When talking about weddings, countless newlyweds today end up in years of debt just for the satisfaction of having a grand ceremony. The truth is, you don't need to empty your savings account or take a personal loan to get married.
Ask yourself, is it really worth spending RM30,000 to impress the people that you may not even know, for an intimate ceremony between you and your soul mate? Our advice is to save that money for your future together and have an affordable (note that we didn’t say cheap) but memorable wedding.
1. Manage your guest list wisely
Look, it’s YOUR wedding, so you don’t have to invite the whole country – especially if you’re doing it on a budget. Keep it within your close friends and family – a.k.a the people that really matter in your life. It’s not just about sticking to your budget; your wedding is so much more meaningful and intimate when you celebrate it with your loved ones.
If your family members try to pressure you into inviting more people, stand your ground and maintain absolute control over your guest list. Don’t be shy to remove the people that don’t matter – like that neighbour from 3 streets away whom you’ve never talked to, or that aunt that you’ve ever met but is your mom’s twice removed second cousin.
2. Ask for favours instead of gifts
If you have friends that are talented musicians, entertainers or photographers (we’re looking at you, Instagrammers), ask them if they can provide those services as wedding gifts. It’s a great way to keep your wedding within your budget, and it’s a whole lot more fun to have your friends to DJ and emcee. Just be sure to remind them to keep all the embarrassing stories they know about you to a minimum.
3. Have the wedding at home or outdoors
Sure, it MIGHT look grand to hold the ceremony at a 5-star hotel, but nothing beats having a wedding in the comforts of your home or the great outdoors. How cool is it to hold a wedding by the beach, with the never-ending sound of the waves in the background?
A wedding in the middle of a garden, surrounded by trees and flowers under the bright sunshine sounds pretty awesome, too. Renting fan-equipped tents is a far more economical option than splurging on a posh hotel’s dining hall. And if you do it outdoors, you can also look forward to picturesque wedding photos to commemorate your big day, forever after.
4. Skip the wedding planner
Who needs a wedding planner when you have your friends and family to back you up for your preparations? Call your mother, the nosy aunts, best friends and your cousins to get their help with your wedding preparations! Just remember to include your future groom/bride in the decision-making process.
5. Cook your own wedding spread
Have you ever heard of rewang? Traditionally, it means a gotong-royong for a wedding’s preparation. Almost everything is prepared within the family and even the immediate neighbourhood – including cooking the buffet, setting up the tents, making the decorations and more. Participants even bring their own ingredients to ease the financial burden of the newlyweds!
The tradition has been somewhat lost over the years, as society now prefers to have ‘hassle-free’ weddings by utilising services from caterers and wedding planners. But we have to say, it’s a great money-saving idea, so why not bring it back and save on your wedding expenses? Just be sure to pull your weight during the preparations - no one likes a freeloader.
6. DIY the decorations
A pelamin and decorations from wedding planners can cost anything from RM5,000 to RM15,000! We say you save that money for your other expenses – like a down payment for a house – and just DIY your wedding’s decoration.
Get your friends to help out and you can have loads of fun setting up your own decorations! Use recycled items to cut down your cost even further. This is when Google and Pinterest come in handy with thousands of DIY ideas on the internet.
7. Go easy on the music
A Spotify account and a home stereo set, those are all you need to keep the music playing all-wedding-long! Borrow extra speakers from your friends and place them around the dance floor area as a cheaper alternative to hiring a DJ.
8. Rent your wedding outfits – or wear what you already have
While it can’t be denied that everyone wants to look good on what is possibly the biggest event of their life, it doesn’t mean that you need to splurge thousands of Ringgit on your wedding outfits. Rent your wedding outfits, buy them off the rack, look around for sales items or reuse your mother’s or sister’s wedding dress.
Wear the shoes and accessories that you already have to save more money – or borrow from a friend if you don’t have a matching pair. For the gents, find an alternative to a tuxedo if you don’t already have one – rent it, wear a Baju Melayu or go hipster and wear a pair of khakis, a nice white shirt, a vest (optional) and rock the get up with a bow tie.
9. Plan ahead for at least 6 months
Remember to plan out your wedding at least 6 months ahead, people! Wedding preparations are no joke, and it gets really hectic and tiring, especially when you’re having a wedding on a budget. Delegate the tasks you have on hand to your reliable family members and friends – you don’t need to do them alone.
Have a checklist and run through it with your future spouse, and most importantly, remember that you’ll still be married to your beloved at the end of the day, so don’t stress out too much! Breathe. Just have fun and enjoy preparing for your big day with all your loved ones.
There are many other ways for you to save on your wedding costs. One of them is by using your rewards or cashback credit cards for bigger savings when buying your wedding materials! Don’t have one? Use our free credit card comparison tool and apply for yours today!