How to wed and save money

Yesterday as I was reading through some news I came across a tweet about a certain socialite who was regretting how she handled her whole wedding thing and broke her budget. She blew off over USD $50 000 to have her dream wedding but was now regretting it. This got me thinking about how as a financial planner, I could be of assistance to other couples who are planning their wedding so that they don’t fall into the same predicament.

If you have the money and you don’t mind blowing it off on your wedding day then this post is not for you, kindly pass. However if you are like most of us, who want to have a wedding but at the same time, need to balance our finances so that we can still be able to live on after the wedding then maybe you may need to consider this.

The meaning of a wedding

A wedding is a union that is made before God and people, uniting man and woman to be joined in matrimony and become one. The pressure of having a wedding can be quite overwhelming, especially with limited finances but who said you can’t have a wedding if you don’t have a 7-digit bank account? You don’t need to rob a bank, to be able to wed.

You can still have a brilliant and memorable wedding while keeping it so simple. The most important thing, after all, is the union, not all the other extras that we put in.

If you have no budget at all you may need to consider a court wedding. Whereby you and your partner just go with 2 witnesses and tada! You are wedded! No bridesmaid, venue, food and all those other costs. Then you can have a photo shoot afterwards which you can even ask one of your friends to do for free!.

However you may be having a budget but one that is a bit constricted, then you may need to consider the tips below.

How to save on your wedding

1. Whilst celebrities may want the whole world to witness their wedding, you can keep your guest list as small as possible.

Everything becomes simple and all costs will go down, from venue to food. You can just invite close friends and family, after all, they are actually the people who care about your wedding anyway, and the rest are just coming to gossip or wind up their time.

2. Keep your menu as simple as possible!

If people want to have a seven-course banquet, they can go to a hotel or visit their favourite restaurant but not at the expense of your pocket. Your wedding is not where people should taste certain food for the first time if you know what I mean. They are coming to celebrate your wedding with you not to have a banquet. Keep your food cost at a reasonable price and avoid unnecessary fancy and expensive dishes.

3. Hire a cheaper caterer if you can find one or have your family and friends prepare the meal, whichever is cheaper and comes with fewer hassles for you.

Sometimes catering can be expensive but sometimes cooking your own food may end up being more costly, just choose what works for you, after evaluating all the costs.

4. Not everything requires you to fork out money. Seek help wherever you can!

Maybe you have friends or family who are photographers then you may not need to hire a photographer, that’s money saved! Maybe you have a friend or family who is a designer, then your wardrobe has been covered!

Either your friends or family can do it for free as a wedding gift or they can offer you huge discounts, either way, money is saved. You don’t have to do it all on your own.

Delegate what you can and just monitor the progress. Otherwise, your wedding day will come when you are even too exhausted to celebrate and enjoy it.

5. While you may need a Giorgio Armani dress but if your budget does not allow, don’t do it and I repeat, don’t do it!

You can still find nicer but a lot cheaper outfits if you search properly. Choose simple attires that don’t break your budget, you can find a dressmaker to make them or you can even hire if that option comes cheaper for you. Remember, even though nice things are expensive but not all expensive things are nice.

6. Invitations are for getting the message across, you don’t need to break your budget on that!

You can still get the message across and have those you want, attend your wedding without going over the top. Consider writing them yourself, that even has a personal touch to it! You can send electronic invitations or print your own.

7. The Venue is the other budget breaker.

Whether you book a hotel or the whole town, the fact remains, the wedding is still going to be one day but your money will be gone! You can hold everything in one place than having to change locations, which saves money. You can also use a church or local hall, country club or golf course or better still, have a garden wedding outdoors on a family or friend’s land, your home, or public park. Minimise decorations, after all, people are not coming for a photo shoot but to celebrate your union. Keep everything minimal and you will thank me later! You can get cheaper decorations and other jewellery and accessories such as hats from craft stores like Thebe Krafts.

8. If you know your budget won’t allow it, please don’t hire your favourite singer!

You can still play their music and that’s okay. There is not even a need to hire a dance group, the whole purpose is for people to come and celebrate, they can do this by getting on the dance floor themselves.

9. Have a coordinator!

This doesn’t have to be a fancy wedding coordinator, but can simply be a family member who you trust to run things according to your plan. If you have someone else taking care of all the details on the day of the wedding, you don’t have to worry about it, and you can relax and enjoy the festivities.

10. You don’t need a cake that is as big as a castle!

Opt for a less tier, i.e. a two-tier cake for the photo-cutting moment then have a sheet cake for everyone else to have a slice. Local bakeries can provide you with a cheaper cake and people won’t even know the difference after a few decorations.

11. Transportation

Buses may be cheaper than hiring private cars. Or you can even ask your friends and family to assist with their personal cars, they may be more than willing to help. Some of your guests may even own bigger vehicles like vans and minibuses, utilise these.

12. Decoration and Setup

See if you can borrow potted plants from friends than paying for expensive floral arrangements. Tap family members and friends to make simple decorations, to set up your ceremony and reception sites. They may also contribute several hours to set up decorations and furniture and any additional tasks needed to get the place looking pretty.

13. Minimise the time!

This is purely my own thinking! Do not have a wedding that drags for 12 hours. Obviously, if you do that, it’s gonna increase your costs. People will get bored and by the time you finish, a lot of them would have left already. Even though they have made reservations to be there but remember, people have other commitments they need to attend to. Keep it simple and short!

Like Rita Rudner said, “I love being married. It’s so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life.” But ultimately, what we’re going to remember about our wedding is not the name of our DJ or the colour scheme of the decorations. Weddings are about celebrating a special day with your friends and loved ones – and starting off a new chapter in your life on the right foot. Get that part right, and the rest is just icing on the cake.

Remember it’s called, “your wedding” for a reason. Don’t try to impress anyone by going overboard because those you try to impress today, won’t be there tomorrow when you are drowning in debt. Even the fanciest weddings, they only last for a day. It’s not worth being in debt for years jeopardising your chance to enjoy your early years of marriage.

I would love to hear from you regarding your views on how to plan a wedding so please, leave a comment for me below and if you have benefited something from the article, kindly share it with someone.  

If you need to speak to a professional counsellor, don’t forget to get in touch with Psyche and Beyond.



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