Planning a wedding in Singapore? Most weddings on our little island are like Bollywood blockbusters – big budget, big production and lots of nitty-gritty details to deal with in between.

With wedding costs averaging an eye-watering $55,000 a pop and hundreds of guests attending, it’s no wonder that couples pull out all the stops to make sure that their big day goes without a hitch. But once the glitter has settled, reality bites when the bills come in. Some couples take years to pay off their splurges.

Before you pull out those credit cards, let’s look at some of the trade-offs of holding a big bash.

#1 Less cash for that BTO

Whether you’re balloting or in the queue, your starter home doesn’t come cheap even with all the government subsidies. You’ll need to come up with cash for option fees, flat down payment, stamp duties and legal fees, which can easily run into the tens of thousands.

#2 Baby needs to wait

Ready to start a family? Better start saving. Pregnancy and delivery fees alone can come up to nearly $10,000 before the little bub makes his or her appearance. Estimates put the cost of raising a child in Singapore at between $200,000 to $1 million.

#3 Extra costs may hit hard

Rainy days aside, getting married can spell additional costs that fall outside the wedding budget. Think home insurance plan, renovation works and that honeymoon trip… while they may not break the bank, all these can add up to a pretty penny!

But all is not lost. Here are some practical ways brides and grooms-to-be can stay grounded, within budget and have a blast to boot!

Budget wisely

Big-ticket items that money-savvy couples can save on:

Bridal photo shoot and gowns ($3,000 - $5,000)

Why pay for costly packages at bridal boutiques with formulaic wedding photos? Shop for wedding outfits online, hire a professional indie photographer and have a blast at the photoshoot!

Dinner banquets at hotel ballrooms ($18,000 - $40,000)

The one single item that makes up more than half of most wedding budgets. Get creative instead with well-catered buffets at an intimate, offbeat venue.

If you and bae are badminton fanatics, consider booking your fav court for a fun, casual luncheon! Met and bonded over horticulture? Exchange vows at your neighbourhood community garden! These one-of-a-kind celebrations make for a relaxed and unforgettable event for your guests. For smaller ceremonies and after-parties, consider borrowing friends’ condominium function rooms for a more casual affair.

Wedding planning and styling ($2,000 - $3,500)

Delegate, delegate, delegate! Tap on your network of willing friends and family to run the show.

Mum and Dad can take care of the tea ceremony, while his vintage Volkswagen-owner pal can lend both car and chauffeuring services for the day! Your make-up guru friend can work her magic, while siblings sort out the church ceremony and ushering.

With some creative problem-solving and out-of-the-box thinking, preparing for the big day doesn’t have to burn a big hole in your pocket or be a high-stress affair.

After all, your dream wedding should be an expression of both your personalities and interests, but preferably at a fraction of the price.