Customised sweet table, from JOANDJARS. PHOTO: Her World Brides March – May 2014.

There are many ways to save on your wedding costs and one of the easiest is to think outside the box and have a celebration that is uniquely yours. This may involve breaking with traditional ideas of weddings should be but if you’re up for something different, creative and fun, here are some ideas that will help cut your wedding budget.

Party On
Instead of the traditional wedding template of ceremony, tea reception, cocktails and dinner, why not decide on a different celebration program of your own? You can cut down the number of activities or combine separate events into one major event that encompasses all your needs. For example, you can let guests into your dinner venue earlier and let them mingle inside the banquet hall instead of having a separate cocktail session in a different space, which may incur additional costs. Or have a simple and small ceremony with limited guests at a private space so that you won’t have to pay for a venue that can hold all your guests

Free Venues
If you don’t mind having your wedding outdoors, there are many places where you don’t have to pay a bomb for having it there. A friend of mine had a simple ceremony at a mutual friend’s function room in her condominium. It was beside the pool and her friends dressed up the venue prettily with flowers and adorable knick-knacks. Open natural spaces at reservoirs, parks or beaches are another option if you’re not having a big setup for your ceremony; just check with the relevant authorities on the rules, regulations and fees. A picnic lunch at the Singapore Botanic Gardens is not only free, but can be a wonderful affair too; just pass food baskets to your guests and lay down the mats!

Go with high low
If you’re not particular about your wedding wardrobe, you can always don a pretty white dress or outfit instead of the traditional wedding gown. Having a casual dresscode for your wedding will help you save on your bridal wardrobe too.

This season, Zara is stocking up on some of the loveliest white lace dresses and separates that would look perfect for outdoors weddings or celebrations at alfresco cafes. There are also numerous online sites that offer pretty wedding dress alternatives to suit different occasions. See also other dress alternatives for your ROM here.

You can also use recycled bridal accessories and outfits from friends and relatives if they fit your theme and if the size is right. It can be a sparkly tiara for the church ceremony, a pastel hued satin belt with crystal embellishments for your evening gown or a simple cocktail sheath for your tea ceremony – every item helps. 

The Digital life
With all the different apps and functions available on your smart phone or tablet, you can now shoot and create your own wedding album, and video, with help from shutterbug pals. Just don’t expect flawless pictures or movie-style standards for your video; think quirky, spontaneous and fun visuals.  You can also create your own playlists for the day and night celebrations. Get your guests involved with the day’s happenings and ask them to post and share pictures and videos through their social media platforms.

Let me entertain you!
If you or your loved ones are musically inclined, you can provide your own entertainment with live performances. You can even get your friends to contribute – a spontaneous dance number perhaps? A kids performance that includes your young nephews and nieces can also be sweet and entertaining, while a song performance by an older relative or parent, dedicated to the newlyweds, can be a touching moment.

Decor tips
Decor items, like fresh flowers that are imported, can take up a big portion of your wedding budget. Besides doing DIY items yourself, you can always recycle items from your house for the wedding decor. If you collect picture frames, or have a collection of romance novels, you can stack them up as centerpieces with simple blooms or cheap ribbons. Tie pretty bows and use pastel colours for a more romantic feel. Or have a centerpiece of edible desserts like cupcakes of cookies – just add floral decor on these desserts and lay them out creatively on a pretty cake dish for impact.