D.I.Y your wedding at the lowest cost possible!
So we’ve heard that wedding costs are rising at 10%-15% a year. And yes, that is crazy. So how do you save cost and D.I.Y as much as you can to have maximum fun, yet not pay the price for it? Keep reading to find out!
Avoid Hotel Venues
Let’s start with the main killer.
Hotel venues are the biggest killer when it comes to planning your wedding. You can expect to pay up to $50,000 for a 4*-5* Hotel that cost $1,888++ for a mere 20 tables in a ballroom. And of course, some might argue that it includes a whole bunch of other stuff like room decoration, flower arch, dummy cake (it’s not even real!), sound system, stage etc. But think about it, there are also venues out there that provides the exact same thing for a fraction of the price!
For example, chinese restaurants such as Peach Garden actually do provide wedding packages that include alcohol, decoration, sound systems, free food tasting, dummy cake etc. But the price for a dinner is only $1,088++. That’s $800 savings per table! Not to mention your guests will be VERY HAPPY that they don’t have to fork out a $200 ang pao for a single meal. Trust us, it’ll reduce a lot of stress on yourself and your esteemed guests.
Another example would be to have small intimate weddings at venues that can host up to only 100-150 guests. The average cost for those (minus those with Michelin stars) are ~ $20,000-$25,000. That’s half of getting a venue at a hotel! Not to mention all your guest will only be close friends and relatives. This way, you won’t have to deal with awkward conversations and handshakes from people you don’t know. Some of the venues we would recommend are:
- Jade @ The Fullerton Hotel
- Botanico at the garage
- Wheeler’s Estate
- Beaulieu House
- Faber Peak Singapore
- Citizen Farm @ Penjara
Buy Bridal Packages if you don’t have time (But be careful!)
Bridal packages were once a big thing in the 80s and 90s when technology wasn’t as good as it is now. What happens with bridal packages now is that during bridal fairs, some bridal studios have hidden costs and a whole bunch of terms and conditions that come with a low price tag. If you think you got a super good deal @$800 for a bridal package, we might need you to look at your contract again. Sometimes the dresses from your package are a “tier 1” dress. Which means the dress you like might not be in that selection. In order to have the dress you like, you might need to top up $200-$500 on top of the package.
So how do you protect yourself when you plan to buy a package?
- Be very clear on what you want, and what you don’t. If you don’t need a 10 hour actual day photographer, tell them and make sure it is swapped out with something that you want. Perhaps you can swap out a 10hr photographer to a 6hr photographer + 3 X Hair and Make up instead for your mother and mother-in-law?
- Read the T&Cs. Make sure that there are no hidden costs. If you see things like “selection of dresses from tier 1”, ask them what are the dresses from tier 1 and browse the selection to see if that’s what you want.
- Look at the photographer’s portfolio. If you are buying a package that includes a pre-wedding photoshoot, ask to see the photographer’s portfolio and see if that’s a style you are comfortable.
Pro-Tip! Knotz.sg is a platform where you can select dresses and photography portfolios based on your own preference and style before even meeting the vendors. Simply register for an account, find the dress or photography portfolio of your style, and make an appointment with the studio/photographer. You can also see the prices on the website to see if it fits your budget!
If you have free time, find dress and photographer separately
If you’re having a small and intimate affair and you only need 1 dress and 1 photographer for a 3-6 hour ceremony, then this option will be the best for you.
Renting a dress (without a package) can range from $300-$8,000 depending on the style and if that dress comes from an international designer. If you’re not picky, a $300-$400 dress would be major cost savings as opposed to spending on a $1,888 package that includes things that you don’t need at all. For example, if you are only looking for 1 dress to wear for the afternoon, you wouldn’t need a package that includes a KUA, or evening gown. Most importantly, that gown would be something you like, and not from a selection that comes from the package.
Finding a photographer separately also has its benefits. For one, it’ll be cheaper if you get a freelance (but very skillful) photographer who wants to build up his/her portfolio. How much cheaper? Well, it’s about 15%-20% cheaper compared to a photography house. Secondly, you can be sure that the style of this photographer is exactly what you want. If you hate cheesy photoshoots and want something more editorial, then looking for a photographer separately will be perfect for you.
On Knotz.sg, we painstakingly get all our vendor partners to upload their dress and photography portfolio so that you can choose the dress/photography first before making a commitment to go down and see them. We also have a good number of very skilled freelance photographers. Go check them out!
D.I.Y your Decor
If you want to save money on the decor, then do it yourself! There are a lot of marketplaces like Shopee, Taobao, Amazon that can help you procure decorations at extremely low prices. Of course, you will need to roll up your sleeves to actually make it happen. But we can estimate savings of at least 50% if you were to do-it-yourself. See below for simple math.
Disclaimer: This is just a fun estimate and by no means an exact cost. This is also on the assumption that all basic furniture are provided by the venue.
For a Flamingo beach solemnisation:
|What you need||Cost to D.I.Y||Cost to hire event stylist|
|Ferns and flowers||$12.31||??|
|Flamingoes standees||$29.04 for 4 pcs||??|
|Table gift||$82 (for 100 guests)||??|
|Lightings (fairy light)||$44.50 (for 5 X 10m)||$3-$5 per linear foot~$800|
|Dessert Table||$15/pax – $1,500||$1,500 (pricing for dessert table is constant)|
|Total Fees||$1,706.51||$3,610-$4,610 and up|
Prices from event stylist were not all publicly available.
Fresh flowers V.S Fake flowers
Fresh flowers, especially imported flowers could cost up to $300-$400 for a bouquet. On average, expect to spend up to $1,500 on fresh flowers if you plan to have a church or outdoor wedding and need flower decoration in the venue. A flower arch with fresh flowers are extremely expensive between $500-$1,000.
On the other hand, fake flowers only cost up to $50-$100 for very elaborate designs. You can find them online or even at your neighbourhood florist.
If your parents or in-laws are insistent on having fresh flowers, don’t panic! Request for a mix of fresh and fake flowers to be present in the venue. For example, if there is a huge stage, have the fresh flowers be placed in the middle all the way to where the solemnisation tables are at. And the rest of the stage can be replaced with similar coloured fake flowers. Honestly, no one is going to remember or even notice that. And your photographer will be able to take pictures of you with the real flowers in the image.
Don’t buy useless wedding favors
Here are some hard-to-swallow pills:
- Don’t bother with printing your pre-wedding photos as a wedding favour – Nobody cares about bringing a photo of you and your betrothed back home after the celebration. I mean, do you expect them to frame it up and hang it on their wall?
- No stuffed toys – It’s usually an extra cost to buy ‘his’ and ‘her’ bears and nobody would want to bring that back. We’re all adults, nobody sleeps with a palm sized teddy bear keychain anymore.
- Measuring spoons and beer openers – Touch your heart and ask yourself – How many measuring spoons and beer openers have you received? Do you really want to burden your guests with even more of those?
Want to know how to save money? Get something edible, like a small slice of cake or chocolate. This way, they can actually enjoy it at the end of the meal. Or bring it back to their kids when they get home.
It cost $0.60-$1.00 to print 1 card for a single side. That means you have to spend up to $100 for 100 individual guests. And this is just the most basic printing for your card!
Want to save money? Use E-cards. Using canva or other free designing websites, simple design your card and share them as an image to your friends and relatives. You can do it via whatsapp, email, Facebook, or even Instagram. This way, it’s COMPLETELY FREE.
Don’t rent bridal cars with the word “bridal”
The only 2 differences between a bridal car and a non-bridal car are:
- Price difference – Expect 2-3 times the cost more if you get a bridal car
- State of the car – Bridal cars are usually very new and in pristine condition.
We recommend that if you’re on a tight budget and still need to rent a car, go for the usual car rental companies. There might be minor scratches and the interior may not be as pristine, but you can expect the cost to be at least 30%-40% cheaper than a normal car rental.
For example, a series 5 BMW from a bridal specific car rental company will set you back at $788 for 10 hours. However, if you were to go to a neighbourhood car rental company, the same 5 series BMW will only cost you $499 for 3 days!
Knotz Exclusive Promotion! We have partnered with a car rental company to provide you with the best value. Rent a Porsche Panamera S 4.8cc for only $1,080 for 10 hours + the night before for car decoration. This price also includes a chauffeur to ferry you and your family around to any location you want to visit.
If Porsche is too fancy for you, our partner also provides BMWs and Audi models at extremely affordable prices @$499 for 3 days! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and quote “VROOM19” to redeem this offer.