Just got engaged? Sure, you’re excited about planning for your big day–from picking the perfect wedding dress to visiting different churches and choosing possible caterers. But, before you get started, you have to work on the most challenging yet most important part of wedding planning: the cost of wedding.
When planning a wedding, a couple must consider a lot of expenses. There’s the venue, the clothes, the invitations, and a whole lot of other things that you and your partner will need to spend on for the big day.
Set your wedding budget from the get-go, as this will help you determine how much to pay for major expenses like ceremony and reception venues, and even minor ones, like adding an extra layer to your wedding cake.
What to Do Before Planning Your Wedding
Before getting married, you and your partner should understand some legal aspects that you need to fulfill. According to Philippine law under Executive Order No. 209, both you and your partner have to fulfill these requirements:
- Both parties must be at least 18 years old, male and female
- If you or your fiancé is below 25 years old, you must get parental consent or advice
- Marrying parties must not be related by blood, up to fourth degree
- Must not have any legal impediments
Once you’re sure that you fulfill these criteria, it’s time to identify your needs and wants for the biggest day of your life. This will help you estimate the cost of wedding that you need to shell out.
Church Wedding vs Civil Wedding: Which Do You Prefer?
Identifying which of the two you want will help you create a budget and prepare the requirements. Both church and civil weddings require a marriage license, but they also have different requirements you must fulfill. See them below.
Prepare Your Marriage License and Other Documents
The paperwork for legalizing your union as a couple doesn’t cost much. Nevertheless, it adds up to your total wedding budget.
Here are the legal documents you’ll have to spend on before getting married:
- NSO birth certificates of the bride and groom
- Certificate of No Marriage or CENOMAR
- Community tax certificate or cedula
- Certificate of attendance in pre-marriage seminar
- Affidavit of parental consent or advice (for couples below 25 years old)
- Marriage license
How to Get a Marriage License in the Philippines
To get your marriage license, go to the Civil Registrar and pay for it. The fee is PHP 330, including the processing fee. It takes 10 days before you get your marriage license. This is because your marriage will be publicly posted to check if no one opposes your upcoming nuptial. After getting your marriage license, you can get married within 120 days.
Civil Wedding in the Philippines: Requirements and Cost
Civil Wedding Requirements
- At least two valid IDs of the couple during personal appearance
- Certificate of Attendance in Pre-Marriage Counseling
- PSA Birth Certificate
- Certificate of No Marriage
- Marriage License Application Form
- Barangay Certificate
- Community Tax Certificate
- 1×1 picture
Additional Civil Wedding Requirements for Foreigners
- Certificate of Legal Capacity to Marry
- Divorce Decree (if divorced)
- Naturalization Paper (if a naturalized Filipino citizen)
Civil Wedding Costs in the Philippines
This type of wedding is ideal if you’re on a budget. You can get married in a simple civil wedding ceremony in your city’s municipal hall. A civil wedding in the Philippines costs around PHP 10,000. This budget already includes the officiating fee and legal documents.
Who Can Officiate My Civil Wedding?
The following individuals can officiate a civil wedding:
- Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme Court
- Presiding Justice or Justices of the Court of Appeals
- Judges of the Courts of First Instance
- Municipal judges
- Justices of the peace
- Priests, rabbis, ministers of any church, religion, or sect who are registered
- Ship captains
- Airplane chiefs
- Military commanders
- Consuls and vice consuls in special cases
Church Wedding in the Philippines: Requirements and Cost
Church Wedding Requirements
- PSA Birth Certificate
- Certificate of No Marriage
- Baptismal and Confirmation certificates
- Marriage License
- Certificate of No Marriage (CENOMAR)
- Marriage Banns
- Canonical Interview
- Pre-Cana/Marriage Preparation Seminar
- List of Principal Sponsors and Entourage Members
- Wedding Permit
Cost of Wedding in a Catholic Church
Contrary to popular belief, getting married in a church is not that expensive. Couples can wed in a church with a budget of PHP 6,000 to PHP 15,000. This cost already includes the officiating fee, choir, altar, and the aisle and floral decoration. However, take note that this is only for a simple wedding. The additional costs come in when you add more decorations and when you decide to spend more on your entourage.
Read more: Are You Financially Ready to Get Married?
Wedding Budget Checklist
After preparing the requirements and identifying if you want a church wedding or a civil one, it’s time for the nitty-gritty part: budgeting your wedding. The cost of wedding depends on what you want on your big day—it can be as simple or as extravagant as you want. Just remember to plan within your means.
Apart from the legal documents and the type of wedding you want, here are other boxes you need to tick to estimate the cost of wedding:
- Wedding Planner / Coordinator
- Wedding Venue and Catering
- Wedding Attire
- Wedding Rings
- Hair and Makeup
- Photo and Video Coverage
- Hotel Accommodation
- Souvenirs, Invitation, and Wedding Cake
- Other Wedding Costs
Cost of Wedding Breakdown
1. Wedding Planner / Coordinator
Hiring a wedding planner or coordinator can take off some of the load from your shoulders. A wedding planner organizes your wedding-to-do list and manages the logistics. On the other hand, a wedding coordinator ensures everything goes smoothly. Wedding planners, on average, charge from PHP 10,000 to PHP 50,000 depending on the tasks they have to do. While wedding coordinators charge from PHP 1,500 and up.
Some couples hold weddings without hiring an event planner or coordinator, relying on family and friends to do the job for free instead. However, getting a professional team for your wedding can be a good investment, especially if you have 100 guests or more.
There are three kinds of wedding planning/coordination services: full, partial, and on-the-day (OTD) coordination services. Full and partial services are the most expensive and cater to couples who are based abroad or are too busy to plan their wedding. OTD coordination is the cheapest and best choice for couples who are hands-on with their wedding planning.
2. Wedding Venue and Catering
Where do you want to get married? On a farm? A beach? Or maybe you want a destination wedding? You can spend as little or as much on your venue, depending on what you want. Having the wedding ceremony and reception at the same venue can save you time and effort. The cost depends on the number of people attending. On average, expect to spend PHP 50,000 to PHP 300,000 for 100 pax.
For example, you want a garden wedding and have picked Hacienda Solange in Tagaytay as the venue. As of date, it would cost you PHP 156,000, including the rent, catering for 100 pax, lights and sound, flower arrangement and styling, and overnight stay for 15 people.
A reception typically follows a ceremony. If you choose to have your wedding in a church or your town’s municipal hall, you may have to book a separate venue for the reception. Catering services typically charge PHP 1,500 per head. The more guests you have, the pricier it becomes. Venue rental also costs from PHP 50,000 to PHP 150,000.
As for reception entertainment, hiring a DJ (and having your own DIY music playlist) is the cheapest option at around PHP 5,000 to PHP 15,000. A wedding band or quarter may set you back from PHP 20,000 to PHP 45,000.
4. Wedding Attire
Every bride wants to look her best on her wedding day. If your heart is set on a specific design, look for couturiers who can turn your dream wedding dress into a reality. The cost of wedding dresses that are custom made ranges from PHP 10,000 to PHP 100,000.
If you’re the practical type, go for ready-to-wear (RTW) wedding dressed sold in malls. They are priced from PHP 5,000 to PHP 20,000. Those on a shoe-string budget can even buy a wedding gown in Divisoria for PHP 3,000 to PHP 40,000, entourage dresses included.
Accessories like veil, cord, ring pillow, and garter are included in some wedding gown packages, so you won’t have to buy them separately.
For the groom, the cost of wedding attire tends to be cheaper. A wedding suit costs from PHP 5,000 to PHP 13,000, including the shirt dress, tuxedo, pants, and vest.
5. Hair and Makeup
For the bride (and sometimes for the groom), hair and makeup go hand in hand with the wedding gown to achieve the perfect look. These services usually cost PHP 1,500 to PHP 3,000 per head. However, you can negotiate the price if you get a package of you and your entourage. It’s worth the investment if you want to see yourself and your partner looking great on your wedding day.
6. Photo and Video Coverage
Your wedding photos and videos will make for a lasting souvenir. On average, wedding photography packages are from PHP 5,000 to PHP 75,000. The package may include three photographers, whole day wedding coverage, USB of edited pictures, and photo album. Video coverage costs from PHP 20,000 to PHP 100,000, depending on the package. Video coverages may include same-day edits, whole day coverage, aerial or drone shots.
7. Wedding Rings
Wedding rings cost PHP 15,000 and up per pair. You can also design your own and have a jeweler make it for you. However, it will be much more expensive than buying ready-made ones. While you can get cheaper ones, remember that these rings will forever symbolize your union. So, it’s best to choose rings that will stand the test of time.
8. Hotel Accommodation
Do you live far from your venue or have a lot of relatives coming to your wedding? You may need to book hotel rooms for yourselves, your close family, or entourage members. Hotel accommodations typically cost PHP 2,500 to PHP 10,000 per room.
It helps to have a comfortable place to stay near your church and reception venue at least a day before the event. You’ll have enough time for on-the-day preparations (like having makeup done, dressing up, and doing pre-wedding photoshoots), and to ensure no one comes late at the venue.
9. Souvenirs, Invitation, and Wedding Cake
The cost of wedding cakes depends on many layers they have and how intricate the details are. Prepare to spend anywhere from PHP 5,000 to PHP 40,000 for a four-tiered wedding cake.
For wedding souvenirs, the price can be as low as PHP 50 per person. You can go to Divisoria to buy low-priced but good quality wedding giveaways. You can also choose to make the souvenirs yourself. This will cut the cost of wedding down, but it can take up more of your time and energy when you’re already working a mile a minute for your wedding.
For invitations, you can go to Recto and have them printed for as low as PHP 20 per invitation. If you want someone else to design the invite, you may have to spend up to PHP 5,000 to pay the artist. You can also design the invitation yourself by using free design websites such as Canva, Piktochart, and Design Bold.
10. Other Wedding Costs
Couples must also have a separate budget for unexpected costs, like when your ceremony or reception goes overtime. Be prepared for the following costs you may also have to pay:
- Supplier/crew meals
- Out-of-town fees for suppliers
- Parking fees
- Corkage fee for food items bought from non-accredited caterers
- Extra catering services
- Accessories for the ceremony
- Shoes and other accessories
- Tips for event staff
- Gifts for parents, sponsors, and/or entourage members
- Sound and lighting equipment
- Bridal car
Getting married doesn’t mean you should go broke, just so you can impress people. You can control how much you spend on your wedding. The last thing you want to happen is to start your married life in debt. Spend wisely and talk to your partner about the cost of wedding.
-  Executive Order No. 209, s. 1987 (Official Gazette of the Philippines, 1987)
-  Hacienda Solange
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