Okay, I know that sounded like a scam. Or a clickbait title. It’s not. You read that right. We spent only 103,000 pesos for our small and intimate Tagaytay wedding INCLUDING payment for legal documents, and pre-wedding pampering!
In May of this year, we have just taken our first steps towards the minimalist lifestyle when my then-boyfriend proposed to me on a quiet beach. Shortly after the surprise and [hours of] shock have subsided, we talked about what our ideal weddings were.
Off the top of our heads, we both wanted an intimate, simple, and authentic wedding.
I guess with the booming wedding industry here in the Philippines I’ve come to a point of feeling like weddings are now depicted as a spend-all-your-money-in-this-once-in-a-lifetime-event day rather than being centered on marriage, togetherness and the emotions that wrap around it.
So instead, we narrowed down on what we wanted to include. More importantly, we started listing down our “non-negotiables.”
- Somebody to wed us
- Our immediate families in complete attendance
- An out-of-town venue conducive to hosting both our families
- A designated photographer
- Food that will be enjoyed by our families
- Bride in white (fiancé’s non-negotiable!)
- Solemnity and authenticity
- Wedding rings
- A gathering with closest friends
Everything else [that we don’t need/want]
- Hundreds of guests and inviting people we don’t even talk to
- Wedding entourage (and thinking about what they will wear)
- A professional caterer
- Engagement photos, videographer, SDEs, audio visual presentations
- Event stylists and wedding planner teams
- Custom-made suit and dress
- Program, games, etc
- Wedding paperie & souvenirs
- Bridal car
I have so much to share about each of the items, as I would think some people would think we’re crazy skipping on these ‘must-haves.’ I’d really love to share our opinions–not to antagonize those who choose to spend a lot of money on their weddings, but more to encourage those soon to be wed couples who, at the back of their minds, want a simple wedding but feel like they will be judged by society for not having “the usuals.”
So where is the breakdown of expenses? Right, let me get to that now. Obviously, this is an inexpensive (less than P150,000) and DIY wedding here in the Philippines, which ironically is now a bit uncommon.
- Venue – Airbnb house (3D/2N) in Tagaytay – P25,351
- Wedding rings – P20,000
- Solemnizing Officer – P7,500 including an out-of-town fee
- Wedding license, seminar, CENOMAR – P1,030
- Dinner “reception” food – P9,820
- Additional snacks for after-dinner drinks – P1,332
- Love gift for our photographer – P5,000
- Groceries for other meals pre/post wedding – P4,756
- Tips for the caretakers of the house – P4,800
- My RTW white dress from Landmark – P3,600
- Groom’s RTW suit from SM department store – P2,800
- Groom’s new pair of shoes – P3,400
- Pamper day: facial, haircut, haircolor, mani/pedi – P8,440
- Flowers – P790
- Makeup haul – P3,100
That’s it! I’m mighty proud about it, if you ask me. I think it definitely takes a good level of understanding between the couple to be able to pull off an intimate wedding, especially how our culture always expects some sort of fiesta whenever anybody gets hitched! Also, a certain air of confidence to be firm with what you want, and how you want it.
If you’re thinking of a small, DIY, inexpensive (a.k.a. cheap) wedding in the Philippines, try discussing your non-negotiables with your partner. What you value will be different from another couple’s insights, and that’s okay. It is YOUR wedding. You never need to conform to what most people have. Find what’s true and meaningful for you and your spouse-to-be.
If you would like to see how this turned out, check out my upcoming posts. 🙂 What do you think?