Cost of a traditional Chinese wedding in Singapore

Jes 2 Comments

I am not joking when I tell you a wedding is a hefty affair. Looking at the financial point of view, I would have opted for a simple buffet lunch but no, wedding is also a family affair. It really depends on both you and your partner's parents, more so for the bride's parents. They would want a lavish event to marry off their daughter proudly and to loudly announce to their friends and associates.

This is also their day so I have to do it their way.

My parents requested the wedding banquet and I couldn't say no to that.

What they didn't realise is how big a burden it is for the groom, especially when my partner only started working for a few years. With me being a Teochew, the dowry was the traditional gold, 四点金 and it does not stops there. The groom's family usually pays 5 to 10 tables for the bride's family. My parents requested for 10 tables as that was also the price my big brother had to pay for his wedding. Honestly, that was because we really have that many relatives. Don't forget that the angbao from the 10 tables also goes to my parents, and not to the groom!

Of course my parents supported us on other aspects and not just profiting from marrying off a daughter. My mother bought couple watches and diamond jewellery for me. I think she wants me to hold my head up high with these assets and provide me with some back up for the future.

I think cash or gold bar is better but no, that will not do.

For Guo Da Li (过大礼) which is the chinese betrothal ceremony where both families formally meet. These are the expenses incurred. Please take note that we only had cakes and dispense with all the other traditions so it was much cheaper. The baskets came on loan with the traditional cakes and you can return them to the cake shop after which. The amount stated below will usually come from the groom.

For the actual day, it was a morning gatecrash party following by a wedding dinner banquet that took place on a Saturday night at Orchard Hotel. It's only 4 star so you can imagine how much more expensive it is for better hotels. It will also be more extravagant if you have a solemnisation party or an overseas wedding photo shoot.

Anyway, the cost and review of my bridal studio was stated in my previous post. I don't usually track my every day finances but for wedding, because they are in the thousands, I keep track of them quite closely.

As the red packets collected are usually able to compensate for the cost of the wedding banquet, overall we incurred around $10,000 for my case. This looks much more affordable if it's shared between a couple and not sensationalised by the media. Together with the cost of betrothal ceremoney, pre wedding photo shoot, wedding bands and solemnisation, the whole wedding amounts to around $22,000. To be fair, I did not add in the wedding banquet price. Usually we pay for the banquet by credit cards and the angbao money is more or less able to cover the expenses by the time the bill comes through.

I conclude that a Chinese couple has to save at least $20,000 to get married. That is why a couple will need a few years to save up in preparation for the wedding. Coupled with at least the $30,000 you need for renovation, now you know why the singles are so much richer.

One way to better manage your finance is to space them out. Have the photoshoot earlier and hold the actual wedding a few months later. Even better if your renovation is done on a different year so you have more time to save up. Opting for wedding lunches or weekday dinners are some ways to reduce cost too. Just don't go for outdoor ceremony, Singapore is too hot and humid to do a beach wedding.

At the end of the drama and fanfare, it's easy to lose sight but the main point of a wedding is still on your commitment to love and take care of each other. Lavish affair or not, ultimately the love is between the two of you, no one else really matters.


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  1. totally agree with your post. many think that they've gotta spend it all but don't really see the repercussions

    1. Hi Chew,

      That's because they are still earning every month and don't see a need to save! Not to worry, I think they will definitely start to save more to do renovation and be a parent in the future. :)


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