Weddings are notoriously known for being expensive and stressful.
Be prepared to plan for a year for an event that will happen instantly in a day. The possible options are overwhelming! Not to mention, countless wedding vendors are vying for your attention. You might want to brace yourself, because the average cost of a wedding in Singapore ranges between S$22,200 and S$52,800.
During the process of wedding planning, engaged couples often make financial mistakes that affect their future. Here’s how you can avoid these common financial challenges.
#1: NOT SETTING BOUNDARIES FROM THE GET-GO
Failure to discuss your financial boundaries can affect your other wedding decisions. The decision to unite as a family isn’t merely about spending the rest of your lives with your true love. It is also about the practical areas of building a future. You need to either rent a flat or buy a flat. Do you plan to have a baby in the next five years? Do you want to travel to Europe for your honeymoon?
It is important for couples to discuss the specifics and mutually agree on a financial plan. Know which funds are “ours”, “yours”, and “mine”. Decide which expenses should be paid for by the “ours” bucket (e.g., venue rental) and which part should come out from your “mine” bucket (e.g., wedding gift to your partner).
#2: BEING TRAPPED BY THE CONTRACTS
Let’s face it – weddings are a lucrative business! The contracts you have with the suppliers are binding. So, don’t simply sign on the dotted line without asking questions. Studying the contract will enable you to bargain strategically. For instance, you can remove unnecessary inclusions such as upgraded linens for VIP guests.
Some contracts leave you financially responsible for empty rooms and chairs that you reserved for the event. This added expense can create a hole in your pocket. Be sure to read the contracts thoroughly.
#3: INVITING PEOPLE OUT OF OBLIGATION
It’s easy to get into the mindset of having to invite everyone from your secondary school friends to your second cousin whom you have not seen in a decade, but having a huge guest list may turn out to be a big financial mistake. As uncomfortable a conversation may be, you must decide together to only extend an invite to those people who you really want to be at your wedding.
Set clear rules about your guest list such as “no kids” or “no plus ones”. With fewer people, you will be able to maximize your wedding budget and assign your funds to more key areas including catering and venue rental. Best of all? You will only be celebrating this special occasion with the ones closest to you.
#4: FAILURE TO FACTOR IN THE UNEXPECTED EXPENSES
You have booked and paid for the flowers, venue, photographer, and catering. Everything on your list is accomplished and small details have been polished. However, unexpected expenses can come on the day itself. While paying for an extra person might not break the bank, before you know it, you receive a bill that you did not foresee. Thus, it is important to create some wiggle room and be ready for unexpected expenses.
#5: SPENDING MORE THAN WHAT YOU HAVE
Common wedding expenses that you must prepare for include
a. ROM and solemnisation fees,
b. Venue rental and banquet,
c. Photographer and videographer, as well as
d. Wedding party entertainment.
Many engaged couples splurge on their wedding because of this mindset – you only get married once. Coming from someone who has recently had her civil marriage ceremony, I am now planning to have our Church wedding ceremony. Sometimes, you do not get married once. Moreover, going into debt to wed is never the right foot to start your marriage on.
Having a realistic wedding budget can help you stay within your limits. Have a firm idea of how much money is available for your wedding. Then, create a wish list of the things that you would like to have. Prioritize your list while taking your current financial situation into consideration. There are no wrong or right priorities, just preferences to complete your special day!