How Much Money Do I Need to Get Married in the Philippines?

Published: June 4, 2021 | Updated: June 15, 2021 | Posted by: Moneymax | Personal Finance

wedding budget in the Philippines | Moneymax

Just got engaged? The happiness and excitement will definitely build up from here until the big day. From picking the perfect wedding dress, visiting different churches, and doing ocular inspections for your wedding venue, it will be a happy kind of stress. But a wedding is a major expense that you and your future spouse will need to prepare for.  

Before you start announcing your wedding and inviting everyone who sends their congratulations, you need to know how much your wedding is going to cost. It’s the most challenging yet most important part of wedding planning, especially since there are a lot of expenses involved. Not to mention that a typical wedding budget in the Philippines involves hundreds of thousands of pesos.

There’s the venue, the wedding dress, the invitations, and a whole lot of other things that you and your partner will need to spend on for the big day. If you set your wedding budget from the get-go, you can eliminate suppliers or venues that charge beyond your budget and find better or more cost-effective alternatives.  

How much does a wedding cost in the Philippines? Keep reading to learn how to plan for ut financially and find out what should be included in your wedding budget checklist.  

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,[1] 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 the wedding that you need to shell out.

Church Wedding vs Civil Wedding: Which Do You Prefer?

Identifying which of the two options 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 the PHP 330 fee, which already includes 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 nuptials. After getting your marriage license, you can get married within 120 days.

Read more: Getting Married in the Philippines? Here’s What Couples Must Do

Civil Wedding in the Philippines: Requirements and Cost

wedding budget in the philippines - civil wedding cost

Civil wedding expenses and requirements will definitely be less compared to those of a church wedding. This is why couples opt for a civil wedding ceremony when they just want to get married and have their union legally recognized. 

If you’re planning to have a simple wedding, here’s a look at civil wedding costs and requirements. 

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.

Another option is to have the civil wedding ceremony in a private venue where you can also hold your wedding reception. 

A civil wedding in the Philippines costs around PHP 10,000. This budget already includes the officiating fee and legal documents. 

But if you’ll hold it in a restaurant with a private function room, the price will depend on how many hours you’ll use the venue, the number of guests, and the food you’ll serve. You can opt for a party menu package or order off the menu ala carte, and the price typically starts at PHP 5,000. 

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
  • Mayors
  • 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

wedding budget in the philippines - church wedding cost

If you and your partner want to get married in a religious ceremony, then a church wedding is a must. You can have a small and intimate church wedding, or you can go all out on a big and lavish one.

Here’s how much a church wedding costs and the requirements you need to prepare before the big day. 

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
  • Confession
  • List of Principal Sponsors and Entourage Members
  • Wedding Permit

Church Wedding Cost 

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 aisle and floral decoration. 

However, this sample church wedding budget in the Philippines for 2021 is only for a small and simple wedding. The additional costs come in when you opt for more decorations, or when you get singers to sing in the ceremony. Wedding costs will increase when you add wedding videographers and photographers to capture special moments or include more members in the entourage.

Read more: 

Wedding Budget in the Philippines: Cost Estimate per Expense

Wedding ChecklistEstimated Budget
Wedding PlannerPHP 10,000 to PHP 50,000
Wedding CoordinatorPHP 1,500 and up
Wedding Venue and CateringPHP 50,000 to PHP 300,000 for 100 pax
EntertainmentPHP 5,000 to PHP 45,000
ReceptionPHP 50,000 to PHP 150,000
Wedding AttirePHP 3,000 to PHP 100,000
Wedding RingsPHP 15,000 and up per pair
Hair and MakeupPHP 1,500 to PHP 3,000 per head
Photo CoveragePHP 5,000 to PHP 75,000
Video CoveragePHP 20,000 to PHP 100,000
Hotel AccommodationPHP 2,500 to PHP 10,000 per room
SouvenirsAs low as PHP 50 per person
InvitationAs low as PHP 20 per invitation
Wedding CakePHP 5,000 to PHP 40,000
Ceremony VenuePHP 6,000 to PHP 40,000
PhotoboothPHP 6,000 to PHP 10,000
Lights and SoundsPHP 6,000 to PHP 8,000
Entourage FlowersPHP 7,000 to 10,000
Additional Flower Set up at ChurchPHP 5,000
Mobile BarPHP 5,000 to PHP 6,000
FireworksPHP 5,000 to PHP 10,000
Emcee FeePHP 5,000 to PHP 10,000

After preparing the requirements and identifying if you want a church or a civil wedding, it’s time for the nitty-gritty: budgeting your wedding. 

The wedding cost in the Philippines depends on what you want on your big day—it can be as simple or as extravagant as you want. Just remember to budget within your means.

Apart from the legal documents and the type of wedding you want, here’s a wedding expenses checklist to estimate the cost of your wedding:

  1. Wedding Planner / Coordinator
  2. Wedding Venue and Catering
  3. Reception
  4. Wedding Attire
  5. Wedding Rings
  6. Hair and Makeup
  7. Photo and Video Coverage
  8. Hotel Accommodation
  9. Souvenirs, Invitation, and Wedding Cake
  10. Other Wedding Costs

While planning your wedding can be exciting, it can be overwhelming, too. We have prepared a free wedding expenses checklist in the Philippines template[2] to help you organize your wedding. 

Apart from the wedding budget checklist for the suppliers, we included the processional lineup, contact directories, wedding program, and more.

Related article: Best Wedding Loans in the Philippines for Your Dream Wedding

Compare loans at Moneymax

Wedding Cost Breakdown in the Philippines

1. Wedding Planner / Coordinator

Hiring a wedding planner or coordinator can take 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 is a better option, 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 the best choice for couples who want to be hands-on with their wedding planning.

2. Wedding Venue and Catering

wedding budget in the philippines - wedding venue and catering

Where do you want to get married? On a farm? 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, effort, and money. The cost depends on the number of people attending. On average, the typical wedding budget in the Philippines for this type of set-up is around PHP 50,000 to PHP 300,000 for 100 pax.

For example, you want a garden wedding and have picked Hacienda Solange[3] in Tagaytay as the venue. As of date, it would cost you PHP 169,000, including the rent, catering for 100 pax, lights and sound, emcee, bubble and fog machine, flower arrangement and styling, and overnight stay for 15 people.

3. Reception

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 quartet may set you back from PHP 20,000 to PHP 45,000.

4. Wedding Attire

wedding budget in the philippines - 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 custom-made wedding dresses ranges from PHP 10,000 to PHP 100,000, which is another reason why wedding cost in the Philippines can get so high.

But if you’re the practical type, you can opt for ready-to-wear (RTW) wedding dresses 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 is generally 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 styling 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 for yourself and your entourage. It’s worth the investment if you want to look extra beautiful and heart-stopping on your wedding day.

Read more: 

6. Photo and Video Coverage

Your wedding photos and videos will make for a lasting souvenir. On average, wedding photography packages are priced from PHP 5,000 to PHP 75,000. The package may include three photographers, whole-day wedding coverage, a USB of edited pictures, and a photo album. 

Video coverage costs from PHP 20,000 to PHP 100,000, depending on the package. It may include same-day edits, whole-day coverage, and aerial or drone shots.

7. Wedding Rings

wedding budget in the philippines - wedding rings

A pair of wedding rings costs PHP 15,000 and up. You can also design your own and have a jeweler make them 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 look great and 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 your 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 to the venue.

9. Souvenirs, Invitation, and Wedding Cake

wedding budget in the philippines - wedding cake

The cost of wedding cakes depends on how 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. Or you can even make the souvenirs yourself. This will cut down the total cost of your wedding, 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 for your wedding:

  • 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
  • Transportation

Getting Married in the New Normal: Top Financial and Safety Considerations

You may have friends or family members whose wedding had to be postponed or even canceled because of the pandemic. No amount of wedding planning could prepare couples for this unique situation. While others made the tough decision to push back their wedding to 2022, or even later, others have found creative, simpler, and safer ways to say “I do!” today. 

If you’re getting married during this pandemic, there’s a lot of downsizing to do. But on the upside, these scaled-down weddings get the job done at a much lower cost.

1. Small Guest List  

If you just want to make things official, you and your partner can get married in a civil ceremony. But if you want a church ceremony, expect to have just your immediate family members and a pair of sponsors in attendance.

Keep a smaller guest list than what’s currently allowed by community quarantine guidelines in case there’s a sudden change before your wedding date. 

2. Virtual Weddings

Some couples prefer to play it safe and just hold a virtual wedding. It can be held at home or anywhere private, like an outdoor patio or garden, or a private banquet hall or function room.

With only a handful of family members in attendance, you can just live stream the wedding ceremony online so that the rest of your family and friends can witness your special day in real-time. 

3. Health and Safety Protocols

getting married in the new normal - health and safety protocols

As much as you want to invite everyone to your most special day as a couple, safety is still the priority for you and your guests. You don’t want your wedding to be a coronavirus superspreader event. 

Health and safety protocols should still be in place, so make sure to follow the guidelines. The last thing you want is to incur a fine or expose yourself and your guests to the virus. 

Face masks and face shields are still a must, so choose a color mask that will not clash with your wedding dress. 

Observe social distancing and good hygiene, too. It would be better if you can provide your guests with their own alcohol sprays and cleansing wipes. 

4. Swab Tests

Getting married in the new normal - swab test for guests

If you’ll have a bigger guest list but still within the allowable number, make your guests undergo swab tests. There are many COVID-19 testing centers in and around Metro Manila. Some even offer home testing.

For instance, Klook[4] offers as much as a 40% discount on home testing if you book for groups. Pay as low as PHP 2,700 per person for RT-PCR testing. You’ll also get the results in as fast as 24 hours. 

Note: When choosing a lab to do your home or walk-in swab tests, make sure that it’s a DOH-accredited lab. 

5. Small But Beautiful Wedding

Because of the limited attendees that will significantly cut down your total wedding expenses, you can actually afford a more elegant and beautiful wedding these days. Why not splurge on your wedding videographer and photographer to have really gorgeous photos and videos of your special day? Or you can spend more on your wedding rings or your wedding dress. It’s really up to you and your partner. 

The bottom line is a simple wedding budget in the Philippines can still create a beautiful and unforgettable wedding, depending on how you work with what you’ve got.  

Final Thoughts

Whether you have a civil wedding budget saved up or enough money to cover a church wedding budget in the Philippines this 2021, the important thing is to celebrate your love in a way you can afford and be happy with. 

Getting married doesn’t mean you should go broke just so you can impress people. You can control how much you spend if you stick to your wedding budget. The last thing you want is to start your married life in debt.  

Related reading:

Find the Right Loan for Your Wedding at Moneymax!

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Personal Loan ProviderFeatures
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