How this Singapore investor budgeted and saved for his Wedding (in 2024)


Today in our personal finance series, we have a contributor article discussing wedding planning – an all important financial milestone for many young Singaporeans. 

This article was written by a Financial Horse Contributor. 

Last year, I made one of the biggest decisions in my life — proposing to my girlfriend.

She said yes, and everything was incredible. We basked in the glow of engagement. Eventually we started planning the actual day and reality set in: planning a wedding takes so much work!

Amid the overflowing to-do list, a thought loomed: How will we pay for it?

Because, let’s face it, weddings are expensive.

An affordable option is to go with bridal and banquet packages that bundle everything.

Customising means engaging the hundreds of vendors — from photography, dresses, and flowers — that vary in price. We had to work hard to find the ones that fit our vision and budget.

We had to get serious about budgeting and saving to make this work. Neither of us had planned anything of this scale before. We had only gone on holidays together, but this was a five-figure event. We would need to save up for the wedding, having only worked for a couple of years.

During the year we spent planning the wedding, we learned valuable lessons. We scoured the internet for budgeting tips and leaned on our married friends for advice. Slowly but surely, we built a system that worked for us. We figured out where to cut costs, what to DIY, and how to stretch our dollar to achieve our dream wedding with minimal sacrifices.

And it worked! We had an amazing day. Most importantly, we did it without spending too much and started married life on good financial footing.

If you’re overwhelmed about budgeting and saving for your wedding, here are some important tips to navigate the financial complexities with your partner.

Have the wedding budget conversation early

Although we had been together for almost a decade, planning a wedding was unlike anything we had done before. Up until then, we had made financial decisions on our own. So it’s no surprise money and differing opinions are common reasons couples argue during wedding planning.

A wedding can cost $5,000 to $50,000, so the definition of “expensive” varies. Planning a wedding reveals your financial DNA — expectations about spending, managing expenses, and contributing to shared projects.

Agreeing on a budget and having a shared vision helped us avoid huge fights.

We both wanted a smaller wedding, with close friends and immediate families only. We didn’t want to rely on our parents or use our savings; instead, we wanted to start saving from scratch.

Creating the wedding financial plan

We needed a financial plan to reach our saving goals. We decided on our monthly contribution to the wedding fund. I created a Google Sheet to project our wedding savings.

It looked something like this (names and figures slightly adjusted):

  • The “Savings“ row tracked the monthly combined contribution to the wedding fund.
  • The “Total Saved” row tracked the YTD amount saved.
  • The “Forecast amount” row projected our monthly savings for the year, helping us track our progress toward our goals.
  • The “Expenditure” row tracked monthly expenses, while the “Actual balance” reflected the money in the bank for cash flow tracking.

This document was the lynchpin of our financial roadmap. We could see how much we had saved, if we were on track to hit our goals, and if we had enough cash flow for upcoming expenses.

Opening a joint account for wedding expenses

We opened a CIMB Fast Saver joint account for the wedding fund for several reasons:

  • Transparency: It was easier to track expenses and see our combined savings. It felt satisfying to see the account grow as we saved more.
  • Accountability: Having a joint account made us more accountable. We set a recurring transfer to put money into the account every payday.
  • Convenience: We could easily reimburse ourselves for any wedding expenses charged to our credit cards.

Why did we choose CIMB? It has drawbacks: The mobile app is clunky, it’s not a local bank, and it didn’t offer the highest interest rates. But we chose it because it was a straightforward joint account with no interest-earning requirements.

It offered 1.50% interest on the first $25,000 without requiring salary crediting. This was important because we were still crediting our salary into our individual savings accounts.

(This was not available at the time of the wedding, but CIMB currently offers an additional 0.5% interest on your first S$25,000 when you schedule a recurring transfer of at least $1000. This brings up your total interest rate to 2.0% on your first $25,000.)

Creating the wedding budget

After creating our financial plan and opening a joint account, we sourced quotes from vendors and populated the budget. We used this template from Singapore Brides for major cost items and made tweaks to personalise it for our wedding.

Online research is a good starting point for an initial estimate budget estimate. But I can’t stress that any cost estimates online are just approximate. The numbers can vary significantly depending on your needs.

One of the first decisions was the venue. After visiting our shortlisted options, my fiancée was sold on a wedding at a heritage venue.

This hotel met all criteria, but it had a higher per-head cost than typical banquet halls or restaurants.

Having this budget was crucial to guide our decision. After punching in the numbers, we realised choosing this venue would consume a significant portion of our budget. We would need to make deep cuts if we wanted that venue.

The budget constraints forced us to sharpen our priorities. We chose the heritage venue and cut costs by buying more affordable wedding bands and removed videography services from our budget.

The wedding budget is a living document

Our wedding budget changed throughout the year as we learned more, reprioritised and reallocated funds to what mattered more.

Midway through wedding planning, we met a vendor that provided actual day coordination services. Initially, we were confident in our planning and had manpower via our bridesmaids and groomsmen.

We realised how useful the service was and how much mental load it would take off us and our friends. (It turned out to be one of the best things we spent on.)

Plan for surprises and have an emergency fund

When creating the budget, we accounted for a 20% emergency fund and planned enough events to understand the importance of accounting for unexpected expenses.

Two weeks before the wedding, we added two tables for last-minute guests. On the wedding day, we extended our photographer’s services from eight to 10 hours. We forgot to account for meals for our photographer and coordinators.

The unexpected expenses were easily managed with our buffer. The emergency fund gave us peace of mind and allowed us to enjoy the day without worrying about extra costs.

Conclusion – How this Singapore investor budgeted and saved for his Wedding in 2024

The wedding budget is just one part of wedding planning. It was stressful but also a lot of fun. As a couple, it meant navigating new areas and learning about each other, including how we manage our money.

As we navigated through the financial aspect of our wedding, we discovered new ways to communicate effectively, compromise when necessary, and make decisions as a team. The process not only strengthened our financial responsibility but also deepened our bond as a couple. This journey was an essential step in our relationship, preparing us for future financial decisions together.

Share your wedding planning tips in the comments below!

For more personal finance & investing content, follow Financial Horse on Social Media!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here