Ever dream of white horses, a carriage and everyone there to witness you in your wedding best? Well, if you are not smart with your money you would not be able to afford the minimal basics of the wedding. In a worst case scenario, you might end up taking out a loan to live up that high expectation and become indebted. It was reported that the wedding industry in Malaysia is worth RM7 billion! (according to The Malaysian Reserve)
Over the past 5 years many young couples would spend at least RM 50,000 on their wedding. But some people have two weddings, one for each side of the family. That means a newly-wed couple would spend up to RM 100,000 for their special day (Association of Wedding Planners, 2013). But don’t worry, we are here to help you figure out what you should and should not do for money.
Save the Date? Save your money!
Before you even think of the wedding, consider how much you can save and compare it with how much you need to spend. There are so many things to consider and these are things that aren’t even part of the main event. Are you planning to have a pre-wedding photoshoot? Matching wedding rings? Personalized and fancy invitations via snail mail? Have you taken up marriage courses? For Muslims, marriage courses are mandatory for Islamic marriages. But wait, there’s more. Have you gotten your spouse-to-be’s dowry? Dowries serve as the monetary help to the bride. This helps her settle in her new home or as emergency money.
You can start by listing needs and wants. Consider this: not having unnecessary theatrics saves you extra money for your marriage - longterm.
Discussions with both parties
By both parties, we mean both sides of the family. You and your family might have an idea on what the ideal wedding is. But your spouse and their family might have other ideas. It’s a matter of discussion. What is most suitable for you both? Definitely not what your distant relatives expect. Remember, this is your and your beloved’s big day, not theirs.
If culture is a big part of the wedding, then talk to your partner to reduce certain costs. Have a fusion wedding. It can bring both families closer. After all, weddings are made to bring two families closer. Communication is key in a relationship. Remember to express your needs and doubts with each other.
Time is money
Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to get get married before your 30’s. It’s okay to take your time to sort your life out. Don’t get pressured by the idea of marrying immediately after the engagement. If you have been planning a wedding ceremony, make sure to plan ahead to reach that big goal. Marriage is a commitment and a very big one at that so financial planning is also crucial.
Like with any big goal in your life: Financing it is important. So take your time to think about the decisions that you are about to take with your finances and fiancee. Sometimes, it is wiser to delay the ceremony if both of you cannot afford it and take up the certificate of marriage as it only cost about RM 30.
Tip: Consult a financial planner (for free!) at SmartFinance Malaysia
Take out a loan
You should be enjoying yourself on your special day! Why would you want to think about all the money you owe. Sure, it’s only for a day but to pay back a large sum, as big as RM 40,000, isn’t worth it in the long run of your marriage. If any of you has a low income and you aren’t capable to pay the loan: it will accumulate over-time with interest rates.
Debt is one of the leading factors to a straining relationship. You wouldn’t want that for your future life partner. Instead, why not ask your financial planner on what you can logically afford?
Fall to peer pressure
If someone would tell you to buy extra things for your wedding to one-up a relative’s wedding, don’t invite them. What’s the point? This irrelevant and such trivial “kiasu” culture should not interfere with your wedding. Keep in mind, your wedding is special between your beloved.
If you have a reasonable plan and goal for your wedding, stick to it until a better offer you can get for a lesser price tag than your budget. Money may buy you happiness but you got to remember, it’s how much you can make the best out of what you can afford, not how much you have to spend to obtain it.
Overspend your budget
Once you have set a sum for your big day, don’t deviate from it. The moment you take an impulsive decision to change something or buy unnecessary additional for the wedding, you will spend more money than you need to. By practicing restriction in the present, you will eventually find money that you can use in the future, like your honeymoon or maybe a future investment for your and your spouse. Better to be safe than sorry.
Self-discipline and dedication is integral to any relationship, especially to one’s self. If you find it hard to maintain your planned budget for the wedding, consult with our financial planners on SmartFinance.my to see what you can do to optimize your savings to reach that wedding goal.