It’s the season to be jolly or getting hitched! December is arguably the busiest season for getting married; and I’m proud to say, after 34 years of age, I am finally tying the knot— this year around that time. Planning our wedding is both a challenging and exhilarating experience to say the least. 

While the excitement builds up as the big day comes closer, so is the pressure of juggling the wedding costs. After all, financial capacity is one of the top concern (if not the top) of every couple.

I am hands-on when it comes to planning our wedding. After all, my strength is in numbers. From a financial planner point of view, I attack the project from an income and expenditure approach. How to maximize wedding revenues while minimizing costs. These are the things I have applied or plan to apply in the coming months up until the wedding date.

  1. Know your priorities

The wedding industry has become such a huge commercialized industry. Anything you can think of, there are suppliers for that. Henceforth, it is easy to get carried away on availing their services and buying their product. The key here is to know which parts of the wedding you are willing to spend more on, and less on.

For us, it is the venue. Right at the outset, we wanted to hold our reception in a hotel. That immediately takes 60 percent of the total cost. The photo and video followed suit. Never scrimp on these two. They are memories that are worth investing in.

  1. Look for upcoming suppliers

Wedding suppliers are dime-a-dozen. There’s even a yellow page for them! And every year, dozens are coming in to provide different services. Since they are relatively new, their rates and packages are still far less than the established ones. Some have apprenticed to some bigger names, and decided to put up the own businesses. They are also relatively easy to talk to, eager to go the extra mile to assist you in whatever they can. Our photographer apprenticed to an industry-expert for years before he started his own business. Pretty sure, few years later, his rate would rise much higher.

Lastly, if possible, go for the highest package the provider has to offer. Most of the time, they include everything you would like to have, plus several more freebies. It may turn out even “cheaper” with all these inclusions. Not to mention that you are considered a “VIP” for availing the most expensive package.

  1. Ask friends for help

Some may find it too tacky to request for cash gifts. And that’s fine. Even we can’t bring ourselves to add a note on the invitation about that. We would want cash gifts for obvious reasons. But, if you really cannot find it in your heart to request for such, then ask your friends or entourage to help you defray some of the expenses. They can help shoulder the cost of their respective make-ups, or even their gowns. If you have friends who do hosting, ask them if they could host for a lower rate or even for free.

  1. Learn to negotiate

Here’s the thing about negotiating: do it only when you are sure of the supplier you’re availing. It is unethical to request for discounts and freebies—and get them to agree to those, only to drop them because you found a cheaper supplier. When negotiating a package, it is just right to let them know of your budget and work around that with your respective suppliers. Most of them time, they will happily oblige, and there is nothing embarrassing about negotiating. Suppliers are willing to work within your budget as long as it’s reasonable.

There is always that debate whether it is worth splurging on your wedding date since it’s just for a day. For me, yes. Exactly the reason that I am willing to spend seven figures on this. I have saved a good amount of money—and even made bigger returns by investing.  

And that’s why I look forward to my happily ever after.

Kendrick Chua, RFP Kendrick Chua, RFP

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