Singaporebrides | Weddings 101

February 2021

How to Actually Pay for Your Wedding

Get smart about paying for your wedding with our little saving tips that go a long way!

Your wedding might be the first big item you pay for together as a couple. The both of you might be just starting out in your careers, and the thought of paying down tens of thousands of dollars can be scary, if not downright unimaginable. While it may seem daunting when you first think about it, by setting a goal and making a few smart saving habits, saving up for your dream wedding is completely doable. Here’s how.

Yeonhee and Pei Qian’s Elegant Destination Wedding at Andaz Singapore by John15 Photography

Set a Budget

There are a lot of scaremonger posts out there about how the average wedding cost in Singapore is at least $30,000, or how you’ll have to fork out a ton of money for a big wedding full of people you don’t like and won’t talk to, just to fulfil societal norms. But there shouldn’t be any shame in wanting to celebrate your love and your beginning of a monumental new chapter with your best friend.

According to our survey in 2020, 92% of couples in Singapore pay for their own wedding. 40% of the couples surveyed spent between $30,000 to $50,000, 31% spent between $15,000 to $30,000, and 18% spent between $50,000 to $80,000. There were 7% of couples who spent less than $15,000, and 4% who spent more than $80,000 on their weddings. Over half of them stuck to their budgets while 37% spent more.

Your wedding can cost as much or as little as you want; simply set a budget! These couples spent between $3,000 and $30,000 for their beautiful celebrations. Sit down and discuss how much you both want to spend on your wedding, taking into account other financial commitments you may have, such as student loans or an upcoming home loan. Talk about the kind of wedding you want: Ballroom or restaurant? Do you prioritise the food or is having a really good photographer and videographer more important to you? What about your outfits—buy or rent? You can also discuss your wedding dates, keeping in mind that weekday weddings will be more affordable than weekend ones.

Once you’ve set your priorities, you’ll have a better gauge of how much to set aside for your wedding. While a wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime celebration, you also want to be practical about your financial circumstances and spend only what you can afford.

Lalu and Chris’ Bright and Colourful Sapa-Inspired Backyard Wedding by Alvelyn Alko

How much to save a month

The total figure you come up with can seem daunting, so divide it into smaller sums that are easier goals to attain. Take your total budget, minus the savings you’ve already set aside for your wedding, and divide the remainder by the number of months you have to save up. For example, if you’re getting married in a year and need to save up another $10,000 for your dream wedding, your monthly saving goal is about $830 for the both of you or $415 each.

You can also work this equation the other way around; for example, if the both of you can only afford to save $500 a month and your dream wedding will cost another $20,000, you’ll need to save for over three years.

Reconsider monthly expenses

To reach your monthly saving goal, consider cutting out some of your existing monthly expenses such as your gym or club membership, or that Netflix or Spotify subscription. You could even consider downgrading your mobile or WiFi plan, just for the time being. Doing without such monthly expenses could quickly save you almost $100 a month.

Cutting back on little spending habits

Those lattes to-go every morning, that pick-me-up bubble tea, food delivery instead of cooking, or a taxi ride instead of taking public transport—all these little spending habits add up. Cutting them down will help you save for your wedding a lot quicker. A dollar here, five dollars there, and you could be saving up to $10 a day. That’s $300 a month, and $3,600 a year!

Lianne and Anthony’s Intimate Oriental Chic Wedding at VUE at OUE Bayfront by Tinydot Photography

Take up a side-hustle

If you’ve got some spare time, especially with the long commute you save by working from home, consider taking up a side-hustle. Put those Circuit Baker skills to use and sell your baked goods, offer freelance writing services, or try your hand at tutoring. Use your extra income to help pay for your wedding.

Make the most of credit cards

As long as you use credit cards wisely—that is, paying them off in full on time every month—they can be a great way to chalk up air miles or cashback. For example, you could get up to $300 quarterly cashback with the UOB One Card if you spend $2,000 a month, or up to $125 cashback a month with the HSBC Advance card. A card with no cap on the rebates might work better when making big purchases for your wedding, and the The Amex True Cashback card currently offers 3% cash rebate for the first 6 months, up to $5,000 spent, after which you earn 1.5% cashback on everything.

If you’re itching to travel (of course you are!), consider an air miles card for your one-time big wedding purchases, such as the Amex KrisFlyer card which offers 13,000 bonus miles with $5,000 spent, and has a first-year fee waiver. Card promotions are constantly updated, so do your research before making any significant deposits such as your venue or bridal boutique bookings, to reap the most rewards.

Pay as You Go

Paying for your wedding can seem like a daunting task, but all the little ways you save will add up in no time. Plus, you won’t need your whole wedding budget in one go, so don’t feel that you need to postpone your wedding till you have saved the entire figure. Typically, couples take a year to plan for and book their vendors, paying down deposits along the way and paying the remainder on their wedding days. Check out our wedding planning checklist or wedding planning app to see which items you’ll need to book at which stage, to help you budget for them in time.

Feature image from Jennica and Xin Ying’s Elegant and Timeless Wedding at JW Marriott Singapore South Beach by Antelope Studios

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How to Actually Pay for Your Wedding