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Wedding Expenses / Budgeting

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  • Wedding Expenses / Budgeting

    Several of my friends got hitched recently. One of them told me they saved up for nearly 2 yrs for their wedding and HDB flat's down payment. I don't really know the costs of such things but I think it must have been a lot.

    So I began to wonder how most couples tried to save for their weddings? Another friend of mine told me she was not going to save (too poor - she said) but she hopes that she can find a husband who can afford to pay for everything. I was thinking...nah!!! Letting the groom pay for everything is a bit unfair. Plus if you don't chip in, you probably have no say in the event. I guess most parents will help in a bit but it will be kind of unfair for the siblings if you have any.

    I even heard of couples going on Credit for their wedding!!! frankly speaking, after getting married, I prefer to be living in bliss and not in debt!

    Married Cotters, how do you manage with your wedding expenses?

  • #2
    Re: Saving up for the Wedding

    Originally posted by fornight
    Plus if you don't chip in, you probably have no say in the event.
    You're asking about the wedding or the marriage?

    Just an observation of mine. Half of my friends' weddings are paid for in full by their husbands and I don't think its a case of whoever pays more have more say. Everyone knows that weddings are mainly for the woman than for the man, and woman is usually the one who runs around town half to one year in advance looking for the perfect photographer, bridal package, the works so that she looks her best on the wedding day. So yeah, its exactly the same thing in the case of my friends who had hubbies paying for the wedding. Anyway, if the man you're gonna marry thinks he has the say just because he pays, then you're better off without him.

    I think alot of couples get what they pay for back in terms of red packets from the banquet. I know some couples even have enough left for a honeymoon trip after deducting the costs of the entire wedding. Also, people are getting married later and later, and this means they've worked for a longer time and both parties would have rather substantial savings (Or at least one party does).


    • #3
      In our case, we had 3 major expenditure when preparing for our wedding and new house. 1) 20% down payment for flat; 2) renovation and furnishing of flat; 3) wedding.

      For the 20% downpayment, we were doing our internship during that period of time and our CPF were not sufficient to pay for the entire 20%. We got a family loan from my dad which we will be paying back in installment.

      Renovation and furnishing of flat: we paid for this ourselves. We set out a comfortable budget and worked within it. No feature walls, concealed air-raid shelter door, built in shoe cabinet, fountain feature, etc.... With our budget, we managed to get the essentials like kitchen cabinets, some plumbing work and still splurge a little on light-boxes, platforms for living room and bedroom. In our words, work within your means

      As for wedding, though the banquet seems to be the most cash-intensive, this part can be recouped from the red packets received. So, not a big problem. Just have to have some upfront cash for banquet deposit (about $3000). With regards to bridal package and photography, once again, just work within your means. There are bridal shops offering packages of different range, I settled for a mid-range boutique which provided everything I needed.

      So in retrospect, yup, you do need to save up whatever money you can save, but you need not be a slave to your wedding or to be in debts due to it so long as you are realistic and work within your means


      • #4
        Totally agree with Vonnie!

        Spend only what you can afford, especially if, like me, you didn't consciously save up for the wedding. Wedding preparations are stressful enough without added financial worries.

        Our major expenses were the flat and the wedding reception. We didn't have a dinner, because we didn't want to risk not being able to recoup the cost. And because the big caterers like Kriston are quite expensive, we used a small, family-run caterer that had done a friend's wedding. Everyone raved about the food!

        We also didn't take studio photos -- and I think that was one of our wisest decisions, because it saved us thousands of dollars and the actual-day portraits of ourselves were exactly what we wanted.

        We saved on the bridal package by choosing a new-ish, small bridal studio whose designer we were comfortable with. Altho I set out to get a custom-made gown, I looked at all the off-the-rack ones and happened to see one that I really liked, so I took that instead. We also borrowed the wedding Merc from a friend.

        Our renovation plan was simple -- take care of essentials first, like flooring, airconditiong, kitchen, bed etc. We planned to get the sofa, dining table, bookshelves etc bit by bit, and only after the wedding, but as the early angpows started coming in from relatives, we could afford to furnish most of the flat.

        Our common toilet is still unrenovated, it's a hideous salmon pink with flowery tiles courtesy of HDB, but we can renovate that quite easily any time we have a bit of extra cash.

        Plenty of ways to save money as long as you're realistic about your expectations.


        • #5
          Hmmm. I intend to get married early so I'll probably have to bear this thread in mind too... Well i read in some Home Decor book of a couple who bought a 3 seater sofa from yahoo auctions for a mere 40 bucks and reupholstered it and it was really as good as new and much more better looking than those in the shops as well! Plus I think Ive heard stories of people buying as good as new furniture from those garage sales held by expats who are leaving singapore.... and most of the time, they not only find beautiful furniture but also grab them at reasonable prices below the market price, of course. Plus if you were to do all the painting, and perhaps buy only the bare essentials first... it would save one a lot of money, especially if you prefer to 'build up' a look in your home, and not over furnish it too early.

          As for the wedding, I also agree that studio photography seems rather too pricey and overrated. Getting a friend who is good at videography seems a better deal, and I'd rather just do a few photos before the wedding, and display them around the house, afterall, how often would u be looking through the album? U could always do it next time when youre older and richer
          And as for the rings, I would much prefer a family heirloom ring, than a diamond ring that looks identical to everyone else's ring.. and i love birthstones too, plus theyre cheaper...looks like im easy to please. At the end of the day, I believe that preparing for the marriage is much more crucial than being excited about that one or two days of wedding dinners and such. Plus it is just bad to start the marriage in debt....
          Cozy Celeb
          Last edited by Pixash; 12-04-2004, 11:21 PM.


          • #6
            Work within the budget is good advice! For me, I like everything no-frills.
            Cozy Star
            Last edited by raebelasian; 31-03-2007, 03:55 AM.


            • #7
              For me, if I had to save, the first things to go would be the fancy bridal packages (new custom-made dress, studio shots, etc) and the dinner.

              I've always wanted a tiny intimate dinner. Big loud gatherings where you invite everyone remotely related to you are not my thing. It's *my* special day and I'm not going to spend it entertaining or making smalll talk with people I barely know and often people I barely like :roll:

              And like Rach said, while every girl wants to have gorgeous pictures done, studio shots aren't that necessary. would be nicer to have someone take photos of the day itself. I saw someone recommend this freelance female photographer in one of the other threads - beautiful work! and so much more 'real'.

              Best to spend on the house and stuff since it's the long term investment.

              I'm hoping the bf will save up enough to have bought his own place by then. then i just help to pay installments.

              and for the ring, something simple will do. it's meant to be symbolic of our union, not representative of how rich my husband is.


              • #8
                Xue, you're absolutely right....

                And anyway, we can always buy our own rings in future right?

                My SO agrees that studio photography has to go, and I think the New Paper featured some article on Bankruptcy among newlyweds? I definitely dont want to be in debt just because of my wedding....Cant understand why some people cant be any wiser.. :roll:


                • #9
                  hmmm as someone who is considering marriage in the near future, i got plans in the loop

                  first of all, i am definately going to have studio shoots
                  oh well, probably to see myself in a wedding dress and aahhahahaha look different for once, brides always look different yeah?

                  as for wedding dinner, i dont think i can get away with it but i certainly prefer it smalll scale
                  i will always remember what my gf said "a wedding is not the affair of the bride and bridegroom only"

                  for wedding rings, simplicity does it for me
                  i am clumsy so anything that is too big i might lost it else, ahahahha i dont know what will happen

                  SO already bought a house so we are comfortable in this case...seriously if i can make it simple, i want to a honeymoon wedding
                  however in my case, dont think it is possible


                  • #10
                    A lunch will definitely save you a lot of money. My friend had her wedding lunch at the Four Seasons. She took the whole ballroom, and had a Mediterranean buffet spread, with all the guests seated at long tables covered in white damask and scattered with rose petals. There wasn't any of that drunken "yam seng" business, and the couple took their time to walk up and down the aisles chatting with their guests. Very very nice.


                    • #11
                      Cozy Celeb
                      Last edited by Ribbons; 02-08-2006, 12:01 AM.


                      • #12
                        Interesting article to share here



                        • #13
                          Sharing this article about Cutting Wedding Cost. HTH:

                          How to cut wedding costs
                          by Debbie Djordjevic

                          Want to save a little dosh on your big day so you can afford the honeymoon? Try our fabulous money-saving tips!

                          Are you planning a wedding? Are you tearing your hair out about the potential cost? Stop and read our great tips to saving money. Having a wedding to remember need not cost the earth if you're canny with your cash!

                          1. Prioritise your desires
                          Decide on the most important elements to your day. Is it essential that you have a big, white wedding, or would you be just as happy with a small civil ceremony and a large party afterwards? Prioritise what you must have, and what you can live without, so you can start planning a budget you can stick to.

                          2. Trim that guest list
                          You may want to invite everyone you've ever met to share your big day, but this will incur enormous costs ? price per head adds up quickly. Draw up a list of people you must invite, and then make a separate list in order of priority. (Don't forget that if parents are paying for part of the wedding they should have some say as to the guests.)

                          3. Recruit friends
                          There are some professional services that you can't do without, like the registrar or the organist, but others you may be able to arrange to do yourselves. Could a friend or relative be persuaded to make the wedding cake? Artistic friends may like to make the wedding invitations or name-places, or even to make the floral decorations. And who needs a professional toastmaster anyway?

                          4. Think like a budget caterer
                          The sky can be the limit when it comes to reception costs. A sit-down meal in an expensive restaurant or hotel will cost a fortune, so think about the location and whether there are any cheaper alternatives in your area. Unusual buildings around the country often hire out their halls for receptions ? you can then bring in your own caterers or even do the catering yourself. You may need to pay a corkage charge per bottle of wine, but you will save an enormous amount by buying direct from a wine warehouse. And choose Cava instead of Champagne for the toasts.

                          5. Make your own decorations
                          Be inspired by interiors magazines and go wild with cheap fairy lights that look brilliant at night, candles (check insurance first!) and simple glass bowls filled with floating flowers.

                          6. Limit your photographer's duties
                          Photographs are difficult to save money on, unless you have a friend who is at near-professional standards. But you can cut down on cost by limiting the time he's there ? for example, request shots just at the wedding venue and the first hour of the reception, forgoing lots of posed portraits of family and friends. Supplement these pictures with those taken by friends. Get a friend to take a video. Buy throwaway cameras for each table at the reception that can be collected afterwards.

                          7. Go for less gold
                          For wedding rings, simple gold bands need not cost the earth and look just as stylish in 9-carat gold as they do in 18-carat. And white gold is far cheaper than platinum, and it is actually easier to buff out scratches in white gold.

                          8. Find group hotel deals
                          If you have family travelling from far and wide you will have to advise them on nearby accommodation. For a group booking you may be able to organise discounted rates at local hotels, or at the hotel where the reception is being held. Include accommodation details and discounts when you send out the wedding invitations to save time and money.

                          9. Travel simply to the venue
                          Not everyone needs to travel to the wedding via limousine. So long as you don't offend the parents by leaving them out, you can save money by organising lifts for close family members with friends.

                          10. Shop around for honeymoon deals
                          If you can bear to leave it as long as possible you may be able to pick up a real bargain, but you may risk not being able to book exactly what you've set your heart on. Consider the elements that are important to you ? you may want lots of sun and beautiful beaches, so an exclusive resort in Majorca will give you that and is only three hours away.


                          • #14
                            stressed out..

                            hey girls,,

                            after reading what u guys are saying.. i really just feel like pouring out how i am feeling...

                            i am undergoing a separation & my divorce will only take effect end of 2006... that will cost me a sum of money.. & now I am working so hard & paying off business debts which will also end about 2006, then save up for the divorce .. till then is totally NO SAVINGS!!

                            my SO now serving the SAF,, contract end about 2006 too and he's not going to extend any more contract before he gets too old to come out to the real world, therefore, NOW he is saving up & using all his money on the degree course he is taking.. by end 2006, although the achievement will be i have settled my debt, divorce, he has finished he degree & get a new job...

                            last night we had a little 'situation' as i was joking saying a friend's gf told him she wants nothing less than a 0.6 for proposal.. my SO got upset saying some things about girls are impractical & wedding banquets are a waste of money & time .. i got really upset becos deep down.. what a girl really wants?? a romantic proposal.... a fairytale wedding... a loving husband.. so i got so upset my tears 'misbehaved'...

                            then he held me in his arms & told me gently, told me these things are impractical, but they are all a must-have! & that he didnt say anything like he's not going to give me any of those.. he then went on & explained our situation & sat down & wrote down all we need & the amount we need to take out.. (in my heart i had thought he never gave it a thought at all, but i was wrong...) he knew the numbers so well like he's been working on it for awhile.. i was then more relieved & swept away by his sudden seriousness in the matter & forgot totally about what the whole thing was about...

                            he worked out:- the following in CASH
                            S$8,000+/- (prepare to loose for banquet in case we dont cover back)
                            S$5,000 bridal & photography package
                            S$1,500 wedding bands (simple ones so he can give me a more elaborate proposal ring.. so touched)

                            he told me he didnt work out anything about the house becos he doesnt quite know what it takes.. i am more sound in this area asi have been through it so he gave me the task to list it down for him...

                            his last sentence was we will get through these 2 years 1st, settle the divorce, we get ROM then we can still start planning something small... he was also concern about me giving birth too late.. he seemed to have been giving all these serious thoughts. i feel bad. really bad...

                            i also feel many a times, pressure comes from peers who are preparing their wedding or planning to get a new flat etc.. we tend to be affected each time close friends tell us their good news..

                            as for myself.... just have to be patient now & wait. my dream was never to get married after 28 but i think looking at things now... i kinda have no choice. but well.... its probably worth the wait..

                            sorry i went on & on.. take this as an interlude ya.. & for those planning already.. i wish you guys all the BEST & yap.. BLISS... :preggie:


                            • #15
                              smokey, sometimes the men think more than we do

                              wow looks like ur man have thought abt it all!

                              as for me, i always think as long as i am happy with my SO, nothing else matters

                              of course, nice wedding banquets, rings and gowns does play a part but as long as u are contented why bother about the peer pressure?