Wedding bells are in the air. You may be dating, considering getting married, or only planning your financial future before you find the right partner. Besides the price of the wedding, there are other things you will need to save for. Here is a breakdown of how much money you should save before getting married.
How Much Does an Engagement Cost?
The hardest part is finding a partner who is willing to marry you! If that part is done, the engagement process is relatively straightforward. Of course, the most expensive item will be the engagement ring. Draco Diamonds, a diamond retailer, did a survey that found that males were willing to spend between S$5,000 to S$7,900 on an engagement ring. Of course, none of these costs take into account your sentimental and romantic proposal plans.
The next expense may be controversial. Even though Singapore is a modern country, there may be some old traditions that are still expected when it comes to a wedding. A bride's family may expect some type of dowry, usually in the form of a cash gift of jewelry. The dowry may range from S$2,000 to S$5,000.
Finally, before the actual wedding itself, most Singaporeans will hold a solemnization ceremony. The solemnization is a bit more casual with a simple venue. This ceremony can cost anywhere from S$1,000 to S$5,000 for a separate lunch or dinner.
How Much Does an Average Wedding Cost?
Weddings have the potential to be quite expensive. Of course, each decision from the venue to your dress or tuxedo will increase or decrease the total cost. On average, a typical wedding costs between S$30,000 to S$50,000. More elaborate weddings can go as high as S$100,000.
The most significant expense of your wedding is the wedding banquet or venue. According to ValueChampion, a financial blog, the cost of a weekday lunch is S$127 per person. For a weekend dinner, the price increases to approximately S$155. Therefore, for 30 tables of 10 guests each, your banquet could cost about S$38,000. Of course, the bride and groom may decide a different location, such as a hotel, for their venue. The price of the venue and catering will alter the budget.
Next, the bride has expenses for her dress, alternative gowns, hair, makeup, and photos. These items, also known as a bridal package, can run between S$3,000 to S$6,000. Of course, we can't forget about the wedding rings, excluding the engagement ring, which ranges from S$2,000 to S$6,000. On the wedding day, the photographer and videographer can run from S$2,500 to S$4,000. Finally, there are other miscellaneous costs to calculate, such as gifts, wedding transport, or entertainment. Altogether, these miscellaneous expenses range from S$1,000 to S$2,000.
How Much Does a Honeymoon Cost?
After the wedding day, it is customary for the bride and groom to get away from the stress of it all. Most couples opt to take their honeymoon somewhere exotic. Of course, your honeymoon destination will determine the actual cost. However, it's best to budget between S$5,000 to S$8,000 for a comfortable honeymoon experience.
How Much Should You Save and Bring into the Marriage?
After the engagement, wedding, and honeymoon, you are now ready to start your life together. A general rule of thumb is to have roughly the equivalent of your annual salary in savings when you enter into a marriage. For example, if your yearly salary is S$84,000, you should have S$84,000 saved. This number includes all investments and your CPF. Clearly, everyone's situation is different. This number can likely be less because of debt, loans, or other financial obligations. However, at a minimum, you should have at least 6 months worth of salary saved for emergencies.
What Are Your Future Plans?
One additional thing to discuss before marriage is whether you want to buy a house right after the wedding. If you are looking into moving into your new Build-To-Order HDB flat, you will need additional funds before getting married, specifically a downpayment. For a four-room flat, this may require a S$30,000 downpayment. It goes without saying that you will also need to afford the monthly payment on the mortgage loan. It is important to note that your flat may need renovations, which are approximately S$15,000 to S$20,000. Additionally, don't forget that you will need to furnish your new apartment. A safe estimate for furniture and household expenses would be S$8,000 to S15,000.
You may reason, we are a newlywed couple. Why would we need a four-room flat? This brings us to your next plan of action. Do you both intend to start a family soon? If you intend on having children, a four-room flat is now suddenly much more appropriate. If you anticipate starting a family, the cost of the birth alone can run approximately S$5,000 for gynecologist visits, excluding vitamins or supplements. The delivery may cost S$10,000 for a three-day recovery stay. Remember, this is not including future baby items, such as diapers, wipes, and other necessary baby equipment.
When discussing finances with your future spouse, it is essential to be open, clear, and feel comfortable making a decision together. Marriage is a significant commitment that requires a lot of thought, planning, and unfortunately, money. The engagement, wedding, honeymoon, and startup cost of your new life is likely to run you over S$100,000. Here is a minimum and maximum breakdown of what you need before you get married.
These numbers do not include the six months to one-year salary that should be tucked away in your savings for a rainy day. This emergency fund can be used for any underestimation of other expenses and help your family if you suddenly lose your job. Additionally, couples have gotten married spending far less than the average estimate. On the other hand, couples have gotten married spending far more on more extravagant wedding services. It is most important that you spend only what you can afford. Remember, even though you cannot predict nor expect a certain amount of money from red envelopes or wedding gifts, this cash influx will help alleviate some of the financial burden associated with getting married. Never allocate what you think you will receive in gifts into your wedding budget. Only spend what you have to avoid starting your newlywed life in debt.
Marriage is a joyous occasion and time in a couple's life. It is a new chapter of adventures as a team. However, it comes with financial risks and responsibilities of starting a new life together, especially if children are soon to come. By planning and preparing well before marriage, your new life together will be off to a better start.