What’s next after the proposal and being officially engaged? Brace yourself because weddings in Singapore do not come cheap, and if you are not careful you might be biting more than you can chew, or frankly speaking you might spend too much and create a big debt at the start of your marriage. Not a good kick-off, is it?
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So before you even splurge on various wedding packages and giveaways take a deep breath and read the 7 steps towards a budget friendly, yet a fun and memorable wedding.
You MUST Grab a Wedding Checklist
The wedding checklist will help you document, plan and organize your big day. It is basically planning a party, but it is the grandest party you will ever have and thankfully we now have technology to help us out and multi task. You can download various wedding checklist templates on the web for free to give you an idea on the things you have to accomplish before the big day. Nobody wants to forget anything out of hindsight. You can also download wedding apps such as Evernote, WeddingWire, and Cozi to keep you and your fiancé on track of everything.
If you are a sentimental type of person you can document the planning experience and add it to your mementos. You can create a scrapbook later or you can check out Kikki.K’s artistic wedding planners.
Surround Yourself with a Support Group
Do not jump yet with finding vendors, you must first internalize the flow of events and activities during the wedding solemnization and banquet. Add some segments if you want like asking some friends to sing for entertainment. Also consider if you need an EMCEE or if a friend will be willing to and can handle it like a pro.
Planning a wedding is a handful of tasks; involve CHOSEN family members and friends. Opinions are great, but it can also be overwhelming.
Start your Guest list
Here, you will need to decide whether you want a grand or an intimate wedding. As a couple you need to sit down and talk about it. You may also consider your parents since it is also a big day for them to see their children finally getting married. They may want to invite their friends and colleagues. If they tell you that it is your call, then jump on it. If they want to invite more people than you can handle with your limited budget, be honest and tell them.
When creating a list, create two sub lists: ‘must invite’ and ‘good to invite’. If you want an intimate solemnization, you can invite fewer people, and then invite more for the banquet. Be strict with the RSVP timeline to have an estimate on how many your guests will be. The last thing you want is a guest going hungry on your banquet.
Choose your Wedding Date, Theme, and Venue
Think of your character as a couple, what you both love and the elements you can use to express it in the wedding. Which theme and venue would best suite you. Work first on the back drop then go to finer details, this way you can focus on your needs. If you choose to focus on the finer details first, you might get overwhelmed by too many choices and end up falling in love with intricate designs and items you don’t really need.
Choose a date that falls on a weekday and schedule for a lunch banquet. Most venues offer cheaper prices during weekdays and lunch. Capella offers S$2340 per table on a dinner banquet while it drops to S$ 1869 for lunch banquet during weekdays. On the other hand, LingZhi Vegetarian (Liat Towers) offers S$501 per table any day, regardless if it is for lunch or dinner.
Most engaged couples worry that choosing a weekday will cause a drop on the guest list, but if you are that important to them, they can make a way especially if you had given an invitation well ahead for them to adjust their schedule.
Create a WANT and ACTUAL NEED list
When creating this list, make two sub lists: ‘Must Haves’ and the “Good-to-Have”. If you need to cut down on costs it will be easier to choose which ones have to go.
Reach Out to Vendors
You have to choose between grabbing a wedding one-stop vendor or a specialized vendor. One stop vendors can offer packaged on tight budget, yet you will have to make way with their limited offers. However, never be shy to talk about your wants and if they can cater it within the budget. Forego some parts of the packages that you don’t want and ask if you can avail something else. When negotiating, always be respectful and meet your vendors personally as much as possible. Also, watch out for early bird promos, follow the social media pages of various vendors to be updated.
Take your time to source vendors, study their quotes and if it is reasonable with the included services. If you have viable amount of time, make DIY projects and involve your fiancé, friends and family. Watch out for unique ideas in Pinterest, Facebook pages such as DIY Wedding Ideas, and Becoming the Mrs. (DIY Weddings).
- The actual Solemnization (ROM) is free since solemnisers are volunteers who officiate your wedding at no charge. Though the solemniser does not expect anything in return it is better to give any token of appreciation since it is your ‘official’ wedding. Couples set aside a handsome budget for solemnization to cover the costs of gown rentals, floral arrangements, and a photographer and/or videographer which may be found bundled up in packages to be discussed next.
- Bridal Packages can range from S$3,000 – S$10,000 which usually includes details like evening gowns, hair stylist, tuxedos, bridal car makeup artist, and so on. Shop around wedding fairs, inquire in bridal studios, and ask newly wedded friends. For makeup, you can do it yourself if you have adequate skills or you can ask a friend to do it for you.
- Wedding Bands are considered as a vital part of solemnization since there is the popular part ‘With this ring, I thee wed’. Most weddings will be incomplete if there will be no wedding rings which currently range from S$2,000 to S$4,000. Try to shop around for rings with a few small precious stone rather than one big gem.
- Venue Packages are known to couples who want intimate or small weddings. A price range of S$25 – S$200 per person is offered in various wedding venues which included a solemnization package, a lunch or dinner banquet, and an event management team. Masons at Gillman Barracks, Alkaff Mansion, Skyve and Faber Peak are some of the popular venues for intimate weddings.
- If you want a church wedding for your solemnization, prepare S$1,500 for booking fee since Church weddings are becoming more popular.
- Wedding Banquet can range from S$30,000 – S$50,000 depending on the venue, design, menu and the number of people in the guest list. The more extravagant the wedding banquet, the more memorable your wedding could be, however it is better to spend on your future house, car or child’s savings rather than throw everything in the banquet just to keep up with your friends and family’s expectations. Restaurants offer cheaper services than hotels; Ah Yat Seafood Restaurant offers S$568 per table for 10-40 people while Grand Hyatt offers S$1634 per table for 15- 38 people. Obviously, a large chunk of your budget will be here.
- Your photographer and same day edit videographer can range from S$2,000 – S$10,000. Of course you want to remember your wedding with stunning photos. However if you are really in a tight budget, you can ask your friends to take your photos, create a page on a social media and let them post away your photos. This way you can remember your big day in as many angles as your guests could see you.
- Shop around the net for wedding favors that can range from S$0.5 to S$5 apiece. If you have some time until the big day, watch DIY tutorial videos on YouTube or find some crafts in other websites. This way you can make your wedding more personal. You can also involve your family and friends more by asking them if they can do some DIY invitation cards, signs, souvenirs and boxes with you to save some money.
The Budget and Financing your Wedding
After collecting quotes, and getting to know various vendors, it is time to choose which ones will work for your fashion taste and budget. Remember that there are still some costs that might pop out unexpectedly so give yourself a handsome allowance too, especially you still need to give party favors, and invites.
Sample plan for an intimate wedding with 50 guests:
- Venue: Garden Wedding in Alkaff Mansion
- Solemnisation package at S$2,388
- Wedding packages at S$4,400
- Wedding band at S$1,200
- Photographer: Friends
- DIY wedding invites and favours at S$50
- Bridal Package at S$3,000 (hair and make-up, gowns and tuxedos)
If you need some extra cash, you can have a Singapore personal loan with flexible terms and conditions just the way you need it at the most reasonable interest rate. Drop by Cash Mart or ring them to start your loan process.
As a couple you have to communicate well about your wedding finances. Involve each other in every step of the way and remember that it is only the start of your married life. Many complain that weddings in Singapore are very expensive, yet it is you call on how much you really want to spend. And always remember that at the end of the day what’s important is you are finally legally married with the man/woman of your dreams, ready to start on a new voyage as a married couple.
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