Singaporebrides | Weddings 101

April 2013

5 Budget Wedding Tips That Are Not Worth It

For most brides-to-be, the wedding budget is like an unruly beast that has to be carefully monitored (and sometimes, fiercely controlled). But in the quest to save-save-save, it is only too easy to go overboard… and end up spending more down the road. SingaporeBrides lists five penny-pinching tips to toss.

#1: Buying a wedding gown online

Navy and White Parisian Garden Wedding Grand Hyatt 5Vivian and Josh’s Parisian Garden Wedding at Grand Hyatt Singapore by Bloc Memoire Photography

Many budget-conscious brides scoff at paying thousands of dollars for a wedding gown that they will only wear for one day. So, their immediate solution is to seek out cheaper alternatives, like buying a gown online or paying for a used gown. Such gowns usually cost a fraction of the price that bridal boutiques charge. But if they think they’ve hit the jackpot by buying a gown at half price, they couldn’t be more wrong. There are actually many risks involved in such a hasty decision. For instance, a wedding gown should fit your body and only a bridal boutique can give you that level of meticulous attention and expert tailoring to tweak your gown to perfection. Otherwise, expect to top up extra for alterations or sourcing for the right beads and sequins to add to your gown.

True story!

“I did not want to sign a wedding package with a bridal boutique, so I bought my wedding gown online. I knew I was taking a risk – as it wasn’t possible to try on the gown before paying hundreds of dollars. Later, the gown arrived, but I found that the gown didn’t fit me as well as I thought it would. I approached many tailors and bridal boutiques but they refused to alter my gown, as they didn’t want to risk ruining it. In the end, I managed to find a tailor who was willing to help, but he charged me an exorbitant sum for his service!” – Adeline, 28

#2: Choosing à la carte options

Belinda and Roland's Elegant Wedding at InterContinental Singapore 51Belinda and Roland’s Elegant Wedding at InterContinental Singapore by Trouvé

At first glance, going the à la carte route is a savvier option than putting down a lump sum for a wedding package. After all, the flexibility means that couples can efficiently eliminate what they do not need from their list – and potentially save a bundle. For instance, if a couple chooses to not have pre-wedding photos taken, then they are saving a bundle by only engaging an actual day photographer. That shaves thousands of dollars off the budget. But think about it: If you go à la carte with every aspect of your wedding, such as flowers, gowns and photography, you are paying for these essentials at prices that are way higher. So, if budget is the key word in your wedding, go for a package instead – you will get more for a lower cost. The only reason to opt for à la carte is if you are particular about the wedding vendors, such as preferring a certain photographer’s style.

True story!

“When I first started planning my wedding, I set my heart on going a la carte as I preferred a no-frills wedding. I felt that it would be cheaper if I choose certain services and not take up others. But after doing my research, I discovered that I could actually get more at a lesser price if I take up a wedding package. For $3500, my package provides four gowns, trial and actual day make-up sessions, pre-wedding photography as well as miscellaneous items like rental of Chinese kua and accessories.” – Claris, 31

#3: Replacing professionals with friends

Calvary Baptist Church Singapore Wedding Bridesmaids bouquets 54Germaine and Mitchell’s Glamorous Wedding at Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore by Antelope Studios

Engaging professionals can be costly, so it may sound like a good idea to get your friends to help at your wedding. After all, if your gal pal has been learning floral arrangement, then it will make plenty of sense to get her to help with the flowers right? That way, you get to save hundreds on flowers (all she asks for is a token angbao!). But if her skills are not up to par, or if she does not know where to source for the crystal vases that fit your theme, the odds are that you won’t be pleased with what she comes up with. In fact, you may have to top up more cash at the last minute to get a professional florist to step in and take over.

True story!

“I have a friend who dabbles in photography, so I asked if he would help to shoot my wedding on the actual day. I figured that I could potentially save a lot. But when the day came, his rental DSLR equipment failed during our gatecrash activities. It was a huge disappointment, and I had to hurriedly get a professional photographer from our bridal boutique to take over the job. Besides the stress, we also spent more to hire a professional at the last minute.” – Kenneth, 34

#4: Doing your own hair and makeup

Rustic Woodland Church Wedding 2Elsa and Zachary’s Rustic Woodland Church Wedding by AndroidsinBoots and The Beautiful Moment Photography

Bridal make-up can easily cost over a thousand dollars, just for the actual wedding day. Which is why many thrifty brides contemplate doing their own. But this may not be the wisest option. On your wedding day, it is likely that you will be nervous and not able to pull off your makeup to perfection. Besides, you may also be more adept at creating the “everyday” type of make-up look, instead of applying make-up such that you look great in photos. And while you save on the make-up artist’s fee, you may have to spend on top-of-the-range cosmetics, as well as brushes and false eyelashes.

True story!

“I’ve always been quite good with make-up. So I thought I could try doing it myself on my wedding day. I experimented with different looks by following YouTube make-up tutorials, and decided to use my engagement photoshoot as a make-up trial too. But my skills were not quite up to par – I looked washed out in the photos. In the end, I decided that it would be safer to go with a professional make-up artist. But I managed to save by getting it as part of my bridal package.” – Joan, 31

#5: Saving up on the food

Dreamy-Intimate-Wedding-Food-For-Thought-Singapore-Botanic-Gardens-57-optimisedAnnabel and Weijie’s Dreamy Intimate Wedding at Food For Thought, Singapore Botanic Gardens by Bloc Memoire Photography

The not-so-secret tip to organising a successful wedding is to make sure that you serve plenty of good food and drinks. After all, guests attend a wedding expecting to be fed. So, if you’ve planned to have a buffet-style wedding lunch or dinner, make sure that there are enough portions for every invited guest. Ideally, there should even be some leftovers for second helpings. If you don’t serve enough, chances are that your guests will end up hungry, thirsty… and very cranky. If the food takes up a substantial chunk of your wedding budget, consider slashing it in other ways, like holding the reception on a weekday instead of Saturday (when prices are usually higher).

True story!

“I attended a casual beach wedding at East Coast Park last year. The groom was known to be miserly, but my husband and I did not expect him to take it so far. Although there were about 150 guests, he only catered enough for 100. When we arrived at 7.30pm, most of the dishes, served buffet-styled, were already half-gone. All we had that evening was half a portion of pasta, a few French fries, and some spring rolls. We were so hungry that we decided to leave earlier… to go the nearby East Coast Hawker Centre for supper!” – Angeline, 32

Credits: Feature Image from One Big Family by 9 Frames Photography.