Getting married is an astronomically expensive affair nowadays. Weddings are progressively becoming more about holding a grand or unique social event. What perpetuate to this prevailing belief are the viral wedding trends on social media. Having said that, many couples today are willing to go a little extravagant by cashing out all their savings and incurring wedding debts to fulfill their dream wedding – an amount equivalent to a down payment on a house. Weddings in Malaysia averagely start from RM 50,000 and can easily reach up to a whooping RM 200,000.

I remember listening to my parents’ beautiful love story and they only had a very simple wedding in their own house. This left me thinking why people start off their marriage recuperating their finances when they can save that money for a romantic honeymoon. Conversely, what can couples do differently to steer of wedding debts and yet have a memorable wedding? Let’s discuss this!


Attendance list 

Planning your guest list should always be your top priority as all the other bigger decisions depend highly on your number of guests. This will ease your selection for an ideal venue and negotiation with the venue manager. Most couples make mistakes by deciding on their “dream venue” first and in return, they have to accommodate to the minimum number of guests required to book the venue.

This eventually results couples to invite the “whole village” to their wedding where they might not even know some of the guests. The couple does not even have time to indulge in their food as they needed to attend to all the guests. In some of the weddings I’ve been to, 60% of the guests were friends of the newly wed’s parents. A voice in my head questioned if I am actually attending my friend’s wedding or their parents’ wedding?

What can you do differently?
Instead of having a huge wedding, you can consider having a small and intimate wedding with your closest family and friends. After all, weddings should be a celebration of love and not a stage to showcase your love. With a smaller crowd, it is much easier to engage with your guests and maybe even play some games together. Trust me, your guests and yourself will have an even more amazing and memorable time at your wedding!



Next step in planning your wedding would be booking the venue. As attractive as it is to have your wedding in a hotel or unique venues such as the popular “glasshouse wedding” or “beach wedding”, you must always put your feet on the ground and consider if it is worthy spending so lavishly when you can put the money into better use. In Malaysia, 4-star hotels charge at least RM 1,600/table with a minimum requirement of 30 tables or more.

What can you do differently?
You should consider holding your wedding at a cozy restaurant or a hall. There are actually many options in Malaysia that many have yet to discover. Also, consider hosting buffet or brunch reception instead. These restaurants actually serve really delicious buffet line in which you can save a lot of money!


Pre-wedding photography

With easily accessible information online, commercialized bridal studios have gain popularity over the years which eventually became a “compulsory” affair for all couples. With the rising living cost in Malaysia, pre-wedding photography packages averagely cost from RM 6,000 to RM 15,000.  On top of that, there’s usually an extra price to pay for more luxury gowns and additional copies of photo to be taken back. Couples today are even willing to spend more to have their photo shoot overseas.

What can you do differently?
You can actually opt for smaller bridal studios which are mostly owned by photographers themselves. Another option you can consider is to rent or buy your own gown and engage professional photographers instead. You will be surprised with the outcome of your photos as they can be even better than the commercialized studio. Generally, people put more passion into their own business compared to working for others. Also, commercialized studios have high sales quota to fulfill, resulting their photographers to focus on quantity rather than quality.

A few sites we would recommend for their amazing jobs are benhorphotography, carissaganphotography, marrymebridal and more listings on We have managed to get some rebates for our readers who are interested to engage in their services. Read on to find out more. 



Being one of the most important aspects especially to the bride, couples are willing to splurge on glamorous bridal gowns and tuxedo. Gown rentals from commercialized bridal studios can cost at least RM600 per gown in which the price increases with better designs. I have also seen some couples who spent minimum RM2,500 for custom-made designer dress and shoes. Attires for bridesmaids and groomsmen aren’t cheap as well, ranging from RM 100 to RM 200 per attire.

What can you do differently?
You can consider renting the attire from smaller bridal studios in which they charge as low as RM200 per gown. Otherwise, you can easily buy your bridal gown, tuxedo and attire for your bridesmaids & groomsmen online for a better deal. A good quality bridal gown costs you only less than RM200 while bridesmaid dresses only costs averagely RM50. Don’t worry about the size as you can always buy a bigger size and alter it at the tailor’s for less than RM30. Sites that you can shop include 11thstreetTaobao, Shopee, and Buy2Taobao.


Hair & Makeup

Another top priority for the brides, most of them typically spend at least RM1,000 to RM3,000 in engaging professional makeup artists. Chinese brides usually have 3 to 4 sets of makeup and hairdo on their wedding day. You do the math if the price is worth it for a day of fun.

What can you do differently?
Save a huge chunk of money by engaging freelance makeup artists or if you have friends who are talented, you can always pay them a small fee to do your makeup instead. has a list of professional makeup artists you can compare and consider for your wedding.


Photography & Videography

Couples typically are willing to spend on this area to capture precious moments which is definitely mandatory. If you’re hiring commercialized or veteran photographers & videographers, expect to pay more than RM6,000 for both services.

What can you do differently?
Alternatively, you can also engage professional or freelance photographers instead which will cost you a slightly lower price. You can also opt to get your friends who are talented in photography and pay them a small fee.

A few sites we would recommend for their amazing jobs are benhorphotography, carissaganphotography and more listings on We have managed to get some rebates for our readers who are interested to engage in their services. Read on to find out more.



Wedding decorations can easily go up to RM3,500 or more especially for the Malays as they require a ‘Pelamin’ for guests to come and greet the couple. Is it worth spending thousands of Ringgit to make your venue a fairytale in which all of the decorations are removed the very next day?

What can you do differently?
Instead of engaging an event decorator, you can always get your family and friends to help DIY simple decorations. That way, you can have more fond memories with them and your wedding will be even more memorable.



Prepare to shell out RM3,000 to hire a live band or professional entertainers and an additional RM2,000 if you want to hire a photo booth.

What can you do differently?
Consider opting for something more engaging and memorable to your guests such as playing some simple games with your guests. You can also have a singing or dance performance by the newlyweds but if you’re too shy, get a friend to perform instead.



The traditional way of printing and sending invitation card will cost you roughly about RM 2/piece. However, the restaurant or hotel you booked with may provide free invitation cards for you.

What can you do differently?
You can rip that budget of your list by going digital. Send your guests e-invitation card instead or you can also create an event on Facebook and invite your guests there.



Dowry is a tradition that has been passed down through multiple generations, requiring the groom to give money to the in-laws as a “gift” for marrying their daughter into his family.  I have encountered in-laws that would request for an amount that could take the groom a whole year to save up. There is actually a “market price” for dowry and the amount has been skyrocketing.

What can you do differently?
This is a sensitive topic but it would be wise to communicate properly with the in-laws to set a reasonable dowry amount. After all, they are your parents and they would not want to see their children getting married with financial worries. In this generation, many in-laws are modest to even waive the dowry.


Here’s the average cost breakdown of a wedding in Malaysia and how much you can save if you make some difference in your decisions. Do note that the total cost will be much lower if the wedding gifts you received from your guests are in the form of cash.


As unexciting as this sounds, it is important to set a realistic wedding budget from the start to ensure the financial wellness of you and your spouse.  You can actually start planning even before getting engaged! Many people believe that weddings can be stressful but it is only because they have very high expectations on how their weddings should be. Try to lower your expectations and you will seek joy in planning your wedding! Most importantly, this is YOUR special day – the day you are marrying the love of your life.

Do subscribe to our site to get an instant rebate that we managed to get for our readers from our recommended service providers. Below are the list of them:

1) RM 388 rebate on benhorphotography
2) RM 200 rebate on carissaganphotography


Disclaimer: This article is solely based on personal experiences from FINPosts personnels. You may or may not use this as a reference.