Too broke for a big wedding? Think again…
Getting married can be expensive. Crazy, stupid, ridiculously, ‘you-are-charging-me-how-much-for-what-now’ expensive. Especially if you have a big family and need to invite everyone and his second cousin twice removed. Luckily, with these tips you won’t be left in financial ruin after the big day.
Here are 5 things you can do to get the most for your moolah:
- Don’t get a venue
There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of venues across South Africa offering idyllic weddings to those willing to offer a year’s income for that one special day. Although these venues often offer a ‘whole-hog’ service, complete with a personal wedding planner, you can accomplish the same with a little more effort, a thorough Excel spreadsheet, and the help of your auntie who likes to entertain.
Rather get married in the local church (or registrar’s office) and look for a more affordable place to have your reception. Consider local halls, lapas, open spaces where you can pitch a marquee tent, a friend or family member’s garden, or even your favourite restaurant.
- Feed frugally
You don’t need to serve your guests foie gras and truffels to impress them. Let’s be honest here – most people will be grateful for any free meal they can score, whatever’s on the menu. With this in mind, start thinking creatively! Create a buffet where your guests can build their own burgers, pancakes, or pitas. Order a bunch of pizzas from the local shop. Get your braaimaster mate to ‘chesa’ a few steaks and ask the aunties to bring some salads instead of gifts.
- Don’t be afraid of BYOB
Booze is expensive, and doesn’t go all that far at a wedding. If you’re having the reception somewhere this is allowed, ask your guests to bring their own booze. You can supply a few bottles of champagne for the toasts if you want to toast your marriage in a more traditional way, but letting your best man bring his favourite bottle of tequila can be a good thing too.
- Pick your flowers carefully
Flowers can easily become a large expense if you don’t watch it. Look for alternative ways to decorate your tables that uses minimal flowers. If possible, go to the flower market yourself to buy the flowers (be prepared to wake up before dawn), and get someone with a green thumb to help you make the arrangements. Flowers look great however they’re arranged.
- Do your own music
With technological advances like iTunes, Google Play Music and Spotify Playlist Generator, all you need to keep the party going is a laptop and some speakers. Take an evening or two with your beloved and put the songs that make you happy into your playlist. Fun fact: You only need about 160 songs to keep everyone moving for 8 hours.
What a wedding should be isn’t cast in stone, and often it’s the ‘different’ weddings that guests remember. Don’t be afraid to do things differently. If it fits into your budget and your vision for your wedding, go for it! It is your day, after all.