And so are the cash registers' going Ka-$$hing!
Apparently it's expensive getting married. I know, I know! I am so totally the last person to realize this. But then again, the female sex have always been brought up to appreciate grand, one-of-a-kind, exquisite weddings. And no matter how small the wedding may be, the cost may very well be more than 10 grand (at the very least). And to tell you the truth, I would have to say that I truly don't think 10k weddings exist anymore. So, let's up our ante to 20k weddings, shall we?
So, what goes into Malay weddings?
Firstly, there are a minimum of two ceremonies that grooms and brides-to-be expect to host; the akad nikah (i.e. solemnization) and persandingan (i.e. wedding reception). I guess this part is similar to most religions. Prior to getting married, some couples may opt for an engagement (which consist of another separate ceremony involving close friends and family). FYI, the size of the engagement party depends on the number of invites that you send out, for some it may just be a small ceremony of 100 attendees and for some the number may go up to 1,000 attendees *gasp*.
The solemnization ceremony is usually just a small ceremony involving close friends and family, usually catering to a number of 200 attendees or less (depending on the number of close friends and family that you have though). For those with big budgets, the solemnization ceremony is usually held in the bride's home with a small-scale fanfare (i.e. hosting a celebratory feast for the 200 guests in conjunction with the ceremony). Optionally, those with smaller budgets can opt to have their akad at the nearest Majlis Islam office where you need not bother with the whole fanfare and instead bring your closest family and a handful of friends to accompany you to the wedding registrar's office and conduct the solemnization ceremony there for free. Definitely your expenses would be less than a quarter of the cost of hosting the ceremony at home. FYI, the solemnization ceremony itself may cost a minimum of 10k and more.
Next comes the wedding reception. As all is aware, the wedding reception will cut a big chunk in your wedding budget. Maybe about half of your expenses comes just from hosting your wedding reception *yikes*. Depending on your budget, you can opt to host the wedding reception either at the comforts of your own home, in a hall or at a hotel. Although some couples are opting for a slightly different venue to accommodate the different themes of your own choosing like a beach wedding, a garden wedding or maybe you may want to get married while diving under the blue sea (whatever it is, you will end up paying for it; or for some of the lucky ones, it may be their parents who will end up with a slimmer bank balance). FYI, depending on your budget, wedding receptions may cost the couple a minimum of 15k or more, depending on the size (i.e. number of attendees) and definitely how grand you want your wedding to be. I have attended a wedding reception that costs more than 100k and this was somewhat 8 years ago. Imagine what the cost would be now. I can't imagine spending more than 50k for my own wedding, though. Because to me, if you spend up to 100k just for a wedding, that is almost equivalent to almost half the price of a decent terrace house in Kuching *yikes*.
Whatever it is, prudent spending is a must. Designer gowns and heels, no matter how nice they may be, may cost you a fortune and could be spent on other things instead. Be careful of what you splurge and what to scrimp on.
My advice? A good photographer is a must cause the photos will be what you're looking at in a matter of 5, 10, 20 years down the road and I can't imagine on looking at yucky photos for the rest of my life. And since good photos is a must on my list, a decent wedding dress and wedding dais (pelamin) is also a must for me. I can't be shot by a good photographer while wearing a horrible dress. A BIG NO-NO in my book.
Till next time, here's to weddings and happy endings peeps!
xoxo Fashionista in Action xoxo