Wedding Advice

10 ways to slash your wedding budget

No matter your budget, it’s true that weddings can get expensive. Really expensive. To help rein your costs in, we’ve come up with a list of things which should help you save a pretty penny.

Copyright: maximkabb / 123RF Stock Photo

1. Skip the bells and whistles
From save-the-dates to individual escort and place cards, you’ll find that your guests probably won’t miss these when they attend your wedding. Though sending out physical save-the-dates is a common practice in the US, it hasn’t picked up here quite yet. So cash on it while you still can, and send out e-save-the-dates (or e-invites if you're really looking to cut down on cost). You can choose to announce it through your wedding website, Facebook, or e-mail, and no one will judge you for it. Likewise for escort and place cards. You can simply do away with those, and have your helpers at the reception table direct your guests, or do up a fancy chart, and list your guests’ names under their respective tables.

2. Be flexible with your dates and times
Don’t insist on a fixed date if you can work your way around it, as venues charge cheaper on certain dates like weekdays. You may be surprised, but it may give you over 20 per cent in savings (we derived this from an average of banquet packages). Also, instead of an expensive dinner do, how about serving your guests lunch? Besides being a cheaper alternative, you also get to save your guests the trouble of having to rush to and fro to beat ERP charges, or to put the kids to sleep.

seating charts.jpgMetal heart frame, coloured pegs, wooden pegs, bulldog clips and canvas art, all from TYPO, and boxes, from SPOTLIGHT.

3. Prioritise your guestlist
Be prudent (and realistic) about who you want to have at your wedding. If you don’t feel particularly close to an individual, don’t include him or her in. For instance, if you’ve lost contact with a friend for several years, you don’t have to put him on the list. Likewise, don’t feel obliged to invite your entire team to your reception, if you don’t have a close working relationship.

4. Buy, don’t rent
This really depends, but if you don’t have to fork out much more to buy an item, we suggest you do that instead of renting it. At least you have the option of selling it later, to try and recoup your losses. You can consider buying instead of renting miscellaneous items like photo frames, cake stands, glassware, and so on. See also: the best wedding buys you'll find from Carousell, plus more from the app, as well as Taobao and Etsy.

WC21466 1.jpgFROM TOP: Straw hats, $8 to $28.90 each, tin cups, $14 each, ceramic butterflies, $25 for a pair, clay chihuahua wall hooks, $18 each, and clay birds, $25 for a pair, from BFF ZAKKA STORE, Level 2 479 Joo Chiat Road, tel: 6348-9096. Terrariums, $30 to $48 each, from THE PLANT STORY.

5. Barter system
Missed an item, but have no more budget to spend on that one thing? You can browse through bridal or wedding forums or groups, and trade the things you need or don’t need with other brides. It’s best if you trawl through local forums, to minimise shipping costs. If you can’t find a thread that does trades, you can start one too!

6. Reduce & reuse
Items like flowers can get expensive, especially when they don’t last (see how you can use your flowers after the wedding here). Instead of ordering individual centrepieces, aisle decorations and bouquets, you can consider asking your bridesmaids to hold other things, such as candles or books, and recycle your aisle decorations for your guest tables. Your guests will none be the wiser if you don’t say a word! See also how to save money on your flowers, as well as Singaporean florists to look to for the best blooms.

WC21410.jpgCustomised sweet table, price upon enquiry, from JOANDJARS, Sahara terrarium, $98, from THE PLANT STORY. Clay rabbits, $6 each, from BFF ZAKKA STORE.

7. Home-made goodies
Consider using stuff you already have. If, like me, you hoard just about anything (from vodka bottles to vintage books), rummage through your stash and see what you can find, and incorporate them into your wedding (see also: home items you can reuse for your wedding, or Christmas items, if you're having a wedding soon after). We’ve seen wine or liquor bottles being reused as bouquet holders, photo frames as table numbers, centrepieces, and jam jars as aisle decorations, and even favours! Just start collecting them soon, so you have enough to fill up an appropriate amount of space. Check out the places for pretty wedding decor, and try these easy decor tips for your wedding here.

Cookies, made to order, from THE PATISSIER, and silver bowl, from IWANNAGOHOME.

8. Do-It-Yourself
We’re not referring to elaborate Pinterest-inspired projects that might induce your inner Bridezilla, but there are several projects you can probably undertake without losing your mind. Firstly, homemade dessert tables: Get everyone to contribute a recipe to their favourite dessert, and bring them together. Or, makeup tutorial lessons: Get some tips from a pro or at a beauty counter, and apply them (quite literally) on your big day. Another project you can pick up, is to sew your own wedding veil, especially if you’re having trouble finding one that’s pretty and inexpensive. You can look to online tutorials like the ones offered on websites (like this one) or on Youtube. We hear it’s pretty simple to achieve. Check out these clever video tutorials for wedding projects that'll make an impact.

9. Use your credit card for wedding-related purchases
Check the rebates that credit card companies have to offer, and apply for the ones which will get you the most bang for your buck. Most banks or companies work with their preferred venues, which can score you serious discounts on wedding packages. Alternatively, the points you accumulate from spending on your wedding, may even be enough to earn you a free honeymoon. Of course, you’ll still have to watch your spending, and make sure you don’t end up going into debt. See the best cash back credit card for your wedding needs here.

10. Look elsewhere
Instead of looking to wedding-specific stores or vendors, consider other avenues (like trawling the high street stores for your dresses). See more pretty alternatives here. You can also go to stores like Daiso or Ikea for knick-knacks like cake toppers (See the prettiest ones here), glassware and other items. You’ll never know what treasures you may find.

Think we haven’t covered it all? Feel free to share your tips with us!