Budgeting | Life | Personal Finance | Personal Stories | Article
I Only Spent RM6,000 On My Wedding: Here’s How I Did It
by Nur Sabihah Zainuddin | 12 Oct 2023 | 5 mins read
Getting married and planning the wedding is a momentous occasion for many of us. It’s about celebrating our love and union with our family and friends, hence many of us get carried away when we plan our wedding ceremony.
That’s why it’s not uncommon to hear stories of couples spending more than they can afford on their wedding by taking a personal loan from the bank or from their parents. Many of these couples spend years in debt repaying the loan for their one-day wedding ceremony.
When I got engaged to my partner, we vowed not to go into debt for our wedding. We also didn’t want to use up all our savings.
Before our engagement, I had been looking to buy my own property as I wanted a sense of security for my future, and I was in the midst of purchasing a home when my partner proposed.
Thus, I ended up buying my first house around the same time as my wedding ceremony. This meant that I had to be careful with how I spent my money, because I didn’t have a lot of additional savings to spend on the wedding.
We did our calculations and worked out that we only had RM6,000 for the wedding ceremony, also known as a kenduri. So, we had to find a way to balance these two significant events in our life, which wasn’t easy.
Hence, the start of our Do-It-Yourself budget wedding plan. Here’s a look at how we pulled it off.
One of the first things I did was to curate a guest list of my closest family members and friends. While it was tempting to invite everyone we knew, we reminded ourselves that the wedding was about the relationships we had with the guests and not about the number of attendees.
Keeping the guest list intimate allowed me to allocate my budget more efficiently and focus on creating an intimate atmosphere where everyone felt connected. All in, we invited 200 guests for the kenduri.
As food is the most important part of any kenduri, we set aside RM4,000, the biggest portion of our budget, for it.
And to ensure we kept within the stipulated budget, we decided to prepare all the food ourselves, without engaging a caterer. Thankfully, we were very lucky because in my kampung in Terengganu, we have a gotong-royong tradition where everyone in the community comes together to help.
To make this happen, my parents and I made multiple trips to the local market and managed to get all the ingredients needed within the budget. Then, with the help of my neighbours, we prepared all the food and cooked it together.
Having the whole community come together for my wedding was truly memorable as everyone was a part of the celebration. It also saved us a lot of money.
Next was preparing for the hantaran, where the bride and groom exchange gifts.
As I didn’t want to spend money on things that weren’t useful, I asked my partner what he needed before buying gifts for him. He listed a few items, and I ended up spending RM500 on practical things my husband would use, such as a baju Melayu set, a watch and a pair of shoes.
Instead of renting a space, we used my parents’ house as the venue for our wedding. My parent’s gazebo became the pelamin, which is the stage where the bride and groom sits to welcome their guests. This didn’t cost us a thing, plus, it made the ceremony more intimate and cosier.
We only spent RM250 on decorations, which we used for the pelamin and photobooth.
We designed our own wedding invitation and printed 50 copies to give to our closest family and friends. This cost us RM50.
The other guests were sent digital copies of the wedding invitation, as it was more convenient and also better for the environment!
I asked my cousin to sew me a simple baju kurung as my wedding outfit. This is because I didn’t want to spend money on something I would only wear once, and wanted something simple that I could wear again on other occasions.
My cousin only charged me RM250 for my wedding outfit.
My wedding ensemble
To complete my look, I rented a veil from a bridal shop for RM50, and my mother bought a mini crown from Eco Shop for me for a few Ringgit, which looked amazing.
Makeup and photos
My older sister did my makeup, so I didn’t have to spend money on a makeup artist. During the lead up to my wedding, we tried out different looks and makeup styles and it was so much fun!
To commemorate the event, I borrowed a good quality camera from a friend, and my younger sister was the photographer for the day.
What I learned from planning my low budget-wedding
One of the most rewarding aspects of planning a low-budget wedding is the opportunity to get creative. We turned everything from decorations and wedding invitations into DIY projects.
Armed with Pinterest boards and a can-do attitude, my family and I spent evenings crafting centrepieces for the photobooth and pelamin and preparing ingredients for the kenduri. The process allowed us to bond over shared tasks and gave us a sense of accomplishment that money can’t buy.
Thankfully, my wedding went off without a hitch. This taught me that you don’t need to spend a lot to have a meaningful celebration. You just need to be more creative and practical. I also learnt some valuable lessons about managing money, making wise choices, and celebrating love meaningfully.