A wedding is a huge milestone, marking a pivotal turning point in every couple’s journey in life together. Yet, it also represents a serious financial commitment – there are very real monetary considerations to factor in, from solemnisation costs to the price of honeymoon packages.
However, with practical goal setting and astute financial planning, your wedding can still be picture-perfect – without burning a large hole in your pocket. In this article, we explore some of the basic costs a couple can expect to incur when planning for a wedding.
Solemnisation and Wedding Venue
Solemnisations can cost a few thousand dollars for grand settings like CHIJMES or minimal if you choose to solemnise your marriage at ROM for a fee of $42 – a no-frills setting. At ROMM (Registry of Muslim Marriages), the current rate for marriage registration where one/both parties are Singaporean/Singapore PR is $39.
Some couples choose a solemnisation in a simple setting that cost as low as around $1,500. Karen Lim, 30, and her husband Ivan Fernandez, 31, opted for a classic church wedding, and managed to rent the hall for just $600.
You could also do a simple home wedding ceremony with a marriage solemniser –the fee is similar to that at ROM. Remember to compensate him/her for time and services rendered, along with transport costs. There are also décor and catering costs to factor in, but you could get artsy friends to help out with the decorations for a more personal and affordable touch!
The cost of wedding bands can vary tremendously. For instance, a pair of intricate wedding bands from big-name jewellers can cost more than $5,000, whereas those from smaller (but nevertheless reputable) boutiques can cost a fraction of the price, sometimes even as low as $1,500. Alternatively, you could get a reasonably priced pair for $50.
These bands are something that you and your partner might want to invest in. “For us, price wasn’t so significant. Seeing as these bands are for life, comfort was a very important factor! We looked around for ages before we found a pair that we were both happy with,” Karen shares.
Again, the prices of gowns and suits run the gamut – a gown from a high-end atelier can cost a few thousand dollars. Of course, there is also the option of online shopping, where the choices available tend to be more varied and affordable.
As for Maybebaby Blogger, Tan Li Lin, she got her gown for less then $250. Read more here.
Desiree Lim, 27, managed to get her wedding gown for just $500 from an international e-boutique. However, do get your measurements right and ensure that there is a returns/exchanges policy in place before committing to a purchase.
Hotel banquets are customary for many couples. However, such banquets often wreak the biggest damage on your bank balance, as they can cost up to a whopping $120,000 for a guest list of 400!
According to SingaporeBrides.com, a weekend banquet at a four-star hotel costs approximately $1,388 per table. In contrast, a Saturday dinner banquet at five-star hotels can set a couple back as much as $2,928 per table. In some cases, however, the cost of the banquet is self-sufficient. Terence Ong, 32, shares, “My wife Eileen and I took a bold risk in assuming that the cost of our banquet would be covered by ang pows from guests. We were lucky that it did!”
Alternatively, you and your beau could opt for a more intimate and affordable restaurant reception instead. Desiree and her husband, Fahmi, 29, chose to hold their banquet at a restaurant in Buona Vista, with a gorgeous al fresco setting. This will help minimise costs, as you will have to keep your guestlist short!
Photography and videography
A professional wedding photographer will usually set a couple back at least $3,000. For instance, Terence and Eileen paid around $4,000 for actual day photography and videography. You can also consider value-for-money bridal packages – these usually comprise gowns, suits and make-up, on top of photography services. You therefore won’t have to fork out a separate fee for photography and videography.
Everyone’s a photographer these days as long as you have a camera phone. You can get your friends and family members in the act by being your photographers on your wedding day. They can capture poignant moments and put together an album for you as their special gift to you.
The honeymoon is the perfect time for newlyweds to kick back, relax and luxuriate in marital bliss. As such, most couples usually wouldn’t mind spending a little more to ensure that their holiday is as perfect as possible.
Honeymoon packages can be affordable or extravagant; it all really boils down to your destination of choice. A honeymoon to an Asian destination will indubitably cost less than an American or European one. For instance, a Bali getaway would typically cost much less, while a trip to Paris could set you back by several thousands.
Alternatively, you can always opt for a staycation to keep costs low. A staycation at a five-star hotel costs around $500 upwards. It’ll still make a lovely getaway from the daily grind! Some couples also choose to embark on their honeymoon at a later date, when they are more financially settled.
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All in all, a wedding needn’t be terribly expensive, especially if you’re making informed decisions and are willing to settle for simpler, cost-effective solutions. Work out a budget as a couple a few months in advance and adhere to it by all means.
“Be well aware of what’s on your excel sheet! Don’t leave things to memory because there’s just too much going on. When you get updates or new information, always make a note of it. You don’t want to find yourselves in a situation where you have to ask, ‘have we accounted for this?’” Karen advises.
Similarly, Terence says, “It took us one and a half years to save up for our wedding. I strongly encourage couples who are tying the knot to spend within your means! Do your research, prepare a budget in advance and stick to it. Never ever take a loan for your wedding.”
Click here for part 2.