Getting married and holding a wedding is often used interchangeably, but it is important to always remember that a grand and lavish wedding is no guarantee of a strong and blissful marriage – in fact, it can sometimes lead to the opposite.
Hold A Wedding That Reflects Your Personalities And Values
We all know that paying more for something doesn’t necessarily mean you get more for your money. Likewise, you shouldn’t just go on spending as much money as you can save (or borrow) just because “you’ll only have your wedding once a lifetime”.
For each of the wedding day components, depending on what you choose, costs can stretch to many times of typical prices. There is always something more “premium” and only you can be the judge of whether that is worth it to you.
Your wedding day belongs to you, as such, there isn’t anything that you “must” do. You don’t even need to have your marriage solemnisation on that day (or even month) itself.
If there are “standard” wedding day items that you wish to omit, feel free to do so – after consulting with your significant other, of course.
With that, let’s examine some of the common components of the weddings in Singapore, and how much are likely they cost.
#1 Venue And Food
If you want to hold a wedding, your choices are typically a hotel, restaurant, or an alternative venue.
Deciding on the venue is one of the first things you need to do, because everything else follows from your choice. The venue you pick needs to be large enough to accommodate the number of guests you wish to have
Aside from being one of the most costly line items, the place you choose determines whether activities like ‘live’ entertainment or ballroom dances are feasible, and determines whether you need to (or even can) cater your own food and beverage.
Hotel: Hotels are one of the more popular choices for wedding locations. Aside from being swanky and luxurious, you’ll be glad to know that the bulk of the logistics for your wedding will already be taken care of.
By booking a hotel for your wedding, you get an all-weather, well-decorated and fully-equipped hall, with food and beverages settled, as well as convenient access to a bridal suite for your use. Other good-to-haves include printed wedding invitation cards, wedding favours, as well as champagne and wedding cake for your ceremony.
The downside is that it will cost you. According to this wedding banquet price list by MoneySmart, couples can expect to pay between $1,634 to $2,458 for per table at a 5-star hotel, and between $951 to $1,457 for a table at a 4-star hotel.
Restaurant: Restaurants are growing in popularity, not just for couples who want to avoid the ever-rising prices of hotel banquets, but also for those who want something different for their weddings.
With restaurants, you get to choose from a range of cuisines and themed decorations, from the elegant and understated to loud and exotic.
One thing to take note is some restaurants might not host weddings very often, so you might need to be a little more hands-on in communicating your needs and ensuring that the necessary equipment and arrangements are prepared by the staff.
According to the same MoneySmart article, restaurants in Singapore may charge between $501 to $1,099 for a wedding banquet.
Alternative Venues: Anything that isn’t a hotel or restaurant qualifies as an alternative venue. This can be country clubs, community centres, chalets, void decks, outdoor gardens, a yacht, or any space that you can think of.
The good thing about using alternative venues is that it will likely be a unique, memorable experience for all your guests – for better or worse. The challenge with alternative venues is that it can be challenging to pull off without a lot of work on your end, especially if you or your helpers are not well-versed in holding events.
You’ll need to arrange for food vendors, rent the necessary logistics equipment, to apply for requisite permits, and even plan the layout of the space from scratch – not an easy feat, but if you have the right contacts or creativity, you might be able to hold a fantastic party at a great price.
In addition to (or in lieu of) a banquet, you may also wish to hold a solemnisation/undergo a wedding ceremony at a religious place of worship, which you may need to make a modest donation for.
Cost: Under $1,000 to above $50,000 depending on venue and headcount
#2 Wedding Outfits
The bride and (to a lesser extent) groom are the centre of the wedding. All eyes will be on both of you, while hundreds (if not thousands) of photos will be taken. Careful thought and consideration should rightly be placed on your outfits.
The folks at Seedly have compiled a list of 20 vendors who provide wedding dresses for sale and rental and based on the small sample, brides are paying anything from $180 for a off-the-rack dress to $4,000 and above for a bespoke gown. Renting the latter will cost around
The truth is, unless you really want to, you don’t have to spend that kind of money to buy a gown or suit. If you don’t mind taking the time to hunt on Taobao or Carousell, you can get a great-looking gown for under $100, with no one the wiser. Just be careful about getting the right fit though – you may need to take it to a seamstress/tailor to get it altered to fit you correctly.
If you do buy your outfit, you could look to put it up for sale after you’re done using it, which is likely the case for the ladies. Guys can always find a use for a timeless, sharp looking suit.
Cost: Less than $100 to above $4,000 per outfit
#3 Wedding Rings
Traditionally, the fancier (ahem, more expensive) engagement ring will be worn alongside a simpler wedding band after wedding vows are exchanged during the ceremony. However, some people opt to stow away their engagement rings during the wedding, or even use their engagement ring as a wedding band. Ultimately, it is a personal choice and there no one can tell you you’re doing it wrong.
Wedding bands can cost more than $20,000, though most wedding bands you find in retail jewelers go for a few hundred to less than $2,000 per pair. If you really want to save, why not get a matching couple ring from shops like Couple Lab for less than $100? Other than the both of you, no one else is likely to know or care.
Cost: $50 to $2,000 and above
#4 Photography And Videography
It might seem like a foregone conclusion that you need to hire a photographer and/or videographer.
As with all other components of your wedding, you need to decide how important this aspect is for the both of you and allocate your spending accordingly. With a competent professional, you’ll be able to have a set of photos (and/or videos) of your big day and the important people in your life as a keepsake.
From this list of 60 wedding photographers and videographers by SingaporeBrides, you can expect to pay around $388 for a short 2-hour solemnisation, to $4,800 and above for a full-day photography package.
Alternatively, you could invite your guests to take photos and videos freely and see your wedding day from their eyes, but you need to be mentally prepared that some key moments might not be captured altogether.
If you want to save money on a dedicated photographer/videographer, you could hire someone less experienced but no less dedicated or even a close friend/relative, and them the opportunity to build their portfolio.
Cost: Around $300 (angpow for a close friend) to more than $5,000
#5 Emcee And Entertainment
Many opt for getting their friends to help emcee or perform at their wedding, but for those who want to take it to the next level, professionals of all stripes are available for hire – there are professional event emcees, comedians, singers, magicians, celebrities, bands and classical music ensembles.
Cost: Around $100 (angpow for a close friend) to above $1,000
#6 Wedding Car
For some, renting a luxury wedding car is the default choice, but knowing that a short 4-hour package for a Bentley Continental Flying Spur can cost more than $1,000 and a comparatively “modest” Mercedes Benz will set you back to $500 for the same time duration.
Of course, most guests won’t even see your wedding car, and the total time you ride in it might even be less than an hour. Alternatives include renting a regular but acceptably spacious car, getting one of your groomsmen to use their personal car, or borrow it from a willing relative/friend. You can pay for their car wash and a full tank of petrol for their trouble, if you’d like.
Cost: Free (if you have your own vehicle) to $1,000 and above
#7 Miscellaneous Items
There are dozens of other smaller things that go into a wedding, like the bouquet, wedding favours, tea set for the ceremony, and outfits for your bridesmaids and groomsmen.
In keeping with the concept outlined in the rest of the article, you can probably figure out that your options (from most expensive to cheapest) are: buying these items from brand-name stores; taking time to source for cheaper alternatives; borrowing it from people you know; omitting it from your wedding altogether.
Spend Time – And Not Just Money
While we gave you some ideas on how you can spend close to no money on some of these fundamental components of a wedding, spending some money is inevitable.
Based on the cost estimates above, you might spend less than $2,000 to more than $60,000. But when you do need to spend, be sure to use the right credit card to chalk up air miles or cashback.
Whatever you choose, enjoy this process of planning and preparing for your wedding together as a couple. As you fret over the small details and expenditure, you’ll understand each other better and what each of you value. Use disagreements as opportunities to clarify your own views and better appreciate your partners’ in return.
After all, your wedding is just the beginning of your new life together, where you will have many more adventures to embark on and challenges to surmount together.
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