Budget Babe (avatar)
updated 1 year ago

How to plan your Budget Wedding

I'm two weeks away from my first ever guest speaking appearance that is, for the first time, not related (directly) to finance and I'm a little nervous! Any budget brides questions to help me out? πŸ˜…

If you haven't heard by now, I've been asked to share about how I pulled off my own DIY wedding on a budget at The Backyard Affair, which is Singapore's first bridal show targeted at DIY brides.

#diybride #diybrides #dayrebrides #notsponsored

This means the usual vendors of hotels / bridal studios offering PWS and AD services are starkly absent. The event organisers have also carefully curated the vendors they wanted and eliminated the higher-end ones.

When they came to me about the speaking engagement a month ago, I told them I generally don't agree to speaking at bridal fairs because I've attended them myself before looking for my vendors and they aren't what I would call budget or value-for-money.

(disclaimer: NOT PAID I AM DOING IT FOR FREE. Neither is this post paid or sponsored in any way.)

If they wanted me to speak, they would need to create a bridal fair that I would personally attend as a budget bride, and not a generic wedding fair like the ones which I used to attend because I saw it being promoted by influencers on Instagram.

If their vision truly was to create and help budget DIY brides, then I'll lend them my support. But if not, then I refused to be a part of it. Paid or not paid.


What makes a budget wedding?

πŸ“ Draw up a list. (YOUR list)

Right from the start, I knew that if I wanted a budget wedding, I needed to be realistic and first draw up a list of items classifying them into "must haves" vs "good to have".

Because a wedding is such a personal affair and what's a "must have" is quite subjective, you'll need to figure out what's important to YOU.

The tighter your budget, the more you have to forgo the things on your second list. Stuff like an emcee, a live band and photobooth was on mine.

On the other hand, we prioritised having a good PG and VG because we felt it was really important to get memories of our big day properly captured forever! Technically some could argue these aren't essentials and you can just get photos and videos off your guests in this era of smartphones and cameras. Some budget tips talk about forgoing PGs and VGs entirely - just track using a wedding hashtag and consolidate them after your big day!

But we didn't want that. So we adjusted our budget for it.

πŸ‘«πŸ‘­πŸ‘― Next, draw up a tentative guest list.

Note that how much budget to allocate to your wedding should only come AFTER this step. I've had brides-to-be messaging me for advice saying they wanna pull off their wedding for XXXX dollars. Your figure is meaningless when you don't factor in your number of guests.

Consider weddings where the brides proudly proclaim "I spent only $8000 on my wedding (reception)!" Sounds good right? Until you discover later on that they did it for a party of only 60 guests.

Let's do the math.
$8000 / 60 = $133 per head

Cost per seat at a 3-star hotel wedding banquet: $110 - $130

Cost per seat at a 4-star: $130++ to $180

Does that still count as a "budget wedding"? You decide la but I remember being very jaded when I was doing my own research and found so many cases like these. Don't cheat my feelings leh.

Saying you wanna spend only $10k on your wedding for 300 guests is just being downright impractical.

This is important cos N and I made this mistake of happily declaring that we were gonna be super budget on our wedding...until we discovered one day we had 300 guests to think about cos of the huge size of our families!

πŸ’°πŸ’° Now decide on your budget.

What's a good budget figure to set? This is quite subjective so I would recommend you asking yourself some of the following questions:

πŸ“How many months of salary are we comfortable with spending on a one-day event?
πŸ“Would we rather spend on renovating our house to live in, or a one-day wedding affair?
πŸ“What are our parents expecting from us?

I'm sorry to tell you this but if you have very strict and conservative parents, be prepared to spend a lot more because your customs and marriage rituals will probably add up to quite a hefty sum if you can't skip (most of) them. So it is a good idea to speak with both parents and roughly figure out what they're expecting from you so you can plan some allowance in your budget for it.

Dividing your budget

Most wedding expenditures can be segmented into the following categories:

πŸ“· The Pre-Wedding Shoot (PWS)
πŸŒ‚ Guo Da Li (GDL) / customary rites
πŸ‘° Actual Day (AD) stuff
🍴 The Wedding Banquet / Reception

Common reasons why many couples end up spending a bomb on their wedding are because they opt for a overseas destination PWS, sign up with an expensive bridal studio for their gowns and stuff, hold a luxurious wedding banquet at a hotel or high-end restaurant...we haven't even factored in GDL.

There's nothing wrong with doing all of that if you're willing to pay for it, but if you do then just don't go complaining about how expensive your wedding is. Cos technically you only need $50 to get married in Singapore (ROM) lor and everything else can be done away with.

We went to various bridal shows including BOWS and spoke with various vendors including hotels and bridal studios.

At boutiques like Z Wedding, Digio, The Aisle Bridal, French wedding etc, the cost of packages that we were quoted ran upward of $3500 - $5000+! (full packages include PWS/gowns/makeup/basic flowers). For hotels like Village Changi to Concorde, packages were at least $25k and up (more given our large number of guests).

What's a budget bride to do?!?!?

Picking your vendors

At this stage, you can either choose to go ala-carte (which allows you to have full control and work with vendors that you really want) or take packaged deals (they offer you convenience and some margin of savings, but you compromise on the quality).

The most ideal situation is that you go for a package which SOMEHOW happens to have all the vendors you like, but that's usually quite rare. Just google for horror stories of bridal studio MUAs / PGs / VGs and you'll know what I mean...

That doesn't mean ala-carte is necessarily more expensive though. For instance, instead of going for the $5k package that Z Wedding quoted me at BOWS, I managed to replicate all the elements in their package for only $3k by going ala-carte.

DIY Budget Wedding talk on 29th July, 4pm

I'm currently planning out the content for my talk and will be showing my list (of must haves vs good to haves), budget allocation breakdown, where and how I found my ala carte vendors, vendors review and of course - our wedding video 😍

Remember the surprise dance I did for N? Haha we'll be showing that at the event! I've been hesitating to post it on Dayre because after the June incident, I didn't feel comfortable sharing publicly a video which had details of my family, my home and more.

For the #taobao brides, I will also share about what's good to get from Taobao, the stuff I got, and what to look out for! The last thing you'll want is a lousy gown that falls apart on your wedding day right?!? πŸ˜•

Register at www.bit.ly/thebackyardaffair

Seats are limited so do register early! Also, there's gonna be a Q&A segment but if any of you have specific questions can share in the comments below? Help me prep a bit πŸ˜… I'm nervous leh haha.

They've curated such an extensive list and variety of ala-carte vendors that I can't even show them all here! But some names include SmittenPixels, MultiFolds, Bobby Kiran Photography and more.

I also asked some of the vendors I worked with to exhibit at this event and Manna Pot Catering, the Warehouse Bridal and Cepheus Chan Photography will be there!

Brides-to-be can browse and shop among the following:

- wedding photography
- videography
- gowns rental (budget and bespoke)
- kua rental
- wedding favours
- photo booth
- bridal makeup and hairstyling
- bridal bouquet and flowers
- reception table decor
- banquet decor
- PWS decor

And more! I'm truly impressed by how the organisers have gone far and out to curate such an extensive list of vendors - making it essentially the type of bridal fairs I wish existed before my wedding.

Apparently there's also a floral arrangement workshop for $50 😨 held for DIY brides who are looking to do their own bridal bouquet and boutannieres in order to save costs. I've read such stories from Dayre brides who did their own too! (Wah I really am quite amazed at the level of thought the event organisers put in la budget brides of 2017-2019 you guys really are super blessed!)

The workshop will be taught by Floralsactually and omg I'm quite tempted to sign up cos $50 very cheap leh!!!! But I gotta cancel tuition if I do πŸ˜•

Another snapshot of the bridal bouquet from the vendor conducting the workshop.

Works by some of the vendors involved in the bridal fair:

πŸ“· credits: Bobby Kiran Yeo Photography

πŸ“· credits: Bobby Kiran Yeo Photography

πŸ“· credits: SmittenPixels Photography

πŸ“· credits: MultiFolds Photography

πŸ“· credits: Cepheus Chan Photography

Pretty excited for this and fingers crossed that I don't mess up my talk haha. Let me know if any of you guys are coming k! (not posting this on my blog)

Day 196

Saturday, 15 Jul 2017

147 39
chasingnorthernlight (avatar)

chasingnorthernlight Not that I hate on weddings, but a "must have" is just signing legal paperwork and Chinese tea ceremony to respect the elders. Literally anything else that tradition &/ trends dictates is a "good to have". All least that is my humble opinion lah hahahaha πŸ˜‚

1 year ago

sgbudgetbabe (avatar)

sgbudgetbabe @chasingnorthernlight I agree with you! but I had "must haves" thanks to parents and also some of my own cos I'm superficial and wanted my wedding to be a certain way haha!

1 year ago

minzzy (avatar)

minzzy Admire your strong sense of ethics πŸ’ͺ🏻

1 year ago

sgbudgetbabe (avatar)

sgbudgetbabe @minzzy LOL thanks for appreciating my work and efforts haha. I hope I never lose it! if the day ever comes where I start giving in to paid stuff that don't align with my personal values please keep me accountable

1 year ago

lilacmoments (avatar)

lilacmoments i wonder if parents are aware of the cost. my mom wasn't. she initially suggested that i shld get my gown(s) from a studio (just like everyone else) and she was stunned when i told her that a package goes into thousands...

1 year ago

jereminepoh (avatar)

jereminepoh may i know which vendor will be there for photobooth / roving

1 year ago

ribbell (avatar)

ribbell I went for my gown fitting with Warehouse Bridal today! I'll be there at the event, see you!! ☺️

1 year ago

sgbudgetbabe (avatar)

sgbudgetbabe @jereminepoh I'm not sure leh see the event page? :)

1 year ago

sgbudgetbabe (avatar)

sgbudgetbabe @ribbell ooh Yay see you!!

1 year ago

sgbudgetbabe (avatar)

sgbudgetbabe @lilacmoments I think our parents have no clue πŸ˜₯ I had to remind my mom that if she insisted on a hotel wedding like what my (banker) cousins did, we just couldn't afford it

1 year ago

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