Congratulations on putting a ring on your relationship! After the proposal, you and your partner may be having romantic dreams about the glitz and glam of a wedding party to celebrate and commemorate your love made legal at the Registry of Marriages. But is the ideal wedding really financially feasible?

So before you and your partner shock yourselves with the costs of a wedding in Singapore and get disillusioned, take a good hard look at these five tips when planning the wedding.

1. Depart from wedding conventions

Sure, your friend’s wedding at that villa resort looked smashing and your cousin’s video that chronicled the history of his relationship reduced everyone, including his stern in-laws, to tears.

It’s normal to follow and be inspired by wedding conventions and all those pretty Tumblr and Pinterest pictures of strangers’ weddings, too, but is following these conventions so necessary?

For example, why book an entire hotel ballroom when you could have cheaper tables at a restaurant or even a café with fairy lights and interior décor worthy of many Instagram photos? And does the venue have to be right in the centre of town, where rentals are much more expensive?



2. Reconsider the pre-wedding photography

One of such conventions is the pre-wedding photography. A set of pre-wedding photographs may help you and your partner mark the momentous event of your legalised union, but it’s also another convention that many couples follow when they probably already have many existing photographs that commemorate and even better, track the development of their relationship. Truth be told, if it’s meant for others, your guests are likely to view them for a few minutes at the banquet before moving on to mingle or enjoy an eight-course meal.

Should you want images to reflect your journey from the first encounter to altar most naturally, they are probably already found in you or your partner’s Facebook or Instagram. Look through your computers, phones and social media accounts and pull out photos taken over the years and those that mark high points in your relationship or are reflective of beautiful memories made together.

For instance, the first travel trip you lovebirds took together, or your friend’s photo of the public proposal you conducted with their help. Besides, these photos taken on a spur portray a more candid and naturally sweet side of your relationship.


3. Manage other people’s expectations

Your wedding finances can have a lot to do with other people, in particular, your seniors. Your parents or in-laws may see the wedding as a milestone in their own lives too, one that signifies a new addition to the family and their child starting their own family unit.

As such, they may have grand visions for your wedding that you and your partner have to negotiate with. Common issues of disputes include their spontaneous addition of guests to the guest list that you two have been trying to whittle down, the style of wedding they prefer and adherence to certain wedding conventions and traditions that unfortunately contribute to a balloon wedding expenditure.

Don’t wait till it spins out of control and your in-laws suddenly seem like the ones who are Bridezilla and Groomzilla. Sit all sides down as early as possible and inform them of some of the wedding plans, especially if you know they’re likely to disagree.

Sure, you may have to make some compromises but managing their expectations right from the start will also go a long way in ensuring everyone’s a happy guest at the wedding. You won’t also have to bust your budget trying to accommodate to things you two really do not wish to purchase for the wedding.


4. Watch your alcohol expenditure

Your closest friends may be readying themselves to get you totally smashed by the end of the night and after the sternest of relatives have gone home, but if you’re not careful, the never-ending gush of alcohol will blow your budget and sober you up for a long time to come when you’re presented with the bill the next day.

Make a plan with the venue and staff regarding alcohol consumption, for instance having a certain amount of bottles under your tab and any orders after that to go on the guests’ own tabs (with sufficient warning by staff, of course). In addition, get a teetotaler bridesmaid or groomsman to help keep an eye on the bottles and indiscriminate orders of alcohol made, especially those under the pre-existing influence of drunkenness.



5. Plastic can help you save costs

Several credit cards can come in particularly useful at this juncture of your new lives together and address different aspects of a wedding. For example, UOB credit cards entitle you to wedding-relevant privileges such as reduced costs of tables and free post-dinner nights in suites at various hotel venues. Their Ladies’ Solitaire Club, in particular, offers access to members-only clubs, perfect for a hen party.

If you’re shopping for bridesmaids and groomsmen clothing or even your own wedding apparel, the DBS Takashimaya American Express Card will be handy with its voucher rebates and bonus points earned with purchases at the mall that you can use to redeem more gift vouchers and lower your wedding shopping expenses even more!

Did you do away with some of the conventions to save money on your wedding? We’d love to hear your experience in the comments section below.


This article was first published in BankBazaar Singapore.