These days, it seems to have become acceptable to spend more than a year’s salary on weddings. If you dream of being showered in petals from a rare species of South African rose or riding down the aisle on a white horse clad in a wedding dress originally worn by Audrey Hepburn, good luck.
Otherwise, you can save a ton of money by doing things yourself instead of paying someone else to do them.
1. Source For Your Wedding Dress Online
If you don’t want to get your dress at This Fashion but can’t exactly afford Vera Wang, look online for vintage finds. There are pages and pages of wedding dresses on sites like eBay, some going for as low as US$20.
eBay is also a great place to source for vintage dresses that are usually of such good quality they outlive their original owners (not for the superstitious).
Buy the dress online and then take it to a tailor to get it fitted at a price that’s even lower than renting dresses at bridal shops.
If you want you can even resell it on eBay after the wedding to recoup your losses.
2. Stay Away From Hotel Banquets
If you want to save some serious cash, don’t even think of holding a wedding banquet at a hotel.
In any case, let’s face it—hotel weddings are usually boring. Everyone knows the drill, from the Powerpoint slideshow and the waiters serving the first course in a flurry of dry ice and drama-mama music to the pyramid of champagne glasses. Yawn.
If you care about showing your guests a good time more than showing off, there are many alternative venues like town parks, community centres, restaurants and the like.
Also, if your wedding party is small enough, you can also host dinner or lunch at home in your flat, yard or condo function room. This also means you get to decorate at night in your pyjamas.
3. Timing Is Everything
When you get married matters as peak periods are more expensive. For some reason, everyone rushes to tie the knot from May to July, while people avoid Hungry Ghost Festival like the plague.
Also, Fridays and Saturdays are naturally more expensive than Sundays and weekdays.
Lunch is cheaper than dinner and, if you’re really trying to cut costs, a breakfast buffet is the cheapest of all.
I’m not saying you should get married on a Monday morning during the Hungry Ghost Festival, but be flexible and ask which periods are cheaper when booking a venue.
4. Go Easy On The Photography
Just because other people are flying to Paris for their wedding photos doesn’t mean you have to.
If you refuse to dispense with the pre-wedding photoshoot, get a tripod and a friend with a DSLR and stage your own outdoor shoot. The key is to keep the setting light and fun rather than luxurious.
This might mean frolicking at Toa Payoh Town Park instead of the Parc du Champs-de-Mars in front of the Eiffel Tower, but hey, at least you won’t be taking up a second job at 7-11 to pay for it.
On the actual day, instead of hiring so many wedding photographers you feel like Miley Cyrus fleeing from the paparazzi, distribute disposal cameras to your wedding guests and have them capture the event for you.
5. Quick And Easy Table Décor
Table décor is a super simple concept—a tablecloth to keep the table clean and perhaps a bunch of flowers so it looks more inviting.
And while Martha Stewart might have you think otherwise, your guests are more concerned that there’s enough booze than the fact that your flower arrangements were so expertly designed they’re protected by copyright.
Collect a few empty wine bottles to use as vases and then head down to Far East Flora or some other nursery, buy a bunch of roses and stick them in the fridge a few days before the wedding.
On the day of the wedding, each table gets a vase containing a few flower stalks. Repeat for other surfaces including the reception table.
Do you have any other wedding hacks to share? Let us know in the comments.