Before I enter you in the financial calculation I would like to address to everyone that this is my wedding estimation. I don’t want to shock others that you’re wedding will cost similar like this, it’s 100% entirely depends how you want to celebrate your day and how much are you willing to splurge. Some wedding can cost you even less than BND$30 grand, so I emphasize; this depend highly on you personal needs and wants for your wedding day.
NOW, to start calculating on you wedding expenses you may need to:
1. List the number of events you’re indulging.
o We Bruneians have a number of tradition events that we ought to obey. Some parents didn’t really mind when we decide to skip one of the few traditions just as long as we don’t skip the most important event which is the solemnization ceremony. Skipping events means less money spent! So if you want to have a complete and just nice wedding, one thing you’ll have to do is negotiate with the parents. Provided with the credit crunch now days, I’m sure they will understand. So the number of events for I know the time being are:
- Berbedak Mandi
- Akad Nikah (Solemnization ceremony)
- Malam berbedak (Night of powdering)
- Malam Berinai/Berpacar
- Muleh 3 Hari
2. The number of guest for each event.
o You will need to estimate roughly or have a fixed number of guest for caterings, door gifts, wedding favors for some even that need the individual guest to come and give their blessing, the number of tents, You either don’t want to left out guest with no gifts or have no seats for them right? Yes, it’s true that our parents will say more is fine but less is not good. But, to have a well managed wedding and not to have that variation order, it’s best to keep the guest list minimal.
3. List out the number of bride and grooms gift to each other which is most likely to be known as the hantaran.
o Plan on what you want to put in the tray. This is one of the most famous sections in a wedding because people would really love to know what you’ve got in that tray. Expensive gifts shows pride and money the couple have. My honest say on this is that, this is unnecessary and overrated now. Just because your cousins or best friend has a Manolo Blahnik or a Christian Louboutin and the Chanel classic flip handbag on the tray, you have to beat them to it because your other half works with much higher pay then your best friend husband. It like a quiet feud happening on who affords what. This is just giving pressure to the soon to be wedded couples. I hope the mentality of people would change and spend wisely and don’t make a huge hole in your pocket for reasons of showing off. No point. You would want to wish to have a happy life together with your other half and not forking out his money to splurge on way expensive stuff that you may or not use it always because you’re afraid you might spill wine, fizzy drinks or whatever. Always remember, make sure that your other half can afford to get you that stuff you want, never forced them to buying because of love. Men’s also have their wish list that they wish you would buy them too but you couldn’t afford. E.g. a Ferrari? So think about it and compromise. Don’t pressure your other half.
4. List out the attire you want to rent and get tailored. Most bridal offers package for all events with the stage decorations and all sorts.
o Most brides would love to get their solemnization dress tailored to their own needs whilst have the other attire rented. For the well-off brides, they may get everything tailored. But anyhow, try to keep this as nice simple and clean. I’ve come across to some that came up with different colors! Just to symbolize uniqueness in their solemnization ceremony. My question, how many times in your life would you wear everything white? A white dress? Let it be unique in your life but not to others.
5. For the ladies, you’ve got to get a rough estimate for the bridal make up services.
o For all the i know make up services now ranges from BND$150-$200 to even $300 per session and much cheaper if you take a package. Since the make up services is blooming like mushrooms similar like photographers, remember to try this make up artist first before any of your occasion. Bring it on a test drive and see if it's suites you. Some professional make up artist does a perfect job and turned a bride to her most beautiful moment but some just don't work. Give it a try first!
6. List out the events you would love to use fresh flowers.
o Usually there are only two events that use hand bouquet. Solemnization and Sanding ceremony.
7. The wedding cake!
o Yes wedding cakes especially the modern fondant and air brush cake doesn’t come cheap like icing. They’re pricy and to have a quality cake, ready to fork out hundreds!
So what are you waiting for? Get a piece of paper and list out what do YOU want in your wedding and estimate them.
Always, think about the flow of the occasion on that day from the arrival of guest, to being the bride to being the mother of the bride, the father of the bride, Be Everything so you won’t miss out of minor details that we tend to overlooked and forget.
I do have an example here based on my imagination and experienced attending weddings..
Solemnization ceremony. (I’m only going to cover up for the ladies side)
o THE BRIDE
- Your solemnization DRESS: this is entirely up to you, either to get it tailored to your likings or rent it from the bridal boutique.
- Your solemnization SHOES: I’ve always loved a white strappy heels looks sexy. Wear stockings makes it nicer.
- Your solemnization SCARF/VIEL: some forget that we need a nice bling brooch or pin to clip the scarf. You if you’re planning on wearing the normal scarf that requires brooch and pin. You need to purchase them in textile shops. For those who use the new trend scarf that needs you just to slip it in, noting to be worried about.
- Your solemnization ACCESSORIES: Crown, bracelet, rings, and necklace. You either use your own bling collection or hire from the bridal boutique. I’ve always prefer no rings on the left hand because I want the wedding ring to be the only one in the finger. Makes it more distinguish in pictures and special.
- Your solemnization HAND BOUQUET: Some would like to hold something while sitting down waiting for the soon to be husband be your husband! It would lovely to have some fresh flowers to hold on too, breaks down the nervous feeling too.
- Your solemnization MAKE UP: now this has always been the 1st thing to think about on a wedding so I don’t have to elaborate into this right? Just make sure that when you use heavy fake eyelashes, when taking pictures... Make sure you open up your eyes. Especially ones that has small eyes. You wouldn’t want most of your pictures sleeping right?
- FURNITURE & DECORATIONS: May or may not need new furniture but you know the rest, get the bed area decorated. Reason? Your wedding photo.
- LIGHTING: make up purposes and photographers. *No cost just a reminder
- KEYS: Now, when everyone is busy witnessing the bride solemnization ceremony, whom will take care of the room? So always make sure to lock the room and give the keys to someone you trust that won’t do any harm. No keys? You’ve got to get them locked no matter what. *No cost just a reminder
- TEMPERATURE: Since there’s people going in and out the room, populated and crowded, you may need to set the air conditioner to the lowest temperature earlier on. *No cost just a reminder
- CATERINGS: Always do food tasting before hiring a caterer. Enough said.
- DOOR GIFTS: Every occasion has a door gift that you need to prepare. Solemnization ceremony door gift is usually simply and noting over the top. Remember, have of give something that you can afford and not bebankan yourself.
- GUEST: Have friends, cousins, siblings and parents to help the guest seated and let them socialize; don’t worry too much if either the tents is already full or half empty. Nevertheless, you will still enjoy your wedding.
o THE HANTARAN
- MEN GIFTS: Prepare and numbered the items. Place it in a very safe place, away from kids running around, away from crowds as item can go missing. Decorations? That’s entirely up to yourself to DIY or hires some people to decorate them for you.
- LADY GIFT: So before the solemnization ceremony start, there will be this “Hantar Berian” ceremony that took place where both side will exchange gift. Items received from the men’s side, have some people, friends or cousins to help them bring up to your room and arranged them. If the items being placed just beside you on the solemnization ceremony, its fine. As long as someone keep’s an eye on those trays.
o THE CEREMONY
- PELAMIN/ STAGE: It’s always nice to have the stage prepared early for photo taking purposed between the bride and groom. Enough lighting and don’t overcrowd them with organza running from one pole to one pole, some might trip on it during photo session. Keep it simple, hazard free.
- LAPIK: When the solemnization ceremony took place, the bride will have to sit behind the groom. I’ve seen this arrangement and it’s lovely, the bride will be able to see her soon-to-be husband Lafazkan nikah and everything. The groom will have his Lapik and four candles but always, the ladies forgot that they will need a lapik too for her to sit down to witness the ceremony.
- SOUND CHECK: Have the family members or who ever is in charge of the sound system to check thoroughly. Make a sound check so everything is clear and there will be no glitches that will interrupt the ceremony.
- RING: Prepare and make sure you assign someone to hold the ring that you will need to place on your husband’s finger. Soon after the ceremony, there will be “batalkan air wudhu” so soon after that will be the exchanging of ring followed by a kiss in the forehead (optional).
From here you could just get a rough estimate on how much one occasion will cost you and of course, wedding management! =)