A minimalist wedding

A reader asked us to share our “minimalist wedding”. However, when Dave and I got married more than 5 years ago, we were not yet minimalists, nor aware of this concept of minimalism.

Now, to think back, ours was in no way a minimalist wedding, and it was every way pretty similar to the traditional Chinese weddings in Singapore that we are all used to out there. By that, I am referring to the pre-wedding photo shoot, the wedding banquet (we had close to 40 tables), all the usual bridesmaids and groomsmen, engaging the photographer, post wedding honeymoon etc.

As Dave and I are the eldest in each of our respective families, an elaborate wedding was inevitable, as it was the wishes of our parents to have a traditional one, rather than one that cut away from all of that. Also, since we were the first to get married in our respective families, you can imagine all the family friends, relatives that were invited to the wedding, many of whom we have never even seen (or even met) before. You get the flow.

Having said that, we were rather conservative in our budget and had planned the various components around that. One of the more extravagant component would most probably be our pre-wedding photoshoot which we did overseas and the banquet (since we had 40 tables. But as we didn’t host our wedding at a hotel, the cost per table was not as expensive comparatively). As such, much of what we spent was within budget.

Occasionally, I would have thought that if given a choice, I would have done it differently, and not tire ourselves so much. So, if I were to have minimalist wedding, what would it be like?

First, I would do without the pre-wedding shoot. 

To be honest, it wasn’t really that pleasant an experience, although we were rather contented with the end product. The entire shoot was tiring and lasted for about a day. and since we did ours during winter, it was freaking cold! We didn’t even have much to eat the entire day and had to come up with all sorts of smiley and lovey-dovey expression when all I thought of in my head was that I am starving and I need some food! Also, even though the end product turned out to be really nice (really good makeup tactics I would say!), the album is relatively left intact with nobody browsing through it. In fact, the only person who would occasionally browse through it is Ally, where she will try to identify her daddy and mummy.

I would do without the early morning 接新娘 (literally translates to “fetching the bride”) crap.

I have never been a big fan of the 接新娘 saga where the bridesmaids come up with all sorts of ridiculous ideas for the groomsmen to go through. This includes lots of stupid things, such as drinking weirdly concocted drinks (in fact, one of my male friends ended up with a tummy pain after that for another mutual friend’s wedding), doing some sissy dance, etc. and in return the groom will need to give money to the bridesmaids for the key to enter the house so that they can fetch the bride. I can never understand the need for this segment, for a marriage (at least in Singapore and most part of the developed world) tends to be a mutual agreement between two parties who are deeply in love. As such, introducing an activity where it makes the guy goes through all sorts of “trials and tribulations” so to get the girl seems so passe. I can understand and appreciate the thought behind that. However, nowadays, it has evolved such that it has become more of a pain procedure to go through for the guys to go through. For our wedding, what Dave and his groomsmen went through were quite mild comparatively.

I would only invite people I know and those that I would want to invite. 

This is easier said than done and many a times, a wedding is not only about us, but more for our respective families. My parents tend to be the more traditional ones and as mentioned earlier, since I am the eldest daughter in the family, I can understand that they will like to invite their relatives and friends, many of whom that I do not know personally. As for my friends, I was pretty selective then and had only invited the closer ones and those that I kept in touch with, rather than those that I have not been in contact for the past 10 years.

I would do a small cozy wedding at a nice restaurant, al fresco might be nice too. 

Since I managed to pare down the guest list, it would be easy to find a small restaurant that will be able to accommodate the smaller group. It will be a simple lunch wedding, with the solemnisation done at the event, perhaps a jazz band in the background to keep the guests entertained. It will not be a full day event and we can head back to nap after that.

I would only wear one dress during the entire event. 

My wedding gown would probably be just a simple tea dress, where it will be easy for me to maneuver around to mingle with the guests and chit chat with them. There would be no need to change during the entire event, no second march-in crap and all that.

There will only be one bridesmaid and groomsman. 

Rather than an army of them, we would probably just need one of each to help us at the wedding. And seriously, you don’t really need that many bridesmaid and groomsman to be around. I remembered attending one wedding where they had 9 on each side!


There are however, a few things that I would still do.

Hire a makeup artist for the bride 

I mean come on, it’s my special day after all and I think I will still like to outsource this role to a professional to make me look pretty on this day.

Hire a photographer to capture those moments

As much as I would like to avoid digital clutter, I would still hire a photographer to capture those special moments. But I will probably not opt for the physical copy of the collage book.


I am sure that there are other aspects that I might not have thought of for now. But in a nutshell, those will be the starting point that I would go about planning a minimalist wedding.

What about you? Would love to hear your thoughts.


6 thoughts on “A minimalist wedding

  1. I’ve been following your blog for a while and feel the spark and click!
    I totally agree with the “no pre wedding photo shoot”.

    I’d also have selected a more basic makeup artist.

    I had 2 wedding gowns just in case, and a Chinese traditional dress.
    Wedding day shoes (white Roger Vivier and red Tods) are shoes I’m still wearing every day to work.

    However, I never regret all the traditional things I did like 過大禮, groom-to-be sending the big gift of chinese cakes and candies to bride-to-be family. All the coconuts, big old gift boxes. They carry more meaning than money. I love tradition and culture. I would hope some younger relatives would see it and learn something of our history. And also support local old shops at the same time.


    • Thank you for following our blog and glad that you enjoyed it. Interesting thing about the “guo da li”. We also had one then but ours was a much more simplified and watered down version, without the stuff that you mentioned. I am a bit mix on that one. On one hand, I can appreciate the tradition and cultural aspects of it but having said that, it might be something that I think I would do without.


  2. Hey, congrats on being featured in the Business Times article! Great to spread the word on minimalism….

    SippingCoconuts didn’t really have a minimalist wedding in the sense that we had like 20+ tables and two wedding ceremonies. Haha! But we just went with things we wanted (aside from the pre-wedding photo shoot(s)), didn’t get extra flowers to deco etc, borrowed a friend’s car to fetch the bride. It was so casual…we even drove a friend home after the wedding lunch. And his mum went….hey, isn’t that the wedding couple? WHY ARE THEY SENDING YOU HOME???


    Liked by 1 person

  3. i wish my wife-to-be could think like you too!! I tried to convince her of exactly the same things you wrote but she just couldn’t accept it!!
    A wedding is just a single day affair. Nobody remembers what happened after that. Why bother spend so much money


    • lol I am a pragmatist so I guess the reasons for my choices. Especially like what you said, nobody remembers these details. Perhaps maybe the food – either good or bad….


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