If we’re going to be totally honest, hotel weddings in Singapore are a snore for everyone but the happy couple. In between the Powerpoint presentation, the champagne tower, the swirling dry ice and the James Blunt playlist, there is little that hasn’t been reduced to a cliché. And they’re overpriced to boot.
So if you don’t want guests to lie about being overseas on your wedding day (to avoid forking out a fortune in ang bao money), consider these alternative wedding venues that don’t cost a bomb. Plus they might actually be, you know, fun for your guests.
Registry of Marriages
The ROM office isn’t just some government office where you go and sign the documents legalising your marriage, while secretly fretting about the actual wedding banquet. For those Singaporeans who are too lazy to hold an actual wedding banquet, you can turn that visit to ROM into a mini celebration.
You can get a solemniser to come to your wedding venue and solemnise your marriage at the wedding ceremony. Or… you can just hold your entire marriage ceremony at ROM.
You’re allowed to bring up to a 20 people to attend your solemnisation. Afterwards you can head out to a restaurant or bar for a post-wedding celebration, smug in the knowledge that you’ve saved yourself a five figure sum.
Venue cost: $42 marriage fee + $25 solemnisation fee
Parks & gardens
Take partying in the park to a whole new level by holding your wedding lunch or dinner at one of Singapore’s many parks and gardens. If you’re holding your wedding outdoors, you can usually arrange for a temporary gazebo to be set up to protect your guests from the sun or rain.
One of the more popular wedding venues right now is HortPark, which is pretty yet affordable. It has several event spaces for rent including the HortLawn, which costs $1,070 to rent for a full day on Fridays to Sundays. However, the “usual suspects” like Botanic Gardens get really pricey – think $6,000 per day.
Most of the parks governed by NParks have on-site venues that can be booked for events. You can do the venue booking online through their portal.
Venue cost: Varies, see NParks venue rental rates
Why go all the way to Bali or Phuket for your wedding when Singapore is an island with its own beaches? There are several venues (usually a beach bar or restaurant) at Sentosa and East Coast Park where you can hold a wedding ceremony and dinner.
For instance, Tanjong Beach Club has wedding packages that enable you to host a lunch or dinner at their in-house restaurant with a capacity of up to 200 guests. The starting price for 10 guests costs $766, which is cheaper than most hotel wedding banquet tables.
Venue cost: Varies – enquire at the bar or restaurant
Many brides dream of getting married in the lavender fields of Provence or something. But don’t forget that Singapore technically has its own countryside too (sort of).
Yes, you can get married in our very own Kranji Countryside. You’re more likely to see a monkey than a white horse, but that’s part of the charm of the tropics.
Gardenasia has several venues that can be rented for weddings. For instance, their Kranji Loft venue, which can accommodate up to 500 people, consists of a canopy surrounded by greenery.
Venue cost: Prices upon request
Since we’re on the subject of holding weddings in nature, you should know that organising a wedding on Pulau Ubin is technically possible — this couple pulled off an Ubin wedding earlier this year.
However, you’ll have to be prepared to DIY a lot, such a by liaising with Ubin residents and arranging for your own seating, catering and so on. Still, this is a great budget option if you’re prepared to have a small indie wedding without any of the atas trappings of more traditional nuptials.
You can book the sheltered Assembly Area on Pulau Ubin via NParks’ booking portal.
Venue cost: $150 for the whole day on Fri, Sat, Sun and public holidays
Void deck / CC
Get married close to home by holding your wedding at a void deck, community centre or other public space in your neighbourhood. One big advantage is that by keeping things local, you can nip home to catch forty winks or freshen up if you get tired, instead of being stuck in town or having to rent a hotel room.
Your town council can advise you as to how much it will cost to rent a void deck. This is usually fairly inexpensive, like $30 or $50 per day, but be prepared to pay for catering, decorations and entertainment, which can really add up if you don’t want to DIY.
An alternative is to rent a function room at a community centre in your neighbourhood. Multi-purpose rooms or halls can be booked online at the OnePA website.
Venue cost: Up to $50/day for void deck. Prices vary for CC spaces.
Are both of you bookworms? Did you get to know each other over long study sessions at the library? Then you might want to consider getting married at the National Library.
The National Library Building has a couple of spaces for rent, including The Pod at the rooftop, which is a function room that can be booked for weddings, amongst other things. As an added bonus, it offers great views over the city. The venue can accommodate over a hundred people.
Venue cost: $3,240 to $3,466.80 for full day rental at The Pod
So you’ve looked at the prices of tables at four- and five-star hotels, and now you need to lie down to recover from the shock.
If you absolutely want to have a wedding banquet at a hotel but can’t afford one of the “good” ones, you don’t have to resign yourself to getting married at a seedy place that smells bad. There are some boutique hotels that are relatively inexpensive but still very stylish.
For instance, boutique hotel Naumi Hotel has a nice event space on their rooftop bar, which has an infinity pool with a pretty sweet view that your guests are sure to appreciate. It can accommodate up to 50 guests.
Expect to pay about $848 for lunch or dinner for 10 guests. This is about the same price as the lowest end four-star restaurants. It’s not the cheapest per head, but picking an intimate venue forces you to keep the number of guests small and your budget manageable.
Have you been to any interesting weddings lately? Tell us about them in the comments!
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