and I find it a hassle to research on every single item. The last thing I ever want to screw up is my wedding day. It also so happens we chanced upon a bridal package that fits our budget perfectly at a wedding showcase.

That's it! For couples who are considering to do ala carte for your wedding, I hope this can have an idea to guide you through. I will be covering another post of pros and cons of  bridal packages in my next entry.

Shall end off with a song which I have been hearing at weddings in 2014.



'Cause all of me 
Loves all of you 
Love your curves and all your edges 
All your perfect imperfections 
Give your all to me 
I'll give my all to you 
You're my end and my beginning 
Even when I lose I'm winning
 'Cause I give you all of me 
And you give me all of you

Happy planning,
Mrs To-Be OOPS

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