How to trim down on the larger expenses of your wedding

wedding expenseswedding expenses
wedding expenseswedding expenses

How to trim down on the larger expenses of your wedding

It’s no secret you’ll be spending money when it comes to your wedding day… emphasis on day. Yes, it’s the best day of your life. It’s the start of a new journey into marriage and it’s a ceremonial promise of commitment to your partner, until death do you part. But it’s a great day that is over in a couple of hours, with possible debt trailing behind it for months. And that’s no way to start a marriage.

Agreed, 10-minute court-side weddings aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. But there really is no need to spend a ridiculous amount of money on your wedding day (unless you really can afford it). It’s not impossible, though, to still have a beautiful and unforgettable wedding on a budget. Especially on a budget because everyone will get involved and it becomes that much more special when you know everyone you love has played a part in your big day in some small way.

And you can ask any married couple, the small things make a huge difference! But besides sourcing hearts and hands from family and friends, there are a few other ways you can trim down the larger expenses of your wedding. And what you save can go towards a honeymoon getaway or a deposit on your new home.


Guest list

Most of your costs will be because of your guests. So if you really want to cut costs drastically, it’s time to edit your guest list and get rid of the second cousins, great uncles and friends you haven’t seen or spoken to in years.

Think about it this way: you want to invite people to your wedding who you and your partner will want to catch up and reminisce about this special day with in years to come. Not people you feel obligated to invite. It’s not about them. You need to be comfortable conversing with all your guests on the day and you shouldn’t have to think twice about whether or not to invite someone. Every head can cost you around R800 if you include venue, food, drinks and thank yous (invites can be free if done digitally and distributed online). Just keep that in the back of your mind when putting your list together.

You also need to know that you won’t be able to make everyone happy. And as much as your mother would love to have her aunts and uncles from afar come and witness her child’s wedding, the fact is you hardly see them, know them or remember their names – so they don’t get an invite. It’s a harsh process but, at the end of the day, it’s your wedding (and money) and you need to be happy… and your partner too, of course.


Change the date

Consider getting married on any day other than a Saturday. You’ll find many venues have cheaper rates for the other days of the week, like a Friday or Sunday. The people who really care about you will make the effort to take a day off and organise to come through. If not, they shouldn’t be on your list.
You can also look at their seasonal ratings which differ depending on which time of the year it is. So if you can brace yourself for a winter wedding, chances are the venue will cost you less.   



There’s no real way around feeding your guests, it has to be done. But you don’t have to opt for a full sit-down dinner experience. You can find catering suppliers to put together a buffet-style meal or a braai-vibe for a “lekker” afternoon wedding.  

Your guests don’t need caviar starters, smoked salmon and sirloin steaks, they just need a substantial meal to fill their bellies and give them the energy they need to dance the night away.


Cut the cake

Wedding cakes tend to go to waste 90% of the time. It’s just too much cake that almost everyone forgets to take before they leave. If you want to save money and still have the cutting the cake experience, go for a small cake for you and your partner and make cupcakes for everyone else (make them yourself and you’ll save even more money).

If you’ve been looking forward to a tiered wedding cake your entire life, you can still get the effect without paying a fortune. It’s so easy to fake a tiered cake that is, essentially, only one tier of actual cake (the top tier, obviously) and the rest being marzipan-covered and decorated polystyrene.


Flowers from home

Flowers can be ridiculously expensive, especially when out of season. So, the solution? Make do with the in-season bouquets, or grow your own flowers at home. Something like lavender and succulents can be easily grown at home and used in some way for your wedding. If not for the bride and bridesmaids bouquets, then for table decor and confetti. Drying out flowers to make confetti is a lot simpler than many think and if you can do it yourself with flowers grown at home, you can save yourself some valuable bucks.

wedding expenses