Sound budget planning advice from wedding industry professionals.
Whether it’s for a wedding or a renovation, planning a budget is akin to coming up with a honeymoon itinerary: You make a plan, and try to stick to it so that your first holiday together goes without a hitch.
However, it can be tough to make the right choices without a guide on the ground – and that’s why we asked Cheryl, who co-runs bridal boutique WeddingCrafters as well as Bridelope Productions photography studio co-founder, Boyang, to share some essential budgeting tips, which will help you start your matrimonial and renovation journeys on the right foot!
1. Think carefully about what’s best for you
Much like designing a home that suits your needs, planning your wedding budget starts with asking yourself the question, “What’s best for me?”
“That’s because for weddings, there’s no one-size-fits-all budget,” says Boyang. “Depending on personal preference, a wedding in Singapore can cost anywhere from $3,000 for a small-scale ROM (Registry of Marriages) reception to $100,000 and upwards for a really big ceremony, so it’s important for couples find out what exactly they’re comfortable with.”
However, if you’d like a baseline (read: an ‘average’ or ‘typical’ wedding budget in Singapore, sans honeymoon) from which to work your plans off, here’s an estimated breakdown of some major components:
|Bridal package (Clothes, video/photoshoot, make up, etc.)||$3,000 to $10,000|
|Wedding bands||$2,000 to $4,000|
|Wedding solemnisation (20 banquet tables, $1,000 to $1,600 each)||$20,000 to $32,000|
|Total cost||$25,000 to $46,000|
As for a budget estimate for a home renovation in Singapore? Try out our Renovation Calculator!
2. Do your homework before signing up for a package
Getting a bridal package instead of finding your own service providers, such as photographers and make-up artists, is one way to save on both money and time – but as with signing up for a renovation package, it’s worth knowing the details, and maybe, even how these packages work.
“There are studios with all-in-one bundles that include photography, make up and gowns because they hire in-house staff or freelancers. However, there are also boutiques that offer packages using a different approach,” says Cheryl.
“With us, it’s more akin to going a la carte, because we work with partner vendors who offer us a preferential rate for their services; these savings are then passed down directly to our customers, and they’re still able to pick what goes into their packages.”
3. Set aside some money to fall back on
Wedding or renovation, it’s always advisable to work a buffer into your plans so you won’t have to worry about spending beyond your budget.
For instance, according to Cheryl, “customisation fees may cost $1,800 and upwards”, if your wedding gown of choice isn’t the right fit. Likewise, there could be miscellaneous expenses, in the form of extra tables for guests, venue décor, table gifts, or even parking.
Additionally, it’s best not to count on wedding day ang baos (red packets) or monetary gifts to cover any shortfalls. “I would advise against it, because it prevents couples from budgeting realistically,” says Boyang. “In other words, it’s best to see the money you receive as sort of a ‘bonus’, rather than something to be worked into your plans.”
4. Consider pacing your spending
“Personally, I think dealing with upfront costs is one of the biggest challenges of getting married and renovating a home at the same time,” says Boyang. “A typical wedding in Singapore is in the ballpark of $30,000 to $40,000, and a renovation is likely going to cost just as much.” Needless to say, that could add up to a hefty sum in the short term.
So, to give yourself more financial breathing room, consider “getting married first and moving in with your parents or in-laws for a year or two before renovating,” as Boyang suggests OR think about working with wedding services and/or interior design firms which offer instalment plans.
5. Start planning early
Finally, there’s truth in the saying ‘the early bird catches the worm’ because laying the groundwork early for your marriage (and renovation) will give you ample time to plan your finances – and could even net you a better deal.
“For the wedding industry, there are on- and off-seasons, but that’s referring more to the number of weddings taking place, rather than discount periods. However, we do have promotions from time-to-time, on top of our usual perks,” says Cheryl.
“So yes, planning early, like a year in advance, is good because that’ll give you a few extra months to see if you can get a better deal at the studios that you’ve shortlisted.”
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