Believe it or not, it is possible to stick to your wedding budget. There are so many clever ways to manage the cost of a wedding without compromising on the things you really want. And, if you plan ahead, it’s possible to have a spectacular wedding without going over your budget, whatever it may be.
Below are our best wedding budget tips to help you manage your bottom line and still achieve the wedding of your dreams.
Tip #1: Decide on your wedding budget
The first step in sticking to your budget is, of course, figuring out what it is.
It’s essential to work this out before you get to all the fun bells and whistles, like flower arches and gin bars. Remember that the budget has to work for you and fit into your life, so base it on what you’re comfortable spending, and what’s important to you.
Tip #2: Pick a beautiful venue...
…but not only for the reasons you think. Of course, you want a gorgeous wedding - it’s the most special day of your life! But a striking venue will also require less decorating, freeing up your budget for other things.
Venues like Hazendal, which feature magnificent scenery and a modern setting, are beautiful all on their own. So let the venue work for you. Leverage this ‘wow’ factor and channel some of your decor budget elsewhere. Did someone say “Instax cameras”?
Tip 3: Choose your date wisely
Another way to manage your wedding budget smartly is by selecting a date that falls out of season, or on a weekday. Some weekdays before public holidays are also available at lower rates.
Depending on the venue, you may enjoy a significant cost saving by having a wedding on one of these less popular dates, so be sure to find out.
Tip 4: Get clever with your canapés
Food is often one of the highlights of the wedding, so understandably, it can take quite a big bite out of your budget. But, with a little clever planning, you can create a filling and mouth-watering menu that still stays within your limit.
For example, your canapés can serve as the first course, instead of including starters on your menu. Your wedding cake can also be served as dessert. If you’d like a more substantial dessert offering, add a selection of bite-sized sweet treats.
Tip #5: Choose flowers that are in season
Fresh flowers are an integral part of your wedding decor, but they can use up more of your budget than they need to.
Start by exploring what’s in season - flowers that can be obtained locally will be more cost-effective and eco-friendly than their imported counterparts.
We’re fortunate in South Africa to have access to a wide array of beautiful blooms during every season, so chat to your florist. They’ll be able to find the perfect posies to match your decor, whatever the time of year.
Tip #6: Go digital
Creating digital wedding invitations, save-the-dates and wedding websites is easy and free. There are so many beautiful, customisable templates to choose from. And of course, you don’t have to go through the hassle of sending your invitations via snail mail.
All your important event information can live on your wedding website, including directions, accommodation suggestions and even last-minute or important updates. It’s also a great space for sharing photos after the wedding for you and your guests to enjoy.
Tip #7: Give and take
Setting an overall budget is one thing, but there’ll be multiple items making up that budget, so you’ll need to be flexible with your funds. If you overspend in one area, you may need to make up for it by reducing your costs in another area.
For example, if your videographer costs more than you expected, consider cutting back a little on your decor.
A helpful rule of thumb is to cut back in the areas that won’t affect your guests - for example, reducing your decor budget - rather than in areas that guests are likely to feel, such as the food or beverages.
Tip #8: Build in a buffer
Despite their best efforts, most couples find that there are small things they forget about or unavoidable last-minute additions.
It’s a wise idea to build a 10% buffer into your budget for incidental and unforeseen expenses. Try not to include this amount when planning your wedding, but simply to have it as a safety net as you get closer to your big day (or settle bills after it).
Bonus wedding budget tip: don’t sweat the small stuff
It’s likely that the colour of your napkins or the flavour of your wedding cake won’t affect your guests’ overall enjoyment of your big day. Keep this in mind when preparing your wedding ‘must-haves’ list.
Focus instead on making sure your guests will be comfortable, by providing well-stocked drinks stations, enough canapés and shaded seating. Comfortable guests are happy guests, and happy guests, ready to celebrate your big day with you.