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Common Wedding Expenses in Singapore That Couples End Up Regretting

When it comes to a couple’s big day, many in Singapore have opted for the lavish and extravagant option with the hopes of creating the perfect day. It is also a commonly known fact that holding a wedding in Singapore can cost a huge bomb. Having an intimate wedding at a restaurant can easily set a couple back by about $15,000 while a fancy hotel banquet can go up to as high as six figures.

Getting married in Singapore can be a tricky milestone for many young couples, as there is a need to balance your own expectations and costs while respecting cultural and family expectations.

It is not uncommon for couples to regret their wedding expenses after the big day. Here are some of the most common ones that leave newlyweds rueing that hole in their pockets.

1. Expensive, over-the-top wedding venues

“You get married only once in a lifetime.” This is a common refrain couples hear while planning their wedding. It means many may be more willing to splurge, and this sometimes includes paying astronomical sums for high-end hotels or exclusive venues for their wedding.

In Singapore, wedding venues can go up to a rate of $350 per pax, meaning a wedding with 100 guests could set you back $35,000++. Often, the bulk of a couple’s wedding expenses goes to the venue hire. That may leave them with little allowance for other important expenses if they were to have a limited budget.

Read more: Affordable Alternative Wedding Venues in Singapore

2. Hiring a wedding planner

Hiring a wedding planner can be beneficial for busy couples, but it may not be the best choice for those who have a limited budget. In Singapore, wedding planning services may cost from $1,200 for actual day coordination and up to $7,000 for a full planning service.

For the more budget-conscious, hiring a wedding planner may end up becoming a wrong move, especially if the wedding planner did not meet expectations or did not fully execute their vision for the wedding.

3. Hiring a videographer

Having a good photographer is usually a must-have for weddings so that you have beautiful pictures to look back fondly on your wedding day with. However, for some couples, the same may not be said for videographers.

In reality, besides posting the wedding video on Instagram or YouTube after the wedding, many couples do not often look back on the professional wedding video after the big day. In fact, some may argue the same for photography services.

Of course, if you are sentimental and value keeping videos for the memories, getting a professional video for your wedding may be well worth it. But it would be prudent to think twice about how much you are putting aside for such services.

4. Extravagant “Si Dian Jin”

Source: Blissful Brides

In Singapore, it’s customary for the bride-to-be to be given “Si Dian Jin” by their mother-in-law, as a customary betrothal gift. “Si Dian Jin” refers to four pieces of jewellery: a pair of earrings, a necklace, a bangle and a ring. The items symbolise blessings of longevity, wealth, health and happiness.

While this tradition is meaningful, shops selling traditional Si Dian Jin usually offer pieces of jewellery that are not appropriate for everyday wear. Si Dian Jin sets usually cost between $4,000 – $10,000, a tidy sum to splurge on considering how many brides do not wear the Si Dian Jin after the wedding day.

To save on spending too much on the Si Dian Jin, brides-to-be can consider getting modern Si Dian Jin pieces that are more suited for everyday wear.

Read more: Financial Red Flags To Watch Out for Before You Say “I Do”

5. Customised wedding favours and photo booths

Customised wedding favours can be a thoughtful way to thank guests, but the cost for these items can also add up quickly.

Many couples in Singapore have regretted spending money on personalised items that guests don’t appreciate or use. This includes wedding favours with the couple’s names on them, or photo booths with photos watermarked with the couple’s names or pictures.

Consider doing without the wedding favours, or opt for getting wedding favours from social enterprises so that the proceeds are donated to a meaningful cause.

6. Unnecessary wedding packages

Wedding vendors in Singapore often offer all-inclusive wedding packages, but some couples have regretted signing up for packages that include unnecessary items they didn’t need or use.

On popular wedding Facebook Group Budget Brides, one of the most common missteps was couples signing on to a wedding package without first properly considering how they envision their wedding day. This has led to complaints over the quality of certain bridal wedding packages, or belated realisations that the offered packages do not suit the theme the couple was going for.

Wedding packages offer a great all-in-one solution for some couples, but it may not be a good deal for others. Before committing to a wedding package, carefully consider each item included and negotiate with the vendor to customise the package to suit your needs and budget. The last thing you want is to sign up for a $5,000 wedding package on impulse, and having to forfeit it if the service is not aligned with what you want.

Read more: Marriage & Money: What Insurance Should We Look at as a Couple?

7. Holding the Registry of Marriage (ROM) and the wedding on separate dates

Getting a union registered with the Registry of Marriages (ROM) is a legal requirement for all marriages in Singapore, but some couples opt to then hold a separate ceremony for their wedding day. While this may seem like a good idea, holding two events can be a financial burden that many couples have regretted.

This was a mistake that I personally made. I wanted my marriage to be registered on a specific date, but the ROM office was full that day. In the end, I booked out a venue, DIY-ed the decorations, door gifts and due to COVID restrictions, held it with just 30 or so relatives.

As the ROM event wasn’t satisfactory to my parents, I had to hold a separate banquet for some 150 guests a few months later. Looking back, the ROM event was stressful, and it set me back about $4,000-$5,000. This was an additional cost on top of the wedding banquet, which came with a bill of about $25,000-$30,000. In hindsight, it was an unnecessary cost that I could have avoided.

If you’re planning a wedding, consider holding the ROM and wedding ceremony on the same day to save money on venue rental, catering, and other expenses. Alternatively, it is also perfectly okay to register your marriage at the ROM office, and hold a wedding subsequently.

8. Elaborate floral decorations

Elaborate floral decorations can add a beautiful touch to any wedding, but they can also be a significant expense.

On average, wedding floral arrangements for a venue cost $4,000 and above, which may be a considerable sum for couples on a budget. There are some couples who later feel they spent too much money on elaborate floral decorations that are often only admired for a few hours.

Consider opting for venues that include decoration of the venue, or opt for a less elaborate floral set up if you’re on a budget. That said, a wedding is a once in a lifetime event, so if you have always dreamt of having a fairytale-like wedding with beautiful floral arrangements, there’s nothing to say you should give up what you’ve always wanted, as long as you’re mindful of the expense you choose to incur.

Avoid these wedding expense regrets

While organising a wedding can be a considerably stressful thing to do, it’s important to remember that it is a happy occasion that celebrates love and a blissful union.

When planning your wedding, keep in mind that what matters most is how you and your partner are going to feel on the day. The biggest regret most couples have during their wedding day is to let the stress get to them and they end up not soaking up the day and the joy it comes with.

Don’t let external expectations or the stress of budgeting and planning get in the way of you enjoying an important milestone in your life. As they say, love conquers all!

Read more: Find Out What are the Hidden Wedding Costs You Should Take Note of in Singapore

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