You’ve proposed to the woman of your dreams. Now what?

If you were to ask any couple what’s the most important factor to figure out before tying the knot, it would probably be whether they have sufficient savings for the wedding ceremony itself.

Curious as to how much it actually costs to get married in Malaysia, we spoke to 5 Malaysian couples on their exact wedding budget breakdown as well as the one thing that they did not splurge on.

1. Bing Han, 31 and Yee Cheng, 30

Bing Han and Yee Cheng first met in university and were dating for 8 years before he decided to pop the question.

According to Bing Han, the wedding budget included:

  • RM7k for the pre-wedding photos
  • RM4k for the wedding gown and suit
  • RM2k for the wedding decorations
  • RM1k for makeup
  • RM3k for photography and videography services on the event day
  • RM60k for the registration of marriage and luncheon

The entire budget came up to about RM77k for the entire wedding. “The priciest thing that I spent on for my wedding was probably the pre-wedding photos. I honestly found that it was slightly too pricey,” said Bing Han.

He also found that the luncheon was overpriced, sharing, “It’s honestly cheaper and more intimate to just organise a simple lunch or dinner with family and friends.” The couple also saved up on their overall budget as they did not follow traditional pre-wedding customs.

2. Dania, 31 and Afif, 33

Dania and Afif met in college but didn’t date until the both of them had graduated. “He dropped me a message on Facebook and asked me out soon after. We dated for a year before we got engaged in July 2011 and tied the knot 3 months after,” said Dania.

For their wedding, the couple included the Khatam Al-Quran ceremony before the solemnisation, pelamin for all three wedding ceremonies, bridesmaids, flower boys/girls, kompang players, a karaoke session and more.

The ceremony included:

  • RM30k for the hall reception
  • RM1.5k for the nikah (solemnisation)
  • RM1k for the khemah (tent)
  • RM1.5k for the pelamin (bridal dais) and makeup
  • RM2.5k for the rental of the wedding dress
  • RM6k for the hantaran (dowry)
  • RM2k for the photographer
  • RM50k for the solemnisation and bride’s reception
  • RM40k for the groom’s side of the ceremony

According to the couple, the most expensive thing they spent on for their wedding was the catering and the hantarans. “We cut the budget for the photographer as we had a family friend so the cost was only about RM2k inclusive of the wedding frames and albums,” said Dania.

3. Hannah, 25  & Samuel, 25

Hannah and Samuel first met in college when they were doing their A Levels together. Although they were initially in different courses, the two reunited later when they joined the same university. It was then when they started dating and 3 years on, the couple tied the knot.

“We had the ragging and tea ceremony in the morning like most people do and then we had our wedding ceremony at Janda Baik followed by the reception. The day after, we had our Chinese wedding dinner and the week after that, we had a Kadazan ceremony back in Sabah,” Hannah shared.

On top of that, the couple hired a wedding planner, had a wedding band and rented a vintage car. “We even had a dessert table, a teepee photobooth, a giant Connect 4 structure, a mini DIY mojito bar, a chandelier and the whole ceiling was covered with fairy lights,” said Hannah. The entire wedding ceremony totaled to about RM60k.

Although the couple went all out in terms of the decor, they saved up on their door gifts and wedding favours. “All we did was bought a whole bunch of empty CDs and burned our favourite playlist on it and gave it out in an envelope. We called it the ultimate #HAM playlist,” she said.

4. Sarah, 28 and Alwin, 31

Sarah and Alwin first met in church. “It’s funny how before I met him I thought I’d just stay single forever because I had this mentality that no one would be good enough for me and neither would anyone be able to stand such a short tempered and “unladylike woman” like myself. I guess meeting Alwin in church was God’s way of proving me wrong!” said Sarah.

Sarah and Alwin were together for 7 years before Alwin proposed to Sarah. A year later, they tied the knot. For their wedding, the couple had a tea ceremony held by their aunt and instead of having a typical Chinese sit-down dinner, they had a Japanese buffet spread. They spent a total of RM74k for the wedding, which included their wedding rings.

The breakdown of it all in percentage was:

  • 31% for the wedding buffet
  • 20% for the wedding venue rental plus furnishing
  • 16% for the wedding photography plus videography for pre-wedding and wedding day
  • 7% for the wedding planner
  • 3% for the groom’s and bride’s attire
  • 5% for the wedding rings
  • 15% on miscellaneous items such as the wedding cake, invites, guest parking, emcee and more

“We skimped on everything else and personally I felt like we did a great job at keeping the wedding as affordable as possible and only spending on things we felt were necessary. Our wedding decoration in total was only about RM400, the same price as the wedding cake. I didn’t get any fancy bridal shoes and I didn’t want to hire a makeup artist either. We kept everything to a minimum wherever we could,” said Sarah.

5. Jonathan, 34 and Ravena, 30

Jonathan and Ravena are the co-founders of Venuescape, a portal where Malaysians can book an event space. They first met through a mutual friend many years back. The couple were together for 6 years before tying the knot.

“Although the both of us come from different religious backgrounds, we wanted to honour both our faiths. I’m a Punjabi Sikh and Jonathan is Malayalee Catholic. Hence, our wedding included both ceremonies which went on for 4 days straight,” Ravena shared.

For the 4-day ceremony, the couple had the Sangeet, which is a night filled with song and dance, the Maiyaan (oil) ceremony, the mehndi (henna) ceremony and the Sikh wedding ceremony at the Gurdwara followed by a lunch. On the last day, they had a Catholic wedding in church followed by a reception at night.

The entire wedding ceremony totaled up to almost RM200k. The breakdown of the ceremony included:

  • RM20k for the decor
  • RM20k for the catering
  • RM20k for sound & light
  • RM20k for the venue
  • RM30k for the alcohol
  • RM70k for the reception
  • RM15k for the bridal outfits, garlands, corsages, bouquets, sweets and more.

“Personally, I don’t think we spent unnecessarily on anything. What I know for sure is, I’m glad we didn’t spend on invitation cards and door gifts. That would have easily come up to a few extra thousand ringgit,” Ravena noted.

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