In the Philippines, the road to a happy ever after with your partner does not come cheap. According to sites Moneymax and Filipiknow, if you plan on having a traditional church wedding with around 150 guests, the total costs will range from Php247,750 to Php975,000.
For the average working Filipino, that’s a lot of money. Yes, it’s your special day, but if you and your partner are on a tight budget, it’s better to have an intimate wedding rather than a big, lavish one.
Don’t want to splurge on your big day, or worse, end up borrowing money just to have a grand wedding? Here’s what you can do with a 50k wedding budget in the Philippines.
Starting price: Php3,000
If you want to save up on your wedding, saying your vows at the city hall is a much more practical idea. Once you have retrieved all of the documentary requirements for a civil wedding, you would have only spent as much as Php3,000 to Php5,000 for you and your partner.
Since you can’t invite all of the people in your guest list to the city hall, you can have them wait in the reception venue instead. A family member can just take a video of you and your partner reciting the vows and then post it on Facebook or flash it during the reception. Better yet, they can host a Facebook watch party so your friends and family can view the ceremony in real time.
Is a 50 thousand church wedding possible in the Philippines? Yes, but then you’ll have to skimp on the other expenses you’ll have to pay. If you want to push through with a church wedding, manage your expectations as churches charge fees that average from Php7,000 to Php25,000.
Starting price: Free
Does your immediate family or other relatives have a wide enough space where you can host an indoor or garden wedding? If you only have a 50 thousand pesos budget for your wedding, try asking them if you can hold your reception there. Wedding reception venues nowadays range from Php100,000 to Php150,000 for at least 50 guests. You’d be hard-pressed to find a 50k wedding package in the Philippines.
But, if there’s no one who can offer a free venue for your party, at least keep your rental fee at a minimum. Scout for the most affordable venues within your preferred location. Here are some examples of affordable wedding venues in the Philippines.
Starting price: Php 10,500
Don’t think you can buy a beautiful wedding gown with a 50k wedding budget? Think again! Divisoria is filled with bridal boutiques that design beautiful gowns at affordable prices. For instance, this blogger bought her wedding gown for only Php6,000, complete with accessories! The bridal boutiques also offer RTW gowns as well as wedding suits at reasonable rates. You can get a complete tuxedo or barong set for as low as Php4,500.
For your bridal entourage, you can request them to purchase or rent a dress that will suit your wedding’s color motif. While it’s a tradition for the bride and the groom to provide their entourage’s wedding attire, you can tell them that you’re on a tight budget, which is why you can’t commit to getting them dresses and suits. If they’re your closest friends or family, I’m sure they’ll understand.
If you’re planning on having a civil wedding, you can simply buy a knee-length formal dress at the nearby mall. But, of course, no one can stop you from donning a floor-length wedding gown at the city hall!
Hair and Makeup
Starting price: Php1,200
Of course, we can’t forget about your hair and makeup for your big day. While the seasoned hair and makeup artists charge as much as Php25,000 for their services, you can also book a schedule at a nearby salon to achieve a glamorous or flawlessly natural look for your wedding. For instance, David’s Salon offers hair and makeup services at Php1,200. I’m sure there are plenty of other beauty parlors who offer hair and makeup services at lower rates.
But, if you’re good with your makeup brushes and curling iron, you can even do your hair and makeup yourself!
Catering & Food
Starting price: Php12,000 for 50 guests
Wedding food is a big deal in the Philippines and if you only have a 50k wedding budget, you might think that finding a high-quality caterer is nearly impossible.
But you might be surprised to find out that there are plenty of wedding caterers who don’t charge more than Php500 per head. For example, Queensland Catering’s standard menu package costs Php240 per head and Php275 for premium. They can customize their packages to fit the theme of your event.
Another option is Nato’s Catering, which has a starting rate of Php290 per head. They provide Filipino dishes, international cuisines, and even Halal meals by request.
Starting price: Php2,000
With lots of suppliers available in the market, your wedding can cost as low or as high as your budget allows. If you’re working with a tight wedding budget like 50k in the Philippines, you can find single-layer cakes for as low as Php2,000. You can ask your caterer, as some packages include a classic wedding cake.
If you’re looking for the most accessible option, Goldilocks offers wedding cake packages that consist of a 2-layered (base cake and styro) fondant inspired mocha wedding cake, 4 six-inch miniature cakes for sponsors, and 12 polvoron cakes for your guests.
Starting Price: Free
Do any of your family members own a camera? Well, if you do, then wedding photos and videos won’t be a problem at all! They can take photos and videos for you. If you need tangible copies of the photos, you can just print them out and store them in a photo album.
But if you really want a professional to document your big day, the cheapest wedding package I can find is from Prodigitalmedia. They offer ala-carte services for weddings that start at Php15,000. These include unlimited shots all in high resolution.
Things you can DIY with a 50k wedding budget
- Wedding invites
Wedding invites are one of the easiest things you can DIY for your wedding. You can simply format your invitation on Photoshop or even just on Word, print out copies, and tuck them in pretty envelopes or invitation covers. If you have pretty penmanship, you can even just write them yourself!
Shopee is an amazing place where you can find elegant invitation covers and envelopes. Check out my top picks that cost as low as Php12 per piece:
- Floral arrangements
Dangwa Flower Market and Tagaytay Flower Market are affordable places to buy fresh wedding blooms. With Php2,500, you can already buy enough flowers to decorate your reception.
- Wedding favors
With your 50k wedding budget, you can easily DIY your wedding favors and add a personalized touch to them. For instance, if you’re the crafty type, you can easily wrap washi tape around tea lights and place them in a cute burlap bag. Those will cost you around Php50 only. For more ideas, I’ve found a great list of DIY wedding favors under Php50.
TOTAL RUNNING COST: Php34,300.
Wow! Not bad at all. You have enough left in your budget to buy décor for your reception and miscellaneous funds for gas, extra food, and other unexpected expenses.
Tips to pull off a 50k wedding budget in the Philippines
- Keep your guest count at a minimum
Let’s be honest, do you really need to invite your high school classmates and your mom’s officemates? I bet you don’t even know what’s going on with their lives lately and no, I’m not talking about their recent Facebook posts.
So that you don’t exceed your budget when it comes to food, invite-only the friends that you’re genuinely close with. Trimming down your guest list to at most 50 people will help you pull off a wedding with your 50k budget.
- Ditch the bridal car
If you have a family car or you have your own car, then use it as your bridal. Choose to be practical and sentimental.
Vintage and luxurious bridal car rent packages cost anywhere from Php8,000 to Php15,000. Yes, you’ll look good stepping out of a Mercedes Maybach or a Rolls Royce Phantom, but you know what’s better? Having an extra Php15,000 in your bank account.
Besides, when you look at your wedding photos in the future, you’ll want to see the car where you had fond memories in, right? Not a car you’ve only seen for just a few hours.
- Forget about a program, just eat and dance the night away!
No program means no emcees, live band, and singers. It will be just you, your partner, your family, and your friends. If you think that it’s going to be a boring party, trust me, it won’t be. Just play some party music and go with the flow! Enjoy your special day by dancing with your loved ones. And if all else fails, just bring out the booze. No one says no to alcohol, especially during celebrations.
Having a 50k wedding budget doesn’t mean that you’re going to have a less meaningful wedding. It just means that you’ll be able to save money and invest on the one thing that truly matters – your married life after the ceremony.
Remember: the most important thing is that you and your partner get to share the momentous occasion with the ones dearest to you. Just because you have an intimate and budget-friendly wedding doesn’t mean that’s not going to be a beautiful day. It’s still going to be a total blast because you get to celebrate it with the ones you love.