DebtSafe Blog

10 Money Tips to Keep Your Special Day Within Budget

Weddings are ridiculously expensive. And can cost between R100 000 and R200 000 nowadays. Couples get overly excited when they find the perfect, relatively affordable venue but when they start adding up all the other additional costs, their mood quickly changes. By the look of things, there is no way that newlyweds can avoid starting their lives without a heap of debt.  But, newlyweds don’t have to take that route. We’ve designed a practical template to assist you in keeping an eye on your wedding expenses. Plus, we share some handy tips to make your special day happen without breaking the bank:

Take into consideration the Time of Year

You wouldn’t believe how much money you can save by picking the right day and season for your wedding. People have a tendency to get married in summer but what about cosy wintertime and a weekday/Sunday? You can save on venue and cost per head expenses. You will save between R20 000 and R 50 000 on wedding costs by having an out of ‘peak season’, morning and/or weekday/Sunday wedding.

Logistics and Venue

You can save by having your wedding ceremony and reception at the same place. Extra costs like transportation and other expenses can, therefore, be avoided. Keep a lookout for specials while visiting wedding expos and search for deals being advertised online. Or as an alternative, do not use a formal venue, go through your list of loved ones and make use of someone’s beautiful garden.

The Wedding Cake

Wedding cakes are indeed costly. A non-traditional wedding can include a candy station instead of an over the top wedding cake. If you would like to have a cake, however – keep it small and simple. Remember less is more. Cupcakes are also a good option as the baker does not have to put too much time and effort into designing and making a multi-layered cake.

Food & Drinks

Food and drinks can be your main wedding expenditure. If you are going to make use of a formal venue, cut out the dessert by putting out cookies or by serving cake or cupcakes after dinner. If you are having a non-traditional reception, why not cook your own food or serve one satisfying meal without an appetiser. Narrow drink choices to only a few popular ones and put a bottle of grape juice on the table instead of expensive sparkling wine.

Bride’s Makeup and Hair

You can always save a few rand by making use of a bridal package that includes make-up and hair for the bride, bridesmaids, and mothers. On the other hand, you can let the bridesmaids and mothers do what they want. Let a professional do your makeup, while your friend or cousin, who is an expert with hairdos, can do your hair (as a wedding gift). Do what works best for you with a bit of help from your family and friends.

Décor & Gifts

Table and wedding hall decorations can really add to your wedding costs. Try keeping it simple yet beautiful. Handmade decorations are a hit and make the event much more personal. Here are a few ideas to consider: Wedding Ideas Magazine and Pinterest. You can also incorporate your gifts as décor. Guests can take it home at the end of the event, like flowers, placemats or photos. Nowadays a lot of weddings do not include gifts. The heart-warming meal, rockin’ dance-floor and quality time spend with friends and family are sincere replacements for material gifts.

Flowers (décor and bouquets)

Flowers can rip your budget. Therefore make sure the flowers or pot plants you are going to use are local and in season. And try using alternatives such as herbs or tree bark. If you want to use flowers for the ceremony use a few single stems instead of large bouquets. Shop around and also consider wholesale florists or flower farms outside of your local area.

Dress &Tuxedo/Suit

If you are more of an old-school person, why not wear your mother’s well-kept wedding dress. And if that is not your style, why not rent a dress instead of paying for one that you will never wear again. Also, consider renting a tux for the bridegroom to be or buy a nice and affordable suit that he can wear again to future functions.


In this day and age technology is your saving grace. Send your save-the-date and official invite via email. You can also create a website (like Wix) that your guests can go and visit online. For the older family members that may have a problem with a computer – give them a call or make your own beautiful, affordable invitations (Better Homes & Gardens).


When it comes to wedding professionals, make use of the best package deal to fit your budget. Also, think of the services you do not really need like a band or videographer. Friends can have affordable ideas and you can also be sure to pick up a few of their contacts along the way. So start asking around.

There are various things you can do to cut a few corners while planning your dream wedding.  Don’t get discouraged; rather get creative and practical to make it special yet affordable. By making use of these above ideas, you can also have a bit more cash available for those unforeseen wedding add-ons that might pop up at the last minute.