Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Wedding Budget

Short Note:
I came back home from work and was surprised by the colour of my house. It was White when I left this morning and now it's blue... Combination of cornflower blue and cobalt blue.

. . . . . It's just plain weird.
Give me few more days and I'll tell you whether mosquitoes are attracted to blue colour or its keeping them away.


I had lost count the number of times being asked for my (non-existence) wedding date, and those who asked are all my friends who married young happily bringing their cute kids to nursery now. My typical answer would be,

"No money how to kahwin har?"

But that answer is not working well lately, as they started to change their question to, "Bah, now Bobby works already, so bila kahwin?". If I countered back with my question (as above), they would answered, "Haiyooo... Can always have a simpler wedding what. No need make it very grand mah".

Hard lah.

When I was still a student people asked about my academic results, major in what module and where to study.

When I graduated, people asked about my job and pay.

When I got a better job offer, people then questioned whether I have a boyfriend and if I don't, either I was being picky or I'm homo.

Then when I finally show up with a boyfriend, then people started to ask about his details and family background. Never underestimate the radars of uncles and aunties.

After showing up a few times with the boyfriend to functions, then they asked when am I going to get married. And if I suddenly announce that I'm getting married in a month's time, then surely people will go assume I'm pregnant.

So what else after getting married?

Banyak lagi yooooo!

When to have your first baby? Why married so many years "one egg also haven't hatch out"? Who got problem har? The husband or wife? Wah! Finally pregnant and give birth liao ah, bah.. when to have the second baby? What? One enough already? Cannot lah, why you youngsters like that one... yadda yadda yadda yadda.

Then the cycle comes back in.
My child's academic result, where he/she studies, got girlfriend or boyfriend or not.. when kahwin...

See! Endless cycle bah.

Anyway, that's not my point for this post. This post is intended to scare Bobby off. HAHHAHAHAHHA!!!!

Now, let me sum up the amount that we need to save for a typical Chinese wedding.
(Yes I know Max, your beach wedding idea was fabulous but you know how hard to go against parents' will lah)

Wedding Reception -
Approximately $500 per table, shark fin soup is a must! Else kana ucap later. Friend and families from both families may sum up to maybe 500 to 800 people so I'm guessing 60tables. (30% of guests may not turn up, where as some guests may bring their whole family even if the invitation card clearly stated "Mr & Mrs")

$500 x 60 tables = $30,000!

$30k gone just like that inviting our friends, families, relatives and the rest will be people who we don't even know... meaning our parents' friends. A friend once told me that her father even had to invite some uncle who he always bumped into while having breakfast at the gerai!

Of course, if we're lucky the money can be recovered from the angpao.
But what are the chances?


Engagement portraits, bridal portraits, photo albums... All these "memories" need money. You have no idea how capable is those salesperson sweet talking you in topping up your package by flashing those words, "Once in your life time".

I have friends who initially only sign up a basic package that costs maybe only RM 3~5k but slowly and unintentionally added some extra features, package or costumes and total it up to RM8k.

When asked where is their "Once in a life time" wedding album now, I'm pretty sure most of our married friends will tell you its now lying safe and sound under their beds, or coffee tables sealed with dust.

So Photography, giving it a budget of RM8k, that is around B$3,600.00. Better include the fees for wedding day shoots. Else getting another photographer is going to cost another B$1,500~ 1,800.00.


Wedding bands, engagement rings and engravings....
Can someone enlighten me how much does 1 carat diamond ring cost?

Wedding bands maybe cost $2k for a pair.
Engagement rings with "every girl's sparkling bestfriend", Tiffany, Cartier or Bvlgari... is going to cost an arm or a leg. Maybe $5 ~ 8k?

Guys, its okay if the stone is small. Just make sure you can upgrade it later for your anniversary! (1 carat a year.. wah seh! My finger cannot tahan after 20 years lor?!)

So what have I not covered ah? Oh ya, Apparel!


I think those gowns and suits can be rented from studios. But what you can't escape is those bridal shoes, lingerie, hair pieces, and your bridesmaid dresses.

My darling friend just made two Cheongsams for her wedding and that cost her RM600.

Oh ya, sliming package and facial treatment lagi leh? Make up artist for wedding day may cost another $250, pedicures and manicures lagi leh.

So there you goes, another few k thrown in.

Make it.. urm... $3k perhaps?

Flowers and Door gifts

I think the flowers for the reception is usually included from the restaurants. Correct me if I'm wrong. How about corsages?

And attendant gifts, chocolates or mugs maybe cost another $1 for each guest. So make it $600.

Invitation Cards

Unless you are going to use those perfumed maroon cards from the restaurant, then its free. Else you have to fork out another budget for printing cards.

My friend went to Indonesia and had it done. It was absolutely stunning and cheap. I think it was only $0.80. So there, $0.80 x 600 = $480.00

Renovation and Furnitures

New room, new bed, new wardrobe, wallpaper and maybe plasma in the room?


Hotel for guests if they come from oversea, registration, angpaos for brothers and sisters, flower boys and girls and so on, entertainment for the reception, transportation, wedding cake (maybe included also from the restaurant) and *cough* liquors *cough*.... Got to allocate another thousand there I guess?

I think that's almost it. Total up now.

Reception - $ 30,000.00
Photography - $ 5,000.00
Rings - $ 8,000.00
Apparel - $ 3,000.00
Flowers an Door gifts - $ 600.00
Invitation Card - $ 480.00
Renovation & Furniture - $ 5,000.00
Miscellaneous - $ 1,500.00

Ceng Ceng Ceng Ceng!


Okay, maybe can cover back from angpaos.... $25,000?
Still need $28,580.00...


Guys and girls, please give us some time (few more years!) to save up this amount. Don't tell me just get a simpler wedding because being the only child in my family and him being the only son, its definitely not an option for the both of us.

Those who's married already, how much did you spent for your wedding? Share share lah. I'm curious!

p/s: Happy Birthday to my dearest best friend, 48... that sa-po asked me why didn't I greet her happy birthday this morning saying that its her lunar birthday. *doink*

p/p/s: My dearest tai-lou, Brian got married last Sunday too. He asked me to guess what song he choose for his wedding DVD photo slides...

I guessed a few romantic mushy love songs... Sekali, he answered me "Beauty and the Beast"!!! And he's not kidding. True lah, with such a pretty wife and him looking like a bandit... that song suits them. :p


Patricia said...

so much of moneyyyy neededddd... =p

Pingko said...

excuses ...

Effy said...

Hahaha.. hilarious one liner. EXCUSES. I cannot stop laughing la.

You've basically covered the important parts, i mean you must have already thought this through ;)

Use all this against whoever was questioning la and go all long-winded while you're at it too. But if they layan also then i dunno. Haha.

I like the idea of marriage but i don't know if i want to go through it at this point. If there is such a thing i would like to do the wedding my way but we know that's taboo. LOL. There will always be some kind of intervention. Oh well..

Anonymous said...

A one carat Tiffany & Co engagement ring for under B$8000? Heh. You'd be lucky to get that. I heard that if you ever went to Tiffany's to buy a ring, expect to spend about B$15,000.

Nonnie King said...

Patricia : Wedding doesn't come cheap dear.

Pingko : Wait, if I ter-pregnant then no more excuses. Happy now?

Effy : If I can choose, I'll spend all the money to myself for honeymoon and not putting up a wedding show.

I like those orang putih style garden wedding. But with weather in Brunei, all make up will melt in 15 minutes and instead of champagne, terpaksa use apple juice.

Anonymous : Thanks for the info.

Bobby, you see that? Teeheeeee

hdm said...

kesian ... u really have to work hard to come up with those amount of money. or u do like malay wedding lah just makan and reception find a bargain (but still good) caterer $5 per head inclusive of tents lagi 600 X 5 = $3000, ok lor less jua from ur hotel or restaurant wedding. hehehe its just a suggestion ... ok back to the drawing board nonnie. GOOD LUCK to both of u

Effy said...

Yeah i love those garden wedding too and beach wedding. I know what you mean. Need to put a huge tent with a/c. Like that i rather build a house. Hahahah.

shimworld said...

As an occasional wedding pro photographer, I think pre-wedding albums and their associated packages are over-rated. "Once in a life time" is such an exhausted and over-used emotional blackmail.

I can understand and appreciate the significance of the Actual Day event photography being ONCE A LIFE TIME (in most cases) but a pre-wedding coffee table album that you were so convinced by social conformity to have to to hold, absolutely unnecessary!

Tell me if the layers of dust that eventually covers the albums makes sense, even for the occasional reminiscence ie. the moment that you bump across during your anniversary pre-CNY spring cleaning.

"Else getting another photographer is going to cost another B$1,500~ 1,800.00"

That's just cost of one photographer but if you're convinced you don't need a pre-wedding "package" then you have more budget headroom for a great actual day shoot. You're a blog celebrity and your blog has far more meaninfgul memories than any studio photographs can give you so here's a practical idea—select a few relatives and photo-inclined bloggers to shoot as a special gift on your special day. How you return that favour is entirely at your discretion :)

CLEO said...

wahhh i tot malay punya wedding saja yg mahal ani hehe. Esp kalo yg complete majlisnya. The berpacar... berbedak...nikah...bersanding etc..etc..

Lepas kawin kena fikirkan cara untuk bayar hutang saja hehe

Anonymous said...

Malay wedding is equally expensive. Sighs! No need expensive engagement rings lah Nonnie. Those below 2k are fine too. It's not that you're gonna wear it always kan. Wedding ring lagi. Hehehe

uglyfatchick (Chicky) said...

Still got the big ang bao for the girl's parents. And honeymoon. And the renting of cars to drive around. Cars are so expensive. :(

Cost so much more to get married in SG. :(

Worse when I'm the only daughter and defector's the eldest son/grandson.

For the dinner, one table is about 750-1000. If it's good one about 1.3k, 1.4k. Very very very good one 10-20K for just one table. siao one right? haiz.. I hope our parents don't demand too much. :(

Jewelle said...

Just got round to commenting on this very interesting post.

And as much as I want to say, ya that's true, I actually agree with Pingko that these are just "excuses"! :-p

Seriously, we spent less than $15K for everything, Brunei and Sabah (3 receptions you know!)

I think it all boils down to priority - there are things you can spend on and things you can close one eye.

As much as you feel or people pressure you to do and get the "best" in everything, a wedding day is just one short day of the whole marriage and will not determine your happiness as husband and wife.

So, don't sweat over the small stuff and Bobby - no excuse :-p

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