Saturday, 13 September 2014

How much do you need to save for a decent wedding in Singapore?

In my previous blogpost I talked about having a plan in mind as you begin planning and saving for the future. For my future, marriage is definitely one of the main points in my life.

Do check out the post here as well!

Firstly, whether you're single or attached, you first need to ask yourself this. What does marriage means to you? What does marriage means to your significant other?

For most of us, it's about building a life and a family together with that special someone. For others, it's about romance.

"It's about waking up and going to bed with that special someone every day, every night. It's a commitment and pledging yourself, to remain faithful, loyal and go through all sorts of ups and down with him/her. It's about learning how to compromise, trust and love."

Now, I'm about to address something which I feel that many Singaporeans forget. After reading till here so far, you would begin to understand that Marriage is between you and your partner. No one else. Not your parents, your relatives or even your friends.

It's the same for the Wedding you will now begin planning for. The main point about having a wedding is to share the joy of this special day with your family and loved ones yes. But never forget, the wedding is and will always be, about you both. Therefore, you don't have to succumb to social pressure to have the biggest and grandest wedding because your pride is at stake and end up regretting and getting saddled up with huge debts after what could have been the happiest moment of your lives. Don't throw that all away by regretting and blaming each other (which is very possible) after that.

Okay now that you're clear about that, let's move on to the planning!

I'll give it to you straight, the costs of a wedding can, and will cost between
SGD$30,000 - SGD$100,000

That's a lot of money.. isn't it? And for most of us, we have nowhere near that amount of money. I'm talking about teenagers here, who already have a planned future in mind.

Let's break it down.

1. Your Wedding Package

Wedding Packages typically include the Bridal Gown, Evening Gown, ROM Dress, Groom Suit, Flower Bouquets, Bridal Car Decoration as well as Make-up and Hair-Do.

Don't forget that ROM Packages and Actual Day Wedding Packages are two different things.
ROM Packages price start from $400++
Actual Wedding Package price start from $500++ for Half Day and $900++ for Full Day.

Total packages cost can range from $1000++ - $10,000.

Tips on saving: If your package doesn't include Wedding Car for Rental, try and rent a more affordable one or borrow a car. Car rental prices can range from $200++ for a Volkswagen to $600+ for a Mercedes Benz and that's a promotional price!

I would say budget at least $5000 in total. If it's not that expensive, use the extra money to splurge on your honeymoon!

Total Range: $5000

2. Photoshoots, Photographer, Video Coverage

It's recommended to budget another $5000 for all of these if you want quality shots and videos that last a lifetime. Pre-Wedding Photoshoots can range from $1000 and above.

Actual day photos can range from $900++ for 5 hours to $2000++ for 15 hours depending on the hours that you booked them for.

Tips on saving: Rather than getting 1 Photographer and 1 Videographer, consider getting 1 excellent photographer to save cost.

Remember: People change, but the people in photos don't. They capture memories for you. Don't allow room for regret when the photos are out and the quality is horrible. It's not worth the money saved. You can have a smaller banquet, smaller car, cheaper gown whatever, but photos usually last a lifetime doesn't it?

Total Range: $5000

3. Your Wedding Rings & Solemnization

Wedding rings can cost from $500++ each for an affordable ring to $10,000 for a really expensive rings from well known jewellery stores like Cartier, Tiffany & Co, Harry Winston etc.

I'd recommend spending within your budget. $2000-4000 is an ideal range to budget for. It's a buffer, so if you spend lesser than that, again use the money to spend on other things!

Solemnization can set you back by at least a few thousand if you plan on holding it at scenic locations etc etc. Budget between $3000-4000 if so. Eg: Singapore Flyer Solemnization Package cost around there!

Total Range: $8000.

4. Your Wedding Banquet

Let's be brutally honest. This will be where the majority of your wedding expenses will be.
Reason: It's price / table. Prices range from $600++ per table at Bayview Hotel to $1200++ per table at Marina Bay Sands for a minimum of 20 tables at least.

Tips on saving: Lunch Banquets are usually slightly cheaper. There are places where prices range from $200++ to $500+ / table but don't expect restaurant quality food.

Since we're on that subject, a wedding banquet is all about the food right? Or not? Why not hold it at a good restaurant then? Since the food is guaranteed to better than hotel banquets. After all, a restaurant's food IS the main reason why it's established in the first place.

Anyway, I'd say budget between $30,000 - $50,000 considering the price of $1000/table for a total number of 30-50 tables.

Trust me, prices of all these will rise in the years to come due to our good friend, "INFLATION".

Wedding Banquet Packages in a hotel would usually include free flow of drinks, wedding cakes, invitation cards, guestbooks, complimentary champagne, champagne pyramid, projector screen and possibly one night stay at the hotel itself.

Total Range: $50,000


Now, this is only a rough estimate. There may be other costs involved. Prices stated here does not yet include a Honeymoon which can cost anywhere from $5000-$10,000.


Now, people may tell you to splurge as much as you want because you would be receiving red packets that will offset the total price.

My opinion? No. Don't take that advice. Save the amount you need without relying on red packets.

The money you receive can be used to offset the costs or go towards your joint savings/ investments whatever. But don't put too much hope on red packets.

And if you don't have enough money to get married, then you're not ready to get married.

Like I keep emphasising, don't splurge on this dream day only to deal with huge debts in the months and years to come.

All the prices stated, are a buffer. The real costs of a wedding can be significantly lower than $78,000 and I have no doubt it can be. Spend within your means.

And one last thing. Your Wedding is a major part of your lives. But it's not the only thing that should matter. When all of it is over, your family, friends will go back to their lives. You and your partner will now have to cope with your daily expenses and new life together. So make sure you have enough savings to begin preparations for the next phase in life.

All of the information provided above was found by my own research. What you may find, or what you have spent previously may differ from the costs stated above.

Did you spend more or less? Do share with me if possible! I'd like to know the average cost of a wedding by fellow Singaporeans!

Signing off,
Teenage Investor

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  1. Hi TI,

    I spent about 30k all in. My banquet is at a hotel, but it's about 14 tables, so it's a small affair. Photos are not such a big thing. I've never seen people looking at their photos or videos again after the wedding (okay, maybe once every 5 yrs), so don't spend too much on that.

    I find it strange that while u said the wedding is for the couple, not for anyone else, then why have a big banquet of 30-50 tables? A small affair at a restaurant will be good enough for the two of you and your close ones. U should be able too spend less than 40k, without honey moon.

    1. Hi there La Papillion! You did provide an insight, yes I realise now that photos may not be that much of a big thing in the future. But it's likely that the first few months including housewarming, pictures will be taken out to view and all that haha.

      It's true that i said a wedding is for the couple, however there are couples out there who insist on having a decent sized banquet. Issues like parents wanting different things, society pressure etc. My wedding will of course be a smaller scale, with more emphasis on us rather than others :)

      Incidentally, it's the first time I viewed your blog! Would you like to link up :)?

  2. Hi TI,

    Sure, I'll add your blog to my list when I get back home.

    Hehe, but issues like parents and societal pressure mean that the wedding might not just be for the couples ;) okay lah I don't press anymore :)

    I make a distinction between marriage and wedding. A wedding is for others, but marriage these days is for ourselves. Gone are the days where rival houses join together through marriage for greater power.

    Since wedding is for others, we have to respect the needs of others. My role is just to attend and pay up. It's okay, my parents and in laws happy, I'm happy to play the role.

    I wrote a piece some time ago here :

    1. Interesting post! I have to agree that marriage and wedding are 2 different things... Haha i feel you. Attend and pay up.

      I too hope that my marriage can be a long lasting one without having to worry about finances and others. It's the dream.

      Okay thanks! Linked you already! Looking forward to reading your blog

    2. Hahaa LP spraking from experience ;)

      If I may add to this too, given the experience of marriage I hv encountered - it seems all too easy to think what does the perfect marriage means to me. But as lp has correctly pointed out, it is more than just a couple getting involved in a marriage. Yes we get all the points about going on a travel marriage and so on but its very difficult to implement that in real situation. I think you will get what I mean when you are at that marriage stage.

      Overall good info on the wedding stuff so I think this post would be valuable for someone who wants to know the costs of a wedding ;)

    3. Haha hi!
      Yes, I agree that I will only understand more when I'm about to get married or already married.

      At this point in life, I'm more concerned about saving enough for a decent wedding so that my marriage will proceed smoothly after that chapter.

      Thanks for the compliment :)

  3. HI TI,

    I think wedding expenses is based a lot on personal and cultural expectations of what is considered decent. Such as the expectation to have a ROM ceremony and another "actual" ceremony, to have a photographer, to decorate the car, to hold it in a hotel and to invite 100+ people. I think many Singaporeans would agree that their basic requirements are just as you mentioned. Many people have issues about "saving face" and also need to deal with the expectations of relatives to have a "decent" wedding.

    However, I knew of a couple that planned a wedding with just a simple ROM ceremony and booked a few tables at a small restaurant. I think the total expenses was less than $5k. However, they were lucky that their views of what a "decent" wedding ceremony should be was the same. I know that they had planned to use all the money saved for their HDB.

    You might find the wedding portion of this post interesting to you:

    1. Hi MH!
      Yes I agree that wedding expenses is largely dependent on the social circle that said couple is in. Therefore, we should not always succumb to pressure, and do what is best for us.

  4. Hi Teenage Investor,

    Chanced upon your blog through this link.

    Should thank him for some free publicity. =p

    Don't worry, my personal view is that for most things, it's better to have a plan rather than not. A favourite motto of mine is here:

    Fail to plan = plan to fail

    Anyway, $78k for a wedding is really quite a lot. I actually spent less than $10K for the wedding after deducting the ang baos. I know that's not fair but even if we don't account for the ang baos, the amount is still safely within $40k. And I considered that affair to be really extravagant. =p

    I normally don't do this but since I have blogged about how to keep wedding costs lower before, I shall share my link below:

    My 15HWW

    1. Hi there! Haha I do thank him for his publicity and his complete ignorance. But it's two different opinions, therefore I shall not comment.

      Thanks, I'll take a look at your blog :)

  5. Personally, I didn't even have wedding banquet. Only expenses are wedding band and bridal shoot. Stocks are given in place of an engagement ring. Lolz.

    1. Hi DH!
      Couldn't find your blog, (is there one?) if so I'd like to link up and read too :)

      Stocks? Wow! How come?

  6. Hello, I want to hire event coordinator for my wedding preparations. Actually I also want to know is there any difference between an event coordinator and planner. Share your thoughts!

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