Can you plan a wedding below 20k for 200 guests? Yes, yes you can.
We’ve heard from many different sources that weddings are expensive (duh) and on average, couples tend to spend $50,000 for a guest list of 200-250 people. That sounds like a lot of money and with $50,000, it’s more than what you need for your BTO down payment! But what if it’s your parents and in-laws that want to invite 200 guests because of “mian zi”? Well then, we have no choice to but to suck it up.
But wait, you DON’T HAVE TO spend 50 grand to host a wedding of 200 guests. Here are some tips and calculations we have for you.
Let’s talk venue and food
TIP #1 – Find a restaurant IN a hotel
Hotel banquets prices are on the rise at around 12% annually. And why? Because they know we (or our parents) are all suckers for hotel banquets. It has been a decades-long tradition that weddings have been held in a hotel ballroom and so people naturally think that all weddings should be in a hotel ballroom or it’ll be sacrilegious. Well, it isn’t. Simply opt for a restaurant IN the hotel so that at least your invitation card will bear the hotel’s name. The chefs from hotel restaurants are also sometimes the same as if you get a ballroom, if not better. Restaurants in hotels are also about 15%-20% cheaper. For example, if you were to do a ballroom banquet in Fullerton hotel, it will cost you $1,763–$1,798 (after GST and Service Charge) per table of 10 for a lunch. However, if you were to go to the Jade restaurant at Fullerton hotel, it will only cost you $1,519 (after GST and Service Charge) per table for a lovely lunch. That’s 18% savings you get right there.
TIP #2 – Find a restaurant that specialises in weddings
This will be one of the cheapest way to host 200 guests. There are MANY restaurants in Singapore that can host weddings with package prices that start from $650 per table of 10! These packages usually include alcohol, wedding favors, decoration, sound system, projectors, and even the dummy cake! Doing a simple calculation, $650 X 20 tables = $13,000 – that’s way below the $20,000 budget. And with that, you’ll now have more budget for your photographer, hair & make up, wedding dress, and suit! You might even be able to squeeze in a photobooth or dessert table to jazz up your wedding and make it fancy.
Pro-tip! If you have a smaller guest count, that makes things even easier! You can consider venues like The Blue Ginger – Michelin Bib Gourmand peranakan cuisine, customised decor, and starts from just $80++ per head! (minimum booking 25 pax, max capacity 130)
Click here for more info.
TIP #3 – Host a garden/outdoor wedding and get a caterer
This will be the most unconventional route and your parents/in-laws may not like it. But who cares right? It’s your wedding. So if a garden wedding sounds like it’s right up your alley, here’s how you can do it.
Firstly, decide which park you want to hold your wedding at. The prettiest ones are Hort Park, Botanic Gardens, and Fort Canning Park (contact us for garden/park rental rates). Assuming you need shelter from the sun, and don’t have the budget to build tents and outdoor shelter, your choices will be limited to the Raffles House at Fort Canning Park ($1926 for full day rental on weekend), the multi purpose hall at Hort Park ($1926 for full day rental on weekend – you can opt for a 4 hour rental too), and Burkill Hall at the Botanic Gardens (closed until further notice).
Once you’ve determined the venue, you will need to decide on the caterer next. On average, a decent caterer would charge $35 per head for a lovely 15 course buffet spread (can even be as cheap as $15/head). That means, so far, you’ve only spent ($35 X 200 pax + $1,926 venue cost = $8,926). This will give you plenty of room for the next step…
Decoration and furniture. This will be by far the most expensive expense after food catering. For this, you will need to find a décor/event planning company that can provide you with the furniture (tables+chairs for 200 pax), and decoration for the entire event. You can expect up to $4,000-$5,000 for this. Adding up the cost from the previous calculation, you would have spent $8,926 + $5,000 = $13,926. Not bad, still within budget!
Pro-tip! Reuse your chairs from the soleminisation ceremony and bring it over to the dinner reception. You will save a lot of money from there.
Once these are done, you can start thinking about getting a photographer, dress, hair and make up, suit, entertainment etc. The total cost for these may be around $4,000 if you get a package from a reputable bridal studio. So $13,926 + $4,000 = $17,926. And there you have it, a wedding for less than $20,000. You even have budget for invitation cards, dessert table, and a photobooth!
Let’s talk photographer
Engaging a photographer is the second most important thing of your wedding and that’s because you only get to marry the love of your life once. Engaging a good photographer means that all the good memories will be taken in a way that can instantly bring you back to your wedding day. Here at Knotz, we always emphasise that you should invest in a good photographer – not your friend or uncle who has a DSLR camera. The cost of a high end, award winning photographer in Singapore generally cost an upwards of $300 per hour with a minimum of 5 hours booking. However, you don’t need that. All you need is one that is good and cost between $200-$250 per hour. Sometimes it can be a little cheaper if you do a full 10 hours.
Pro-tip! Here at Knotz, we curate ALL our photographers to ensure you get the best photos on your wedding day at a reasonable price. Simply head over to knotz.sg/photographies to check out the portfolios and make an appointment with the photographer.
Let’s talk outfits
Wedding gown rental can be as cheap as $300 to as extravagantly expensive as $8,000 for an international designer gown. If you want to stay within budget, we advice you to keep your eyes peeled for crazy clearance sales from bridal studios that are letting go of their old designs for very little money. How low? As low as $100 to keep! These events don’t happen very often so you really need to keep a look out for them. One way is to register for an account with Knotz! Since we have bridal studios as partnered vendors, many times they would have us promote and market their events. Registered users will receive an email before anyone else does to RSVP and chope a spot early.
If your wedding is only 3 months away and you only need one dress asap, then we would recommend renting a single dress a-la-carte with minor alterations to the dress. You can expect to pay around $300-$600 for a simple, classic type dress. Don’t expect European lace or extensive beading!
Pro-tip! If you’re looking to only get 1 dress for the entire wedding, head over to Knotz.sg/dresses to browse over 1,000 wedding gowns and make and appointment with the vendor to try them on. Make sure you register and log in to your account first!
When do you need a package?
We recommend couples to get a package if they don’t want to manage 10000 vendors on the day of the wedding, and are going to do a full blown wedding that typically lasts 10 hours. The packages will usually cost between $3,000-$7,000 depending on your requirement and preference in some of the “variables”.
A $4,500 package would typically include:
- 1 Gown, 1 Evening Dress (off-the-rack, alterations included)
- Actual day make up + trial + 1 time touch up
- 8 hour photographer
- Men rental suit
- Bridal Accessories
- Flower Bouquet
- Miscellaneous extras (For example: Car decorations, Signature book, parents’ attire)
But wait, if you have a $20k budget for 200 guests, should you really be spending $4.5k on a package?
The good news is, we recently introduced Knotz Bundles, where you can spend as little as $2k for a basic bundle that gets you all the essentials. Gown, suit and kua rental, flowers, and makeup. You can even add or remove items as needed with our super-flexible ‘salad bar’ concept. Click here for more info.
Let’s talk venue decoration
If you’re not planning to do a wedding in a hotel or restaurant that has a venue decoration package, this would be more relevant for you. There are generally 2 types of venue decoration packages – standard and full customisation.
Standard would usually mean that you will use whatever props and furniture the company have in their inventory. Simple pick a theme and they will mix and match the props to the furniture. The flower decoration will also be pretty simple and standardised. A package like this should cost no more than $1,500 – $2,000.
If you want your wedding to look like a pinterest board, then that’s where the customisation comes in. Everything will be catered to your own special theme and labelled with your own monogram. Of course, this comes with a hefty price starting from $3,500 and can go all the way up to $10,000.
Talk to us!
As you can see, if you take out the frills and make some smart decisions, it’s definitely possible to keep to a reasonable budget. Hopefully some of these tips will come in handy when you start planning! Feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need advice on your wedding planning. We’ll be more than happy to help you out – FREE!