Sure savers

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 11 June, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 11 June, 2000, 12:00am

Here are a few tips for saving costs for those intending to tie the knot.

Go for banquet packages that include beverages. The hotel will help to contain these costs by controlling the flow of drinks. Also these packages include service charges.

Ask just-married couples for useful tips from their experiences and take note of their referrals.

Get referrals. Photographers' and make-up artists' skills can only be shown in their work, so recommendations and word-of-mouth publicity is more reliable than paid advertisements. If you want the results to be above your expectations, ask around.

Get the jewellery, including wedding bands, from wholesale shops instead of retail showrooms. They are able to give better prices due to economy of scale. However, the choice may be limited.

Rent the gowns and costume jewellery. Renting is a lot cheaper and besides, you are not going to use your wedding gown again.

Attend wedding expos, which are usually held three times a year. It is good for making comparisons and collecting information.

Remember to attend wedding fairs just to gain information.

Do not get coaxed into signing a package because of pressure tactics from dealers. Do not pay a deposit too early as they are non-refundable if you change your mind later.

Do not be tempted by discounts. At the fairs, some shops say they are offering promotional prices, but you might be able to get the same price at any other time.

Make a clear and thorough record of all your expenditures. Try not to miss out anything - the more you miss, the more you will exceed your budget.

There are personal loans available from various banks that you can tap if in need of more cash. However, it is advisable to borrow from family members instead, as this is interest-free. Do not incur unnecessary charges.

Some shops give discounts of up to 30 per cent on cake coupons twice a year. Look out for them. Buy from well-established confectionaries, which are in no danger of folding. The more branches they have, the stronger the company is likely to be and the more convenient it is to redeem the coupons.