Weddings are no cheap affair. Before tying the knot, you’d likely have put the deposit down for your BTO, and that would have burnt a hole in your pocket. With so much money on the line, it’s always a good idea to save some cash.
In Singapore, a survey shows that the average cost of a wedding comes around $30,000 to $50,000. That’s enough to fund a local university education! Is it worth it to spend the equivalent of your tuition fees on just one day? Sure, it may be the most important day in your life. But think about it – 40 years down the road, will you remember switching that lobster to a prawn dish at your banquet? Such simple actions can save you thousands of dollars, which can potentially compound to tens of thousands of dollars if you invest it well.
If you’re looking to scrimp on unnecessary expenses on your wedding, this is just the list. We have here, 12 hacks to save on your wedding.
1. Having a Wedding Banquet?
Ah, one of the most common tactics to save costs – to have the wedding banquet on a weekday night or weekend lunch. It’ll be around 30% cheaper per table, which will accumulate to quite an amount if you have a large guest list. It may be inconvenient for your guests, but hey, think about all the money you’ll save. 🌚
Even better, skip the banquet altogether and have a buffet. Go entirely modern and have standing tables and a dance floor right in the middle. With such a setting, your wedding will surely stand out among the other hotel wedding banquets.
2. Have a close friend that can emcee/talk well?
Considering getting a close friend to help you by being your wedding emcee. It’ll be cheaper than hiring a professional one. Having a friend emcee has its benefits. For example, your friend will be able to share personal stories about you. It’ll make the wedding more personal, and funny if he conveys embarrassing memories of you.
If you plan to have a live wedding band or music, that’ll help in taking the load of continuous talking off your friend’s shoulders. Which brings us to…
3. Want live music on a budget?
If you’re a regular church go-er, enlist the help of the ministry that leads praise every week. I’m sure they’ll be more than happy to play for you. If you have a close friend who’s skilled or has musical talent, ask them to play for you as a wedding gift. Wedding gifts work for photographers as well.
Another place to look is your alma mater’s music department. Contact them and ask if there are any students pursuing a particular instrument who might be interested in providing music for a wedding for a small fee. This will help them build their portfolio and save your wallet a little.
4. Book a restaurant rather than a hotel ballroom
Restaurants will likely serve more delectable dishes since it’s their specialty. Not forgetting that prices will be so much cheaper, often up to 50% less than hotel ballrooms! To make up for not holding your banquet in a fancy hotel, you can put a portion of the money you saved from holding it at a restaurant, towards the decorations of the venue or…
5. A more practical wedding favour
Were you thinking of gifting that cute personalised ornament? Let’s be honest. Many people will probably throw it away during their yearly spring cleaning. Instead, gift something which people can appreciate and utilise. For example, a portable charger, or even a unique tidbit (i.e. cake in a jar) your guests can munch on while waiting for the first dish to be served.
6. Engage a wedding planner
Many people have a misconception that DIY-ing their wedding will save them money since they’re not paying a fee to the people organising it. In reality, wedding planners have a network of vendors that will offer them discounts. If you were to approach these vendors independently, the cost of it would be more expensive. More importantly, having someone organise your wedding will keep you stress free and focus on the more important aspects such as looking good for your big day.
7. Look out for wedding packages promotions
Once you’ve decided on engaging a wedding planner, follow the social media pages of various wedding vendors to be updated of their promos and discounts. Unless you’re rushing for a wedding, take your time! Many wedding vendors will run promotions a few times a year, and signing up for these packages will save you quite a bit of money.
8. Rent a wedding gown
A new made-to-measure wedding dress will easily set you back $10,000. That’s a lot of money. Is it really worth it to spend that much? You could spend a month in Europe for your honeymoon for that cost! Rent a gown instead. With dry cleaning and slight alterations, no one will know it has been worn before. A survey showed that 32% of women regret spending so much money purchasing their gown as they never find the chance to wear them again.
9. Order flowers from the market
You’ll save by ordering flowers from the wet market. However, this will require a slight DIY on your end as you won’t have a professional flower arranger at your aid. Consider purchasing artificial flowers for areas such as your bridal car and wedding hall decorations. Having artificial flowers for your bridal car will be good in events such as rain *touch wood*. Using artificial flowers in hard to see spots of your wedding hall will save you money. If you insist on going full fresh, try picking the non-seasonal blooms as these will often be much cheaper.
10. Display vendor cards for reduced rates
Offer to advertise a vendor at your reception table for a discount. Many vendors will jump on the opportunity for effective advertising. After all, if you’re getting married, chances are the people around you are probably at the age of union too. This will work well for florists, photographers, musicians, etc. All you have to do is place a card that showcases the vendors you worked with on the reception table.
11. Take your time to choose your wedding band
Just like point #7, if you’re not in a rush for a wedding, take your time and shop for the best discounts. A wedding ring is no doubt one of the most important components of a wedding (albeit it being so small!) and you shouldn’t settle for the first one you lay your eyes on. Jewellers in Singapore typically run promotions during festive periods such as Christmas and Valentine’s Day. Purchasing your rings during these periods will give you more bang for your buck.
12. Try to avoid the the ‘w-word’ when purchasing items
Now, there’s been a lot of debate regarding the ethical principles of conveniently not mentioning that a service is for your wedding. The consensus is that if it’s a service (e.g. musicians, photographers), don’t lie to your vendor. You could tell them it’s for a “family reunion” while shopping for rates, but before signing the contract, come clean with them.
Don’t lie to a photographer that it’s for a corporate event when in fact it’s for a wedding. He won’t be prepared and without the proper equipment and assistants, will produce subpar photos.
How about vendors such as florists and bakers? Sure, go ahead and pass it off as a family event without them knowing. You have nothing to lose anyway!
Plan everything in advance
A wedding is no kid’s affair, and it’s important to plan for it well. The earlier you start, the more prepared you will be as you’ll have more time for new ideas and to hunt for the best discounts. Watch your wallet as well, as it’s easy to spend over the budget for such an important event.
Your spouse may go “Honey, can we please add my favourite tiramisu to the menu?” and you will say yes because it’s just a tiramisu, what can go wrong, right? Well, the small expenses really add up. Use Seedly to easily track your finances and ensure you don’t go over your budget.