Anyone who has done some research online about the cost of weddings in Singapore will face a rude shock – the number stands at an average of $30,000 to $50,000, enough money for the down-payment of a Build-to-Order (BTO) flat!
Being a cosmopolitan city sandwiched between traditional culture and western modernity, the wedding ceremony here consists of a delightful mix of both, which is probably a reason for costs to double that of weddings in other parts of the world.
Much of the cost depends on the couple’s idea of a wedding as well. If you just want something simple, it can be done at the Registry of Marriage with a solemnization ceremony with the closest family and friends. Someone with many business contacts may feel compelled to spend on something more extravagant.
So while different strokes work for different folks, let’s look at some simple ways you can save on wedding costs even if you are going for the conventional wedding style in Singapore.First, we look at a breakdown of wedding cost in Singapore:
- Wedding Bands: $2,000 – $4,000 for a pair
- Engagement Ring: $2,000 and above
- Wedding Solemnization: $3,000 – $5,000 (rental of gown and location rental)
- Wedding Banquet: $36,000 – $54,000 (30 tables for $1,200 – $1,800 each)
- Bridal Package: $3000 – $6,000 (wedding dress and evening gown photo shoot, make-up, wedding album)
The list is obviously not exhaustive. There are lots of minute details that you’d need or want that can rack up extra costs. These include red packets for helpers, bridemaids’ dresses, wedding accessories or extra decor/flowers for the location.
The cost estimation of $30,000 – $50,000 is also assuming you get back at least half the cost of your banquet back in red packets.
We all know that getting married is a once-in-a-lifetime celebration, but is it worth spending some $50,000 on it? On the other hand, many couples may feel bad if they just have something simple for fear that it can embarrass their parents or that they will be judged to be too miserly.
Below, we list some suggestions on cutting out unnecessary costs that can still make your wedding a very respectable and memorable one!
1) Weekday Night Or Weekend Lunch?
As you can see from the breakdown for the cost above, money spent on banquet takes up more than 50% of the total wedding cost. If cost is a top concern, choose to have your banquet on a weekday night or weekend lunch.
Both of these options will shave off at least $200 per table compared to a banquet dinner held on a weekend. That’s savings amounting to $200 x 30 tables = $6,000.
If you can have your solemnisation together just before the wedding banquet, even better! If you do it on the same day at the same venue, some locations don’t even charge your extra.
That saves everyone time and saves you from spending extra money for a separate solemnisation ceremony.
Another $3,000 off!
2) Keep Your Guest List Relevant
Unless you and your fiance are both social butterflies or have a huge family, there’s little reason to have more than 30 tables of guests at your wedding. What you can do as a couple is to list all the guests that comes to mind in an excel sheet and label them according to priority.
Only invite those that you have a personal emotional connection with – this works both ways so that an acquaintance does not feel obliged to attend your wedding as well. Doing this will also help you to reduce the likelihood of absence.
Lastly, remember to get your guests to RSVP!
3) Cutting Out The Extras
Do you really need to print and get a designer for your wedding invite? No matter how pretty the invite is, there’s little rationale is spending too much on that piece of paper. Use the ones provided by your wedding venue instead; and the same goes for wedding favours.
That’s a few hundred dollars saved.
Planning to hire extra entertainment like a jazz band or pianist? Average price for a live performances at a wedding costs around $700 – $1,000.
Perhaps you should try to ask around for talented friends of yours to do it for you. As a good friend, we are sure your buddy will be happy to do it for your big day! Or how about showcasing some of your hidden talents?
Looking for a personalised reception table or extra wedding decor? If you plan your time wisely, Pinterest is a great resource for anything D-I-Y or bridal. You can also check out etsy.com for unique handcrafted decors that might be cheaper than getting it from a wedding specialist.
4) Dare To Bargain
A lot of couples are too shy to bargain, or have the mentality that since wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime event, you can and should splurge on it. Not if you can get something that’s meant to be free anyway.
You’d be surprised the number of free things you can get if you only ask politely. Some of these include:
- free bottles of wine or corkage waiver
- free guest book, Angbao box and decorations
- parking coupons or free parking lots
- additional night stay at the hotel
And this same process should apply to your bridal studios as well. Many charge exorbitant prices for extra photos in your album so take note of that.
Be aware of fine prints for add-ons, such as ampoules for make up and fake lashes (which you can get a dozen for $10 at Bugis Village or Far East plaza). All these little things can add up to few hundreds or dollars.
5) Use The Right Financial ‘Tools’ To Help You
Many online resources talk about cutting expenses at the wedding but neglect mentioning the budgeting and cashflow problems couples may face.
First up, check if there are any credit card promotions at the wedding venue or use a cash back card! These can save you about 5 to 10% off your banquet bills, easily amounting to another $1,800 to $5,000.
Never take a loan to finance your wedding, especially if you can’t pay for it without incuring any interest payments. If you think about it, the banquet cost is a cashflow problem, which you can solve right after you tally up your red packets.
You can either use your credit card to pay first and pay back the bill asap, or ask your parents to help you with the upfront payment.
Hopefully, with these nifty tips, you’d be on your way to save up your savings for assets… such as your new marital home!