Once the novelty of being engaged wears off (and you take a second to look way from that sparkly ring), the real action of planning for a wedding begins. This is where it gets really expensive real quick.

In Singapore, weddings are (still) seen as once-in-a-lifetime affairs, so many couples go all out for a grand banquet and ceremony that they will remember for years to come. They’re also a great way for couples to showcase their finesse and personalities (and obviously, their net worths). Besides, what better time for brides to express their fashion styles than with the dress of their dreams?

The problem? If you’re having the wedding of your dreams in a five-star hotel, you could be spending close to 60% of your payment for a build-to-order (BTO) flat. For instance, a four-room unit at Fernvale Glades in Sengkang costs $205,000 (including grants) and a 20% down payment for the development would add up to an estimated $41,000.

While most Singapore millennials have strong aspirations to buy a home, many spend a long time to save enough money for that all-important down payment. In this article, we’ve crunched the numbers to deduce just how much cash you need for the down payment of a home (we will use Fernvale Glades in this article as an example), and how much of it may be going to your wedding instead!

A four-room unit at Fernvale Glades in Sengkang costs $205,000 and a 20% down payment for the development adds up to about $41,000. How much of your down payment are you spending on your wedding instead?

 

1) Wedding solemnisation

Estimated damage: $1,000 to $5,000 (2% to 12% of your down payment)

Many Singaporeans hold a wedding solemnisation because they need to get married first before collecting their BTO HDB flats, but this will come as an extra cost. Fortunately, most solemnisations tend to be more casual compared to the wedding banquet and you can rent a simple venue or even hold it at the registry for a minimal fee of about $1,000. Feeling more generous? You can also opt to hire caterers or hold it at a grander venue complete with floral arches and lunch for up to $5,000.

Going by these estimates, your wedding solemnisation will take up between 2% and 12% of your home’s down payment, which is really not so bad compared to our next point.

 

2) Wedding banquet

Estimated damage: $30,000 to $40,000 (73% to 98% of your down payment)

Clearly, this is where the bulk of your wedding costs will go to. Singaporean couples typically hold their wedding banquets at hotels or restaurants with capacity for large events. Assuming that you host a dinner with 30 tables (or 300 guests), you could be spending anywhere between just under $30,000 to nearly $70,000.

For instance, if you’re looking to hold a wedding dinner at a four-star hotel like Hotel Jen, then be prepared to fork out from $988 per table or $29,640 for 30 tables – that’s approximately 72% of your BTO down payment if you’re looking at a four-room unit at Fernvale Glades. Splashing all out for your big, once-in-a-lifetime day? A wedding at a five-star hotel like The Ritz Carlton, Millenia would cost $2,210 per table or $66,300 for 30 tables (or 300 guests) – that’s a whopping 162% of your down payment.

Perhaps a consolation for newlyweds it that they will likely recover some of their wedding costs from the ang baos they will get from their guests, so invite your more generous friends and relatives. If that’s not something you can count on, perhaps you can consider having a wedding lunch or a wedding on a weekday to save cost.

 

3) Bridal packages (bridal gowns, make up, studio photography, etc)

Estimated damage: $3,000 to $6,000 (7% to 15% of your down payment)

These days, many bridal houses offer couples the convenience of getting all their wedding needs under one roof. This typically includes suits and gowns, make-up and pre-wedding photography all within a single package. They can be priced anywhere from $3,000 to $6,000, depending on the number of outfits, photos and locations involved for your photoshoot. It also depends on whether you’re looking to have your photoshoot locally or abroad.

Sure, a lump sum of a few thousand dollars may seem outrageous at first glance, considering you’re just renting a bunch of gowns and having some pictures taken. Yet, these packages remain a popular choice for Singapore couples, as it is usually more expensive to go ala carte. A custom-made wedding dress for instance, can easily come up to $2,000.

Regardless, if you’re opting for the bridal package route, you’ll still need to fork out at least 7% of your home’s down payment.

 

4) Photography and videography

Estimated damage: $3,000 (7% of your down payment)

Your wedding is probably one of the biggest events of your lifetime, so it’s hardly surprising that many couples will want to hire a specialised wedding photographer and/or a videographer to capture the event.

A typical package would cost you an average of $3,000. For example, packages from Smittenpixels photography range from $2,000 to $3,000, and include edited images, digital photo files, printouts and a slideshow. Meanwhile, full-day wedding packages at Trouvé cost an average $3,000. It includes 10 hours of photography, editing and digital photo files.

If you’re looking for industry pros to captivate your big day, expect the costs to double. The upside is, you stand to save at least 7% of your home’s down payment if you’re looking at a Fernvale Glades unit.
 

Help with wedding budgeting

Of course, how much cash you need for your home’s down payment is relative. For instance, if you’re purchasing a four-room unit at Eunos Court in Geylang, then be prepared to pay a down payment of $103,400 for a $517,000 unit (including grants). A $30,000 wedding banquet would then add up to just 29% of your home’s down payment.

In any case, don’t let your wedding keep you out of your dream home. Use our affordability calculator to first determine how much you need for your first home before you decide to splurge on your wedding.Here’s a gist of how much you would require for the down payment of a 4-room BTO:

Source: HDB

BTO projects

Selling price ($)

(including grants)

20% down payment ($)

Eunos Court in Geylang

517,000

103,400

Tampines Green Court

318,000

63,600

Northshore Edge in Punggol

227,000

45,400

Fernvale Glades in Sengkang

205,000

41,000

 

Plus, it’s not impossible to have the wedding of your dreams without losing an arm and a leg, as long as you’re willing to get a little creative and resourceful from ideas you gather online.

Happy wedding planning!

Note: All prices listed in the article are only to be used as a guideline. We do not guarantee accuracy as prices may differ and are subject to change.