Weddings are beautiful occasions that are often considered a magical day for newlyweds and their guests. With a momentous event holding such significance, it’s only natural for couples and families to want an extravagant celebration to make it truly special.
South African couples upwards on their weddings, which is often more than they originally budget for. While it’s easy to get swept away in the wedding plans, married life will also start out more easily without a big dent in your pocket. Here are five ways to plan a wedding without breaking the bank.
1. Limit the Guest List
When deciding who to invite for your special day, it’s important to be very discerning about who should really be there. Wedding guest lists can easily grow out of control over time, so before you invite your closest colleague or next-door neighbour, consider the budget and whether their presence is absolutely necessary. Remember, this day is a celebration for you and your spouse, not a neighbourhood party!
2. Save on Attire
Attire is essential for any wedding to ensure that the couple and their entourage look their best on such an important day. However, one of the most expensive parts of planning a wedding is getting custom-made outfits for your bridal party. The solution? Simply have them wear whatever they want as long as it aligns with the theme of your wedding.
You can give your bridesmaids specific instructions to follow to help them select the most appropriate dress. For example, you can opt for wrap dresses for a more relaxed vibe or go for lace dresses if you’re looking for something more formal. Pretty Me’s guide to the details how wrap dresses can be extremely flattering, as they highlight your best features and elongate your figure. You can also use them for several other events after the wedding, which can be especially appealing for your bridesmaids. On the other hand, lace dresses are an excellent combination of simplicity and beauty that perfectly fits an event like a wedding. While the intricate designs of these dresses can be used for casual events, too, they look especially elegant and sophisticated in more formal settings. Giving your bridesmaids the freedom to choose and buy their own clothes ensures that they come to your wedding looking their best while saving you money — a win-win!
Image: Nikkie Fivaz Photography
3. Choose the Right Venue
Renting a venue is one of the heftiest expenses couples will have to spend on, but having a nice place for your ceremony and reception doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. There are some gorgeous yet affordable available.
When choosing the right venue, consider one that is spacious enough while maintaining an intimate atmosphere. At the end of the day, you’ll remember how the place made you feel, not how many square metres it covered.
4. Go Paperless
Many little details can make a wedding celebration all the more alluring, but some can bloat your budget unnecessarily. For instance, personalised stationery might be a nice touch, but it will probably end up in your guests’ rubbish bin after the wedding is over.
Going paperless is a more cost-effective way to send out invites while allowing you to manage your guest list effectively. Having a wedding website and e-invites is the way to go.
Image: My Big Event
5. Borrow from other Newlyweds
It’s not shameful to recycle items from previous weddings, especially if they look like staple decorations anyway. A great way to save is by borrowing items from recently married friends. They may still have centrepieces, decorative items, and other resources leftover from their weddings.
Facebook groups are also an excellent place to scour for low-cost wedding decorations, which you can resell after you’re married!
When it comes to planning a wedding that won’t break the bank, the bottom line is to devote most of your budget to your priorities. Everything else should be open to compromise or negotiation. After all, nobody will remember how much the wedding dress cost or how expensive the menu was. All that will matter years from now is how you felt on your special day, and you can’t put a price on that.
Written by Aileen Grace Jade
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