On your wedding day, you want everything to be perfect and truly memorable. But from recent statistics, the idea of a dream wedding seems farfetched for many as an average wedding is estimated to cost around R150,000. But is it necessary to dig that deep into your pockets in order to have a beautiful wedding? Well, it is said that love is all we need, but I suggest adding a little creativity and you can actualize your dream wedding without expensive price tags.

Currently, the wedding industry is booming and very competitive which has sky-rocketed the cost of weddings. But by employing a well-executed plan, committing to your budget and getting a little creative, you can have a great wedding at a shoestring budget. Usually, the greatest secret to an inexpensive wedding is to network. Get your friends and relatives involved and you will be surprised at how much they can bring in and help cut on costs. Some key areas to consider when planning a budget wedding include.

Venue:

Wedding venues account for the biggest percentage of your entire wedding budget. In order to make big savings on the venue, consider choosing a non-wedding venue. This is because wedding venues tend to charge more as they are fully dedicated to wedding services and therefore have customers competing for the space. Non-wedding venues offer you flexible prices and packages to suit your budget. You will be surprised to discover that there are so many beautiful grounds around you that can host a wedding at half the cost of branded wedding venues.

Alternatively, if you have a home or know someone with one that has a big enough garden to hold your guests, make it an option. Church halls, community halls and schools can also be great budget venues for a wedding. Your friends and relatives could come in handy in helping you track down some of these affordable venues. While you are keen on saving money, be sure not to compromise on the quality of your venue. Additionally, be open for different possibilities and you will have an easy time to add glamour and elegance to any venue you find.

Invitations:

Considering that most invitation cards end up in the trash can after the wedding, there is great need to cut down on their expense. Luckily today you can use digital invitations which are very economical or even free. But if you still insist on the conventional invitations, you can use your DIY skills to create invitations with a personalized feel but without spending much. If you lack the talent for DIY family and friends can again lend a hand. With a little learning, making invitations is easier than you think, especially since you can readily purchase invitation kits from stores.

Cake, Food and Drinks:

The number of guests at your reception will determine how much you get to spend on the cake, food, and drinks. For a wedding on a budget, you will first need to control the number of guests you have. You may have wanted the whole world to celebrate the big day with you but you have to make realistic decisions. Invite only close family and friends and even go ahead to make it an invite only event. Bake a cake earlier if you know how to or ask a friend for help. The prices of wedding cakes can be overrated for no good reason. A tip you can use is to buy or order cakes without stating they are for a wedding. Cupcakes can also be used instead of the traditional wedding cake.

As for the food and drinks, whatever you serve will depend on the time and setting of your event. If it is a casual garden wedding you could hold a barbecue with a few drinks and nibbling. For an evening reception, you could consider serving cocktails and biting to keep the guests busy as they chat. If you hire catering services, ask them to just deliver the food and then a few friends could help with the serving and ensuring all equipment are well taken care of. This way you do away with the extra cost of the catering waiting staff.

Flowers and Décor:

It is almost impossible to have a wedding without flowers and therefore you need to figure out ways that your fresh flowers won’t break the bank. You may not be able to afford your desired flowers but a florist can help you choose something fitting for your budget. You can also consider re-purposing any flowers used in the wedding to help cut costs. For instance, your bridesmaid bouquets or aisle flowers can be put in vases and used as centerpieces at the reception.

Additionally, if the wedding ceremony and reception will take place on two different locations, get your event coordinator to move the flowers and décor from the ceremony into the reception. Talking to your coordinate prior to the wedding will help you identify cheap décor without compromising on your bid day’s elegance.

The Dress, Hair and Make-Up:

Get a dress tailor-made for you at your budget, hire one or even use your mother’s or grannies. Most brides never get to wear their gowns anyway. And if you are not so stuck-up with the whole idea of white wedding gowns, you could simply wear something you already own or buy a simple dress that befits the occasion. It could be difficult to do your own hair and makeup and therefore you need to make an early search for an affordable professional stylist or find a friend that will help you.

Transport and Photography:

Instead of using car hire wedding services, you could ask a friend to chauffeur you to the event. And for capturing the memories of your wedding, get a decent photographer that is affordable but does not compromise on quality. Remember that this big day happens only once for many of us and thus you want all the details well captured. With a bit of research and patience, you can get some really great photographers that won’t cost you a fortune. Seek referrals and recommendations from family and friends for a start.

With all said and done, you want nothing to go wrong on your wedding day. Advice to couples is to take time when planning in order to make decisions that will get them great value deals at a price they can afford. Couples should not give the impression that they are desperate to avoid being exploited by unscrupulous vendors. It is also important for couples to learn not to compare themselves with others and instead work with what is within their means and make it count.

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