Step 1: Prioritize
One of the most difficult things couples face is deciding what to prioritize in their wedding planning. With 1001 things on your to-want, to-get and to-do list, how do we cut this list down, or where do we know where and how much to spend on?
The answer lies in asking yourself and your partner what you value most. After all, one man’s meat is another man’s poison. For instance:
- If you are both foodies, then you might want to consider putting food and catering as the topmost priority;
- If fashion and style is important to both brides and grooms, then more budget can be allocated to a specially tailored bridal dress, or a smart designer suit;
- If photography is important to you, then it might be wise to allocate more budget to hiring an established and creative photographer.
In general, given a fixed budget, prioritizing implies that less important things can be done away with.
What are considered less important things then? It can be doing away with serving Shark’s Fin at the dinner banquet (not to mention that it is more humane too). Or it can be cutting down spending on a live band, or holding the wedding dinner at a four-star (instead of five-star) hotel.
In short, if flowers, fashion and food are your thing, shuffle more finances there and less to wedding decoration, stationery and videography.
So start doing this by creating 2 lists – 1) WANTS 2) NEEDS and jot down what are the items that you think belong to each category together with your other half.
Step 2. Research
On average, wedding reception and catering takes up 40% -50%, photography takes up 10%，attire takes up 8%, decorations 10-15% and decoration 10% and entertainment 10% of wedding budget. This budgeting excludes the price tag of going on honeymoons, but will be a good starting point to decide on your budgeting.
One of the biggest wedding planning mistakes made by couples is underestimating cost for services. For instance, it might be tempting to think about wedding photography as “Just taking photos only mah, what’s the big deal?” while ignoring the years of experience, education and professionalism the photographer has accumulated. Also, wedding photography is no mean feat—photographers have to spend a considerable amount on lens maintenance and photo-shopping the photos after the shoot. All these time and expertise have to be factored into the service fees for the wedding photo shoot.
The underestimation of various items on your list will have huge effects, especially when they add up! Knowing the exact costs via research will help you to determine a realistic budget. Having flowers imported from Holland, for instance, might not be as inexpensive as you think—in some cases imported floral arrangements can cost up to SGD20,000! So do your research, and do not assume too much!
Doing your research beforehand and keeping a tab on costs can also aid tremendously when you are communicating costs with your family members, especially when they are helping out financially. Since it is partly their money you are using, it is then imperative to ensure that you get a reasonable deal!
The friendly wedding professionals at our La Belle Couture team are always here to help you plan your ideal wedding. We are patient with any questions you might have come across in your research process and would love to hear from you! If you have a question, just leave a comment below or drop us an email!
Step 3. Budget
After prioritizing your wants and doing tons of research online and offline, now is the time for you to make an informed decision on what is realistic given your budget. We have catagorised three types of weddings for you. It is important to bear in mind that no single category is superior over the other—it really depends on what type of wedding you would like to have as a couple.
1. The No-Frills Wedding
Believe it or not, it is possible to have a no-frills, no-drama wedding in Singapore. ROM for instance, offers no-frills solemnization rooms and services to keep weddings affordable. The key to a no-frills wedding is to keep things really simple and sweet.
For couples who want to embark on the no-frills wedding, this budget breakdown could be a good guideline:
-Bridal package – 15%
-Wedding ceremony – 5%
-Wedding banquet – 60%
-Honeymoon – 20%
There are also budget friendly wedding banquets that cost from SGD$100 to $500 per table, but let’s not expect exotic delicacies here! It is also possible to reduce the honeymoon spending by opting for vacations in neighbouring countries.
1. The “Norm”.
The average Singaporean couple spends SGD40,000 to SGD50,000 on their weddings. A mid-priced wedding package costs around SGD3,500. The average cost cost per table ranges from SGD600 to SGD1200, depending on the reception venue.
Extravagant weddings cost around SGD80,000 up to SGD150,000. An expensive wedding package costs around SGD5,000 to SGD7,500, and wedding rings that are specially tailored to the couple can cost above SGD10,000. If you have the means to plan such a fairy-tale wedding, then go ahead and enjoy it. Also, be sure to take your honeymoon in Europe, or somewhere far away and have the best times of your life!
Always remember to include a buffer of 10-20% of your budget for emergencies! Very often, we hear stories about couples overspending on their budget. That being said, whenever you have decided on a budget and a list of items, be sure to stick to them and not add unto the list. This is to keep the overall costs in check!
Photo location: Perth, Australia
So here are the three financial rules to bear in mind for your wedding: Prioritize, research and budget. Have fun planning!
Hotel location featured: Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel
Photo credit: La Belle Couture