If you're still deciding how to spend your wedding budget, cop these tips from these real brides who've been there, done that.
Photo: Sandra Viklund Fine Art Photography "My husband and I had two weddings - one in Singapore and Sweden, where he is from. Celebrating our union two times meant twice the expense but also double the joy, memories... and photos! We wouldn't have it any other way if we could do it all over again." - Li Yuling Photo: Smittenpixels Photography "Photography and flowers were two of the most important things to me. For photography, you want someone you can trust to capture beautiful photos as well as memories for you. In fact, I find most would be willing to spend a little more on their preferred photographers, whose style you like and appreciate, as once the day (or fleeting moment) is gone, that's gone. Your photos will be one of the more tangible souvenirs from your big day, that you can look back upon and remember how it all went. I like flowers, and I was sure I didn't want to use fake arrangements. Plus, I know how much these can cost, so that was something I was ready to spend on. Additionally (and this is probably more for prospective grooms), the engagement ring should be a "splurge" from your fiance. It should, of course, be an amount he is comfortable with, but I feel it should also be something you really like, as you'll be wearing it for life - whether or not you prefer something simple, or something more elaborate. You don't want to wear a design that is something you normally don't wear. You have to know that you're okay with it, and it's something you should communicate with your boyfriend or fiance." - Dawn Chen Photo: Katie Grant Photo "I had two wedding gowns - one for the ceremony and another for the reception, and I loved them both so much! The one for the ceremony was a blush coloured fit and flare gown which was more fitted and sexy. It also had a beautiful train and such gorgeous detail. My reception dress made me feel classy. It had long sleeves and was flowy at the bottom with the most exquisite back detail I have ever seen on a dress. They were so different from one another but made me literally feel like a princess all day. Our venue was stunning. I could have literally had no decorations for my wedding and it still would have been a breathtaking sight. It had four completely different areas for the welcome drinks, ceremony, cocktail hour and reception, which provided our guests a different feel and experience throughout the night. It was clifftop and overlooked the beach. The architecture of the estate as well as the greenery and gardens were unlike anything I had ever seen. People were just blown away." - Sepideh Haftgoli Photo: AKIphotograph "The one thing that I refused to skimp on was a good photographer and videographer - it sounds cliche but the one day that I spent so long planning for went by so quickly, and I feel like I barely had time to take anything in. The only way to really savour the memories was through the photos and videos afterwards." - Gwen Li See the rest of the wedding plus story in Her World Brides December 2016. Photo: Lovorth Weddings "I never regretted paying a bit more to hire a good makeup artist. Shaun Lee did my hair and makeup and he did a fantastic job. I think a bride can spend a lot of time and money on a gorgeous gown, but if the hair and makeup doesn't match up or complement the look, then the effort is all wasted. You're also going to be taking tons of pictures and videos on the wedding day, so this splurge will last you for a long time and is well worth it." - Jeneen Goh Photo: White Spaces & Voids Society "Besides the banquet, which took up a large chunk of our budget, we spent more on our photography team from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and our wedding bands. Our wedding bands were from Michael Trio and they were definitely worth it because it's a symbol of our union and we can wear it forever. As for our team of photographers, we feel that photographs capture memories that last a lifetime. A good wedding album is a wonderful memento from our wedding day, and we can show it to our children and grandchildren in future! We didn't have the luxury of meeting up with our team in person, and everything was coordinated through e-mails. But our photos and video made it all (the money and effort) worth it." - Sandy Cheng Photo: Lok Wedding "The band and wedding cake was a splurge that I never regretted as the guests still talk about it till this date." - Lim Shuzhen See the rest of the wedding plus story in Her World Brides December 2016.