Planning for a wedding can be both exciting and stressful. While the excitement builds up as the big day comes closer, so is the pressure of juggling the wedding costs. You only get married once in your lifetime, but you certainly do not want to burn a hole in your pocket just to exchange “I do’s”.

Good news is, you don’t have to! Just like a business, a wedding should be taken from an income and expenditure mindset. How do you maximize your revenues while minimizing costs?

One disclaimer though: I haven’t been married. So the tips below came from my experience as a wedding host, and from couples who managed to not only recoup their expenses, but also made money out of it. Some of it might make you cringe but hey, financial independence entails an open mind.

  1. Spend less on non-essentials

    There are some particulars in the wedding that you do not need to blow your money on. Like the photo booth - there might be a difference between a P10,000 and a P3,000 - but will your guests even notice or care? Another saving bumper is for the wedding coordinator. I have encountered couples who spent P50,000 on an on-the-day coordination, when you can get it at a quarter of the cost.

    Whatever savings you accumulate, spend them on things that matter more to you and your guests. The extra money can be added to your wedding gown budget and food. Think about everyone raving about the lovely bride and the sumptuous food.

    With well-thought strategies, it really doesn’t matter how tight or abundant your wedding budget is. If you’re able to balance your bank account with solemnity and excitement for the big day, then your happily-ever-after might just turn out to be real.

  2. Request for cash gifts

    You must be thinking, “That is so cheap!” But there is a way of asking it appropriately. One invitation I saw years ago had this note at the bottom of their invitation, “We are planning on starting our life as husband and wife in (name of country). Hence, we would prefer cash gifts.”If you still can’t bring yourself to do this, ask yourself, “Do I really want to be stuck with five coffee makers?”

  3. Ask friends for help

    If you really cannot find it in your heart to request for cash gifts, then ask your friends or entourage to help you defray some of the expenses. Years ago, my sister was a bridesmaid to her friend. She was asked by the bride if she could pay for her own gown. She obliged. In another wedding, friends pooled their money and paid for the wedding booth. If you have photographer friends, asked them to take pictures of your wedding instead of hiring other professionals to do it. In business, if you can’t raise revenues, mitigate your expenses.

Image used under Creative Commons from Hans Braxmeier

Kendrick Chua, RFP

Kendrick is a Sun Life Financial Advisor and a Registered Financial Planner. He regularly writes for Rappler, Business Mirror, and Money Sense. He is also a Chinese Language Instructor, TV host of CHInoy TV, a violinist, and a freerunner-wannabe. You can reach him via