Wedding season is upon us and many couples go all out to create lasting memories for their special day. Whether it’s traditional or western, your wedding day should leave a lifetime of memories to cherish.
“Getting married is a dream come true for many people, but it can be a costly affair if not properly planned. Most couples want and dream of that perfect wedding but sometimes weddings come in at a high cost, which can create a huge hole in your pocket,” says Ester Ochse, FNB Product Specialist.
Ochse says having a working budget will help you plan for these events. She suggests 10 steps that will help you save for your wedding:
Step 1: Draw up your Budget
A budget template is your blueprint to managing your expenses and enhancing your financial well-being. Create a budget template that takes into account your daily grocery and home expenses, rent, bonds, health, entertainment and investments. This will give you an overview of where you are financially and where you need to cut down.
Step 2: Refine your guest List
Family is everything but we also need to look at cutting numbers down which will help reduce your wedding costs. Your wedding should be shared with the people you love and care for the most. So ensure that your guest list is manageable on both sides of the family.
Step 3: Look for affordable venues
We have exquisite venues in South Africa and many of them are affordable. Once you decide on your wedding date, book your venue immediately. Consider holding your wedding ceremony at home or outdoors (dependent on the weather). You will be surprised at how your home space can add to the tranquillity of your big day.
Step 4: Lower catering costs
Get help with your catering from your family or friends, or even look at hosting your wedding at a small quaint family restaurant. Food alone is a costly affair, but if you get the right caterer or restaurant, you can save on food costs and also unnecessary wastage.
Step 5: DIY your invites and decor
You can get an array of décor and invite ideas with the help of social media websites like Pinterest and Facebook. These sites not only give you tips on décor for the wedding but also provide practical hands on advice on how to be creative and innovative.
Step 6: Wedding dresses
You can get a fancy wedding dress if you saved well in advance and have the extra cash on hand. Sometimes brides spend quite a bit on their dresses only to sell them after the wedding at a fraction of the original cost. Couples explore all their options and consider renting the wedding dress instead of having them professionally made.
Step 7: Get your family or friend to DJ/MC
Hiring a professional DJ is great, but also costly, especially if you anticipate a relatively small number of guests. The other option is to get a friend or family member who is up to the task and for entertainment, there are various apps that allow you to become your own DJ. These apps give you the option of adding music and mixing them on the spot which is amazing. All you need is a laptop or IPad, music, speaker and you set you go. In addition, a Karaoke machine will add much vibe, humour and fun to your special day.
Step 8: Wedding planner
Wedding planners are a good to have, but planning your wedding on your own could be a memory that you live with forever. Wedding planners also come in at a price, so should you want one, you must ensure that you cater for this in your budget.
Step 9: Photographer
Today’s smartphones and apps allow you to become instant photographers. Create a website or rather a Facebook/Instagram page and encourage your guests to post the pics they shot at your wedding. You can download these for your wedding album.
Step 10: Honeymoon
Look at specials and compare prices before booking your honeymoon. Besides, international destinations look at local places in South Africa as well. If too costly, postpone your honeymoon to off-peak season when prices have been reduced.
“In any given situation it’s important to understand the difference between needs, wants and responsibilities. This will help you understand how to better manage your money. Follow the 10 steps to save for your wedding to ensure that you don’t over burden yourself financially when it comes to planning your or a family members wedding,” concludes Ochse.
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