Weddings & Money - Adulting 101
Just gotten engaged (congrats!) and overwhelmed with adulting for weddings? Let us break it down for you!
This week, we’re talking about money matters for your wedding! From what is necessary to having a small celebration - what is great to get online and what you may not need for your wedding.
First things first - your wedding die die must haves
Photo by Pisces J
Register at ROM
Even if you do away with everything else and just think "aiyah just go ROM lah!", you will still need to pay a processing fee of $42 to submit your marriage application. Please make sure your details are accurate at time of application, otherwise be prepared to fork out another $25 for changes!
If either of you is a Singapore citizen or Permanent Resident: $42 If both of you are foreigners: $380 If changing of solemnisation details (e.g. date, time, venue, witnesses) after you have submitted a marriage application: $25
Wedding bands - the ring, not music kind
Even if you do not intend to wear your wedding ring daily, it is always a good idea to get one that fits your lifestyle. For example, if you hate having to care for and polish those little gems, consider getting a simple platinum or gold ring instead.
Engraving is very personal to everyone and not a must have - the average cost of engraving starts from $50 and it also depends on the ring design, material and size. It is always a good idea to have a budget for your rings in mind and work with your jeweller to create your very own bespoke rings!
The essentials for any wedding celebration:
If you’ve decided, "hmmm okay lah, we can still celebrate with our family and friends" - here are the essentials you’d need for a small celebration!
You have endless venue options here in Singapore! From classic ballrooms to restaurants to pretty-but-affordable venues, it all depends on your budget.
Read our previous article to learn more about some amazing alternative local venues!
❣️ Amazing & Alternative Weddings Venues That Aren't Your Typical Ballroom
Wedding gowns can range from as low as $700 to as extravagant as $5,000. On average, wedding gowns will run around $1,200-$1,800 for rentals, and the nicer designer ones at $2,500 and up. If you want to save even more money in this department, we’ve seen couples who have opted for casual outfits - think white maxi dresses and simple shirt & black pants. Wear what makes you feel good because we truly believe that when you feel good, it shows!
We’ve seen posts advocating to get your talented friends to shoot for you - we do not recommend it.
Here’s why: a wedding day can move pretty quickly, especially if you’re planning a full wedding day inclusive of a religious solemnization and banquet. An experienced wedding photographer will be able to know how to best capture the day quickly at different locations and vantage points, how to move your guests along for group photos and give you advice from a photography pov what works best for your wedding schedule. On average, photographers now range from $250/hr-$300/hr. More famous ones are between $350/hr-$450/hr.
💡 Pro-tip! Unless you have a real full day of the gatecrash activities and jie xin niang in the morning and banquet at night, you don’t have to book your photographer for the full 10 hours. Consider doing 4 or 8 hours to save a few extra dollars!
The bigger, the more pinterest-y, the more expensive. Pictures you see on Pinterest are usually from the US or Europe where exotic flowers are considered as local flowers. For us, unfortunately, everything needs to be imported because we neither have the land nor the climate to grow these flowers commercially.
Flowers such as peony, ranunculus, david austin roses, lily of the valley (Sofia Richie’s wedding bouquet) are all considered as premium flowers and will set you back anywhere from $400-$600 per bouquet. But if you’re ok with the basic common flowers like your roses, baby breath, caspia, eustomas, daisy etc then your bouquet can be as low as $100!
💡 We have secured a special deal just for you with one of our partner bespoke florist - Fleuriste! With a minimum spend of $1500, you get to enjoy $100 off! They create stunning bouquets and themed floral decor at different price points - you’re sure to find something that will fit your wedding and budget.
Shopee pi pi pi, Taobao taobao, wo ai ni!
For everything else under the sun, there’s online shopping!
However, do keep in mind that GST is now imposed for any purchases made (no longer limited to purchases above $400) so it will be good to do your research and find out where is truly cheaper.
What are some good stuffs to get online?
Bride & Groom Accessories: For the groom, you’d probably have more luck finding cheaper, quirky or one-of-a-kind accessories online such as bowtie or tie, socks and cuff links. For the blushing bride, consider getting your shoes, hair accessories and sparkly jewelry such as earrings and bracelets online.
Bridal Party Outfits: If you have a bridal entourage with many differing sizes (including flower girls or page boys!), check out some online retailers which cater for almost all sizes! Some of them may cost equivalent or just slightly cheaper, but the mental load of trying to find something which fits everyone - gone!
Try these retailers: ASOS, Shein or Next.
DIY decor: Have you saved thousands of inspo pics from Pinterest? Pick a theme and a few elements that you love and source them online instead! Get your friends to help do the decor on your wedding day. But before that - once you have the items delivered, it’s always a good idea to assemble them according to the size of the table or space you’re given at the venue, and make changes if necessary.
💡 Pro-tip! Snap a photo and get your friends to assemble according to the photo you’ve taken. It saves you and the helpers time and it’s clear to anyone helping how you’d like them to be!
Tea Ceremony: More often than not, “Jing Cha” is one of the must-dos at every wedding. It has a long history but today, it is often seen as a symbol of welcoming the bride or groom into the family. You can get cute tea sets or the traditional ones adorned with “xi” - boundless options to choose from!
For added convenience, there are now tiny paper cups meant to serve your extended relatives without the need to wash after every tea serving.
Meh, we can do without!
Just because everyone had it, does not mean you need to have it at your wedding too! The money saved for these can be put to better use elsewhere.
You’ve read it here before - how many times have you truly used the wedding favors from your friends’ weddings? The best ones are almost always a food item such as chocolate, cookies or sweets where we just eat and forget about it.
Wedding invitation cards
Did you know even hotels do not offer free invitation prints now? Not just saving the Earth for all you eco-conscious couples, e-wedding invites are now the way to go!
It saves you time having to write and stamp each invite individually. Most importantly, it helps you track RSVPs easily which is so important when it comes to finalising numbers for your reception.
Some beautiful e-invites vendors include Greenvelope, Paperless Post and Evite.
Bridal Car rental and florals
TBVVVVVH, no one actually sees the bridal car unless you purposely drive out and honk so much that everyone probably wants to throw eggs at you instead. Also, instead of a bridal car, consider renting a luxury car from car rental companies instead!
💡DID YOU KNOW? The only 2 differences between a bridal car and a non-bridal car are: Price difference – Expect 2-3 times the cost more if you get a bridal car State of the car – Bridal cars are usually very new and in pristine condition. If you’re on a tight budget and still need to rent a car, go for the usual car rental companies. There might be minor scratches and the interior may not be as pristine, but you can expect the cost to be at least 30%-40% cheaper than a bridal car rental.
Have you ever seen a fully filled up wedding guest book? Well, neither have we. Most guests often skip writing in the guest book, having already written on the angbao or gift - preferring to spend cocktail hour catching up with long-lost friends or relatives.
It is also super awkward when you’re trying to pen down a message and you have a long list of guests behind you waving their angbaos and wanting to know their table number.
And there you have it!
Breaking the wedding down into its parts will help you decide what works best for you and your partner and more importantly, where to spend your hard-earned money on! It is like a balancing scale - you can cut back on some items and put the savings into something else that is more significant to you such as the outfits, or even the honeymoon!
For more tips on how to save for your wedding, read our previous article How to SAVE money for your wedding in Singapore!