Your budget is arguably one of the toughest battles you will have to face when wedding planning. Things you had no idea you had to pay for, as well as sudden last minute charges you can’t help but agree to, are waiting at every corner. So how then can you plan a wedding while sticking to your agreed budget? We need to bring in the professionals (a.k.a. real-life fairy godmothers) to answer this one! We asked wedding planners Kim Torres, Berlyn Yap, Jets and Rhona Battung, and Maxine Covar to share their expertise and experience on managing a wedding budget. As top wedding planners in the Philippines, they have seen it all—from the grand banquets in ballrooms to the simple, heartfelt ceremonies at home. Today they are happy to share details from some of their lowest budget weddings to help you while planning yours. Keep on reading to find out more!
Kim Torres of Kim Torres Events gives us a preview of one of her first weddings during the pandemic. Guests and suppliers were very few. The bride and groom even dropped by their families’ houses to greet them as they were not able to physically attend the Church wedding. They also kept the reception simple by skipping the formal program. They instead chose to spend on the styling and made sure their special day was absolutely stunning. It took only ten days to plan, but the couple and their suppliers really poured their hearts into the occasion. This couple even went the extra mile and included pandemic essentials for their suppliers too!
Who says you can’t have fireworks while on a budget? Kim tells us about about another wedding that was lakeshore-themed and absolutely beautiful. The budget included a Church wedding and full styling and set-up of the reception venue. The couple even arrived on a boat and were surrounded by fireworks after the first dance. Kim reminds us that just because weddings these days have a smaller guest list, it doesn’t automatically mean expenses are reduced as well. Take note of this tip. Tables that used to seat 10 guests now only accommodate half, so you may be charged double for the table rental and the flower arrangements.
Berlyn Yap of Berlyn Yap Events Management tells us about a civil wedding from several years back. They planned the ceremony at home, which was followed by a reception dinner in their garden. The guests were treated to a traditional Filipino dinner and entertainment by cultural dancers. When asked about the most memorable part of this wedding, Berlyn shares, “Everyone was comfortable and real. No one was conscious; rather, they were just wholly enjoying the moment being with each other.” She also adds that any budget is possible when planning a wedding, you only need to adjust your guest count and your priorities to realistically fit the figure you’re eying.
Jets and Rhona of Jets and Rhona share some details about a distinct low-budget wedding in 2015. The couple initially set a budget of P400 per plate, but they were eventually able to bring down the cost without compromising quality. The food was great and the menu was complete with 2 pasta dishes, 3 entrees, 2 desserts, and of course, rice! It definitely helped keep costs in control when friends of the couple offered their services for free. The Church, the priest, the choir, and the flowers were all given as gifts to the lovely couple. It only goes to show that when you put effort into building relationships, your suppliers are more than willing to exceed expectations on your big day!
Jets and Rhona talk to us about another wedding, but this time, much more recent. This couple initially planned a destination wedding in Bali, Indonesia to match their adventurous personalities. They even made the trip to do oculars and finalize agreements for their destination wedding. Like many other couples, the pandemic hit and their plans had to change. They decided to advance their wedding to an earlier date and rented a yacht to celebrate with an intimate guest list. The change in plans got them married soon and resulted in almost 80% off their original wedding budget. Initial reservation fees not included in the computation. They plan to use the amount for a delayed honeymoon once travel is no longer restricted.
Maxine Covar of Maxine Covar Events shares how a young couple managed to pull-off an elegant, rustic garden wedding that did not not break the bank. Together they worked on finding suppliers who would be able to bring their vision to life, which included sticking to the budget. They committed to making practical choices in order to save money they can use for their future life together. “Every time they feel confused in the middle of planning or overwhelmed, they would always go back to their vision to keep themselves anchored,” says Maxine. The wedding ended up perfectly matching the couple’s style and vision. It was a relaxed affair with good dinner, dancing, and even better company.
Looking for more tips to manage your wedding budget? You can find more money management content for engaged couples and newlyweds here. Don’t be afraid to talk about budgeting. You’ll surely thank yourselves for it later!