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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 RM30,000 to RM50,000 just to tie the knot!


Even though the current CMCO standard of procedure* does not allow big gatherings such as a wedding, you can still use this time to start planning for the event of your dream. After all, most couples usually takes 6 months to 1 year after engagement to plan for their weddings.

Here, 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 to save on them.



Firstly, let’s assume the ring costs RM3,000 on the cheaper end. This can be paid in instalments. The proposal occasion would also incur expenses – a few hundred for a planned surprise and possibly more for special arrangements at a booked venue or a getaway.


Often enough, these expenses are optional or scalable. 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.