Singaporebrides | Weddings 101

June 2014

How To Avoid Falling Into A Wedding Debt

A recent survey SingaporeBrides did last November revealed that most couples spend at least $50,000 on their wedding, with the banquet making up the bulk of the cost, a clear sign that weddings today are no longer the modest affairs of yesteryear. Should you consider a loan? Read on to find out.

The increase in spending power and availability of loans have made extravagant weddings possible but a recent report earlier this year of a couple who spent $110,000 to fulfill their dream wedding and remains still in debt nearly 2 years after the day raises the question of how much should one spend on their big day, and exactly how much is too much.

Of course, there are no right or wrong answers to those questions. How much you spend on your wedding depends on your budget and financial means. To help you achieve the dream wedding you’ve always wanted without spending beyond your means and landing yourself in debt, we’ve put together 4 essential tips you need to know when it comes to financing your wedding.

Tip #1 : Set a Budget and Stick to It

How To Plan a Dream Wedding Without Falling Into a Wedding Debt1 Image from PicJumbo

The first thing you should do is to agree on how much you’re both willing to spending on your wedding and come up with a wedding budget for each item required for your big day. That allows you to be more aware of how much you have for that item and how much you’ve under or overspent it. But before you do that, you need to know how much each component of a wedding costs. Do your research ahead of time and factor in inflation if your wedding is only set for the next year or the year after. Pen these costs down on our wedding planner and go through the to-do list to ensure you’ve covered every item on the list. Once you have a budget in place, try to stick to it instead of overspending to avoid taking a loan to finance the day. The act of setting a budget and sticking to it will also help you manage your future finances for renovation, furniture buying and household funds.

Tip #2 : Plan Ahead and Prioritise Wisely

How to Plan a Dream Wedding Without Falling Into a Wedding Debt2 Image cc licensed ( BY SA) by Ken Teegardin

A foolproof way to ensure that you’ll remain debt free after your wedding is to plan your finances ahead of time. Most couples start saving up for their big day a year or more prior to the actual day and by doing so, they’ll have an existing fund of money to work with by the time they need to pay for their wedding. Work out how much you each have to contribute to the wedding fund based on the budget you’ve agreed upon for a wedding in a year or two’s time.

Begin your saving by making some lifestyle changes. Try to dine more at home and bring packed lunches to work instead of eating out, but if you absolutely have to eat out, have your meals at a food court or hawker center rather than at a restaurant to keep your food expenses to the minimum. Limit your monthly grocery and shopping budget to refrain from overspending. These simple lifestyle changes will not only teach you how to save up for your wedding, but will also prove helpful for your future home and life as well. However, it is important to give yourself a treat once in a while and go out for a date night once every month or two as a reward for sticking to your savings plan.

Despite having a savings plan way ahead of your big day, you should also understand how deep your pockets are and what you can afford realistically. If adding the amount you’re putting aside for your wedding fund to your current financial commitments is stretching you thin, then consider cutting down the cost of your wedding by prioritising what is necessary for your big day and what you can do without. Don’t insist on a destination wedding or invite every one of your relatives and friends when you have to scrimp and save miserably for two years just to afford it.

Tip #3 : Re-Examine Your Expectations

How To Plan a Dream Wedding Without Falling Into a Wedding Debt2

In order to prioritise what is important to your wedding and what isn’t, you need to manage your expectations for the day. Instead of being driven by the desire to throw the most unique and best wedding among your peers, think about how you can customise your big day to reflect your personalities and journey as a couple. Rather than a flower arch, consider decorating the venue with pots of flowers and draping vines over chairs for a garden look. And if you don’t have the budget for fresh flowers, don’t insist on getting them. Opt for faux ones or hand make your very own blooms to minimise cost and add a personal touch to your wedding. Browse through popular wedding websites and social media sites such as SingaporeBrides and Pinterest for great sources of wedding inspiration and DIY ideas you can use to cut down on your wedding costs and stay debt-free.

Tip #4 : It’s The Little Things That Count

There are many ways to limit your wedding costs. Start by having a more intimate celebration at a smaller venue with an exclusive guest-list made up of only close family members and friends. For some couples’ families, this means breaking away from the tradition where weddings are symbols of a family’s status and a smaller celebration would consequently mean that their family has a lower social status. It will take some persuading on the couple’s part to explain to their families their decision for a smaller wedding party.

Wedding exhibitions and showcases are great places to get more bang for your buck when you’re planning for your wedding. Most wedding exhibitions and showcases offer promotional packages or credit card savings when you sign up with them on the spot or within a stipulated period of time. These savings could come up to quite a bit and allow you to splurge in other areas of your wedding without exceeding your budget. However, try not to cut too many corners in a bid to limit your wedding costs. Some savings are just not worth it and may require you to spend more in the end. Learn about the 5 budget wedding tips that are not worth it to avoid making this mistake.

When You Should Consider a Loan

While it’s best to avoid obtaining a loan to finance your wedding if you can help it, if you’re determined to obtain one for any reason, turn to your close family members for help first. Taking a loan from your parents or family members will provide you with the sum you need for the wedding while saving you the interest that you will incur with a bank loan. If this is not a viable option, you can then consider your next best option, which is getting a bank loan.

Major banks such as OCBC, UOB, DBS, POSB, Citibank and Standard Chartered offer several credit card and personal loans that allows you to loan up to four times your salary with as low an interest rate as 1.5% per month based on a flexible repayment scheme, where you only have to pay a minimum of 2.5-3% of the sum owing or $50, whichever is higher. For more information and updates on these loans, do visit the respective banks for a better understanding on how these loans function.

But before you embark on one, you should ask yourselves these questions: do both of you have healthy incomes sufficient to support a loan in addition to your current expenses and financial commitments? Do you intend to take up a second or third loan for your future home? Will you be able to pay it back within the stipulated time frame without putting additional strain on your finances? Be honest with yourselves when it comes to these questions to avoid stressing yourselves out with the debt after the wedding.

How To Plan a Dream Wedding Without Falling Into a Wedding Debt4 Image from My Garden Romance by Lightedpixels Pixies

It is easy to get carried away with the need to host a one-of-kind wedding that trumps everyone else’s, but it is important to remember that the core purpose of a wedding is not to show someone else’s wedding up, but to celebrate a joyous union between a man and a woman whilst being surrounded by close family and friends. Just because your once-in-a-lifetime is a lavish celebration doesn’t make it any more meaningful or happier than a simple one. What matters most is having the people who means the most to you present at the wedding, not how much you spend on it.

Credits: Feature image by Samuel Goh Photography / cropped from original