Here are some pro tips on ways to save or avoid spending too big on your big day
Everyone knows weddings in Singapore don’t come cheap. Some couples rationalise that since it’s an once-in-a-lifetime affair, it justifies blowing a lot of money on it.
But there are ways to have an unforgettable wedding without breaking the bank – after all, what’s the point of starting matrimonial life scrimping and saving to make up for the big splurge? Many couples still have the purchase of their first home to think about, after all.
You see, when it comes to planning a wedding, it’s all about knowing your priorities and spending your hard-earned money wisely. Here are some tips on what to save on when it comes to the big day.
1. Set a Budget and Date
The common mistakes couples make is that they fail to set a realistic budget or a budget at all. Having a clear idea of how much you are willing and able to spend for the wedding can help make future decision-making faster and avoid any disappointments. Just because your budget is small, doesn’t mean the perfect wedding is unachievable.
The next thing to do is to set a date. Holding your wedding during off-peak season and knowing the date in advance can save you money (think “early-bird fees” and last-minute costs), time, effort and also give you the chance to plan properly and choose your vendors.
2. Decide on What Is Necessary, and What Is Not
There are many aspects to a dream wedding – pre-wedding photo shoot, the gown, the lunch/dinner reception location, entertainment, et cetera — knowing what you are willing to let go of can help you focus on the aspects you really want. For instance, instead of getting a wedding planner, consider using free wedding apps available to help you organise better. Also, when it comes to the guest list, dividing the attendees into “Must” and “Good to Have” will give you a sense of how many guests to invite and help save costs on catering and venue.
Yes, the downside is having to forgo certain things (and people) but hey, you can’t please everyone, and the financial upsides are going to be worth it (more for your honeymoon!)
3. Opt for Cost-saving Options
Every cent counts and adds up. If you can save money wherever possible, it can bring the total cost of the wedding down quite significantly.
Be on the lookout for cheaper alternatives, since fondant and tiered cakes can be overpriced. For instance, instead of having the cake in fondant, opt for buttercream and trade sugar flowers for actual flowers. Also, don’t feel like you need to have a wedding cake, desserts or mini pies might be an option that your guests might fancy too.
Gowns and suits
Instead of purchasing that designer wedding dress (which, let’s face it, you will wear only once), opt to rent it or shop during a sample sale. If you have already set a wedding date in advance, chances are that you can even explore making your gowns and suit overseas at a cheaper rate. For those who are all for the unconventional, you don’t even have to wear a traditional wedding dress, just get a white dress that is good enough for a wedding and not so dramatic that you can’t wear it again for a nice dinner.
Don’t be afraid to DIY. For instance, your wedding invitation – nothing says heartfelt more than hand-written cards. Another option could be to send e-cards (save the earth and money). Or better yet, save on printing fees by creating a free website where guests can access all the information they need about your wedding and even RSVP online.
Don’t underestimate the beauty of green foliage. Not only is it affordable, it also adds considerable size and texture to flower arrangements. Another way to reduce cost is to swap out costly flowers and stick to just one or two kinds of flowers, and place them in plastic containers instead of glass ones. Plastic is cheaper and guests will hardly notice the difference. Other than flowers, candles could be an alternative yet cheap and romantic option.
Choose a venue that does not require much décor. Nowadays, the format of weddings has evolved and it is no longer uncommon for couples to hold their ceremony and reception in restaurants and cafes for that splash of personal touch. Many restaurants have also stepped up to provide Insta-worthy locations at affordable rates – take your time to explore the many options available.
4. Utilize the Resources You Already Have
More often than not, when friends and family receive news of a wedding, they offer to help. Don’t be afraid to say yes to help. Look within your circle of friends and family to see how they may assist with the preparation of the wedding. If you have any skills you can offer in exchange, don’t hesitate to make a barter trade. Some of them might have recommendations too, or know someone who does videography, photography with a friend rate to offer, to boot.
5. Take Advantage of a Credit Card with Cashback or Rewards
The right card can do wonders for your wallet – it can bring in additional savings, and even discounts for vendors (i.e. bridal studios or florists), so keep a look out for such incentives. Check out SingSaver to compare credit cards and find one best for your needs, whether it's cashback or air miles for the upcoming honeymoon.
But use it responsibly. Make sure that you are able to pay it off quickly without incurring interest, so you don’t go into debt for your wedding.
6. Enjoy the Planning Process
Last but not least, the planning process should deepen the bond and meaning of your marriage, hence it is important to enjoy every part of it! It should add to your existing bank of happy memories with your partner instead of stressing you out as a couple. Hiccups may be inevitable, but keeping that in mind whenever disagreements and arguments that arise will help you go a long way.
By Alexa Fang
Alexa is a pop-culture vulture. She lives to read, write and travel, and decided long ago that life is stranger than fiction. When she's having croissant, she thinks in French. "31 Rue Cambon" is her favourite address, and she believes that money one enjoyed spending is never money wasted.