Are you planning to get married in 2015? DollarsAndSense.sg shares some saving tips and tricks.
First of all, Congratulations! And we say this on behalf of the Singapore Government.
While a marriage is usually a joyous occasion (especially for the hotels and the credit card companies), your saving account may not be too excited, and neither will you, once you start thinking about all the costs involved.
After all, a wedding can be considered the 3rd most money-minator (think terminator) after your house and car. And unlike those two, there is no resale value.
Breakdown of wedding cost
Most girls’ dream to have a romantic wedding −unfortunately, most of these dreams cost a lot of money, unless the dream involves having a secret wedding with no guests and only two witnesses. If only Bella Swan had done that, we will all be saving tons of money!
Aside from the bride’s expectations. It does not help when their families, relatives or even friends have additional expectations that the couples feel obliged to meet. For example, a wedding dinner held at a 5-star hotel as opposed to Ban Heng (no offense intended because Ban Heng serves good food)
Before we delve into how to cut the costs and still have a dream wedding your wife both of you always hope for, let’s take a look at the various cost components in a wedding to consider.
- Bridal Package: $3000-$10,000: Should include, wedding dress, evening gown, photoshoot, wedding album, photo frame.
- Wedding Bands: $2000 – $4000 for a pair
- Engagement Rings: $2000 and above
- Wedding Solemnization: $3000-$5000 (rental of gown, photographer and videographer, bridesmaid dresses rentals and so on)
- Wedding Banquet: $30,000-$48,000 (30 tables for $1000-$1600 each)
- Honeymoon: $4,000-$10,000 (depending on the country you are heading to)
In short, the total costs can hit a staggering minimum of $44,000 and could easily go up to $90,000 if you are not careful. Bear in mind as well that this does not include that invisible spending such as ang paos for your brothers and sisters, additional jewelry required, buying of gifts for relatives, additional decorative items. It also does not include a separate church wedding, which is getting popular in Singapore.
If the wedding of your dreams is going to cost you more than you can afford, see if you can make do with less. A simple wedding can still be an amazing one. Or consider holding your wedding only after you have saved up money for the wedding you want.
Borrowing should not even be an option. This is not a house or even a car we are talking about. A wedding comes and goes in one day.
Saving Tips and Tricks
We highlight some useful tips we learnt.
- Check out bridal magazines & websites like weddingforums.sg in order to make an informed decision to allocate your budget appropriately. Information is essential in this scenario. You do not want to be stuck with a horrible experience organizing your own wedding because you were too lazy to do some research.
- Start planning early. You may be able to get early bird promotions or have more room for negotiations with the other parties involved. An example is to ask the hotel to throw in additional barrel of beer or for corkage waiver.
- Visit online forums regularly. Personally, I think that the “Marketplace” section is where you can potentially grab many bargains there. The sellers are usually those who have made amendments to their original plans due to unforeseen circumstances and selling at much lower prices. Be sure however, that they are not simply selling you a bad deal that they themselves do not want.
- Consider a wedding lunch on a weekday instead of a weekend dinner. You might get less people coming and it will be cheaper as well. Personally, we think Sunday dinners are the worst since they are the equivalence of weekday nights and yet you pay weekend prices.
- Think about the number of guests attending as it will have a huge impact on your overall budget. If possible, start discussions with both families early about who to invite and how many people to expect. If you cannot hit your minimum number of tables, you are going to be wasting money. If you do not have enough tables, some people are going to be unhappy.
- Remember to pay for your wedding using credit cards as you can chuck up huge amount of miles or cash rebate.
- For most couples, a short break is a nice way to wind down from all the excitement of a wedding and to start your married life in peace. Nevertheless, if you are forecasting that you will spend a lot on the wedding, maybe your dream vacation can wait until your finances have recovered. Either that, or you can go somewhere near or shop around for the best deal in advance.
To sum it up, start planning early and agree on an estimated budget both of you are willing to spend on the wedding.
Consider giving yourself time to save up for your wedding rather than holding it sooner and borrowing money to pay for it. Avoid wiping out your savings and being burdened with debt, as other obligations like renovations and baby expenses may be coming your way you shortly after that.