Bride Talks Budget: A Wedding for under $5000


One of the biggest concerns of couples when they first start thinking about weddings is how much everything is going to cost. Today we chat with lovely bride Karen whose nuptials we just featured, about her thrifty ideas that may just change the way you think about weddings and help you create an event without the expectations of what a celebration “should” be like. Ready to relieve your pockets? Well, let’s get started!  





From the bride...

Invitations: $0
I love, love, love, paper invitations and think they are beautiful, but, in this day and age, electronic invitations are much more practical. Also, since Paul and I had only 4 weeks to plan, electronic invitations were much easier and more efficient. We actually sprung for the ultra-classy-Facebook-event invitation. 

Venue Rental: $0
The White Rabbit is a gorgeous venue - an old chapel converted into a restaurant and lounge. It has high ceilings and large stained glass windows. They offer solemnization packages that do not include lunch or dinner, but that was a bit out of budget since we wanted to include a meal for our guests. Paul and I opted for a non-exclusive luncheon instead. With this, The White Rabbit kindly let us use their backyard lounge area called The Rabbit Hole as the solemnization area. Since we didn't go for the solemnization package, it was a standing ceremony, which was completely fine for us since our ceremony took about 15 minutes. The venue was generous in providing a small tall table with white tablecloth and a microphone for the solemnization, a receiving/reception table, as well as use of their audio system. The Rabbit Hole is very nicely decorated, and I loved the bamboo tunnel. Just be careful of the mosquitoes though! I got bit several times while we were taking photos. I think one also hid in the tulle layers of my dress and attacked me later on in the day.

DJ: $0
Since our solemnization ceremony was very short and we were not allowed to play music in the restaurant since it was a non-exclusive event, Paul and I put together a Spotify playlist to play while guests were mingling before the ceremony. Once we were ready to start, we tasked a good friend to play a specific song for me to walk down the aisle with my parents.

Food and Drinks: $3000
The White Rabbit offers a variety of lunch and dinner packages. Paul and I decided on a non-exclusive 4-course lunch that we customized from The White Rabbit's menu. We opted not to go for open bar since that would be significantly more per head. Instead, whatever drinks our guests ordered were put on the master bill. Paul and I also wanted to do a toast at the end of the solemnization, but neither of us drinks champagne. We decided to go with sparkling apple cider, which we brought to the venue ourselves. Our venue helped chill it for us, pour, and serve it for a corkage fee. I must say, The White Rabbit is absolutely amazing - the food was incredible (especially the Wagyu beef carpaccio and the chocolate moelleux!) and the service was great. Adrian was a dream to work with - I believe he is the general manager. And Annabel was there on our wedding day to help coordinate and make sure everything went well. I cannot rave enough about this place!! 

Photography:  $580
We managed to save some money on photography by requesting just 2 hours of the photographer's time for portraits before the ceremony and then to document the ceremony. Paul and I didn't care too much about photos of people eating, so we just focused our photographer's efforts on what mattered to us - portraits, the ceremony, and group photos. Josh of The Beautiful Moment was really great to work with and the photos that he took were great! Plus, they came packaged in a cute personalized CD.

Flowers: $60
I decided to cut costs by making my own bouquet. My mom and I went over to Far East Flora, where they have a large selection of fresh flowers in a giant refrigerator (make sure to bring a sweater!). I got a bunch of white spray roses, succulents, baby's breath, floral pins, floral tape, and ribbon all for around $60. The bunches were pretty large and were more than enough for my bouquet, Paul's boutonniere, my mom's corsage, and my dad's boutonniere. We had a ton of leftover succulents and baby's breath, so we used that to decorate the tables. All in all, it took about 2 hours the night before to put all the flowers together, but it was a lot of fun! Maybe I should start a floral business, hehe.

Bride's Outfit: $550
I had tried on the Lucca Maxi by Watters dress before I moved from the US and I fell in love with it. I tried to find something similar here in Singapore, but wasn't able to. 2 weeks before the wedding, I ordered the dress online from BHLDN and had it shipped to my parents in the US, who were arriving in Singapore the day before the wedding. Good thing the dress fit pretty well! The only major alteration it needed was the length, which my amazing mother did easily the night before. For shoes, I wore gold heels that I had purchased for my brother's wedding a year ago, and the birdcage veil, my mom bought in a craft store for about $10. I originally wanted to make my own so it would fit my head better, but I had difficulty finding Russian tulle. The crystal drop earrings I wore were from Chomel and matched my dress perfectly.

Groom's Outfit: $30
Paul wore his navy blue suit that he had made in Thailand two years ago. All that we needed to complete the look was a tie that matched my dress, which we found at Pedro in the Citylink Mall.

Hair and Makeup: $170
My hair and makeup were done by Jessmay Ann of The Flawless Look.

Wedding Bands: $550
It was a bit more difficult for me to find a wedding band that matched my engagement ring, but Paul and I found a beautiful band at Soo Kee Jewellery. Paul's wedding band was much more budget friendly - brushed black titanium from Amazon for about $20.


Thank you for sharing your wallet-friendly ideas and break down of cost with us Karen, we’re sure it'll set our community of brides and grooms-to-be thinking!


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