Men, Here's How Much You're Going to Spend on Your Wedding

5 couples who paid for their weddings get real about the cost.
ILLUSTRATOR Jasrelle Serrano

The trend in weddings these days is to downsize and streamline. While old traditions of lavish ceremonies and even more lavish receptions still abound, more and more couples are opting to simplify their tastes for intimate celebrations. But minimal doesn't automatically mean cheap. Couples who've been married for some time would often proclaim how expensive the weddings of today are. Even a "Filipino-small" wedding of a hundred guests can set you back a few hundred thousands.

For the enterprising men who are planning to shoulder the cost, here's a little heads up. We've asked five grooms about the bill and the most shocking cost? The gown. 

Couple: Chris (33), creative director; and Kris (31), content manager
Budget Spent: P850,000 (P650,000 from the couple, the rest shouldered by friends)
Venue: Don Bosco Batulao Main Chapel; Sonya's Garden
Theme: Black and White

Why did you decide to pay for your wedding?

We were both in our 30s and making a decent living so we both felt it was the right thing to do. Personally, we also wanted to make all the decisions ourselves (like no. of guests, who to invite, how much to spend on food, etc), so because we were paying for everything it was a lot easier to do that. 


What were your non-negotiables? What were the "traditions" you opted out of?

We ended up making decisions based on the budget and who we wanted to work with instead, so the non-negotiables became negotiable  We were insistent though on spending more on specific suppliers more than others (i.e. videographer more than the photographer).

We didn’t have any giveaways and didn’t have traditional fancy invites (it was DIY).

Do you think couples should pay for their own wedding?

I guess if you’re marrying young, it would make more sense for parents to pay for the wedding…But there’s a certain threshold for that. If you’re 30 and above I do feel like paying for your own wedding is the “adult” thing to do.

Couple: Marc (30), financial analyst; Stella (26), editor
Budget Spent: P2M
Venue: St. John Bosco, Makati; Whitespace Manila
Theme: Modern Minimalist

Why did you decide to pay for your wedding?


My parents didn't offer to pay and I didn't ask them. It forced me to go way beyond my comfort zone but I knew I could manage it. It was a great experience! 

What's the best part about paying for your wedding?

The best part is being forced to make money. The second best part is freedom from our parents' opinion/s! 

What were your non-negotiables? What were the "traditions" you opted out of?

For Stella, it was the food since she is in the food industry. For me, it was the documentation (photo and video). 

Couple: Archibald (31), entrepreneur; Shaniqua (28), entrepreneur
Budget Spent: P1.5M
Venue: St. Joseph's Cathedral, Bellevue, Bohol
Theme: Rustic Beachside

Why did you decide to pay for your own wedding?

"Independence" "Ownership" "Full control" 

What was the biggest surprise expense?


What were your non-negotiables? What were the "traditions" you opted out of?

Non-negotiables: Alcohol, destination 


Couple: Fran (41), entrepreneur and ForEx trader; Jo (33), entrepreneur and styling
Budget Spent: P70,000
Venue: Greenhouse, Siargao
Theme: Beach Hipster

Why did you decide to pay for your own wedding?

Because if I didn't pay no one else would pay it and we wanted to get married. After 40 years of being single I wanted to marry the love of my life.

What were your non-negotiables? What were the "traditions" you opted out of? 

We wanted to have our wedding by the beach, natural, and it had to be small, with just the immediate family—the closest people in our lives. What we had to respect is exchanging rings even if we didn't want in the beginning, I liked that we respect that rule because in the end it was meaningful.

If you had an unlimited budget, what would you have splurged on?

A nice honeymoon trip immediately after the wedding.


Couple: Herbert (25) and Dorothy (26) Vogel, brand consultants
Budget Spent: P1.4M
Venue: Two Gardens, Tagaytay 
Theme: Mexican/Fiesta

Why did you decide to pay for your own wedding? 

We wanted to rely on ourselves for starting our life together. I think it’s problematic if you can’t pay for your own wedding, given that it’s supposed to signal your independence as a couple. We also wanted to call the shots at our own wedding. Most people I know had to accommodate their parent's wishes because the dad/mom funded the wedding.

What's the best part about paying for your own wedding?

Knowing that we worked hard for it, and that we never asked for help. In the end, all we did was invite our parents to this party, hassle-free and all.

Regardless of tradition, do you think couples should pay for their own wedding?

Yes. This is technically the first step towards your life together, and if you can't be self reliant at the beginning then you aren't ready yet.


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About The Author
Sasha Lim Uy
Managing Editor,
Sasha eats to live and lives to eat. For five years, she handled's food section and edited the last two installments of its Top 10 Food books. She also recently participated at the Madrid Fusion Manila as curator.
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