Reasons For Not Having A Hotel Wedding

“To hotel wedding or not?” is a question many brides-to-be ask themselves these days. For starters, holding a wedding in a hotel is foolproof. Yet, compared to locations like in the Mandai Wildlife Reserve or at Jewel Changi Airport, hotel weddings might lack the X factor that could bring the celebratory occasion to the next level. 

Whether it is because of the costs involved, or preference for an intimate wedding, 7 women in Singapore share their reasons for not wanting a hotel wedding with us.  

1. “Too costly as compared to other venues”

Reasons For Not Having A Hotel WeddingFor illustrative purposes only

“My wedding took place in a country club which was cheaper than any hotel wedding packages that I’d researched. Although a wedding is supposed to be the event of a lifetime, I would rather have a normal wedding rather than splurge on one. It was a reality check as I have to make ends meet, and bank loans to repay, especially with my soon-to-be-completed BTO flat. 

If budget wasn’t an issue, I would definitely love to have mine in a hotel that has atas interiors and top-notch chefs to prepare the food. After all, it’s every girl’s dream to have a lavish wedding.”

Advice for women searching for a wedding venue: “Start your search earlier so you can have more options to choose from. You should also bring along your close friends for extra opinions.”

– Joan, 32

2. “Bad experience with hotel weddings”

Image courtesy of Amanda

“I’m not a fan of hotel weddings for several reasons. Most hotels have similar menus, an outdated marching-in of waiters in a line, holding trays of food, and rules like having a minimum number of tables. Unlike hotels, restaurants are more flexible in bending the rules, especially for small weddings. Plus, they are not tacky, and keep up with the latest food trends. 

One time when I attended a hotel wedding, the waitstaff there had to rush to serve everyone because they had to wait on so many tables. Instead of being able to savour the dishes, we had to finish them quickly because they needed to clear the plates ASAP and bring in the next course. It was a bad experience and I told myself: never for my wedding. 

Honestly, a lot of people I’ve spoken to about weddings don’t fancy a huge one. More often than not, large weddings are to accommodate their parents’ wishes because they want to have “face”.

Hotel weddings are still popular now, but I think some people would rather have smaller weddings to save money for their house, honeymoon, or just for themselves. Why invite a bunch of people that you don’t care for to your special day?”

Advice for women searching for a wedding venue: “A big wedding doesn’t mean your marriage will last forever. Don’t start your marriage arguing about wedding costs, or worse, going into debt.

Pick a venue that means something to you, and if you’re picking a restaurant, visit them beforehand to try the food first.

– Amanda, 29

3. “Can’t be bothered to deal with any family drama”

Reasons For Not Having A Hotel WeddingFor illustrative purposes only

“My partner and I are more or less on the same page about not holding a wedding because we don’t see the need to entertain guests who are not important to us. As I am not close to my relatives, I wouldn’t invite them to my wedding. Yet, if they were to learn that I invited my close friends instead, I would hate to have to deal with the drama later on.  

The easy way out is for me to just not hold a wedding. That way, I get to save money, and avoid any potential family dramas. 

If someone was to offer me a free hotel wedding, I might change my mind about having a wedding. Then again, I’m still not keen on having to interact with guests that I’m not close with.”

Advice for women searching for a wedding venue: “Look at a few venues and compare their offers! Look at their ballrooms and see if it is really what you want.”

– A, 29

Also read:

16 Unique Wedding Venues in Singapore So You Can Avoid Having A Typical Hotel Banquet

4. “Prefer a unique venue with its own charm”

Reasons For Not Having A Hotel WeddingFor illustrative purposes only

“My partner of 5 years and I feel that hotel weddings lack charm, as compared to venues like shophouses and galleries. As a majority of my friends had their weddings at hotels, I would rather go for something more quirky and unique. 

Apart from going for a location with its own character, we are also looking forward to booking an entire venue. That way, we can host our friends and family in a private setting that reflects our personality and style. 

Alternatively, I believe some women prefer to not have hotel weddings because they want to go for places that serve better quality food.”

Advice for women searching for a wedding venue: “Choose the place that sparks joy at first sight!”

– Lovelle, 29

5. “Can’t stand all the attention I’d get”

Reasons For Not Having A Hotel WeddingImage courtesy of Jia Yi 

“Normally, brides love the attention they’d get during their weddings, but I am someone who hates it. I might get too stressed with the number of eyes on me when I walk down the aisle. With that, a hotel wedding, or even a normal wedding is a “no” for me.  

Furthermore, I dislike the idea of having to impress people just for one night, because marriage is supposed to be between two people. Plus, I’m not a fan of making small talk with people whom I barely know, for example my parent’s friends or distant relatives. 

If I ever hold a wedding, I might book a small restaurant and have my close friends and loved ones there to celebrate the occasion with me. Also, I would rather spend the money on more practical things like renovating my house instead.”

Advice for women searching for a wedding venue: “Get tips and opinions from people who’ve been there and done that. Also, do your research and find out if a wedding is something you really want, as you’re going to be spending a bomb on the occasion.”

– Jia Yi, 26

6. “Would rather spend the money on my honeymoon”

Reasons For Not Having A Hotel WeddingImage courtesy of Celeste

“Some people see weddings as the most important part of getting married, but I would rather spend the money on a honeymoon instead. As it is my money, I want to spend it on something that I will enjoy for sure. 

Rather than a hotel wedding, I would prefer to hold my wedding outdoors ‒ somewhere in a garden. The closest I can get is probably the Botanic Gardens, as they have a huge open space where my guests can chill and enjoy themselves. 

If my partner, parents, or parents-in-law insist on holding a hotel wedding, I won’t hesitate to ask them to fork out the money. After all, they’re the ones who want to have the wedding in a hotel.”

Advice for women searching for a wedding venue: “Don’t get too stressed when looking for a wedding venue. Go with your heart and start looking early!”

– Celeste, 29

7. “A small wedding feels more intimate”

For illustrative purposes only

“I find it unnecessary to hold weddings in hotels unless you are planning to invite a lot of people. From what I’ve heard from my friends, some of them ended up having their wedding in hotels because their parents wanted “face”. In the end, they had to talk to strangers that they had never seen before in their lives. 

This is definitely a turn-off for me as I wouldn’t want to spend money and time on people I don’t know. Instead, I would rather put in the effort to interact and catch up with my friends. 

In addition, being a private person, I prefer to celebrate the joyous occasion with just my close friends and family members. Hence, there is no reason for me to hold a wedding in a hotel since there will only be a few guests.”

Advice for women searching for a wedding venue: “Go for a place that you truly want since it is YOUR wedding and not others’.”

– Aileen, 24 

These Reasons Are Why Some Women Prefer To Have Weddings In Places Other Than Hotels

More than the expensive price tag of a hotel wedding, these ladies showed that they are also worried about potential family drama and unnecessary comparisons. 

Whether you prefer to celebrate the special occasion with tables of guests or have it done in an intimate setting, we hope that your wedding will eventually be a good time for you.  

Responses have been edited for brevity and clarity.
Cover: Images courtesy of Celeste, Amanda and Jia Yi.
This article was first published on 21 February 2022 and last updated on 4 February 2024.

Also read: 

13 Wedding Venues In Singapore For 100 Pax Or Less, For A Unique & Intimate Celebration