Weddings are notoriously stressful, expensive affairs. Brace yourself, because the median cost of a wedding in Singapore in 2023 will cost you approximately S$37,000.
To prepare you for the costs you might incur for your big day, here are some of the most common wedding expenses that you will surely be spending on.
Common wedding expenses to take note of
For couples getting married in Singapore, these are some of the most common wedding expenses that you will incur:
- ROM and solemnisation fees
- Dowry and wedding bands
- Venue rental and banquet
- Same-day photography and videography
- Wedding Entertainment
1. ROM and solemnisation
In Singapore, the first step to becoming newlyweds is to get legally married at the Registry of Marriages (ROM).
Regardless of whether you’re a Singapore Citizen or a foreigner, all couples have to go through the process of acquiring a legally binding document to prove their marriage. For Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents, it will cost you S$42 to get registered at the ROM. For foreigners, the cost is S$380.
Arranging a solemnisation ceremony is relatively inexpensive and quick. Most couples will hold the solemnisation simultaneously with their reception, which could be included in the banquet package without extra costs.
Couples can find a licensed solemniser, who is a volunteer that provides this service as a community contribution, on the ROM website three to six months before their ceremony. While there is no fee, couples are encouraged to reimburse their incurred costs or give a token as an appreciation for their time.
2. Dowry and wedding bands
Chances are, if your parents or in-laws are Chinese, you will have to give a dowry to the bride’s family. There is no minimum amount for gifting, but most will fix it at an auspicious number of S$688 to S$2,888. On top of dowry, the groom will also need to prepare betrothal gifts, most commonly known as Guo Da Li.
On the wedding day, you will be exchanging wedding bands as newlyweds. As opposed to flashy engagement rings, wedding bands are usually less showy. Even so, these bands (without diamonds) can cost between S$800 to S$2,000.
3. Banquet costs
These two considerations usually come together when searching for a wedding venue. On some occasions, the price of the venue rental and catering services are billed separately. However, most venues provide packages that are inclusive of the rental and catering cost.
Assuming you are looking at a 20-table banquet in a hotel, the cheapest price you can get per table is S$960 for a weekday lunch or dinner at Genting Hotel Jurong. That would set you back a whooping S$19,200 even before GST and other additional costs.
Additionally, the average per-table rate at a Singapore hotel ranges from S$1200 to S$1500, with prices being higher for dinner and on weekends. The Clifford Pier at Fullerton Bay Hotel tops the list for the most expensive banquet with each table costing S$3540.
Read more: Marriage & Money: What Insurance Should We Look at as a Couple?
4. Photography and videography services
Most couples will hire a professional photographer and/or videographer to capture the important moments of their wedding day. These mementoes will become keepsakes for years to come.
For a typical 10-hour session, the costs of hiring such a service can range from S$2000 to S$4000.
5. Wedding Entertainment
What’s a wedding without music and dancing? While some couples may decide to get their friends to help out in this area, couples consider hiring a professional band, emcee, or classic music ensemble, if the wedding budget allows for it.
Having an entertainment factor in your wedding is a great way to break up the formalities and keep your guests engaged in the occasion. Rates for wedding live bands usually range from S$1000 – S$2500, depending on who you engage and how big the entourage is.
To give you a rough overview of how much you’ll be needing for the big day, here’s a breakdown of the total cost of an average wedding from major wedding expenses to miscellaneous items:
|Photography and videography||S$3,000|
4 ways to save money on your big day
If that seems like a big price to pay, here are 4 simple ways you can save money for your wedding.
1. Pick an off-season date for your wedding
In Singapore, weddings held on the weekends tend to cost more than a weekday celebration. Months like March, May, June, July, September, November and December are also among the most popular months for marriage in the country, so you might want to steer clear of these dates unless you can afford it.
Get in contact with your venue provider and inquire about their off-peak dates. Not only will this help you make a more informed decision on your wedding date, but you may also score discounts or additional perks if you’re lucky.
While picking an off-season date for your wedding can shave off a significant sum from your venue rental, it helps to remain mindful of your guests’ availability as well.
2. Rent (don’t buy!)
Look through your checklist and see if there are items you can rent instead of buying brand new.
Renting wedding gowns and tuxedos has been increasingly common as it helps couples to save a huge chunk of their wedding costs. Rental wedding dress usually starts from $628 and suit rental starts from as low as S$200. Prices can, however, go up according to brands and customisation.
Purchasing from fast-fashion brands such as SHEIN, ASOS and Zalora can also help you save costs and is steadily becoming a popular choice among younger couples. There are over 100 choices on SHEIN, with no-frills gowns from as low as S$19, and the most expensive being just a mere S$124.
Cut more costs by renting, borrowing, or using items that you already own for decorations to alleviate the cost of miscellaneous purchases and put those funds into more important areas.
3. Streamline your guest list
Out with big weddings, and in with more intimate ones. It goes without saying that cutting your guest list and opting for a smaller wedding is easier on your wallet and even your sanity. Limit your invites to immediate family members and close friends only, and consider having a no-children wedding.
With fewer people, you will be able to maximise your budget and allocate it to more important areas like catering, photography and videography, as well as venue rental. Most importantly, you’ll only be celebrating this special occasion with the ones closest to you.
4. Hire a wedding planner or coordinator
As much as it seems like a good idea to plan your wedding entirely on your own, hiring a professional wedding planner can save you both money and trouble. With years of experience under their belt, planners can expose you to their extensive vendor network and work with the budget that you have.
They’ll be in charge of handling all the details from start to finish, so you can fully enjoy your special day with zero hassle and stress. The last thing you want is to be worrying your bouquet about or perhaps the flower arrangements at the reception.
Set a budget and commit to it
Creating a budget and sticking to it can be quite a challenge for anyone. But that’s where we come in. To track all your expenses efficiently without going overboard, use Planner Bee to track your expenses beyond the four-month limit that traditional banks keep your data for.
Through Planner Bee’s mobile app, you can set financial goals, categorise your expenses and track your progress all on the same platform. Say goodbye to long budget lists and tedious financial planning from here on out!