Planning a wedding is never easy. Aside from the numerous items that need to be done, the expectations of both families the never-ending quest to plan the “perfect wedding”, there is also the big issue of just how much everything is going to cost.
For many couples in Singapore, a wedding budget might even represent the first time they are doing a big item budgeting together, assuming they even have a budget. To make things more challenging, most couples would not have any prior experience planning a wedding, thus even the most financially savvy person may easily make some errors in judgement when doing his or her budgeting.
Here are 5 ways that we will share today which would hopefully assist you in managing your budget more adequately. Hopefully, this will allow you to have your ideal wedding while simultaneously keeping your finances intact as you tackle the next phase of your life.
1. Do not take a personal loan or overcharge your credit cards
Your dream wedding is going to cost you and your spouse a significant sum of money. Even if you choose to spend a lot, it should still be money that you have saved diligently prior to your wedding.
If for some reason you didn’t save enough, consider either making do with a more affordable wedding, or postponing it to a later date. Never ever take a loan or over-charge on your credit card.
A wedding is not an investment. Unlike a home, in which you could potentially overspend by taking a loan (not recommended as well) and if you are lucky, even make a profit from it, a wedding will not give any returns.
Taking a loan for a wedding is even worse than taking a loan for other types of indulgence such as purchasing a car. As least those things depreciate over time. A wedding is spent in one single day and has absolutely no value after that day.
Do not be in a situation when you end up bringing debt into your marriage. No wedding is ever worth that.
2. Underestimate the money you might be able to collect
When budgeting for a wedding, it is common for couples to offset some of the wedding costs against what they think they could recoup back from the giving of families and friends who are attending the event.
However, it is best that you deliberately underestimate what you think you can recoup back. Costs of weddings in recent years have spiked significantly, especially for venues and food caterers. It is possible that the people you are inviting to your wedding may not have realised that and thus may give you lesser than what you expected. You do not want to be in a situation where you are facing a shortfall and need to borrow just because you overestimated the amount received.
3. Say “No” or be prepared for top-ups
If you have signed up for a wedding package at a road show paying what you thought was a reasonable price, it is almost guaranteed that the bridal studio will be up-selling the package before and after your wedding shoot.
Common tricks employed by these bridal studios include asking for top-ups for wedding gowns classified under their “premium collection”, requesting for top ups for additional photos which they will hard sell you to buy and being extremely inflexible should you wish to switch any item that you do not need (e.g. a wedding car) in your wedding package to something else of equivalent value.
Always remember that while this may be your first time planning a wedding and purchasing a wedding package, the salespeople from the bridal studios have served thousands of couples before you. They know how to say the right words to get you to part with your money.
4. Stick to your budget
There are so many things that you will need to spend your money on. This include your wedding package, wedding bands, engagement ring, wedding venue and banquet, actual day décor, photographer, videographer and also, your honeymoon. There are probably quite a few items that we are missing out also.
Do yourself a favour. Do up a budget, calculate a reasonable cost for each item, add them all up and see if you are comfortable with the total cost. If you are, great, stick to it, no matter what.
Overspending just a little on each item is the perfect way to end up bursting your budget badly.
5. Find as many ways as possible to save money
After doing up your budget, there is a good chance that you will be surprised at how much everything is going to cost. Now is the time to cut down on the cost by trying to find as many ways to save money. And no, this doesn’t mean you are being a cheapskate.
Here is a non-exhaustive list of common ways to reduce your wedding cost.
(i) Use a credit card that gives you good cashback. Maximise the cashback. If you use a few different cards to pay your bills, you can easily save more than one thousand. You may even earn enough miles to redeem a pair of return tickets for your honeymoon, which will help you save about one or two thousand more.
(ii) Borrow a car from a relative or a friend. Most people will be happy to let you use their car as the bridal car. This can easily save you a few hundred dollars.
(iii) Do your own wedding décor or get a few friends to help you. Again, you can easily a few more hundreds.
(iv) Go for a wedding lunch instead of dinner. You can easily save at least about $100 per table. If you have 20 tables, that is $2,000 saved.
(v) Make sure you secure a venue where you can easily hit the minimum number of tables required. Otherwise, you will still need to pay for the minimum number of tables even if you don’t have enough guests.
What are some other ways to better manage your budget? Share this with us on Facebook.