Although weddings can be pricey, there are always ways – big or small – to save a couple of hundred dollars. Aside from the brides, we are certain that the men are as eager to achieve their dream day for less.
Couples have the tendency to overlook their basic priorities and go a tad overboard when they are thrown into so many directions and not to mention choices. Start compiling your options before you begin the tedious planning process – so that it can at least turn out to be a success!
It is all about identifying what is truly important to you (as a couple) and what you would remember the day after your wedding.
Select a venue that ensures convenience to yourself and your wedding guests. This means not having to go out of your way such as catering for additional transportation.
For instance, choosing an obscure location might speak to your inner ‘Alice’ (where one constantly lives in a dream state), but picture 300 or more guests trying to make their way to the venue of your choice – which happens to be way out of their way. Hiring a 40-seater bus to transport your guests to your wedding venue can cost up to S$180 per two-way trip. These additional logistics are certainly not worth your hard-earned monies, especially when you are on a tight budget.
#2 GUEST LIST AND STATIONERY
It might be nice of your mother to invite a grand aunt for your wedding, however you have not met her over the last 20 years… Given this scenario, it is essential to bear in mind that every invited guest does set back a significant amount of money.
Realistically, the extensive guest list can really rack up the costs. Ensure that both your parents and in-laws refrain from turning this into an over-the-top family affair . Take a stand on capping the guest list and stick to it. A nice intimate wedding with familiar faces is absolutely more heartening than being surrounded with people you barely know.
R.S.V.Ps: For those who live in the realms of technology, do send out your physical wedding invites for formality sake, especially to relatives living abroad. However, do make use of technology to converse with your families and friends via Whatsapp or Skype to follow up on their attendance. This saves time for you and your man, while families and friends are saved from the hassle of licking postage stamps to get their ‘Save The Date’ RSVPs back to you!
#3 BANQUET WEDDING PACKAGE
Save on decors by choosing a lavish-looking venue with a unique character. Think an aquarium, the zoo, an outdoor setting or even a gallery.
Word to the wise, the venue you select should be the one that gives you the best package possible or even allows you to build a customised package. Believe us, such packages do exist! Upon hearing the word ‘wedding’, every vendor that you come in contact with for your wedding tends to add another $100 to $1,000 to their services. Don’t fall for that!
Ensure you cover these when you negotiating:
• Food menu. This should include a complimentary food tasting session for you and your wedding party before the actual wedding date.
• Wedding Cake
• Wedding Invitations (unless you have other alternative ideas for your wedding invitation cards)
• Wedding favours
• Candy Bar OR Photo booth options
• Standard flower decorations (that includes centerpieces for all tables)
• Minimal Decorations (flower petals, lights)
• BYOB (Bring Your Own Booze), do check if there is a corkage fee for this. If so, proceed to ask the venue for their alcohol package price. Prices are usually dependent on your free-flow duration. There are also some venues that include a free-flow alcohol package for a certain duration and that standard duration is typically four hours.
• Costs can be further scaled back by not having an open bar. Have your wedding coordinator be in full control of when guests can start to order alcoholic beverages. For the usual 10-course dinner, it’s best to start serving alcoholic beverages after the third course.
#4 BRIDAL PACKAGES
Yes, it is great that you have booked a bridal package, but what now?
Well, having a bridal package does not mean that the rest of your wedding planning fears are over. A bridal package may actually cost you more, once you break down your sums that is. From gowns, bridal car rentals to shooting location charges, most bridal companies do overcharge you – and these additional costs could be endless.
Opt to hire your own wedding photographer and wedding videographer, just because their services and expertise are usually far more advanced than those that come with the bridal package. Doing this may save you from having to reshoot your pre-bridal shots – mind you, such cases happen all the time! In addition, arranging your own choice of wedding photoshoot locations are so much more personal and meaningful.
#5 A COCKTAIL RECEPTION OR A BUFFET-STYLE LUNCHEON
Cocktail receptions and wedding luncheons are all the rage these days. The best part is, these alternative wedding ideas are more affordable.
Wedding lunch receptions with guest lists under 100 pax are ideal for intimate gatherings. A low-key event also helps keep décors to a minimum. You will not require extensive lighting or extravagant floral arrangements, which in turn will save you heaps of money.
Also, consider having your wedding on a weekday instead of a weekend. Better rates are available for wedding events held on a weekday and especially during the afternoon.
#6 ATTIRE, HAIR & MAKE UP
The Dress – Dreaming about tailoring your own dress? Ladies, hold your horses on this one. If you have time, we strongly urge you to do your research. Renting or buying a less hefty gown does not mean you have to compromise your gown fantasy. Do know that it could cost you approximately $3,000 to $8,000 to tailor your dream dress.
Consider these options:
• Shopbob.com (Watch out for their sales!)
• Custom made gowns that you can customise from scratch and pay a rental fee for. Once your wedding day is over, return it to the store.
• Off-the-rack gowns that fit you are aplenty in Singapore!
Man’s Accessories – Whatever the outfit is, it should fit his style and not blow a hole in his pocket. Keep his outfit under $350. There is always Zara to turn to!
The Wedding Party Outfits – Yes, it might be a nice gesture for the bride and groom to purchase the wedding party outfits. However, you do not need to lose your mind by obsessing with lavish outfits for them.
Bridesmaids’ Dresses – Opt to look at blog shops. There are plenty out there that now offer a section on bridesmaid dresses that come in various styles and colours to cater to all your bridesmaids.
Groomsmen – We are sure that the groomsmen would already have a simple white shirt and blazer in their cupboard. Splurge on accessories instead to jazz up their outfits i.e. bow ties, textured ties or catchy-looking socks.
#7 BEAUTY REGIME
Being a bride is a blissful milestone, but is admittedly tough too. Just ensure that you do not go out of your way and conjure up a whole new beauty regime that you hardly look like yourself on your big day.
Consider what is unnecessary and strike them off your list! Here are a few examples:
– Whitening your teeth
– Hair extensions
– Dramatic weight loss program
Great entertainment can really make or break a wedding. A live band or fab DJ will keep those energy levels up. It is one of the most expensive components to your wedding but fret not, as there are some ways to shave off costs. We recommend you to opt for a DJ instead of a live band, as the band may limit the number of sets they play. Lastly, avoid making bookings for short timeframes – your wedding may overrun and overtime fees may cost you a lot more at the end!
Ballpark estimates of DJ vs. Live Band
DJ: $500 to $1,500
Live band: $1,200 to $3,000 and more
To completely refrain from blowing your wedding budget, music streaming is also a great alternative. All you have to do is use your mobile phones or tablets and stream your desired music from Spotify.
Do splurge on flowers that matter more such as your bridal bouquet and scale back on bridal party bouquets. To cut back on costs, you might want to consider alternative flowers for your bridal party. Such flowers include gerbera daisies, hydrangea or sunflowers.
Nowadays, there are many artificial flower stores across Singapore which can work to your advantage. Before you strike this option out, know that artificial flowers look really real these days!
Take a minimalist approach to flowers by designing simple centerpieces (no peonies needed here!). Quality and design are after all more significant that the quantity of flowers.
When it comes to wedding decorations, cut costs by reusing household items. Glass jars are a fine example; after removing the labels on the jars they could be use as table centerpieces. An old box could be turned into a red-packet box; rewrap it with glitter papers and cut out felt that can be bought at any Art Friend store. Tissue paper pompoms can be made and used as hanging decorations too.