We’re getting married, not bankrupt!
Are you planning to tie the knot soon? A wedding is an once-in-a-lifetime event and many couples would want a night to remember. But indulging in every whim and fancy may well cripple you financially and put you in debt, and that’s not the best way to start a new life together.
Before you get over excited about planning a lavish fairy-tale event, here are some points and tips to consider that will keep your wedding memorable for only the right reasons.
Food and Venue
The food and venue typically make up the biggest chunk of your wedding expenditure. It’s not surprising that more young couples today are eschewing the traditional hotel banquet in favour of more casual and intimate weddings. In Singapore, it goes without saying that The In-Laws play a part in this decision.
If you, your partner and your families are opting for casual setting, you can skip the hotels and their hefty prices, which usually costs close to, or far beyond $1000 per table and come with condition of a minimum number of tables for booking. Consider country clubs (e.g. Orchid Country Club) with more cost-effective packages, or restaurants for unique and intimate settings.
Alternatively, book an outdoor venue at the beautiful Fort Canning or Hort Park and hire caterers.
You can still save thousands of dollars too, if you decide a hotel banquet is still the way to go. Trimming the guest list and inviting only those whom you really care about is definitely a good way. Or, you may consider holding the banquet on a weekday night instead of a weekend, and having a simpler menu. This could easily save you S$100-S$500 a table, and that means thousands of dollars that could help pay for your honeymoon.
Do it yourself
Another way in which you can save yourself a good sum of money is to re-look at the way you do the flowers, décor, and even invitation cards. For example, you can use more local flora than the pricier imported ones. And if you have a decent eye for art or even a few supportive girlfriends, try your hand at arranging your own flower bouquets. Also, purchase art materials (try Daiso) and come up with something creative and quirky with the help of Youtube videos and Pinterest for inspiration.
In addition, depending on whom you’re inviting, you could perhaps do away with expensive invitation cards and send a nicely designed electronic invite through Facebook or E-mail. Free and high-quality graphic design websites like Canva make this an absolute breeze.
The wedding dress is perhaps the most fantasised-about item in the wedding. And it goes without saying that outfits can range from a hundred dollars to a whopping five-figure sum.
Brides-to-be today have a range of affordable options, even if they choose to buy the gown instead of renting. And, you don’t have to buy from Taobao if you’re worried about sketchy vendors. Local boutiques like Vivian Gown and the Gown Warehouse are known to have beautiful and good quality designs for a few hundred dollars.
Bridal houses also offer attractive packages starting at just below $2000 for outfits for the bride and groom, complete with wedding photography and a bridal car. Shop around at bridal expos to compare rates, and remember to negotiate!
In addition, consider wearing only the wedding dress for the entire wedding reception/ceremony instead of having multiple outfit changes.
Cross the causeway
Cashing in on the favourable exchange rate and crossing the causeway over to Malaysia for a wedding may be a great idea for those wanting to shave their bills while keeping a long guest-list and the wedding banquet idea.
Take this couple for example, who saved about $$20,000 by holding their 300-guests wedding in Johor Bahru. While this may be more hassle for your guests, you can consider providing transport, and still end up with a much more budget- friendly wedding than holding it in Singapore. A table for a banquet in a good JB hotel costs half that of Singapore.
Credit Card Wedding Benefits
Some credit cards give pretty attractive discounts and perks specifically for weddings. You could be looking at a percentage discount off the entire wedding package at a hotel, or a fixed discount off every confirmed table. Other offers include complimentary night’s stays and free flow wine. Banks like UOB and Citibank offer wedding benefits as well.
Alternatively, sign up for a credit card with a good cashback rate like the ANZ Optimum World MasterCard Credit Card, which gives you 5% cashback for the chosen category (Travel, Dining, Leisure, or Shopping), and 1% cashback on any other spend with no limit. That’s a considerable sum of savings if you use it for big- ticket items like paying for the venue, food, outfits and photography.
You don’t have to spend beyond your means for a memorable and delightful event. With a little more research, creativity and effort, you can cut the wedding expenses and enjoy your precious day without the post-wedding guilt when the credit card bills arrive.
For more financial tips and tricks to optimise your financial lifestyle, visit imoney.sg and learn all the best moves to make with your money.