sept 2015 settings.jpgPHOTO: HER WORLD BRIDES SEPT – NOV 2014.

It’s no secret that weddings can get expensive, and the banquet especially, takes up the biggest chunk out of your budget.

Here, we offer tips on how to stretch your dollar as much as you can.

  1. As a general rule, weekend banquets cost more, so pick a weekday if you can.
  2. A lunch reception will hurt your chequebook less than a dinner banquet.
  3. Have your wedding during the low seasons (for instance Chinese New Year, Hungry Ghost Festival – if you’re not superstitious – and Ching Ming). You may be able to ask for more perks, or score lower rates then.
  4. Check the minimum number of guests that the hotel requires. Lower numbers mean lower costs.
  5. Consider a tea reception, where most hotels offer a lower minimum headcount, and cost per person. Read up on packages and see which ones offer added perks such as a violinist or live band to play for a certain number of minutes or hours at the reception.
  6. Do your research and look out for packages which offer perks that suit your needs most. 
  7. Reduce the courses at your banquet. There’s no need to have a decadent feast with 10 courses. Single digits are quite acceptable.
  8. Leave out costly dishes like abalone and shark’s fin.
  9. Don’t serve beer or hard liquor at your banquet.
  10. Attend wedding exhibitions, as venues usually offer better deals at these events.
  11. Share your ideas with a wedding planner. Wedding planners are a good source of information and may also have contacts that can offer good deals on peripherals.

This article was first featured in Her World Brides September – November 2003.