“I now pronounce you husband and wife”.
Those are words that will literally change your life. It signals the beginning of a shared journey together with another person. It comes with a whole lot more responsibilities, maturity, and development.
However, the modern-day wedding is rarely cheap. As we revealed in a previous blog post, the cost may differ depending on cultural traditions and how elaborate the ceremony is. As a summary, here are the average total expenses for weddings based on the three major cultures in Malaysia:
- Malay wedding = RM30,000 to RM45,000
- Chinese wedding = around RM80,000
- Indian Hindu wedding = around RM50,000
Fret not, use these simple tips to help you save money on your wedding
1. Set a realistic budget and prioritise
The most important step of planning a wedding is setting a realistic budget. Instead of splurging, make sure the expenses do not exceed your financial situation.
A wedding consists of only a short period of your life so will need to be disciplined and not overspend. You will have to determine which elements require prioritization. You can allow more spending room for those aspects while tightening the budget on the rest.
2. Off-peak days cost less
The date of your wedding can actually determine how much you spend on expenses. The cost of many items during peak seasons such as school holidays or major festival seasons are usually much higher. Furthermore, you face competition for venue and equipment.
Be smart and set your wedding date during the off-peak season. Additionally, if you choose to go on a honeymoon shortly after that, the chances are it’ll be cheaper too!
3. Make use of government incentives
Some state governments offer special incentives to those about to enter their first marriages. If the bride or groom was born or is a resident of the state, they will get RM500 each. They also have to be under a certain age to qualify for the incentive.
In the grand scheme of things, this amount may not seem much but every cent counts when you are trying to stick to a budget. Surprisingly, there are still many who aren’t aware that such incentive exists. Check with your state government to see if you qualify.
4. Find ways to consolidate invitations or go digital
For some cultures, like the Malay wedding, a ceremony is usually held separately for the bride and groom’s families and friends. They are held on different dates too.
Instead of sending out two sets of invitation cards, combine them both into one to save money!
Furthermore, you can limit the number of printed cards by going the paperless route. RSVP invites via social media and email are more convenient and are commonly accepted in our generation.
5. Hold your wedding at home
If there’s enough space, hold your wedding ceremony at home. This is especially beneficial if it is located in a kampong (village).
The traditional kampong culture of “gotong-royong” will mean much of the tasks and preparations will be delegated to family members and neighbours. Cooking and dishwashing can be done much more efficiently this way. Even a canopy can be rented for cheap for the local mosque or surau.
If you plan your wedding ceremony early enough, you might have sufficient time to learn a new skill or two. Items such as wedding invitations, décor, door gifts, and even wedding dresses can be done through the DIY route.
7. Have all the ceremonies in a day
Due to multiple types of ceremonies, the wedding can span a few days. An example is in the Malays wedding when the Akad Nikah (vows) and Bersanding (presentation of the married couple to guests) are done on separate days. To save cost, these two ceremonies can be done in a single day – the Akad Nikah in the morning and the Bersanding in the afternoon.
8. Bundle things together
In certain cases, you can save more money by subscribing to a wedding package. Wedding exhibitions are usually good places to find the best deals. A few are actually happening in Kuala Lumpur during the coming months, such as:
9. Pick vendors carefully
When picking a wedding venue, try to avoid those which require you to use their in-house vendors. They usually cost a lot more money and charge by the hour. Instead, it will be better to find wedding vendors by yourself. Websites such as Wedding, Weddings Malaysia, Plan Your Wedding, and Bride Story can help you pick a suitable one.
10. Create your own music playlist
Instead of hiring a DJ, use apps like Spotify to create your own wedding playlist. While the app is free, you can get the affordable Premium Plan (with no ads) at only RM14.90 a month.