SAVE, BUD­GET, CEL­E­BRATE AND MARRY

From sav­ing for your big day to com­pil­ing a wedding bud­get, here’s how to make the right fi­nan­cial de­ci­sions for your nup­tials

DRUM Weddings - - CONTENTS -

Make the best fi­nan­cial de­ci­sions ahead of your big day.

HE’S pro­posed, the fam­ily ne­go­ti­a­tions are done and the en­gage­ment ring is sparkling on your finger: the time has come to plan your dream wedding. By start­ing well in ad­vance, you can save your­self lots of tears and, of course, sky-high ex­penses. “A wedding is a project which should be treated with re­spect,” says Kgo­motso Ndun­gane, wedding co­or­di­na­tor at Oak Cel­e­bra­tions.

Even the most sim­ple wedding cel­e­bra­tion can set a bridal cou­ple back quite a bit. Here is a com­pre­hen­sive guide to fol­low so that your big day isn’t spoiled by fi­nan­cial con­cerns.

START SAV­ING

Start plan­ning your fi­nan­cial life well be­fore the wedding. Think about your pri­or­i­ties and de­cide, for ex­am­ple, whether a big wedding is more im­por­tant than buy­ing a house. Even just half of the cost of the most in­ex­pen­sive wedding will grow to be­come a de­posit for a prop­erty.

Open a sav­ings ac­count and save for your wedding. If you want to in­vest money for only a short pe­riod, a money mar­ket ac­count usu­ally of­fers a bet­ter in­ter­est rate than a nor­mal sav­ings ac­count.

PLAN

Talk to each other Dis­cuss your dreams, feel­ings and ideas about your cer­e­mony and re­cep­tion. Draw up a list of things you want and your pri­or­i­ties. Recog­nise both part­ners’ par­ents and dis­cuss things with them. This list be­comes very handy in draw­ing up your bud­get. Com­pile the guest list The num­ber of guests you in­vite af­fects your venue, ca­ter­ing and bud­get. Distinguish be­tween ac­quain­tances and friends, close and dis­tant fam­ily rel­a­tives. Bud­get It’s nor­mal not to know the costs in­volved in a wedding. But wed­dings are like every­thing else in life; sev­eral op­tions are avail­able. “It’s ex­tremely im­por­tant to set a bud­get first,” says Kgo­motso. “It is ev­ery wedding’s sore point.” How­ever, de­cide what yours is and be com­fort­able with the amount. Op­tions Ev­ery bud­get also comes with op­tions. De­cide what are essentials and what are lux­u­ries.

Who pays for what? Are you as part­ners pay­ing or are both your par­ents con­tribut­ing? De­cide on an amount that ev­ery­one’s com­fort­able with.

Set re­al­is­tic ex­pec­ta­tions Be re­al­is­tic about what you can af­ford and dis­re­gard what’s out of your reach.

DRAW UP A BUD­GET

De­cide on an amount Cre­ate a work sheet (Ex­cel works well) with three col­umns. En­ter your bud­geted amount in the first col­umn, your ac­tual ex­penses in the sec­ond col­umn and the dif­fer­ence be­tween them in the third col­umn. Cre­ate a pro­vi­sional bud­get Write down each ex­pense and keep your bud­get up­dated.

Un­fore­seen ex­penses The more fixed your bud­get, the more im­por­tant it is to re­serve ex­tra money for un­fore­seen ex­penses. An ad­di­tional 15 % of your bud­geted amount gives you flex­i­bil­ity. Re­search Do your home­work: get at least three quo­ta­tions for every­thing. Ac­cept Com­pare your quo­ta­tions and de­cide which suits your bud­get. Ac­ces­si­bil­ity Keep your bud­get in a place where you can see it, like on your fridge. The bride and groom should both have copies.

TIPS

Al­ter­na­tive op­tions Con­sider get­ting mar­ried dur­ing the week, on a Fri­day or in au­tumn or win­ter. Sum­mer wed­dings are more ex­pen­sive.

Drinks Avoid an open bar. Pro­vide a few bot­tles of wine for each ta­ble, but guests can pay for their own drinks. Wedding plan­ner “Brides of­ten plan with friends and fam­ily with­out seek­ing pro­fes­sional help to save costs – un­for­tu­nately it ends up cost­ing them more than if they’d con­sulted some­one for ad­vice,” says Kgo­motso. A good way to stay within your bud­get is to call in an ex­pert. A wedding plan­ner can save you money and time. They know competitive sup­pli­ers and prices.

Pro­mo­tions Look out for out-of-sea­son spe­cial of­fers at venues.

Hon­ey­moon In­clude the cost in your bud­get. It’s quite an ex­pense and you want to spoil your­self.

PIT­FALLS

Debt Don’t (don’t!) get into debt in or­der to have a flashy wedding.

Loans Don’t take out a bond on your prop­erty, use your credit card to its limit or go into over­draft to pay for your wedding. If you bor­row “just” R50 000 on your home loan ac­count you’ll pay back twice the amount in the end. In­vest­ments Un­der no cir­cum­stances dig into your re­tire­ment funds, unit trusts or in­vest­ments to pay for your wedding. The im­por­tance of the venue “The best place to start when bud­get­ing is your venue. Most of your bud­get will be spent here. Once you have a venue, you will know what they of­fer and their re­quire­ments, and you can take it from there,” ad­vises Kgo­motso. A more for­mal venue could make you think you have to fork out more on dé­cor to go with the for­mal at­mos­phere. Costs per head for food and drinks could also be more. Not all venues of­fer al­ter­na­tives to plated din­ners, which could be more ex­pen­sive. Make sure your venue rental is in­cluded. Is there a min­i­mum limit for the bar? Are cutlery, chairs and table­cloths in­cluded? Are the costs of wait­ers in­cluded? Small ex­tra costs like these af­fect your bud­get. Legal costs In­clude this item in your bud­get. It’s for draw­ing up the an­tenup­tial con­tract.

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