Wedding on a budget: Is it possible?

Spring has sprung and yesss it’s a wedding season.

I was talking to two of my friends who are getting married this season and obviously the wedding price tag come up in our conversation and both talked about how overwhelmed they are with the many hidden costs that come with planning for your big day. That got me thinking of how expensive weddings can be, more for us people of colour, especially when you factor in the cost of lobola. But with that said I believe that we can avoid the many unnecessary expenses of planning for a wedding. So, I took the liberty to ask my other two friends who recently got married to give us tips on how they reduced costs for their weddings.   



Lwazi chose a venue that provided most of the services that they needed, as that meant they didn’t have to outsource a lot of the necessary things. They opted for a hotel package since it come with all the supply for the weeding like the actual venue, chairs, cutlery and crockery, thus they didn’t have to pay extra cost for the basics. But they still had to pay for food and drinks.

“I would advise that as a couple you decide on the area where you would like to have your special day at, then do quotations from all the wedding venues in that area.”

On the other hand, Ottie hired a hall in her home town and she then got an independent wedding décor and photographer – which worked out way cheaper than what the quotations she got from wedding planners.

“Not everything we bought was expensive but they still looked very nice – stuff like the flower girl basket, couple toasting glasses and cake cutting utensils were bought at China Mall for not more than R50 an item”


Wedding Dress

Bridal shops turn to have ridiculous special when it’s not wedding sessions, which means you can get your dress at a good price if you are patient enough to go through the piles of wedding dresses at different shop. Lwazi got her wedding dress on special and it was going for R5000.

“I chose buying my dress, as I can sell it later rather than hiring for R3000 and never getting my money back. It’s not always cheaper to hire”

Ottie had the end in mind, so to them life after the big day was more important. This helped them “try stick to the necessary” and not pay for things they could live without. They had budgeted a specific amount for the dress and made sure that they didn’t drift too much from it.

“We planned and paid in advance. Paying a deposit helped us avoid price increases, as most wedding dresses shops increases their prices round about the second half of the year”



Lwazi opted to DIY the invitation. There many arts and crafts shops that sell folders or templates at an affordable price, as compared to getting someone to design one for you. If you ask someone to design it for you, you still must pay for printing costs in addition to design. friend’s advice.

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Wedding ring

“We waited for the winter sale to buy my ring LOL. This really helped because it was expensive but we got a good discount during the sale. Our back up plan was to wait for black Friday. I didn’t buy the ring holder, I borrowed it from a married friend.” Ottie

From the answers above, we can conclude that it is very possible for one to have an amazing, stylish and beautiful wedding on a budget.

From a financial prospective, get organized

Buy a notebook and separate it into sections for each budget category. This way you can write down the amount you want to spend on the item and then note your expenditures. As you near your limits, you can start to figure out ways to cut costs.


Don’t forget about the hidden costs you might incur.

For an example, you've already set aside money for your professional hair styling and makeup artist for the day — but remember that you may need more to feel fully comfortable on the big day. Therefore, keep in mind any pre-wedding beauty treatments you may want to indulge in, from a mani/pedi to a massage. Some venues with beauty spas in-house usually give that to the bride and the bridesmaids as a gift (which is good for your budget). If you want to use a venue with no such services offered, it is advisable to look for deals on websites such as daddy’s deals.


As a special offer just for you, our sister business Inspired By Love is giving away a free wedding planning service for one lucky bride to be in Durban or Gauteng. This will help you cut down on a lot of cost and time that comes with planning a wedding. At times letting the professional take care of thing and just inform them of your budget limits can lighten the load of planning a wedding.

Remember it’s your special day and you can be selfish so don’t be shy to politely tell your acquaintances that it’s going to be a small wedding on a venue accommodating a certain number of people, thus only close friends and family are invited.