Singaporebrides | Weddings 101

September 2022

10 Simple Tips To Stay Within Your Wedding Budget And Avoid Over Spending

Stay within your wedding budget and avoid over spending with these 10 easy tips.

With the proposal ring of your dreams now on your finger, you are more excited than ever to dive right into your wedding planning so you can bring your dream wedding to life. Unless budget is not an issue, before you start your planning, you might want to sit down with your partner and discuss about how much you want and can afford to spend on your wedding. Having an idea of how much you have to spend will help you make decisions in your wedding planning as you go along, so it is important to decide on one early in the game.

However, sometimes, even with a wedding budget in place, it is easy for couples to over spend during their wedding planning. To help couples stay within their budget and avoid spending more than they want or can afford to, we’ve listed down 10 simple tips they can follow to make their wedding budgeting a successful one.

1. Research on average wedding costs before deciding on a wedding budget

Jane and Joel’s Fun-Loving Pre-Wedding Shoot in The Outdoors at Jurong Lake Gardens and Canterbury by Dapper Pictures

With no or little knowledge on how much it actually costs to host a wedding, couples may find it difficult to set a realistic wedding budget for themselves. If you find yourself in such a position, there are several things you can do to help you determine a realistic and workable wedding budget.

Try to find out the average cost of hosting a wedding from family and friends who had recently planned or attended one. You don’t need to know exactly how much they paid for their wedding. Instead, ask them for a ballpark figure of how much their wedding cost them, as well as important factors that affect the cost such as the number of guests, where the wedding was held and the vendors who were engaged. From there, you can get an idea of how much you’ll need to set aside realistically for your own wedding celebration.

Alternatively, you can do a little research on your own by browsing through our lists of essential wedding vendors to get a sense of how much it’ll cost to hire a wedding photographer, videographer, makeup artist, and so on, or speak to a few wedding vendors across different categories about their rates, to help you get a better sense of how much you’ll need to fulfil the wedding of your dreams.

2. Always question your wedding budget

Elizabeth and Felix’s Intimate Home Solemnisation with Classic Burgundy and Blush Florals by Pixioo

Every soon-to-be-wed couple knows that secret to make your wedding budget work for you is to set one in place at the start of your wedding planning. But as most couples would know, overspending still happens even though you’ve decided on an amount to spend on the wedding.

On top of setting a wedding budget, you should also question it. Be extremely honest as you ask yourselves, is this the actual maximum amount you can afford to spend or are willing to spend? If the answer to this question is yes, then you should reduce that amount by 20% and try to stick to that figure. More often than not, many couples over spend at some point and find themselves spending more than they had initially agreed to, forcing them to cut back on other areas that they should be spending on. To avoid being in a situation like that, you should reduce your maximum spending amount by at least 20% to buffer for overspending.

3. Make sure you know what your priorities are

Natalie and Clinton’s Vibrant Floral Wonderland Wedding at The St. Regis Singapore by Bobby Kiran Photography

Along with your discussion about your wedding budget, you should also be upfront about what matters to you. It is important for you and your partner to talk about your priorities for the wedding, since both of you may have different priorities.

Pick three priorities, list them down and share them with each other. Together, talk about why these are important to you and why you wish to allocate more budget to them. Be honest with yourself and your partner during your discussion; if it adds value and meaning to your special day, then you might want to consider adding them into your budget. To avoid over spending, you might also want to identify which are the three areas that have the least priority for you, and reduce the budget for them accordingly, so that you have room to budget the top three priorities on your list.

A good way to determine if an item on your wedding planning list is a priority is to ask yourself these two questions – “Would anyone notice if we don’t do this?” and “Would our guests’ experience be affected if we don’t do this?”. If the answer to these questions is “No”, then it is safe to say that you can omit it or assign a lower budget to it.

4. Remember to keep track of your spending

Mariana and Kelvin’s Captivating 1920s Shanghai Inspired Pre-Wedding Shoot at Dempsey by Mike Chen Photography

Keeping track of your spending is the one and only way of managing it and ensuring that you do not spend beyond your means. Set up a spreadsheet to record your expenditure and keep track of how much you have to spend on the rest of the items on your wedding planning list, and decide between yourselves on who would be the one to manage this spreadsheet.

To help you better visualise how much you can spend, you should list down the vendors and items you need for your wedding. Put the essential vendors, such as wedding venues, bridal boutiques, jeweller, wedding photographer and videographer and florist on top of the list, so you know to prioritise your budget for these vendors first, before moving down the list to the good-to-have vendors like stylists and other miscellaneous items like bridesmaids and groomsmen outfits.

All expenditure for the wedding, however big or small, should be recorded into the spreadsheet for an accurate representation of how much you’ve spent and how much left you have to spend. Do sit down and go through the spreadsheet once every two weeks, or however frequently you wish to, to look through your expenses and see if adjustments or cuts need to be made.

5. Take advantage of reward/rebate programmes to save more as you spend

Valerie and Wei Zhong’s Sunrise Yoga Shoot at Lower Seletar Peirce and Singapore Botanic Gardens by Senica Photos

Since you’ll be spending a substantial sum of money for the wedding, why not make use of rebates and cash back programmes to save as you spend? Credit cards often have rebates and cash back programmes that off a sliver of savings when you spend a minimum amount per month or quarter, so take advantage of these programmes to help you save more on your wedding spending. Familiarise yourself with the various credit card rebate and cash back programmes, and pick the best one for your needs. To maximise your savings, both you and your partner should use the same card that gives you the most savings when you spend for the wedding.

Some banks work in collaboration with selected venues to offer direct discounts or rebates with a minimum spending as well, so do ask your chosen venue if they are working with any banks or if there are any such promotions that you can enjoy for additional savings.

6. Keep your guest list to a minimum

Nicole Chang Min and James’s Sky-High, Tropical Floral Wedding at 1-Atico by Androids in Boots

The size of your guest list has a direct correlation to how much you’ll be spending on your wedding. With a bigger guest list, you’ll not only need to book a bigger venue and cater for more food and drinks, you’ll also need to spend more on decorations, invites, favours and other miscellaneous items that you’ll need to host a big wedding.

If you are working on a tight budget or wish to keep your spending within a certain amount, the easiest way to do so is to trim the size of your guest list. With a smaller guest list, you are less likely to need a bigger venue or cater as much food and drinks. You’ll also save on the amount of decorations, invites, favours and other miscellaneous items that are needed.

With a smaller guest list, you’ll also be able to focus on your guests and their experience at the wedding, by greeting them personally and using the extra budget saved to arrange for activities and games to keep them occupied and involved in the celebration.

7. Remember to factor in the costs of extras when budgeting

Ame and Shaun’s Tropical Boho Wedding at W Singapore-Sentosa by Love Me Tender Films

Before you engage a vendor, remember to check with them if there are any additional costs that you might need to be aware of, such as service charge, overtime fees for the venue or photographers, extra rental fees for an upgraded design, and so on.

Factor these costs into your budgeting right at the start, so you can buffer for them instead of getting caught off guard when you see the final figure at the end of the day and realise that you’ve actually overspent by a significant amount.

8. Rent your wedding outfits instead of buying

Wai San and Si Wei’s Intimate Wedding at Floral Fantasy by Dapper Pictures

A great way to keep within your wedding budget is to go for rentals whenever possible. While it may be your dream to walk down the aisle in a bespoke or designer wedding gown or suit, renting an off-the-shelf outfit is more cost effective, especially if you are looking to keep within a budget. Many bridal boutiques offer a large variety of modern, beautiful and quality wedding gowns and suits for rental at a fraction of the price of buying a bespoke or designer outfit. Not only will opting to rent instead of buying a wedding gown help you cut down on your wedding spending and keep within budget, it’ll also save you the trouble of storing and maintaining the dress after the wedding is over.

9. Spend to improve your guests’ experience and cut back on areas that don’t

Felicia and Jonathan’s Lively and Colourful Wedding at The Alkaff Mansion and The Church of St. Francis Xavier by Sloth Creatives Weddings

It may be your big day, but your guests’ experience and enjoyment at your wedding matters too. They have taken the time out of their busy schedules to be present at your milestone celebration, so the least you can do as hosts would be to ensure that they, too, can enjoy the wedding as much as you do.

Instead of skimping on areas that directly affect your guests’ experience, splurge a little more on food and drinks, and activities to ensure their enjoyment, and cut back on your spending for extra flowers or plush favours that they may or may not like. A sumptuous meal of good food and drinks will definitely keep your guests happy, along with fun activities such as photo booths or a tea-mixing favour booth that will no doubt keep them engaged and occupied during the entire celebration.

10. Engage vendors based on how experienced they are instead of how much they charge

Rachel and Hui’s Tropical Eclectic Wedding at Corner House by Yipmage Moments

Many couples think that wedding budgeting naturally means choosing a lower price point to keep costs low. However, that cannot be further from the truth. When it comes to essential vendors such as photographers, bridal boutiques and so on, it is always better to pay a little more for a favourable outcome. After all, money can be earned and saved again, but your wedding will only happen once.

Each and every wedding vendor’s fee is representative of their experience and expertise, and the service that they are bringing to you. For instance, you are paying for your photographer or videographer’s time, style and experience in handling a fast paced celebration while capturing the finer details of your once-in-a-lifetime celebration without missing out on any of the important moments. That means, the more experienced and established photographers will cost more than less experienced and established ones. While you may be tempted to go with the latter group to save money, in a worst case scenario, you might end up spending more to salvage the problem and end up losing precious memories of your wedding day.

Credits: Featured image from Shauna and Rainer’s Minimalist and Modern Zen Wedding at Raffles Hotel Singapore by Iki Company

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