For ritzier or poorer

For ritzier or poorer

SINGAPORE - All this couple wanted to do was to indulge their desire for a dream wedding.

After all, you only get married once in this lifetime, says Mr Cayden Lee.

"My wife and I didn't want to have any regrets when we look back at our wedding."

But that indulgence proved to be costly for them.

The 32-year-old insurance agent is still mired in the debt he incurred in October 2012.

He tells The New Paper on Sunday: "This is the real regret. We struggle from month to month just to make ends meet."

The couple borrowed $45,000 from a financial institution with a repayment period of two years.

They also borrowed $4,000 from a licensed moneylender and $11,000 from a relative.

On top of that, they pumped in their entire savings of $20,000.

They also charged to their individual credit cards, says his wife, who wants to be known only as Mrs Lee. She estimates it was another $30,000.

The total sum? $110,000.

Says the housewife: "When we first did our calculations, we were confident that we could afford it. "We gave ourselves about a year or two, at the maximum, to work things out."

But what Mrs Lee, 28, did not count on was losing sleep over hounding debt collectors.

She slipped into depression about six months after her wedding, and finally quit her job as an insurance agent.

Mrs Lee offers a weak smile, then says: "Sometimes, I even avoid my friends now. They are the ones whom I invited to my wedding, but I know they are laughing at my stupidity."

She also admits that she is "more to be blamed" for their financial state than her husband.

Says Mrs Lee: "I was envious of my younger sister, who invited our relatives and her friends to an all-paid, 3D2N trip to Boracay in the Philippines for her wedding, just a year earlier.

"I think my husband really tried to please me, and did everything he could to cater to my whims."

Her whims, she says, included having a bridal arch made with 999 fresh tulips from Holland, completed with a tulip-shaped balloon, for their wedding march-in. The arch cost nearly $12,000.

The wedding banquet was held at a six-star hotel in the Marina Bay area, with each of the 45 tables costing $1,688++.

Other costs included their bridal photography, make-up, hair-styling and videography.

They spent so much that Mrs Lee's other dream - a honeymoon in Europe - had to be put off.

She says: "We ended up going to Genting Highlands for five days instead.

"It was painful, but by the time we sat down and looked at the balance sheet (of costs), my husband told me there was no way we could afford it."

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