A Wonderful Wedding Without Being Knee Deep In Debt

Wallstreet Bull Malaysia
Probably the only bull you get to see!

We all heard the naysayers in the last few months predicting an economic recession for this year. You’re scared and you know it’s true. With everything going up except your salary, you’re both wondering if there’s anyway to keep costs down at your wedding. The best solution is to postpone it but you probably can’t wait to start your new life together. So that leaves us with the next best option – Cost Cutting measures. What I’m going to share below is probably not going to win a Nobel prize for Economics, but I’m quite sure it’ll save you enough money to go on a decent honeymoon.

Trim the fat

As you go about preparing your wedding, keep an eye on stuff which are going to blow your budget. Itemise the items which you have to purchase and mark out priorities for these items. I’m sure you can do without the 2 turtle doves or an elaborate fireworks display. When it comes to trimming the excess off your budget, you can never go wrong repeating the three mantras – Beg, Borrow & Steal.

If there’s anything you can have without purchasing it, just do it. Network with your relatives and friends to see if there’s any help you can garner from them with regards to them contributing to your wedding plans. This could be in terms of financial or physical aid. If you’ve been a nice person all these while, I’m sure aid will come pouring in once you’ve opened your mouth.

Look out for mundane objects such as ring pillow, wedding accessories, decorations or even that bridal car which you could do without buying or renting. Make your requests known early so that once word gets around, your relatives and friends can keep a lookout for you. This is especially important as there might be some sales or offers which could help you out.

If you need help, never be shy to ask your friends to help you out on your big day. You’ll definitely be able to find someone who’s an amateur or semi-professional photographer, videographer, singer/musician, emcee, photoshop/web designer and etc.

Friends in high places

malaysia Wedding with Obama
The person you want to know right now

It’s time to open up your phone book and see which friends you’ve got in high places. By that I mean people who are in the marketing industry or have a large network. It also helps if you’ve got friends who are into trading or premiums as they seem to be able to source great ideas and gifts at cheap prices. These friends probably have connections to people who might help you out in your wedding plans such as florists, wedding planner, event crew, freelance photographers, musicians/singer, classic car collector and etc.

You’ll soon begin to realize the power of networking will help reduce your wedding bill by a big margin. Every penny saved is a penny kept for a rainy day / romantic honeymoon. Heck, you might even be lucky enough to get freebies like I did for my wedding. I asked around and it happened that there was a photo studio who needed to do a cover shot of my wedding venue. Needless to say, some wheeling-dealing and a big personal recommendation from my friend got me beautiful floral arrangements, candle stands and décor for my wedding venue completely free! Of course I bought my friend a good dinner for his help!

Age of internet

Needless to say in the age of blogs and forums, every bride-to-be has scoured the internet for the best tips and resources. They find refuge in fellow netizens who are walking the same journey towards their big day.

Other than collating information on the best deals in town, it doesn’t hurt to find out if there’s any common ground which both of you could share on. An example could be that you found out that another couple is using the same premises the day before yours. It wouldn’t hurt to ask if you could split costs with them with regards to the wedding decorations, table centerpieces and floral arrangements. Fresh flowers usually last more than 2 days and frankly, no one pays that much attention to the freshness of the flowers these days. You could also ask about other services such as emcee or musicians where costs can be shared. Service providers normally provide a discount if they get multiple bookings.

Think smart, not hard

Trade secrets can be useful when planning your wedding. Did you know that flowers generally cost more during the period near festivals and important occasions like Mother’s Day? It is also important to note that your selection of flowers should also tie in with those which are in season. Costs for hiring musicians and emcee also rise due to the increase in demand on these dates. Plan your important day away from these occasions if possible. By the way, plastic flowers cost much lesser than fresh ones and they look just about the same with the proper skills in floral arrangement

It’s becoming common knowledge that wedding lunches are much cheaper than dinners. Moreover, the restaurant can cater to the same menu as the dinner banquet at a lower cost since it’s all about economies of scale for them. This means you don’t have to compromise on the quality of your wedding banquet.

Wedding dresses and night dresses all have a fashion lifespan. If you plan to buy a dress, be sure to ask when is the new batch of dresses coming in. Chances are the old batch of dresses will be sold at a considerable discount once the arrival for the new season’s fashion is in. Make friends with the outlet supervisor and she might even throw in a staff discount (up to 30%) for you if you’re nice to her. I’ve done it before and you can do it too! Don’t be shy to ask for a favour from a stranger, they’re probably too nice to refuse you if you can convince them their help means a lot to you.

A person learns best from history

A practical way to save some money is to ask your married friends! Practically everyone has a no. 1 regret on their wedding budget. Just round them up and ask them this question – If they could cut a cost from their wedding, what would it have been and what was their solution to it?

You would be surprised at all the nuggets of information you could get from them to help you with your budget. I’ve heard about stories of invitation of too many guests, improper allocation and control of liquor being served and unnecessary flowers / decorations which no one took much notice in the end.

Already planning for your honeymoon?

Paris or Malaysia
How about the Twin Towers instead of this one?

A little budgeting goes a long way to keep you out of debt. We came to realize that the money saved could have extended our honeymoon by a few days or gotten us to a more exotic destination. Remember, your big day goes by in a flash and you probably will not recall much of it until you watch the video. If you invested your savings into that new king size bed or fabulous silk satin sheets, you would have looked back and thanked me for it.

My no. 1 regret on my wedding budget? Wedding photos taken at the photo studio.

Written by | Filed Under: Advices, Before Marriage

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3 Responses »

  1. Some other ways -

    Save on the alcohol – just beer will do, and limit the flow of beer to start together with the dinner.

    Favors – Use those from the restaurant or hotels, most of them provide! Same with wedding invitations.

    Wedding suits / gowns – Use rented!

    Cars – Borrow from friends.

    Cameraman – Ask friends, alot of poeple are buying DSLR these days! Just ask them to keep clicking, don’t like later, can delete!

  2. Beg – Yap, done that!

    Borrow – Definitely did!

    Steal – ?? Hah, how could you?! Vernon, so how did you “steal” for your wedding preparations?

  3. I bet he stole that stupid hairdo from some rocker wannabe.

So what do you think?