How Much Does it Cost to Have a Wedding in Singapore?
You’ve found your perfect match, that person who completes you. You propose, she says, “Yes.” Then you begin to plan the wedding. Suddenly there are budgets and spreadsheets and calculators. But how much money do you need to get married in Singapore in 2018? What is that dream ceremony going to cost? There is a trend for more lavish weddings, in terms of both luxuriousness and scale, but of course, that comes at a price. Singapore is known as one of the most expensive cities in the world, and weddings are no exception.
The main considerations when budgeting for a wedding in Singapore in 2018 are listed below. Some of these are unique cultural costs, for example, the headcount at a Chinese wedding is often much larger than in other cultures. And the groom’s family must prepare a Pin Jin or dowry, which needs to be budgeted for. Other costs are ones that couples the world over face, such as photographers, bridal party outfits and the reception.
For only S$42, a Singaporean can register to marry. This rises to S$380 if neither party are from Singapore. The price of hiring a religious venue in Singapore for your vows can range from free of charge, in the case of St. Andrew’s Church, to $10,000 for an exclusive, sought-after church.
This may be the most expensive part of the event for most couples, and what’s more, prices are on the rise. Analysis by Value Champion suggests that the cost of the wedding banquet has increased by 50% since 2011, which far outstrips inflation. Singaporean couples tent to opt for a restaurant or a hotel, with a multi-course banquet, and the guest list can run into the 200s, particularly if one or both parties are of Chinese descent. Depending on the venue and the number of people seated, you are looking at between S$30,000 and S$54,000. For example, a room at the Grand Banquet hotel can be hired for S$3,500, but a banquet room at the W Hotel costs S$20,000 for the day.
Those looking to save could opt for a weekday lunch, as opposed to a weekend dinner, or look to hire the venue and the catering separately, giving you more control over what is spent. This is an increasing trend in Singapore, as couples want a more unique and less stuffy atmosphere on their big day. The average venue rental comes in at between S$1000 to S$2000 with a meal at around S$60 per person, bringing the cost down to around S$13,000. Another budget trend is a void deck wedding, where couples make use of the cheap rental costs of a low-level area attached to a residential building. This can cost as little as S$50, with catering added on top.
The average bridal package, which comprises the brides dress and accessories, the bridesmaids’ outfits, the groom’s suit, a photo shoot and make up, comes in at between S$3000 and S$6000. Those on a budget can look to rent garments, or shop the high street for affordable styles that are bang on trend.
Of course, a simple gold band is going to be far more inexpensive, but couples are currently leaning towards more expensive items with diamonds. The average cost is around S$500 for something simple, up to S$5000 for a more premium set.
Including a sum of money which shows your level of sincerity with regard to your future wife and her family, as well as traditional gifts and cakes, around S$3000 should be spent, as a minimum.
The average spent by Singaporean couples on their photography is S$3000. This will usually be for a package encompassing the photographer and a certain number of pictures. With added extras such as a videographer or a photo booth, prices can rise to S$5000.
It is a current trend amongst young Singaporeans to book a pre-wedding photo shoot. Whether this is in Singapore, or abroad, it is a chance to take some glamorous snaps for the album without the pressure of the big day. Couples should budget between S$3000 to S$6000 depending on location, number of shots etc.
Depending on whether you choose to stay relatively local and head to Indonesia or the Philippines, or if you fancy a more far-flung destination in Europe or the Americas, it is estimated Singaporeans spend between S$500 and S$8000 on their honeymoon. Some couples will save on the destination but splurge on a luxury hotel once they are there. Either way, the trend is that this is the holiday of a lifetime, with no expense spared.
There are optional extras that not every Singaporean couple will choose to spend on. If entertainment is hired for the reception, this can set a couple back anywhere from S$150 to S$1000. If decorations do not come as part of a banquet package, the average spend on flowers and other decorations is S$2000 to S$4000. In the tradition of ang bao, red packets must be given to the bridesmaids, groomsmen, emcee and any other contributors, to thank them for their efforts. This usually works out at around S$3000. Perhaps car rental is not included in the bridal package, in which case S$1000 is spent. And some couples choose to employ the services of a wedding planner, or even more on trend in the Instagram age, a wedding stylist, both of which can cost around S$1000.
The average total cost for a wedding in Singapore in 2018 is between S$36,000 and S$75,000. Though weddings can be held for as little as S$1000, the current trend is for a big expenditure on a lavish day that the couple and their friends and family will never forget. The Chinese tradition of guests giving red packets, or ang bao, will help a struggling couple manage the finances of their celebration. Estimates suggest that around 60% of the cost of the banquet can be recouped this way. It is also shown that most Singaporean couples are earning better wages than they ever have before and marrying later, meaning they are more financially stable and able to afford the exorbitant wedding costs. Most couples also receive help from their parents in affording the extremely high cost of getting married in Singapore.
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