It's no secret that weddings are becoming rapidly more expensive by the day in Singapore. However, there's no easy way of cutting down on your costs without compromising on the ceremony of your dreams.
Sure, it might be cheaper to book your ceremony not on a Saturday, but that can really sacrifice the availability of your honored guests.
Luckily, there are financial tools and tips that can help you save a meaningful amount of money while still holding up the quality of your wedding.
Here, we discuss some of the best recommendations compiled by our team at ValuePenguin.
Use Credit Cards To Pay For Your Wedding Needs
When you are paying for your wedding banquet, honeymoon, wedding dress and such, it's almost foolish to not to use credit cards.
Because most of your bookings and purchases will be in excess of tens of thousands of dollars, choosing the proper card can easily save you in excess of thousands of dollars.
However, there are two rules that you should generally follow when choosing which card to use for your wedding expenses.
First, you should prioritize cards with high or no cap on awards that you can win. For instance, while most cashback cards have monthly or quarterly cap on rebate that you can earn, a card like many miles credit cards don't.
If you are spending S$40,000 on your banquet, you would be much better off earning 1.2 miles per S$1 for 48,000 miles (worth at least S$480, more if you redeem for business class tickets) than earning 5% rebate with a card that caps your rebate at S$300 per quarter.
Secondly, it may be worthwhile to cherry pick certain cards with the best rewards rate for the purchase you are making.
Most wedding venues are going to be either hotels or restaurants, so you can use a card that provides the most reward for either of the two categories.
Similarly, you can earn great savings on shopping for dresses and dowries by using one of the best shopping rewards credit cards that we've picked out for you.
Buy A Dress, And Sell It
Renting a wedding dress can easily cost you hundreds of dollars, if not thousands. While this could seem like a good way of saving money, it actually could be worthwhile to purchase a dress, earn +5% rebate with a credit card, and sell it immediately after with a 20% discount.
Even if the cost savings don't turn out to be great, it can at the very least improve and widen the the selection of dresses for you to choose from.
Not only that, purchasing and reselling a pre-owned dress that you really like can be an especially cost-effective way to save money on your dress. Your best bet would be to attend designer trunk shows.
There, you could potentially convince a rep or the designer to sell you the dress used at the show with a better sale price or gift you tailoring or accessories. (Here is an alternative to getting your wedding dress from Tao Bao.)
Book As Many Services As You Can With One Vendor, But DIY On Alcohol
In negotiation, it's always beneficial for the buyer to be buying in bulk. A bigger deal becomes more lucrative to the seller, and incentivizes the vendor to provide additional discounts through bundling.
This logic applies to your wedding planning as well. If your wedding planner or florist offers lighting, rentals and invitations, you get more room to negotiate for a discount for packaging them together, rather than hiring different vendors to execute each one separately.
However, there is one thing that we do not recommend bundling with everything else, if possible: alcohol. If you ask anyone in the restaurant and entertainment industry, you can easily find out that these establishments typically charge 3-5x higher price than their cost.
Instead, it's always a good idea to buy your own wine or other drinks in bulk to either entirely replace or supplement the alcohol offered by your venue.
Tell Your Hotel That It's Your Honeymoon For Free Upgrades
Of course, almost every couple's highlight is the honeymoon. In this case, it's almost always a good idea to not overstretch your budget for booking the best rooms.
Rather, we advise you to let your hotel know in advance (or on arrival) that you are on your honeymoon. More than likely, the hotel will give you a free upgrade to a better room or suite, if not provide you with other additional amenities.
Since honeymoon suites can often cost double or more of a regular room, you can potentially save thousands of dollars on your lodging over multiple nights this way.
Other Financial Tools At Your Disposal: Travel Insurance & Personal Loan
Besides the ones we mentioned above, there are other financial tools that can also be helpful in your wedding planning process.
Couples planning on photo shoots or honeymoon overseas could benefit from spending a small amount to protect their bookings with travel insurance.
Personal loans can also be helpful in picking up some slacks in your budget, so long as you borrow only a conservative amount that you can manage repay easily and quickly.
To wrap things up, you don't have to go out of your way to compromise on your wedding and reduce your budget. There are realistic, actionable ways of making sure you save while maintaining your dignity.
This article was first published in ValueChampion.