20 Jan Jonathan Cartu Stated: Getting married in a year? You need to save $2,300 a month
Back when I was planning my wedding, I learnt that flowers cost an arm and both legs. And what some wedding photographers charge for a day’s work is more than what I earn in two years (Hi boss, hint hint).
Yeah, weddings ARE expensive. But how expensive?
Before you get down on one knee to pop the question or even say “Yes, I do!” Let’s find out how much you need to save every month if you’re planning to have the “average” wedding of your dreams in one year’s time.
Disclaimer: the numbers and figures here are all based on assumptions and estimations, so feel free to adjust them accordingly to better reflect your situation.
ROM & SOLEMNISATION
It doesn’t cost much to get legally married in Singapore. If you’re a Singapore citizen or PR, it’ll cost you $42 to get registered at the Registry Of Marriage (ROM).
Your cost for getting that legally binding document: $42.
End of article.
Heck, if you’re feeling generous, you can even invite those present to a 1-for-1 buffet.
But… Because we’re all about that dream “average” wedding, let’s look at what it’ll cost if you did the whole she-bang. Prudently, of course.
WEDDING VENUE AND BANQUET
Yes, I know that it’s arguably cheaper if you hold your wedding in a standalone restaurant or cafe.
But imagine THIS scenario when you tell your parents or in-laws that you’re planning to have your wedding at the kopitiam downstairs:
Your parents will insist that you have it in some hotel’s grand ballroom because “What will (insert name of important relative) think of us?”
You didn’t want to sell a kidney to afford this luxury, but they threatened to disown you. Or better, they used emotional blackmail: “You’re the only the daughter/son in the family! I did not raise you for (insert number of) years only to marry you off in a kopitiam!”
You decide that since you bobian have to do it, that you’ll prefer to have your banquet in a reputable, mid-tier hotel
You’re going to have your banquet on a Sunday afternoon which is arguably cheaper than Saturday night
You manage to cap your guest list at 100 people. And at 10 people to a table, that means that you’re looking for a venue which allows a minimum of 10 confirmed tables.
Looking at Singapore Bride’s wedding banquet price list for an affordable wedding venue that fits this bill, I found: Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel.
Booking Grand Copthorne Waterfront also means that you get standard perks like:
- Wedding favours for your guests
- Free flow of soft drinks, mixers, and tea throughout the vent
- One bottle of house wine per confirmed table
- Wedding decor the wedding cake and floral decorations for the stage, VIP table, and reception table
- One night’s stay at the hotel
- VIP parking for the bridal car
And assuming you choose the 7-course set menu option, you’re looking at $1,038++ per table of 10 guests. Or $1,222 (after service charge and GST).
Your total cost of wedding venue and banquet for 100 guests: $12,220
In line with our budget-friendly “average” wedding expectations, we shopped around and managed to find a pair of 18K white gold wedding bands for $800. The bands are 0.3cm thick and are just plain bands with no customisations – like pave diamonds, for example.
And where pray tell can you find such budget prices? Well… I’m going to let you in on a little secret here.
This weekend, visit Tiong Bahru Industrial Estate and have a walk around. You’ll find workshops with master metalsmiths who make rings for big name brands like Tiffany & Co and Poh Heng. If you don’t mind the same quality rings without the Tiffany blue box, then you’re going to find plenty of deals there.
Assuming you keep the wedding rings simple and honest like your relationship: $800 (for two bands)
BETROTHAL GIFTS AND DOWRY
If your parents or in-laws are Chinese, then you’ll have to observe the tradition of giving betrothal gifts (Guo Da Li aka 过大礼) as well as a dowry (Pin Jin aka 聘金) to the bride’s family.
There’s NO minimum market rate and it really comes down to understanding what the parents or in-laws are expecting when preparing this gift (be it in gifts, cash, or jewellery).
If both of you are really lucky, the bride’s parents will only take a token sum, say… $8. And give you their blessings. P.S. Treasure those folks.
We’ll hazard a guess and say you can expect to gift: $888 – $1,888
I’m sure you’ve heard horror stories of bridal studios who promise a selection of 20 beautiful gowns, only to inform the couple that their first choice suddenly requires an “upgrade” after they’ve signed and paid a hefty deposit.
While not all bridal studios are like that. There’s a general belief that bridal packages, offered by bridal studios, are the cheapest and most convenient way to get things done.
To give everyone a better idea of what the individual items in a bridal package cost, let’s see what the cost breakdown will be like if we choose to do things a la carte.
1. Wedding Gown & Suit
Guys. Your options are as…