Spend under $20,000 on your wedding? Yes, it's very possible. Here's how we'd do it for that amount, this time focusing on the other parts of the wedding, like the honeymoon, photography and wedding bands. Read Part 1 here if you haven't.
Photography - $1,200
We're talking actual day photography here. At this price, there are a few companies you could work with, like iSnap Photography, Meteor Productions, Senica Photos and WithMinn Photography. Take note that additional surcharges might apply if you're asking the photographers to go to your place before 6am.
The package here costs $1,188 for up to 12 hours of photography, with high-res, edited images delivered in about two weeks.
Image Credit: iSnap Photography
The actual day photography will cost $1,200 for 10 hours, and you'll get a CD with high res images touched up in about two to three weeks' time.
Image Credit: Meteor Production
The actual day photography will include 6 hours of photography, with editing of all the good images, with the high-res edited images sent to you in a thumbdrive will cost $1,188.
Image Credit: Senica Photos
The total cost for 8 hours of photography, with the best images edited and returned in JPEG, will be about $1,192.
Image Credit: WithMinn Photography
Honeymoon - $2,400
Two words: airline miles. Save a bundle on your airfare by cashing out your miles and just paying the taxes--this trick, provided you have enough miles, can easily save you hundreds of dollars and you can go to further-flung destinations like Japan or Maldives. For purposes of this article, we'll assume you don't have any miles and the above tip won't work for you. In this case, we suggest idyllic beach locations like Boracay or Palawan, or even the Maldives. Yes, you read correctly.
At an average rate of about $160 per night, with all meals included, you could wing a stay in four-star hotels like Crown Beach Hotel Maldives, for a grand total of about $1,228 (including all taxes and airport transfer), while airfare would cost about $858 traveling on Air Asia, which leaves you about $400 to try out all sorts of activities, like canoeing, windsurfing, fishing etc. You could also spend a day at a five-star hotel as a day trip to indulge in your fantasy of living like a Crazy Rich Asian--while not actually having to pay top dollar for the experience.
Image Credits: Crown Beach Hotel Maldives
Dowry - $1,000
This might include the classic four pieces of gold jewellery, but it varies from family to family. It's best to ask your in-laws what they expect for the dowry, and come to an agreement of what is needed. Couples may not need to pay the dowry, as their parents might want to settle this aspect. If so, we suggest channelling this amount into other areas.
Wedding Bands - $1,400
For affordable wedding bands, try our wedding professionals Benny's Gem Creations and Rio Diamonds. The exclusive partner of Breuning and Saint Maurice--some of the biggest and most renowned wedding band crafters in the world--Benny's Gem's wedding bands start from S$1,300 and up, and can be customised to your preference (although we suggest choosing the ready-made designs to keep costs low). We love the simple white band adorned with a heart and embedded with diamonds, and the one with a rose gold highlighting the diamonds on the band.
Rio Diamonds' rings are priced from $870 and up. Choose from identical white gold rings with a center panel of eight diamonds, a twisty rose gold and white gold infinity shaped ring or a simpler white-and-rose gold band with diamonds inset for the wife--or create a customised pair of wedding bands. They have a lifetime maintenance service so you can get them polished if they get too scratched.
Miscellaneous - $558 (less $42 marriage licence)
Invitations - $160
First of all, remember that you don't have to give every single guest an invite. Often, you'll have families of about four to five, so you can address one invite to all of them, thus reducing the number of invites you'd have to send to less than 70% your confirmed numbers (for this article, we'll compute the numbers as 60% of your confirmed attendance, so about 80 invites, assuming you can invite 134 people to your wedding). One way to keep costs low is to simply send most of your guests e-vites, which can be made via sites like Canva.com, which is way more environmentally friendly anyway. For your extended family, and those who are fairly traditional, you could send them a printed invite, created by American Wedding Invitations (prices for the invitations start at $2 each, so a total of about $160 for 80 invites) or CreativeKad (prices for the invitations start at $0.45 each and exclude $15 for printing--total cost would be $51 for 80 invites)
Image Credits: American Treasures Wedding Invitations
Image Credits: CreativeKad
Wedding Favours - $253 (average price for all for 134 people)
We did an article on amazing wedding favours under $5 previously. If you're trying to keep your costs down--and with this budget, that's perfectly understandable, we suggest giving coffee or tea packets with your customised logo, and cookies. If you have an aunt/mum/friend who's talented in baking, asking them to chip in might be a way to showcase these talents (and also share your treasured memories) with your guests. We suggest you pay them a token sum for their efforts, of course.
Another idea that works really well for smaller weddings, is to write each of your guests a personal note, to thank them for their friendship and for coming to your wedding. You can add in personal anecdotes and cherished memories. It takes time, but it's definitely super meaningful. You can create the cards from Canva.com or Photobook Singapore.
Image Credit: Alliance Coffee; prices start from $1.80.
Image Credit: Givt.sg; prices start from $1.35.
Image Credit: Collaboration Tea; prices start from $2.24.
Image Credit: Simply Wedding Favors; price starts from $2.16.
The Remainder - $1,200 +$145 = $1,345
Bridal Party Clothes and Accessories - $150
We suggest scouring the usual shops for dresses, such as Love Bonito, ASOS, and other online shops for designs, and hopefully your bridesmaids will be able to agree on one. Otherwise, another way to go about it is to simply set a colour and let them choose (or re-wear) a dress that they already have. As long as it's in the same colour scheme, the whole look should tie together quite nicely. For your groomsmen, hopefully they already have black pants, a white shirt and jackets, and you'll just need to get them matching ties (you can get some quite cheaply from Bugis Street).
Image Credit: Senica Photos
Bridal Hair Accessories and Shoes - $150
For practicality, we'd suggest getting a pair of shoes that you can walk around in and is neutral enough to work for other events...but if you fall in love with a pair of sparkly platform heels that you can't really walk for long in, well, go for it (and spend some time breaking in the shoes before the wedding).
Image Credit: Whiff
Image Credit: Senica Photos
Decorations - $327
Check with your venue and see what they're supplying. If they can cover the decorations for the entire venue so you minimise spending on extra decorations. We suggest keeping the display table at your reception simple, choosing your favourite photos, any mementos from your proposal or travels together, pictures of you as a couple at other weddings or formal events etc., and arranging them simply and elegantly on the table. With some DIY skills you could also get some bunting done, or fill the area with colourful balloons. Here are some of our alternate styling ideas that don't involve costly flowers. You can get some party decor from shops like Give Fun or from eBay or Amazon.
Image Credit: Inside the Knot
Image Credit: IM.Perfection
Car Decorations - $98
Decorate the bridal car (which we suggest borrowing from your family or friends if possible) with simple decorations that are available from Flora Woods or GiftFlorists2000.com.
Image Credits: Flora Woods
Flowers for Your Bridal Party and Parents - $220 (average of Fiore Folio and Flora Woods' price)
One way to reduce the amount needed for this is to give your bridal party corsages (instead of bridesmaid posies), or with a couple of tutorials from YouTube and a trip to the cold store room of Far East Plaza, DIY the flowers yourself, or get a bunch of silk flowers--they'll last forever. Barring that, try Fiore Folio or Flora Woods.
Image Credit: Fiore Folio (currently changing locations, so they're not accepting any orders)
Image Credits: Flora Woods
AngBaos for your Helpers & Tea Ceremony - $400
You'll need to dole out quite a number of AngBaos, so here's the breakdown: You'll need a couple of people running the reception (about two to four), a coordinator to make sure everything runs smoothly on the actual day, two aunties/sisters to help out with the tea ceremony (actual relatives would be preferred as they would know the order better), groomsmen and bridesmaids (assuming two each). So the average amount of AngBaos given would be about $50. Additionally, you could treat them to a meal after the whole event is over.
Tips and Tricks
- Make sure your parents are onboard with this. If need be, prep them early (like, as soon as you read this article and decide that's what you want). Tell them that you'd like to have a wedding, but don't want to go into debt for it, and would rather use the money saved on home renovations or more trips in future. If they offer to pay, suggest that they could make a small contribution towards the home instead. This will save you a lot of headache later on, and you can always tell them that there aren't enough seats if they want to add on guests.
- Wherever possible, DIY or borrow. You could borrow your friend's wedding dress, or get it off a secondhand website like PreOwned Wedding Dresses, Still White, or hunt around in the forums. Think of alternatives where possible--instead of decorating your venue with flowers, try balloons, pom poms, fairy lights etc. We suggest alternate styling ideas here. You could also have a gathering of all your friends to get the DIY projects done, while enjoying some bonding time.
- If your friends are particularly skilled in singing or performing, or in makeup, have them help you on your wedding day. It's more meaningful, and lets them be part of your day (you could also suggest that they needn't pass you an AngBao). If you have a photographer friend, enlist his help for a casual photoshoot if you really want a pre-wedding photoshoot.
- When planning your guest list, you can invite about 10% more than your total number, so about 145 people rather than 134, as a number of them may not turn up due to work commitments, travel, clash in schedules etc.
- In a perfect world, everything would go according to plan, but in case it doesn't, it could be a good idea to budget for emergencies, such as your photographers and makeup artists having to come earlier than you expected and there's a surcharge for that. (Don't worry, your AngBaos should cover these.)
- Leverage on credit card signing offers, and since you'd be spending quite a tidy sum already, you can almost effortlessly earn miles that will be helpful for your next trip/honeymoon. If you're keen on saving money, look for a cashback card.
We hope these tips help in setting your mind at ease to know that it is definitely possible to have an affordable wedding on a budget. Do you have any other tips for us? Let us know!
Find the full list of our wedding professionals here, and if you're still wondering which vendor is best, we can give you a free and personalised recommendation. Don't forget to save the date for our next Hitcheed Wedding Wonderland event on 8-9 December at Suntec Convention Centre, Level 3 Concourse!