Singaporebrides | Weddings 101

December 2022

10 Easily Overlooked Wedding Costs That You Should Be Aware Of

Don’t let these easily overlooked wedding costs ruin your carefully planned wedding budget.

Planning your dream wedding without breaking the bank is possible with plenty of careful and well-planned budgeting, and discipline. However, there are times when even sticking strictly to your wedding budget may not save you from being taken by surprise by hidden wedding costs that may be overlooked or forgotten about until the last minute.

While some of these easily overlooked wedding costs may seem small in amount individually, they may start to add up to a sizeable amount and cause you to overspend what you have set aside for the wedding, and force you to cut down on other essentials for the celebration, honeymoon or even your new home. To prevent that from happening to you, we’ve listed down 10 of the most easily overlooked wedding costs that you should be aware of, to help you stick to your wedding budget for your once-in-a-lifetime.

1. Extra Beauty Needs

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

You may have factored in the cost of your hair and makeup for your pre-wedding shoot and actual day wedding day into your wedding budgeting, but what about the extra beauty needs you’d require for your big day, such as facials and a mani-pedi treatment, and even hair and makeup for your bridal party and family members?

While these expenses may seem small and insignificant on its own, when you add them up together, they may end up costing you hundreds of dollars of extra spending that you did not budget for. To prevent yourself from being taken aback by these extra beauty expenses, do pen them down and include them into your wedding budget right from the start.

2. Wedding Favours

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

Wedding favours are an expected part of any wedding and while it is a great way to say “thank you” to your guests for taking time out of their schedule to celebrate with you, it can get costly if you fail to plan ahead and budget properly for them.

Depending on what kind of favours you plan to gift, do your math before you place an order for them. While they may cost a few dollars per piece, when you have 150 or more guests to provide favours for, they can quickly add up to a few hundred dollars in total.

If you are on a strict budget, go for more generic wedding favours to save cost, instead of opting for more customised and unique favours which are likely to be more expensive. But if you have the budget set aside for them, then by all means go for unique favours like sustainable items such as homemade soaps, customised scents or even edible food favours.

3. Presents for Family/bridal party

Dionne and Wei Zhe’s Charming Light-Filled Wedding at Andaz Singapore by Bottled Groove Photography

Planning a wedding is not an easy feat and requires a lot of help from the people around you, especially if you are planning it on your own. To thank your family and friends for pitching in however they can for your big day, you should definitely get them a little something to show your appreciation.

These presents may not be overly expensive, but they do add up, especially if you have a long list of people to gift, so instead of keeping this list in your head, pen it down and make it into an actual list you can see and refer to you plan and shop for their gifts. Doing so will allow you to have a sense of how much budget you’ll need, instead of being taken aback by it after you’ve done your shopping.

Before you actually do any buying, think of what you’d like to buy for these individuals and pen them down, so you can get an estimate of how much these gifts will cost. From there, you can either set aside a suitable budget or rethink the presents if you are working on a strict budget.

4. Thank-you ang baos for bridal party/vendors

Yankee and Zenas’s Industrial Boho Wedding at Singapore Wine Vault with Warm Earthy Tones by Smittenpixels Co.

It is an unspoken tradition to give ang baos as a token of your appreciation to the group of people who helped make your day a successful one, such as wedding vendors who will be staying with you from morning to night, friends or family who pitched in to help as the designated driver or loaned a car, and so on.

As you can tell, the list can get extensive. While it is ultimately up to you how many people make the list and how much you would like to gift, the amount you’d have to set aside for this can easily add up to hundreds or even thousands. To avoid overstretching your wedding finances, do your budgeting for these thank-you angbaos right at the start of your planning. Make a list of people whom you’d like to show your appreciation for and pen down the amount you’d like to gift them, and set them aside. To avoid a situation where you run out of thank-you angbaos for individuals whom you’d like to thank on top of the ones on your list, do set aside a handful of extra thank-you angbaos to buffer for such scenarios.

5.Hotel rooms for family/bridal party

Siti and Husaini’s Elegant and Ethereal Clifford Pier Solemnisation by Colossal Weddings

Couples who are planning a destination wedding or are planning to get ready for their wedding dinner in a hotel room may want to budget for hotel room costs right from the get-go. This is especially important if you are booking several rooms for yourself, your bridal party and family.

Most hotel wedding packages do include a bridal suite for the couple and a day-use room for their bridal party and family, so if you are hosting your celebration at a hotel, do check with your coordinator to see if yours includes any rooms.

If you’d like to convert the day-use room into an overnight stay room or book an additional room for family and friends who’d like to stay over after the celebration is over, do ask early on if you are entitled to any preferential rates for the rooms so that you can better budget your finances for these extra expenses.

6. Guests transportation

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

Although you don’t have to provide transport for your guests, it would be a nice gesture to extend to them, especially if your wedding venue is not easily accessible by public transport. You can offer to provide hired car rides to your elderly guests or guests with young children, or hire a chartered bus to ferry guests from the nearest MRT station to your venue.

Factor these into your wedding budgeting from the start so you don’t end up overspending when you realise you have to provide a form of transportation for your guests.

7. Overtime charges

Ming Tong and Daryl’s Honest and Raw Wedding with Gold Accents and Sustainable Elements at Botanico at The Garage by Bottled Groove Photography

Overtime fees are one of those charges that can quietly creep up on you, even though you are aware of them. Make sure to check with your venue and vendors such as your wedding photographer and videographer on their working hours for the package that you’ve booked with them. To help with your budgeting, you should also ask them how much their overtime charges cost, so that you can factor them into your wedding finances to buffer for such scenarios.

Aside from overtime charges, you should also check with your vendors if they have any additional charges that you may not be aware of, such as transport fees.

8. Alcohol charges

Pearlyn and Cody’s Romantic Blush Wedding at Ramada Wyndham Zhongshan Park by Iki Company and Supercolerolls

It is common for many weddings in Singapore to serve alcohol and it can get expensive when your guests get carried away with the drinking and celebration. To keep the bill for alcohol within your budget, you can instruct your venue to serve it only when dinner starts, instead of at the reception. You can also put a cap on the number of bottles of wine or barrels of beer per table, to ensure that your alcohol bill doesn’t bust your budget.

If you have plans to bring in your own alcohol, you might want to check with your venue to find out their corkage fees, and see if it makes more money sense to buy and bring your own, or to purchase directly from them.

9. Top-ups

Stefani and Kevin’s Glamorous, Art Deco Wedding Aboard the Orient Express Singapore by Dapper Pictures

Before you commit to a wedding package, find out how much it’ll cost for the various top-ups from the start to help you make a more budget savvy decision. For instance, if it costs more to top up for a gown you love than to upgrade to a wedding gown package that allows you to choose that gown, then it might make more dollar sense to pay for a more expensive package than to top-up at a later point in time for the same gown.

The same goes for your wedding flowers, decor and so on. Check with your vendor on what’s included in the package and if you have a particular preference that isn’t included in that package, ask how much it’ll cost if you wanted to include it. Do your calculations and see if it is worth taking a basic package and paying for a top-up, or upgrade to a higher tier package that already includes what you want and more.

10. GST and other relevant charges

Kamelia and Jeremiah’s Cosy Cafe Solemnisation at Belo by Bobby Kiran Photography

It’s easy to forget about GST and other relevant charges, but you should definitely try not to! While GST may not make too big an impact in our day-to-day spending, it is a different story when it comes to your wedding spending. With weddings ranging from $15,000 and onwards, GST and other relevant charges are going to set you back at least a few hundred dollars or more.

So, do factor in these additional charges that may not be as upfront as the other wedding charges into your wedding budgeting, so you don’t get a shock when you receive the final bill.

Feature Image from Sandra and Eugene’s Intimate Wedding in Kayak Garden Pavilion Filled with Cherry Blossoms by Iki Company.

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