We all know that weddings can cost a fortune. The average South African couple spends between R70,000 and R80,000 on their wedding, and expenses can easily spiral further if you get swept up in the excitement. However, one of the happiest days of your life needn’t be one of the most expensive. Give the following tips a try to cut back your spending on the big day – without cutting back on the magic!
Plan in advance
The single best way to save money on your wedding is to start planning as early as possible. This gives you the most options, for everything from venues, to bands, to caterers. Trying to book your special day at the last minute will almost certainly raise the cost, as you scramble to find any available option. On top of this, planning early will save you considerable stess!
Discussing the kind of wedding you want with your partner early on also gives the two of you a chance to create a realistic budget. If your income is sporadic, you might also use this opportunity to talk about credit options – whether you want to take on a personal loan to spread the cost of the wedding, or use a shorter-term service like wonga.co.za for unforeseen expenses as the day approaches.
You might have to compromise and put backup plans in place. For instance, you might want a live band for your wedding reception, but be unsure whether you will be able to afford one. In this case, you could accept that hiring the band is only an option if you can cut back in other areas.
Avoid the “Wedding Season”
According to advice from Save Money, Spring and summer remain the most popular times of year to get married, and as demand rises so do prices. You could save a small fortune by having your wedding at a different time of year; just before spring, or in the autumn. The weather might be a little cooler, but the romance of the day is sure to keep your guests warm!
Think carefully about the Guest List
A big wedding can be a lot of fun, of course, but cutting down your guest list will help you to save money, as well as giving the occasion a more intimate, personal feel. With fewer guests, you will also be able to spend more time with each attendee, and share your day with the people who matter most.
Consider having your Reception at a Restaurant
It might not sound very wedding-y, but this can actually be a really good option for several reasons. First of all, you’ll save a lot of money – rather than paying for every part of your reception separately, (chair hire, catering, venue, and more) a restaurant will allow you to roll the costs of entertaining your guests into one. Plus, having your reception at your favourite restaurant, or the place you had your first date, can add a very romantic and personal touch. This just wouldn’t be possible at a huge venue with a hundred or more guests.
Nothing brings families and friends together like a good DIY project, and you can use this to your advantage when planning a budget-friendly wedding. It’s amazing what a little decoration will do for a more basic venue, and making the decorations together can be fun. You can find abundant décor inspiration online, and follow step by step guides if crafts aren’t your strong suit. With a little work, you can save money on everything from place settings, to wedding favours, to venue decorations – saving your cash for bigger ticket items such as catering and music.
A wedding will always be an investment, but with plenty of careful planning and thinking outside the box, you can have the special day of your dreams without breaking the bank – good luck!