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)
Gift is also a big part of Malay’s wedding culture. If the groom cannot afford to gift the bride a huge sum, the pair should discuss and negotiate to at least exchange a fair amount of tray of items. Giving 5 gift trays is more than enough, the bride will also exchange gift tray by givingg the groom 7 trays in total. When you are picking items for the gift trays, make sure to purchase practical items that can last long and be used daily by your partner like shoes, clothes, prayer items, Al-Quran, beg and more.
Dont worry, you are still considered as financially stable man even if your gift items are limited. What is more important is your responsibility after the marriage. You does not have to spend a large sum and exceed your wedding budget by buying expensive gift as your partner will surely appriciate anything that you buy for them as long as they can use them on daily.
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.
If you does not wish to spend much money on wedding attire, you can try the alternative of renting a wedding attire as it is more realistic as well as helps you save more money. Both bride and groom will surely get to save more cost if you are in a tight budget situation for the wedding ceremony. Now, with a more minimalistic look getting more recognition and many of brides and grooms are choosing this theme as it is more affordable. 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.
Other than getting your make up professionally done, you can aslo consider doing your own make up or asking for help from your friend or relatives that you know are good at make up to groom and doll you up on your wedding day. That way, you do not have to spend that much money on make up artist that usually charge a high price even for a simple make up. Flatter and persuade your friend or relative with a fair amount of money as a thank you gift for doing your make up.
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. Make sure that the make up artist use cosmetics that are good and suitable for your skin so that you can look the best on your big day. 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.
You can save alot of money if you do all your wedding ceremony at one place. Do not forget to take into account the amount of guest that will be attending the wedding, especially if the wedding is held at a closed venue like a wedding hall. However, you can avoid this by having a garden wedding or a beach wedding which is an open venue. Decide on where do you want your wedding to be held based on the list of cheap places to get married at that you have collected.
Do not forget to calculate all of the expenses that you need for your big day. Some expenses that you surely need to take into account are chair and table rental, wedding altar and more. Other than that, you can also hold your wedding at your house. First, you do not have to pay wedding venue rent and second, you can better plan your wedding because you are more familiar with the venue. Do get to save more time as well as you do not have to go out just to reach the wedding venue. You can also start decorating early and be relax on the wedding day.
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
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.
Photographer is the individual that will be responsible to capture those happy moments at your wedding. It is a huge resposibility for the photographer to create a quality and beautiful pictures on the wedding day. Hence it crucial for the bride to be careful in picking and hiring your photographer. Take into mind the wedding photo package that is offered so that you will not regret it in the future. Do not be lazy to get your close family opinions, read survey answer and making comparison. If you want to be more frugal, you can try taking picture using your smartphone. With todays’s high technology, the camera that we have on our smartphone is not as bad as you think!
You does not have to buy doorgift that is will cost you an arm and a leg for your guest. You can making your own doorgifts using manilla card that will only cost you 30 cent per pieces. Other than that, you can also buy small doorgift bag that is made from net material, plastic or paper with the price of RM 11- RM25 per 100 pieces on Lazada. If you want to buy these items in bulk, you can just go to Nilai 3 and buy in bulk with affordable price.
Now, there are also various marketplace and social media platform that offer interesting and affordable doorgift services. Some even have a doorgift package according to the amount of guest, the kind of gift item that you want to and more. What most important is it will save cost and time. 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.
Infographic: Wedding Savings Idea
Video: 5 Ways To Save Money For Wedding [RM20K!]
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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(This article was originally published 21 September 2021 and updated on 18th of October 2022)