One of the most memorable days of a woman’s life is her wedding day. Ironically, it could also be one of the most challenging events ever. This is tied to finances as a fantastic wedding celebration costs a lot of money for many people. Contrary to popular belief, you can have your dream wedding without borrowing and on a tight budget.
Here lies the answer you seek with the perfect blend of little cash and an exquisitely intimate wedding:
Break the Norm
The idea of a wedding on a Thursday is something you should explore to stick to your budget. This is as simple as it gets. A Thursday wedding does not only shield you from having thousands of guests because it is a workday, it also gets you a venue at a lesser price. You can get a small hall that sits about 100 guests at half the usual rates compared to a hall that sits 500-1000 guests for a Saturday wedding. This also means less money is spent on decoration as a small hall requires fewer materials & manpower. Think about it.
Don’t Overdo the Menu
In the bid to satisfy guests, many couples spend so much on food. This is why people serve 5 different kinds of meals which will only enrich the caterers. Sit down with your partner and do an analysis of the age group of your guests. Many young people will eat light meals; the older ones will easily go for heavy native meals. Use this information to instruct your caterers and work within the budget to serve two different meals (e.g. rice & pounded yam). Buy a reasonable number of drinks and water for the event and ice. Haggle prices without fear and reach compromises that won’t drain you financially. Cut out unnecessary things Chapman, chocolate fountains, barbecue and the likes. Have two to four trusted people supervise the distribution of water and drinks to avoid waste so you can take the rest home. Remember that you cannot satisfy everyone and be practical.
Do All Together
An African setting calls for both white & traditional wedding. If you can, just have the engagement on the morning of the wedding and proceed to the church or mosque for the white wedding. This does not only give room for one round of food arrangement, it also reduces the cost of money spent on souvenirs, professional hair, and makeup.
A DJ and live band are usually the entertainment providers at wedding receptions. As nice as it sounds to have both, it will cost you less to have one of these two at the reception. This is because you are paying both the DJ and band for the whole day, not for the hours of entertainment. Considering the way events play out at receptions, it is impossible to have both perform up to their monetary value. Think critically and pick the one that will serve you better to cut cost and avoid the confusion.
Cut out the Reception
The wedding budget usually caters to taking care of guests who come to the wedding reception. This includes renting a hall, food, drinks, decor, ushers, cake and the list goes on. With arrangements that cover a food pack, a bottle of water, drink and a souvenir in a paper bag, you will save so much money that your account will remain unshakeable. Position friends at the door of the church or court to hand out the bags after the vows and you are done. This also eliminates the need to buy a reception dress, rent a live band & DJ. You can spend some of the money saved on your honeymoon.
Save on the Dress
Brides long for beautiful dresses that will make them stand out. However, spending millions on a dress that will be worn for a few hours may not be the best option. Renting a classy dress with a fraction of the budget will take care of this and get you all dolled up for your big day. Just take a lot of pictures and the memories will remain with you for the rest of your life.
Use Regular Vendors
Contrary to what this sounds like, this is just a way of getting the best services at the standard price. Many vendors charge so much because of the “wedding” tag. The wedding tag automatically makes the prices shoot up. For your bridal hair, fix a beautiful weave at a classy salon in a manner that makes it easy to style. Get a set of bridal pins and have a friend with deft fingers work wonders on it on the wedding morning. For your nails, fix French tips at a meticulous manicure salon and keep the change. Apply this principle with every vendor it can work with and feel your pocket thank you.
Fill The Space
One of the beauties of the day is the grand setting of many cakes to form an aesthetically appealing masterpiece. The good news is that you don’t have to pay for many cakes to get this; just pay for one or two cakes and have the baker use dummy cakes to build the rest of the layers. The dummy cakes are not edible but they look like real cakes even in the pictures.
Buy with Ready Cash
It is part of the culture to get a uniform fabric for friends of the couple. This is popularly called aso-ebi (Fabric for Relatives). Many couples buy this with their own money and give out on credit. That will only set you up for stress, loss, and broken friendships. Visit a fabric store, get a picture of the chosen fabric with the cap or head tie, calculate selling price per head and have a strict person reach out to your friends with a deadline of payment and account details. Emphasize the importance of limited slots and watch interested people send in their money before the deadline. Once you have the amount needed and hit the deadline, purchase the fabric and hand out to buyers without stress. This saves you time, money and energy all without spending one dime from your pocket.
The honeymoon is usually filled with bonding activities and relaxation. Due to the need for silence and privacy, many spend so much on international trips. It is possible to have fun and romance without leaving the country and at an affordable price. You can travel to a tourist destination in another state like Obudu Cattle Ranch and lodge for a week. You can also take advantage of places with picturesque beaches and chalets that will give you access to facilities and clubs in the same location. You can even get complimentary meals & wine on the house if you book ahead and mention the honeymoon bit. That is what dreams are made of.
The wedding day is one day, marriage is for a lifetime. It is important to save in order to avoid tales of woe and disagreements. You are however allowed to spend good money on the video recording & pictures insofar as you get the value you need and stick to a reasonable budget. Run with this and have the best day of your life!