After reading through to the end of Part One of this article, you might have thought to yourself, "Why, that doesn't sound too bad!" Well, we weren't exactly quite done yet... Let's keep going, shall we?
What! Aren't the bride and groom supposed to be the ones receiving all the ang baos on their wedding day? Not exactly. In the first place, in order to get into your bride's house, Groom, you'll have to face her bridesmaids who, with spunk and steel (literally, too), stand between you and your bride. To get past them, a big fat ang bao is probably expected, and there goes your first $188-$888. The little boy who opens your wedding car door will need to be given an ang bao too. Then, of course, there are all the service providers like the venue vendor, your wedding planner, your emcees, the DJ or the band, your makeup artist, etc. Decorations
Wedding favours, the wedding invitations, flowers, streamers, the guest book… the list goes on. Some of the items might be thrown in with the venue package as freebies while others require a separate top-up, especially if you're having a themed wedding or have a particular colour scheme in mind. At first glance, that might not seem too big of a deal until you realise that you forgot to account for the 300 custom-made engraved keychains that you ordered because it matched your theme.
Unless you want to be repeatedly asked to sing your rendition of “My Heart Will Go On” or let Uncle Seng take the stage to belt out his favourite Hokkien songs, you probably should arrange for some wedding entertainment. Hiring a DJ to spin some dance tunes, having a photo booth with props for selfies, getting a 3-piece band to play song requests or even catering for a free-flow dessert table with cupcakes and cookies will all need to be factored into the overall cost.
The Nitty Gritty
When I was planning my wedding, I almost overlooked the small details which turned out to really contribute to the overall expense. Items like gown alterations, the wedding heels (I really wanted a custom-made pair which would allow me to walk about comfortably all day and all night—a totally worthwhile investment, by the way), hair accessories, right down to the rustic chalkboard with my menu printed on it--all these usually don't seem to cost much individually until you add them all up.
The last big thing you'll need to consider is The Honeymoon. Everyone’s wish is to go to some exotic locale, spend a week or two there and come back with lots of presents, photos and epic stories to tell. Just 10 years ago, that would have been the Maldives, Mauritius, Taiwan, Japan and Korea. Nowadays, I hear my newly-married friends talking of locations like Cape Town, Rio, Vienna, Switzerland, Hawaii and even Norway and Iceland to see the Northern Lights. The more exotic your itinerary, the heftier the cost will be.
So, to sum it all up, the total cost for a typical Singaporean wedding comes to... DRUM ROLL… $10,000 for the super budget-conscious (meaning, no hotel banquet, no pre-wedding photo shoot, no honeymoon) to around $80,000 or more for more lavish weddings.
Written by Kally Tay Edited by Priscilla Lai
* Kally Tay is a writer who used to be a bride from Annabel Law Productions and a friendship blossom with Bel after her wedding. She loves to share her knowledge of being a mum and her corporate experiences though her blog at Middle Me.