Forget About Getting Married. Focus on Being Married.

Don’t spend more money than you have to. Parents included. The truth of the matter is that weddings ARE EXPENSIVE.

You shouldn’t let a wedding send the newlyweds and/or their parents into financial difficulties. The key is not to spend more than you have to. Of course all this is easier said than done. After all, the bride’s parents will always want the best for their “little girl”. In fact, the grander the wedding, the better. Let’s face it, if your sister’s daughter had a beautiful wedding, shouldn’t your baby girl deserve a bigger one? The bride herself would probably be thinking of all the fairy-tale weddings she read while growing up, complete with a gorgeous white gown, a full orchestra, ballroom dancing under the stars and flowers everywhere. Who doesn’t want a wedding even a princess would envy?

Of course I’m not saying that you should just forget everything and just elope. No, no, no, just watch your budget and don’t spend more than you can afford.

Let’s take a typical wedding. You invite say 30 tables, that’s about 300 guests, then you have the wedding photographs, the wedding dress, makeup, limousine, bridesmaid dresses, wedding cards, accommodation for out-of-town relatives, the wedding rings, the florist and on and on. This can easily set you back S$50,000 up front. True, some of you might say that some costs can be recovered in the “ang paus” during the dinner, but you have to remember that all this cost is sometimes up front, and in many cases, a few tables have to be given for free to the bride’s parents. All this for an event that probably lasts only about 6 hours all in all.

Many people who cannot afford this kind of expense, incur it anyway. There are cases where loans are taken just to pay for the wedding, be it bank loans, parental loans, credit card loans etc. This is not very responsible financially. Many couples sometimes even depend on their parents to fork part if not all of the bill. Sadly, this doesn’t say much about the couple’s financial strength to start a family of their own.

Being in debt is no way for a bride and groom to start their marriage. Keep in mind that money is the biggest cause of divorce in our country. Incidentally, money is also the biggest cause of pre-wedding arguments. Why create stress on your marriage for no good reason? It would seem that many people who overspend on their wedding are more concerned with getting married than in staying and being married.

I don’t want to put a damper on your Big Day. I just want everyone involved to take a step back and to put the wedding into perspective. It should be a beautiful event, one that you, your family and friends will remember and cherish forever – just don’t let it be one where you’ll be paying for it forever.

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