Weddings hold a different significance for different people. For some, it is a public declaration of who you will be spending the rest of your life with. For others, it is a life-changing event to be celebrated with their nearest and their dearest.
Whatever your inclinations, we can all agree that weddings do not come for cheap. In Malaysia, a wedding is expected to set you back by at least RM50,000 on average, and this does not include the cost for a honeymoon.
However, that average amount is nothing compared to some of the most luxurious weddings that have taken place in Malaysia. Read on and be amazed:
1) Rozita Che Wan and Zain Saidin
With sponsorships worth about RM13million, the 2013 union between actress Rozita Che Wan and her actor beau, Zain Saidin has been touted as the “most expensive wedding of the year”.
Sponsorships included jewellery valued at RM10 million from Habib Jewels and items from 27 sponsors.
On top of that, Rozita also reportedly received RM23,300 in wang hantaran (monetary gifts) and RM9,300 in mas kahwin (dowry).
The wedding, held at Setia City Convention Centre in Shah Alam, was attended by some 200 guests.
2) Benjamin Yong and Elizabeth Lee
BIG Group creator Benjamin Yong and Bowerhaus co-founder Elizabeth Lee celebrated their union in one of the most extravagant affairs in 2014.
Held in Chin Woo Stadium in Kuala Lumpur, the carnival-themed wedding had all the makings of a vibrant funfair, including a spinning carousel centrepiece, a 25-piece swing band, aerial trapeze dancers, ballerinas, synchronised swimmers, and a variety of colourful wedding cakes and goodies.
An online bridal magazine owner we spoke to estimates that the high-profile couple could have spent at least RM54,000 on the performances alone.
Though it is hard to estimate just how much the carnival-themed affair costs, it is also possible that the couple could have forked out RM10,000 on the carousel and RM50,000 for décor lights.
Photography might have cost another RM20,000, and this is for their Kuala Lumpur wedding alone.
Prior to that, the high-profile couple had a pre-wedding kitchen tea party and ceremony in Sydney, Australia, and a traditional Chinese tea ceremony in the Ritz-Carlton, Kuala Lumpur.
3) Siti Nurhaliza and Datuk Khalid Mohamad Jiwa (Datuk K)
One of the most elaborate celebrity weddings to have gone done in Malaysian history has got to be the union between pop princess Siti Nurhaliza and entrepreneur, Datuk Khalid Mohamad Jiwa (Datuk K).
Some sources estimated that the 2006 affair incurred over RM12 million. Their multi-tiered cake, called Indah Percintaan (The Beauty of Love) itself had cost RM12,000. Siti also reportedly received RM22,222 in wedding dowry and RM30,000 in wang hantaran.
However, the couple later refuted the claims, saying that many of the items, including jewellery and dresses, were sponsored.
They did however, receive RM1 million from a local TV station to televise their wedding reception. The event, held in Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, was attended by 2,500 guests and broadcasted to 6.3 million viewers nationwide.
In 2010, E! News Asia named the power couple the Third Most Powerful Celebrity Couple in Asia, right after Chinese entertainers, Simon Yam and wife, Qi Qi and Bollywood superstar couple, Aishwarya Rai and husband, Abhishek Bachchan.
4) Marion Caunter and SM Nasarudin SM Nasimuddin
He was one of corporate’s most sought-after bachelors. She was the stuff of every teenage boy’s dream. Together, popular television personality Marion Caunter and Naza Group of Companies’ joint group executive chairmain, SM Nasarudin SM Nasimuddin tied the knot in what went down as one of the most talked about weddings in the local entertainment scene.
The white rose-themed wedding reception, held in Mandarin Oriental, boasted some major star power, with celebrities like Elaine Daly, Deborah Henry, Tom Abang Saufi, as well as Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on the guest list. Local pop stars Ning Baizura and Sean Ghazi performed with the Russell Curtis band.
There is no telling just how many guests they had at the close-door event, but Mandarin Oriental was estimated to charge roughly RM300 per pax in the year 2010.
The wedding is rumoured to have cost RM5million, according to an online bridal magazine.
5) Serina Redzuawan and Gavin O’Luanaigh
Daughter to the nation’s best known chef, Redzuawan Ismail (Chef Wan), Serina’s wedding to Englishman O’Luanaigh is certainly one we will remember for a long time.
The three day affair, which saw the attendance of nearly 1,000 guests was featured on the Asian Food Channel (Astro – Channel 703) along with her famous father. The show detailed Chef Wan’s dedication towards giving his daughter her dream wedding, from the careful selection of the menu to finding the best designers and jewellers in the country.
While we understand that many components in the wedding was sponsored (including Serina’s tiara and evening gown) which reportedly cost RM15,000, the couple is estimated to have spent up to RM20,000 on the photography house, Kudegraphy itself. They could have also engaged a few photographers for the occasion.
Elsewhere, the couple were estimated to have paid RM3,000 for the services of their make-up artiste, Baby Elle.
During the solemnisation, O’Luanaigh reportedly handed over RM1,000 in wedding gifts, and a whooping RM30,000 in dowry before placing the ring on Serina’s finger.
For a lot of people, celebrating their special day can be a very costly indulgence, but many feel that the costs are justified because it is (in theory) a once-in-a-lifetime event. While it is easy to get caught in a nuptial frenzy, it is important to stick to your budget, especially if we are not a daughter of a well-known figure in the country. After all, not everyone can decorate their wedding venue with white and pink roses, to make it look like something out of a fairytale.
Do not overspend on your wedding so you can stroll happily down the aisle together and have a debt-free ever after.
Local sites like The Wedding Notebook and Bridal Guide will give you an idea on how to work on your wedding budget.