You’ve begun your wedding planning, have your venue settled and next it’s on to the other important question, “ Should I engage a one-stop bridal or go ahead with engaging ‘à-la-carte’ wedding services?”
If you have already begun your research, you would roughly know the difference between the two. A ‘one-stop’ bridal boutique essentially provides all the basic services a bride will need. From the lovely wedding gowns to the makeup artistes, pre-wedding and actual day photography, flower preparations (including bridal car decoration), all bridal services are found under one roof, which make it hassle-free for brides who would prefer having one point of contact instead of having to call up various individual wedding vendors for the different services.
Alternatively, a designer bridal boutique has a primary focus on wedding dresses and the handicraft or gown designs may appear to be more exquisite and unique, but may provide lesser services as compared to an “all under one roof” bridal boutique.
However, in this edition of bridal shopping tips we want to tell you that both are viable options and it is just dependent on your personal preferences. We have compiled some considering factors you should keep in mind when making a decision!
To be a smart bride, you must first decide how you want to segregate your budget for your wedding amongst the most important and basic sections like your venue, bridal gowns and suits, makeup & hairdo, accessories, photography and other additional services (e.g. Photobooth, Candy Bar, Photo Montages, Live Band, etc) on that day to spice up your wedding.
Usually, engaging a professional or services in the area of their specialization would cost higher due to the niche market and since it is their sole business.
Here you can find a rough outline and estimations for the expenditure of each wedding service category for your reference.
|Wedding Service||One-Stop Bridal||A-la-carte Services|
|Bridal Gown||Rental from bridal package est $200- $800||From S$2000 depending on MTM requirements|
|Groom Suit||Rental from bridal package est $100- $600||From S$800 depending on MTM requirements|
|Makeup & Hairdo||Provided in bridal package est S$150 – S$450||From S$800 to $2000|
|Flowers||Provided in bridal package:
Bouquet: S$50 – $150
|Depending on the type of flowers and flower arrangement
Bouquet from S$150
|Photography||Provided in bridal package:
|From S$1,000 to S$5,000|
|Videography||Provided in bridal package:
S$800 – S$2,000
|From S$1,200 to S$5,000|
After you have thought of all the possible areas of your expenditure in a wedding, you will then be able to decide to go ahead with choosing a combination of a-la-carte services or engaging a hassle-free one-stop boutique. If you would prefer to leave the coordination in your own hands and if your budget allows this leads us to our next deciding factor…
2) Portfolio, Professionalism & Experience
Your wedding is a once in a lifetime event and you should look, feel and be captured at your best! This is why the next deciding factor is to take a look at the service’s portfolio, their professionalism and how experienced they are. If the portfolios can be found online, take a look at them and read reviews or testimonials on the Company or the professional, so that it can help you make a better decision.
Some brides may think of splurging more on wedding gowns and saving up on the wedding photography by engaging freelance photographers. Be sure not to fall into the trap of having regretful moments of amateur wedding shots, because it will be a pity not to be captured at your best when you and your groom are already looking absolutely stunning!
Some brides, on the other hand may have spent a bomb on getting very renowned photographers and assume they can cut their losses by buying cheap wedding dresses online with subpar quality, keeping their fingers crossed for the actual delivery. While some lucky brides may have well fitting dresses, many of the stories we read online left many other brides with horror stories of undesirable quality, late delivery and even having the wrong dress design delivered.
At times only the best works/designs are put up online, so if you have narrowed down a few bridals or photographers on your list be sure to still make a trip down to see the quality of the bridal gowns, also the photography angles of past wedding portfolios and if the look and feel of the shots are to your desires (e.g. if you have preference for journalistic shots) to be assured of the reliability factor you’re worried about.
Many weds-to-be often have the misconception that they have to leave it up to chance in the selection of their makeup artists and photographers with a one-stop bridal. However, be rest assured that many one-stop bridals nowadays have a pool of experienced professionals and you could shortlist those bridals which allow selection of professionals.
It is indeed challenging for brides and grooms to differentiate “experiences” from just one or two portfolios. We urge you to do your research and learn about the milestones of the service, because experiences play a big part for successful weddings. You won’t want yourself to simply be a guinea pig on your special day. Remember that how experienced a service is should be determined by the number of weddings completed and not merely by the years the service has been in the industry. E.g. The professional/company could have started their service and website 10 years ago, however only a handful of weddings have been completed in the last 10 years.
Time is always of the essence. We have repeatedly mentioned in our various wedding tips posts that a wedding requires a lot of planning and planning early will always save you from any last minute bridezilla moments.
If time is on your side, feel free to explore other pros and cons of choosing either but if you are left with less than 10 months to your wedding you are strongly advised not to spend too much time making a decision but instead, actually make a decision. In many circumstances, even after engaging these services a meetup session is vital in order for both parties to understand requirements and preferences of both sides and in some instances, it may take more than one session and post production time usually takes about 4-6 months already.
Hence, when you have less than 10 months to the lead up of your wedding and nothing has been planned, choosing a one-stop bridal shop is a wise decision. Although some designer boutique or photography-disciplined shops or freelancers may be able to do last minute arrangements, more coordination may be done with the many different vendors and all the stress of coordination will be on you. You wouldn’t wish to look haggard on your wedding day, isn’t it?
4) Personal Preference
We have concise these bridal shopping tips for your ease, but ultimately you make the final decision. If you know that you will nitpick on all the nitty-gritty things and if time is on your side perhaps choosing specific services may be a better option for you as you might have a larger control over what you want.
However, if you would prefer a convenient option so that you can spend more time planning the rest of your wedding, maintaining a healthy mindset and simply basking in the joy of the euphoric wedding moods, entrusting the care of your wedding in a bridal boutique you believe you can trust seems like a befitting choice.
Every bride and groom have their very own perception of a dream wedding. Sometimes choosing the right wedding vendors is more important instead of how it should be done. Your wedding planning is a long journey just like a marathon, because it requires a lot of time and effort. You are advised not to burn yourself out too early by stressing for every tiny detail to be perfect.
Afterall, this wedding is a celebration of your union and it is important that both you and your partner enjoy the process.
If you would like to seek more advice on how your wedding can be planned, please feel free to talk to us as we have both ala-carte services in collaboration packages with renowned professionals (namely Chris Chang Photography, Lushfolio, Walldrobe Photography, Knottin Visuals, Flairfolio Photography, Autelier makeup, Doll up Inc, EK Makeup Studio etc) of various wedding services, as well as one-stop bridal packages and value-added wedding planning services to better help you coordinate your wedding and make it the most eventful event of your life. Meanwhile, browse our wedding works to see if you like them.
We welcome your email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
}The Louvre Bridal