Plan a Wedding on a Budget Without a Wedding Planner

If you’re reading this, you’re probably already on the road to marital bliss, so let us extend our hearty congratulations (smiley face). You’ve got some planning to do, and we’ve got some tips and tricks to help you plan the ultimate wedding on a budget (without a wedding planner).

You’re probably thinking about the pretty part of the mental wedding-planning checklist – the dress (the dress!), the invitations, and the venue. Forest meets wine estate wedding vibes, are we right? But unless you have a professional wedding planner, or you’ve been married before, you’re going to underestimate your budget.

According to the wedding planning Website, Great Occasions, the total cost for an average wedding in South-Africa is between R70 000 and R80 000 for 80 to 100 people. That comes down to an average of R700 to R800 per wedding guest. And just hold your shock-horror for a second, because that was an estimate for 2014.

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How to Allocate Your Wedding Budget Like a Wedding Planner

Drafting a realistic wedding budget includes running through all the aspects you envision for your wedding, i.e. music, catering, flowers, etc. A professional wedding planner would split your wedding budget as follows:

  • Venue accounts for 50 percent of the budget and includes hire costs, catering, and alcohol.
  • Your wedding dress and accessories; photography; music; flowers; and decor; each amount to 10 to 15 percent.
  • Two to 5 percent respectively for the cake; invitations; table gifts; candles; thank you notes; etc.

Also, Great Occasions recommends factoring in an extra 10 to 15 per cent on top of the total budget for unforeseen costs. One cost most people don’t consider is a donation for the person officiating, as they often offer their services at no cost.

Five Ways to Cut Costs For a Wedding on a Budget

Once you’ve walked through your big day in your mind and realised how many elements require money, it can become a little daunting. CEO for Savings at FNB, Lezanne Human, recommends having the right savings plan in place for your big day. She says this is a high priority because you want to avoid any unnecessary credit. We agree, financial stress should happen before the nuptials, not after.

If the stress of finances and debt is getting to much to bare, why not get help? APPLY NOW for Debt Review and have an expert debt counsellor take care of your finances for you! It’s bound to free up your time (and money) to focus on your wedding.

Now that you’ve broken down how to allocate your wedding budget like a wedding planner, things may be looking a little tight, or impossible. But before you apply for that personal loan, why not look at five ways you can cut wedding costs without ruining the day:

1. Have Your Wedding Reception at a Small Restaurant


Most wedding budget lists tell you to save money by having the reception at home, but don’t consider the cost (or logistics) of hiring, well, everything. If you book well in advance, most restaurants would accommodate you and some have been known to scrap the venue hire fee if you have above a certain amount of guests to cater for. They also have tables. And chairs. And, well, everything.

2. Ask Your Friends and Family to Chip In


Is your cousin a graphic designer? Good, he can (wedding) gift you an invitation design. And we’re not talking about the cousin who moonlights as a designer in his spare time. Rather don’t ask that guy. Go through the guest list and ask around to see who has special talents they can contribute.

3. Make a Playlist


You don’t need a DJ. Unless you have another cousin that’s a DJ. Put some time and effort in and make an awesome wedding playlist with some wedding classics as well as a few songs that are special to you and yours. Just don’t put the wedding song on that list. You don’t want that playing before the time.

4. Get Thrifty


Vintage is the name of the wedding game right now. Take advantage of the rustic trend and buy some wonderful knick-knacks for your table decor. Comb the flea markets and the local Salvation Army for old hardcover books, vintage ribbons, and other cheap items that can add a real antique edge to your tables.

5. Don’t Invite the Town


Seriously. People you haven’t seen for more than six months but who you promised an invitation to back in college? They’re probably already married, and guess what? You weren’t invited. Close friends and family only.

Let’s be honest though. Sometimes you can thoroughly exhaust your ability to budget your way out of wedding debt and still come up short on your wedding must-haves. If it’s that important to you, why not apply for Debt Review ahead of the time and get a professional debt counsellor to help you through your debt to ensure you start married life right!



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