We are celebrating our 5th wedding anniversary this year. To celebrate this milestone, I decided to put together this unromantic and nerdy post of how much we spent on our wedding. =P Feel free to guess the total amount based on the following details:
The Ring - I really don't know
Let's start with the first item that started the wedding process - the engagement ring. The proposal was a surprise, so obviously I wasn't involved in the ring selection process. I honestly don't know how much hubby spent for this. I'm sure it was expensive but I'll give him the credit for getting a free iPad (which I'm still using) together with the ring. Most people will get a wedding band separately, but we agreed not to get another ring (one is more than enough for me). I'm happy with my dual-purpose ring.
Wedding Planner - $0
Our wedding planner was no other than me, myself, and I. =P I'm not someone who fantasized about a 'dream' wedding, but since I'm such a planner, I appointed myself as the wedding planner for our wedding and successfully pulled it off with the help of families and friends.
The Dress - RM140 ($40)
The one dress I bought for the wedding was this traditional red Cheongsam. No I didn't mistype the amount, this dress really cost only $40 (RMB250). I bought it when I traveled to China for a business trip and it fitted perfectly! :) I wore it for the photoshoot and during our wedding dinner.
Bridesmaids and Groomsmen Outfits - RM260 ($70)
Our friends and family were kind enough to be our bridesmaids and groomsmen, and helped us out on our wedding day, so it made perfect sense for us to pay for their outfits. I got the guys' outfits in China for RMB29 ($5) each, and bought the bridesmaids dresses online for RMB35 ($6) each. They may not cost much, but those traditional outfits looked great on them! =)
Wedding Gown(s) & Suits - $0 (included with photo package)
All the gowns and suits in the photos above were included in our photography package. The package included 5 sets of gowns and suits, 3 for the pre-wedding photoshoot, and 2 for the wedding day.
Make-up & Hairdo - RM350 ($90)
The photography package included make-up and hairdo for the photoshoot and the wedding day. However, we had to add an additional session for a separate photoshoot (thanks to the rain).
Flower Bouquet & Car Ribbon - $0 (included with photo package)
Few more random things that were included in the photography package. Gladly let the experts (bridal shop) take care of all these small stuffs. At this point, you're probably wondering how much the photography package cost since it included so many things. =P
Photography Package - RM5,800 ($1,500)
The 2nd most expensive item we splurged on was the photography package. These were what we got:
Wedding & Tea Ceremony - RM1,060 ($270)
We had the wedding and tea ceremony at our home so the main cost was for the canopy and catered luncheon for our friends and relatives who came for the ceremony.
Wedding Invitation - RM70 ($20)
Our wedding invitation was pretty basic, as long as it served the purpose of informing our guests of the date, time and location right? =P Besides, we only sent these invitation cards to the elders. Everybody else received 'electronic' version of this invitation via Facebook.
Wedding Favors & Decorations - RM450 ($120)
Our wedding favors were wooden coasters I bought in Beijing (and got my boss to help carry them all the way back to Malaysia). I bought a total of 60 sets (300 pcs) for our guests and the quality is solid.
Music & Emcee - RM1,600 ($410)
We hired a band to perform during the wedding dinner and provided them with a song list. They were also the emcee for the night.
Our Story Slideshow - $0
Not many people know about our 5-year long distance relationship (LDR) story, so I made a slideshow to convey our story. This project took almost 6 months and was completed 2 days before the wedding. The full version of this slideshow is in the "About" page.
Wedding Venue & Dinner - RM13,800 ($3,500)
Our wedding dinner/reception was held at a restaurant. No fancy decor, no fancy props, just simple good food. :P The cost includes 8-course dinner for 300 guests. In fact, the cost for this reception was fully covered by cash gifts (angpao) from our guests. But I'm not going to low-ball the actual cost.
Paperwork & Marriage Registration - RM300 ($80)
We had to jump through a few hoops for our marriage registration procedure in Malaysia because I was marrying a foreigner. The two main additional expenses were the notarization fee of his Single Status Affidavit at the US Embassy ($50), and the Express Service fee of RM100 ($30) because hubby was going to fly back to the US in less than 21 days.
How much did our whole wedding shebang cost in total??
All in all, our total cost was below the average wedding cost in Malaysia but I won't deny that weddings are expensive and they are plenty of people who spend less than we did. Anyway, we were able to keep our cost relatively low and paid for everything ourselves by shopping around and eliminating all unnecessary items. Most importantly, we were able to share this special and memorable day with our friends and family in Malaysia (before I moved to the US). I guess we started off our marriage on the right foot (financially) right? =P