Planning your wedding is one of the most exciting times in a young couple’s life! It is a time when so many choices and options are being thrust at you, most of which are accompanied by a hefty price tag. If you are planning on financing your wedding on a tight budget, you will need to know where to look!
Your wedding is a huge deal, and it is natural to want the best – the most beautiful venue, the most elaborate dress, the most extravagant photographer etc. Weddings are an exorbitantly expensive affair if you let them be! However, with a little know-how, you can finance your wedding on a shoestring, and still have the best most memorable night of your life.
A key to planning a wedding on a budget is to do what you can yourself, and to enlist the help of friends and family. If your future mother-in-law is a whizz seamstress, let her make the dress. Off the rack wedding dresses range from around R5,000 to around R40,000, depending on where you go. Having a dress made by a recognised designer can take you into the R100,000’s if you are not careful! So, make use of the resources around you. Of course, if everyone you know sews like a three year old on a sugar high, it would be worth springing for a dress, and making budgetary concessions elsewhere.
The key areas of cost for a wedding are traditionally:
- The venue
- The food
- The dress
- The cake
- The decorations
- The “suppliers” – these include DJ, photographer, make-up artist and hairstylist, as well as a band or string quartet of you were to have this
In terms of venue, a good way of cutting costs is either by having a wedding at home, or by having your wedding at a venue owned by a friend. Here, they will normally be able to give you a substantial discount on venue hire, or waive this fee altogether.
In terms of the food, enlisting the moms and their friends to do the cooking could substantially cut down on your costs. Obviously the more people you have at your wedding, the more difficult home catering may become, so bear this in mind.
For the dress, there are numerous options available to cash-strapped brides. There are second-hand wedding dress stores which sell exquisite gowns, worn only once, for a fraction of the original price. There are also many wedding dress hire options, which make sense since you are only wearing this dress once. Keep your eyes peeled for sales as well, as most of the larger wedding dress retailers have “end-of-season” specials, where you can pick up brand new dresses for much lower prices.
Having a family member make the cake can be a great way to include other people in your planning, and can also save you a lot of money. Fancy cake-designers can charge ridiculous amounts for creations that look amazing, but often turn out to be a little stale or dry. Having mom’s chocolate cake at your wedding can be a huge hit with your friends, and your budget will be smiling too!
In terms of suppliers, saving money here can be tricky. It is often said that a good DJ makes or breaks a wedding – so try to get the best DJ you can afford. Ensure you meet with him before as well to discuss your musical tastes. A professional photographer is not essential, especially given the fact that almost every single guest has a camera with them nowadays! Your memories of the day will remain with you forever – whether they are captured by a very expensive professional or by your aunt Sue.
In terms of hair and make-up, have trials with your friends to determine whether they can take care of your hair and make-up. Having a friend do this on the day also adds an element of fun to the proceedings, and again alleviates your budget!
Weddings don’t have to mean sleepless nights worrying about how to foot the bill – you can finance your wedding on a tight budget – you just need to know where to start.