How much would you spend for a wedding? I’m sure most couples would answer, “As much as we can!” That is true. But — I’m warning you. DO NOT spend all your savings for your wedding, and, worse, DO NOT incur debts just so you can have your dream wedding. Times are tough these days. While the dollar-peso exchange is high, it is fluctuating. Commodity prices are still steep, despite the cheap price of gasoline. So, how much would you spend for your wedding? And, who should spend for what?
While still boyfriend and girlfriend, my husband and I would discuss marriage and wedding, and I would tell him all the time that I would want him to pay for our wedding. Yep, where’s the modern woman now? Call it traditional, call it whatever. But I want my future husband to pay for our wedding. I demanded that my husband pay for the wedding. And, my husband agreed.
We didn’t have a specified estimated budget. What we first agreed on, however, was where we would spend most of the money and what are the things we do not need. Our estimated expenses was P200,000. After the wedding, we totaled all our expenses, excluding expenses for gas and fares, and it totaled to approximately P110,745. By today’s standards, ours could be considered a budget wedding given it was held in Cebu City, although I would admit we could still have lowered down the costs had we swapped certain things for other things.
Below is a pie chart illustrating our wedding’s expenses:
Here’s a break-down of our wedding expenses:
My husband and I have worked with and on weddings before we got married and we have picked some lessons during those times. We applied those lessons and here are how we cut cost and save on our wedding expenses:
- Spend on the most important. We thought the most important things were the legal requirements and the officiant. After these two, our most important was FOOD. We love good food and our family and friends also love good and unassuming food. As you can see in the pie chart, food was 77% of our budget. We wanted to spend as much as we can for food but we wanted value for our money. We know the amount we spent on food could have been the amount for a whole wedding package but food was the only real expense we had for the wedding, so we decided to splurge. And my husband paid. So.. 🙂
- Ask and accept gifts. Before we announced that we were getting married, we planned on spending for everything. But, following the announcement, our guests asked what they can do to help and what gifts we want. Many also immediately offered to sponsor parts of the wedding. At first, we were reluctant to ask for and receive help or tell people what gifts we want, because of “ulaw” or “hiya,” but we were so overwhelmed with the love and support our families and friends showed us that we accepted their help and asked for specific gifts. If you will notice in the table above that there were several crucial wedding items that are excluded. That is because we received them as gifts. Among the things we received as gifts were (1) reception music; (2) transportation; (3) wedding gown and other attire; (4) wedding cake and desserts; (5) hotel accommodation; (6) coffee for giveaways; (7) wedding rings; (8) 2 lechons; and (9) photography. Many of our family and friends helped us with the DIY projects we made and the help and time they gave us were also gifts.
- OLD, new, BORROWED, blue. We went with this tradition but we did not go overboard with buying new things. We had new things made, like my wedding gown and my husband’s tuxedo, but we mostly borrowed and used old things. Our veil and cord were used by my aunt and uncle some 15 years ago. I was not keen on buying new things when I knew I could borrow things that are meaningful to other people, such as my aunt’s veil and cord. We bought new things though, but for each purchase we made sure we can use these things after the wedding. We also asked our guests to be mindful of their expenses for our wedding, so we asked them to wear decent and formal clothes, but not necessarily new clothes.
- Be reasonable. The months prior to the wedding, I was tempted to borrow money to add to my personal “wedding budget.” I was thinking of buying expensive cosmetic products and shoes, and hiring a wedding coordinator, a videographer, and a stylist. Good thing I got busy with other things, such as work, baking school, my nephew, because I ended up spending not more than P20,000 for the wedding. I had a budget but I was prepared to go beyond it to buy things I may never use again or hire professionals who won’t be necessary to the wedding. It helped that my husband and I consulted each other for every purchase made for the wedding. That way, I had someone serve as my devil’s advocate. Do not be constrained by a budget. Instead, spend reasonably. Whether you spent P5,000 or P5,000,000, if the money was not spent wisely, it is money wasted.
- Eliminate. I am not an editor for nothing. (Hehehe..) When we started planning the wedding, I was Pinteresting like crazy. I wanted this, I wanted that. But my husband and I talked all the time and deliberated each and every decision and expense for the wedding. It is best to always envision the wedding you want — especially how you want to feel on your wedding. My husband and I wanted to be as relaxed and comfortable as possible, which is why we ended up scrapping many things we originally wanted to do, make, hire, and spend on.
I hope this blog post helped you, or will help you in your wedding preparations. If you have other thoughts on how to cut cost and save on expenses, please share. If you’re interested, I already shared my thoughts on wedding guest list preparation. Happy planning!