The pandemic has brought some silver lining to us in terms of scaling back on wedding costs in Malaysia. A wedding ceremony, as traditionally known, is a big event that involves a lot of preparation, a long guest list, and of course, a huge cost to the organisers themselves.
It seems like many have taken advantage of the gathering restrictions to get married (safely, of course!) and avoid the hassle of wedding ceremonies. This is much easier on the wallet, but does not mean there is no meticulous planning to be done.
Now that most restrictions have been lifted and we are returning to the ‘new normal’, traditional wedding ceremonies are happening again, but there are now new ways to save costs. Here is a wedding checklist Malaysia edition especially for to-be married couples on how to achieve your dream wedding with a moderate budget.
Wedding Checklist Malaysia Edition
1. Dowry (Mahar)
Dowry, or known as ‘mahar’ in Islam, is given by the groom to the bride during the solemnisation (nikah) ceremony. Mahar strictly belongs to the wife and no one else is allowed to use or give it away, not even the husband, unless with permission.
In Malaysia, the dowry values are determined by respective states, who are also in charge of religious affairs. This table below shows the dowry values for each state, updated as of year 2021.
|State||Bride’s Status: Unmarried (RM)||Bride’s Status: Widowed (RM)|
|Kedah||Not specified||Not specified|
|Perlis||Not specified||Not specified|
|Terengganu||Not specified||Not specified|
|Kelantan||Not specified||Not specified|
2. Gifts (Hantaran)
This is an important cultural part of a wedding, where the groom needs to prepare a sum of money as a gift to the bride, and the couple will also be exchanging a number of gifts.
You should discuss with your partner on how much you would like to spend on each item, as well as the types of items to give to each other.
It is good to go for practical and long-lasting items such as shoes, clothes, bags and a copy of al-Quran. You may not want to splurge for this purpose, as what matters more is the readiness to build a life together after marriage, both financially and in terms of responsibilities.
Rings act as a symbol of commitment. Wearing this emblem signifies that the couple is prepared to undergo all of life’s tribulations alongside each other.
Of course, it is merely symbolic, and actions matter more. Therefore, it is wise not to overspend on this component. You can also opt to buy gold rings while the gold market price is on the lower side.
A cheaper and popular alternative to buying wedding outfits and dresses is to rent. This can also save you space from having to keep outfits that you will likely not ever wear again.
Minimalistic styles are also trending now, where brides can get beautiful parts of their wedding outfit online and cheap, such as veils, accessories, and even their tiaras. Try also asking family and friends if they have accessories that they can lend to you.
On the day where you will be photographed a lot, it is understandable to want your makeup professionally done.
When choosing a makeup artist, get recommendations from friends and relatives. You can also choose your own styles, since you do not want to be paying for a makeup style that might cause you discomfort, and worse, not feel your best on your special day.
As a way to save costs, you can choose to conduct all of the necessary ceremonies, particularly both the nikah and the reception, in the same venue. You must also estimate the number of guests, especially when choosing a closed venue like a wedding hall. Alternatively, you can also opt for a garden or beach wedding, where you may have less restriction in the number of seating.
Once you have decided on the number of guests and your preferred venue, calculate your budget. You also need to take into account other related costs such as the decorations and equipment rentals.
If you prefer so, you can conduct the reception at your own home. You can save time from having to travel back and forth to the wedding venue, but there will be a lot of cleaning to do.
Source: Pesona Pengantin
This ties in very closely with the venue choice and guest list. Material costs have gone up, so catering costs are likely to go up too.
Survey across different catering providers and go for the ones that offer the best value for your budget.
Cut back on the extras, like the ice cream and ‘cendol’ booth, if you have to. The last thing you want is food wastage.
8. Invitation Cards
Source: Safira Printing Service
You should inform your guests early so that they can block their calendar for your event. And to do this, you do not necessarily have to print out physical invitation cards anymore.
Some people have opted for digital invitations, where you can even design the invitations yourself. There are also plenty of free templates for every occasion.
This saves you from printing costs and also from having to meet people face-to-face to give out the invitations. You can also add in RSVP options so that you can have a more accurate estimation of your number of guests.
It is also important to look for a photographer that is worth your budget. Ask for recommendations, read reviews, and shop around for packages that you really need.
Maybe you do not need to pay extra for a photo album that you can actually make one yourself. Perhaps you already own good cameras or phones, so you can ask someone to take your photos without having to hire a professional photographer.
This is a nice gesture to appreciate your guests for coming. You do not have to reserve expensive doorgifts; this is a good opportunity for DIY (Do-It-Yourself) and shopping in bulk.
You can also give cheap but practical items. Giving out mini-sized cooking items is actually quite popular these days, like small packages of rice or even small bottles of soy sauce. The labels can be custom made too.
In a Nutshell
Some cultures are known to have extravagant, over-the-top weddings. But in this day and age, people are also becoming more aware of finances and would prefer practicality more than vanity. After all, what matters most is you and your spouse’s happiness, which includes financial health during the marriage itself, not only during the wedding day. The people who truly matter to you will understand your choices and would want the best for you too.
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