Wedding

The 3 Biggest Money Traps Couples Fall Into When Planning a Wedding

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Sharon Ang

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As we hurtle towards the end of the year, it is wedding season once again.  You may have gotten weary of attending yet another hotel banquet, but you can be sure these wedding celebrations are the culmination of lots of planning and financial resources.

In all likelihood, your wedding will likely be the single biggest expense of your couplehood, save of course, the downpayment on your first property.  It all adds up quickly – first, the rock, then the banquet, followed by the honeymoon. If mishandled, this is a sure recipe for ensuing years in debt. Which isn’t a pretty situation to start this new journey in life.

Here are 3 financial traps to avoid when planning your wedding:

 

1. Spending A Bomb On A Cookie-Cutter Wedding

Weddings come in many different shapes and sizes, but more often than not, the size leans towards an up-size. It is easy to understand why – it is a significant lifetime milestone, also very much a matter of face. Especially for your parents with their villages of relatives, friends, business associates and taichi mates to invite.

It is all the more important then, to pay extra attention to not over-doing it. After all, the lavishness of your wedding is not correlated to the success of your marriage. If anything, getting into debt for your wedding will bring added stress after the party is over and result in a higher chance of ruining your marriage.

In fact, your big day can be very special without blowing exorbitant amounts. Start by considering a variety of venues, since this will possibly be the biggest expense for your wedding. Some of the more creative ideas include a couple’s new HDB flat, the school hall of your alma mater (for nostalgia, and possibly a free venue), parks and even the zoo (for nature and animal lovers).

If you must do the hotel banquet, consider ways to stretch your dollar and increase the chances of covering the expenses with angpows received.

 

 2. Buying An Expensive Designer Gown

Many a bride has spent countless waking (and sleeping) moments dreaming up the perfect white gown. Buying a wedding gown in Singapore can cost anything from $200 to $10,000++.

However, do consider renting as an option as your gown will easily takes up 1/3 of the space in your wardrobe and has a high chance of turning yellow over the years. Storage then becomes an unnecessary burden, and something that could incur even more costs for something you will never use again.

Unless of course, you foresee your daughter wearing your wedding dress on her wedding day about 20 years later.

 

3. Not Having A Budget

The cost of a wedding in Singapore can range anywhere from $30,000 to $80,000 depending on many factors.

Just as ‘work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion’, there are too many aspects involved in a wedding that will similarly expand to eat up your entire life’s savings and more if you do not set a budget and stick to it.

Besides the venue, food and gown, there’s the photographer, videographer, rings, wedding invites, favours, flowers, band, car, hair, makeup, stag night, hen party, angpows for your bridesmaids and groomsmen, and the list goes on. Not forgetting that each of these will charge a premium. It is no ordinary feat for a couple to pull a wedding off.

Do consider money-saving tips and ideas from local sites like The Wedding Scoop to plug the gaps in your budget, and remember that when all is done and dusted, the details that you fretted so much about are simply going to be inconsequential later on.

All in all, in the midst of your excitement, try not to let the ‘once in a lifetime’ mentality throw all good financial sense out of the window. It is not prudent to start a life together heavily indebted at the very start. And of course, the real journey begins after the party is over.

What are some other ways people overspend on a wedding? Do you think it is a necessary evil? Share your thoughts with us here.

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Sharon Ang

I love sunshine, adventure, new experiences and outdoor places. I started taking personal finance seriously ever since I became a senior relationship manager at a local bank and later a priority banking relationship manager. I feel gratified to be in a role where I can make a difference in people's lives on a subject close to their hearts. I would love to hear from you at sharon@moneysmart.sg.