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Once you hit your 20s, a few things start happening – you feel a little bit more like a “real” adult, you start saying things your parents used to, and your social media feed looks like a wedding advertisement.
If you’re one of the people who recently got engaged, congratulations! Getting married is a significant milestone in a relationship, and both of you are probably looking forward to celebrating your union.
There are certain expectations that commonly go along with a wedding in Singapore, and including all the bells and whistles can rack up the cost pretty quickly. To help you plan for your special day, we’ve identified the biggest cost culprits while providing suggestions on how you can stretch your dollar.
The banquet is usually the largest expenditure that a couple has during the entire wedding process, and can be the most physically and financially tiring part of the wedding for the couple. If you find yourself in this situation, there are a few ways you can try to cut down on costs.
Predictably, weekend dinners are the most popular time slots for wedding banquets, and the prices reflect this accordingly. Holding your dinner on a Saturday night instead of any day between Monday to Thursday can result in a difference of $200 to $400 more per table – that’s at least $4,000 more for 20 tables!
If you don’t want a weekday dinner as it may inconvenience your guests, you could consider a weekend lunch.
Some couples choose a hotel, but due to their cost, many others are considering other venues like standalone restaurants, event halls, and even outdoor spaces. Some restaurants offer very reasonable prices and are many hundreds cheaper than a hotel. Country clubs also offer competitive prices, if you’re looking for something that’s in between a hotel and a restaurant.
In addition, alternative venues may also be suitable if you’re looking for a smaller and more intimate gathering instead of the large ballrooms that hotels tend to offer. In that case, your overall cost is lowered because you have less tables to cater for, but the price per table (and food quality) could be similar to a hotel.
If you’re not too fussed about customisation, purchasing a bridal package is probably the most cost-effective way of getting all the wedding essentials at one go. This comprehensive service usually includes gown and suit rentals, pre-wedding and actual day photography, and makeup services. Some also include miscellaneous items like decorations, bouquets, and bridal car rentals.
Choosing this option saves you the trouble of sourcing your providers individually, and is also less costly as bridal houses have regular partnerships that they rely on. Packages range from around $2,000 to $6,000, and in comparison, buying just one wedding gown can set you back more than $2,000.
However, some of these packages can be packed with things you might not actually need, like bridesmaids dresses or small decorations. Surveying various bridal studios and seeing what they actually offer will give you a better idea of the things that are important to you.
If you find that you don’t need some of those items, you can can request to exchange them with ones that you do. Before making a final decision, ensure that everything offered has been formally written down and that you are getting what you want for the quoted price.
No matter what wedding expense you’re paying for, you should try to use your credit card when you can. Along with letting you manage your cash flow when buying big-ticket items, your credit card could give you discounts for wedding venues and other relevant merchants like jewellery stores and bakeries.
Using a cashback card will give you some cash rebates, which can add up to a significant amount of cost savings if you spend enough. Many banks also offer interest-free instalments on credit card purchases if you hit a minimum amount, which can be very helpful in managing all the costs you have to bear. Instalments can also help you to get more cashback, as there’s usually a limit as to how much you can get per month.
For example, if you split your S$12,000 payment over 6 months and charge $2,000 per month to your card, you could get cashback ranging from $50-$150 depending on the card you choose. If the purchase you’re making is large but doesn’t allow instalments, consider using a rewards-based cards instead. You’ll be able to collect a huge amount of points that you can redeem for vouchers, home appliances (for your new home), and more.
If you don’t currently have a credit card, there are websites you can check out which compare all the credit cards in the market.
Celebrating the start of your new life together definitely deserves something special, but the both of you shouldn’t have to break the bank to achieve it. Exploring some of the tips above could help lower the costs considerably without sacrificing the things you both want and need.