Let’s face it. Planning a wedding is supposed to be fun, flowers, stuffing your face with many different extravagant cake samples, beautiful settings and long lost relatives.

However, when you get too caught up in all the fun, you could be forgetting about the most basic, more mundane, steps to getting married and making it official.  Here is a guide to getting married in Singapore and the steps you need to take before you say ‘I do’.

We hate to break this to you, but first and foremost, make sure that you’re ready to take the next step. You are entering into a lifelong commitment, and legal contract, be certain about making this person your life partner and that you are ready for this ever-after.

Once you’re sure you want to take the plunge, you’re probably not sure where to begin. After all, it’s something that you’ve done many times before. The steps can be cumbersome and overwhelming when all you want is an Instagram-friendly big day, really.

The first step to having a permanent plus one – after the engagement ring – is to ensure that you have all of the legal requirements met before the big day arrives. Make a checklist to be certain that you haven’t left anything out. Getting married anywhere comes with  may not seem difficult at first, but once you pass through the bureaucratic process you will find it really isn’t.

Here is a step-by-step guide to getting married in Singapore:

  1. Register And Solemnise
    The first step to getting married in Singapore is to register and solemnise your marriage with the Registry of Marriages (ROM). You will need the proper identification and proof of citizenship. You have to file a notice of marriage online with the ROM. Also, be prepared to pay the fees and provide your solemnisation date, which can be changed at a later date.  However, any other information such as your witnesses, future spouse’s name, etc. cannot be changed once the form is submitted.
  1. Receive Appointment With ROM
    Here, you will verify your documents and complete your declaration to become married. You must wait at least 21 days to solemnise your marriage after your notice. Also worth noting:  you can only file your notice of marriage online with the ROM. After your appointment, you can have your marriage solemnised by a licensed solemniser; you will also need at least two witnesses present.
  1. Budget 
    The marriage solemnization fees are fixed costs and the bare minimum to be legally married. However, most couples want to plan a wedding ceremony to celebrate their special day with family and loved ones. There are wedding ceremonies to meet all budgets, so determine what’s best for your situation.
  1. Plan It!
    Ok, the third step is the charming one. Planning the wedding ceremony, party, and honeymoon. The fun part and often most time-consuming and stressful for couples.  First, decide the location for your wedding.  Will it be in your home country?  Your partner’s?  Or maybe somewhere exotic or unique you’ve always had your sights set on. After you’ve figured that out, you’d need to start checking out possible wedding venues.
  1. Book It
    Most experts recommend booking the venue for your ceremony and reception at least three months in advance. However, according to Bridal Magazine, popular locations can be booked one to two years in advance and sometimes, you’d need to be planning that much is advance, especially of you’re planning to get married during ‘wedding season’.
  1. Do The Odds And Ends!
    Designing the cake, sending out invitations, and choosing the tux and gown for the big day are all part of the fun. Wedding invitations should be sent out three months in advance, especially if you expect a lot of out-of-towners or if you need your guests to travel.
  1. Register Gifts
    You’ve registered with ROM, registered for the venue, now, you have to register for gifts! Experts recommend couples to register early since the days of registering at one store are long gone; couples now spend more time detailing their needs and what they want.

It is important to know that your marriage must be solemnised within 3 months of making your declaration to the ROM, or else the marriage is void and not legally binding. For many couples, they will perform the solemnisation at the government office – as it is considered more of a bureaucratic act – and then plan a separate ceremony and party.

It’s not so hard when you see seven steps laid out in front of you, isn’t it? Planning a wedding can sometimes make you want to tear your hair out, but remember that it is supposed to be fun – don’t stress yourself out too much and ask your partner for help. Find the fun in the process, it is, after all, the start to a wonderful life together with your soon-to-be husband.

Here are more considerations before you get married:
4 Financial Discussions You Should Have Before Getting Married
Should You Have Joint Or Separate Bank Accounts?

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C.E.O @ The New Savvy
Anna Haotanto is passionate about finance, education, women empowerment and children’s issues. Anna has been featured in CNBC, Forbes, The Straits Times, Business Insider, INC and The Peak Singapore. She was nominated and selected for FORTUNE Most Powerful Women conference in 2016 (Asia) and 2015 (San Francisco, Next Gen). Anna has 10 years of experience in the financial sector and is currently a Director in Tera Capital. Her previous work experience includes positions at Citigroup, United Overseas Bank, a regional role in Business Monitor and a boutique private equity firm based in Shanghai. She graduated from Singapore Management University (Finance and Quantitative Finance).