Wedding budget and savings tips

Weddings can be costly affairs, but with a sound wedding budget and savings plan you could afford your perfect day.

Dreaming of a perfect wedding to start your happily ever after? Do it on a budget and you won’t be starting your married life with huge debt hanging over your head. To get it right, you need to put a lot of preparation and financial planning into your big day from today.

When you start adding up wedding expenses, things can spiral pretty quickly. Prices vary considerably depending on the size and location of your event, and whether you’re paying for all or part of it.

Recent research conducted by The Wedding Expo found that most South African couples are spending between R80,000 and R120,000 on their weddings, including their honeymoon, according to Amanda Cunningham, Managing Director of The Wedding Expo.


Here are some key pointers on how you can balance the wedding you want with the wedding you can afford:

1. Review your current financial state

Consider these questions when mapping out your finances for the wedding:

How much can you afford to put towards your wedding?
How much more can you save between now and your save-the-date?

Saving for a wedding involves setting a realistic budget, prioritizing the costs by category, and choosing a safe and short investment vehicle. 
Depending on the time frame and the amount of money needed, As Lilian and I did for our wedding in 2012, couples may need to divide their savings goal by the number of pay periods or months and allocate a portion of their paycheck to a wedding savings account.

If your parents, family member or friends are helping you pay, how much are they contributing? 

Next, start thinking about what type of wedding you want, including the guest list and ideal venue.

Ideas to save on expenses for your wedding

Hold your wedding on a weekday or Sunday and save on venue hire costs. Saturday is a popular day for weddings, so not only will you find very few venues available at certain times of the year, but the cost will also be significantly higher than on any other day, every mogbo moya (non invited guest) that will not benefit you will flood the venue.

Avoid peak wedding season and rather opt for a date just before the end of the off-peak period. You won’t have to compromise on good weather or budget-friendly prices.

Seek out a venue that allows you to bring in your own vendors, such as the DJ, caterer and bartenders. An all-inclusive package may sound cheaper but shop around for quotes before committing to in-house vendors.

Eliminate multiple venue hire costs by tripling the use of a single location for the ceremony, the reception and accommodation. Consider renting a guest house in an appealing and accessible location.

2. Create a detailed wedding budget

A wedding budget is essential for good financial planning. Structure your budget to list each expense as an individual line item within categories. For example, under the category of ‘photography’, list the fee for a professional photographer, the cost of photo albums and additional photo prints. This detailed approach will help you to identify and account for every expense item.

Two critical components of a good budget include ‘estimated costs’ and ‘actual costs’:

Estimated costs are rough calculations based on your research and quotations
Actual costs are the hard costs based on a final invoice.

Because many couples begin planning and saving for their weddings many months in advance of the actual date, it is very important to factor price increases into your budget. You don’t want to be in a situation where your savings are based on estimates for venue hire, entertainment and décor, only to find out when the time comes that the price has changed (prices have risen by 10% to 20%).

Budgeting is an essential exercise that’ll give you a good idea of how much your wedding will cost and will also help you to separate the ‘must-haves’ from the ‘nice-to-haves’. Focus on the key parts of your big day and be prepared to make some compromises.

Remember that the time we are in now is not friendly, the time is hard and the price of everything in the market has gone up.

Next step

Visit Stanbic IBTC Bank Savings and Investments page for ways to put your money to work and save for your wedding, also share this tips to all your friends to enable them too plan for their wedding, click the share button below and share to all your social media.

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Wedding budget and savings tips Wedding budget and savings tips Reviewed by E.A Olatoye on August 31, 2023 Rating: 5

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