Getting married is exciting — and expensive. Don’t let the budget fill you with fear, conquer it with these great tips.
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Wedding decor: a financial bottomless pit where the cost of flowers will make your eyes water. So how do you save money and still have a beautiful wedding?
- Candles: Group different sized candles together instead of flowers as your centrepieces. Infinitely cheaper and usually more striking, too.
- Less is more: Think of the decor as make-up for your venue. You wouldn’t wear blue eyeshadow, dark eyeliner and red lips (we hope), so don’t overdress your venue either. It’s not necessary to have the floating chandeliers, Chinese lanterns, bunting and 5000 fairy lights. Pare it back and be amazed at how much you can save.
- Be creative: Don’t just browse ‘wedding flowers’. Look at design blogs and draw inspiration from all around you. Keep it simple. There are few things more stunning in a vase than a solitary palm leaf…
The bar bill can be one of the most pricey elements to a wedding and it’s incredibly difficult trying to guess what it may amount to in advance. Play it safe by following these top tips…
- Opening times: You want to have an open bar, but you don’t want to have to re-mortgage your house? No problem. Just open the bar after dinner has been served instead of having it open all day. Serve bubbles and beers until after the speeches and then you can treat your guests to the more costly spirits. (Or, dare we say it? Don’t serve spirits at all!)
- Give them what they want: Not what you think they want! There’s no point in pouring champagne for toasts if your guests would rather drink wine or beer. Have waiters ask before they pour.
What to wear…?
The dress, the shoes, the suit, and the entourage’s attire… it all adds up.
- Dress: How much can one dress really cost?! The answer is a lot. Depending on whether it is store bought or designed specifically for you, what fabrics are used, and what detailing there is, you can expect to pay anywhere between R10 000 and R100 000. Far be it for us to play the dress down, but the truth is you really are only going to wear it for a maximum of twelve hours (yes, we know it will be captured in photographs forever). Consider buying a previously owned dress and having it altered to fit: it’s the best of both worlds, a perfectly tailored dress just for you at a fraction of the cost. Check out stillwhite.co.za for a huge selection of previously owned dresses.
- Groom’s suit: This is a no-brainer. Hire the groom’s and the groomsmen’s suits. There is no need to buy new.
- The entourage: Think outside the box for bridesmaid’s dresses. Look to regular clothing stores for cheaper alternatives. Also remember that the fewer the bridesmaids, the fewer dresses/shoes/thank you gifts you need to buy, so keep the entourage small.
Got quotes for R50 an invite that have left you with heart palpitations? Sit down, have a cup of tea, and think about this.
- Move with the times: which means it’s time to move online. Unless stationery is an absolute priority for you, do not spend thousands of rands on bespoke invitations. Create a wedding website (free!) and include all the details that your guests need (from accommodation suggestions to registry details).
How often do you eat a three-course meal? It’s an unnecessary, and expensive, tradition.
- Give your guests a fantastic main course and serve wedding cake as your dessert. Also lay off on all the stations: a cheese station, sweetie table and hot dog stand is overkill. This is your wedding, not a food festival…
- Or, go uber-trendy and serve picnic-style food. The cost of a whole lot of baguettes, fancy cheese, spreads and dips will be a whole lot less than any plated meal. And people will probably enjoy it more!