You hear wedding bells tolling in the distance and feel the age-old urge to settle down and tie the knot. So, as a true-blue Singaporean you ask in the most romantic of tones, “want to apply for a HDB flat?”
The other cliché is that a wedding isn’t the end; but the beginning of a journey. If you subscribe to this idea, and it would seem reasonable to, then you don’t want to blow all your money at this starting line and leave yourself with crippling debts. So let’s look at how you can have dream wedding in Singapore and one that is more than reasonably priced.
What’s Important is What Stays
Everyone has priorities and by everyone, I mean everyone. There are many stakeholders in a wedding and this, for better or for worse, extends far beyond the bride and groom. Parents, grandparents, relatives, benefactors and assorted friends – many are going to have an opinion about everything from the venue to the flower arrangement.
“Huh, one only ah? How can?” / Source
Therefore, you have got to decide early on what is important for the major players concerned. Are customs going to be the centerpiece or will that be religion? Are you going to focus the guest list on a close-knit circle of first-degree relatives and friends or will it be an expansive invite involving distant aunts, uncles and cousins? It doesn’t necessarily mean, of course, that more invitees has to bring about astronomical costs; it does mean that you’ve got to be even more creative with how you plan your wedding. But the main thing here is, once you’ve decided on what is absolutely needed at your wedding, you can go about finding low-costs solutions.
Not Keeping Up With The Joneses
Here’s the first thing to know about having a reasonably priced wedding: there’s no need to compete with anyone. Or, let’s put that more accurately, the sheer length of your expenses list shouldn’t be the barometer for what makes your wedding a good one. I’m not here to moralize with anyone so let me just say I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with being competitive; what I am saying is that you don’t have to compete on the size and scale of things. Be a champion in other things and have your guests swoon over the little details. With that in mind:
Be Creative With Space
Unless you’re going full-virtual and having everyone witness your wedding on Skype or Snapchat, I will assume you will be needing a venue to stage the festivities. If your guest-list is short, the possibilities are endless. Spaces like chalets, function rooms, pubs, cafes or bars have featured in news articles recently as venues for weddings and the good thing about all of these is that they are much, much cheaper than the stereotypical hotel ballroom and more importantly, they can be easily manipulated in a short span of time to include design themes that you have in mind. Spaces can be marked out for different purposes and with some creativity or help with designers the place can be transformed into anything you wish it to be. This immediately saves you money as well as turns your venue into your dream wedding space.
For a larger guest list this is certainly a lot harder. You can still save money though by firstly choosing alternative spaces that are bigger in size. Take it outdoors to the park or the beach but be sure to make sure it is properly ventilated to suit our tropical climate. Other ideas include warehouses, office spaces or theatrical spaces. These come at a fraction of the cost of a traditional venue and with well thought out plans can easily make up for the difference in ambience, food or entertainment.
I’ve covered in other articles elements pertaining to food or entertainment, so I’ll just add here that quality is not always (in fact, rarely) determined by quantity. So instead of that monster 10-course meal catered to impress rather than satisfy, keep your budget tight by going for an excellently prepared 3 or 5 course meal that consists of dishes meaningful to you or your culture. This achieves the aim of not just saving you money but also gives you the chance to showcase what is important to you or your family (and we all know food is a great way of showing that).
This philosophy can also be applied to areas like wedding photography or choices of entertainment. Instead of jetting off to some exotic location that has no emotional meaning in your relationship history, focus on taking meaningful shots in places that have significance for you. Similarly, you can choose not to hire that 16-piece jazz big band but can go with a singer of a style that is personal to you. A stripped-down approach can give way to a more intimate setting that might speak more to you and your guests.
Depending on what you want: just nice, too few or too many players. / Source
It’s not just about cheap alternatives then. It is really about focusing on what’s important to you as people and as a couple choosing to spend the rest of your lives together. In making those choices that concentrate on meaning instead of extravagance, I truly believe that even in Singapore where costs can be astounding, you can find something that has the double effect of being more personal as well as requiring a lower budget. Two birds: meet one stone.
Ouch. / Source