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Unsure if you’re financially capable to get hitched? Sky-high property prices, extravagant wedding ceremonies, demanding in-laws… we don’t blame you for having cold feet. More often than not, finances are a top consideration before popping the question and staying true to your vows. Some couples have taken out a loan in the realm of RM50,000 just to tie the knot!


Not to worry, though. We’ve put together a list of fundamental big-ticket items that you need to consider before embarking on your next milestone in life – and how you can save some money.



First big ticket item: your engagement ring of course! There are many types of rings in the market, from gold to diamond to other gemstones like sapphire and opal (and others). The prices for rings also varies. For example, a diamond ring can cost a minimum of RM3,500. Be sure to shop around online and in-stores before you set your budget  – you can also check out options such as instalment plans and merchant discounts to help manage your budget even more. 


Next up is the proposal. If you're planning for a romantic proposal, be sure to save up a few hundred ringgits for a planned surprise.  


Often enough, these expenses are optional or scalable to your budget. However, many cultures and families observe customary dowry, representing an initial commitment to marriage. Like the ring, the dowry may vary in costs from a few hundred ringgit to several thousands. Depending on the country, state and the cultural background, customary dowry, may apply to either the bride or the groom or to both. 


Amongst the common expenditures is the pre-wedding photoshoot. Depending on the package you choose, this can range from a few hundred ringgit for a simple portrait session at the studio to thousands of ringgit for an outdoor photoshoot session - excluding outfit rental, hair and makeup.


However, lower rates can be easily be found through comparison websites and aggregate portals. Freelancers are plentiful and a competitive alternative to established businesses.

The Wedding

This may be by far the biggest expenditure to envision the marriage of your dreams. Hotel venues will take up most of the wedding budget, with mid- to top-tier hotels charging upwards of RM200 per head.


Look at more modest venues instead – hip restaurants and nature locations can be just as breathtaking, or consider having the ceremony at home. Pull friends and family together to organise the reception and  DIY set-up. You might also know someone who could do a fair emcee and entertaining job for close to nothing. Then, you’re left with gifts and the services of a solemniser. As the list extends, it’s no surprise that the costs of a wedding can come up to RM50,000 or more, although less is certainly possible with the tips mentioned. 

Life after the wedding

Some couples opt to go on a honeymoon right after the wedding and some put it off until a later date. Whichever you choose, ensure you have budgeted for it. The cost of a honeymoon varies depending on the destination. It’s a fair assumption that you would spend a median estimate of RM5,000 for a regional destination. To save money, go on a local getaway or an ASEAN destination where the exchange rate is in your favour.


After the wedding and honeymoon are over, reality settles in. You absolutely should have a money talk with your significant other before getting married. Don’t leave this to the last hour as you need to have a clear picture of everyday finances before committing to a lifetime together.


Where you choose to build your life together also costs money, in rental or a house loan and for doing up the place. Ensure you always have at least six months of savings and a separate emergency fund. Unexpected expenses are likely to crop up in the moving in or settling down process.


You’re looking at about RM10,000 in pre-wedding costs, RM50,000 for the wedding itself, plus the honeymoon and six months’ worth of savings for both of you for the first several months of married life until your financial situation finds its footing again. The figure could come up to about RM100,000 with some room for miscellaneous expenses.


The truth is, the costs of getting married and staying married differs depending on location, socioeconomic status, and financial ability. Hold fast to the principle of spending only as much as you can afford and you’ll be able to put a ring on it without breaking the bank.






This article is brought to you by CIMB as part of our ongoing efforts to raise the level of financial literacy among Malaysians. Financial knowledge and understanding are key to making well-informed and meaningful financial decisions that will improve all our well-being. This, in turn, achieves CIMB’s purpose of advancing customers and society.