Are you planning your dream wedding?
Perhaps you're thinking small and intimate, with a few friends and family, or maybe you want to pull out all the stops and celebrate with hundreds of guests.
No matter whether you're planning your big-day event to take place in a quaint outdoor setting, or at a large luxurious event venue, you will be spending quite a bit of money on your once-in-a-lifetime dream wedding!
If you have the feeling that your plans might bust your pocketbook, consider some of these money-saving hacks that might just help you stay within your budget.
Cut Down Wedding Costs Tip #1: Wedding Venue
Consider more affordable wedding venues such as three- or even two-star hotels, banquet halls, restaurants, country clubs, community clubs and gardens.
Choosing a two- or three-star hotel, for example, can help you cut the cost for your guests' dinner by as much as 50 per cent.
A three-star hotel may not be able to match the luxury of the rooms and facilities of a five-star one, but the food quality may still be top-notch.
According to Money Smart Singapore, River View Hotel and Amara Hotel have packages that start at SGD 718 per table, while the Changi Village Hotel offers packages for as low as SGD 598 per table.
Banquet halls and restaurants can also be good yet reasonably priced options.
Ah Yat Abalone Banquet Hall, for example, has packages ranging from SGD 468 to SGD 888 per table, while Tung Lok Seafood can get your party started with packages ranging from SGD 408 to SGD 628 per table.
Country clubs are also a tempting venue choice because of the potential perks that you can squeeze out of their package offerings.
Serangoon Country Club, for example, includes free-flowing alcohol, full-day use of a limousine and a complimentary one-month membership.
Other country clubs may allow free use of their club facilities.
If your theme is suitable for an outdoor setting, gardens can be an excellent inexpensive choice.
Green spaces provide a wide range of interesting outdoor backdrops that your photographer can easily work with too.
Cut Down Wedding Costs Tip #2 : Bridal Gown
Instead of committing to an expensive wedding package that includes only a limited selection of wedding gowns and tuxedos, you may want to consider sourcing your dress in a different way.
For example, you can rent a wedding dress from a local gown rental store. In Singapore, wedding gown rental agreements start as low as SGD 100.
Since you'll be shaving a nice chunk off your wedding costs by renting rather than purchasing a gown, you may even be able to splurge a bit and afford a high-end rental.
Perhaps in choosing a more elegant designer gown to rent you'll pay only a portion of what you would have spent had you purchased it.
Alternatively, you may also consider buying a pre-owned wedding dress from an online source such as Craig's List, Gumtree or Singapore Brides.
According to Frugal in Singapore, the prices for such pre-owned dresses can range from SGD 100 to SGD 300.
If you take up an idea mentioned at Money Sense, you may consider wearing the wedding gown that your mother or another family member wore for their own wedding.
Cut Down Wedding Costs Tip #3 : Flower Bouquet and Decorations
Choose local flowers that are in season on your wedding day.
You can buy these flowers in bulk beforehand and create your own flower arrangements.
Call in your bridal entourage to help for a few hours, and enjoy an evening or a weekend of sharing your craft skills to come up with beautiful floral pieces.
You can make yourself a simple wedding bouquet by gathering a few blooms and tying a ribbon around the stems.
Do not be disheartened if the bouquet does not seem like an overly impressive flower arrangement.
Your guests will be looking at you, not the flowers.
After all, you will be - quite literally - just throwing away the flowers when you toss the bouquet after the ceremony.
Cut Down Wedding Costs Tip #4 : Invitations
Design your own invitation with the help of convenient make-your-own kits that are available online.
Remember to keep your wedding theme in mind while you're designing.
If you're not completely confident about your own or your groom's creative skills, buy an inexpensive ready-made wedding design from Etsy or a similar website.
For the envelopes, buy neutral ones from a stationary supply store or create your own.
Cut Down Wedding Costs Tip #5 : Wedding Photos
According to Dr. Wealth, a wedding photography package can cost you anywhere from around SGD 2,000 to SGD 10,000.
Keep in mind that you don't have to go for a high-end company to get high-quality photographs.
Given today's readily available professional-level cameras and digital editing, high-quality photos are no longer the exclusive domain of expensive professional photography services.
Do you have a good friend who freelances as a photographer?
Do you know a couple of amateur photographers and photo editors?
If you are unsure about the quality of their work, why not do your initial pre-wedding photo shoot with them before the big day to see if their quality level meets your standards.
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